There's no question that dedicated GPS units are on the decline in an era when your smartphone is often good enough for navigation, if not better. Garmin, however, thinks it can stave off obsolescence in a simple way -- by adding a voice assistant you'd use on your phone. The new DriveSmart 65 is the company's first full-display GPS (but not its first ever) to incorporate Alexa, and uses the AI helper to handle the tasks that would normally require staring at your phone or infotainment system.
You can ask Alexa to play music, check the weather or handle other relevant skills while you're driving, with results popping up on the unit's 7-inch screen. You'll still see basic navigation data no matter what Alexa displays on screen. The GPS side, meanwhile, has its own "OK Garmin" voice control for obtaining directions and offers its own live traffic, parking and weather features. There's an extra USB port to keep your phone charged if your car's own connections are limited.
The DriveSmart 65 is available now for $300. It might be a tough sell -- you can accomplish much of what this does through your phone, especially if your car has Android Auto, CarPlay or (in a few cases) its own Alexa functionality. And while Garmin bills this as the "simplest" navigation experience you can get, you'll also have to remember to talk to two different assistants depending on what you need. This is for people who want to avoid the hassles of phone navigation, whether it's distracting notifications or slipping your phone into a cradle.