Hands on with the Garmin nuvi 765T
UPDATE: This model has been discontinued. For current recommendations, please refer to our auto GPS buyers guide.
The Garmin nüvi 765T is a member of the second-generation nuvi 700 series family, adding lane assist, 3-D buildings and lifetime NAVTEQ traffic to an already significant feature set. The 765T has a 4.3″ wide touch-screen, pre-loaded maps of the U.S. and Canada, stereo Bluetooth and text-to-speech, so you”ll hear “drive one-half mile, then turn left on Oak Street.” instead of just “drive one-half mile, then turn left.”
- The 755T has all of the features found on the nuvi 765T, with the
exception of Bluetooth
- Going the other direction, upgrading to the 785T adds an MSN Direct traffic receiver with a trial subscription (but you lose the lifetime NAVTEQ traffic)
- The trans-Atlantic 775T mimics the 765T’s feature set, adding maps of Europe in addition to the U.S. and Canada
- To see how the nuvi 765T stacks up against other units, check out my Garmin nuvi comparison chart, or use this handy Garmin auto GPS comparison tool
Let’s look at the newest features on the nuvi 7×5 line…
A2DP stereo Bluetooth
The 7x5T series brings us the first nuvis with A2DP stereo Bluetooth, the exception being the 755T, which doesn’t include Bluetooth at all. This allows for a number of interesting things. For example, you can stream music via the nuvi’s MP3 player to a stereo Bluetooth headset. At the same time such an audio link is established, you can connect your phone to the nuvi as well.
Yet what impressed me most about the 7x5T’s Bluetooth feature was how good the sound quality was of calls made from the nuvi. It has nothing to do with A2DP, but rather with dramatic improvements in Garmin’s echo-cancellation technology. Units I’ve tested in the past have been pretty bad for the person on the other end of the call. But the sound quality using the 7x5T was quite good.
My wife and I took turns on both ends of several calls, as we do every time I have a test unit with Bluetooth, so she’s been exposed to as many of these units as I have. And she agrees with me, this one is good enough for everyday use. She even went further, saying she would use it if we had one of our own (was that a hint?). It may not be as good as using your phone or a headset directly, but it is a huge improvement.
We were able to successfully pair and use both our phones – an LG VX8300 and a Motorola V325i.
Here’s a video showing how to pair your nuvi with a compatible Bluetooth car stereo:
To me, the lane assist feature is the nicest addition to the the 7×5 series. It shows up in two places on the device. The flashiest is for major freeway interchanges, as shown below. This screen appears as you approach your exit.
Just as useful, and perhaps more so, is the lane indicator shown in the upper left portion of the map screen (see below). These don’t just show up on interstate highways; I found them to be ubiquitous in downtown Atlanta.
This feature adds some flash, but in my mind is less helpful than lane assist.
I’ll give Garmin credit for making the 3-D buildings transparent, but the feature can still obstruct navigation somewhat, as shown below.
Ad-supported lifetime traffic
Without a doubt the most controversial feature on the nuvi 7×5 series is the ad-supported lifetime NAVTEQ traffic, yet I found the ads to be low key and unobtrusive. I only saw ads appear when my vehicle was stopped; they showed up in the following places:
- On startup at the top of the main menu
- At the bottom of the traffic menu page
- On the map screen once you have reached your destination
If you touch the ad, you’ll go to a screen showing the nearest locations for that advertiser. Choosing a location will take you to the detail screen. In the case of the BP gas ad below, a click on the coupon gave me a number to text to enter the contest.
The ads are so low key that I would much rather have them and free lifetime traffic than pay $60 a year for traffic service. The biggest problem I have with the ad-supported traffic is the limited coverage (see image below). With data for only 50 U.S. cities, NAVTEQ coverage lags far behind that of other traffic services. Detailed coverage maps are available on the NAVTEQ website.
There is also an option to add MSN Direct traffic service (which includes gas prices, weather and more), but you’ll need to buy the receiver, which comes with a one year subscription.
If you enable the traffic map, the moving map screen goes to greyscale, so that traffic flow (indicated in yellow or red) will show up better.
Here’s an incident detail screen…
New customization options
New to the 7×5 series are customization options for the lower right field on the map screen. Press this field to bring up the options listed below. When not navigating, the options are:
- Direction of travel (default)
- Time of day
When navigating, the options are as follows:
- Estimated time of arrival (default)
- Distance to destination
- Estimated time to destination
- Direction of travel
- Time of day
Garmin nuvi 765T mount
The nuvi 765T mount has an integrated power/traffic receiver connection, so you don’t have to plug a cable into the device each time you mount it. Unlike the nuvi 2×5 series, all you need to do is snap it into the mount.
Other nuvi 765T features of note
The nuvi 7×5 series has inherited some other features from the 2×5 and/or 800 series units.
These include a redesigned map screen that adds a third data field (current speed). And while photo navigation is not a feature that I find useful, you can download Google™ Panoramio™ pictures via Garmin Connect™ Photos and navigate to them.
Finally, as I mentioned earlier, the nuvi 765T has all the great features already found on the first generation nuvi 700 series. These include:
- Multi-destination routing
- Automatic sorting of multiple destinations to provide an efficient route
- Tracklog recording
- Speed limit display for many interstates and highways
- Automatic marking of your last position when the unit is turned off (to help you find your car in mega-mall parking lots)
- A “Where am I” safety feature that gives your current location, nearest address, nearest intersection, along with quick access to POIs for the nearest hospitals, police stations and gas stations
Conclusion and recommendation
The Garmin nuvi 765T is a superior navigation device and I highly recommend it. The only caveat is that it is more appropriate if you are in an area with NAVTEQ traffic coverage. The lane assist feature and improved Bluetooth performance are the best reasons to upgrade 2x5T series, which also has the lifetime traffic feature. Like all Garmin nuvis, the 7×5 series is intuitive and a joy to use. Garmin has created yet another excellent product, and it’s no wonder that they dominate our top ten GPS list and Amazon bestseller list.
More Garmin nuvi 765T reviews
- Consumer-authored Garmin nuvi 765T reviews have been posted at Amazon.com
- GPS Lodge has posted a Garmin nuvi 765T review
- GPS Magazine does their typically thorough job reviewing the nuvi 765T
- Terry White reviews the Garmin nuvi 765T
- Trusted Reviews gives an 8 out of 10 rating in their Garmin nuvi 765T review
- My Point of View has also posted a brief Garmin nuvi 765T review
- Garmin nuvi 7×5 reviews are being posted by owners at GpsPasSion
- CNet gives a 3-1/2 out of 5 star rating in their nuvi 765T review
- The Pool Bar has also posted a review of the nuvi 765T
- I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…
Other Garmin nuvi 765T resources
- A PDF version of the Garmin nuvi 765T owners manual
- There is a dedicated Garmin nuvi message forum at GpsPasSion
- And another nuvi forum at GPS Review
- Comparing the nuvi 765T to the nuvi 760
- GPSInformation.info compares the nuvi 7x5T series to the nuvi 7×0 models
- The official Garmin nuvi 765T web page
- How to access archived nuvi trip logs
- Five tips for nuvi newbies
Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 765T at these merchants:
- Check the current Garmin nüvi 765T price at Amazon
- Get the
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- Get the Garmin nuvi 765T for an amazing price on eBay
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