The Garmin Drive Help 51 affords up a variety of options together with reside visitors and a splash cam in a compact bundle, however does it provide sufficient in right now’s world?

The sat nav market is in an odd place. As our smartphones proceed to enhance their free navigation choices you get the sensation the standard sat nav is slowly getting squeezed out.

It is forcing producers of the standard units to seek out new methods of including worth to their standalone choices, and the Drive Help 51 definitely has a number of methods up its sleeve.

Design and show

  • Compact, moveable design
  • 5-inch show is obvious and responsive

At 140 x 84 x 21mm, the Drive Help 51 is one in all Garmin’s smallest sat navs, and it makes is good and moveable.

It additionally means it does not take up an excessive amount of area in your sprint or windshield, supplying you with a greater view of the street and a much less distracting display.

It comes with not one, however two micro SD card slots, with the extra obscure one already packing a 4GB reminiscence card out of the field. This will probably be used to avoid wasting recorded footage from the sprint cam, so do not take away it.

Among the finest bits of the design although is the docking cradle that holds it to your automobile. It is tremendous simple to click on on and off of the suction cup mount, making eradicating it from view on the finish of your journey a easy, one handed job.

The 5-inch touchscreen show is vivid, clear and responsive, making it simple to see your subsequent navigation immediate and key journey stats resembling time and distance remaining.

The 480 X 272 decision is not going to win any awards, it isn’t even HD, however with massive fonts and icons it isn’t a lot of a problem. It does beg the query of the worth tag although, as you should buy a smartphone with a full HD show for much less.

Whereas the compact type issue and show will attraction to those that need one thing that is simply moveable, 5 inches is probably not large enough for these with poorer eyesight.

Garmin does make bigger measurement sat navs for these wanting a much bigger display, however the diminutive nature of the  Drive Help 51 means it will slip simply into the again pocket of your denims. Not that we advocate you retain it there. 

One disappointing characteristic of the Drive Help 51 is battery life, because it’ll solely final 30 minutes in a single cost. 

That is fairly surprising, and means you may just about need to have it plugged into your in-car energy port for each journey.

It is probably not an enormous subject, but it surely’s irritating that it may’t final a number of hours to get you thru a complete journey earlier than requiring a high up.

Interface and navigation

  • Simple and fast to setup and use
  • Navigation is great

We had been impressed with the convenience of setup on the Garmin Help 51 with only a few brief steps required to get you arrange out of the field.

You have to to be in your automobile and related to the facility to do that because the battery life is not nice.

As soon as the preliminary setup is full and you have your Drive Help 51 mounted you may be invited to regulate the digicam place to verify it is pointing on the center of the street forward of you.

You get three choices relying the place on the windshield you’ve got mounted it; left, center and proper; and as soon as you’ve got chosen you are able to go.

The massive icons within the menu make planning a route simple, and easily tapping in a postcode will see the Drive Help 51 plot not one, however three viable routes.

It’s going to additionally use reside visitors date (we reviewed the pricier mannequin which supplied this) to offer you actual time estimates of journey instances.

You’ll be able to choose to seek for factors of curiosity as your vacation spot, which is helpful if the place you are going however haven’t got an deal with, and the map additionally reveals helpful issues resembling velocity limits and cameras, petrol stations and areas of service stations and well-liked meals chains resembling McDonald’s.

It additionally affords clear lane steerage, displaying you precisely what lane you could be in at busy junctions, which is extraordinarily helpful if you happen to’re driving someplace unfamiliar.

One frustration with the navigation was common ‘keep on route/proper’ instructions as we traveled alongside the motorway. As a substitute of telling us we had 90 miles till we wanted to go away the street, the Drive Help 51 as a substitute would say say a lot much less after which inform us to not exit at a junction.

The instructions felt redundant, and we would a lot want to see the overall mileage for the present motorway somewhat than getting it in chunks as we drive alongside.

Sprint cam and extras

  • Sprint cam is beneficial, particularly for security acutely aware
  • Affords ahead collision and lane departure assists

The digicam mounted on the rear of the Drive Help 51 does not simply have one perform.

It may act as a splash cam, mechanically recording and saving footage with actual GPS coordinates when it detects an influence, supplying you with proof if you happen to had been to be concerned in an accident to show it wasn’t your fault.

Footage can then be downloaded to your smartphone by way of the Garmin VIRB app, and from there you will have the choice to share it over varied communication and social mediums.

There’s extra too it than that although, because it additionally offers ahead collision and lane departure alerts.

What this implies is the Drive Help 51 will chirp a tone at you if you happen to get too near the automobile in entrance, or get too near the sting of the lane you are in.

We discovered throughout our time with the Drive Help 51 that the ahead collision alert was smarter than the lane departure warning, however each did work and helps you retain your focus on the street forward.

One other characteristic of the digicam is vacation spot view. When you close to your vacation spot (we’re speaking tens of yards away) the Drive Help 51 will swap from the digital map view to a reside feed from the digicam with map particulars overlaid.

It is a easy augmented actuality (AR) expertise, however one which shocked and happy us the primary time we noticed it.

You’ll be able to even hyperlink your smartphone to the sat nav by way of Bluetooth, permitting you to make and obtain telephone calls safely, and fingers free, from the Drive Help 51, in addition to seeing key notifications resembling messages and calendar occasions.


The Garmin Drive Help 51 is an excellent sat nav, with the added bonus of lifetime updates and visitors plus the inclusion of a splash cam, lowering the variety of units in your windshield.

That mentioned, it nonetheless seems like a troublesome promote to anybody who’s proficient with their cell and is joyful to make use of that as their navigation instrument.

Contemplating your smartphone affords free mapping and navigation by way of Apple Maps and Google Maps, it is fairly a value to pay for the Drive Help 51 which basically does only one job versus a smartphone of the identical value (or much less!) that does rather more.

Nonetheless, with fewer duties the Garmin Drive Help 51 is laser centered on the navigation expertise, and it is one which excels while you’re behind the wheel. It is laborious to say if it is higher than your smartphone, they’re very shut, but it surely’s definitely no worse.

Who’s it for?

For those who’re searching for a devoted sat nav that is not nonetheless in Beta (we’re taking a look at you Google and Apple), the Garmin Drive Help 51 is a wonderful selection, you probably have the money.

It is vast characteristic set, simple setup and use and easy docking mount means it is an important selection these the much less tech savvy.

Ought to I purchase it?

For those who fall into the much less tech savvy class, and/or do not fancy utilizing your smartphone to direct you then the Drive Help 51 will not disappoint.

It isn’t low cost, however you do at the very least get an honest quantity of bang to your buck.

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