Drivesmart 65 - 2019 First Look

 

Long time lurker first time poster. Purchased the 2019 Drivesmart 65 yesterday and spent today with it my vehicle. Here are some details about it that aren’t being advertised but that some on this board may find useful if deciding to buy.

GALILEO - This unit can pick up Galileo satellites! FTC recently approved this in late 2018 for the United States so this is a big deal. This improves the accuracy significantly. On the Accuracy screen it shows you which ones are the Galileo satellites.

LESS INTRUSIVE ALERTS - The alerts such as school zones and railroads are now next to the speed limit sign on the bottom left.

NEXT TURN LARGER FONT - reduced to three next turns and the font is larger. Great improvement but subject to how you use this feature.

DRIVE APP FEEDBACK - this unit does not use the old smartlink app. The new drive app does not provide traffic on the app but does supply it to the unit. The connection between app and unit is seemless. This is an improvement over the previous app and all the connection issues. I have an iPhone XS for reference.

I’ll do my best to answer any questions anyone has regarding this new unit. So far it’s been a great improvement over the already outstanding 61 I was using.

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Welcome!

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the review of the DriveSmart 65.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

what he said

alandb wrote:

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the review of the DriveSmart 65.

Thanks for the review.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

Review

Thanks for the review Tekmill. I've been looking at that unit but ... It's hard to justify buying another GPS when I have a nuvi 1490, 1390 and zumo 665 all up to date and working perfectly. Even my wife's and daughter's nuvi 765s are both up to date and running great. Though not up to date on maps, the old nuvi 260W still runs great too. I've never had one fail on me.

Maybe I can tell my wife my eye sight is getting worse and I need the bigger, clearer screen. Lol

--
Harley BOOM GTS, Zumo 665, (2) Nuvi 765Ts, 1450LMT, 1350LM & others | 2019 Harley Ultra Limited Shrine - Peace Officer Dark Blue

Good to know, I wasn't aware

Good to know, I wasn't aware of this unit out here. Thanks.

7 inch is great

bear007 wrote:

Thanks for the review Tekmill. I've been looking at that unit but ... It's hard to justify buying another GPS when I have a nuvi 1490, 1390 and zumo 665 all up to date and working perfectly. Even my wife's and daughter's nuvi 765s are both up to date and running great. Though not up to date on maps, the old nuvi 260W still runs great too. I've never had one fail on me.

Maybe I can tell my wife my eye sight is getting worse and I need the bigger, clearer screen. Lol

I too like the new DS65, the phone app looks like it's a lot better than the Smartphone Link I use with my DS61 for traffic.

I also can not justify buying a new GPS right now. My DS61 isn't very old, and I have two 2460's, another DS61, and two Zumo's, which now are both up to date thanks to you, Bear. (I have everything in twos one for wifey's vehicles, one for mine.

In between the Nuvi 2460 & the DS61 I had a Nuvi 2698, 7 inch screen. It was so much easier to use/see while driving. Unfortunately (& fortunately) the USB port went bad and Garmin gave me a DS 61 as a replacement, also with a 7 inch screen. It is amazing how much difference one inch makes.

If I could afford to I'd buy a DS65, just to have it, (I'm real happy with the DS61) since it seems Garmin is slowly fading out of the stand alone GPS market.

--
. 2 Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S, Nuvi 2689, 2 Nuvi 2460, Zumo 550, Zumo 450, Uniden R3 radar detector with GPS built in, includes RLC info. Uconnect 430N Garmin based, built into my Jeep. .

Thanks for the review Tekmill

I'm looking at buying the DS 55. Can you tell me if you can turn off 3D buildings and terrain. I don't really care for the look and prefer the standard map.

Yes you can

jackrabbit000 wrote:

I'm looking at buying the DS 55. Can you tell me if you can turn off 3D buildings and terrain. I don't really care for the look and prefer the standard map.

Yes. You can turn off both 3d buildings and 3D terrain in the Map Layers option on the device.

Welcome

Tekmill wrote:
jackrabbit000 wrote:

I'm looking at buying the DS 55. Can you tell me if you can turn off 3D buildings and terrain. I don't really care for the look and prefer the standard map.

