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Garmin nuvi® 265WT

Portable navigator with free traffic-information service

30 Reviews

Item # 150N265WT

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Our take on the Garmin nuvi® 265WT

The nüvi 265WT portable navigator from Garmin offers several attractive features not usually found in its price range. Built-in Bluetooth® connectivity allows hands-free calling with your compatible cell phone, and you can get free traffic updates to keep you informed of potential delays. You'll hear text-to-speech voice prompts guiding you to your destination, and you'll view detailed maps of the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico on its easy-to-read 4.3" color touchscreen display.


The nüvi 265WT portable navigator from Garmin offers several attractive features not usually found in its price range. Built-in Bluetooth® connectivity allows hands-free calling with your compatible cell phone, and you can get free traffic updates to keep you informed of potential delays. You'll hear text-to-speech voice prompts guiding you to your destination, and you'll view detailed maps of the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico on its easy-to-read 4.3" color touchscreen display.

You can search the nüvi 265WT's 6 million points of interest for hotels, restaurants, shops, and other facilities along your route. You can even add custom points of interest to mark favorite stops a little off the beaten path. Text-to-speech voice prompts announce actual street names, so you'll hear "turn left on Route 29," instead of "take the next left turn."

Timely traffic updates
The nüvi 265WT includes a FM-TMC traffic-info receiver which keeps you updated on congestion in most metropolitan areas. The nüvi can offer detailed information on the cause of the delay, and save you time by finding a quick way around the problem. Best of all, you pay no subscription fees for this service for the life of your navigator.

The nüvi 265WT includes a built-in digital picture viewer so you can enjoy your latest photos on the 4.3" screen — just slip your personal SD™ memory cards into the card slot. It also includes a world travel clock with time zones, currency and measurement converters, a calculator, and more of Garmin's handy travel extras.

Stay safe and secure
The "Where Am I" emergency locator provides your exact location in an instant, displaying nearby emergency services if help is needed. Garmin's security feature protects your navigator with a personalized password that keeps unauthorized people from viewing your itinerary or personal information.

Add MSN® Direct for additional information
You can add an optional Garmin receiver to receive MSN Direct content on the nüvi 265WT. MSN Direct provides helpful travel information in most metropolitan areas, including traffic updates, weather reports, and local gas prices. It also offers news headlines, stock prices, and local event and movie listings. You'll need to subscribe to MSN Direct; a free trial period is included with receiver purchase.

So far so good. Very easy set up and very straight forward to use. Have used it in pretty rural areas of NH and Maine and its been great. Would definately recommend.

Christopher, Boston, MA

What's in the Box:

  • Portable GPS navigation receiver
  • Cradle
  • Suction-cup mount
  • Hard plastic mounting disk with self-adhesive base
  • GTM 25 FM Traffic receiver/cigarette lighter adapter with attached 58" cable
  • 40" USB cable (has Type A USB connector on one end and a Mini-B USB Ver.2.0 connector on the other end)
  • Quick Start Manual (English)
  • Quick Start Manual (French)
  • Accessory Guide
  • Important Safety and Product Information
  • NAVTEQ End-User License Agreement

Product Highlights:

  • portable GPS car navigation unit
  • suction-cup windshield mount and dashboard disk
  • includes FM-TMC traffic-info receiver with subscription-free updates
  • JPEG picture viewer
  • car power adapter and built-in rechargeable battery with 4 hours of life
Navigation features:
  • 4.3" display (480 x 272 pixels) with touchscreen control
  • 6 million points of interest (allows custom points of interest)
  • preloaded with maps for the entire United States, Canada and Puerto Rico
  • text-to-speech technology lets voice prompts announce road names over the built-in speaker
  • built-in travel kit including world clock, currency and measurement converters, calculator, and more
  • security feature allows you to disable most functions with a user-entered password
  • multi-destination routing: allows 1 stopping point
  • transport modes: auto, pedestrian
  • Bluetooth technology for making and receiving hands-free calls with your compatible cell phone
  • SD card slot
  • compatible with MSN Direct content including traffic and weather (additional receiver and subscription required)
Other features and specs:

Garmin nuvi® 265WT Reviews

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Features and Specs

Maps Built-in
Map Coverage USA (50), CA, PR, USVI
Points of Interest 6,000,000
Multiple Destination Routing No
Screen Size 4.3"
Widescreen Yes
Bluetooth Capable Phone
Photo Viewer Yes
Digital Audio Playback No
Text To Speech Yes
Voice Control No
Traffic Information No
Dynamic Content Services Optional MSN Direct
Removable Memory Type SD card
Battery Life 4 Hours
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Product Overview: The nüvi 265WT is a portable GPS navigator and entry-level personal travel assistant that provides automatic routing, turn-by-turn voice directions, and touch screen control. With the supplied FM TMC traffic receiver, you can receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction, as well as automatic detours around the trouble. In addition to these navigation features, the nüvi 265WT has built-in Bluetooth technology, can display JPEG photos.

