Garmin Drivesmart 51 vs 61

Nowadays, we can’t get rid of the navigation system. With more advanced technological updates, we can get directions and suitable routes in order to get to the destination safely and correctly. Imagine if we don’t have it today. Travelling would be so much worse. Everyone will depend on the regular map paper again.

Don’t get us wrong though, some people still use the paper maps in order to know their location. Some even still are sold in gas stations, despite losing their popularity now. But, the characteristics of a paper becomes a drawback. In order to save some road maps, you need a preserved space to save some. This won’t come in handy if you drive cars with current technology, with more simplicity.

That’s where the navigation system shines. Imagine that you can get any direction to any place you can possibly imagine with only one tool. You can travel to your hometown far away from your current location with ease. Search the name, and the system will automatically show you the routes, without opening up anything or requiring you to do something. It’s quite handy and really useful for everyday life.

However, if we’re talking about a navigation system, it’s always followed by the features. What can they give you as a trustable device is really important. If you’re using the general mapping application that you can get freely, you may possibly have the navigation function. Showing you the routes or the way to the destination. And that’s it, no other main functions you can use further.

It’s different if you use a device that is made for this specific purpose, to become a reliable navigation system. Today, you can find so many of them. But once again, we’re gonna compare the great two Garmin products, Garmin Drivesmart 51 and Drivesmart 61. You can see a big leap in generation number here. But does it mean anything? Let’s see about that below

Garmin Drivesmart 51

It’s always an easy thing to talk about Garmin Drivesmart 51, since it’s one of the popular navigation devices you can find out there.Back on previous article, we talked about how useful this device is. Being a trustable companion, Garmin Drivesmart 51 can give you the basic yet very significant features that should exist in any navigation system. Resd also: Garmin RV 780 vs Garmin 770.

Because Garmin intended to make an affordable product, Garmin Drivesmart 51 was born to the world. The word affordable should be mentioned since it only has a price of about 199 dollars. Sometimes you may get a really low price via discount either. But remember, with this much of a price you can’t hope for a way better display.

 Garmin Drivesmart 51 Garmin Drivesmart 61
Product Dimensions 0.7 x 6.8 x 3.9 inches
0.7 x 6.8 x 3.9 inches
Item Weight 6.4 ounces
9.6 ounces
Best Offerclick hereclick here

The display here is the minus from this product. Being a small 5.5 inch screen, the display is not that great with it’s  TFT display and WQVGA color. That means the resolution shown is only a quarter worth, or just 480 X 272 resolution. It’s even smaller than current affordable smartphones.

That’s why, when looking at the device when driving, sometimes you need to move your head closer for a while in order to catch a glimpse of what’s going on the screen, especially for the small words and icon. But the navigation can be clearly seen though, even though sometimes pixelated.

Despite it’s minus that maybe worse for some people, this device can still become a useful product due to its features. Garmin always equipped its products with the basic features that everybody needed. Aside from navigation, life traffic condition, and weather condition, you can also get several notifications and warnings.

The notifications would start to alert you about the route that you take. It can give you an alert about the sharp curves, red lights, and also school zones. It’s all about safety here, so you can be prepared when about to pass those areas. However, you can also enjoy the Tripadvisor feature, which can show you the reviews and prices of hotels, restaurants, or tourist destinations.

It also comes with smartphone and Garmin Smartwatch connectivity if you ever want to use it. With the connected smartphone, you can get the information about live traffic, weather conditions, and also the hands-free feature. It doesn’t have support for Alexa or other assistant programs, but you still have the ability to make or receive hands-free calls. Voice navigation also comes in handy to search some places without actually touching the device.

Garmin Drivesmart 61

This device is upgraded way later and comes with a more expensive price worth 250 dollars. With additional 50 dollars, the best thing you can get is obviously the display. Now it’s better than ever. It comes with a 7 inch screen, still TFT, but with a WSVGA color display. It has better resolution now, so everything will look more detailed and not pixelated anymore. 1024 X 600 resolution is more than enough for such a small device.

Other than that, there’s not a single upgrade regarding battery. It still has a lithium-ion battery that can live up to an hour. You can always connect it via cable for a long use though, so it’s not a big problem. Also, everything is still the same. It still has map upgrades that can be done via built-in wifi to make your maps more accurate, still the same basic safety features as well.

Looks like Garmin didn’t make a quite huge leap in the terms of feature upgrades, since it got every single feature that exists in previous products. About the data upgrade and all of that, still doesn’t mean anything since you can always update your maps and navigation at all time with a decent internet connection. But still, a 50 dollar upgrade for a greater screen is worth it, especially for new users.

Garmin Drivesmart 51 vs 61

- Easy-to-use GPS navigator with connected Features and bright 5.0-Inch Capacitive touch display
- Bluetooth calling, smart notifications and voice-activated navigation. Battery life - up to 1 hour
- Built-in Wi-Fi for easy map and software updates;Display size 4.4 inchW x 2.5 inch H (11.1 x 6.3 cm)
- Provides real-time services, such as Live traffic and select Live parking, when using free smartphone link app on your compatible smartphone.
- Easy to use GPS navigator with connected Features and bright 6.95 Inch Capacitive touch display. The display resolution is 1024 x 600 pixels
- Detailed maps of North America with free lifetime updates. Battery : Rechargeable lithium ion. Battery life is up to 1 hour
- Provides real time services, such as Live traffic and select Live parking, when using free smartphone link app on your compatible smartphone
- Bluetooth calling, smart notifications and voice activated navigation. This USB mass storage device is compatible with Windows XP or newer and Mac OS X 10.4 or later


With all that said, we think that the battle between 51 and 61 finally has the winner. Considering the price per performance, we can agree that Garmin Drivesmart 61 is the better. Of course, the price is more expensive, but it’s traded with a better, way better display. It got better resolution, better colors, and more importantly, it’s more user friendly.

Not only supported with greater resolution, it also has a decent response than 51, which many claimed to be troublesome. With 50 dollars more, we think that Drivesmart 61 is really worth having.