Review of Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT-D Satellite Navigation Satnav
This is a £200 sat nav that we have decided to review. Based on other reviews we have read online and the price range, we thought it would be good to compare a sat nav in this higher price bracket with cheaper alternatives from Garmin, TomTom and others.
So this is a higher end satnav produced by Garmin, called the DriveSmart 50LMT. How does this device differ from the cheaper sub £100 satnavs and those even cheaper than that?
Well, for starters, it has quite a few more interesting features, we will go in to them below. It's screen is 6" wide rather than the usual 5" we have been reviewing. You can sync/pair your smart phone via bluetooth to get hands free calling and voice activated navigation, so if you do plenty of driving there are some definite benefits.
- Dangerous curves and bends alert
- Alerts for fatigue, so if you've been driving for a while you can be alerted to take a break or to stay focused
- Traffic alerts synced to your satnav to avoid traffic jams, incidents and congestion
- Lane assist, junction view and garmin real directions are some of the usual features you see on a Garmin satnav
This Garmin satnav has a touch screen which you can use just like a smart phone, with pinch to zoom and other features, so it's not hard to use, straight out of the box. With the hands free, bluetooth phone set up you can answer phone calls whilst still being navigated by the device which is an incredible feature. This means that you can still stay connected and drive safer at the same time.
As well as making it safer to use a phone you can be alerted for the following situations when they come up ahead;
- Sharp bends
- Speed changes on the road (although when we tested it, it did not update for road works on the road where they change the speed for safety)
- Railway crossings
- Animal crossings
One feature we really loved which isn't on any of the other devices we have reviewed is the hands free calling and voice activated navigation. Once the device is turned on, you can start the car and add a location using your voice, it is really simple and really powerful feature. Not just that, you can answer calls, check the weather of the location you are driving to and check traffic conditions ahead, it's rather brilliant.
Getting It Out Of The Box
Once the satnav had arrived, the first thing we had to do was charge it up, it came with a near empty battery, good thing we didn't need it straight away. One thing to note is that if you purchase this gps sat nav, you will have to set it up with the updates online and register with Garmin. We had a pretty smooth set up and within a few hours the sat nav was fully charged. We had it plugged in to the car at all times but we thought an initial charge would be best whilst we were setting everything up on the computer.
Once up and running it is really quick with finding your destination either by voice or by manual input, or even by adding a location from your phone. Within a few seconds you'll have the start, the destination and how long it will take, it awesome. The screen is a great size being 6" wide, we are happy using 5" screens but this one just adds a bit more clarity and the picture is obviously bigger due to the width.
One thing we have noticed over other sat navs is that when you are coming in to smaller towns or on roads with a lot of turnings and juctions, the sat nav does not zoom in fully, like it would on Google Maps or similar. You are sat above the town somewhat in the view and you can see the roads turning off left and right, which is OK, but it means if there are a couple of junctions next to each other, you may take an early or late turning because of the confusion with the view.
- Bigger 6" screen than other satnavs and better to view than your smart phone
- Great voice activation and hands free features means safer driving
- More features than you can shake a stick at, including hands free voice, fatigue alerts, crazy bendy road ahead alerts, speed alerts, camera alerts, etc
- Lane choice is made easier with the Garmin on motorways
- Lifetime maps and updates for all of Europe (over 40 countries)
- Can be hard to set up with Garmin Express
- Some updates to the maps are slow so you may not show road works on your maps when they are there and other times it shows roadworks where there aren't any
- Slightly reflective screen, can be hard to see when the sun is directly on it reflecting in your eyes
The best car satnav we have tested, hands down, it does cost a bit more than the others though. Really happy with the slightly bigger screen and voice activation. If you can get a clean set up with Garmin Express on your computer and you are happy with Garmin maps then this would be a great purchase to help you get to your destinations.