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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Smart 65 arrived today

I was surprised at the sparse instructions. "Welcome! The product is ready to use. Register your device at garmin.com/express"
No words about having to download Garmin Express.
I've got all the software and maps up-to-date; I've transferred my favorites and uploaded the Red Light & Speed Cameras.
Will go out tomorrow morning and see if my vent system works to hold it.

--
Emma

It probably doesn't mention

It probably doesn't mention GE because the unit can be upgraded with WIFI instead of connectiong to your computer via USB and GE.

--
Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

Vent System works with Smart 65

I went on my first trip this morning. Was able to easily snap into the ball vent system I used on my prior Garmin. The traffic cord did not work -- I got an immediate message that it was an unsupported device. Waffling on whether I need a new traffic cord. I never found the traffic accurate on my older model.

The power cord plugs into the device and not into the device holder. I live in a high crime area, so always remove my device from the vehicle at night. I will also have to unplug it now.

I miss the data such as height above sea level; I'm sure it's there someplace. Time to actually read the owner's manual to figure out how to display what I want.

I'd like to customize my vehicle to look like my own vehicle. Garmin Garage doesn't seem to have any that are close.

--
Emma

The History icons

Living in the DC area, my map gets overwhelmed with the History icons popping up.

Also if one views the favorite locations on the screen, the huge hearts that pop up obscure the favorite names and actually make it impossible to see the street names.

I'm not finding the National Parks to be as useful/accurate as the old POI file I had downoaded from here. The National Parks seems to only list the big ones -- we have a lot of smaller ones that I visit locally.

Somewhat disappointed but I'll get over it -- it's a huge screen with bigger fonts and bigger buttons. I'd rather have smaller fonts with more information available to put on the screen. The Trip data only shows 3 pieces of data.

I haven't driven in the dark with it yet.

--
Emma

It's Doable, I Think

On the 3597, one could get rid of the Hearts. I can't remember how to do it, right off hand. On the DrvieSmart61, when the Hearts get overwhelming, touch the screen, anywhere. When you go back to the Navigation Screen, the Hearts will have disappeared, temporarily.

I'm still trying to figure out how I got rid of of the Hearts, (Saved Places Icon). Something to do with downloading the Saved Places to Basecamp, doing a Factory Reset on the 3597, and uploading the Saved Places back to the GPS. Here is where it gets fuzzy. It may have to do with changing the Icon on Basecamp for every Saved Place or something like that. But I can't seem to get it to work.

Last time I got it to work, I said I was going to make a FAQ. But I was waiting for a Roundtuit that I never got.

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Frank Nuvi 3597LMT 37.322760, -79.511267

I did it accidentally -- once

I got rid of the hearts once -- and couldn't really figure out how it had happened.

I also used Save places to show locations where temporary red light cameras go up and go down. I may actually have to figure out how to add them to the red light file. The locations are always the same, but the actual cameras disappear and reappear.

I've never done anything with Base Camp.

--
Emma

Hearts

Hawkthree wrote:

I got rid of the hearts once -- and couldn't really figure out how it had happened.

I also used Save places to show locations where temporary red light cameras go up and go down. I may actually have to figure out how to add them to the red light file. The locations are always the same, but the actual cameras disappear and reappear.

I've never done anything with Base Camp.

One way to lose the hearts on the newer Garmin devices is to go to Settings and uncheck the map layer that saved places uses. The downside to this method is that it also loses the icons for your Custom POIs assuming you load custom POIs and custom icons.

I doubt that you can add redlight locations to the built-in redlight file. If you find that the built-in file is not as good as The POI Factory's redlight and speed camera files, you can report new locations so they can be added to the next update. But even in this case, temporary redlight locations are likely not to be desired by the maintainer of the files. Just how temporary are these locations? If short-lived, why even save them in your GPS? Just curious...

Garmin vs POI files

CraigW wrote:

I doubt that you can add redlight locations to the built-in redlight file. If you find that the built-in file is not as good as The POI Factory's redlight and speed camera files, you can report new locations so they can be added to the next update. But even in this case, temporary redlight locations are likely not to be desired by the maintainer of the files. Just how temporary are these locations? If short-lived, why even save them in your GPS? Just curious...

