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Garmin - DriveSmart 51 LMT-S 5" GPS with Built-In Bluetooth, Lifetime Map and Traffic Updates - Black-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars with 845 reviews

89%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Changing the GPS is not easy ...

    Posted
    SizeMatters
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    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.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Requires a phone to be paired for traffic feature.

    Posted
    ScottB12345
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    My only real complaint- Phone connection required detail is in small print on the back of box and is obscured by the anti-theft device. That means I can't pair my phone with the stereo and have traffic concurrently (can only pair 1 device to the phone at a time) or that I must run my phone battery down while connected via bluetooth. Yes, a traffic power cord is available... for $70! My last GPS, a TomTom, when advertised as traffic compatible, actually came with the traffic plug. Yes, I read the BestBuy website details beforehand, this fact is not mentioned or even alluded to anywhere! OK, done with the rant. When connected via bluetooth to my phone, the traffic feature works great! As a GPS it works fine, it knows exactly where I am even if it isn't sure about the easiest way to get where I am going. To be fair, Google maps on my phone does the same thing occasionally. Case in point, I was in south Georgia a couple weeks ago trying to get from one small town to another. The Garmin recommended route would have taken me the wrong way for nearly 20 miles to get back to the interstate instead of the direct route on small country roads with 50-55mph limits. Google wasn't any more helpful though. The Garmin does well in more populated areas. I haven't used voice command or bluetooth calling so can't comment on those but text and email notifications on screen from my phone are helpful. Current speed and posted speed limits on screen seem to be accurate which is the primary reason I own a dash mount GPS. I'm conflicted as to whether I would recommend it to a friend. The price point seems too high to not have the traffic receiver packaged with, but it does do a lot when paired with your phone.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      I’m sorry about you’re disappointed with the Live Traffic option. Vehicle power cables with built-in traffic receivers are available for purchase as optional accessories for your device, should you prefer to use this method over the default traffic solution. The Garmin GTM 36™ cable, part number 010-01009-02, offers standard Garmin traffic and the Garmin GTM 60™ cable, part number 010-01031-00, offers HD Digital traffic. Thanks, James Garmin

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    10 years behind Google map voice recognition

    Posted
    Floyd
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I have talked to my Google map for years driving and 99% of the time it only takes one SAYING ADDRESS and I'm off. Garmin voice recognition is 10 years behind understand. Said the same address 15-20 times and gave up cause I was there already cause Google map had me there first saying. ANOTHER THING IS GMAP UNDERSTAND IM AROUND THIS AREA AND IT FIND ME 1007 UNION = 1007 UNION AVE GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN.. GARMIN KEEP PUTTING 107814 OR 10070 FYION or 10070 DIVISION NE OR DID YOU SAY 100337 LYON... ON AND ON IT WRONG. AND IT TRYING TO ALWAYS PUT ME IN ANOTHER STATE. I WOULD SAY 80% -90% OF THE TIME ITS WRONG, AND NO I DONT STUDDDDER. I OWN A BUSINESS AND TALK ALL DAY TO PEOPLE. THIS GARMIN I HAVE TRIED SOFT, SLOW, FAST, LOUD, YELLING, SCREAMING, ASKING NICELY ETC. BUT THE RADIO CAN GET IT TO GO TO VOICE COMMAND BY SAYING NOTHING EVEN CLOSE TO VOICE COMMAND. ONLY THING I FIND WORKS GOOD IS DASH CAM AND EASILY BEING ABLE TO SAVE LAST 3 MINS.. YOU KNOW I CAN GET ALL THE COMMAND PRASHES TO GO BY SAYING EACH ONE THE FIRST TIME. ROUTING IS OFF FOR BEST ROUTE. I WANTED VOICE COMMAND FOR BEING ABLE TO SAY ADDRESS ON THE GO VS STOPPING. NOW USING MY SMARTPHONE WITH GOOGLE MAPS AGAIN.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    So far so good

