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Garmin 2017 Drive 51/61 series

It looks like Garmin has introduced the 2017 models: https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/cOnTheRoad-cAutomotive-p1.html

I have not figured out what all the changes are, but one thing I see on the DriveLuxe and DriveAssist and DriveSmart is this: "Built-in Wi-Fi® for easy map and software updates". Also looks like they integrate with the Garmin Smart watches. And they have apparently dropped the LMT and LMTHD designations now showing as DriveLuxe 51-S.

Comments

  • alanb 373 Points
    edited January 4
    Actually what I said about LMT is incorrect .... shows as LMT-S.

    It is interesting how they are pushing updates directly to the device over WiFi. Express not necessary apparently. I wonder how they will deal with internal storage and SD cards?
  • Boyd 1786 Points
    alanb said:

    I wonder how they will deal with internal storage and SD cards?

    You will probably see a friendly error message on the screen in the morning, informing you to purchase an SD card to turn your brick back into a GPS. :))

    But seriously, it's about time Garmin added wifi to their devices. Will be interesting to see more info on these in the coming months as users get their hands on them.
  • alanb 373 Points
    edited January 4
    It is kind of hard to tell from the Garmin site, but I am wondering if Garmin has eliminated the FM and HD traffic receivers on these devices and is now only offering Live traffic via the Smartphone Link. Not that the non-live Garmin traffic is worth much to begin with, but if they are no longer including receivers on the new models, it probably spells the beginning of the end for this type of traffic service. Remember the good ol' MSN Direct traffic receiver?
  • Boyd 1786 Points
    Yes, I actually bought one of those MSN receivers for my Nuvi 5000. But I returned it after a few days when I found how terrible the coverage was. ;)

    It appears that Live Traffic is now free with the smartphone link app but weather radar, traffic cameras and live parking cost extra. Wasn't traffic an in-app purchase before?

    I still have a real problem with this whole concept though. Why do we need the dedicated GPS device at all? Why doesn't Garmin just give us an app that does the same thing on our big screen iOS or Android phone? The only answer I can think of is that Garmin makes its money from hardware, and they are not going down without a fight. But that day is surely coming…. especially when the GPS requires a smartphone for some of its basic functions.

    Based on posts we've seen in the past, one market for dedicated devices is people who don't have and don't want smartphones. One of these new devices is not going to appeal to them.
  • alanb 373 Points
    You are right about the Live Traffic Boyd! I just updated my android Smartphone Link and my 3597 now has live traffic (I have only the free version of Smartphone Link and didn't have Live Traffic before the update).

    Yes, I think there is still a niche for the standalone GPS, but Garmin needs to offer a full feature app for both android and iphone. Viago could have been that with just some small improvements.
  • alanb 373 Points
    edited January 4
    Another interesting aspect of the WiFi update capability is that it doesn't require a mass storage mode connection to a computer. So I wonder if Garmin has included some type of menu driven file management system for uploading files (GPX or GPI for example) and for deleting files. It would be a bummer if they eliminate mass storage mode without some way to delete unwanted voice files, etc. I guess we will have to wait until the user manuals are published before we get answers like this.
  • Zemartelo 102 Points
    edited January 5
    Thank you for the heads up about the live traffic being free. Turned it on my phone and give it a try to see if its worthwhile to have it on my phone. :)
  • Zemartelo 102 Points
    And Garmin continues with the absurd pricing of those units. With smartphones offering compelling options alot cheaper it still baffles me why Garmin continues with these high prices for these devices.
    Are the sales still that high that Garmin feels no pressure to lower them??

    And I will wait to see some reviews to see whats new with the new crop. Perhaps the 2016 models will become more affordable. I've been interested in the driveassist model.
  • Boyd 1786 Points
    Zemartelo said:

    Thank you for the heads up about the live traffic being free. Turned it on my phone and give it a try to see if its worthwhile to have it on my phone. :)

    Are you saying that traffic is now free in the iOS Garmin StreetPilot app? Would make sense if they are opening it up on the dedicated units. I already paid for it though. ;)

  • Zemartelo 102 Points
    I meant the garmin link app. I am going to check it out to see if it makes any difference on my Nuvi otherwise Im not going to bother with the link to my phone.
  • AndreyT 104 Points
    edited January 13
    Garmin's device Bluetooth connectivity is implemented very incompetently. When BT is eabled in the Garmin device, it repeatedly attempts to establish both Voice and Data connection to the smartphone. Meanwhile, many of us use our own built-in BT hands-free voice support in our cars. We don't want to use Garmin device for BT Voice. However, there's no way to tell Garmin device to just stop trying to establish BT Voice connection: it just keeps trying, trying and trying. Most of the time my car manages to capture BT Voice connection first, preventing the Garmin device from doing so, and everything works as it should. But occasionally my car has trouble connecting and Garmin device jumps in and attempts to highjack the BT Voice connection for itself. This is terrible.

