Garmin’s automotive products were anything but safety. The company’s Garmin nuvi GPS devices were undeniably useful when it comes to map navigation but nothing really compares to traditional driving where your eyes are constantly focused on the road. On the upside, cars are becoming safer relying on more automated solutions but projects like the self-driving car are years away and today’s futuristic cars are just way too expensive. But Garmin wants to establish a safe reputation too by announcing a couple of new products that really focus on safer driving without the possible distractions caused by looking at a separate screen. Meet the Garmin Dash Cam 35.
About the Garmin Dash Cam 35
The Dash Cam 35 is the new top-of-the-line camera by Garmin taking over the Dash Cam 20 which has been around since 2014. It doesn’t replace the Dash Cam 20 as the Garmin Dash Cam 35 is designed to be a much higher-end model with advanced features. Like other Garmin Dash Cam models, the Dash Cam 35 is designed to be a no-frills recording system that you mount on the windshield. It has a display on the back and a camera on the front which functions as an action camera constantly recording 1080p or 720p footage and automatically storing it to the included microSD card. The idea is to document accidents.
The Garmin Dash Cam 35 goes beyond its accident recording capabilities by adding extra functionality that can actually help prevent accidents. One of the main features is its ability to provide forward collision warning alerts. It can scan for a nearby car and issue the alert if the car is too close. It also has a built-in database of red light and speed camera locations. The Dash Cam 35 contains a G-Sensor which powers the automatic incident detection ability which intelligently detects incidents and triggers the camera to save the current, previous and next recordings to effectively record an event without user intervention.
This flagship Garmin dash cam also has a built-in GPS which doesn’t really turn the device into a Garmin nuvi device but it does add the typical geo-location information to recorded videos. It even knows the direction of travel and the exact speed you are going.
The Garmin Dash Cam 35 also has the largest screen of all the Garmin dash cam products. The 3-inch LCD display is gorgeous. It still looks smaller than the average 4-inch Garmin nuvi device but live footage looks far better.
One cool trick you can do with the Dash Cam 35 is un-mount it from the car windshield and use it as a regular camera and take snapshots. This can be useful if your car has damage from an accident and your smartphone isn’t available to take pictures.
HD Video quality is really good even under low lighting conditions. The wide field of view helps as well. The 30-minute battery life may sound poor but when plugged into a power source, the recording stays continuous. There is no need to start or stop footage. The microSD card slot also supports SD cards up to 64 GB in size so you can upgrade if you want more backup footage.
• Collision warning alerts is a game changer.
• 3.0-inch display is large by dash cam standards.
• Good video quality.
• microSD card included.
• $200 price tag might be steep for some car owners.
Garmin has successfully made a product that actually aids in accident prevention. The Garmin Dash Cam 35 is a great safety investment as long as your current location allows the use of dash cams.