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Today let’s get into the Garmin dash cam mini-review! Garmin is a big name in the dash cam industry and is a go-to for most whenever the question of “What dash cam should I buy?” comes up.
Our last review of the Garmin 55 had us greatly impressed, will this 4-inch dash cam make the same impact? For one’s peace of mind, considering how much chaos there is on the road. A dash cam is the perfect surveillance device. And with cameras around everywhere, it doesn’t make sense not having one in your vehicle. And one’s best bet, is to stick with a dash cam that is unnoticeable and has smart, advanced features.
Why You Should Buy Dash Cam?
These days, without photographic or video proof, there would be so much chaos and a lot of people who belong behind bars would be running free. That is why surveillance devices like dash cams and sensors are used, to prevent such incidents by letting people know, that they are being watched. Or either to have evidence in case something goes south. These incidents happen when you least expect them, especially on the road. That is why it is best, that one should install a dash cam in one’s car. To be prepared for whatever may happen.
To save you from long hours of browsing the web for a perfect dash cam and thinking out all the factors, we have got a list of the best dash cams for 2020.
At a Glance
The first thing, anybody would notice about this is how tiny it is. Apparently, as big as a key. Now that’s what you would call discreet. But that’s not all, this little guy packs a punch. A 140 degrees viewing angle, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and auto-recording!
You would not expect the dash cam to do much but it’s a little life saver, that can potentially help you avoid a huge loss, either that be fraud, an insurance scam, or accident-related. This dash cam by Garmin is sure to impress you! Small technology with a huge impact on driving.
Garmin Dash Cam Mini: Specifications
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini specifications are given in the table below:
|DIMENSIONS||1.2 x 2.1 x 1.1”|
|FIELD OF VIEW||140°|
|STORAGE||MicroSDHC, microSDXC (8GB and above)|
|PARKING MODE||Yes, cable must be bough individually.|
|SCREEN||No (Viewed Through App)|
|BATTERY||240mAh Lithium Polymer|
|TEMPERATURE RANGE:||-4°F to 140°F|
Garmin Dash Cam Mini: Design
The Garmin mini dash cam is unlike any other dash cam we have seen so far because of its tininess The dash cam is jet black and resembles a little black box.
The dash cam measures to 1.2 x 2.1 x 1.1 and weighs less than a single ounce. It’s the perfect dash cam to hide behind your windscreen! Needless to say, the dash cam barely has any weight. There isn’t much on the dash cam’s unit other than a microphone “On/Off” button and a “File Save” button on the back of the dash cam’s unit.
The dash cam is the size of a key and is the perfect dash cam for people looking for something that is virtually undetectable. But not for drivers who switch cars a lot, the dash cam despite being small is not a flexible piece of equipment.
The dash cam as you can probably tell doesn’t have a screen but footage can be viewed through the app. The dash cam comes with a magnetic adhesive mount. Disclaimer, this is “one-time setup” dash cam and the mount is supposed to be permanent. Just like mentioned above, it is not a dash cam built with flexibility in mind. To remove it you will have to use the plastic ball joint. Though, there is a limit with that. I would recommend you get a suction cup mount on Amazon, AliExpress or other online stores.
But if you just want to install the dash cam once, then the mount is perfect. As the stability it provides is amazing, the video footage comes out great.
Garmin Dash Cam Mini: Video Quality
We have arrived at the most critical part of the review, yes, I bet you have guessed it. The video quality of the dash cam. The Garmin mini dash cam offers a wide-angle view of 140 degrees which gives a considerable view of the road ahead. You can’t really expect a wider view in such a compact little dash cam, it is just highly unrealistic to think otherwise.
The video recording does not suffer from motion blur either. The dash cam did well in low lighting conditions as well. The night time view was acceptable, but there were times where there were problems with overexposure. All in all, the night mode did an okay job and though it was nothing spectacular. It did its job well.
The Garmin mini dash cam can’t handle headlight flare. We would recommend you get a depolarized filter lens to resolve this issue. Another concern I had before testing out the dash cam was fish eye, it did not suffer from such a distortion, thankfully.
