UPDATE: The nuvi 2×5 series has been officially discontinued. For current recommendations, see our auto GPS buyers guide.
The Garmin nüvi 265W is one of the second-generation models in the nuvi 2×5 series, which I dubbed the "best entry level GPS on the market." This series offers more mid-line features though; in addition to everything that made the 2×5 series a hit, the 265W adds Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone use. It includes pre-loaded maps of the U.S. and Canada, has a 4.3" wide touch-screen and comes with 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."
- Step up to the nuvi 265WT to add lifetime traffic
- Or drop down to the nuvi 255W and you’ll give up Bluetooth
- To see how the 265W stacks up against other models, check out my Garmin nuvi comparison chart
The 265W is not an “official” Garmin unit, in the sense that they don’t have a web page for it. It is basically the nuvi 265WT sold without the traffic receiver. It still carries the same warranty, etc., though.
Much of the following is adapted from my hands on review of the similarly equipped nuvi 265WT.
In testing the closely related nuvi 265WT, I found that it easily connected to my phone, an LG VX8300. However, I was unable to pair it with my wife’s Motorola V325i.
I remain less than impressed with the Bluetooth sound quality though. It’s fine for the person in the car, but it’s a mediocre experience for the one on the other end of the call. It’s got a bit of a tunnel effect and I found myself asking the caller to repeat themselves sometimes when I couldn’t understand them.
Other nuvi 265W features of note
As I mentioned earlier, the nuvi 265W has all the great features already found on the first generation nuvi 2×5 series. These include:
- A redesigned map screen that provides a third data field showing your current speed (screen shot below)
- Speed limit display (the number of roads with this coverage seems to be increasing dramatically too)
- Tracklog display to show where you’ve been (can be disabled and/or erased); this is the thin blue line in the image above
- 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 (screenshot below)
- Recently searched for cities and streets can be accessed from search screens (screen shots below)
- While it’s not a feature that I find useful, you can download Google™ Panoramio™ pictures via Garmin Connect™ Photos and navigate to them
- Terrain modeling is a nice piece of eye candy, though it only works in 2–D mode when zoomed out to at least 5 miles (see screenshot below)
The nuvi 2×5 series does not include an MP3 / audio book player or an audio out jack. If these features are important to you, I suggest you consider the nuvi 7x5T series.
More Garmin nuvi 265W reviews
- Consumer-authored Garmin nuvi 265W reviews have been posted at Amazon
- A hands on review of the nuvi 265W
- PC World Australia has also posted a Garmin nuvi 265W review
I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…
Other Garmin nuvi 265W resources
- Confused about so many models and choices? Use this Garmin nuvi comparison tool or check out my own Garmin nuvi comparison chart
- There is a dedicated Garmin nuvi message forum at GpsPasSion and another nuvi forum at GPS Review
- Five tips for nuvi newbies
Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 265W at these merchants:
- Check the current Garmin nüvi 265W price at Amazon
- Here’s the deal at BoatersWorld.com: nuvi 265W 4.3" Widescreen Bluetooth Auto GPS Navigator (without Traffic) – $30 Instant Savings! Price Shown Reflects Discount.
- Find the Garmin Nuvi 265W Auto GPS at TigerDirect
- Check out our GPS deals site for current specials and rebates on a wide range of GPS receivers