The Garmin nuvi 265WT is one of the new second-generation models in the nuvi 2x5 series, which I dubbed the "best entry level GPS on the market." This new series offers more mid-line features though; in addition to everything that made the 2x5 series a hit, the 265WT adds lifetime traffic and 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."
Ad-supported lifetime traffic
The most controversial feature on the nuvi 2x5T series is the ad-supported lifetime NAVTEQ traffic. Yet not only have I found the ads to be low key and unobtrusive; for whatever reason, they actually showed up less on the 265WT than on the 755T that I recently tested. In fact, I saw so few on the 265WT that I was unable to capture a screen shot of them! Therefore, the next couple of screenshots below are taken from my nuvi 755T review.
On the 755T, 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 (the only place I ever saw them on the 265WT)
- At the bottom of the traffic menu screen
- On the map once you have reached your destination
If you touch the ad, you'll go to a screen showing the nearest locations for that advertiser. Selecting a location will take you to the detail screen. In the case of the BP gas ad below (seen on the 755T), 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 extra 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 Traffic 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...
The nuvi 265WT easily connected to my phone, an LG VX8300. However, I was unable to pair it with my wife's Motorola V325i.
I remain less impressed than 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 265WT features of note
As I mentioned earlier, the nuvi 265WT has all the great features already found on the first generation nuvi 2x5 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 2x5T 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 700 or 7x5T series.
Conclusion and recommendation
As the only wide-screen model in the nuvi 2x5T series, the 265WT is sure to be popular. It is best suited for (a) those in an area served by NAVTEQ traffic and /or (b) anyone wanting a Bluetooth GPS at a reasonable price. If you don't fall into one of those categories, I'd suggest the Garmin nuvi 255W instead. Don't get me wrong; the 265WT is a great device, but this specific feature set limits its appeal.
More Garmin nuvi 265WT reviews
- Consumer-authored Garmin nuvi 265WT reviews are being posted at GPS Now
- More user-written Garmin nuvi 265WT reviews have been posted at Amazon
- GPS Magaine does their typically thorough job in reviewing the nuvi 265WT
- CNet gave 3-1/2 out of 5 stars in their Garmin nuvi 265WT review
- Consumer Reports has posted a brief first impressions of the nuvi 265WT
I'll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some...
Other Garmin nuvi 265WT resources
- The Garmin nuvi 265WT owners manual, in the language of your choice
- 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
- The official Garmin nuvi 265WT
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- Check the current Garmin nuvi 265WT price at Amazon
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