Garmin Dash Cam 20 Review

garmin dash cam 20

Are you looking to increase your safety and accountability on the road? Dash cams are awesome tools that have spread in popularity as drivers realize how capturing your driving route can be advantageous, whether in the case of an accident, vandalism, or a roadside emergency. In this article, we discuss four leading dash cams to see how they compare to one another, as well as their specific features, pros, cons, and overall performance. The main camera we are highlighting is the Garmin Dash Cam 20.

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is a high-end unit with many unique features, uses, and HD video capture. Each unit on our list will offer you a different set of tools, design qualities, and price points. By offering you thorough product reviews and detailed comparisons, we hope that you find this information to be useful as you search for the perfect dash cam to meet your needs. Let's get started by checking out the Garmin Dash Cam 20.

About the Garmin Dash Cam 20

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is a premium camera that will help monitor your vehicle while you are away from it and will capture your daily drives and commutes.  This useful unit by Garmin is one of their first Standalone Driving Recorders which has contributed to the brand's success and later evolutions of dash cams.

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 will keep you safe and protected as a driver, capturing collisions, driving incidents, or any other unexpected activity that happens along the way. This Garmin Dash Cam 20 model is designed to suction to your windshield and sits discreetly behind your rearview mirror with concealable wiring for stealth and reliable mobile security system.

Hands-Free Security

With the Garmin Dash Cam 20, you can count on an easy-to-use device which will ensure you and your family stay protected on the road, especially to capture an accident, road hazard, or bumper-to-bumper collision. Dash cams are hands-free recorders designed to capture unexpected situations on the road and to protect your parked vehicle while you're away.

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 will record automatically once you start your vehicle, so long as its proprietary 12-volt power cord is plugged into your car's power source. The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is also equipped with an internal rechargeable battery which will allow you to remove the cam from its mounting to help you capture more detailed footage of an accident or roadside incident.

Trusted and Discreet

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is ideal for defensive drivers who are looking for a reliable, GPS-enabled, and discreet camcorder to monitor speed, suspicious activity, or a scenic drive. The special features of the Garmin Dash Cam 20 give you more flexibility while driving, knowing your moves behind the wheel are accounted for, and any collision is well-documented.

The unit is compact yet capable of shooting 720p at 30fps. The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is powered by Garmin's renowned GPS technology which features the date, time, location, and speed as it compares to the recorded footage. The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is equipped with an internal, high-sensitivity G-sensor which will easily identify a small or large impact, such as a car tapping yours in the parking lot or a hit and run outside of your home. This G-sensor-activated footage from the Garmin Dash Cam 20 is automatically protected and saved to a locked folder specifically for collisions.

Product Specs

Now let's look at more details of the Garmin Dash Cam 20's design and product specifications. The body measurements of the Garmin Dash Cam 20 are 6.6 x 6.6 x 3.7cm including a 2.3-inch LCD monitor that gives the driver easy access to change settings or review footage. The device is programmed to reduce its screen brightness while driving to prevent it from being a distraction.

This Garmin unit has a red light on the monitor to signal recording mode. With the Garmin Dash Cam 20, you will record AVI formatted videos with a max-resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, shooting at 30fps. This video resolution is complemented by a 720p or WVGA shooting mode. Your videos will save into small clips of about  255MBs to avoid large file sizes.

Reliable and Easy-to-Use

The Garmin 20 is an HD GPS standalone recorder that offers a 2.3″ LCD monitor, a microphone for capturing in-vehicle sounds, a high-sensitivity G-sensor, playback mode, and a still-capture mode which allows you to take quick photos when necessary. This camera records footage in a continuous loop that automatically deletes old footage that is not flagged as an incident or collision.

With its included 4GB microSD™ card, you can record many hours of footage without having to remove old and unuseful content manually. All video capture is labeled with the date, time, and location, so it is easy to recall any specific clip.

