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Garmin Nuvi 765T


Occasionally we feature opinions and reviews from our forum members. SergZak, a very advanced and knowledgeable Nuvi user has written this about his experience with the Nuvi 765T.

I spent some quality time over this past weekend with a two different garmin 765T units. The units have since been returned and I thought I would post the following obsevations to help any users out there who are “on the fence” about purchasing this unit to perhaps replace their 7×0. Many of the things I will comment on have indeed been mentioned here and elsewhere before but I will include them despite that fact for completeness. This will mostly be a comparison and will touch on the differences between the units. All comments are my opinion only and I’m sure others here will feel very differently. Both units were updated to the most recent unit software version 2.50.

Overall useage & feel

In spite of the newer & faster processor, the 765 has a more sluggish feel in overall use. Map screen redraws while navigating were fantastic and very smooth. Bravo to Garmin on this. I feel my observed sluggishness has more to do with navigating the menu system as the screen changes “slide” in/out instead of instantaneously changing. The screen “slides” were also a bit jerky as compared to the map redraws which were very smooth. I much prefer the menu system used by the 7×0 as it just feels snappier and quicker.

LCD observations

Both units had the brighter LCD used in the older 7×0 series. Touch screen sensitivity was average…not as bad as some units I have used but not as good as my current 760 which is very sensitive and a joy to use. However, *both* of the unit’s LCDs had issues with screen touches being misinterpreted, especially on the bottom row buttons. Many times the button pressed triggered not that button but the one just above it thus triggering a different press than what was expected. Despite numerous screen re-calibrations, I could not alleviate the problem and even tried to fool the calibration process by pressing slighty to the left/right/up/down of where the calibration required you to press. Using the diagnostic mode’s screen press test page (also available on the 7×0) showed the random screen touch errors, with some being way off compared to where I pressed. The test icon would “jump” to a random area about 10% of the time, mostly to just above where I pressed.

Screen panning/dragging was painfully slow and very frustrating. Given the faster map redraws, I really don’t understand why this would be the case unless it is somehow related to the touch-screen since my 760 (with the sensitive LCD) is very fast and smooth in map panning.

New features

The new UI & lane guidance was quite useful and I wish my 7×0’s had it. However, I found the junction view quite annoying the times that it popped up since all you see is that screen for seconds at a time. There is no means to disable it through the menu system but I was able to force the unit to NOT use it by simply renaming the junction view file in the x:/Garmin/JCV folder.

The new map zoom button placement is ideal and very handy. Initially, the new zooming in/out motion was impressive but after a while, I wished for just the direct zoom in/out as on the 7×0 series. I felt that the new zooming was no faster than the old way…but it was cooler to watch though.

3D buildings was also useless to me since I use 2D mode exclusively. Even if I did use 3D mode, I would turn this feature off since it did nothing for my situational awareness. In fact, it may be a distraction to some people since you should really be watching the road while driving, not looking at 3D rendered buildings on your GPS screen.

The ability to configure the data fields is also a welcome change that I wish the 7×0’s had…I will miss this feature using my old 7×0’s

Odds and ends

The North pointer is back once again. Thanks Garmin!

I could no longer use voice dial with my RAZR (Verizon) phone on the 765. My 760 works just fine using voice dial.

Your Favorite’s names are no longer displayed on the map screen. Boy this annoyed me to high heaven. I rely on seeing the Favorite’s names along with the icon on the map and having them gone was a big deal for me. The Favorite’s icon size has also been increased slightly which may be good but not being able to see it’s associated name is pretty pointless to me.

The map screen can no longer display the same detail as the 7×0 series. Smaller streets only display at .03 of a mile and below while the 7×0 series can display the same streets at .05 and .08 of a mile. I think I -may- see the reason for this inability…the map & streets drawn seem to have a higher degree of anti-aliasing(AA) applied, thus giving a smoother look. However if the same amount of AA were applied to the map at the “most” detail setting of the 7×0 series, they would all blur together.

Upcoming street names are no longer displayed as on the 7×0 units. Only the name of the street/highway you are currently on now is displayed instead. I have heard that the upcoming street display was removed due to the fact that another manufacturer has the rights to display the upcoming street data. Regardless, this is yet another step backwards.

