If you’re thinking of getting a dedicated GPS unit, surely, you’ve come across Garmin’s Drive and DriveSmart GPS devices. After all, these are some of the most popular GPS devices in the market. The Garmin Drive is an entry-level GPS unit that has all the basic navigation features that you’ll need, while the Garmin DriveSmart is a step above in many ways. In this post, we’ll be comparing the two to find out how they differ. By the end, you should be able to pick and choose which one is best for you.
Garmin Drive vs DriveSmart Comparison Chart
|Model||Garmin Drive 52 and Traffic||Garmin DriveSmart 65 and Traffic|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Dimensions||5.5 x 3.3 x 0.8 inches||6.8 x 3.9 x 0.7 inches|
|Weight||6 oz||8.45 oz|
480 x 272 pixels
1024 x 600 pixels
microSD card slot
microSD card slot
|Smart Notifications via App||No||Yes|
|Live Services via App||No||Yes|
|Foursquare and TripAdvisor POIs||Yes||Yes|
|Speed Limit Indicator||Yes||Yes|
|Battery Life||1 hour||1 hour|
Design and Display
With its larger display and higher resolution screen, the Garmin DriveSmart 65 is able to output sharper and more detailed images than the Garmin Drive 52.
The most obvious improvement that Garmin DriveSmart GPS units have over Garmin Drive devices is their screen. Garmin DriveSmart GPS devices have a bigger screen, a higher resolution and improved touch functions. The Garmin Drive 52 has a 5-inch screen with a 480 x 272 resolution, whereas the Garmin DriveSmart 65 has a 6.95-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600. Images on the Garmin DriveSmart 65 are sharper and more detailed so it’s nicer to look at.
When it comes to their touchscreen functions, Garmin DriveSmart units support multi-touch that contributes to its better user experience. In contrast, the Garmin Drive units have a resistive touchscreen that’s a bit outdated.
Since Garmin DriveSmart units have a larger screen, obviously, they are much bigger than Garmin Drive units. The Garmin DriveSmart 65 measures 6.8 x 3.9 x 0.7 inches and it weighs 8.45 oz. In contrast, the Garmin Drive 52 measures 5.5 x 3.3 x 0.8 inches and it only weighs 6 oz. Both of them can be mounted to your windshield or your dashboard using the included suction cup and base attachment.
The Garmin DriveSmart 65 comes with all the features of the Garmin Drive 52 and more.
Garmin Drive GPS devices have all the basic functions that you’ll need in a car navigation system. Features such as real directions, traffic, lane assistance, speed limit indicators and driver alerts are all available on the Garmin Drive 52. Along with those, it also has Foursquare data and TripAdvisor ratings to let you know of interesting places that you might want to go to.
Garmin DriveSmart units also have all the mentioned features above, and it comes with some additional ones such as voice-activated navigation, hands-free calling, app notifications, live services via the app and WiFi map updates. These added features make Garmin DriveSmart units easier to use than Garmin Drive units.
Another difference between the two is that Garmin DriveSmart units have a larger internal storage than Garmin Drive units (16GB vs 8GB). They both have a microSD card slot if you need to expand their storage. The two come with preloaded street maps and you can add more using supported apps. Since Garmin DriveSmart units come with WiFi, their maps get updated automatically whenever you are near a WiFi network.
With its voice-activated navigation, the Garmin DriveSmart 65 is easier to use than the Garmin Drive 52.
They are both easy to use once you’ve powered them on. You can use them right away since they come with preloaded street maps, but you can also adjust various settings first. Their UI and layout are pretty much the same. They look a bit outdated but functionally, they work great.
Both Garmin Drive and DriveSmart GPS devices give you directions using points of interests, landmarks and street names. This is especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with an area and you don’t know the street names or if there are no signs. They also display speed limits on the screen and they alert you of incoming curves, school zones and other warnings.
Since they support voice-activated navigation and their touchscreen is more responsive, Garmin DriveSmart GPS devices are easier to use. In addition, they can pair with your smartphone for hands-free calling and they also offer smart notifications.
Both Garmin Drive and DriveSmart units have a battery life of up to 1 hour if you need to unplug them.
If you need a cheap and basic GPS device, the Garmin Drive will work just fine, however, if you want a more user-friendly device, it’s worth it to get the Garmin DriveSmart.
Choosing between the two is easy enough. If you want something cheap but with all the functions that you’ll need in a GPS device, Garmin Drive units such as the Garmin Drive 52 and Traffic will work just fine. It’s cheap and it has all the important functions that you’ll need, such as preloaded maps, driver alerts, accurate navigation and more. However, if you want something that’s more user-friendly and feature-packed, Garmin DriveSmart units like the Garmin DriveSmart 55 and Traffic or the DriveSmart 65 and Traffic are worth getting. They have all the features of Garmin Drive GPS devices but they also come with a larger screen and additional features such as voice-activated navigation, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and hands-free calling, just to name a few.
Garmin DriveSmart GPS devices have larger screens and they come with additional features such as Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, voice-activated navigation and more.
Yes, all Garmin Drive, DriveSmart and DriveAssist GPS devices come with free map updates.
The differences between the Garmin DriveSmart 55 and 65 are the size of their screen and resolution. The Garmin DriveSmart 55 has a 5.5-inch screen with a 1280 x 720 resolution while the DriveSmart 65 has a 6.95-inch screen with a 1024 x 600 resolution. Features-wise, they are the same.
The Garmin DriveSmart 65 is one of the best GPS units for seniors since it comes with a large screen that’s easier for those with impaired vision. It also supports various quality of life features such as hands-free calling, voice-activated navigation and more.
Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API