Garmin Drivesmart 61 VS 55

Being able to navigate in an unfamiliar area is possible with GPS navigation. There are lots of amazing options to consider based on what you will need from the device such as Garmin Drivesmart 61 Vs 55. Garmin has been known to offer a wide range of GPS devices including those we can install in the car. These close brothers are similarly reliable but they are not the same so let’s see below about which attracts you the most. 

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • Are You Currently Looking for a GPS Device
  • What are Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55
  • How are the Design of Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55
  • How are the Navigation with Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55
  • What else Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 can offer
  • How are the Experience with Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55
  • Garmin Drivesmart 61 Vs 55

GPS Device for Car

Back in the day we often had to bring maps of certain areas when travelling since we are not familiar yet with the roads there. Oftentimes we end up in different spots or take the wrong turns that results in wasted time and energy to travel. However, everything changed when GPS started to be available for mass use because now we can get lots of information to find a place or location much easier. They will show you the route or even alternative routes when the main road is congested. 

The technology itself has been around for decades but they only started becoming more common lately. They can be installed in expensive cars to help drivers navigate conveniently but you can find them as a standalone device as well. Nowadays most people are using GPS in their smartphone and there are so many services that rely on this system as well. For example food delivery service or shared transportation where the provider needs to know where the clients are at.

GPS is also very commonly used to collect user’s information so providers or companies and people who own a business can map their customers. It may sound simple but GPS has been a very crucial part of our everyday life whether we realize it or not. For the purpose of travelling, GPS is used to help you navigate. Even when you have lived your entire life in the city, there are still places or areas we are not familiar with.

Having a GPS device or app in your hand will help a lot to find a certain spot or place that you want to visit. For example, there is a new restaurant that seems to have lots of interesting menus in your city. We can just enter the place name or address and the app will guide you to the spot. In some models that can receive live traffic information, they can show you the route that is currently packed and give you alternative routes as well. 

We do think GPS is a very convenient system that can be extremely useful on a daily basis if you often travel with a vehicle or have a business that requires you to travel to unfamiliar places. We can just use one that is on the phone or buy one to install in the car. If you often use the function, it is wise to choose a dedicated device because the mapping and navigation looks better there while preserving the battery life of your smartphone.

 Garmin DriveSmart 6155
Product Dimensions 6.8 x 0.7 x 3.9 inches
5.4 x 0.7 x 3 inches
Item Weight 1 pounds
5.3 ounces
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About Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55

If you are here then we assume that you are also currently looking for a GPS device and there are so many of them. It is actually quite surprising to see that companies still make this device since most people are using the one in their phone yet, for those who need a dedicated device, there are still plenty of options to consider. When buying the device, we can pay attention to their features and screen size because it is easier to read something on a wider display.

However, the device being too big may harm your view so we suggest just balance the experience and functionality. Garmin for example is one of the most popular options when it comes to GPS devices because this company is widely known for their huge range of product options, mostly based on GPS systems. Starting from sport smartwatch to dog collars, they have all of the options including a dedicated GPS for the car. Price wise they are competitive depending on which model you like better.

If you prefer a larger screen the Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 are some to consider. We have talked about the wider variant Garmin Drivesmart 61 Vs 65 before for how small the difference is but these two are more noticeable. As you can expect, the most prominent difference between the two is the product’s display size because one is a 6-inch type and the latter is a 5-inch type. The functionalities will most likely be the same however, based on what you want from the device.

In comparison, the 55 is actually a newer variant, the same as the 65 and similar model from the Drivesmart line. Drivesmart as the name suggests is meant to help you navigate smarter by providing the direction to a destination. Of course just like any GPS based system they will provide related information to traffic and spots along where you drive. The Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 are equally capable of the same navigation and maps but the way they are used is slightly different.


Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 Design

We like how Garmin designed most of their GPS devices because they look sleek and not cluttering. There is nothing special however and as expected, the DS 61 is larger with a wider screen. What’s interesting is that the DS 55 comes with a better screen and side by side the color or information shown by the device looks much better on the newer DS 55. They are still touch-sensitive; not as responsive as modern smartphones but good enough for typical applications and are very easy to operate.

There are few items coming in the box besides the main device itself and usually you will get the cup suction mount too. They are powered using an internal battery so we are getting the USB cable and power cable too. Installation is quick and there is no issue about visibility during the application but, if your driving terrain is bad the mount may shake a little and the screen also produces reflection when used on a bright day.

Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 Navigation

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 can offer starting from the navigation but, the two are identical here. We do like the menu which seems to be slightly upgraded over the older interface. Entering information is very easy by just typing the place name or you can also enter the complete address with street name and number. The device will show you the spot as well as navigating you to the place.

It is a straightforward system and depending on where you live, Garmin provides built-in maps for the devices or you can upgrade from time to time for free. The device itself is coming with the same amount of memory or up to 16GB to store this additional information. 

Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 Features

What’s slightly different is the way Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 are operated and this is about their live traffic information. Traffic information is usually only available for major cities and main roads but it is still very useful if you often drive around the area. The difference is because DS 61 features a receiver inside the device while for the DS 55 to provide this information we need to plug the power cord as it also acts as the receiver.

The other features remain the same such as Bluetooth calling and connectivity with your smartphone to alert calls and text messages. Garmin has TripAdvisor too in the map to help you navigate around popular tourist destinations with more information regarding important places such as hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc. In addition, they can show speed limits for major roads in the city as well as alerts for sharp curves, school zones, red lights, etc.

Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 Experience 

For the experience, both Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 are pretty straightforward and the menu is probably among the easiest to understand. There is plenty of information that you can get from the device and they are also very accurate. There seems to be battery issues in some DS 61 units for they don’t hold charge as long but usually they are working really well. The slight difference in menu is not affecting the ease of use but for aging eyes the larger display may look better.

Garmin Drivesmart 61 Vs 55

In comparison these GPS devices are almost identical, just like most of the collection from the line. An upgrade on the system will probably make DS 55 more reliable as an overall device, moreover it carries a better display too. But, when it comes to functionalities they will provide the same type of navigation and the same type of features. The DS 55 is probably compatible with Garmin’s new app however since it was released not long ago.

- Stay connected behind the wheel with Garmin DriveSmart, the navigator that features a collection of smart features in addition to helpful driver alerts and easy-to-follow directions.
- When you sync your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to Garmin DriveSmart, you get great features that let you stay connected without taking your hands off the wheel.
- To encourage safer driving and increase situational awareness, Garmin DriveSmart provides driver alerts for sharp curves, speed changes, railroad crossings and animal crossings.
- When you pair this navigator with your compatible Garmin smartwatch (sold separately), you can receive navigation right on your wrist, even after you've parked your car and are walking toward your destination.
- Easy-to-use 5. 5” GPS navigator
- Simple menus and bright, easy-to-see maps, Display resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels
- Garmin Traffic suggests alternate routes
- Voice-activated and ability to pair with a compatible smartphone for hands-free calling


The decision is to choose between a small but better screen or larger but lower resolution. The Garmin Drivesmart 61 and 55 are similarly capable and useful while being easy to use. Personally we recommend getting the Drivesmart 55 as it carries the new system and is cheaper too compared to the 61.