Updated on May 2, 2023
Did you know that Garmin Dash Cam Mini is the size of a car key fob, yet it packs important dashcam features?
Garmin Dash Cam mini is a compact dashcam, packing basic features to record footage as you drive. Unlike other cameras, it has a small and very discreet design. As such, it doesn’t stick out on the windshield but neatly sits behind your car’s rear view mirror and shoots full HD videos.
Due to its small nature, it doesn’t have a display screen. Instead, it comes with an app. From the app, you can change settings. Note that the dashcam requires a class 10 minimum 8GB and max 512 GB microSD card, which you have to buy separately.
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- 140-degree wide-angle lens
- Records full HD footage
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and Garmin Drive app
- Requires Class-10 or faster 8GB microSD card
- Tiny/ compact
- Dash Cam Auto Sync lets you control as well as play back footage from up to four cameras using Garmin Drive app
Key Tech Specs
- Physical Dimensions: 1.2″ x 2.1″ x 1.2″ (3.1 x 5.3 x 2.9 cm)
- Weight: 1.0 oz. /28.7 g
- Battery: Supercapacitor
- Lens:140-Degree wide-angle lens
- Storage: Between 8 GB and 512 GB Class-10 or faster microSD
- Resolution: 1080P
- Field of view: 140 degrees
- Frame rate: up to 30 FPS
- Dash cam auto-sync: Yes (up to 4 cameras)
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology: Yes
- Mobile app: Yes, i.e., Garmin Drive app
Unboxing The Mini Dash Cam
The dashcam is decently packed. Within the box, you get:
- The Garmin Dash Cam Mini device
- User manual
- 12V dual USB adapter
- 2 adhesive mounting plates
- 2 micro USB cables – 5ft and 13ft
Garmin Dash Cam Mini design
The cam is 2 inches tall and comes in a black plastic case. Actually, it is one of the tiniest dash cams you can come across in 2023. When you install it, it remains pretty much out of sight.
On the front side of the camera is the lens and a socket for the adhesive plastic swivel mount. One side of the cam has a slot for the SD card and an audio toggle button, while the opposite side features a micro USB port for the two power cables.
On the rear side of the camera is a button that allows you to take photos as well as save video footage.
Installation of the camera is a simple as peeling and sticking it to the windshield. Then route the power cable (13 ft.) from the camera along the window headliner to a 12V power socket. Use the included 12V USB adapter, which has 2 USB ports.
Once you start the car engine, the camera will automatically start recording footage to the microSD. You can view the footage later, through the Garmin Drive app’s interface, but you need to download and install the app first on your smartphone. Alternatively, you can remove the SD card, place it on a card reader and view the files on your computer.
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini doesn’t have a display screen. The only way to change settings is to use the Garmin Drive app. The app lets you adjust the camera angle, see the video clips, and export videos via Wi-Fi to your phone.
The good news is that the app works for both iOS and Android.
Battery: The dashcam uses a supercapacitor instead of the battery. It works only when plugged into the power socket.
The quality of the video is acceptable, considering it shoots at a resolution of 1080p (Full HD). The footage reproduction is sharp and clear. Though it lacks HDR, the picture quality is outstanding for such a small camera.
The wide angle lens (140-degree lens), though a little narrower than a majority of other dashcams, shoots footage from one end of the car to the other. That means you have a complete view of the road ahead of you as well as on the sides.
However, you need to position your camera at the right size to get a better glimpse of events around your car.
There is a minor problem with video export, i.e., video glitches. However, they only appear in cases where the Garmin Drive app has splices two video clips.
- Easy to install
- Wi-Fi-app controls make it easy to change settings
- Tiny; hence won’t restrict you
- Decent footage and audio quality
- Built quality is acceptable
- Doesn’t come with an SD card
- Exported videos have splice glitch
- Lacks most driver-assistance features
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini is a simple and easy-to-use dash cam. Its small size makes it a perfect choice for people who do not want something large on their windscreen. It works silently in the background, always making sure you have footage recorded for those desperate times. Once you install it, you’ll even forget you have a dashcam.
It may not have flashy features like some of the other dash cams we’ve reviewed this year. But one thing you’ll be impressed with is its ability to deliver good images and excellent build quality. So, if you want a small, good-performing dash cam and don’t mind paying a little extra for the brand name, consider the Garmin Dash Cam Mini.
Also, check the newer and updated Dash Cam Mini 2.
Ash loves cars and gadgets. He is a Business IT graduate who loves spending time with his family and friends.