Garmin nuvi 265T, 265WT, 275T, 285WT Vehicle GPS: REVIEW

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Garmin nüvi 265/265T 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with TrafficGarmin’s popular 2×5 series, building on the success of the 200 series, designed as a budget-friendly GPS, continues to blur the lines between “entry level” and mid-level with the 265T, 265W, 275T and 285WT models which sit at the upper end of this category. (These models are not fundamentally different from the other models in the 2×5 series but include richer feature sets, maps and other included options.) As we pointed out in our review of Garmin’s first models released in the 2×5 series (the 205, 205W, 255 and 255W), the result is a product that is marketed as an entry-level system but in fact has a solid mid-level feature set under the hood. Not surprisingly, the 265, 275 and 285 have won accolades from editorial reviewers and owners alike, the latter especially pleased at the perfomance per price. In its review of the 265T, PC World notes this, indicating, “…a reasonable price for a full-featured GPS–especially when you factor in the lifetime traffic service.”


Ratings Summary
Includes ratings for Garmin nuvi 265T, 265WT, 275T, 285WT
nuvi 265T
Owner Reviews
nuvi 265WT
Owner Reviews
nuvi 275T
Owner Reviews
nuvi 285WT
Owner Reviews
nuvi 265WT
nuvi 265T
nuvi 265T
Our Rating: 4.5 Stars

Note that Garmin nuvi model numbers followed by T indicate traffic-capable; numbers followed by W indicate widescreen. (Example: The nuvi 265T is traffic-capable while the 265WT is both widescreen and traffic-capable.)

The 2×5 series tucks numerous into the same sleek exterior of the 200 series, including a new and improved user interface for what we already considered the car GPS world’s simplest and most intuitive interface. Fortunately, the changes are truly enhancements, including the display of the posted speed limit for the road you’re traveling on (where available). While the 200 series did not provide traffic capability, even as an upgrade, the 2×5 series does, providing compatibility for both FM-TMC traffic and MSN Direct services, giving you a choice of services for real-time traffic monitoring. The 265T, 265WT and 275T include FM traffic receivers and a lifetime traffic subscription. The 285WT includes an MSN Direct receiver and a 3-month subscription. MSN Direct provides traffic and weather updates, fuel prices, movie listings, local events info, and more. If saving money on gas is important to you, the MSN service provides both the ability to avoid traffic and find the least expensive fuel.

The Garmin nuvi 205, 255, 680, 780, 850 & 880 Provide Live Gas Price Updates via MSN Direct

The nuvi 2×5 series includes Garmin’s “Where Am I?” safety feature which helps you find the closest hospitals, police stations, fuel stations, nearest address and intersection. It also lets you see your exact latitude and longitude coordinates.

The 2×5 series includes the ability to send addresses to your GPS directly from Google Maps or Mapquest. Simply find a restaurant or other location you want to visit on Google Maps or Mapquest and specify “send to GPS” and the location will automatically transfer to your GPS when connected to your computer.

Add locations/addresses to your nuvi from Google maps or MapQuest

The 265T, 265W, 275T and 285WT include text-to-speech capability which reads street names aloud, keeping your eyes on the road, not on the GPS.

Pro
Con

Great value; includes many features found in more expensive models

Easy to use

“Where am I?” safety feature

Shorter battery life than 200 series (4 hours versus 5)

MSN requires subscription (285WT model only)

No Lane Guidance feature

Garmin calls it “HotFix™”. Geeks call it “Satellite Ephemeris Data Prediction.” Whatever you decide to call it, you’ll find it to be another key enhancement found in the 2×5 series. With HotFix, your GPS remembers (for up to 3 days) the orbital position of all satellites it is tracking when you turn it off, predicting where they should be when you next power it up, dramatically reducing the time it takes your GPS to fix your position and start navigating. they should be the next time you turn it on. This gives the device an idea of where it should look for satellites, and dramatically decreases the time it takes for your Garmin to get its position and start navigating. No more long waits at the curb until the GPS is ready.

