Recently, I did something wild. Something really wild I’ve been wanting to do for years now. I bought a flippin’ car! I totally didn’t expect that I’d do it at this moment in time, right after I quit my job, but I did. And I’m so excited about it. I’ve had it for a little over a month right now and I’ve driven so many miles with it already. It’s crazy. But one thing I am terrible at, when it comes to driving (and walking, and biking), is way-finding. My navigating skills are terrible. Like truly terrible. Ask anyone who ever believed in my “no, we need to go that way, I’m sure”. They know. So therefore I needed a good navigation system, which ended up being the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S that I got from my mother and grandparents as a graduation gift. I know it’s not a beauty product, but I did want to review it. So that’s exactly what I’m doing today! Keep on reading, I know you want to!
I know what you’re thinking: that thing is huge! Well, that’s what I thought when I first came across this beauty. I honestly didn’t know a lot about navigation systems before, but one thing I surely didn’t know is that they make ’em this big! And how great is that. For someone with such bad navigation skills, this is the most convenient thing ever. Now I have a big enough screen to really tell what way I need to go and when. Because, even when I’m actually using a navigation system, it sometimes goes terribly wrong.
Anyway, the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S has a 7 inch screen. They make it in 5 inch too, but 7 inch is much better for me. It’s nice and broad, but not too long. I think that’s perfect, because this way it’s not blocking your sight when you stick it onto the window of your car.
And aside from the extremely large screen, the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S has a lot more to it that makes it special and worth the price. Because this bad boy, isn’t a cheap one. I do think that it’s not too expensive for what you’re getting. But it’s definitely an investment.
Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S – €189,99
Okay, let me sum up what handy functions this machine has. I’m not going to name all, but just the things that you really need to know. Of course it can search for addresses and stuff, but it does so much more. It actually reminds the places you’ve been to recently, so even if you don’t save it you can find it back whenever you need to go there again soon. It warns you for animal crossings, traffic jams and school-zones. It can link to your smartphone and keep track of real-time information about the road you’re taking. And even better: it warns you when you’re nearing a zone where the speed limit is lower and it makes a sound when you’re driving too fast. No speeding tickets for me anymore!
But the best two things are the following things: first of all, it reacts to voice commands. You can choose a code-word, and whenever it hears that word, you can navigate the system by commands. My code-word is ‘spraak’, which means ‘speech’ in Dutch. It’s not super accurate, I’m sometimes yelling at the thing and it won’t respond, but sometimes it does work really well.
Another one of my favourite functions is that it actually acts as a hands-free calling system too. Through bluetooth you can connect it to your phone and it will receive your calls and your messages. You can let it read your messages out loud and you can answer phone calls through it. How convenient is that.
What I also like about it is that it doesn’t just say “turn right after 100 meters”, it says “turn right at this traffic light”, if you’re nearing a traffic light. This way you can never forget to take a turn when you have to. I always think it’s so hard to estimate when I’m going to have to go right, and now I never forget anymore.
The battery on this little system isn’t the best thing of all. It says it lasts an hour, but I’d definitely don’t leave it unplugged for drives longer than half an hour. It will start to tell you it’s about to be out of juice after just 20 minutes or so and that’s super stressful. Especially because the part where you plug the charger in, is all the way on the back and basically impossible to reach if you’re driving and it’s stuck to the window.
Talking about that, I don’t love the little nozzle you can attach to it in order to stick it to the window. I know it might be just a normal system, but I find it rather hard to use. You have to put both pieces together completely straight, put the top part in first, then the bottom, and press some kind of button. It’s always a struggle for me. But considering the great features this system has, I can forgive it for those sins.
All in all I do think that the Garmin DriveSmart 61 LMT-S is a great navigation system. It’s nice and large and it’s super accurate. It warns you of important things you need to know and it brings you to your destination without having to stress about it. It’s not very longlasting, so you should keep it plugged in at all times, but aside from that I do love this little thing. I definitely can’t live without it anymore!
With that being said, let’s end this gadget-review. Even though this isn’t what I usually do, I hope you enjoyed reading this review and be sure to let me know what navigation system you use!