Garmin Dash Cam 55 Review

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Garmin Dash Cam 55 Review Youtube 

Garmin is one of the forefront companies providing road safety and geolocation devices. Garmin offers a large range of dash cams that add to the driving experience of its users. The compact Garmin Dash Cam 55 is a 3.7-megapixel high-resolution camera; featuring voice control, built-in GPS, Dual USB plug-ins and the driver alerts for extra security.

Price

The Garmin dash cam 55 is priced at $173.99.
Score: B

Sales Package

  • Dash Cam
  • User manual
  • 19 ft. long Car charger
  • 58 ft USB cable
  • 8 GB microSD card
  • Low profile magnetic mount
  • Extra metal disc with a 3M adhesive pad

 

Garmin 55 Dash Cam Manual

Click here to download. 

 

Garmin Dash Cam 55 Design

Garmin dash cam 55 design best truck dash cam

Garmin dash cam 55 is a minimalist, simple, and light-weight device that stands at 2.2 x 1.6 x 1.4″ (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.5 cm) and weighs 2.08 ounces. It features a 2.0″ LCD screen. The device comes with a semi-permanent (adhesive) magnetic mount. This also makes removal of the mount comparatively easier.  The stealthy design of the dash cam 55 is very handy in in a city full of opportunistic thieves. The hands-free voice control feature helps the driver to keep hands on the wheel while still recording. The sleek design, not bigger than a deck of playing cards, features an in-built microphone. The navigation buttons are placed on the right side of the device. Its operating temperature ranges from 20° to 55°C (from -4° to 131°F).
Score: B

Garmin 55 Dash Cam Installation

Garmin dash cam 55 installation best truck dash cam

The Garmin dash cam 55 can be installed on the windshield by using the magnetic mount. A 3M adhesive pad is attached to the magnetic mount. The user can install the dash cam by removing the transparent film and attaching it to the desired place on the windshield. This has to be left for 24hrs before attaching the camera for use. The dash cam features a flexible mounted magnetic arm that makes it easier to adjust the camera and capture the desired field of view.
Score: B+

Power and Battery

The sales package includes a 19 ft long power cable.  After plugging the power cable into the USB port, direct the rest of the cable to the vehicle’s charging port and plug in to power the device.

The battery in Garmin dash cam 55 lasts only 30 minutes. The battery backup is not up to the mark but in comparison to other dashboard cameras, it is considered to be quite long. The 30-minute duration is not supposed to record video, but rather save the already recorded video in the case of sudden power cut. The battery supplies the power when the device is not plugged-in to the wired power supply.

The Garmin dash cam 55 can only be charged by a 12V charging port and by connecting the provided car charger only, no USB cable. After that charge your dash cam via car cigarette lighter or the car’s dc power outlet.
Score: B

Memory

The sales package includes an 8 GB micro SD card that supports up to 56 minutes of recording. The device supports memory cards with maximum memory capacity of 64 GB. Garmin recommends using a microSD card with a speed rating of 10 or higher. The 64 GB microSD card allows to record at least 8 hours of video when the resolution is set to 720p and 1080p. However, for detailed quality video 1440p is recommended – it should be noted that higher resolution would take more space on the memory card. Since this only stores 56 minutes’ worth of recording this is a very bad option for truck drivers. If an incident from a day ago needs to be revisited it is not possible. Additionally, after an accident if a user forgets to turn off recording then that could cause the whole file to be overwritten. The risk of that makes this not worthwhile and instead having ongoing video recording is a much easier option for peace of mind.
Score: C

Video

The Garmin dash cam 55 features a 3.7-megapixel camera. The device records in three resolutions – 1440p resolution at 30 frames per second (FPS), 1080p at 60 FPS, 1080p at 30 FPS. It records videos with high dynamic range (HDR) at 720p at 30 FPS. The HDR video performs the best in handling glare and night time shots. It is recommended to record the videos at the resolution at 1440p for capturing maximum detail. This might however mean investing in a microSD card with higher memory capacity.

The Garmin dash cam 55 does a really good job in automatic exposure. However, the videos also seem a little less stabilized when compared to the videos shot by other dash cams. The jitter could possibly be due to the small size and light weight of the dash cam, or its magnetic mount that makes it more vulnerable to vibration.

Videos shot during day time or well-lit conditions are quite good, even with sun glare.
Score: B

Video Samples

Check the YouTube video captured by the Garmin dash cam 55 in various light conditions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=-hxGBXjSqrM&feature=emb_logo

Accessing Videos

The videos recorded by the Garmin dash cam 55 can be viewed on a smartphone. The smartphone has to be connected to the dash cam over Wi-Fi. Then, the user has to boot up the companion app, called Virb. A companion app is to provide the user the ease of access and streamlining the functions on a single platform. However, the usability of Virb is very limited. It does not provide the option and convenience of changing any settings – thereby defeating the purpose of an app. The app only allows the user to view saved videos. To top it off, the interface is not particularly attractive and takes time getting used to. The dash cam menu system is also quite confusing at first, with very little information about what the icons for the camera’s four buttons do.
Score: C

Garmin Dashcam 55 Alerts

The dash cam has a “Go Alert.” It notifies the driver as soon as the traffic starts moving ahead while the vehicle is a stand still. It works really well, unless the driver is inattentive – it initiates alerts after sensing 40 to 50 feet of clearance.

