The bottom line: This device won’t please everyone. While plenty of reviewers appreciate the additional alerts for tight corners, crossings, nearby red lights and sudden traffic alerts, others will probably be looking to rename the device sat-nag, rather than sat-nav. And that, we completely understand. The way in which it reads the road certainly has its advantages - a smoother, faster journey and no speeding fines- but it does run the risk of becoming that dreaded passenger seat driver and while some can tune that out, others may find themselves throwing it out the car window - ultimately, it’s down to personal choice.
Pros: Traffic alerts and re-routing, alerts for smoother driving
Cons: Can be distracting
Today's best Garmin DriveLuxe 50LMT-D deals
Garmin DriveLuxe 50LMT-D Satellite Navigation: Everything you need to know
If there’s one thing for certain, this device aims to be truly intelligent but if all you want is a device that tells you where to go and alerts you to faster routes, there are far cheaper, simplistic models out there.
However, if you quite like the idea of a ‘driver companion’, this has some benefits. Aside from the generic warnings such as alerting you of speed cameras and changes in speed limit, it also indicates whether you’re entering a school zone, advises you to rest after a certain number of hours driving and warns of you of sharp curves in the road; all of which can be announced in your chosen voice.
Garmin Real Directions is a particularly clever feature, as it enables the device to guide you as if it were a companion - as in, it’ll apply a direction to a landmark so you have increased clarity about where you’re going.
With Garmin Digital traffic, you can ask the device about details on traffic situations and it’ll give you how many minutes you’re delayed by and possible detours. Another journey feature is its PhotoReal and Birds Eye Junction View, which both realistically display the lane arrangement of the junction you’re approaching so you can make sure you’re in the right lane - great if you’re apprehensive about driving on unknown roads.
With its Bluetooth capability, it can connect to your phone, enabling notifications such as text messages and emails to flash up on the screen. This application also allows you to call people hands-free so you don’t even have to take your hands off the steering wheel. As an added bonus, you can download the Smartphone Link app, which will add a whole host of other alerts to its menagerie, including weather updates and real-time traffic alerts - see how it can get distracting now?
What else is there to know?
With a 5 inch display, it’s plenty big enough for you to view the directions. The device comes with a vehicle suction cup mount, so you can use it upon purchase. You’ll also get a USB cable for charging and a manual to get to grips with all the extra features. If you want even more, it’s fully compatible with both a Garmin backup camera and babyCam, which show up on the screen upon reverse or as and when requested, respectively.
If you require a bells and whistles sat nav that will give you greater confidence when out on the road, this is a decent choice. For those that just like to get on with it alongside a little direction, go for something more basic. Find the best deals across the web above.