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Garmin Dash Cam 55 Review

In the vast market of dashboard cameras, there are small ones that have limited functions and there are bulky ones that do everything you would ever want in a dash cam. The Garmin Dash Cam 55 sits in the sweet middle spot, packed with great functions at a compact size. If you want a smaller unit with big features, yet at a mid-range price tag, the Garmin Dash Cam is one of the best options out there.

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With the ability to record high-definition video, the Garmin Dash Cam 55 does more than it looks with its size. Weighing only 59.5 g grams, this tiny camera shoots at 1440p – a notch higher than other dash cams of the same size. That’s not all; it’s loaded with additional safety features as well. 

What’s in the Box:

  • Garmin Dash Cam 55
  • Low-profile magnetic mount
  • Vehicle power cable
  • USB cable
  • 8GB microSD card
  • Quick start manual
  • Spare adhesive pad for magnetic mount

Features

Smaller Build

The Dash Cam 55’s smaller design easily fits in the palm of your hand. With similar dimensions to a GoPro, this camera is indeed more compact than most units in the market. It also has a distinct mounting mechanism. Instead of the traditional suction cup that most dash cams come with, the Garmin Dash Cam 55 has a magnetic mount connected to a semi-permanent adhesive. This is then attached to the camera’s mounting arm, allowing for easy adjustment and positioning. 

With its miniature size and easy-to-remove design, you can pop it off your windshield and put it in your glove compartment when you leave the car. This would be especially useful if you live or work in an area where there are shady car thieves looking to steal belongings in unattended cars. It would also be more convenient should you have the need to record an incident outside your car. However, keep in mind that this dash cam’s battery lasts for only about 30 minutes, so it’s best to keep it plugged in when you’re on the road.

Nevertheless, the compact size of the Garmin Dash Cam 55 is a certain pro in different situations.

High Definition Video Quality

Equipped with a CMOS sensor and shooting at 3.7 megapixels, the video quality of the Dash Cam 55 does not disappoint despite its size. It’s capable of recording at various settings, leaving the decision of video quality entirely up to you. At its highest setting, it can capture video at 60fps with 1440p resolution. It can also be set to record full HD videos at 1080p, where you still have the option to record either at 60fps or 30fps. If you want to save on storage space, recording at 30fps at a 720p resolution is also available. 

Video quality-wise, the Dash Cam 55 records crystal clear footage with sharp details. Its wide field of view captures the entire road, and the camera can rotate 360 degrees if you need to record something out of view. 

The Dash Cam 55 also gets the exposure right, which is a good thing since some units tend to capture underexposed footage in some conditions. On the other hand, night time recording is pretty decent, but not the best.

If you want to view your videos on a mobile device, Garmin has a companion app called VIRB. However, the app has limited features, allowing you to only view the files and transfer them. Changes in settings are not permitted, which is a little bit of a letdown considering the other features of the dash cam. 

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Built-in GPS

While some dash cams require a separate GPS module, the Dash Cam 55 has its GPS receiver built in to capture location, travel direction, date, and time. These details are essential especially when you need to provide details of an incident.

In the same note, the dash cam’s G-sensor also detects strong impacts that may occur during accidents. Videos recorded that have triggered the G-sensor are saved in another specified folder and locked so that it won’t be overwritten. 

Additional Safety Features

One of the highlights of the Garmin Dash Cam 55 is the extra nifty features packed in its small body. There’s a Forward Collision Warning System that detects if you’re coming too close to the car in front of you. There’s also a Lane Departure Warning System which alerts you if you’re straying out of your lane. The Go Alert will let you know when the car in front has started moving and you remain stationary, just in case you’ve been distracted.

Warnings of red lights and speed cameras are also available, but you have to subscribe to Garmin’s Cyclops service to fully enjoy this function.

Unique Travelapse Feature

When you go on a vacation or a holiday, taking photos is always a good thing to keep memories. If you want to remember the places you’ve passed on the way, the Dash Cam 55 has a Travelapse feature which grabs still images of the road at a regular interval. The stills will then be combined to form a short clip that will play like a timelapse. It’s a fun option to use especially if you’re traveling to a new place. Indeed, Garmin has gone an extra mile by adding this unique feature. 

Voice Command

As if the additional features weren’t enough, Garmin takes it up another notch with voice controls. Just say the cue “Okay, Garmin” and pair it with the desired command. You can take a photo, save video, start or stop the audio, and start or stop Travelapse. The increased interaction with the gadget is like having a personal road safety assistant, which deserves two thumbs up.

PROS:

  • High-quality, detailed video at 1440p
  • Additional safety features
  • Voice Command
  • Wifi and companion app VIRB

CONS:

  • Limited control on the companion app
  • On the more expensive scale at $199.99

Garmin Dash Cam 55 Review Conclusion

The Garmin Dash Cam 55 is a great pick for anyone who wants high-quality videos, the usual dash cam functions, and some extra safety features inside a small, compact body. It’s definitely worth the price. More dash cam articles from RRD.org here: https://www.ratedradardetector.org/dashcam/.

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William

This article is written by William Johnson, the founder of RRD. William is passionate about radar detectors. His interest in reviewing and testing radar detectors from different brands started nearly 10 years ago, when his own radar detector then (a cheap and brand-less detector he bought online) failed to detect and radar gun nearby.
William

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