Yes. You can turn off both 3d buildings and 3D terrain in the Map Layers option on the device.

Welcome to The Factory, Tekmill!

Welcome Tekmill

Like some of the others, I'm not ready just yet to replace my current GPS. Your review shows that Garmin has not abandoned the market yet. Despite the proliferation and popularity of Smartphones and indash units are becoming more commonplace on upper trim levels, they don't yet offer many of the features and convenience of a dedicated GPS in my opinion. Thank you for your review, hope we hear more from you.

--
"There's no substitute for local knowledge" nüvi 750, nüvi 3597

looks like a nice unit...

but I'll wait till the refurbs come out. I have a Dezl and 2558 which do their respective jobs well for now.

Good to know

Tekmill wrote:
jackrabbit000 wrote:

I'm looking at buying the DS 55. Can you tell me if you can turn off 3D buildings and terrain. I don't really care for the look and prefer the standard map.

Yes. You can turn off both 3d buildings and 3D terrain in the Map Layers option on the device.

Thanks for confirming Tekmill.

Accuracy

Thanks for the review.

I'm not currently contemplating upgrading to the latest, but I'm interested in the accuracy you are getting with this unit, when you can see that the new satellites are being used.

JCA

While this may

be a great unit, I'm not going to rush out to buy one. I own a 2797 which has a 7" screen and for the average car it's just too damn large on the dash. Maybe in a large RV it might be a better fit.
Same would be with a DS 65!

--
Nuvi 350 long gone, Nuvi 855LMT, Nuvi 2797LMT, SmartDrive 50 LMT-HD, 3790LMT now my daughters. Using Windows 10. DashCam A108C with GPS.

I have a DS61, it's a 7"

I have a DS61, it's a 7" in.a Jeep Patriot, and yes 7" is a bit big.

--
Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

4.3"

Hard to believe but I still prefer the 4.3" screen size of my 1390T over my Drivesmart 50LMT.

What's the size of the

What's the size of the internal storage on this one?

16GB total, with 13.8GB

16GB total, with 13.8GB useable.

With the latest 2020 map update, there is just under 7GB free.

thanks

Thanks for the review, have been considering purchasing this new model.

DriveSmart 55/65

The DriveSmart 55/65 series GPS units really are something special. Not only do they provide exceptional GPS features, but they are integrated with your smartphone to bring up to date location, weather, and traffic data directly to your GPS as well as hands free phone service. You can call, hands free, any phone number in your smartphone directory or any GPS location that has a phone number.

Their special features are too many to try and describe here, but you should download the Users Manual from
http://static.garmin.com/pumac/DriveSmart_55-65_OM_EN.pdf
to see all about them.

Some of the: GPS features:
Alternate Routes and Route Shaping that lets you modify a route in any way you desire without requiring any other apps.

A four field Trip Panel that displays any four at the time from this list. Trip A, Trip B, Arrival Time, Time to Destination, Next Stop Arrival Time, Time to Next Stop, Distance to Next Stop, Time to Turn, Direction, Speed, Max. Speed, Moving Avg, Overall Avg, Stopped, Moving Time, Total Time, Time of Day, Elevation, Location (Lat/Lon), GPS Accuracy.

The Smartphone App (Drive) can even send locations to the GPS. In addition, the Apps Foursquare and Tripadvisor are included.

If you download the Owner’s Manual be aware that the manual lists all the functions, but is lacking in much of the detail. You’ll have to get the detail from the GPS itself - which isn’t difficult.

It is interesting that the Garmin sales window on the website doesn’t show the DS 55/65, but they are currently available from other suppliers.

Well ...

Note that much of that is available on the earlier Drive series, and in some cases the later nuvi models.

--
Where there's a will ... there's a way ... DriveSmart50LMT-D, Nuvi 2508LMT-D, 1490LMT, 1310, Montana 650T, Etrex 20

I agree. Having used the

I agree. Having used the Drivesmart 65 now for a few weeks I can say that the accuracy and speed is significantly better. I do a lot of route planning with 20+ locations and constant skipping sites and reroutes so the processing power is noticeable to me. The new app does engage better and if I decide to get a Garmin dashcam its integrated into the same app. I've mentioned this before as well but the Galileo satellites is a significant improvement in accuracy that was an unexpected bonus.