    Posted
    pseudonurse
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I have never used a GPS device, so I have nothing to compare this to. I have only used it once to go somewhere my son knew where we were going so we could compare the directions and so I could familiarize myself with it since I purchased it because I have a special trip planned in September and needed the GPS to help me get there. It did pretty well, but I was grateful that my son was with me to help with the device. I needed it to tell me what lane to get in when there were multiple lanes on an exit and I needed to be in a specific one, but it didn't. It may do this in some locations, but not in any of the areas we went, and I will be traveling in very heavy traffic on highways with multiple turning lanes and turn only lanes that may have me going the wrong way if I am not in the right lane. I wish it were easier to go back one step instead of having to start over. I would get to a map and want to see the other optional map/route, but when I tried to go back, it would go all the way back to the start and I would have to start over putting in the destination. This would not be very safe when you are in the middle of driving. Also, I wanted to charge it at home and play with it some to get used to how to work it, but it takes numerous hours to charge plugged into the computer, and it drains down in less than 30 minutes. I contacted support online, and was told that it should be kept plugged in in the car during the trip or it will drain down. Since I would have to start all over again putting in the destination and choosing the route if I stopped to eat or take a break during the trip and had to turn it off, this is a big negative. A lot of it was confusing, and having to go online for the manual was a pain because it was link after link after link that never really answered my questions. I finally found a PDF version of the manual and printed it out, which was much more helpful. A semi-detailed "quick start" mini-book included with the device would have been a HUGE help. I still need to take it out on a few more practice runs to somewhere further away from home than our first excursion to be able to really know how to work it and how I like it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Works Great-optional extra purchases

    Posted
    BobK
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    First and foremost, download Garmin Express to your computer and set it up. Mine did not work until I did this despite the instructions saying it is "Ready to go out of the box." The unit is very accurate and responds well to Voice Commands. The voice prompts are friendlier than previous versions and the Lane Assist and WiFi are welcome additions. With WiFi, you don't have to be connected to your computer for updates. When connected via Bluetooth to your cell phone, much more opens up. However, you must be aware that you will be using your Data Plan. If you are on a limited plan, you may want to watch your data usage closely. Garmin doesn't use the Traffic/Power Cable with my model like my old Garmin Nuvi 1300 did. Not sure if it does for other models. Traffic and other features are utilized by the use of your cell phone. Hands free calling is available and works really well. This model is compatible with the Garmin Back Up Camera which can be purchased for about $150 (on sale) and installed by Best Buy for $60. I am considering it for use with my Sienna. In order to fully utilize all the extra features available, they are acquired only on a subscription basis. For example: Live Traffic Cams and Traffic Lights that have cameras (works in some areas without additional charge). Info can be found on www.Garmin.com. This model was the correct choice for me, though sometimes I wish I upgraded to the model with the Dash Cam built in. All in all, I'm happy with my purchase. The reason I didn't give it a 5th star is that the cell phone is heavily utilized (though it can be used without it) and the built in battery only lasts about an hour. I have mine plugged in all the time. Bob K.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Poor model

    Posted
    Susanr
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is my 4th Garmin product and have been happy with past units -as far as accuracy -I always thought they are the best. Pros: -keyboard is easy to use -map updates more convenient using wi-fi instead of having to connect to your computer. -driver alerts are more detailed than previous models Cons: -told me to exit the turnpike eastbound -then immediately directed me to get back on the turnpike westbound to literally “ backtrack” to my destination. -om the second day of use-would not connect to my phone via Bluetooth. This feature worked fine the first day. It would not let me even check the “traffic” box to enable the traffic feature on second day of use. -during my commute-the map disappeared and the unit “rebooted” -as I had just turned it on. -called customer service and the short of it -absolutely no help. I understand they are tired and probably stretched thin-but both times I called-I was cut off several times and then their responses had nothing to do with what I was trying to explain. Not worth the frustration-unit is going back. I always liked Garmin but they aren’t what they used to be.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Solid GPS

