Garmin Dash Cam 65w Review – Pioneering technology in a compact cam
- 180-degree field of view captures more of our surrourdings
- High-quality 2.1 megapixel camera with 1080p video capture; works even in low-light conditions
- Forward collision and lane departure warnings plus alerts for nearby red light cameras and speed cameras
- GPS-enabled with automatic incident detection (G-sensor) saves video footage on impact to show when and where events happened
- Voice command allows you to start/stop audio recording, take a still picture or start/stop the time-lapse video capture feature
- Includes memory card
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The Garmin dash cam 65w is packed with loads of state-of-the-art features designed to help you drive more safely. Its design is incredibly compact and discreet, notwithstanding the superior quality video footage and high-end technology included such as voice control and Wi-Fi connectivity. I have had the opportunity to use this product for the last seven months, and here’s my summary of how it performs
The Garmin dash cam 65w’s video quality during daylight is sharper than average cams, with a warm color palette that’s very easy to look at. Thanks to the high-quality 2.1 megapixel camera with 1080p video capture it works well even in low-light conditions, with crisp footage and good attention to detail such as license plates and signage.
The dash cam is mounted using ingenious magnetic discs and arm that attached to the windscreen. It’s great and incredibly easy to install. The flexibility of this type of installation allows you to move the dash cam around, however the downside is that it does not allow the video to have a lot of stability since it doesn’t absorb shock or bumps well. It makes some videos – depending on your car or road – a little jumpy.
A pretty distinguishing feature on this dash cam is the 180 degree lens. It provides a ‘fish-eye’ effect, which does distort distances a little. However this can be invaluable for catching action to the sides of the road out of your natural line of sight.
Overall, I have been incredibly pleased with the quality of the video footage produced from the Garmin 65w dash cam – I can deal with the occassional jumpiness and the ‘fish-eye’ effect.
What unique features are included?
The Garmin 65w certainly hasn’t skimped on any of the features and its well-thought-out technology really helps to keep you as safe as possible on the road.
Starting with some expected features for this high-end product, the Garmin 65W includes something called G-sensor which is an incident detector. Essentially it uses motion sensors to determine when an incident has occurred, saving the current, last and next recordings in a safe storage file on its class 10 replaceable micro SD memory card – which is conveniently included in the box. If you have hard-wired your Garmin 65w to your car, the G-sensor can also be used for parking surveillance, switching on when movement is detected near your car. This feature does require the separate purchase of a Garmin parking mode cable.
All video footage is marked with exact time and location thanks the GPS feature that’s embedded. During playback of the footage on the computer, you can also see the latitude, longitude, date, time, speed and direction of travel – all vital information in the event of an incident.
Should you ever be involved in a car accident or incident, you can also quickly and easily remove the dash cam from your windscreen (it’s only attached using magnets) and take close-up still images or video of the incident – a very useful feature.
Now for the unique features of the Garmin 65w which give it a clear point of difference in regards to safety includes bad driver technology. This cam gives drivers advanced alerts for forward collision, or warnings about lane departure, red light and speed cameras – essentially it’s another pair of eyes helping to keep you safe. I have not found these features to be distracting or unreliable, quite the opposite. They have served me very well, ensuring I am not distracted.
The driver can use voice commands to tell the Garmin 65w dash cam to start orstop audio recording, to take a still picture or to begin a time-lapse video. This voice command means you don’t need to take your hands off the wheel and you’re not reaching for your phone. These impressive features are very practical and help encourage safer driving.
The wi-fi connectivity of the Garmin 65w dash cam also means that you can download and sync your video footage to your phone instantly and easily using the free mobile app, VIRB. VIRB is very easy to use and is a well-designed application. The wi-fi connectivity makes it easy to share videos with friends, insurance agencies or legal authorities anywhere, any time. It’s a very useful feature that I use often – even it’s it is just to share a fun time-lapse of my trip on social media with my friends.
Admittedly, the Garmin Dash Cam 65W does get a bit hot when it’s running. This is likely due to the number of clever electronics all working hard within this compact little box.