The picture below was taken inside my home. You can see how the Garmin now captures the new Galileo satellites.

https://imgur.com/a/ExQqW2i

But

I notice your elevation is at minus 10.. how accurate is that?

--
Lives in Edmonton AB A volunteer driver for Drive Happiness.ca and uses a 2689 to find my way.

Very ...

Very accurate for a GPS without a barometric altimeter ... although it's at -12 so you're a bit out smile

--
Where there's a will ... there's a way ... DriveSmart50LMT-D, Nuvi 2508LMT-D, 1490LMT, 1310, Montana 650T, Etrex 20

It’s accurate

If he’s sitting 12’ below sea level.

Very Accurate

Average elevation in my city is 9 feet above sea level per Wikipedia. I don’t have believe it’s too far off. This and I was inside my home and not outside.

Drivesmart 55/65 display s

Tekmill,

We're you able to compare the 55 & 65 screens before you bought the 65? I was just curious because I see the 55 has a higher resolution, pixel count, than the 65.

55 is 1280x720
65 is 1024x600

Not a big deal since none of my old GPSs are higher than 480x272. I was just curious.

--
Harley BOOM GTS, Zumo 665, (2) Nuvi 765Ts, 1450LMT, 1350LM & others | 2019 Harley Ultra Limited Shrine - Peace Officer Dark Blue

Why do the colors not match?

Tekmill wrote:

I agree. Having used the Drivesmart 65 now for a few weeks I can say that the accuracy and speed is significantly better. I do a lot of route planning with 20+ locations and constant skipping sites and reroutes so the processing power is noticeable to me. The new app does engage better and if I decide to get a Garmin dashcam its integrated into the same app. I've mentioned this before as well but the Galileo satellites is a significant improvement in accuracy that was an unexpected bonus.

The picture below was taken inside my home. You can see how the Garmin now captures the new Galileo satellites.

https://imgur.com/a/ExQqW2i

Sats on the left in blue are purple on the right and vice versa...

--
Striving to make the NYC Metro area project the best.

I went from a 5-inch 3597 to

I went from a 5-inch 3597 to a 6.9-inch 65. I was afraid it might be too big, but I was more than happy when I mounted it. Yes, it's big, but not BIG, if you know what I mean.

I tried one of those CD slot mounts for it and it holds it firm but it also blocks the readout of the radio. I went back to my old reliable Arkon vent mount, and it rides in there firm and fine. I am really liking my 65. The only issue I had was downloading a wav file to voice when I am entering a reduced-speed school zone here in Winnipeg (they are everywhere) and it wouldn't load but I followed instructions from this forum, added sox.exe to the same folder as my Garmin POI Loader program, and it works perfectly now. I am a big believer that drivers should be watching the road for kids, not staring at their speedometers, so a voice telling me I am approaching a 30 KPH school zone is very helpful.

Resolution

Great question. I did not compare the screens before purchasing. Since I drive a F150 crew cab the 65 fits better than the smaller unit for my purpose so I did not consider the smaller unit. I would be interested to see how the resolution differs now that you mention the higher pixel density on the smaller unit. I must say I'm not concerned in the least about the quality of the picture in the 65.

Colors Matching

camerabob wrote:
Tekmill wrote:

I agree. Having used the Drivesmart 65 now for a few weeks I can say that the accuracy and speed is significantly better. I do a lot of route planning with 20+ locations and constant skipping sites and reroutes so the processing power is noticeable to me. The new app does engage better and if I decide to get a Garmin dashcam its integrated into the same app. I've mentioned this before as well but the Galileo satellites is a significant improvement in accuracy that was an unexpected bonus.

The picture below was taken inside my home. You can see how the Garmin now captures the new Galileo satellites.

https://imgur.com/a/ExQqW2i

Sats on the left in blue are purple on the right and vice versa...

The blue ones are GPS satellites the purple are Galileo. Hope that clarifies a little. Galileo are newer European satellites with higher accuracy. In November 2018 the FCC legally allowed use of them in the United States. This is the first Garmin automotive series(Drivesmart 65/55) to have access to these satellites.

