Garmin nuvi 265W GPS unit

Widescreen navigation for a reasonable price.

Garmin nuvi 265W
  • Garmin nuvi 265W
  • Garmin nuvi 265W
  • Garmin nuvi 265W
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Compact, easy to use, simple map screen, Where Am I help menu, Australian text-to-speech voices

Cons

  • Unorthodox address input method, sluggish start-up time, no FM transmitter, lack of punch in volume, safety alerts aren't preloaded

Bottom Line

Garmin's nuvi 265W isn't outstanding and does have a couple of faults, but its ease of use and simple operation will appeal to many users.

Would you buy this?

A mid-range GPS commanding a reasonable price, Garmin's nuvi 265W is a compact widescreen unit featuring Bluetooth and text-to-speech technology. While it doesn't offer any other advanced features, the combination of excellent navigation and ease of use will appeal.

The 265W has quite a bland design, but it is compact and slim. This is also true of the window mount, which is small and easy to remove; a benefit should you use the unit in multiple vehicles. A power slide key is the only button on the unit; operation focuses entirely on the touch screen. An SD card slot allows extra maps or other data to be uploaded, and a regular mini-USB connection handles charging and synchronising.

Garmin units are well renowned for their ease of use. The interface is simple, bright and effective. Menu items are accompanied by either large boxes with text or clearly labelled icons. The widescreen display, while not offering the best viewing angles, performs reasonably well in direct sunlight. The main menu is very straightforward, with large icons for Where To and View Map, in addition to smaller icons for volume and tools. Strangely, there is no icon for Bluetooth in the main menu; you'll have to delve into the settings menu to activate this feature.

The nuvi 265W can navigate to a specific address, a Point of Interest (POI), a recent location, a specific junction or your favourites. It also allows you to directly input a specific GPS coordinate and features Where Am I — a convenient menu that shows your exact latitude and longitude as well as the nearest junction. You can also quickly find the closest hospitals, police stations and petrol stations in case of emergency.

Navigating to an address is simple enough, though Garmin still hasn't corrected the search order. Searches must be made in order of suburb, street number and then street name, but logic tells us that you should enter the street number after selecting the street and not before.

The nuvi 265W's map screen is bright and clear, but the maps aren't as detailed as their TomTom, Navman and Mio counterparts. Most people will appreciate the simplicity, but they won't appreciate the volume levels; even at the highest setting, the nuvi 265W's speaker lacks the punch of many of its competitors. Unfortunately, the lack of a built-in FM transmitter means there is no real way around this issue. Thankfully, voice guidance is excellent and this model includes two Australian text-to-speech voices that pronounce most street names accurately.

The nuvi 265W comes preloaded with City Navigator Australia NT and includes more than 600,000 POIs. Safety alerts, such as speed and red light cameras, aren't preloaded onto the unit, but they are available as a free download from Garmin's Web site. Garmin claims the alerts will be preloaded on new devices in the future. Bluetooth is included for hands-free calling and once paired you can browse your phonebook, read and send messages, use voice dialling and access your call history.

The nuvi 265W doesn't use the popular SiRF Star III GPS receiver; Garmin simply lists a receiver without providing further details. Thankfully, the units GPS performance is solid and rerouting times are in line with most other units. Our main complaint is reserved for the sluggish start-up time when you turn on the unit, an issue common with recent Garmin models.

Garmin rounds out the package by offering a number of extras, including a picture viewer, calculator, world clock and unit converter, but there is no MP3 or video player. A traffic version of the 265W — the 265WT — is available. This model provides a lifetime subscription to the SUNA Traffic Channel and a TMC antenna in the sales package.

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