Another useful alert is the “Red light” warnings. It alerts the drivers of the upcoming red-light cameras at intersections. Garmin provides this feature free for a year. However, after the period of one year, it’s $25 a year to maintain it. Garmin offers an option to use a subscription service through Cyclops. The subscription plan offers updated red-light camera and speed camera locations and help in keeping the dash cam up to date.

The Garmin dash cam 55 also includes a forward collision warning. The driver receives a warning if there is a car approaching fast in front of their vehicle. Lane departure warnings alert the driver if they go outside their lane.
Score: B+

Voice Command

The Garmin dashcam 55 is one of the few dash cams that feature voice control. The features of the dash cam can be verbally activated simply by using the cue ‘OK, Garmin’. After uttering the cue, the user can give the following commands: Save Video, Take a Picture, Record Audio, Stop Audio, Start Travelapse (record video), and Stop Travelapse. Verified users found the voice command to be dependable even in noisy conditions.

Though the dash cam is primarily controlled by four buttons on its right side (exit/up/down/enter); it can also be partially controlled by the voice command feature.

The voice command feature gives a truly handsfree experience to the users. One can command the dash cam to carry out a task with hands still on the steering wheel. The risks of driver distraction are also highly reduced.
Score: B+

G-Sensor

Garmin dash cam 55 g-sensor best truck dash cam

The Garmin dash cam 55 is equipped with gravity sensor, or a G-sensor. A G-sensor detects any sudden impacts (for example, an accident or sharp turns), and automatically locks recording of the video in real time. This video is locked and protected from being overwritten in case of low memory space.
Score: B-

Parking Monitor

Parking mode allows you to monitor your vehicle 24/7 when it is parked. This feature will required a hardwire kit so it can use your cars battery when the car is off, or by using an external battery. The camera will remain in a standby mode. It uses limited power, and only turns on when motion or an impact is detected.
Score: B

GPS Logger

Garmin is well known for its geolocation solutions, and it’s dash cam 55 is GPS enabled. The feature translates the GPS data into the speed of the vehicle, direction, etc. This information is then embedded into the video and is a very useful feature for truckers, providing them with crucial information while filing insurance claims.
Score: B

Pros

  1. The video quality is at par with the dash cams on the more expensive side.
  2. One of the most compact and discreet designs available in the market.
  3. Offers companion app – although with limitations.
  4. Records at three resolutions.
  5. The location, speed details, and date are auto embedded in the videos.
  6. Features internal battery.
  7. Handsfree voice control capabilities – helps in reducing distraction while driving.
  8. The mount is very sturdy, secure, and quite flexible owing to the magnetic arm.
  9. Alerts provided by the device eases the driving experience by alerting drivers.
  10. Inbuilt microphone.
  11. Excellent auto-exposure.
  12. Auto-locks the videos in any accidental events and prevents them from being overwritten.

 

Cons

  1. Higher price than other dash cams that offer similar features.
  2. Videos captured have jitter.
  3. The device heats up pretty quickly – highly inconvenient for truckers operating in warmer climates.
  4. The video is recorded only in one-minute increments. There is no option to record videos at longer or shorter intervals.
  5. The menu interface on the dash cam is not the best. A new user will take some time to get used to it.
  6. Short battery life.
  7. Virb, the companion app, is not competent enough. It does not allow changing settings, or does anything other than help access and view the recorded videos.
  8. Videos can only be accessed by transferring the footage from microSD card to a computer or a mobile device.
  9. No data backup, or a cloud-based storage.

 

Customer Reviews

The customer reviews for the Garmin dash cams are largely positive. However, the one negative aspect about this dash cam that is discussed by verified customers is the heating issues and limited functionality of the app.
Score: C

Difference between Garmin Dash Cam 55 and 65

Garmin Dash Cam 55 & Garmin Dash Cam 65 are a part of Garmin’s small-sized but high-quality dash cam assemblage. While the design and structure of both these dash cams are identical, Garmin 55 is distinguishable by a bronze ring around its lens. Differences between Garmin dash cam 55 vs 65 comes down to image quality and vision range. As for image quality and resolution, Garmin 55 is superior. Its 3.7MP lens with a frame rate of 60 FPS records at 1440p. On the other hand, Garmin 65 has a 2.1MP lens which captures 1080p HD quality video at 30 FPS. Another significant difference between the two is the viewing angle. While Garmin 55 has a 122° viewing angle, Garmin 65 boasts of a 180° wide-angle lens (thus known as Garmin 65W or 65 Wide). This super-wide lens captures a much larger expanse of the vicinity. 

Overall Garmin Dash Cam 55 Review

The Garmin dash cam 55 is a very sleek and compact dash cam that comes with an unobtrusive and secure mount. It records in three resolutions and performs really well in day time. The videos shot during the night time are a tad underwhelming when compared to other dash cams at the price range. The recorded footage has tiny amount of jitter which may be caused due to the size of the device. The alerts are an added advantage of owning this dash cam. The companion app is extremely limited – the inability to change settings is extremely disappointing. It is important to note, that the Dash Cam 55 is not the best performer when it comes to maintaining it’s temperature in prolonged usage. The device heats up rather quickly. So, for users from warmer climates like as Arizona or Florida might want to skip the dash cam 55.

 

Overall Rating
 

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