    The only solution to this poor implementation is to disable BT support on Garmin device completely and forget about the existence of Smartphone Link app. Until Garmin learns how to implement BT support properly, any devices that depend critically on Smartphone Link app are officially unusable.
  • Boyd 1786 Points
    That's pretty bad. Never use bluetooth on my Dezl 760, it is not compatible with the iPhone smartlink app and my car already has a much nicer hands-free phone system. And myNuvi 3550 doesn't even have bluetooth. On older Nuvi's, such as the 3790, my impression was that enabling bluetooth also showed the device down in general.
  • truckinguy 110 Points
    Boyd said:

    Yes, I actually bought one of those MSN receivers for my Nuvi 5000. But I returned it after a few days when I found how terrible the coverage was. ;)

    It appears that Live Traffic is now free with the smartphone link app but weather radar, traffic cameras and live parking cost extra. Wasn't traffic an in-app purchase before?

    I still have a real problem with this whole concept though. Why do we need the dedicated GPS device at all? Why doesn't Garmin just give us an app that does the same thing on our big screen iOS or Android phone? The only answer I can think of is that Garmin makes its money from hardware, and they are not going down without a fight. But that day is surely coming…. especially when the GPS requires a smartphone for some of its basic functions.

    Based on posts we've seen in the past, one market for dedicated devices is people who don't have and don't want smartphones. One of these new devices is not going to appeal to them.

    Still hung up on why one would use a dedicated gps device.... I have many smart phones and would never use them for my serious navigation use still. They do what they were intended to do for me.. make calls..some email checks,internet stuff... They just don't make the grade in the end..
    You must be in a situation were you don't see the need of dedicated devices.. I don't want to hash over this beat to death subject.. but like Hillary missed the tone of the country and lost I think you seem to miss the tone of Garmin and it's devices...and how the world uses them.. Garmin it seems to have a grip on the world and it's needs and Garmin needs at this point in time anyway..

  • Boyd 1786 Points
    So I'm Hillary and Garmin is Trump? Wow….

    I currently own a Nuvi 205, Nuvi 5000, Nuvi 3550, Dezl 760, GPSMap 60csx, Montana 600 and a Garmin GLO not to mention many others that I no longer have. So I've "paid my dues" and think I understand the point of dedicated devices.

    I'm just not impressed with the newer generations from Garmin and don't see where they would offer anything for me. Regarding the 2017 "Drive" models, look at the "key features" here: https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/drive/#product-drivesmart

    WI-FI
    SMART NOTIFICATIONS
    BLUETOOTH HANDS-FREE CALLING
    VOICE-ACTIVATED NAVIGATION
    LIVE PARKING
    LIVE TRAFFIC

    Four out of those six require a phone. That was the point I was trying to make above. Doesn't seem very innovative, and it makes me wonder why we need the Garmin device at all.
  • privet01 145 Points
    Boyd said:

    .... makes me wonder why we need the Garmin device at all.

    "need" is not the issue. It's "want". Some people prefer a dedicated device for reasons that may be real or imagined. Other's do not, also for reasons that may be real or imagined.
  • bobsofpa 10 Points
    There are some of us who do not have a smartphone.
  • Boyd 1786 Points
    edited January 30
    bobsofpa said:

    There are some of us who do not have a smartphone.

    That is fine, and is part of the point I was trying to make. The "key features" of these new Garmin devices mostly require the use of a smartphone. So if you don't have one, what is their appeal? Might as well get one of the older models.



  • jpr 11 Points
    It looks like Garmin and Tomtom are going in the same direction. The new Tomtom GO 620 coming out in North America in March (released in the fall 2016 in Europe), also has wifi for updates. It requires you to link with your smartphone to get live traffic.
  • mike41 6 Points
    I have a Garmin 60 drive smart and Nuvi 2699 with Live traffic through my smartphone. Traffic worked well. Since the recent updates, traffic is no longer a paid subscription. Traffic also no longer displays on either device. Any suggestions?
  • sussamb 663 Points
    Here's another way that Garmin seem to be following TomTom.

    In UK someone with a new Drive 51 reported that 3rd party speed camera files no longer work. The user that reported this issue copied a known working .gpi file from a nuvi and installed it in his Drive 51. No speed cam alerts. He's spoken to Garmin, who reportedly have told him that 3rd party speed cameras won't work on the latest Drive models. This is a route already started by TomTom a while back.

