5 July 2017

REVIEW: Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-D Sat Nav

Driving smart.

The thing about humans is that we like to make things easy for ourselves, don't we? That means we've crossed the earth with a network of roads to help getting around quicker and easier. But, because of that, there are literally millions of roads, each looking basically the same. What happens when you need to get somewhere you've never been before? What you need is a reliable device that knows exactly where it is at all times. And so we review the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-D Sat Nav.

Remember when people thought that technology and gadgets would get so small that you wouldn't be able to see them? Well, they were wrong, as it seems with each new Sat Nav we review, they are definitely getting bigger. The Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-D Sat Nav is no exception, boasting a huge 6.9 inch touch screen. In fact, the device is so slim, that it actually looks more like a phablet smartphone than a Sat Nav. And if you've ever squinted at a tiny-screened Sat Nav in the past, you'll be very glad of it.

Available from Halfords, The Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-D Sat Nav is actually a lot more than a standard 'this is where you are' Sat Nat, and the use of the word 'smart' in the name is not just for show. Using Bluetooth, the device can connect to your phone and act like a speaker phone with on-screen details of who is calling. It can also show notifications from your phone, as well display texts and other messages. Its like a smart watch. That isn't on your wrist. Obviously.

But that is not all, because as well as calling out directions as you drive along, following the course you've plotted into it, the DriveSmart 61 LMT-D will also announce forthcoming concerns, like sharp bends in the road, or school zones. Its very handy, and gives you the sense that, even along a completely unknown stretch of road, you'll know what to expect. Oh, and those voice announcements come very clear and smooth.

Speaking of finding your way around, the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-D comes pre-installed with pretty much every map you'll ever need. As well as a full UK road layout you also get Ireland and mainland Europe - that's 45 countries, right there out of the box. However, should you be going somewhere even further afield, it also packs WiFi to download maps and updates. Garmin offer those updates free for life, by the way. Which is nice.

And this thing is thin. Seriously, at just 1cm or so deep it is very easy to position on your windscreen (on the included suction ball-joint mount) and also stow safely in your glove compartment. It is so thin, in fact, that you could even mount it elsewhere in your car, such as you would with a phone. Obviously you'd need a separate mount to set it on your dash or somewhere by your stereo controls, but it really is easily done thanks to those diminutive dimensions.

We've really enjoyed testing the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-D Sat Nav, and not just because it helped us not to get lost - as often happens. Those smart notifications, those helpful warnings, and the slim size all add up to make this by far the best Sat Nav we've ever reviewed. Check it out.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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