We deal with a lot of red light cameras up here in Canada, which in reality are not so much red light cameras - that I agree with - but also speed traps designed only to increase revenue, and I am familiar with both the built-in camera subscription on the DriveSmart and the POI files from this site. I much prefer the Garmin safety camera subscription. One can run both of course, but I prefer Garmin because the alert is much more sophisticated than can be programmed using POIs. It only alerts on the actual streets the camera is facing, and does not alert if you near an intersection but going the opposite direction. POI files alert in all four directions, and personally I hate false alerts because you start to ignore them after a while.

Garmin's safety camera subscription is not updated as often as the POI files - but of course a good driver only uses this as a reminder and stays alert at all times anyway.

Temporary red light cameras are expensive

"Just how temporary are these locations? If short-lived, why even save them in your GPS? Just curious..."

They randomly go up and down on streets I travel every day. I like to get the reminder even when the cameras are elsewhere so when they show up again, I'm conditioned to slowing down to 25. Going past them at 30 mph costs $100.

--
Emma

White Hearts

Hawkthree wrote:

Living in the DC area, my map gets overwhelmed with the History icons popping up.

Also if one views the favorite locations on the screen, the huge hearts that pop up obscure the favorite names and actually make it impossible to see the street names.

By accident I found a way to remove the white heart icons while viewing the "View Mao" screen.

Click on any of the icons and then click in the return icon. All the white icons will vanish. They will stay gone until you leave and return to that screen.

Those icons are not shown if you have selected a route.

What's a manual...

I don't mind companies not including paper or "disc" in the box, but sometimes they have the manual in hidden locations or have 10 different manuals without clear concise information and rarely do they have critical images.

And finding long discontinued product manuals are even worse...I still have a 780, 1490, 2699 and more. Thankfully I sold my ancient StreetPilot C300!!!!

Hawkthree wrote:

I went on my first trip this morning. Was able to easily snap into the ball vent system I used on my prior Garmin. The traffic cord did not work -- I got an immediate message that it was an unsupported device. Waffling on whether I need a new traffic cord. I never found the traffic accurate on my older model.

The power cord plugs into the device and not into the device holder. I live in a high crime area, so always remove my device from the vehicle at night. I will also have to unplug it now.

I miss the data such as height above sea level; I'm sure it's there someplace. Time to actually read the owner's manual to figure out how to display what I want.

I'd like to customize my vehicle to look like my own vehicle. Garmin Garage doesn't seem to have any that are close.

Drivesmart 65

the DriveSmart 65 looks great. Like the others, I am not in the market right now but if my Nuvi 3597 fails, I might look at it.

Couple days of driving in unfamiliar territory

The Drivesmart's newer navigation is much more accurate than the Nuvi's. We used the map layers to show us food/gas and it was pretty obvious when we hit the more rural areas. No icons on the map at all.

I have the GPS positioned in the driver's middle vent. Very secure in the vent, but it does cover up a portion of my backup camera and the current time.

We were finally able to locate the option to "Search along my current route" or search "near my destination" so that was helpful.

Those big-ass favorite hearts -- I just want to swear at them. You can go in and individually change the map icon for each one individually, but the choice of map icons is a bizarre assortment. No church icons; no school icons; a cable car icon, a train icon; 2 car repair icons; a milk-bread icon; no grocery store cart; no camping icons -- one downhill skier. No fitness center. Whose life are these icons reflecting?

--
Emma

Mine

Sigh. Probably reflects my life LOL.

@Hawkthree

Those icons are probably not meant to reflect anything but that there is POI in database. My guess is it's just some sort of cutting corners. It's much easier to get one icon for everything than create one for each categories, if they have one.

It may be just one huge database that is not really prepared for ease of use but can claim godzillion points recorded. Preparing it for use with categories costs time, and most people anyway will go for number of POIs in database not for practical usefulness. Most of them can't even do search based on categorization or doesn't know that GPS have this kind of option.

Garmin icons.

I participate in several GPS forums, and I have yet to read a single comment from anyone in any forum that likes Garmin's icons on the modern devices. Garmin certainly took a step backwards when they eliminated the old custom icons capability we had on the old devices (like the nuvi 7xx series). On those devices you had a wide selection of attractive icons to choose from.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

customization is a 2 edge

customization is a 2 edge sword. I won't buy something I can't customize, when I have the option to customize it I can't make up my mind which option to choose, I end up playing with the customization more than using it, when I am satisfied with it I stop using it cause there is nothing more to customize.

I wish

I.. am happy enough with the selections available, just wish they provided some "small" versions. Even just a few colored (SMALL) dots would be nice.