Garmin Dash Cam Mini: Features
Here’s what the Garmin Mini dash cam offers. Let’s take a look;
If you want discreet and unnoticeable, then this dash cam is the best! Everyone expects a bulky looking camera when speaking of a dash cam. Garmin’s 4-inch body is a major asset.
The Garmin mini dash cam has a viewing angle of 140 degrees. Considering the fact that standard dash cams have a 120-degree viewing angle, this little device can get a much wider view than you would expect from its size.
The resolution of the dash cam is 1080p at 30fps, which records crisp video footage. No other resolution options are available. The day and night time mode both work fine, minus the flare and occasional overexposure.
The battery of the Garmin mini dash cam has a stand by time of 30 minutes, which is for emergency purposes.It comes with the “Auto-Recording” feature, the dash cam starts recording as soon as the car starts. There is no need to turn it on manually.
The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity of the Garmin mini dash cam works just fine, the app has very limited features but it does what it’s supposed to. The company could definitely use improvements with the app.
You can also transfer the videos from your smartphone to a computer, using the USB cable given. In case you want to view the video footage on a bigger screen or monitor.
The audio recording feature of the Garmin mini dash cam also worked without a hitch! No complaints there, nope, none at all. The audio was clear and did not sound muffled at all, at any point.
And lastly, the “Loop Recording” and “G-Sensor” features, passed our test. The “Loop Recording” feature overwrites the oldest recorded footage on the memory card with the latest video footage recorded.
While the “G-Sensor” feature locks video footage and prevents it from being deleted when the sensors detect possible signs of a collision. During the dash cam trial, the Garmin mini was able to detect movements pretty efficiently and though, thankfully no such incident occurred where the feature had to be tested out. But the Garmin mini dash cam’s G-Sensor feature worked well!
Is it Worth the Price?
In all honesty, it depends on what you prioritize in a dash cam. If you’re looking for something much more advanced, say a GPS module, voice command, flexibility, advanced security features and so on. Then go for something else because this chief, ain’t it.
On the other hand, if you want a more discreet, small, no fuss and phone-centric dash cam, then the Garmin mini is it. $130 is not a small price to pay, but the dash cam is a very reliable little piece of equipment and has all the necessary features a driver could ask for. It is not the ultimate security providing dash cam. But it will definitely improve your overall experience as a driver. Other dash cams probably have more features in the same price range, but you won’t find one to be as small and functional as the Garmin mini dash cam!
To sum it, yes! The Garmin mini is definitely a strong contender but the lack of GPS (it is truly a shame), mount options and the fact that Parking Mode cable has to be bought individually is a bummer. The magnetic mounting option does have an alternative, which is buying an adhesive mount or suction cup mount individually. That can fix the issue of inflexibility, in case anyone out there really wishes to buy the Garmin mini dash cam.
Also the discreet design of the dash cam, it is so small and just so perfect. No one will ever notice it unless you point it out yourself. The possibilities of what you may capture with the dash cam are endless. Other than that, the other features, the video quality, the reliability and convenience offered by the dash cam is excellent!
- Manual controls
- No GPS
- Average app
- Wi-Fi creates extra complication
- Mount Lacks Flexibility
- Headlight Flare
Today is going to be a review, on the Anker ROAV A1 dashcam. ROAV is a line of products brought by Anker, specializing in developing products that bring smart, connected services to any vehicle. ROAV’s has been a producer of smart, dash cams, smart chargers, and VIVA voice devices. The A1 is the winner of the Reddot Award, this is no name dashcam. Let’s dive into the review!
Dashcams over time have become an essential asset, you never know what you may come across on the road. It could be a vengeful entity in a white dress, an act of vandalism, or just a bizarre incident, your dashcam will record it.
