Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52 – How to Choose?

Garmin is a well-known and trusted brand in the world of GPS, and the DriveSmart 55 and 52 are two popular options for those in need of a reliable navigation system. But how do these two GPS navigators compare?

The purpose of this comparison post is to help you determine which Garmin DriveSmart 55 or 52 is best for you. We will cover the features, performance, pros, and cons of each GPS navigator to help you make an informed decision.

Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52

Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52 – Comparison Table:

FeaturesGarmin DriveSmart 55
Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52
Garmin Drive 52
Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52
Display Size5.5-inch5.5-inch
Display Resolution1280 x 720 pixels480 x 272 pixels
Display TypeH.D. Color, TFT with White Backlight, and multi-touch glassWQVGA Color, TFT with White Backlight, and Resistive touch
Wi-Fi ConnectivityYesNo
Maps UpdatesLifetime FreeLifetime Free
Maps CoverageU.S., Mexico, Canada, US Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Puerto RicoU.S., Mexico, Canada, US Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico
Pre-loaded Street MapsYesYes
Voice-Compatible NavigationYesNo
Includes Live TrafficYesYes
Weather UpdatesYesNo
Internal Storage16 G.B.8 G.B.
Micro SD Card SlotYesYes
Backup Cameras SupportYes (BC 30 or BC 40)Yes (BC 30)
Bluetooth CallingYesNo
Smart NotificationYesNo
Battery LifeUp to 1 HourUp to 1 Hour
Dimensions5.40 ” W x 3.0 ” H x 0.7 ” D5.5 ” W x 3.3 ” H x 0.8 ” D
Weight5.31 Oz6.0 Oz
AccessoriesDriveSmart 55 GPS Navigator, Suction Cup Mount, Traffic Receiver or Vehicle Power Cable, USB Cable, and User ManualDriveSmart 52 GPS Navigator, Suction cup mount, Power cable, Traffic receiver, USB Cable, and User Manual
Warranty1 Year1 Year
PriceView on Amazon View on Amazon

Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52 – Similarities

Map Functionality

The first major thing to check in any GPS navigation device is the map functionality. In terms of map functionality, both Garmin GPS devices are highly similar.

Both the Garmin GPS Navigators cover the North American region, including the U.S., Mexico, Canada, US Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Furthermore, both devices offer lifetime free map updates. Apart from that, you get pre-loaded street maps on both devices. Both devices also offer live traffic updates.


In terms of battery life, both Garmin GPS devices use a lithium-ion battery. Although Garmin does not mention battery capacity, the official website states that the devices can last up to one hour.


When it comes to warranty, both the Garmin DriveSmart GPS navigators come with a standard one-year warranty. In case of any defect or software glitch, you can request a replacement.

Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52 – Differences


The Garmin DriveSmart 55 and 52, both GPS Navigator, offers a 5.5-inch display. The DriveSmart 55’s display quality is slightly better as it offers a higher resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, which means that it is an H.D. display, so you can easily see what’s going on the map.

On the other hand, the Garmin Drive 52 offers a 480 x 272-pixel resolution which is poor in terms of quality. The Garmin DriveSmart 55 offers an H.D. color TFT panel that has multi-touch support. Whereas the Drive 52 has a WQVGA TFT panel with resistive touch support.

Travel & History

When it comes to travel and history, you can use the Garmin Drive Smart app to check your recent travel history, checkpoints, and more.

However, the app is only compatible with the Garmin DriveSmart 55 GPS devices. The Garmin Drive 52 is a basic GPS navigation system that doesn’t support the Garmin Drive Smart dedicated app.

Compatible Backup Cameras

Both Garmin GPS devices support backup cameras, which is an additional feature. The DriveSmart 55 support BC 30 and BC 40 backup camera. On the other hand, the Garmin Drive 52 only supports BC 30 backup camera.

Wireless Connectivity

In terms of wireless connectivity, the Garmin DriveSmart 55 is a better option as it offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. In comparison, the Garmin Drive 52 doesn’t have any wireless connectivity support.

Furthermore, you can connect both Garmin GPS devices using a USB connection to your computer to transfer the data, download maps, update the devices, and more.

Internal Storage

Both the devices support S.D. card and also come with internal storage. The Garmin Drive 52 offer 8 G.B. internal memory. On the other side, the Garmin DriveSmart 55 offers 16 G.B. internal memory.

Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52 – Pros and Cons

Garmin DriveSmart 55
Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52
Garmin DriveSmart 52
Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52
● Wireless connectivity support
● 16 G.B. Internal memory
● Garmin Drive app support
● H.D. display
● North American map coverage
● 1 Hour battery life
● Backup camera compatible
● 1 Year warranty
● Slightly expensive
● No wireless connectivity
● Only 8 G.B. Memory
● Basic GPS functions

Garmin DriveSmart 55 vs 52 – Which One is Better?

The Garmin DriveSmart 55 is a better choice as it offers many advanced features like Bluetooth Calling, Wi-Fi connectivity, wireless map updates, and more. On top of that, this device has extra 8 G.B. storage and also supports the Garmin Drive app to check your daily driving routine and activities.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which Technology Does Garmin GPS Navigator Uses for Voice Navigation?

Garmin GPS Navigator incorporates Amazon Alexa voice assistant into their GPS Navigation devices to provide smart driving assistance.

Do you have to pay monthly for Garmin GPS Navigation?

No, there are no monthly fees to use Garmin GPS Navigation. Once you have bought the device, you can use it free for a lifetime, including map updates.

Can Garmin GPS Device be Used without Phone Plan?

Yes, Garmin GPS uses GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity to work without a Phone plan.


To sum up, the Garmin DriveSmart 55 and 52 GPS Navigators are both excellent choices for anyone in need of reliable navigation. Both the GPS devices by Garmin offer all the basic features. However, the Garmin DriveSmart 55 is slightly better due to its advanced capabilities.

If you prioritize features like live traffic updates and hands-free calling, the DriveSmart 55 may be the better choice for you.

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