Internal Memory: The nüvi 265WT comes with an internal memory for storage of supplemental maps and photos. When the unit is connected to your computer, the nüvi 265WT is recognized as an additional drive.

SD Memory Slot: The nüvi 265WT has an SD memory slot for additional map data from optional SD memory cards. The unit can also display photo images from an SD memory card.

Map Software: The nüvi 265WT comes loaded with City Navigator North America NT 2009 software, which contains mapping detail of the entire United States, Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The maps feature nearly 6-million points of interest (POIs), such as hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions.

Garmin Lock: Garmin Lock is an anti-theft feature. You can set a 4-digit PIN and a security location (such as your home or office). Every time the nüvi 265WT is powered on, you must enter the PIN, or drive to your security location.

Touch Screen Display: The unit features a bright, 4.3" (diagonal) widescreen LCD with touch screen controls. The display has a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and 64,000 colors. The screen has a manual brightness adjustment.

Custom Points of Interest: The nüvi 265WT will accept custom points of interest (POI) databases, available from various companies on the Internet. Some custom POI databases contain alert information for points such as safety cameras and school zones, and the unit can notify you as you approach one of these points. To download custom POIs, you will need the Garmin POI Loader software, available on Garmin's website.

FM Traffic: The nüvi 265WT can receive traffic information broadcast over the FM Radio Data System (RDS), when connected to the supplied Garmin GTM 25 FM TMC (Traffic Message Channel) receiver. When you are in a coverage area, the traffic delays are rated by severity with color-coded icons. If you encounter severe traffic along your route, the unit will automatically recalculate the route for you to avoid traffic delays. The nüvi 265WT includes a product lifetime subscription to NAVTEQ Traffic. Traffic information is available in approximately 50 North American cities.

MSN Direct: MSN Direct is an optional service that sends traffic reports, gas prices and more to your navigation device through an FM signal. MSN Direct is available in 100 of the largest cities across the United States. Using the optional MSN Direct receiver (item number 150GDB55) and free 12-month trial service to MSN Direct, you can check the weather, avoid traffic backups, compare local gas prices and check movie times and locations when you travel with the nüvi 265WT. The MSN Direct receiver is integrated with a plug-and-play cigarette lighter adapter, making it easy to connect to the unit when traveling. It can take several hours to receive all the content to your nüvi 265WT the first time you use it or after you have traveled long distances and after you have not used the nüvi 265WT and MSN Direct Receiver for several days. There is a non-user replaceable rechargeable battery in the MSN Direct Receiver that allows it to receive and store updates for several days, even when not connected to external power.

Note: After your limited free trial, you can extend your service with an annual payment or one-time payment. MSN Direct service will be available only until January 1, 2012.

Information Pages: The information provided by the nüvi 265WT is found on various display screens called pages. The pages give you the following information:

  • Map:
    • Indicates real-time moving map illustrating your current position and intended route
    • Shows map scale and geographic details such as lakes, rivers, highways and towns
    • Allows you to zoom, pan, and point using the touch screen controls
    • When you are following a route, your arrival time is displayed in the lower left corner, the distance to the next turn (Turn In) is shown in the lower right corner
    • When you are simply driving while viewing the Map page (not following a route), your speed is shown in the lower left corner, the direction you are driving is shown in the lower right corner
  • Trip Information:
    • Shows current compass heading while moving
    • Indicates current speed, average driving speed, overall average speed, maximum speed
    • Calculates driving time, stopped time and total time
    • Displays overall distance traveled (odometer) and distance to your final destination
  • Current Route:
    • Displays a list of turn-by-turn instructions for your entire route as well as arrival information
    • Shows direction of each turn and distance
  • Next Turn:
    • Shows the next turn on the map and the distance and time left before you reach the turn

Where To? During navigation, you can search for places by pressing "Menu", then "Where To?" You can select an Address, Go Home, Points of Interest, Recently Found, Favorites, Extras, Intersections, Cities, Browse Map, and Coordinates. You can also access Spell Name for direct entry of your new destination, or browse the map. You can search for locations near your present location (default), or select a different city, your current route, or your destination.

Where Am I? The "Where Am I?" feature gives you instant access to important information in case of an emergency. When you select "Where Am I?" from the menu, you get the coordinates (including elevation) of your current position, plus the nearest address and intersections. There are also buttons to help you locate the nearest hospitals, police stations, or gas stations. You can also save the location for future reference.