The volume setting is no longer saved between being cradle powered and battery powered. If you set the unit’s volume for say 90% while being cradle powered and you then run off the battery in your house, the unit will still be set to 90% volume. You end up with a very loud unit on battery power/indoors until you turn the volume back down or mute it. When you put the unit back on the cradle in the car, you again have to unmute or increase the volume back up. I found this very annoying since I use the unit indoors frequently and having to constantly mute/unmute the unit was just plain silly. The 7×0 series saves the volume setting being cradle/battery powered just fine.


In my *personal useage*, I felt that the 7×5 series was a step backwards from the 7×0 series, due (for the most part) to the last four items listed under “Odd and ends” above. It seems like more effort was put into creating new visual “eye candy” for the user. While this is all good, it’s actual usefulness was really not important to me. Instead of being constantly impressed by this, I was constantly wanting the older features of the 7×0 I mentioned above instead. The new features like lane guidance & the new user interface are fantastic though and may be enough to steer 7×0 users to the new 7×5 series. I think that if your first nuvi is going to be a 7×5 unit, you will be very pleased with it, not knowing what the 7×0 series is capable of doing despite that fact that it’s an older unit. If you’re a current 7×0 user, you may in fact be rather disappointed with features (again) being removed and missed.

Occasionally we feature opinions and reviews from our forum members. SergZak, a very advanced and knowledgeable Nuvi user has written this about his experience with the Garmin Nuvi 765T.

31 Responses

  1. I had bad luck with three different Garmin nuvi 765Ts. Bought the 1st one and set up and fully charges, but it turned off each time I tried to view the map. Never did see the map on that one. Exchanged #1 for a new one and set it up and charged it and all seemed fine, but on a trip on day two, the map cycled on and off every minute and never showed the map again. Exchanged #2 for a new one (#3) and it lasted one day and then began to cycle on and off. It was fully charged (like the others) and cycled on and off when on battery power or plugged in. My verdict, based on owning three Garmin nuvi 765Ts in one week and using them in CA and VA, is a “don’t buy”. It appears that there is a bug in the software.

    Dave - October 29th, 2008
  2. I had the exat same issue as Dave. I was out in the middle of nowhere when mine started to cycle on and off. One note; each time it cycled on it gave me accurate distance to next turn before it cycled off. Unit also seems to get hot.

    Chip - November 11th, 2008
  3. i have returned 4 nuvi 765t’s from overheating,shutting down,and leaving me when i needed the most went back to 255w that is failsafe not very many options but always works

    ray - January 13th, 2009
  4. I love our 765T. Until yesterday, that is. We’ve owned it for a month now and yesterday each time the spoken words feature (text-to-speech) activated an extremely annoying high-pitched ringing sound accompanied it. The noise would start just before “jill” started speaking and shut off when she finished. It was seriously bad! It didn’t matter if volume was at 10% or 70%, unless we turned the volume completely off, muted, the noise was present. If the unit was at ten percent, or 90 percent the ringing noise was the same high level. Extremely loud and almost unbearable pitch! Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions on what it could be and why? Thanks, Lucas

    Lucas - January 24th, 2009
  5. I’m torn between the 760 and 765T. I’m a first time GPS user so I have no benchmark to compare to. I’m mainly looking for Bluetooth, Traffic, and Lane Guidance, and of course solid GPS navigation. I was leaning towards the 765T based on the reviews [snip], but now that I’ve seen your review I’m not so sure. I was thinking of possible adding the MSN service to the 760 and using that instead of the base 765T traffic service. Any sugguestion would be helpful.

    Jim - March 5th, 2009
    • The 756T I have has been MUCH more solid than stated here…

      the junction view alone so me 🙂 Slick

      John - April 6th, 2009
  6. My 756T keeps zooming out to the point you don’t see the side roads even in town. I zoom it back in and then it will zoom back out. Today it didn’t even show the road I was driving on.

