Garmin was first known for its GPS monitors. Now that phones and most new vehicles come equipped with a navigational system, the dashboard models are quickly becoming obsolete.
To stay current and consumer usable devices, Garmin started manufacturing dashboard cameras. Two of their most popular models are the 55 and the newly released 65.Like the Garmin 55 was an improvement over the 45. The same is true for the Garmin 65. However, with each new advanced product comes with a slightly higher price tag. Before you go and just pick one model over the over, it is always best to do a simple comparison.
Today we will review and do a head to head comparisons of the pros and cons of both of these devices.
Garmin Dash Cam 55 Review
When the Garmin 55 was released, it was an upgrade to the 45 dashboard camera. Pixel response was improved, from 1080p to 1440p. It also came with new features that are unique to Garmin.
Here’s a closer look at the Garmin 55 dashboard camera.
Lightweight and Slim Design
This is a small dashboard camera measuring 2.2 x 1.6 x 0.8 inches. It also comes with a two-inch display screen. This is small enough to not block your view, while still being easy to see when needed.
The dash cam is constructed from lightweight and durable black plastic. For added visual appeal there are silver control buttons on the side. The silver color also makes it easier for you to press the correct button when programming the camera.
You will also like the bronze ring around the 1440p lens. It gives the dashboard camera a sleek and attractive appearance. You definitely won’t be embarrassed to have it sitting on your dashboard or mounted to the windshield.
Video clarity is impressive with this small dashcam, especially in daylight. Road signs are clearly captured, along with license plates. The only, minor issue with video clarity occurs at night. Bright streetlights and headlights from passing vehicles can cause glare. Images can still be made out, only not as clear as they would be during the day.
Easy to Use
As soon as your car engine is started the screen lights up. If it hasn’t received any commands after thirty seconds, the display will go to a blank screen. This is to help prevent distractions from the video while you are driving. You don’t need to worry if the camera is still recording even if the screen is dark. Once the dashcam is turned on it will continue to record in 1440p. The camera only stops recording when the vehicle is turned off or if you do so manually or with your voice.
Garmin 55 is incredibly easy to use when driving. It comes with voice control. To start recording video, simply say “okay Garmin” and the dashcam automatically shows the display screen with four options. You can choose from saving videos, recording audio, taking a picture or initiating Travelaspe.
All of the voice commands respond quickly and easily. This way you can control the dash cam without taking your hands off the wheel or eyes away from the road while driving.
Not only does voice control functionality make the camera incredibly simple to use, but it is also a safety feature.
The Garmin 55 dashcam comes with plenty of features. Some are designed for safety. These include warnings if there is a possibility of a forward collision and it will alert you if it senses that you are drifting into another lane. It will also warn you if another driver is starting to drift towards your vehicle.
You will also get a warning if the traffic is moving ahead of you. This way you’re not holding up traffic and can avoid angry honks and hand gestures from drivers following behind you.
One great feature that is unique to Garmin is Travelaspe. It’s simple to use and makes sharing interesting sights on your road trips a breeze. You won’t have to spend time stopping to take pictures of interesting roadside sights from your phone or camera. Travelaspe mode will do it for you. You can keep driving and still capture all the sights you pass.
It is easy to condense the video down to only the images when you want to share pictures from your time on the road. Travelaspe will even clip the videos you want to share while you’re driving. However, to share the video clips, you will need to download the VIRB app.
Garmin’s VIRB application is simple to download and use. It connects the dash cam to its built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. Trim, view, and share on your social media platforms while you are still driving.
What’s Included with Garmin 55
There is nothing extra to buy when you are ready to set the Garmin 55 up. Everything is included. In the box is a 13.5’ power cord, a USB cable, an 8GB MicroSD card for recording and saving images. There are also two mounts with magnets and adhesive strips. You don’t even need to buy anything extra to mount the camera inside your car.
It’s incredibly simple to mount the camera where you want it. The magnets will securely attach it to your windshield or dashboard. Just remove the adhesive backing on the magnets and stick the dash cam in place.
