Buying a sat nav just isn’t a ‘annually’ factor. One you determine you’ll purchase one, the hope is that will probably be with you for the long term. And when it does finally outlive its objective then it must take one thing very spectacular to show your head from the free efforts offered by Google and the like.

The Garmin DriveSmart 61 is a head turner, a tool that proves that should you spend sufficient a sat nav can transcend the cumbersome GPS gadgets of outdated and supply one thing that is as modern and handsome as a premium smartphone. 

Lengthy gone are the times of resistive screens and button mashing, the Garmin DriveSmart 61 proves which you could have one thing connected to your windscreen that each delivers in efficiency and appears respectable whereas doing it. 

It is a disgrace, then, that it’s important to use a plastic ball and socket mount. Magnets  would have suited this premium machine an entire lot higher. 

Design and options

The Garmin DriveSmart 61 is (just about) all display. At 7-inches (1024 x 600 pixels), you get an impressively sized widescreen machine. The bezel is minimal, which suggests the display stretched just about to the sting – there isn’t any ungainly plastic border right here.

The look is a bit of at odds in opposition to Garmin’s shiny, garish consumer interface. There’s nothing mistaken with it as such, however it’s fairly a distinction to the fashionable exterior. 

We like its simplicity, although. The worst factor that may occur when you’re about to set off on a journey is to be bombarded with myriad menus. 

Garmin merely has two choices to start with: The place To? and View Map. Head to The place To? and you’ll sort in your vacation spot, which is simple because of the beneficiant sized display. As quickly as you begin typing, vacation spot choices turn out to be accessible. 

In case your vacation spot simply so occurs to be model new, then there isn’t a must panic because the Garmin DriveSmart 61 has Wi-Fi capabilities. Because of this downloading updates and new maps is a breeze – none of that smartphone tethering to make issues work. 

The one time issues get a bit of clunky is if you need site visitors replace. For this, Garmin makes use of DAB to replace. 

Usually this is able to be effective however the receiver is within the cigarette lighter charger cable – a cable that does not supply the flexibility to attach the rest into the charger. 

For us it meant that we could not use our second-party DAB radio system within the automobile when the sat nav was on as this additionally wanted use of the lighter port. 

There is a contact of irony in the truth that we had sacrifice listening to DAB for an additional machine that used DAB to speak data. It is a niggle however one that will not trigger too many individuals issues. 


Again to the UI and issues are easy however efficient. The map setup might jar a bit of for many who are used to Google Maps or TomTom however we appreciated it. 

Paying a bit additional for this premium sat nav does have its advantages that’s past being pores and skin deep and that is the truth that you’re going to get up to date maps for the entire of Europe or the US, relying on which mannequin you go for. Given map bundles are often the dearer side of sat navs, this can be a sensible bonus. 

As for the maps themselves, the principle factor that you must know is that in a bid to declutter the entire display, most related – non map based mostly – data is given a facet panel on the precise.

This implies you possibly can see if there are any site visitors buildups arising at a look, in addition to how a lot time you’ve left on the journey and different routes should you really feel such as you need to stray off of the crushed path.

Slivers of different data body the map on the backside – a dint for velocity and one other for time of arrival. Not as soon as did the display really feel cluttered – Garmin has executed a very good job of constructing positive that you do not get slowed down within the particulars. 

If you wish to take a name in your telephone, you too can do that by the sat nav. Arms-free calling comes courtesy of Smartphone Hyperlink, it’s kind of of a ‘mare to setup however it does work and can profit these whose vehicles have but so as to add this performance. 

In case you do take a name whereas the sat nav is in use then the caller ID comes up on the precise hand sat nav in addition to the flexibility to hold up on the caller. 

With regards to utilizing your voice, we a lot favor the voice management that comes as customary with the Garmin DriveSmart 61. It is from excellent – we needed to say our vacation spot a variety of instances earlier than it obtained it proper – however the thought is there. 

Voice will probably be such an necessary a part of automobile management going ahead, it is nice to see Garmin attempting out this performance – even when it hasn’t fairly reached its full potential but. 

Last verdict

Different USPs embrace the flexibility to go looking by TripAdvisor suggestions and you’ll even verify in with Foursquare. Whereas the TripAdvisor data is fascinating, it is solely actually of use if you wish to do some correct exploring of the place you might be visiting. 

It is extra seemingly you already know what you need to do within the place you’ll so this can be a good addition however on no account a should have with regards to sat navs.

And that is the issues with the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LM-T. It is obtained many capabilities and options that you just simply will not trouble with however it does not matter because it does its important objective – to get you from A to B – so effectively, that something on prime of that’s merely a bonus.

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