Garmin Dash Cam Mini

Are you looking for a dash cam that doesn’t distract or take up a lot of windshield space? Or perhaps you are looking to bolster your existing Garmin dash cam setup with additional coverage? If so, you may want to consider the Garmin Dash Cam Mini, a compact and discrete camera that still delivers crisp 1080p HD video.

Small yet highly effective

The biggest selling feature of the Garmin Dash Cam Mini is indisputably its compact design. Overall this dash cam is no larger than the ignition key to your vehicle itself. While Garmin offers a wide range of excellent dash cams, this one is clearly designed with a minimalist perspective in mind.

In fact, the Garmin Dash Cam Mini is so compact that it’s possible to mount it in such a way as to forget it even exists. When I place the dash cam directly behind the rearview mirror of my vehicle, the entire device is completely hidden from view. As a driver, I would not even know the dash cam is there had I not mounted it myself.

For those looking for the most discrete dash cam, this is a huge bonus. Owners may wish to avoid the distraction of a running dash cam in their field of view. Conversely, some may like the fact that the Garmin Dash Cam Mini is also well-hidden from the perspective of others. Either way, its size certainly allows it to blend into the background.

Don’t let its size fool you, however. This dash cam still delivers excellent video resolution. Video records in full 1080p HD across a 140 degree field of view. This is easily in the same realm of quality as many larger and more expensive dash cams.

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

Great features in a tiny package

Naturally, there is a bit of trade-off in opting for a screen-less dash cam. There are certain features that can only incorporate themselves into a camera with a visual display. Nevertheless, the Garmin Dash Cam Mini still manages to pack in some handy amenities despite its lack of an LCD display.

First of all, this dash cam still takes advantage of Garmin’s incident detection technology. The device has a sensor built in that can detect if your vehicle suffers an impact or similar event that may likely be the result of an accident. The video is set aside in a special folder, making it easier to identify when reviewing footage later.

Furthermore, the Garmin Dash Cam Mini will always start recording as soon as it connects to your vehicle’s power. As such, there is no worry as to whether or not the dash cam is operating. A red light at the base will indicate commencement of recording upon plugging the device in. The dash cam will even record when the engine is not running (just remember to consider your vehicle’s battery life).

The rear face of the dash cam also features a “save” button. Pressing this will allow users to automatically save the most recent recording for easy discovery and file management. The button is quite large and easy to find without having to look at the dash cam directly.

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

Garmin Drive App compatibility

Since it lacks its own LCD screen, users cannot review footage on the Garmin Dash Cam Mini directly. One solution for reviewing footage is to remove the memory card (or dash cam itself) and connect it to a PC. The camera pops off via a snapping ball joint on the mount (not quite as nice as the magnet mount on other Garmin dash cams, but simple enough nonetheless).

However, there is an even easier method to manage your recordings via the Garmin Drive App. I’ve tested a few different dash cam apps over time, and I have to say that the Garmin Drive App is probably my favourite. It’s easy to use, simple to connect, and I’ve never experienced any issues with the app functioning properly during the time I’ve tested it.

The Garmin Drive App is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. It took just a few short seconds for the app to detect my dash cam, and moments later I was already reviewing the footage I had shot so far. So long as you have a smart phone or other Wi-Fi enabled device to sync to your Garmin dash cam, reviewing and managing your saved videos on the fly will be simple and convenient.

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

Multiple dash cam setups

The Garmin Dash Cam Mini is a great option for those looking for a discrete dash cam. However, it can also make a great addition to a multi-dash cam setup. If you want to capture multiple angles in a single video, I would definitely recommend using one or more of the Garmin Dash Cam Minis.

For example, you may already have a Garmin dash cam out front, but wish to add another feed capturing the rear of the vehicle. In this case, the Garmin Mini makes the perfect supplemental rear camera.

The best part is that using the Garmin Drive App, you can sync together the video feed from up to 4 different Garmin dash cams. If your primary camera is a model with an LCD screen, you can even use the app to add picture-in-picture from additional cameras to the primary screen. Thus, using the Drive App you will be able to record and sync video from up to four different angles!

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

Final thoughts

The Garmin Dash Cam Mini is simple and discrete, providing minimal distraction while still delivering HD video.

It is so small that it can disappear entirely behind your rearview mirror. Yet in spite of its reduced size, it still delivers high quality 1080p HD video along with a few handy features such as collision detection to boot. It’s the perfect choice either for those looking for the most discrete dash cam solution possible, or alternatively for Garmin owners looking to bolster their setup with additional recording angles.

Regardless of your configuration, managing the data on your Garmin dash cam is a breeze with the highly effective Garmin Drive App. In the case of the Garmin Dash Cam Mini, it renders the lack of LCD screen nearly a moot point thanks to the simplicity of the app’s smart phone/tablet interface.

Dave Neufeld
Dave is an avid gamer, a musician/songwriter/recording artist, and an ardent reader with a degree in the Classics but a love for comics too. When he's not gigging with the band or pulling books at his local comic shop, he can usually be found gaming on any platform, from consoles to PC to his self-built personal arcade cabinet.