    If true those who want to use their GPS with speed camera files will need to buy one of the older models.
  • Boyd 1786 Points
    What's nex? Maps? ;)
  • Sull 0 Points
    Hi, i am looking to purchase the Garmin Drivesmart 61 lmts and was wondering when you connect the GPS to your smartphone via the garmin app can you still use your phone and other apps?

  • mike41 6 Points
    Yes, you can use the phone and apps while it is connected to the Garmin GPS. That is the reason I have the dedicated Garmin device. I do not have to constantly fumble with the phone. The Garmin connects with the phone even if the phone is in my pocket. I have the Garmin 61 limits. Nice screen size and resolution.
  • Joe999 2 Points
    DriveSmart 61
    Does it bother anybody that the traffic colors are laid directly on top of the freeways so you cannot tell the direction of the slow traffic without zooming way in and panning around the map with your fingers? No way to see an overall region of freeways and see which direction the slow traffic is going. On my old Nuvi 2460 the traffic colors are laid along the side of the freeways and you can tell at a glance which direction the slow traffic is travelling. Or does nobody really use the straight down birds eye view of the map, and instead only the short distance, low angel, 3D view? Or do most just navigate a purple line and follow it without caring what the traffic looks like farther ahead? Maybe I'm the only one that looks at a larger map area?
  • As I noted in the new topic I made before I found this one, I've ordered a DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S. What the S is for I don't know. I hope the the T means that it received traffic data through the antenna in the power cable like the 60 does. The traffic data is OK but not great.

    On the topic of a dedicated device, I have a smartphone and would never leave it behind. It seems it can do everything... but not great.

    It has a camera but when I plan to really take pictures I bring my real camera.

    It can play music but when I really want to play music I bring my MP3 player with all 80GB of my music.

    It can do email but when I really want to compose an email I use my notebook or tablet.

    I can post on discussion forums on my phone but again if I plan to post on a forum, like this post, I use the notebook or tablet.

    When I get in the car I want a dedicated nav device that does it well. And from my point of view I don't want all the connection issues and plugging in issues. I don't want to be using data if I don't need to. I don't want to be using up the battery more than necessary. In fact, most of the time my smartphone has wifi and data turned off. It's primarily a phone that can do other things in a pinch.

    Unfortunately the electronic gadget makers are going in a different direction. They seem to think that people are and can be connected to the "cloud" all the time. Apple is the worst offender here. Perhaps that's where the market is. I don't know. But it's not where I am. Don't want and can't be on the "cloud" all the time.

    And going on vacation in a week, I know that when I drive around I will not have data signal probably 50% of the time.

    And speaking of the comment above on Bluetooth issues, from my point of view if the GPS is going to want to be connected to my phone to get onto the internet, I really don't like the term "cloud", with wifi now installed on the DriveSmart 61, I'd prefer that it use my phone as a hot spot and do the internet stuff internal to the GPS device and not expect my phone to do it. Either way I'd have to turn data on on the phone, plug the phone into the charger and establish communication between the phone and the GPS. Using the hot spot is a lot less glitch than Bluetooth.

    OK. that's my soap box speech for the moment.
  • Joe999 said:

    DriveSmart 61
    Does it bother anybody that the traffic colors are laid directly on top of the freeways so you cannot tell the direction of the slow traffic without zooming way in and panning around the map with your fingers? No way to see an overall region of freeways and see which direction the slow traffic is going. On my old Nuvi 2460 the traffic colors are laid along the side of the freeways and you can tell at a glance which direction the slow traffic is travelling. Or does nobody really use the straight down birds eye view of the map, and instead only the short distance, low angel, 3D view? Or do most just navigate a purple line and follow it without caring what the traffic looks like farther ahead? Maybe I'm the only one that looks at a larger map area?

    When it arrives I'll comment. I don't know if the 61 is different than the 60 when it comes to showing traffic on the map.

  • alanb 373 Points
    edited August 13
    I don't think the 61 comes with a traffic receiver. It is designed to use Smartphone Link for traffic. If you want the stand alone based traffic service, you will need to buy one of the power cord/traffic receiver accessories: the GTM-36 for standard FM traffic reporting or the GTM-60 for HD digital traffic reporting. Of course if you already have one of these from an older device, you should be able to use it on the 61. I am thinking your Drivesmart 60 had a built in traffic receiver instead of the GTM-36, but I don't know that for sure.

