Today, it’s hard, if not darn near impossible, to get lost when you’re out driving around, thanks to the fact that our smartphones feature location tracking and map apps that help guide us along the roads and highways. Unfortunately, those same phones are huge (not to mention dangerous) distractions when you’re driving, so they are not always super convenient for getting directions. Also, police are especially vigilant about catching drivers glancing down at their phones while driving. It’s a huge issue. However, Garmin addressed that problem in pretty good fashion with its Garmin Speak GPS with Amazon Alexa, and it’s now kicking it up a notch with the new, upgraded Garmin Speak Plus. Read on for all the juicy details.
Garmin Speak GPS with Amazon Alexa
With the Garmin Speak, you don’t get distracted with a screen as when using a smartphone, because there is no screen per se. The Garmin Speak is a predominantly voice GPS device, not a visual one. The small, easy-to-install device helps you find your way by giving you turn-by-turn navigation instructions, with both visual and verbal alerts. The gadget connects to your vehicle via Bluetooth, and thanks to Amazon Alexa integration (and the Garmin Speak App), it can let you use voice commands while driving to access a whole host of things, including music streams, audio books, news, weather information, plus compatible smart home devices. It’s a pretty sweet, all-in-one and feature-packed device that takes up far less space on your windshield than a conventional, screen-based GPS.
The Upgrade: Garmin Speak Plus
Now, the Garmin Speak Plus is almost identical to its awesome and acclaimed predecessor. It is a little round cylander that mounts to your windshield and features a 0.8-inch OLED display that shows simplified driving instructions (such as, right turn in 10 feet) rather than a map, as with conventional GPS units you may have seen around or possibly used yourself. The big difference that puts the “Plus” in Garmin Speak Plus is the inclusion of a handy dandy dashcam to the device. That is a pretty substantial addition to the already feature-packed Garmin Speak.
As with other types of dashcams available on the market today, the Garmin Speak Plus’s dashcam continually records a loop while you drive and saves the clip if it detects an incident or accident. You’ll never have conflicting fender-bender accounts ever again, because you’ll have the video evidence. In addition, the Speak Plus camera also works like a sensor, detecting lane departures and forward collisions, for which it will issue warnings to drivers. The lane departure warning sounds when the driver drifts out of the lane or off the road altogether. The forward collision warning can sense cars in front of you and issue a warning when you get too close or are closing in too fast. I also read that it has a feature that will alert you if you are waiting in traffic at a light and the other cars have started moving but you haven’t. So, never again will you get that frustrated and annoying honk from drivers behind you if you’ve gotten distracted fiddling with your music or something and not instantly started moving along with the other traffic. Man, people are so impatient, right?
And of course, the Garmin Speak Plus also features that awesome Amazon Alexa connectivity and accessibility, so you can use voice commands to stream music, check the weather or your schedule, take incoming calls, and more. The Garmin Speak GPS with Amazon Alexa and the new Garmin Speak Plus are both available online at Best Buy.