- The dashcam is easy to install with the included magnet mounts.
- It is priced to fit most budgets
- The camera has a 1440p resolution for clear images.
- With voice control, you don’t have to take your hands off the steering wheel.
- Bright lights at night can distort the images.
- The adhesive backing on the mounts will wear out over time.
It is obvious that the pros outweigh the few downsides. Garmin 55 dash camera is a different improvement over the older 45 model.
It does cost a little more but it is worth it when you consider the resolution and additional features. The dash cam is also designed to last for years.
Garmin Dash Cam 65 Review
Garmin is continuously improving its dash cameras, and the 65W is one of the latest examples. It is priced similarly to the Garmin 55 and comes with the same and a few more features. The biggest difference between the two models is the lens size. It has a wide angle, 180-degree lens and 1080p.
The wider lens gives you a larger view of the road and surrounding side areas, and the 1080p are more than enough to capture clear images.
Here are a few of the features that make the Garmin 65 dashcam a great option.
The Garmin 65 has the same measurements as the 55 model, 2.2 x 1.6 x 1.4 inches. The main distinctive feature is the wide lens encircled by a dark pewter ring. This gives the dashcam a polished and sleek look that you won’t mind mounting on your dashboard or windshield.
When it comes to the back of the camera, it is mainly comprised of the two-inch display. There are four buttons on the side that control the various functions. A micro USB port, SD card slot, and heat vent are on the other sides. When all of this is combined, the sleek black dashboard camera has an elegant appearance.
Garmin 65 has a wide angle lens and can capture 1080p video at 30 frames per second. The 180-degree lens will capture images in front of the vehicle and off to the sides. While there are cameras with 1440p resolution, including Garmin’s 55 dash cam model, 1080p is more than enough to capture crystal clear video.
Don’t worry about how you’re going to save the videos, Garmin 65 comes with an 8GB memory card.
Installing Gamin 65 in your vehicle will only take a few minutes. A small magnetic disc attaches to the windshield with adhesive backing. The magnet at the bottom of the mount’s arm attaches to the small ball joint in the dash cam. This allows you to position the camera exactly as you want it.
Simple to Use
Along with the four buttons on the side, Garmin 65 comes with voice activated control. All you need to do to start recording is to state a simple command. You can also save images, start or stop recording audio, or go to the Travelaspe mode.
The dash camera is designed for hands-free operation. Not only does this make the camera simple to use, but it also improves safety on the road.
Garmin 65 comes with plenty of features. Travelaspe allows you to condense video to a few select images that you can share on social media. The camera also has built-in Wi-Fi. You just need to download the VIRB app to your devices.
The camera will alert you if you start to drift out of your lane. There are also warnings for red lights and potential front end collisions.
If you want to monitor your vehicle when it is parked, this can be done with the addition of a 12-volt battery. Simply wire the battery to the camera and it will record video when the vehicle is turned off.
How well the dashboard camera performs is important, and the Garmin 65 lives up to the company’s outstanding reputation.
Daytime images are sharp. Signs and even license plates are clearly visible. The wide-angle lens captures images off to the side, and video is stable without jumpy movements. Nighttime images are also clear, though bright lights can cause a slight glare.
The camera is not rated for extreme heat or cold. Severe temperatures can cause a problem with the camera’s performance. It is rated for use in temperatures from -4F to 131F. It will do fine when the car is in motion, but you probably don’t want to leave the camera on your dash during hot summers or frigid winters.
- Wide-angle lens that captures front and side images.
- Lightweight and durable design for easy installation.
- The dash camera comes with plenty of features.
- Voice activate control for hands-free use.
- Priced to fit most budgets.
- The wide-angle lens can give images a “fish-eye” appearance.
- Not rated for use in extreme temperatures.
Buying Tips for Gamin 55 and 65
Comparing two dashboard cameras can help you make a decision, but it is always helpful if you first think about what you want and need from the device.
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