    I have used all 3 traffic services on my various Garmin devices, and I find the Smartphone Link traffic to be far superior to the other two services in both coverage and accuracy. Regarding not having a data signal for Smartphone Link traffic, if you are in a remote area with no cell phone signal, there will also be no FM or HD traffic coverage.
  • I think that I have a GTM-60 which I had used with my now bricked Nuvi3590 . I would not have thrown it out but where it is in all my junk I'll need to search. But thanks very much for the tip.

    I do think that Gamin could be more forthcoming with these kinds of details.
  • Boyd 1786 Points
    edited August 13

    When I get in the car I want a dedicated nav device that does it well. And from my point of view I don't want all the connection issues and plugging in issues. I don't want to be using data if I don't need to. I don't want to be using up the battery more than necessary. In fact, most of the time my smartphone has wifi and data turned off. It's primarily a phone that can do other things in a pinch.

    I'll give you the points about the camera, e-mail, web browsing, etc (although we could quibble on the details). But I just don't agree with your other points. My iPhone 6s Plus has a 5.5" screen that is really much better than any of the Garmin devices I've owned. The latest generation of DriveLuxe (or whatever) do seem to be improving though.

    I don't get the point about "connection issues". It takes me - literally - 5 seconds to connect or disconnect the iPhone. The "lightning" connector is reversible and can be easily inserted by feel without even looking at the phone. I have a spring-loaded cradle and the phone pops right in and out. There is no need to use any data with a good phone app. The Garmin StreetPilot app has the map, junction view and everything else loaded on the phone, just like a decicated GPS. You only need data for traffic and the "local search" feature - which is so far superior to searching the map data that it's worth it. Anyway, these use tiny amounts of data. Even with an app that loads maps on the internet, IMO not a lot of data is involved by today's standards. I rarely come close to my limit, and unlimited data plans are getting very affordable.

    I'm not "using the battery" in the car, it's plugged in just like a dedicated unit. But I can leave it running in the background all day in my pocket without running down the battery anyway.

    I don't understand the part about Apple connecting you to their cloud all the time or why they are the "worst offender". Sure, you can use online music and media subscriptions if you like, but I don't. My daughter and son in law use the cloud for everything, have all but stopped using any physical media or even downloading. I don't care for that, but it doesn't bother me that they like it. I think it's good that my phone can back up automatically and my mail, contacts, calendar and text messages sync across devices. Why wouldn't I want that?

    And IMO Google's Android would be the "worst offender" because their primary business involves selling information about you. Apple just wants to sell you phones and computers. :)

    But if you prefer a dedicated GPS that's fine. I just think most of the reasons you gave are a bit hard to support.
  • My iPhone 6 is also plugged in and I have Bluetooth disconnects between my DriveSmart 61 and iPhone 6 a lot. Today I also had a lot of trouble getting it to pair with the Garmin. That was a first, but it took me about 10 minutes of fussing to finally get them to see each other. I succeeded by deleting the previous connections and restarting both devices. It's very annoying. I'm about ready to dump the iPhone and get an Android.
  • On the DS 60 vs DS 61. I mentioned earlier that my 60 is largely dead and I needed to order a new GPS for vacation starting this weekend. So I couldn't really invest time in much research like I ususally do. I went to Amazon and the Garmin site and made a quick decision to get the Drive Smart 61.

    The top description on Amazon is "Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S with Lifetime Maps/Traffic, Live Parking, Bluetooth,WiFi, Smart Notifications, Voice Activation, Driver Alerts, TripAdvisor, Foursquare"

    Being somewhat familiar with Garmin automobile units, having owned an iQue, and Nuvi 750, 3790, 3590, 2689 and Drive Smart 60, I assumed that Lifetime Maps/Traffic meant that the 61 would actually have HD traffic built-in like the 60 did, or at least come with a traffic cable. Nope. Yes if I'd had the time I would have read the manual and all the details ahead of time but I didn't have the time. I do feel somewhat mislead by the top description of the product given what those words have historically meant. My choices for getting HD traffic were to try to find an old traffic receiver i used with the 3590, I spent several hours and was never able to find the thing, or buy a new traffic receiver. I ended up buying a new one for $47 on amazon.

    I like the built-in Wifi to get map and software updates. However I know that I'll also need to use Garmin Express sometimes as I do want to have a relatively current CN version on the computer also.

    Since Garmin is throwing more features onto the internet, I would like to see the unit use a hot spot connection to a smart phone instead of bluetooth and make the phone do most of the work. Either way requires plugging the phone in to charge and turning on data. Having had problems with bluetooth devices before and cranky connections, as well as stories here where connecting to the car and the Garmin at the same time with bluetooth have been problematic, I think that wifi would be the best approach. Cars are even more allowing connections to phones for all kinds of stuff and between the car and the Garmin, Garmin is not going to win that battle. The car is going to win.