    Posted
    Pedrito
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    This is the 3rd Garmin GPS product I've bought over the last 15 years and all have performed wonderfully for my needs which is basic navigation. I've found that Garmin makes the most reliable and highest quality GPS units and wouldn't purchase any other brand. For whatever reasons, I prefer to use Garmin's versus a factory installed or smart phone app based GPS service. That's just me. The product works well and the voice command feature is a nice upgrade from my last model. I like the lane assist and the add'l 'banner' info for upcoming rest stops, gas, food every 30 minutes or so. I actually like seeing that info on extended drives which is most of my travel (2K-3K miles per month). I do wish they would include printed directions for tech items like these but that is no longer the way of the world so I won't hold that against Garmin. The graphics are good and the screen size is perfect. Don't see the need for the larger screens for these types of devices on the market, they would just seem to create a bigger blind spot.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Pure Junk

    Posted
    DaveF

    I was upgrading my current Garmin Nuvi, which for the most part I've been happy with it's performance. The biggest problem with it is it would take multiple tries and sometimes multiple computers for Garmin Express to recognize the device when trying to update the maps. But outside of that, it worked great. Got a new Drive Smart 51 yesterday and had the same problem trying to get Garmin Express to recognize the device. After about 30 minutes of trying, the device was finally recognized and I was able to download the maps. Tried to use the Garmin today and all over the screen the words GIR LOW MEM appeared. Called tech support only to find out the device was defective straight out of the box. My two options, ship it to Garmin and wait for a new one to be shipped back or drive 30 minutes and exchange it. Should have saved the $200 and just used Google Maps.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Sorry about the update issues. This model includes Built-in Wi-Fi® for easy map and software updates. This link offers instructions and a video walk through for the Wi_Fi updates: https://bit.ly/2CXXDug Garmin

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    This is my second Garmin device

    Posted
    Hughbe123
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I've been very happy with the Garmin device Sage of the years I do like the voice function. I had purchased a slightly higher end model of the Garmin first but upon getting it home found out it was not working it would not boot up and would not come on I went on line. tried all the procedures to reboot and reset the device none of which seem to work. I took it back to Best Buy where I had purchased the unit the girl tried to get the unit to power on but was unsuccessful she offered to swap it out but turned out they did not have the same unit in stock of course my general luck. She offered to order the exact unit but that was going to take 8 to 10 days I was going on a trip and did not want to have to wait that Links of time. So I ended up taking the next unit down from the one that I had purchased so far have been happy with it even though it has one or two features that I was kind of looking forward to having but we're not a big deal. One of those would have been a front facing camera that would have recorded while driving to capture road conditions or traffic accidents should they occur to either me or the car in front but still overall have been very happy with the unit. I did appreciate the Best Buy employee who happened to be the girl who waited on me when they bought the unit to help me with swapping it out for one that worked.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good gps

    Posted
    catz
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I actually preferred the older version of this gpsbut my son sat it in water for 2 days unaware so I had to replace it. I had it for 10+ years without issues. So am hoping I’ll have this one just as long. Seems fairly easy to use however I don’t like the power cord hook up. On the old version the hook up was located on the window mount so when the unit was removed from the mount the cord stayed with the mount safe and secure. There was another cord to plug gps into house power source. This new version the car cord is plugged into back of unit so always need to fiddle with plugging back in instead of just snapping unit onto window mount and going. Also this one is more difficult to attach and remove from window mount and the power button is hard to get to once mounted. The screen can get confusing on this new one and shows turns on thruway too early so easy to take wrong exits. Haven’t found anything I like over the old version hoping I will. Still seems to be a good device. Older version was much better though IMO.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    In addition to my previous review