At a Glance
The A1 is a cheap all-rounder dashcam. It’s one of those straight-to-the-point dash cams. It comes with a nice set of features and is quite appealing to the eye. It isn’t exactly the most inconspicuous dashcam but its compact size makes it easier to set up behind your car’s mirror and is distraction-free! The Anker ROAV A1 dash cam lets you record panoramic views, in fantastic quality. The A1 has high-temperature resistance too. Best part the A1’s settings can be altered from the menu options and you can do all that with your phone too.
Anker Roav A1 Review: Specifications
The Anker Roav A1 dashcam specifications are given in the table below:
|VIDEO QUALITY||(Front) 1920×1080 at 60fps/30fps – 1280×720 at 30fps
(Rear) 1920×1080 at 30fps- 1280×720 at 30fps
|DIMENSIONS||4.6 x 1.5”|
|FIELD OF VIEW||139°|
|STORAGE||Micro SD Card|
|SCREEN||Through BlackVue App|
|SENSOR||Sony IMX323 (Rear Camera)|
|BATTERY OR CAPACITOR||CAPACITOR|
Anker Roav A1 Review: Design
The A1 looks like your average point and shoot camera, the lens of the dashcam sticks out a bit. It measures to 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.4 inches and weighs approximately up to 300.5g. The A1 is lightweight and comes with a suction cup mount that offers great stability. The A1 dashcam slides into the mount and thus, there is no need for a “locking” system. The top side of the 1 dashcam has a micro USB port for charging and the connecting point for the mount.
On the backside, you will find an LCD, heads up, it’s not a touchscreen. On the right side, there are four buttons, vertically aligned. There’s a Menu button, also functions as a play and pause button. Then you’ll find two navigation buttons (right and left) so that you can browse the menu and the video library. The fourth button has a red dot on it, it locks the video currently being recorded, and it also acts as a back button if you’re currently on the menu.
On the left side of the A1, there is a power button, used to turn the dashcam on and off, a microSD card slot. The A1 does not come with a microSD card, it is recommended you purchase a high-endurance SD card since ordinary SD cards aren’t able to handle, dash cams overwriting sequence. There is also a reset button present on the left side of the camera. If you think the A1 is acting up, just push the reset button and it’ll reboot the dashcam. It’s not like the camera regularly malfunctions, but it’s there in case.
Anker Roav A1 Review: Video Quality
The A1 is a star, in my opinion, the dashcam is amazing considering its price. In $55 you are getting your hands on a very useful device. The video quality of the A1 is impressive. With 1080 p and a wide viewing lens, it gets a sweeping view of your car’s surroundings. There was no issue, that we came across during our review of the A1.
The Night Hawk Vision mode or night vision mode worked perfectly, it was sharp, objects were distinguishable and overall there were no problems we came across.
Anker Roav A1 Review: Features
The Anker ROAV A1 is a cheap dashcam, considerably small with a not so discreet design. But is a well-rounded dash cam, with a slick set of features. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what the A1 has to offer.
Let’s see what we get in the box:
- Instruction Manual
- 12v Adapter
- Micro-USB to USB cable
- Suction Cup Mount
- Suction Cup Attachments
- Plastic Pry Bar
Now since that’s out of the way, here’s what the A1 has to offer, the best part of the dashcam is that it’s perfect for both phone-centric and traditional dashcam enthusiasts! You have complete accessibility of the A1 through the app, you can download the footage without removing the microSD card and can alter the settings. But at the same time, there is no need. The camera works fine without one too, all the operations of the dashcam are manual.
The video quality of the A1, considering the price, was awesome! We tested it out in various lighting situations and the footage was top-tier, not blurry, smooth and sharp. There was no issue in identifying license plates and such. The Night Hawk Vision worked perfectly too.
Collision detection is also one of the features found in the A1, or otherwise known as the Parking Mode feature. The dashcam senses impact upon the vehicle, then locks the footage so that it can be used for an insurance claim, accident evidence and as on.
The Price, Too Good to be True?
I know what you’re thinking, “There are so many other dash cams out there that are so much more expensive. But offer less than the Anker ROAV A1?” That is an understandable concern but yes, it is true. All in all, the dashcam may seem average but considering its $55 price tag and the 1-year warranty. It’s a stellar offer.
