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Garmin DriveSmart 65 MT-D or MT-S?

Dear forum users,
I'm thinking about buying a new navigation for my car and i like the Garmin DriveSmart 65 model. However it comes in 2 variations : MT-D (digital) and MT-S (satellite). I find it difficult to figure out which one is better/recommended. Could you please help me?
Thank you very much,


  • sussamb 956 Points
    Its not satellite, D means you get digital traffic through a receiver in your device that uses the power cable as an antenna. S model uses your smart phone to get traffic data etc to your device. I prefer the D model so I'm not relying on my phone.
  • Boyd 2043 Points
    Just when I thought Garmin's website couldn't get any worse.... it did! They don't even list the full model numbers anymore, and don't have separate pages for them. Instead, you have to click a bunch of little buttons to choose screen size, traffic, etc.

    However, I think your assumptions are wrong about the model numbers, the "S" does NOT mean "Satellite". IIRC, this is what those letters mean

    LM = Lifetime Maps
    T = Traffic
    D = Digital
    S = Smartphone

    So, the DriveSmart 65 LMT-D would include an over-the-air digital traffic receiver. These devices decode traffic data that is embedded in FM radio broadcasts. Regular FM stations may include the old (terrible) analog traffic data. FM HD radio can contain better digital traffic data. But all of these stations can be few and far between, and you will find many areas with no traffic coverage at all. In my experience, you will only get traffic data in and around major cities.

    The DriveSmart 65 LMT-S gets traffic data from your smartphone via a Bluetooth link. If you don't have a smartphone, you won't have access to traffic at all. If you do have a smartphone, it will need to be linked to the GPS using a Garmin app. This will use data from your cell phone plan, although it shouldn't be much. My experience is that this is better quality data, and you will also get traffic info for the whole country. The LMT-D models will only get traffic data for your local area. So, if you are going on a long trip, the LMT-S model can use traffic data from your destination when choosing routes.
  • dear Boyd & sussamb - thank you so much for your valuabble answers! it definately helped me to chose the right model :)
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