But..

Chickenhawks wrote:

I am a big believer that drivers should be watching the road for kids, not staring at their speedometers, so a voice telling me I am approaching a 30 KPH school zone is very helpful.

Announcements when approaching is good but will it shut off if you are stopped at a light.. I muted mine (2689) because of the continuous notification while stopped. Hopefully Garmin has come to their senses and added code to stop the chatter when stopped or going less than the posted speed in the newer models.

--
Lives in Edmonton AB A volunteer driver for Drive Happiness.ca and uses a 2689 to find my way.

Not Garmin. Me.

Yes, that is the way it works, but it wasn't Garmin that did this; it was me. It was literally years in the making, but as detailed on another thread, I have warnings that announce by voice as I approach a reduced-speed school zone. It will only announce if my speed is above the threshold, which for me is 30 KPH, so it doesn't continue to alert unless I continue to drive above 30 KPH.

It is almost a perfect system. The Garmin 65 dings for regular school zones - which is the very first Garmin I have owned that alerted to school zones in this part of Canada - but I can reduce the volume of alerts as a percentage of the master volume, so I keep it fairly low and unobtrusive. I also get voice announcements but only in the reduced-speed school zones, and only on the streets that are signed for reduced speeds. (I mapped out every single school zone in Winnipeg, and with 200 schools and an average of two to three streets affected for each school, it took years.)

Just to explain, in Winnipeg, the city has become drunk on photo radar revenue. We have regular school zones, where photo radar will ticket you if you exceed the posted speed limit by about 10 KPH, plus reduced speed school zones around elementary schools where we have to slow from 50 to 30 KPH. Regular school zones apply 24/7. Reduced speed school zones apply September to June, 0730 to 1730 hours, Monday to Friday.

The private American company who runs the photo radar program and gets a commission on every ticket, LOVES to set up in school zones in high traffic areas late at night and during the summer. They also LOVE to set up in reduced speed school zones on holidays or before school has officially started.

This is why so many people are angry. It is a blatant money-making tool. (Not one single kid has EVER been hit by a speeding car in ANY school zone in Winnipeg for at least the past 50 years, so there is zero documented evidence it is a safety issue.)

This is why I can now keep my eyes on the road and not the calendar, time and speedometer like before. If I approach a regular school zone, the Garmin dings and the symbol on the screen reminds me to check my speed. If I approach a red light/speed camera, it also dings and warns me with a banner at the top. (The DriveSmart 65 comes with a free Cyclops safety camera subscription for North America for free.) If I approach an elementary school zone on a street that is signed for a reduced speed, a voice reminds me to slow to 30. If if slow below 30, the voice goes away.

The only thing I wish it did was to not alert with the voice on weekends or during the summer, but that is beyond the capabilities of the POI system.

Incidentally, it was easy to load the POis so they only alerted when my speed was above the threshold. I use POI Loader in manual mode and set up proximity points based on speed, not distance.

Thank you for the review

I am about to purchase a new Garmin -- old one has a cracked screen and the unit has had a battery replacement (by me) -- newer battery is about dead.

I was looking at Amazon's reviews and was just surprised at the number of one and two star reviews about the device.

My questions:
I use a vent mount that has a ball and socket. The ball part is not Garmin. Will the 65 mount on that? That is, has the diameter of the ball part changed?
I have a separate traffic cord-charger; will that work with the newer model or will I need to replace that?

--
Emma

Good summary - thanks. Like

Good summary - thanks. Like my unit, but seems to rely too much on my cell phone...

--
Garmin Drive Smart 61 NA LMT-S

It should work but...

Hawkthree wrote:

I am about to purchase a new Garmin -- old one has a cracked screen and the unit has had a battery replacement (by me) -- newer battery is about dead.

I was looking at Amazon's reviews and was just surprised at the number of one and two star reviews about the device.

My questions:
I use a vent mount that has a ball and socket. The ball part is not Garmin. Will the 65 mount on that? That is, has the diameter of the ball part changed?
I have a separate traffic cord-charger; will that work with the newer model or will I need to replace that?

