Garmin Drive 50 LM

8.2
8.2 score
[Editors rating (8.2)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.2)/10


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Editor rating: 8.2 / 10
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Garmin Drive 50 LM Review Facts

Driving in new cities isn’t always the most fun task. Often times we get a little overwhelmed with new signs and one-way streets. This can cause not only a bad mood while on vacation but can also cause some unnecessary fights with loved ones. One way help with this scenario is GPS systems. GPS systems are little units that have maps via a digital screen that will help a driver navigate their way through most major cities. They also sometimes offer voice navigation which will vocally assist the driver through city streets so that they don’t have to focus too intently on the digital screen. The days of pulling over and looking at a map are over with the invention of a digital GPS. Another benefit to GPS systems is that most of them do not require data or cellular in order to run. Most can be plugged into a computer to update and then run completely on their own which helps keep cell phone bills down. GPS navigation systems are crucial for any long road trip to new cities and can help keep stress levels down during a time that is supposed to be relaxing and fun.

This article focuses on the Garmin Drive 50 LM. This is a single product review intended on looking at consumer reviews and creating an in-depth review of this product. We looked at what consumers liked and disliked about this piece of technology. We gathered the pros and the cons in order to find out if this product is worth purchasing. We looked at the features included in order to determine it’s ease-of-use and functionality. We also looked at the software used in order to determine it’s quality and helpfulness. This is our comprehensive review of the Garmin Drive 50 LM. We hope that this article serves you in your next GPS purchase.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • This product offers continually upgraded maps
  • This product offers tons of unique features
  • This product is reviewed as being quite reliable
  • This product is attractive in design 
Cons
  • This product doesn't offer live updates 
  • This product has some charging issues due to its cable 
ACCURACY

ACCURACY

This product offers up to date mapping updates continuously. It includes smaller details including sharp curves ahead and speed changes. It also notes where railroad crossing and animal-crossings are which helps navigate or alter the route depending on preference. It also includes more crucial details like wrong-way driving and one-way-streets which is handy in new towns where this type of road navigation is unfamiliar. It shows school zones, red light cameras, and speed cameras as well in order to assist drivers with any areas where speed may need to be more closely monitored. This product goes down to the finest details which are handy especially when driving in unfamiliar cities. Those who used this product confirmed the accuracy of the product, saying that they never felt like they didn't know where they were going and also confirming that they felt more comfortable in cities they were not familiar with. The directions also use landmarks, building and traffic lights in order to offer even more accuracy when in motion. Overall, this product is quite accurate and helpful.
ADVANCED FEATURES

ADVANCED FEATURES

This product offers direction with the use of landmarks which is a slightly advanced feature to just roads and lights. It uses landmarks, buildings, and traffic lights in order to provide a more detailed and easy to understand direction. It also offers correctional adjustments when wrong turns are taken which is especially helpful when driving the wrong way down a one-way. This product also pairs with the BC30 wireless back up camera (an item that is sold separately). This is a nice additional feature especially for those who do not have rear view cameras but would like one. This screen will switch from navigation to a monitor screen when in motion. Additionally, this product also finds areas of interest with a simple search. For instance, typing 'restaurants' or 'desserts' in the navigation screen will find the nearest location. Those who purchased this product liked how seamlessly the advanced features worked with each other. They appreciated the ongoing updates as well as the finer details of this product.
BASIC FEATURES

BASIC FEATURES

This product offers driving instructions as a typical GPS would (and should) but also includes voice-controlled navigation. It offers user-friendly alerts as well as alters for sharp curves, railroad crossings, speed changes and animal crossing which helps especially if these areas are undesirable and want to be avoided. Additionally, it lets the driver know of one-way streets, speed lights and school zones in order to create a better awareness of the road. This is especially handy when in areas that might offer distractions. This product offers a 5" dual-orientation display which switches seamlessly between navigation screen and rearview camera. It offers locations-within-locations which give advice on areas that may be better for the driver like the best entrance to enter areas like supermarket parking lots and malls. This product also offers Garmin Express updates which will continually update the navigation throughout the life of the product. This helps when roads change or when new areas are going to be explored. Overall, this product offers everything required to get the most out of a trip or to avoid feeling overwhelmed in new cities.
BRAND