It’s in our list of best dash cams because of its affordability and feature set. The experience of the A1 is superb and without question, worth your money.
Throughout the Anker ROAV A1 dash cam review, there wasn’t much to be mad about. The dashcam comes at a cheap price of $55 and works better than most of the high-end dash cams. I would recommend anyone to buy this dash cam unless you are into more complex and upgraded dash cams. It’s a pity the A1 doesn’t come with GPS, but for the price. That’s asking for too much
It’s a dashcam that does delivers excellence, is hassle-free to use and has a compact design. Its installation process isn’t complicated and the video quality is full HD.
A perfect budget dashcam! All in all the A1 gets a 4 out of 5 stars.
- Manual controls
- No GPS
- MicroSD Card not included
- Average video quality
Also Read: Blackvue DR750S Review
Today’s review is a product of the popular Chinese brand, Xiaomi. Most popular for their smartphone. YI is a subsidiary of Xiaomi. Let’s get into the YI smart dash cam review.
Instead of waiting for the worse possible moment, it’s best to buy a dashcam and stay on the safer side. And there should be no compromise on one’s safety, so instead of looking for cheapest dashcams on Amazon or AliExpress. You need to look for the best dash cams.
At a Glance
To start, the dashcam comes in two colors, gold, and grey. I mean, I wasn’t able to grasp the idea of having a gold dashcam. Since a dashcam is supposed to be discreet, however. The dashcam looks plasticky, it is light but it passed our fall test. The dashcam has a user-friendly interface, a cooling vent on the top and bottom, ADAS, G-sensor and more. An overall cost-effective dashcam with inbuilt Wi-Fi.
YI Smart Dash Cam Review: Specifications
The YI smart dashcam specifications are given in the table below:
|VIDEO QUALITY||1280 x 720 at 30fps
1920 x 1080p at 30 & 60fps
2304 x 1296 at 30fps
|DIMENSIONS||2.91 x 0.76 x 2.06”|
|FIELD OF VIEW||165°|
|STORAGE||MicroSD Card (Max Capacity 64GB)|
|SCREEN||2.7” LCD Screen|
|BATTERY||240mAh Lithium Polymer|
YI Smart Dash Cam Review: Design
The dashcam doesn’t look like much, the YI smart dash cam comes in two colors; grey and gold. The camera’s design is minimalist and you get a bit of a GroPro vibe from it. The YI smart dashcam measures to 2.91 x 0.76 x 2.06 inches and weighs about 2.6 ounces. It’s small, compact and lightweight. Even though it doesn’t look like it, it can take quite a few hits.
It has a 2.7 16:9 LCD screen, accompanied with four buttons at the bottom. A protruding glass lens with an aperture of f/1.8 and an angle view of 165 degrees. YI smart dash cam comes with a 3M permanent adhesive mount. Which did not make it by our standards and we’d recommend you buy a suction cup mount instead.
The dashcam also has interestingly designed cooling vents, on the top and bottom of the dashcam.
The interface of the dashcam is user-friendly dashcams, there isn’t much the driver has to tamper with. The YI smart dashcam’s major con is that the menu is in Chinese, Hanzi characters to be exact. Though it is a “plugin and leaves” dashcam using the advanced features, the YI app can be an issue.
YI Smart Dash Cam Review: Video Quality
YI smart dashcam’s video quality is no stunner but for such an economical piece of equipment, it is great! The dashcam has the following recording option;
- 1280 x 720 at 30 fps
- 1920 x 1080p at 30 & 60 fps
- 2304 x 1296 at 30fps
The dashcam also offers night vision view. We’d recommend the settings with 1080p and above because the video footage for the lower resolutions was unsatisfactory. The camera did well in low light settings and exposure was no menace to the YI smart dashcam. The night vision mode was alright.