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

DS 55 with Traffic - also great

Hi all -- I am back after 10 years of not participating but just bought the DS55 with traffic -- nothing more to add to Tekmill's comments other than the Garmin Drive app is very stable and a big improvement over the Drivelink app. You cannot go wrong with either device.

--
JRoz -- DriveSmart 55 & Traffic

Welcome back jrozsnaki.

It is nice to see your name pop up here again. Hope to see more posts from you!

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Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

@aladb

Thank you! I appreciate that.

--
JRoz -- DriveSmart 55 & Traffic

Garmin Drivesmart 65 & Traffic

I purchased a Drivesmart 65 & Traffic. and I could not get the Smart Notifications to work. I returned my first unit and got a new one. When I fired it up all systems were go, including Smart Notifications. I then updated the software and now those features will not work. I wonder if they have a software bug. Is anyone else having an issue with their Smart Notification section?

Thank you,

.

Thanks for all the feedback

Welcome to the forum!

Welcome to the forum! Thanks for the review.

Randomly shuts down or starts up

Just as I thought most of the problems with the DriveSmart 65 and the BC-40 backup camera were solved by a new firmware update, my DriveSmart 65 started randomly restarting on a longer trip this week. When I shut it down using a quick tap on the power button, it would randomly start back up again on its own.

I parked my car in a parking lot and returned 4 hours later to see my backup camera on the screen because it had just restarted itself on its own.

I tried a factory reset and that seemed to have worked but I haven't done any lengthy trips yet, so we will wait and see.

I upgraded yesterday

I upgraded yesterday to the DriveSmart 55/65 (yes, two of them - the 55 stays in my car and the 65 is what I pack when I travel (I travel a lot)):

A few things I noticed:

- When plugged into the BC-30, it seems to recognize traffic and pulls in traffic data. This is great for me as I don't always have the app open and while I realize the app may have better data, that's OK most of the time as the more important part is that I default to -some- data. I do not know if it's using the traffic off of the BC-30 or if the plug for the BC-30 is enough to let it use it's internal traffic receiver.

- It works fine with the BC-30. On Garmin's site the BC-30 isn't listed with the 55/65 but the 55/65 are listed with the BC-30. It works. I see the backup camera image on my screen.

- For traveling, the MUCH thinner cord (TA20) will be quite a nice improvement over the GTM60.

Here's a FAQ describing the traffic: https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=nMwqY3Bq2U91Dwq5Wy29eA

- (subjective) The interface is slightly nicer. Everything is in it's normal place but it looks a little better. I like the icons for traffic warnings over by the speed limit as opposed to the banners (mentioned in the first post).

- History Channel - I just turned this off. Maybe it has useful information but I don't think "history" when I hear, "History Channel". All I think is that it's going to lead me to ancient alien UFO landing sites.

- National Parks - It's on but I haven't had the opportunity to use it, yet.

- Speed - the interface is a bit quicker than it was. Sometimes before I'd start spelling something out and it'd stop the typing as it tried to match things in the database. It's better. They could still fix it with just giving priority to the keyboard. Search the database when I've paused typing for a sec.

- The app: I much prefer the simpler Drive app over the SmartLink app (also have a Speak in my car). At the same time, I don't want to have to manage apps that are open so I can do things. The SmartLink app would sometimes connect and sometimes not connect which was a pain if I thought it was connected but it wasn't.

Future suggestions:
- You're getting the same data, anyway, AND you have WiFi - give an option of just getting the data via WiFi for those who have hotspots in their car or would just prefer to set their phone as a hotspot and not deal with the app. The app is just this annoying "connector" thing that's poorly maintained and sort of an afterthought. Everything they need to do this is already in the box. This could be a firmware update.

- Give me a way of turning off the "PhotoLive Cameras". One you press a button to bring them up you're forever stuck with them until you reset (unless one of you can tell me how to turn them off). It becomes a bunch of little diamonds that just clutter up the screen.

- I'd like more POI choices for assigning to saved favorites. There's not a good marker for Post Office, for example. That seems pretty basic and could literally just be an image of an envelope in the green box.

Wired Back-Up Camera port? Wired Cam Support?

I have a Nuvi 765T with wired backup camera that goes to the right back corner of our RV. 40 foot distance. The camera is plugged into a port on the side of the Garmin 765T.

Question 1: Can I use my camera with the new DriveSmart? Thinking NOT.

A little research only mentions wireless backup camera for the DriveSmart unit which I am assuming 40 feet distance would be unlikely to work.

