Sunday, March 18, 2012


Garmin nuvi 265W

Garmin nuvi 265W review

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."

Related units

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)


What’s missing

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

I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…

Other Garmin nuvi 265W resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 265W at these merchants:

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

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