    Posted
    SimplyTheStats
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Unfortunately I reminded myself of this other objection to this product after I concluded my previous feedback discussing the requirement to use smart phone data for the traffic feature. Let's remember that we are still in the days that many smart phones cannot even make it through a full day of regular use due to battery drainage. So, if one makes long trips like I do, (3 days at a time), requiring a cell phone for constant data use for the free traffic is just another annoying source of battery drain. What happens when that cell phone battery is dead. Of course I guess one could connect, yet another cord to keep one's phone charging if you have one available... More cords in the front seat, more aggravation, more distraction...from driving safely. And let's not forget missed calls/messages because the cell phone battery is dead....and the traffic feature is no longer available...as you are driving through Chicago.... :-(

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Buyer beware.

    Posted
    TruthOutThere
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This unit can use a traffic receiver to receive over-the-air traffic updates. Great! I was going to buy a lesser unit that could only do traffic updates via Bluetooth from a cellphone, but spent a little more for this one because it would receive updates over-the-air (which I already knew were available in my area). And when I got it home, I found out that THE TRAFFIC RECEIVER WAS NOT INCLUDED. IT IS AN EXTRA-COST ITEM. I was not pleased. This wasn't Best Buy's fault. It's totally on Garmin. However, I actually like the GPS. It's an upgrade from my previous Garmin. I just didn't like spending additional money for over-the-air lifetime traffic data only to find out that it requires a $70 receiver that wasn't included. Very disappointing, Garmin. Had the receiver been included for the price, I'm sure it would've been a 5-star rating. Had it been clear that the receiver was not included, I would likely have made a different purchase decision.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Sorry for the confusion. Yes, the Garmin Smartphone link using your smartphone’s data connection is required to receive traffic. If you don’t have a smartphone, a Garmin GTM 36™ or GTM 60™ will be needed to access the traffic feature. Garmin

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    reliable GPS with some reservations

    Posted
    jamie3529
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Have used these for years, this is my 4th Garmin. Like the glass screen with capacitive input on this model, very easy to see and use the touchscreen. I have Android Auto in my car with a large screen and I can use google maps or waze, but I don't always plug in my phone. I like having the freestanding GPS on the dash. My car has a switched power point, and so I never have to worry about turning on / turning off the GPS, it just comes on when I start the car, and off when I stop the car. Its all good except... why can't Garmin be as useful with voice commands / requests as is Google maps? I am constantly frustrated trying to enter a destination (either touch input or voice) compared with the absolute simplicity of asking Google for the same thing. Fortunately my main reason for having the Garmin actually isn't for directions, but rather just being able to see where I am and what is coming up. For directions I often get frustrated trying to find what I want in the Garmin and just use Google.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Travel made easy

    Posted
    Sandeep
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    After reading extensive reviews on Best Buy, I decided to buy this GPS because I was moving to MO and more drive was involved compared to NY. So instead of burning data, thought of buying this little gem. After receiving box, The setup was easy. 1. I just connected GPS device to my laptop and updated the maps. Make sure you have close to 20GB free space on your device because an image file is being created for maps on your local computer first then being updated on the device. it was not hours of wait to get the map updated, my maps were updated in close to 20-25 mins. 2. device took little longer to switch on, but once charged, it was good. 3. tested in MO, it is good. working flawlessly. you have feature to add excat address or search the place like on google maps. 4,. the turn by turn direction is very helpful - specially for a new driver in states like me. go for it, itis almost amonth now, I am going to update the maps again. it does not show the live traffic unless you pair it with your mobile. i did not try that.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Fairly easy to learn how to use

    Posted
    DonB
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I purchased this model believing it will provide everything and more than my old TomTom would do. I was mostly right. Now I get free lifetime map updates, a larger screen and it is able to determine delays ahead assuming I have provided access to my phone and activated the SmartLink application. Unfortunately, this feature doesn't help all that much when the delay occurs in the moment. It is at this point I wish I could easily ask the Garmin to provide an alternative route. The only other negative I found is when looking up favorites, the addresses are listed based on relative position to your current location. So you have to scroll through the list of addresses to find the one you want or if you do know that exact name that you assigned to it, you can perform a search and find it faster. Overall, I like the product. Like everything else, it takes a little time to get use to especially when you may be use to how a different product use to work.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    OK if you already know where you're going