The 2×5 series doubles the number of waypoints/favorites/locations you can store, from 500 to 1,000. It now uses a microSD card rather than a standard SD card. One change of note is that battery life has been shortened from 5 to 4 hours. We assume, however, that there is a plus side to this, namely a more powerful processer for faster route calculations. The downside of this speedier processer is that it has a greater thirst for electrons. The HotFix™ feature also drains a small amount of power while the unit is “off.”

Like the 200 series, the 2×5 series is sleeker, thinner and sports a more modern look, aided by the lack of a fold-out antenna, now an internal patch antenna. Still distinguishing the 200 and 2×5 series from mid- and high-end nuvis is the fact that none of the models include the ability to play MP3 files. However the 265T, 265W, 275T and 285WT Bluetooth capability for hands-free telephone operation.

Like the 200 series , we believe the Garmin 2×5 series will find its niche among those seeking a solid entry-level offering that’s exceptionally easy to use. That being said, however, we note that the 2×5 series begins to blur the lines between entry- and mid-level, even including features found only in its top-end systems.The most notable absence from these models is Garmin’s lane guidance (which helps keep you in the right lane at confusing intersections or highway ramps) and an MP3/audiobook player. If thse features arent’ critical, the 2×5 series might just deliver the features you want in the most economical package. [Review Date: 22 October 2009 © 2009 Rated4Stars.com]

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Key Features at a Glance
Feature
nuvi 265T
nuvi 265WT
nuvi 275T
nuvi 285WT
Ready to Use Out of the Box?

North America (including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Canada)

North America (including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Canada)

North America (including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Canada) PLUS Europe

North America (including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Canada)
Spoken, Turn-by-Turn Directions?
Text-to-Speech? (Announces Street Names)
Voice Recognition?
Multi-Destination Routing?
Bluetooth?
MP3/Audio Player?
Live Traffic/Weather?

FM receiver & lifetime traffic included

FM receiver & lifetime traffic included

FM receiver & lifetime traffic included

MSN Direct receiver included (subscription required)
Lane Guidance?
Speed Limit Indicator?
Suitable for Offroad Use?
Limited map coverage
Limited map coverage
Limited map coverage
Limited map coverage
Portable?
(internal battery)
Wide-Screen Display?
Other Features:
Photo viewer, “Where am I?” Safety Feature, travel features
Photo viewer, “Where am I?” Safety Feature, travel features
Photo viewer, “Where am I?” Safety Feature, travel features
Photo viewer, “Where am I?” Safety Feature, travel features


Additional Specifications
Weight 265T, 275T Models: 5.2 ounces (147.42 g)

265WT, 285WT Models: 6.1 ounces (172.93 g)

Dimensions 265, 275T Models: 3.9″W x 2.9″H x .8″D (9.8 x 7.4 x 2.0 cm) ; 320 x 240 pixels

265W, 285WT Models:4.8″W x 2.9″H x .8″D (12.2 x 7.4 x 2.0 cm)

Screen 200, 250 Models: 2.8″W x 2.1″H (7.2 x 5.4 cm); 3.5″ diag (8.9 cm); QVGA color antiglare TFT with white backlight

200W, 250W Models: 3.81″W x 2.25″H (9.7 x 5.7 cm); 4.3″ diag (10.9 cm); 480 x 272 pixels; WQVGA color TFT with white backlight

Chipset High-sensitivity receiver
In the Box nüvi 265T/265WT/275T/285WT, Preloaded City Navigator® NT (region depends on model), FM traffic receiver with vehicle power cable (except 285WT which includes MSN Direct receiver with integrated vehicle power cable and 3 months free MSN Direct service), Vehicle suction cup mount, Dashboard disc, Quick start manual
Warranty One Year Limited Warranty
uSell

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