Route Preferences: When calculating a route, you can select the following preferences: faster time, shorter distance, or off road.

Avoidances: You can program the unit to avoid certain things that may be undesirable on your route. Examples of things that can be avoided include U-Turns, Highways, Toll Roads, Traffic, Carpool Lanes, Unpaved Roads, and Ferries.

Waypoints: You can manually mark and name any map position as a waypoint for later recall. Up to 1000 waypoints can be saved into memory.

Map Orientation: You can select one of three map orientation displays:

  • 2D Track Up: two-dimensional map that constantly displays the route from top to bottom on the screen
  • 2D North Up: two-dimensional map that constantly displays North at the top of the screen
  • 3D Track Up: three-dimensional map that constantly displays the route from top to bottom on the screen

Screen Color Mode: You can select one of three color modes for the display screen:

  • Daytime: has a lighter, brighter background
  • Nighttime: has a black background, easier to see at night
  • Auto: display automatically switches between daytime and nighttime at sunrise and sunset

Bluetooth: Many Bluetooth-capable cellular phones are compatible with your nüvi 265WT and can use it as a hands-free car kit. The nüvi 265WT has both a microphone and speaker, so no additional equipment is necessary to integrate your Bluetooth phone. Available options will vary by phone, however, generally these apply:

  • accept or ignore incoming calls on the touch screen
  • dial your home number
  • enter a number manually
  • call a POI (Point Of Interest)
  • dial a number in your phone book
  • call a recently dialed number
  • dial a recent caller
  • send or receive text messages

Indoor Use: When indoors, you can activate the built-in simulator and practice using the unit. This turns off the GPS receiver so it's not searching for satellites.

Vehicle Icons: The default on-screen icon representing your vehicle is a blue sports car. In the menu, you can select a blue 4WD pickup truck, a blue compact car, a blue 3D arrow, a pair of boots, a large bird, or a rolling beach ball. You can also download other vehicle icons from the "Garmin Garage" website. Other downloadable vehicles are available in the Hangar Bundle, Holiday bundle, Pirates of the Caribbean bundle, or Service Vehicles bundle.

Picture Viewer: The nüvi 265WT can display photo images (JPEG files). The image files must be stored on an optional SD memory card or transferred to the internal memory.

World Clock: The world clock allows you to display the current time for four locations throughout the world. You can also display a map of the world showing which portions are in daylight and which are in darkness.

Unit Converter: You can convert area, distance, speed, temperature, volume, and weight.

Calculator: The calculator allows you to perform simple arithmetic.

Panoramio: The Panoramio website provides photographs that include location information called geotags. These photos can be downloaded into the nüvi 265WT or SD memory card, and the unit can route you to the location.

Power Requirements: The nüvi 265WT operates on your vehicle's battery using the included 12-volt cigarette lighter power adapter, the built-in Lithium-Ion batteries, or household current using an optional AC adapter. The Lithium-Ion batteries provide up to 4 hours of use, and require a 4-hour charge to full capacity. Stored data, such as waypoints or unit settings, are not lost when the unit is disconnected from a power source.

Antenna: The unit has a built-in antenna in its top panel. In order to obtain an optimal signal, the unit must have a clear, unobstructed view of the sky. It the unit is mounted in a vehicle with a coated windshield or an in-screen heating system there may be difficulty in obtaining a good signal.

Mounting Options: The unit should be securely installed when used in a vehicle. The unit comes with a mounting bracket that includes a suction cup. The suction cup can be used to mount the unit to the windshield or to the dash (using the plastic mounting disk). Once the nüvi 265WT is mounted, it can be adjusted on the ball-and-socket bracket for best visibility. The unit must be installed where it has a relatively unobstructed view of the sky.

Optional Pro.Fit G3 Vehicle Specific Mounts: The Garmin nüvi GPS units are directly compatible with the optional Pro.Fit G3 series of Vehicle Specific Mounts (VSMs). The G3 Series mounts have a ball-and-socket mechanism that perfectly fits the nüvi mounting cradles, giving you a custom mount designed for your vehicle. Please check the Crutchfield vehicle selector to see if a G3 Series VSM is available for your vehicle.

Interface Capability: This unit can be connected to a PC or Mac via USB cable (not included). This interface allows you to download additional map information to the unit's flash memory. The unit has a standard Mini-USB Version 2.0 jack. Note: The nüvi is not compatible with Windows 95, 98, Me, or Windows NT. It is also not compatible with Mac OS 10.3 or earlier. This is a common limitation of most USB mass storage devices.

Our Product Research Team

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