Garmin Dash Cam

Last updated date: January 30, 2019

DWYM Score
8.6

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We looked at the top 1 Dashboard Cameras and dug through the reviews from 5 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, Digital Trends, PC World and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Dashboard Camera you should buy.

Overall Take

Garmin's Dash Cam packs high-end features into a pocket-sized unit. You can pinpoint the time and location of an accident with its GPS-enabled automatic Incident Detection. Voice controls, wireless smartphone syncing and collision warnings add to this cam's value. It's an all-around excellent dash cam that's well worth the price tag. In our analysis of 39 expert reviews, the Garmin Garmin Dash Cam placed 3rd when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 17, 2019:
Checkout The Best Dash Cam for a detailed review of all the top dashboard cameras.

Expert Summarized Score
9.0
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.2
655 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
It also comes with GPS, Wi-Fi, voice control, and a number of safety alerts, including forward-collision, lane-departure, and safety-camera warnings (the last only with a subscription).
- New York Times Wirecutter
September 11, 2018 | Full review
Offering 1440p video capture at 30p, video footage for a dash cam is great, while the 122 degree viewing angle is pretty good
- Tech Radar
October 25, 2018 | Full review
The top resolution goes well beyond Full HD to 1440p, offering 2560 x 1440 pixels at 30 frames per second, which is also known as 2.5K. This takes the full complement of CMOS pixels.
- Trusted Reviews
May 31, 2017 | Full review
Another unique feature that helps set the Dash Cam 55 apart is the Travelapse setting.
- Digital Trends
You get voice command, Wi-Fi connectivity, and all the alerts you could wish for without sacrificing the display, as you do with Thinkware’s high-end stuff. It’s also far more compact.
- PC World
September 18, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Apps offer limited control and Small battery.
- Tech Radar
October 25, 2018 | Full review
The Garmin Dash Cam 55 is on the more expensive end of the scale for dash cams
- Trusted Reviews
May 31, 2017 | Full review
However, once things get dark the lens tries to enhance any light source it finds and the footage can become blown out.
- Digital Trends
The Dash Cam 65W does run a little warm, most likely due to stuffing a lot of electronics into a rather small space. Like the 55, it’s not rated for extreme weather.
- PC World
September 18, 2018 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

The small and discreet Garmin Dash Cam 65W does more than record your drive. It starts recording automatically and saves footage in case of incidents. Dash Cam 65W has an extra-wide 180-degree field of view that captures more of the environment, including cross traffic, in high-quality 1080p video. Provides advanced driver alerts for forward collision and lane departure warnings plus alerts for red light and speed cameras and “Go” alerts. Voice command lets you use your voice to start/stop audio recording, take a still picture or start/stop the Travel apse video capture feature -an easy, fun way to share driving footage and condense hours of driving into minutes of highlights. And with the free VIRB Mobile app downloaded on your smartphone, it’s easy to wirelessly sync videos from Dash Cam 65W to your phone and share the videos with friends. You just look ahead and drive.

Overall Product Rankings

1. KDLINKS X1 Dash Cam
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 5
2. PAPAGO Dash Cam
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 2
3. Garmin Dash Cam
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 5
4. Ausdom Dash Cam
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 3
5. ITrue X3 Dash Cam
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 4
6. Vantrue N2 Dash Cam
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 3
7. Rexing V1 Dash Cam
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4
8. Z-EDGE Z3 Dash Cam
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 3

An Overview On Dashboard Cameras

If you’ve ever walked to your car and discovered a fresh dent, you know the frustration of trying to figure out what happened and who’s responsible. Courteous drivers leave a note with their contact information, but not everyone has a heart of gold. In these situations, it’s helpful to have an extra set of eyes on your car. That’s where dash cams come into the picture.

A dash cam is a camera mounted to your windshield or dashboard that continuously records the view as you drive. They offer time-stamped photos and videos of traffic accidents, fender benders and hit-and-runs. Dash cams are incredibly useful for recording details about another driver’s car, weather conditions and anything else your insurance company might need to know when you submit a claim. They can also protect your car while it’s parked. The Ausdom Dash Cam flips on if it detects a vibration, capturing bumps from other vehicles.

The footage your camera takes is stored on memory cards, which range in storage space from 8GB to 64GB. Almost all models allow you to upgrade your memory card. After a driving incident, you can remove the memory card and move the video to your computer or smartphone. Some versions, like the Garmin Dash Cam, even have free apps that sync with your phone for instant uploads.

