These three models are a collection of Garmins latest and greatest inexpensive, super-small but feature-packed and high-quality dashcams.
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Similarities Between All 3 Models
All 3 Garmins have the same incredibly compact physical dimensions (2.12” W x 1.59” H x 0.84” D), and they each have a 2.0” LCD display on the backside. The only minor exterior differences are going to be related to the lenses, which we’ll get into shortly.
All 3 models use Garmins super-slick magnetic mounting solution. Imagine you’ve already adhered your extremely small metal mount to your windshield. All you need to do is touch the magnetic mount of your camera to the metal and it securely clicks into place. Now you can just as easily stow the Garmin in the glove box or bring it inside to download your footage.
Also, very important to note is their awesome ball and socket mount arm, which allows you to easily rotate the camera to either side of the vehicle if you want to record an encounter at the driver side or passenger side windows, or even in the rear. This magnetic and easily adjustable mount is one of the most innovative mounting solutions we’ve seen in years, so kudos to Garmin for that!
Differences Between All 3 Models
The 45 and 65W both record in 1080p (1920x1080), but the 55 steps it up to record in 1440p (2560 x 1440), for even more resolution and detail. All three image sensors are high quality and guaranteed to capture your environment: day, low light or even at night. The 45 and 65W have 2.1MP image sensors, whereas the 55 boasts 3.7MP.
Viewing angle is another key differentiator: the 45 and 55 have 122 degree viewing angles, whereas the 65W has a super-wide 180 degree viewing angle, hence the “W” in the name 65W (and note the larger lens for capturing that larger viewing angle).
The 55 and the 65W add voice controls, whereas the 45 does not offer this feature. Voice control allows you to instruct the Garmin to do things such as “save video” (perfect for in-the moment preservation in case you forget to do so later), “take a picture” or “start travelapse”. Anything to help keep your eyes on the road is a good thing in our book! The 45 is the most basic of the three, but also the least expensive.
For a higher resolution and voice controls, go with the 55. If you want voice control and a wider viewing angle, the 65W is for you. The Garmin cameras are some of the smallest on the market, able to fit in the palm of your hand, but they still manage to fit an LCD on the back.
Let’s power one on and look at the display and some of the menus. As soon as you turn on your camera it will automatically start recording. You will receive a quick warning to not adjust the settings while driving – go ahead and press the bottom right button to agree to the terms, or just wait for it to go away.
From here you can press the bottom button again to take a picture or hold it down to record a video. Pressing either the up or down button will get you to the settings if you scroll through – pressing the up button will take you directly to the settings and the down button will take you directly to the gallery. Once in settings you can adjust the camera settings, where you can adjust the resolution, event detection, audio, data overlay, and the option to format your card.
Driver Assistance will take you to camera placement, forward collision settings, go alerts, lane departure warnings, and proximity alerts. The system menu will give you information about your specific device, volume, screen brightness, color mode, display timeout settings, and some setup options; like mph, time and language.
Each camera also has forward collision warnings, lane departure alerts, plus alerts for nearby red-light and speed cameras, helping cultivate safe driving habits. They all also utilize Go alerts which notify you when traffic ahead begins to move. You may end up disabling some of these alerts over time, but the red light and speed camera database and warning system provide real value for most drivers.
The 45, 55, and 65W are WiFi accessible! Using the VIRB Mobile app, easily connect your smartphone to the dashcam to copy over and preserve those important video files so you can share them with friends or even with the police at the scene of an accident, or, of course, with your insurance company.
To connect; make sure your Garmin is tuned on and go to the Gallery, by pressing down or scrolling through – once there, hit the button to share your gallery and it will provide you with the information you need to connect to your device’s Wi-Fi.
Connect your phone to the Wi-Fi, then load VIRB which will detect your camera and allow access to your clips for uploading, sharing and downloading.
Automatic Incident Detection (using a G-sensor) saves “event” video footage upon impact. All the cameras are all GPS-enabled, so all footage is stamped with location, time, date and speed. You’ll know exactly what happened and where.
The 45, 55 and 65W come with your forward-facing camera and a few accessories including a low-profile magnetic mount, a spare adhesive for mounting, a car charger and USB cable, an 8GB microSD card, and a quick start manual.
Optional accessories available for the Garmin 45, 55 and 65W:
Though each camera comes with an 8GB microSD card from Garmin to start with, you can easily upgrade to a 16, 32, or 64GB microSD card. Just be sure to use a high quality Class 10 card.
For great brand reliability, a compact footprint, and good quality resolution Garmin has 3 great options.
The 45 being the most basic and least expensive, the 55 being the highest resolution with voice controls, and the 65W having the widest viewing angle and voice controls. Each of these would be great options for any consumer searching for trusted brand reliability and a small but effective dashcam.
Use the links below to learn more about the collection of Garmins latest and greatest inexpensive, super-small but feature-packed and high quality dashcams.