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Garmin DriveSmart 60 SatNav review

Garmin DriveSmart 60

£240
8.5

Build quality

8.5/10

Design

8.0/10

Ease of use

8.5/10

Performance

9.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Clear navigation
  • Real Directions
  • Smart Notifications for emails and SMS
  • Bends, speed limits and camera notification
  • Maps covering all Europe

Cons

  • Using the smart link means can't stream music from mobile at same time

garmin-drivesmart-60-reviewRecently I became a car owner once again. My first run in it was on the way back from collecting my Japanese vehicle from the importer in Norwich. Thankfully, I had the Garmin DriveSmart 60, part of the Drive SatNav range, to help me back home in London.

I’ve had the car a fortnight or so now and managed to clock up 800 miles already. Every inch of that has been guided by the capable DriveSmart 60 GPS.

Let me take you for a journey around this driving aid.

DriveSmart 60 design

The DriveSmart 60LMT-D sports a 6-inch widescreen format touchscreen.

garmin-drivesmart-60-frontThere is minimal bezel so the focus is definitely the clear and bright display.

drivesmart-60-backThe rear of the device curves nicely and a circular recess is present for the mounting plate.

The mounting plate allows the DriveSmart to lock on the to ball-end of the suction-cup equipped arm.

garmin-drivesmart-60-angleThe Garmin DriveSmart is quite slender and will slip in to most bags and even jacket pockets. It’s always worth remembering that these detach from their stand for a reason.

Everything feels solid and the SatNav clicks on to the mount securely. The suction cup has not failed me yet.

drivesmart-60-edgeThe power cable plugs in at the rear of the device. There is also an SD card slot beneath the mount. The mount plate includes a cable tidy.

DriveSmart 60 performance

Smart and accurate

Smart notifications

Before my trip, I synced my Nexus 6P with the system via Bluetooth. This was completed in a matter of seconds. This, of course, means you can’t stream music to your stereo at the same time.

Pulling out on to a strange road in a strange car could have been daunting, knowing that I had around 160 miles ahead of me. Thankfully, the DriveSmart 60’s notifications are clear and clever.

drivesmart-notificationsThe smart notifications are also really handy. Whilst on my way to an event in Surrey, enjoying the turn-by-turn navigational skills on the unit’s 6-inch screen, I got an email from my contact.

The notification popped up on the DriveSmart on the right-hand portion of the screen. The mapping goes from full screen to about 60 to 70 percent, creating the space for the message to appear as a smart notification.

Calls and texts work just as seamlessly. When someone calls you are offered the option of answering or ignoring it right on the DriveSmart 60 device itself.

The unit touts a nice, clean speaker that allows the call to be clear on both ends while driving. Volume is adjusted via the main Settings function.

Accurate GPS

This is the main point of the DriveSmart 60 after all. I really cannot fault the pinpoint accuracy of the devices navigational mapping but there’s more.

The DriveSmart 60 comes equipped with voice-activated navigation. This allows drivers to change routes or destination by simply shouting orders at it. Nice. Not only does this work (even with a Yorkshire accent) it means that the driver doesn’t need take their eyes off the road.

Using the car park that is the M25, having timely alerts as to the state of the traffic ahead is really handy. As is the alternative route suggestions.

On the B Roads of Wales the DriveSmart 60’s notifications as what to expect on the road came in to their own. Sharp curves, speed limit changes and even rail and animal crossings are all indicated.

Heads-up for traffic lights, speed cameras and roundabouts are also shown.

drivesmart-60-smart-directionsI particularly liked the Real Directions system. This provides verbal commands that use landmarks as supplied by Foursquare. So, on driving through Seven Sisters I had the “turn right at the council building”. I found this really useful as, on larger roads, you can’t always discern street names.

The speed read out is also spot on.

Garmin DriveSmart 60 review conclusion

This is, quite literally, a very smart device.

I am glad I checked it before heading off as I had to update the device and add maps to it via the Garmin Express PC application. This took a while but, after that, the GPS has been faultless.

The smart functions are really handy and the notifications happen in a timely manner. I have to admit that I have become dependent on the DriveSmart, to the point of almost driving down what appeared to be a footpath in a country park. There were no signs stating no cars but I bottled it and went another route.

If you are looking for a well-priced navigation unit with clear, real world, directions. The Garmin DriveSmart 60 should be on your list, without a doubt. Add the hands-free skills of the smart connectivity and voice commands, it’s practically a no-brainer.

Garmin DriveSmart 60 price and availability

You can buy the DriveSmart 60 right now for £240 with maps covering all of Europe.

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Garmin DriveSmart 60 SatNav review

by Jay Garrett time to read: 3 min
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