Pricing

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is a high-priced dash cam that offers comprehensive features great for any driver who is looking for an all-in-one GPS / dash cam. You can purchase this Garmin unit for around $379 on Amazon.com.

Garmin Dash Cam 20 Standalone Driving Recorder

Price

At $120, the Vava Dash Cam isn't the cheapest but still rates as affordable.

Special Features

This is a GPS-enabled device with the ability to stamp your clips with the location, time, and date. Your speed can be recorded as part of its computing system, which helps with liability in case of an accident. The comprehensive unit that has everything you need and some extras. We wish that you could turn off the audio capture as it records audio from inside the car—stereos seem to blast and interfere with the footage playback quality.

Video Quality

Video quality is consistent and clear, up to 1080p or 720p. Files are broken up into small clips for easier sorting and clip identification. The highlight is that this cam records high-quality night footage even in low-light conditions.

Design Quality

It is easy to use straight out of the box and only requires a clean glass surface to mount without issue. Sleek design and compact for discreet recording either as extra accident liability coverage or a vehicle security system. The 12v cord that comes with the unit is useless for discreet wiring; we suggest replacing this proprietary cord for a longer 12v power cord. 

Pros

  • Video quality is clear and HD
  • Parking mode feature
  • GPS tags available for video captures
  • Can record even when the car is not on
  • Sensitive G-sensor for accuracy
  • One-hour battery life when disconnected from the power source
  • Comes with 4GB micro SD

Cons

  • No MacOS interface
  • User reports of device freezing or quitting after several weeks of minor use
  • Poor customer service
  • High-end price point
THINKWARE F770 Full HD 1080p Dash Cam with Built-in WiFi & GPS

Price

You can purchase the Thinkware F770 dash cam for around $499 on amazon.com. This high-end unit is best for serious drivers who are looking to invest in their dash cam system.

Special Features

The Thinkware F770 features a 2.19MP Sony Exmor CMOS sensor and 140-degree viewing angle for enhanced video capture, super night vision and impressive time-lapse recording for accurate surveillance while you park your vehicle.

Video Quality

Overall, the image quality is great and consistent with even lighting. License plates are clear during the day and its night vision captures many elements even without direct light.

Design Quality

Quality build of the camera itself, with powerful Sony technology. The major design flaw is that this unit only works with proprietary SD cards—it will glitch if you try to use other cards. The mount is cheap, which compromises the quality of the device.

Pros

  • HD video, crisp and clean footage
  • Continuous shooting mode while parked and vehicle is turned off
  • Many features
  • Easy installation and simple interface

Cons

  • Poorly designed mount
  • Only works with proprietary SD cards
  • Sensitive to bumps and potholes

The first unit up for comparison and review is the Thinkware F770 Dash Cam. This unit shoots in 1080p with Sony Exmore technology, Wi-Fi sharing and connectivity, night vision, time lapse, and a powerful 2.19-MP Sony Exmor CMOS image sensor and a comprehensive 140-degree angle lens. This is a great unit with many unique features best for users who are looking for a dash cam that offers special features and quality hardware.

This dash cam from Thinkware offers a mobile app viewer, GPS, a red light camera/speed camera monitoring system, lane departure warnings, parking mode, time lapse, thermal protection, anti-file corruption programming, and optional accessories such as a rearview camera and a TWA-SH hard-wiring cable. You can record by using up to a 64GB MicroSD card.

BlackVue DR650S-1CH Dashcam w/ 16gb BlackVue MicroSD Card

Price

The BlackVue DR650S-1CH Dashcam is a moderately priced, high-end dash cam with many unique and useful features. Its entire kit is ready-to-record straight out of the box and hard-wiring your kit for extended video capture is easy. You can purchase this unit for around $240 USD on amazon.com.

Special Features

Supports up to 128GB MicroSD cards for extensive video storage plus HDMI, USB and AV interfaces. Dual-channel dash cam operates at high or low temperatures without fail. Optional rear camera and live view mode. Powerful Sony camera hardware.