    I was surprised and pleased that the 61 actually appears to have a significantly larger screen than the 60. I typically need reading glasses for up close stuff and the speed limit data on the 60 was getting just a bit too small for me to read without my reading glasses. The 61 has larger text and I can see it better. But that also means that the entire plastic housing was a very different mold then the 60 had.

    The 61 still appears to have some of the same silliness as the 60. The inability to turn off the green favorites heart icons is annoying. There is no use for all of them showing up and they can get in the way of seeing the map.

    People here know that I dislike Junction View and I really dislike Active Lane Guidance (the animated exit). Both should have off switches.

    Generally though the DriveSmart 60 and 61 are more different than simply adding a 1 to the number suggests. Most manufacturers will add single digits to a model number when there are minor software differences. The 61 is more different from the 60 than just adding a 1 suggests.
  • Joe999 2 Points
    You can temporarily turn off the green favorites heats icon's by tapping the screen, then hitting the back arrow button in the lower left corner. They are off then until you go back to the home screen.

    Garmin came up with a real nice large 7 inch screen in a small bezel, compact 6 inch size unit. But little effort was put into the innards of the unit. It appears there was not any beta/end user testing to see what worked and didn't. The Green Favorites icon's for example: The fact that you can't permanently turn them off so they don't automatically pop up every time, and that those icon's are so big, they cover street junction crossings, street names and all kinds of stuff depending on the zoom level (because the icon's remain the same size). I could go on about a whole lot of things that should have been changed to make this an outstanding unit. It all depends on how serious of a navigator a person is. For the casual user with few needs and expectations, the 61 is fine.
  • sussamb 663 Points
    You can turn off the green hearts, at least on my DriveSmart 50 you can

    Settings -> Maps & Vehicle -> Map Layers -> uncheck "Up Ahead Places
  • truckinguy 110 Points
    edited August 19
    sussamb said:

    You can turn off the green hearts, at least on my DriveSmart 50 you can

    Settings -> Maps & Vehicle -> Map Layers -> uncheck "Up Ahead Places

    Believe me you can't. I tried everything over and over. And what you mentioned above. Been thru the Menu many times... Not going to happen. This is on the 61 LMT-S. I have two of them now. Love the unit.. for what it is. Sure would love a power mount ..for a great speaker and ease of install. Hate the green hearts. But it's still a nice unit over all over the Dezl 760 and 2797 I owned.. and any other Garmin back to the 2610 I first owned.
    You can turn off the Hearts by opening one the closing but it comes back on easy.. either by going to main menu or during routeing .. very sensitive on how it gets turned back on. I contacted Garmin and now it's a wait and see game.
    One thing I noticed the my trends seems to incorporated into Travel History. And can't turn just that off. It routes me to previous routes even though it shouldn't.. long story as you know. You have to turn off all travel history. I like to be able to see the track and up load them as well for use in organizing customers exact location.

  • sussamb 663 Points
    Guess that's another reason to get the 50/60 models rather than the 51/61 then ;)
  • Boyd 1786 Points
    edited August 19
    Are you saying that you can load tracks on the DriveSmart? That would be a big change from the Nuvi which has never been able to import a track, they only display tracks recorded directly on the device.
  • sussamb 663 Points
    I think he means his track log ;)
  • Boyd 1786 Points
    edited August 19
    What's the difference between "tracks" and "track logs"? I think they are the same. I was responding to this comment

    "I like to be able to see the track and up load them as well "

    To me, that implied he was loading tracks (or "track logs" if you prefer) to his GPS. It is well known that this is not possible on any Nuvi model. If the Drive series allows this, it would be a new feature.

    However, looking at it again, I think he meant he was loading them from the GPS to his computer, which of course has always been possible.

  • sussamb 663 Points
    I thought he meant that too :)

    It's certainly not possible to view a track sent to a Drive model, just like it wasn't on a nuvi, at least not on my DriveSmart!
  • truckinguy 110 Points
    edited August 19
    I meant loading to PC...sorry... I never new you couldn't send them back to the gps. Ha.. oh well. I still love the 61..so far..better then Dezl 760 going across the usa and back starting last week in August.. Route is made as well as places within (thanks to Turbocc) 6miles of the route I'll need.
    The wife and friends can watch me via live track.. instead of asking "where are ya" and me saying I don't know ....some where in Kansas.
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