    Jerry - July 1st, 2009
    • On the 765T in the tools-and one of the settings Ex(Navigation, Display or Map) there is a setting for heighth or something like that, I think one of them is “Low”. (My wife has the GPS with her or I could tell you what it is.)But if you select that option and save it, it should show you the srounding streets all the time. You won’t see the upcoming streets that are approx few 100 yrds or more ahead because they are out of view of the screen. The one thing that I like about the 7xx T series is you can customize your own routes. There are sometimes better ways to go from point A to Point B that is better than what the GPS Tells you. Ex> I live on the west coast of Fl and go to the east coast to visit relitives and there are two toll roads to get there. One toll road I take the second one (Fl Tpk)I don’t take even though the GPS tells me to; because it is just as fast going past the Tpk and staying on the State Hwy and saves a Toll. If I select in the settings to ignore Toll Roads then It cuts out all toll roads and sends you way out of the way. With the “Custom” feature I can delete the Fl Tpk and insert the State Hwy then continue East to I95 So.

      Allen - July 4th, 2009
  7. I used to have navigation in my BMW, but when it got totalled bay a red light runner the new car didn’t have it so my wife bought me the 765t. Compared to the BMW system its not nearly as good. I have also got the problem of very slow map rendering, it only shows my possition every 2 tenths of a mile or so, which is really anoying if you are turning alot in small streets. Anyone else had this problem?

    Bob - July 5th, 2009
  8. To All of you who are having trouble with your 7xx T or are thinking about buying one. I have been on the phone with Garmin a couple of times and found out that when you first purchase your unit and it hasn’t had the updates it is better to turn the unit on and aquire satillites and your location then turn it off and plug it into you computer and go the to Garmin web site and navigate to the “Web Updater” and run the updates. If you are having maping problems like off track or not keeping up or getting ahead of your vehicle icon run updater again to see if the updates are newer. they are constently upgrading to correct any problems they have encountered. In some cases you may have to even do a complete reset to set it back to what it was when it came out of the box. You will lose all your saved addresses and favorites when you do he reset.

    Allen - July 7th, 2009
  9. We purchased the 7x5T and found it to be quite frustrating. We took a trip to Arizona and all was fine but on the way back it took us on a wild goose chase. It kept changing directions on us, inaccurate time frames, we ended up in no mans land and felt that it just wasn’t worth the money. I am returning mine today and looking for something better. Does anyone out there have any suggestions on which GPS would work more efficiently?

    Diana - July 8th, 2009
    • On your Garmin 765T did you go to the “WebUpdater” and update any of the new updates that show up except the forein language ones? Also check your “Avoidances” in TOOLS->SETTINGS -> NAVIGATION to make sure you have put a check next to any options you don’t want. Ex (Unpaved Roads, Ferries and anyother way you don’t want into the calculations. You may have to do a Factory Reset. You do this by having the unit unplugged and off. Put your finger on the lower right corner and hold, then while holding your finger on the lower right corner of the screen turn the unit on and in about 30 seconds to a minute a message will come up saying “Do You Want To Lose or Delete all data. Select “YES” (You will lose all favorites and anything else you may have stored in there including your settings).Turn unit off and go outside then turn unit back on to aquire the satilites at your location. If this is your home save it as such. I had to do all this and so far I haven’t had any problems (YET). In case you didn’t know there is a Manual that you can get from Garmin on line and download.

      Allen - July 9th, 2009
  10. I have done the free map upgrade for my 765T. It still does not have some streets listed even though they have been around for several years. Restaurants are not up-to-date either. I had a TomTom and really liked the feature of \Make A U Turn\ instead of taking me around the world to get back to the street one block back. It also seems to have a Navigation problem. We live in New Mexico and some things are remote. We were on a remote road but it told us that it was 36 miles across it. That was correct but 4 miles from the intersecting highway, it told us to turn even though there was no road. It never indicated that we had not turned but showed that the next turn was to the right just as though we had reached the highway. Debating whether or not to just return it!!