It should work with your current ball since the 65's specs show available mount options to be all the past ball mounts:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/612620#accessories

The one worry I have is the 7" screen size and weight of 8.45 oz (1 2/3 oz or 47.6 g heavier than a nuvi 3597, for example) and whether your vent mount can handle that weight:

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/612620#specs

If you proceed or others have info, it'd be nice to share whether a vent mount is functional for this weight. Then again, it may depend on your vehicle's brand/model/year as the robustness of vent vanes may vary.

PS: Regarding the 10% each 1- and 2-star reviews, note that with the small number of current reviews, only a single reviewer gave a 1 star and a single reviewer gave a 2 star review. It's worth reading the two reviews to see how their complaints would relate to your use of a 65 but should not be a dealbeaker unless their concerns match yours.
One other Amazon concern: The Amazon listing for the DriveSmart 65 is also the listing for the model Drive 52 and DriveSmart 55 so when reading reviews and overall stars, you really need to go through each review and see which model is being reviewed. Amazon does this with other items sold and it's very annoying to see an item with 100 or more reviews and try to weed out the reviews for a model other than the one you want. mad At least now with a total of ten reviews, each review does appear to be for the 65.

In case Amazon lists the Drivesmart 65 in more than one place, my review above is based on this item:

https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-DriveSmart-Traffic-Hands-Free-...

Amazon

A lot of fake reviews on Amazon.

Welcome, great review!

Welcome, great review!

thanks for the info!

Didn't know about Galileo. I'll have to look into it.

55/65 compatible with new BC 40 camera

The 55/65 are two of the units compatible with the new Garmin back up camera BC 40. The BC 40 is AA battery powered so no wires are needed and it communicates with the 55/65 GPS using wi-fi.

--
John from PA

Thanks

John from PA wrote:

The 55/65 are two of the units compatible with the new Garmin back up camera BC 40. The BC 40 is AA battery powered so no wires are needed and it communicates with the 55/65 GPS using wi-fi.

Great info. Thanks.

Is accuracy improved?

Does Galileo actually improve the unit accuracy? Any noticable impact.

I am lived in Thailand, wander if Galileo will work in Asia countries.

I live in Australia and

I live in Australia and accuracy of new unit with Galileo sats here is 3m.

maybe...

But I would not rush to buy a new unit just for that reason.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_(satellite_navigation)

--
John from PA

.

Thanks for your review

Just ordered the 65

Should be here by the end of the week. I will be able to report back about the vent mount etc.

Just in time, my GPS is in 2 pieces being held together with strapping tape. Seems to be working but the voice recognition is gone altogether.

--
Emma

Lost my app support

I might have spoken too soon. I upgraded the firmware on the DriveSmart 65 today to get ready for my BC40 backup camera, and now I have lost my connection to the Drive app. The phone connects and it still receives calls and texts but I lost my traffic, weather and weather radar. It says to go to the Drive app and sign in to my Garmin account.

The problem is that it is already signed in to my garmin account, and there is no provision to sign in again or even sign out and sign back in. Anyone else experience this?

Is your Garmin account a Garmin Connect account

...if so to log out click the "running man" symbol at the top right corner, then select "Sign out".

If you have a regular account at Garmin.com, log in and you will see a small circle with a face, again near top right. Click that and one of the options in the drop down is "Sign out".

--
John from PA

None of the above. On my

None of the above.

On my iPhone, there is no means to sign out and sign back in again. The tools menu was no help. I finally got it working again by forgetting my device, turning off the phone and GPS and pairing it as a new device all over again. It is now back to working again. Phew.

The weather radar is especially welcome!

Still flaky. The connection

Still flaky. The connection to the app drops unexpectedly, and I have to close the app and reopen on a regular basis to reestablish the connection.

65 Reet

After the update for the backup camera, my 65 suddenly just went dead. Garmin told me to "Reset" the 65 because sometimes software updates cause corruption to the software.

You reset it by having it connected to power and depressing the start button for 15 seconds. That worked just fine with no other problems.

By the way, that procedure is in the owner's manual, but is difficult to find.

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