The camera had a splendid view of 165 degrees that covered more than the lanes ahead but the encompassing area around the car too. Overall, impressive quality and view for a camera for $65.35. The downside would be the image, it didn’t make the cut and I don’t believe anybody would be using it.
YI Smart Dash Cam Review: Features
The YI smart dashcam in one of the best dashcams of 2020, the features you get for such a price is nothing to scoff at. Before we begin the rundown of the dashcam.
Let’s see what’s in the box:
- Xiao Yi Dash Camera
- Suction cup mounting bracket
- Car charger adapter
- USB Cable
First off, it’s got a viewing angle of 165 degrees, which on its own is pretty impressive. You get a sweeping view of the area from your vehicle. The dashcam also comes with inbuilt Wi-Fi, a feature only high-end dashcams have. The YI app lets you configure camera settings through your phone and seamlessly download videos from the dashcam. If you can figure out the Hanzi script.
The YI smart dash cam also comes with a G-sensor feature that locks your footage when the sensors detect abnormal car movements and close impacts.
Followed by an ADAS warning system, ADAS is an acronym for “Advanced Driving Assistance System.” This feature analyses the speed and distance of the car ahead, alerting the driver in case of a possible collision and a lane departure warning. Though we found this feature to be a bit of a nuisance.
The 240mAh battery is chargeable though only lasts for a short period. This feature is for emergencies.
The Price, Is It Worth It?
Yes, it is. $65.35 is a bargain considering what this dashcam is offering. Inbuilt Wifi, 165-degree view and so forth. Understandably, the dashcam is cheap because of the lack of inbuilt GPS, which is a bummer. But the price is little compared to what the YI smart dash cam is capable of.
To put it short, yes, I recommend the YI smart dashcam. It’s an economical choice, with a hefty set of features.A shame that the menu instructions are only available in Chinese and that there is no inbuilt GPS but it’s still a great surveillance device!
All in all, the YI smart dashcam gets a 3.3 out of 5 stars!
- Easy setup
- Emergency recording
- Good low light recording
- The only available language is Chinese
- No GPS
- The adhesive mount is iffy
- ADAS doesn’t work properl
Also Check Out: Thinkware F800 PRO Review
Thinkware has come out with a monster piece of equipment, the Thinkware F800 Pro. It’s one of the first dash cam’s with cloud connectivity. The dashcam is one of the most expensive ones we’ve reviewed so far. It’s on our list of best dash cams of 2019, read on to find out why!
At a Glance
The Thinkware F800 Pro’s greatest development from its former model, the F800 is the cloud connectivity feature. Apart from that, this $329 dash cam also comes with other stunning features. Like better battery life, visuals and such.
Thinkware F800 PRO Review: Specifications
The F800 Pro dash cam specifications are given in the table below:
|VIDEO QUALITY||1080P at 30 FPS (Front, Rear)|
|DIMENSIONS||7 x 7 x 6”|
|FIELD OF VIEW||140°|
|STORAGE||SD Card (Max. Capacity 128GB)|
|SCREEN||No (Through App)|
|CHANNELS||Single (Front), (Rear Optional)|
|BATTERY||240mAh Lithium Polymer|
Thinkware F800 PRO Review: Design
The dash cam is unusual looking, resembles a compressed, miniature version of a video camera. The unit itself has no screen, your smart phone is responsible for the video footage viewing. The Thinkware F800 Pro is a dual channel dash cam, the rear camera being optional. The lens sticks out from the unit and is rotatable.
It has a couple of buttons on the unit, any other kind of configuration, you will have to rely on your smartphone app. There is a power button, another one that toggles the microphone, a button that formats the memory card, the Wi-Fi “On/Off” button and the manual video recording button.
As for the mount, the F800 Pro isn’t built for flexibility. It’s a set up once type of dash cam. The mount of the dash cam consists two adhesive plates, you are supposed to attach at the top of the windscreen.
The Thinkware F800 Pro measures to 7 x 7 x 6 inches and weighs about 1.5 pounds, making it a bulky, heavy dash cam with a durable build. The dash cam is made to take falls and doesn’t feel cheap at all. Though prominent but it doesn’t really hinder the driver’s view.