    Posted
    Alaskan
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is a sleek-looking auto GPS and I bought it because my old Garmin finally gave up the proverbial ghost. I do a lot of traveling to new places and did just fine getting myself around with my old Garmin. This one operates totally differently. Trying to get to a geocaching GZ is probably impossible with this, although admittedly a crash course in updated operations might help. Coords can be entered, although if I mis-hit a number I seem to have to go back to that line and re-enter the entire thing. Entering an address seems pretty straightforward, but I have to get fairly close to my actual destination before the viewer's map is really much help. My husband suggested hitting the - (minus) button a couple of times and that did help a lot. I suspect my main problem with this model is that I am so accustomed to my old Garmin. Very likely anyone way more tech savvy than I am would have no problem with this new version. Modern times- one has to download the owner's manual, of course.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good GPS, not as smart as I had hoped.

    Posted
    Keith
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The basic functions of the GPS are fine. The things that were supposed to make it smart need some help. I had to turn off voice command because every time I started the truck it would go into the voice command mode as if I had uttered voice command. Bluetooth connecting to both Sync and the GPS was problematic, even with the phone option turned off on the gps. So, no live traffic updates via phone data. WiFi updates, nope takes to long. Quicker to plug into usb. It does have a nice touchscreen and is faster than my old GPS. Default brightness settings were to dark at night, that is adjustable. Basically not a bad unit but, not very smart. If the Drive model had the same touchscreen I would have returned this. I kept it because I like capacitive LCD on this Drivesmart model.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Does everything I expected

    Posted
    Yldcat
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This device has been very helpful when traveling on unfamiliar highways. I like that it shows what the speed limit is on the specific road you are traveling on. This is very helpful when traveling through multiple states where the speed limits are different than in my home state, because sometimes I miss seeing the speed limit sign. It even warns you when there is a reduced speed ahead. It works very well in the city, giving you advanced notice of when your turns are coming up, in plenty of time to be in the proper lane. I like that it alerts me on the highway to road construction ahead, telling me how many miles ahead of me it is and if there are any expected delays as a result. The ability to use hands free talking and text message option is nice if you have a vehicle that doesn't have it built in. It will read aloud the text messages you receive, and you can answer phone calls and talk through the device.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Does the Job, gets me where I need to go.

    Posted
    Bill
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I used a Magellan GPS for years, until I had to replace it due to the out-of-date maps. I purchased a replacement Magellan, but the new screen failed after a couple of months, so if you pushed "A" you got a "S", and so on so you could not enter any locations. I returned it and got another one and the same problem. I then learned that Magellan went out of business, no web site, no phone number, no wonder since their product had gone to pot. I then purchased this Garmin auto GPS, I have had a Garmin outdoor hand-held for years. The unit works great, and so far, the screen works well. If you want to enter an "A" you get an "A". I am planning on driving to Alaska next summer, and I hope that the full North America lifetime maps and updates will get me there and back.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Little GPS

    Posted
    RKB60
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Very good GPS. Voices the lane you need to be in when changing interstates. Has various exits on the side for gas, food, etc.. Has an arrow to tell you which side of the road it is on. Actually has the road you are driving on the screen. Most of these features are new to me and could be the norm. My last Garmin is several years old and my Toyota GPS has some of these features as well but not as well implemented. Plus the Garmin has free WiFi updates. Toyota charges a fortune. Accuracy is pretty good. Like other GPS units sometimes it makes you wonder if it knows where you are going. I always end up where I need to be though. I bought this in a Pre-Black Friday sale so it is definitely a bargain. Graphics are bright and crisp as well.

    I would recommend this to a friend