Most dash cams record in a loop to conserve space on the cam’s memory card. If your car records on a three-minute loop, every three minutes will be saved as an individual video until the card is full. Then the recording will start writing over the oldest three-minute clips. Ausdom’s Dash Cam lets you choose between one, three and five-minute loops, while KDLINKS X1 cam automatically records in a continuous loop.

Night vision, collision alerts and GPS are other perks you’ll find in high-end dash cameras. Depending on the camera quality, extra features and memory storage, you’ll pay anywhere from less than $100 to almost $300. Here are some things to consider before you pick your dash cam.

DYWM Fun Fact

If you search online for dash cams, it won’t be long before you come across some Russian dash cam footage. The vast majority of Russian drivers use dash cams to fight back against a legal system that rarely takes firsthand accident accounts seriously. The country’s large size and poorly designed roads also make dash cams a must-have.

As a result, Russian dash cam videos have become an online phenomenon. A Google search for “Russian dash cam footage” yields over two million results, with thousands of videos from everyday motorists. Highlight reels featuring shocking crashes and intense weather are especially popular.

Dash cams in Russia catch more than just traffic accidents. Since there are so many cameras running simultaneously, they’ll occasionally capture something remarkable. A 2015 video went viral for catching a gorgeous meteor shooting over Russia’s horizon.

The Dashboard Camera Buying Guide

  • How often do you use your car? If you drive to work along a busy city route every day or go on frequent road trips, you’ll want a dash cam with plenty of memory, like Garmin’s Dash Cam 65.
  • How much are you willing to spend? Dash cams range in price from under $100, like our budget-friendly pick the Ausdom, to several hundred dollars, like the small but mighty Garmin Dash Cam 65. Both offer basic dash cam advantages, like wide fields of vision and night modes. However, the Garmin’s additional features (like voice commands and GPS Incident Detection), command a higher price.
  • How much space do you want your dash cam to cover? Previous generations only focused on recording images in your direct sight line, but modern options have a broader field of view. The KDLINKS X1 offers a wide 165-degree angle, while models like the Garmin Dash Cam 65 go for a full 180 degrees of viewing.
  • How often do you drive at night? Dash cams have varied nighttime capabilities, and you’ll want to look at each camera’s options before picking one up. The KDLINKS X1 has an F1.6 aperture (meaning it snaps photos and video clips at fast intervals) and a high-resolution lens for easier nighttime filming.
  • How much memory do you need? If you don’t drive frequently, a smaller memory card with 8-16GB of space should be just fine. PAPAGO’s GoSafe Dash Cam comes with a free 8GB card, while Garmin’s Dash Cam has a memory card slot that can upgrade to a whopping 64GB.
  • How many additional bells and whistles do you need? New cars are coming to the market with features like built-in motion sensors and GPS. If your car already has those features, you may not need certain dash cam features like KDLINKS X1’s GPS  module.
  • Do you want a dash cam with smartphone compatibility? The PAPAGO GoSafe Car Dash Cam has a smartphone app that allows you to instantly download and share videos. Other models require you to stop and download footage from your memory card onto your computer or smartphone.
  • Are you an Android fan or an Apple aficionado? PAPAGO’s smartphone app is only available on Android devices, while Garmin’s Dash Cam 65 has an app that’s accessible for iOS and Android.
  • Make sure your car is locked when you have your dash cam out. If it’s a model with a vibration sensor, like the KDLINKS X1, you’ll need to have it up and in view to capture parking lot damages. However, an obvious dash cam on your windshield or dashboard could prove tempting for car thieves. You may want to consider covering your camera up with a sweater or putting some junk mail on top of it (make sure you leave the lens uncovered, though).
  • Check with your insurance company to make sure they accept dash cam footage before you buy one. Even if your insurance company doesn’t accept personal footage from a crash, a dash cam may still be a worthy investment. Minor accidents or drivers who want to avoid hiking their insurance rates might be willing to settle on out-of-pocket expenses if you’ve got dash cam footage of the accident.
  • Check out your state’s laws about driver visibility and car accessories. Some states don’t allow any type of navigation system or camera to be mounted to the windshield, while others have strict regulations on how many inches the camera can be from the side of your car. Check your state’s laws and consider investing in a different type of mount.