    Joyce - July 19th, 2009
    • I have the 765T which was purchased June 23 or 24th 2009 and the only problem I have had is my wife said it shut off on her once on a trip. When she got home I went to the web updater and dowloaded everything that was there except the foreign lanquages. I had other slight problems and called Garmin (if you have the time to be on hold for about 45 min to an hour) I recomend that you take that step and tell them voice to voice what is going on. As far as the maps and updated streets and roads go they have to depend on the area mappers to turn in the information to who ever does there maps for them. Usually Google Maps. I have the same problem. My daughter moved into some new apartment that was built in 2007 and they moved in in 2008 and the last I checked about two weeks ago on Google 2009 maps they still showed the buildings still under construction with the street completed but it never made into the 2009 ver CN North America NT 2010.10 and CN North America NT 2010.10 3D which is the latest version. ( side note ) In my searching the other GPS’s I guess they get there maps from the some source. but you can check to be sure.

      AGBreen - July 19th, 2009
      • Google doesn’t have their own maps– in North America they purchase maps from Tele Atlas for use on their site. In contrast, Garmin purchases their maps from NAVTEQ. So Garmin and Google Maps do not use the same map provider.

        Tim - July 19th, 2009
    • Just FYI, The 765 comes preset to avoid u-turns. all you have to do is uncheck that box in your navigation settings.
      Also make sure u also update the software on garmin website. It is supposed to fix some issues.

      Kay - November 13th, 2009
  11. I purchased a 765T 3 weeks ago after Sam’s Club brought them back (all their units were sent to Garmin for a software upgrade). I turned on the unit and it paired with the satellites in about 30 seconds. I connected it to my Netbook and took several voice and map correction updates (not the map itself). I have not had any problems.

    This weekend when I connected to the PC, I was advised there was a “Free” map update. It took about 45 minutes to download, and another 12-15 minutes to install. never encountered any issues and the PND continues to work great! My only complaint, in the Texas 100 degree heat, the rubber mount fails about once per week. Anyone has suggestions on how to make it stay put?

    Ralph - August 4th, 2009
    • In Florida, but so far I’ve not had a problem with the mount not staying put. It’s been firmly affixed to my windshield from the day I bought it. Make sure your windshield is spotless. Wipe it down with whatever you prefer to use for glass cleaner, buff it dry. Then use rubbing alcohol and let it dry for a few minutes. Don’t forget to clean the suction cup as well.

      It also helps to stick the suction cup to a flatter section of the windshield. Some windshields are very curved at the sides/edges.

      Also make sure you’re pressing the mount firmly against the window while flipping the lever. It’s not enough to just depend upon the lever mechanism alone.

      Alex - August 24th, 2009
    • Save your money. This model is garbage. I got mine from Sams Club. I think thats where they send all the rejects/refurbished things. Options I paid extra for not in the unit. When I replace this thing I’ll be doing my homework.

      Ron - February 25th, 2010
  12. I have been a TOMTOM user for a long time and switched to the Garmin Nuvi 765T because it has a function to optimise the order of the waypoints of a route.

    This function seems to work fine, but navigation the city sucks bigtime. It constantly freaks out, assumably because it looses GPS coverages…

    Definetely go for the TomTom devices… way better quality!!!

    Nicolas - August 6th, 2009
  13. Well, I have given up. I was in a relatively small town, fortunately knew where I was going. It showed going to a certain street, then turning to get on the Interstate. We were following other people so we turned long before the scheduled turn. The 765 showed us to be on the street we had been on along with all the surrounding streets (even though we had turned off it), then told us to take the ramp to access the Interstate even though we had been on it for a mile or two. THEN we were going down a remote road that had only one possible turn to get on the next highway. It told us to turn about 4 miles before we got to the turn and NEVER showed that we had not turned. That was the second time it did that.
    If we had been in a city where we did not know where we were going, we would have been hard pressed to ever access the right road.
    We are either going to give up on a GPS or going back to TomTom. Too frustating to deal with these problems.

    Joyce - August 24th, 2009
  14. Just want to add my unhappy-customer voice to the mix. Loved the 765t for 3 months. I used it to navigate all over Canada this past summer and it was priceless. But, as of 3 weeks ago–shortly after it began showing a “battery will not charge” message, it is useless! I am so irate. Even if this is covered, and I assume it is, I’ll need to buy a spare gps system to use while my original one is being fixed.

    I wouldn’t buy this model again. This is not acceptable quality, and in my opinion, this model needs to be recalled/replaced by Garmin.