Video Quality

Awesome video quality especially performs well at night. License plates are clear as are your environment and upcoming obstacles or landmarks.

Design Quality

Easy installation and intuitive interface even with its many settings. Sturdy hardware with an optional tamper-proof case. The unit comes with its external battery pack for easy hard-wiring with plenty of proprietary wire.

Pros

  • High-quality video capture, especially impressive at night
  • Moderately priced with quality hardware
  • Extensive features with optional rear cam for increased, full-vehicle protection
  • Discreet and sleek

Cons

  • Best used only with proprietary MicroSD card
  • Slow live-view app
  • Lacking manual file lock button/option to ensure certain files do not get deleted or recorded over

The next dash cam on our list is the BlackVue DR650S-1CH. This unit is equipped with a Sony EXMOR CMOS image sensor shooting full HD video at 1080p/30fps. The BlackVue captures your driving routes with a 129-degree angle for comprehensive footage that records more than what is just directly in front of you. You can easily share and store your footage with a free Cloud service addition.

With loop recording and three distinct shooting modes, you can count on always having enough room and the right settings to protect your travels. Stocked with a proximity sensor and quick-access buttons, you can easily toggle the device's features by the wave of your hand or a voice prompt. This stealth unit also operates with a parking mode and optional external battery packs to improve the length and quality of your recordings while your vehicle is stationary and unattended for longer periods of time.

Z-EDGE Z3 Upgraded Version Dash Cam, 1440P Quad HD Car Dashboard Camera with Ambarella A12 Chipset, 3-Inch Screen, Super HDR Night Vision, 155-Degree Wide...

Price

The Z-Edge Z3 is an affordable dash cam great for drivers who want economical protection without sacrificing quality. You can purchase this unit for around $125 USD on amazon.com.

Special Features

This unit supports multiple languages and is equipped with crisp resolution making it easy to capture license plates or distant road obstructions. Clear night recording and reliable parking mode that turns on with motion detection.

Video Quality

Premium video capture with a powerful computer system and high resolution. Stunning capture during the day with loop recording so you never run out of storage.

Design Quality

Solid construction at an accessible price point. Not the most discreet camera on our list but still slim and stays out of the driver's field of vision. Easy to install and setup.

Pros

  • Easily hidden behind the rear-view mirror
  • Sturdy mounting
  • USB charging cord
  • Parking mode great for motion detection
  • High-resolution captures
  • Easy to operate with quick-access buttons for muting or emergency recording

Cons

  • GPS not fully operable without accessories
  • A challenging operating system for some settings; manual is helpful
  • Potential proprietary memory card malfunction

Our final dash cam to review is the Z-Edge Z3. This unit is the most accessibly priced on our list and we like it for its simple interface yet inclusive system design. Its impressive Ambarella A12 processor and OV4689 Color CMOS image sensor give you crisp and clear footage day or night.

Equipped with Wide Quad HD (WQHD) 2560x1440P resolution and a 155-degree viewing angle,  you can easily capture your trajectory and surrounding environment with stunning clarity. Featuring collision detection, loop recording, parking mode, and ignition detection, you can rely on this powerful unit to keep you safe with reliable performance.

Conclusion

Wrapping up this review, we realize each dash cam has its perks and offerings for a diverse range of users. The most important elements to consider when shopping for a new dash cam is how much you would like to spend on the unit and what the most vital features are for your needs.

The Garmin Dash Cam 20 is a high-end device that will capture crisp footage whether you are driving during the day or at night with minimal lighting. Overall, we rate the Garmin 20 4 out of 5 stars for its GPS feature, 1080p HD video capture, compact design, and the rechargeable battery. We recommend this unit for drivers who are looking for a quality dash cam that transfers footage easily between the device and your computer, with an easy-to-use interface and reliable hardware.

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