All in all, it’s an interestingly designed, sturdy piece of technology that isn’t meant to be taken in and out of the car very often.
Thinkware F800 PRO Review: Video Quality
Everything aside, even if a dash cam comes with a built-in toaster. Without stunner video quality, its trash. The TW F800 Pro, was thankfully a hit.
The video resolution for the front and back camera is 1080p at 30fps. The video quality for day time mode was fantastic, details were captured, colors appeared okay but it isn’t 4k, so it isn’t anything cheaper dash cams can’t do.
Its specialty lies in the night mode. The night mode of the Thinkware F800 Pro is unbeatable, amazing clarity, immaculate performance in low light and no issues with overexposure. Headlight flare was no menace to the camera either, front and rear.
The 140-degree viewing angle wasn’t very impressive in our opinion, there was nothing wrong with it. But we’ve seen 170 degree viewing angle’s in much cheaper dash cams. The day light mode isn’t all that wow but if you must, buy it for the night mode.
Thinkware F800 PRO Review: Software
Here comes the tricky part, when first setting up the dash cam with the smart phone, there are a lot of hiccups. The installation process isn’t exactly smooth. It did take an attempt or two to connect the dash cam with the device. Nonetheless, the app is essentially supposed to alter the settings, use the GPS and install the video footage from the app. Everything worked fine except sometimes the connection between the device and the smart phone would drop and the automatic footage transfer feature didn’t work.
You may need to look up a couple of tutorials before setting up the Thinkware F800 Pro dash cam.
Thinkware F800 PRO Review: Features
The dash cam comes with a lot of fancy features;
- The ADAS, Advanced Driver Automated System, this feature is actually for noob drivers or for reckless drivers that need to be told what to do.
- Every time the dashcam turns on when video footage is transferred and other such actions. The F800 Pro has a voice feature that says it out loud.
- The G-Sensor feature that secures video recordings in case of abnormal and abrupt car movements.
- A lane departure feature that warns the driver if he is going way off track.
- WDR, Wide Dynamic Range technology that enhances video quality.
- A superior night mode.
- Geo-fencing that alerts you when your car leaves a certain zone.
- The inbuilt GPS that tracks your location, speed, routes, etc. This can be very handy to use as evidence.
- Loop recording that overwrites old data when the SD card runs out of space. Replacing it with new footage.
- The F800 Pro’s Forward Collision Warning System that as the name suggests, warns the driver when he’s too close to another vehicle.
- The F800 Pro’s parking mode feature is its main highlight, it gives thrice the more recording time than any other dash cam.
- The cloud connectivity feature that offers seamless access to one’s smart phone and saves you from the hassle of manually adjusting the settings.
- A rotatable lens that gives you better viewing options.
The Price, Is it Worth It
Is $329 a reasonable price to pay for the Thinkware F800 Pro dash cam? In a word, yes it is. The dash cam is one of the rarest in the market. Thinkware isn’t a no name brand and has had very successful launches in the past. The F800 Pro is one too.
The night time mode is unbeatable, that goes for the Parking Mode too. The dash cam offers a lot of security and is just a major upgrade from regular dash cams. Granted, the cloud connectivity is iffy at times but customer service is available. It’s not a cos effective dash cam because it isn’t just giving you basic upgraded features. It’s offering new technology.
The price is less than pleasing to here, I know, I know. $329 does make you evaluate your bank statements for a moment but the dash cam is no toy.It’s a monster machine that isn’t only there to offer you peace of mind but is a complete vehicle security system in a single unit.
It’s not a dash cam you’ll have to change regularly nor is it flimsy. It’s a solid investment. There are issues with the cloud connectivity, which is truly a shame but Thinkware will conquer that too.
- Cloud services are iffy
- Rear-view camera
- Built-in GPS
- advanced safety options
- Only Full HD resolution available
- No LCD Screen
- Smartphone required