With intense competition from smartphones, Garmin has upped the ante again by adding more features to their entry level “Essential” series GPS units. These are features that have never been available to the lower end devices before.

Features like the Garmin Real Directions, which provides actual landmarks, Direct Access and Foursquare data with millions of preloaded POIs that were only available for higher end units like the nuvi 2689LMT. Better destination search functions are also added.

What caught the eye, pun intended, is the new backup cameras acting like an additional rear eye that provides a live camera feed from the rear of the vehicle to eliminate the blind spot. The backup camera (model BC 30) is not free however. It is sold separately at $169 but it is a device worth having as many drivers get into accidents when reversing or getting rear-ended from behind.

Standard features like lane assist with junction view, school zone warnings, and Up Ahead, which appears alongside the driving map to constantly inform of nearby services are still there. These new models also display current street, speed, speed limit and arrival time.

The Garmin Essential series is available in 5 or 6 inch size and all models provides dual-orientation so that you can choose portrait or landscape view. Price range from $129.99 – $209.00 as follows:

1. Garmin nuvi 57 ($129.99)
2. Garmin nuvi 57LM ($149.99)
3. Garmin nuvi 57LMT ($169.99)
4. Garmin nuvi 58 ($139.99)
5. Garmin nuvi 58LM ($159.99)
6. Garmin nuvi 58LMT ($179.99)
7. Garmin nuvi 67LM ($179.99)
8. Garmin nuvi 67LMT ($179.99)
9. Garmin nuvi 68LM ($189.99)
10. Garmin nuvi 68LMT ($209.99)

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