    Susan - November 6th, 2009
  15. My first Garmin product and although I was satisfied with it for the first 60 days, it failed to charge within the first 60 days of use. The store replaced it and mentioned that that particular model did indeed present this problem (that was certainly not mentioned when I purchased it). Registration of the product also presents a nightmare of problems as the models are not updated online. I did purchase a second Garmin product…but that too has been a nightmare of problems trying to register. I would not recommend the model 765T. When I purchased the additional memory …. well nothing was actually added other than the presence of the card itself.
    The products/models are difficult to compare due to a lack of any real definition or differences between models on the packaging.

    Doyle - December 14th, 2009
  16. I bought my first Garmin 760T, when I tried to use it I keep on getting the display serching for Satilite. I even complete my trip but it cannot find satilite.

    Dave - March 28th, 2010
    • Dave, if you are moving it will take much, much longer to get a fix (if at all). See our Acquiring Satellites page FMI.

      Tim - March 28th, 2010
  17. I finally took the plunge and purchased my first Auto GPS, the Garmin 765t. Having no prior experience with any GPS system in the past, I wanted to take an opportunity to briefly discuss some of my initial impressions—as seen from the eyes of a GPS newbie. For those who are interested, I do have a technology and software background.

    The minute I booted this GPS up, I immediately fell in love with the idea of having a GPS (not necessarily the unit itself). The first time you follow a route, it is sort of like putting a kid into a candy store—you want more. I can already tell, that I’m hooked. But like any other technology, you need to go into it with a healthy dose of respect for the limitations. Undoubtedly, it will get you from point A to B. But it is not necessarily a replacement for human intervention and common sense. In other words, use the routing as a guide, but don’t necessarily follow it blindly at all times. If it tells you to go down a one way street and you see the sign, you need to intervene.

    Keeping that in mind, let’s talk about this specific unit. For the most part, I was impressed with the technology. But I also feel that the 765t is very glitchy and does have some well documented issues. But here’s the kicker. I don’t know if these issues are inherent in all Garmin units, or simply more problematic with the 765t? If you read the reviews, you’ll see a lot of negative reviews about many Garmin units, not just the 765t. Some of this has to do with the nature of Internet feedback and the tendency to attract only folks with issues. And some of the negativity could be coming from the fact that as unit price goes up, so do expectations (the lower end Garmin units generally have fewer complaints). And undoubtedly, some of it could come from Garmin’s own lack of QA or their rush to market (or the fact that they have a reputation for trying to jam too many untested features into their newer units). All I can speak to is this specific unit as it relates to my own experience, so here goes.

    Right out of the box, the screen had a dead pixel. It’s annoying, but not necessarily a deal breaker. A few days after using it, it did spontaneously reboot by itself (while I was following directions) after I pressed one of the touchscreen buttons. This concerned me. I do have the latest firmware loaded. After some investigation, I learned that the reboot issue is common in the Garmin 765t. From a software perspective, this operational stability issue is unacceptable and needs to be addressed ASAP. If it’s still happening with the latest firmware (3.9 I think), then there’s still an issue.

    As for map accuracy and routing, this has been glitchy and inconsistent. At the end of the day, the unit will get you where you need to go, but it may not be the way you would intuitively think. On my way into work, there is a big highway split that divides the beltway into two directions. I always take the right split into work, because the left split takes you into the center of downtown Pittsburgh and through a tunnel (and over a bridge) that is constantly backed up. And even after I hit the detour button, it still wants me to go the same way. There’s another split coming home where the unit doesn’t even acknowledge that it even exists. If I were unfamiliar with the area, I might get into trouble if I didn’t know any better. There are also many places where the unit tells me the wrong exit number (but the right road), so I can only assume that the exit numbering hasn’t been updated on the maps. And lastly on numerous occasions while driving in a relatively populated area, I would pass by many cross streets that were not even showing up in the unit at all—which would concern me if I were trying to navigate by street name.

    As for the Bluetooth, I did manage to successfully pair the unit with my Samsung Intensity phone, but for whatever reason, I can’t hear the caller and they can’t hear me. This could be user error on my part, so I’m not prepared to make a negative judgment just yet.

