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Entry level Sat Nav but with a nice 6" screen
on 28 May 2014
Note Amazon have put a range of Garmin models on the same review page this review covers the "65LM 6" model"
This is a newer model which is part of the updated "Essential Series". Don't expect a revolution in terms of features (still very much entry level for Sat Navigation), however you do get a bigger screen which is now a nice large 6 inches.
Software across all the models is the same, where they differ is in terms of features. This comes with the unit, car mounting suction cup and lead for power in car (you can buy a travel kit that has a home charger)
Quick summary on the main points of the 65LM
+ Good value for a larger 6" screen with lifetime maps and updates
+ The 6" screen is quite sharp (800 x 480 pixels) and easy to read, it's OK even in bright light (they have improved a bit here)
+ You do get the "Trip planner" which is handy for longer multiple way-point journeys (the super budget models lack this) and the trip log which shows the routes driven on the map
+ Option to expand memory via micro SD card (only really useful if you upgrade to the European maps)
+ Speed limit warning, both visual and audible (you can turn the sound off if you wish some hate it) And safety camera alerts
+ Points of interest search option, tourist attractions, hotels, petrol stations, restaurants, shopping centres, simply enter the POI mode and you can select what you are looking for and it will show you a list of these and directly navigate you to them once selected.
+ Lane assist, you can't go wrong here it is very simple and clear for motorway driving
+ You can avoid tolls and motorways in the route options
+ Postcode or street search for main navigation
- Not Traffic compatible, even if you have the FM traffic cable (or plan to buy it later) the device cannot use it
- Doesn't have "Traffic Trends", this uses historical data on well known routes (including the time of day/traffic volume) models that do have this can avoid heavy traffic routes.
- No pedestrian navigation mode
- No "eco route" option to plan a route based on fuel economy
- Battery life is quoted at 1 hour out of the charger, in field use you will be lucky to get that
It's worth installing Garmin Express via download which will allow you to update the device not just the maps but firmware, newer voices etc etc. This can also improve the route planing (and it has got better with recent updates) You can see updates becoming available on the pc even without attaching the device.
Navigation is mostly easy, and most routes are well planned. However Garmin have not quite nailed the map updates as some new roads my not be shown (and some don't get updated for quite a while) there are also the odd errors (one way streets not showing or the wrong way) these are minor point but I'd like to see more work done here by Garmin's map team. 98% of the maps/roads are correct though. Voices you have quite a good choice, and they have become less "robotic" over time.
You can customise the car icon too and change the layout that suits you best (dashboards) and there are quite a few free ones to pick from (I even have a Simpsons one!)
This is an entry model so it doesn't have blue-tooth, voice commands (speak to the device to navigate), no 3-D buildings and landmarks, no MP3 or audio book player. For 95% of users this isn't going to be an issue, if you want them you can look at older models that might be on sale, or more expensive newer ones. The lack of pedestrian mode and limited battery life make this really a car only choice, there are better options for on foot navigation.
If you are a frequent car traveller then you might want to consider a model that does support the FM Traffic receiver (I don't miss it myself but if you are on the motorway a lot it does warn you about congestion ahead)
Overall though despite the no frills spec it has most of the features you might want, a nice large and clear display, easy to use, and the lifetime UK and ROI maps update included makes the nuvi 65LM quite a good sat nav for the asking price.