Garmin DriveSmart 51 VS TomTom Go 520

Having a GPS device will be very convenient if you often travel or have a business in commercial transportation. They will be helpful to navigate around the area or even in different states and in most cases they are also very easy to use such as Garmin DriveSmart 51 Vs TomTom Go 520. These GPS devices are some of the best on the price point so if you wonder which to choose, let’s see below about what they can offer.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • Which GPS System to Choose For
  • What are DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520
  • How are the Design of DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520
  • How are the Navigation of DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520
  • What else DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 can offer
  • How are the Experience with DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520
  • DriveSmart 51 Vs TomTom Go 520

GPS System for Your Car

Our technology has improved so much and things that used to only be available on luxury items or high-end products in the past are available for a wider range of customers today. The smartphone is an example because they used to be only owned by those who were at least middle class and always seen as something that is used professionally. Nowadays almost everyone got a smartphone already and can do almost all the things that flagship options are capable of.

The border between entry-level and high-end products is getting blurry with how companies can make the technology more affordable to let their customers grow and be attracted to buy their products. GPS is probably one of them because we still remember how they were only present in expensive cars back then but today everyone can access the same functionality from their dedicated GPS or smartphone for convenience. This technology is extremely useful in modern days when people travel a lot for various purposes.

You can find this system in new cars pre-installed as a factory embedded feature or you can buy one from various brands like Garmin with their popular devices such as Garmin DriveSmart 51 Vs 65. Both options have their pros and cons but we recommend any of the two as they will be very useful. You can also use the GPS on a smartphone but consider how long you will use it because this feature drains battery quite fast so if your phone has a small battery, it can be a burden.

 Garmin DriveSmart 51 TomTom Go 520
Product Dimensions 6.54 x 6.5 x 3.62 inches5.58 x 3.26 x 0.73 inches
Item Weight 14 ounces
9.1 ounces
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Portable navigation system will be noticeably more affordable compared to when you have to invest in a vehicle that already has the GPS installed inside. They typically have better signals as well and if you will sell the vehicle in the future, it can be a charm to attract the buyer who wants a clean and high-tech look. In addition, there is usually warranty coverage if something goes wrong so we can still get some help even after using the vehicle and system for quite a while.

The advantage of using a portable navigation system is the cost because they are much more affordable and many companies provide upgradeability for their software including collection of maps for free as long as you still have the device. They are also usually great in reception meaning there should be no issue when you travel with them. Since it is portable, we can move the device to another car when you sell the old one or change it. If you don’t mind the cluttering look, this option will fit almost everyone.

About DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520

If you are here, we assume that a portable GPS will be the most ideal. They are very easy to use because the system is very similar to typical GPS software in our smartphone or even better. There are also various navigation options and searching features depending on which seems more convenient in the application. We do recommend getting something that you will see easily too because information is easier to read when the screen is adequately sized.

When it comes to GPS devices, there are plenty of good brands to consider based on which seems to pique your interest. Many of us probably have a certain brand that we like better or familiar with to help with the shopping, such as Garmin or TomTom. In comparison Garmin is probably the more famous company for how many GPS products they have made but product wise TomTom is also carrying some of the best devices to start with, depending on which model you will be choosing.


If you just want something to navigate around while also having all the useful features, Garmin DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 are two ideal options to go for. As you can expect, they are the standard model with basic screen size so if you have difficulties seeing small screens, we recommend to look for those with larger displays since visibility is extremely important when reading a map. What you may want to note first is that both will rely on battery power.

We do think they are ideal for city drivers because the battery on both DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 are simply not the best for long travels. In comparison, they are pretty much the same in terms of ability and limitation so we do think you will be happy with any of them. What we like the most from these devices is how easy it is to start and update yet we also need to connect them to the phone if you want the best feature or ability.

DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 Design

Before talking about what these GPS devices can offer, let’s see how they look. The most noticeable difference between the two is that TomTom has rounded edges while Garmin is a classic rectangle. The screen size is the same 5-inch diagonally so they should be enough to read without obstructing your view but if you think it is still small enough to read properly, we can take the advantage of their higher model. The resolution is also the same at 480 x 272 pixels so they will look the same too.

The battery is rechargeable but we are unsure whether they are removable and similar to most GPS devices out there, you can mount them on the windshield as long as they won’t obstruct or harm your view of the road. The material for housing is mostly plastic and you can use them like smartphones with the touch-capacitive screen. They are mostly easy to read but do expect some glare too when driving in bright condition.

DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 Navigation

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 can offer starting from their navigation system which is actually very similar to each other. We can start searching for an address or place right away by pressing the magnifying glass icon which is somehow used by both devices too. It is very easy to find something based on what mark you can find around or the address in case you know the exact details.

They are working based on the data collection and have been working really well. Their basic navigation is also the same with just the view of the main road so you don’t need to pay attention to unnecessary things around and just follow the arrow to a destination. You can also view the additional information regarding important spots which is viewed on the side of the screen; overall the two are providing the same type of information and very much alike navigation.


DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 Features

On the additional features you will get the basic function such as live notification but this is only available when we connect the device with the phone and this is one of the drawbacks too since our goal to use a dedicated GPS is to remove the burden of always using the smartphone. Of course if this is not an issue to you then the two will be equally wonderful. Both DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 are also featured with voice command functions.

You can set the device to recognize and register your voice as command so we can still use them hands-free while driving or in the middle of traffic. Similar to most GPS, they will read the direction for you as well and when connected to the phone, they can also view notifications from your phone like messages or calls.

DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 Experience 

For the experience, these DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 are pretty much the same. They do have different interfaces but it is not very much affecting the experience because both are still very easy to use. Issues like inaccurate reading which may lead you to the wrong road or the lack of live traffic info from time to time are to be expected. The battery life is also not the best but Garmin lasts slightly longer while TomTom lasts for about 45 minutes.

DriveSmart 51 Vs TomTom Go 520

Both DriveSmart 51 and TomTom Go 520 are good options based on which seems to attract you the most. They are similar in price range as well and for navigation, they can provide you location reading as well as alerts like red lights or traffic when connected to the database via smartphone. They are Wi-Fi capable for software update and while the two are not perfect, we do think most people will find the device useful. Sadly the reading is not always correct with poor battery life.

- Easy-to-use dedicated GPS navigator with bright 5.0-inch dual-orientation display
- Preloaded with lifetime maps of the U.S.
- Provides real-time services such as live traffic and live parking
- Driver alerts for dangerous curves, speed changes, speed cameras, railroad crossings, animal crossings and more
- World map updates via WiFi: Get the latest world maps and software updates for your TomTom GO 520 GPS navigation device via built-in WiFi - no computer needed
- Tomtom traffic: Insanely accurate traffic information enables your Tomtom GO 520 GPS navigation device to intelligently plan routes around traffic
- Compatible with Siri and google now: Activate and talk to Siri or google now by tapping a button and using the microphone on your TomTom GO 520 GPS navigation device
- Hands free calling and smartphone messaging: So you can keep your hands on the wheel and your phone safely away in your glove compartment


There are plenty of GPS devices to choose and these two are among the options. We will recommend getting DriveSmart 51 however because it is currently cheaper and also has the battery life while navigation wise it is similarly capable to Go 520.