God did not give me the GPS chip so when the portable automobile GPS came out I was an early adopter and it's been life changing. My first auto GPS was a big brick of a Garmin that sat on the dashboard and was controlled with a handheld remote control. While that seems like a century ago this is only my 3rd GPS - I get used to what I have, get very good at using it, and don't like change. So when my post-brick GPS started giving me problems I was not happy to be changing to a new one despite the new features that it might bring!
So it's been about 3 weeks, my emotional attachment to my old Nuvi is fading and I'm warming up to this one. So with that background here's the DriveSmart 51 good and the bad as I see it today:
1) The lifetime maps update is a definitely plus - the Washington Metro Area is ever changing - HOV lanes appear where they previously weren't (big fines for not having enough people in the car!); Businesses appear and disappear over night; and on-ramps, etc seem to be ever shifting so having the latest automatically update is great.
2) Size matters. The 5.1 inch screen is much larger than the Nuvi - I debated getting the DriveSmart 61 with the even larger screen but was concerned that it would block too much of the view. The Drivesmart uses a higher resolution screen, however, resulting in much smaller font. . It's OK during the day but at night I either need to make the screen much brighter or put my reading glasses on in order to read the information including arrival time, speed limit, etc.
3) The Drivesmart is capable of integrating traffic data and adjust your anticipated arrival time, find different routes, etc. based on how much traffic is impacting the route. Again, this is a KEY feature required in any metropolitan area - for example, my ride home from work should take 25 minutes but in rush hour traffic it takes 2+ hours. What they DON'T tell you is that you must buy another power cord with the traffic receiver on it (about $70) or you need to get the Garmin App on your smart phone, open location services, and start the app which then transmits the traffic data via blue tooth to the DriveSmart. Seriously?! My Nuvi CAME with the traffic receiver and was fantastic. If I need to use my Smart Phone why should I buy a Garmin ... I can just use the Maps function of my phone! By the way, when I asked the Geek at Best Buy whether or not I needed to buy a traffic receiver he said No, it's ready to go .
4) I may eventually purchase the traffic receiving power cord (again, the Nuvi's traffic receive is not compatible) but in the mean time I've been using the app. The upside to that is when I get a text message on my phone the Garmin recognizes that and the Garmin voice "reads" me my text message.
5) I like being able to speak commands - Navigator - Go Home. Navigator Read Message, etc. Unfortunately, she gets it wrong about 50 percent of the time even when I speak carefully.