    Another thing I’m not crazy about, is the fact that the unit tells you to turn at the very last second. Having the unit tell you to turn a few yards earlier is an easy firmware fix, so I don’t understand why this has not been remedied? And lastly, why would you design an interface that does not have a “Home” button is perplexing. You have to hold the back button to get back to the main menu. Sorry, but this is bad interface design in my book.

    Overall, I am generally satisfied with this unit, although I do plan on returning it for a replacement unit that will hopefully be free from dead pixels or rebooting issues. Not sure if any of the other glitches will go away, because those could be inherent in the NAVTEQ maps used and the core operating system of all Garmins. Overall, I love having a GPS. This unit does have some nice features, and when it works—it works great. The POIs especially are really nice—and adding custom POIs takes the experience to an even higher level. The lane assist and junction view is nice when it kicks in, although not very many places in the Pittsburgh area have this coverage—so this feature may not be strong enough motivation to purchase this unit if this is why you wanted it in the first place. Have not tried the FM traffic service too much, although I do concur that those small pop up ads is buzz kill. Do I really want to see a coupon for Red Lobster? We should have the ability of opting out, just like the CAN-SPAM act dictates for email.

    Would I recommend this particular unit? Well, I would probably recommend having a GPS, which is a really cool toy—and extremely helpful if you’re trying to find some place unfamiliar. Would I recommend this particular unit? Well, the verdict is still out. Let me see how I feel when I get the replacement.

    Daniel - March 31st, 2010
    • Daniel, your review is most helpful. We are in the market for a basic GPS navigator and note the Aug 10, 2010 Consumer Reports (pg 46) says the Garmin Nuvi 765T is a “CR Best Buy”. I have no idea how they figure this, nor whether they have ever done a survey of user satisfaction with the various brands and models. Assuming that you have a replacement by now, what is your recommendation?

      Everett - August 27th, 2010
      • I don’t think they have a replacement for the 765t just yet, but I could be wrong. Regardless, this is a great model and has been extremely dependable for me. Keep in mind that no GPS is perfect. Sometimes you just have to use common sense and take GPS recommendations with a grain of salt. No matter which unit you get, it all comes down to accurate mapping. And for the most part, Garmin gets it right. With that in mind, the 765t is a solid bet.

        Daniel - August 30th, 2010
      • Note that software and map updates have really helped Garmin’s best selling 765 🙂

        Although I had turned off the traffic avoidance, it still saved me HOURS on a recent trip when across La on I-10 both side were STOPPED from a haz mat accident…

        So maybe I’ll turn traffic back on 🙂

        John - August 30th, 2010
  18. We both the Garmin 765t from Sams last May for $375, I know a lot but I really wanted the traffic update and I wanted to get the lifetime access. About 5 months ago we received a letter from Sam’s that people were having a problem with dead Garmins and blank screens, you should return your unit for an exchange. But mine was working fine so I threw the letter out and ignored it. Then this week the screen went blank and it would not restart. So We pull out the 3 year extended warranty I bought from Sams.
    We ask Sams about the exchange referring to the letter and they had no idea what I was talking about. So I pull out the 3 year warrenty and they tell me I need to call the warrenty center that is not at the store. So I call the service center I give them every bit of information I had and then she says well you still have 3 months left on the Garmin 1 year warrenty you need to contact them for service through May of this year. So I go back home get on the web sight and enter my request for service they respond that someone will email me a return material authorization (RMA) and then I can mail the unit back to them for repair.

    I know I am 60 years old but this has realy worn me out. My next vehicle will have GPS built in. I can/t believe this is so difficult to resolve a known issue from Garmin. BTW this is my 3rd Garmin I got used to the screens and icons so I just keep to one brand.

    Wish me luck.

    Dennis - April 11th, 2010
  19. Hello all, I just got back from a trip to NC using the nuvi 765t and I must say, I was very impressed. So, I did some research to find the European / North American version of this unit, (we travel to Italy and other countries) the 775t, only to find out it’s not longer made. The replacement is the 1370t. When doing a side by side, not all the functions that are available to the 765t are on the 1370t. Why do companies do that???

    Anyway, here’s my question, can the European maps be added to the 765t?

    Thanks for your time,


    Jan (Mr.) - May 3rd, 2010

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