BRAND

Garmin is a household name in GPS technology. Garmin is an American company started in 1989. They specialize in GPS technology in automotive, aviation, marine and outdoor activities. They make all sorts of navigation from automotive (like this product) to watches (heart rate monitor and run tracking). They are extremely reliable and offer a decent customer service team. Their motto is to make products that are engineered to monitor all aspects of human life and to provide the opportunity to make the most out of the time that their customers are pursuing their passions. All Garmin purchases can be returned without questions within the first 30 days of purchase as long as the product isn't opened. Overall, Garmin is a very well known name in the industry of navigation and is trusted.
DISPLAY

DISPLAY

This product offers a smart touch screen with simple search functions and a wack of additional features. Some reviewers did find that the product is a little 'busy' stating that they have bought previous models that were much cleaner and easier to use. Some found that the business of the screen is a little distracting when in motion. They found the smaller alerts like animal crossings to be a little much. They also found that the screen is a little small, especially with all the alerts when compared to earlier models. They find with age it progressively gets worse as well which is a disadvantage. A benefit to this product is that some of those features can be disabled in order to provide fewer distractions as well as more room on the screen to view the navigation system, however, the screen is still a smaller screen. The screen is 5" inches with a dual-orientation display. Some also found issues with the sensitivity of the screen, saying that it is almost too sensitive and other features will pop up unwantedly. This is an issue when in motion when the road should be the focus. The screen seems to be the primary concern of most drivers.
POWER SOURCE

POWER SOURCE

There also seems to be some issues with the power supply unit of the Garmin Drive 50. Those who used this product found that clipping the unit into its holster was easy enough but the hook up to the power unit is separate from the holster. They found that the power connection includes a captured car power adapter and therefore there was no option to use a dual USB alternative in order to power multiple devices (in the cigarette lighter). The cord is also apparently quite hard to actually wire through the vehicle and therefore the cord is quite visible when plugged in rather than discretely hidden away. Though the cord is a bit of a hassle it does charge well and there didn't seem to be any issues of the unit draining the battery on the vehicle which is sometimes seen with GPS units in vehicles. Overall, the charging unit works well and doesn't drain the battery of the vehicle that it is connected to but it may not be aesthetically pleasing. It also doesn't add the same level of convenience as other comparable models, unfortunately.
PRICE

PRICE

This product is reasonably priced. It is definitely competitive in price with other products on the market today. This product does have some functionality issues, however, it seems that the primary issue that people found with this unit is that the screen is a little busy and small. The small screen can't really be helped, however, it is customizable so that there are less alters or larger zoomed in options. It offers auditory directions as well which would help with not looking too closely at the screen when driving (allowing the driver to focus on the road). The unit also offers continual updates which would stop the consumer from having to buy newer, updated versions. Overall, this product does seem to be worth the cost which is positive. This product is definitely worth the cost associated with it.
EASE-OF-USE

EASE-OF-USE

The functionality of this product, though offering an easy-to-use screen, does seem to bother some users. The primary issue that most consumers had is the number of functions this product has. This is because earlier versions of this product was a little easier to use and more streamline. Some did appreciate the additional features offered with this product because it is new and convenient, however, those who used earlier versions preferred the simple format of the earlier version. The screen is also a little sensitive and therefore when used when moving there seem to be some issues with screens popping up that weren't wanted. This can definitely be distracting but can be avoided if the screen is set up to give direction when stopped rather than when already moving. The notifications can also be altered in order to offer alerts only for situations that are important to the driver. Other than the sensitivity and additional features this product seems to be quite easy to use and intuitive which is positive feedback.
THE BOTTOM LINE

THE BOTTOM LINE

Overall, this is a pretty decent little system. There seem to be some mixed reviews on it but not from an accuracy standpoint. Most of the issue that reviewers had this product is the size of the screen (previous models were about 6 inches while this one is 5 inches) which seems to be harder on those who are now having a harder time seeing. The interface of this product, as well, is a little busy which is an issue for those who are easily distracted. This is also not a great feature in a product that is designed to help drivers keep their eyes on the road rather than a map or a screen. The menu does offer for the product to become more customized to the driver, allowing the driver to opt out of some of the alerts that they don't care about. It also does offer auditory navigation as well which should assist the driver and not distract with the alerts on the screen. There are some complaints about the sensitivity of the screen as well. Some reviewers found that the screen is quite sensitive and can often open the wrong feature when in motion which can cause some frustrations. Overall, though this product does not require constant data in order to use, offers detailed and accurate directional services and also lets the driver know of photo radar and school zones which will keep fines down. And this product is also quite reasonably priced. With all these items considered it seems that this product is worth the cost associated with it. Additionally, with Garmin's 30-day return policy, if this product isn't quite what the buyer wants then at least it is easy to return.