--
rvOutrider

DriveSmart 65

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/501486#devices
lists GPS units that can use the BC-30. Since it is a wired system your distance won't matter. The DriveSmart series is included.

Since you already have wiring from the RV to your present camera, it should be an easy job.

Good Luck!

Clarification on Custom Icons and others

Can I still load the Custom POI's and its icons which are available on this forum to the new Drive Smart 55/65 GPS?

Can I create numerous routes in Basecamp and upload them to the GPS?

Without a Smartphone, is traffic still available?

Yes.

macleadv wrote:

Can I still load the Custom POI's and its icons which are available on this forum to the new Drive Smart 55/65 GPS?

Can I create numerous routes in Basecamp and upload them to the GPS?

Without a Smartphone, is traffic still available?

Although I don't own one of these models, I believe the answer to all your questions is "yes". The screen resolution of the DriveSmart may affect which size custom icon you want to use.

--
Alan - Android Auto, DriveLuxe 51LMT-S, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, Nuvi 3597LMTHD, Oregon 550T, Nuvi 855, Nuvi 755T, Lowrance Endura Sierra, Bosch Nyon

It's tough

alandb wrote:
macleadv wrote:

Can I still load the Custom POI's and its icons which are available on this forum to the new Drive Smart 55/65 GPS?

Can I create numerous routes in Basecamp and upload them to the GPS?

Without a Smartphone, is traffic still available?

Although I don't own one of these models, I believe the answer to all your questions is "yes". The screen resolution of the DriveSmart may affect which size custom icon you want to use.

It's tough, isn't it, for us geezers to offer advice on the multiple new units when we don't have one? Maybe Garmin should send us each new model as they're released so we can offer advice with certainty. twisted

Icons

alandb wrote:

I participate in several GPS forums, and I have yet to read a single comment from anyone in any forum that likes Garmin's icons on the modern devices. Garmin certainly took a step backwards when they eliminated the old custom icons capability we had on the old devices (like the nuvi 7xx series). On those devices you had a wide selection of attractive icons to choose from.

I prefer teh smaller and customized icons.

Drivesmart 55

Can the same be said for the Drivesmart 55

poi alerts on drivesmart55

IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE THE GARMIN55 DRIVESMART SPEAK WHERE THE RED CAMERA AND SPEED CAMERAS ARE LOCATED INSTEAD OF THE PING BECAUSE THE GREEN DOTS ARE HARD TO SEE AND THE ALERTS ON TOP OF SCREEN GO AWAY BEFORE I CAN SEE WHERE THEY ARE LOCATED.
THESE ALERTS ARE FROM THE POI FACTORY,THE CARMIN ALERTS SHOW THE ACTUAL CAMERS AND SPEED CAMERAS AND STAY ON THE SCREEN UNTIL I PASS THEM
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.BILL

I use the POI factory CSV,

I use the POI factory CSV, and a BMP and a WAV file and load with POI Loader.

I get "Warning, speed camera ahead...." for example. I made my own WAV file.

--
I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.

Make your own

Yes, you can make your own wav files for the POIs on this site. Instructions are on this site. (Mine say "30 kilometer speed zone" when I am travelling faster than 30KPH in a reduced-speed school zone.)

You cannot make your own sounds or wav files for the Garmin safety camera subscription, but you can for the POI files on this site.

I use Garmin's files for intersection safety cameras, but my own POI files for school zones. The reason is that the safety camera files from POI factory alert on all roads, not just the actual road that the camera is installed on. I hate false alerts.

I also don't speed and always watch in school zones, but I like the alerts because it keeps my head up watching the road instead of buried in my speedometer.

Garmin 65

I to just bought a new Drivesmart 65, I like it better than the 61 I was using.
Tekmill is right.

--
Peter Dutcher

Picture

How did you get that screen
Pete

--
Peter Dutcher

switching from 61ds lmt

I bought a 65ds today. looking forward to seeing it perform I own 2 61ds lmt now. Not sure if the 61 does Galileo as well but it seems the 65 does.

On a side note I bought a 2019 f350 Lariet and it came with sync3 Navigation. I have used it a while as well as android auto with google maps and waze. One thing for sure if I had only one choice for gps garmin would win hands down. And people trash garmin nav for autos. Ha. it's the best thing going for serious nav. all the others are really so hoaky. I use the phone for finding a place fast on goole sometimes and share/send to the 61 ds via gamins smartphone link. I hope the new drivelink app will do the same. other then that the phone is useless.

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