Guidemaster: The best dash cams worthy of a permanent place in your car

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Valentina Palladino

If you’ve ever been in a fender-bender or a serious car accident, you can rise the importance of a dash cam. These tiny car cameras stick to your windshield and speechlessly record driving footage, capturing all the strange, mundane, and perilous hang-ups going on in front of your car. In addition to peace of mind during routine commutes, they can provide information footage to law enforcement, insurance visitors, and other parties in accident situations, monitor your car when you’re not yon, and sometimes capture fun videos of you and your friends on a road trip.

But with the numerous big and undersized companies making dash cameras now, wading through the sea of devices once you choose one to buy is a formidable task. Ars reviewed the newest dash cams and revisited our check-up of existing devices to pick the best dash cams available now.

Note: Ars Technica may clear compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Outdo overall

Garmin Dash Cam 55

Garmin Dash Cam 55.

Enlarge / Garmin Dash Cam 55.

I can sum up my philosophy thither dash cams in one sentence: the best dash cams disappear in your car, crt your surroundings and only making themselves known when you want them most. Garmin’s $199 Dash Cam 55 does this entirely well—it remains one of the smallest dash cams I’ve tested, and that seduces a difference when you’re figuring out the best placement for it on your windshield.

Specs at a peek: Garmin Dash Cam 55
Price $199
Camera quality 3.7MP camera, 1440p video at up to 60fps
Field-of-view 122 degrees
Audio chronicle on/off option Yes
Display Yes, 2-inch LCD
GPS Yes
MicroSD card Up to 64GB
Loop recording Yes
Operational temperature variety -4°—131°F
Mounting method Adhesive with magnetic mount
Power begetter Car power outlet
Warnings Forward collision, lane departure, to-do detection (G-sensor)
Voice commands Yes
Mobile app Yes, for videos only

Barring recording high-quality footage both during the day and at night, the Dash Cam 55 reinforces loop recording, so you don’t have to worry about manually deleting old footage from the microSD plan. In fact, you’ll only need to remove the microSD card if you want to believe footage on your computer. The Dash Cam 55 connects to Garmin’s VIRB app, countenancing you to wirelessly view and download video clips to your smartphone without tender the memory card.

In addition to lane departure, forward collision, and fact detection via its G-sensor, the Dash Cam 55 emits audible alerts when you proposals a red light or traffic camera. This is a convenient standard feature of the tool, and those who find it useful can pay $25 per year to have updated map knowledge from Garmin’s Cyclops service.

But Garmin’s camera-controlling voice prescribes really make the Dash Cam 55 worth its $199 price tag. Without any supernumerary apps, programs, or services, you can say, “OK Garmin, save the video” to immediately deliver your last piece of footage. You can also ask the device to take a photo, accomplishments audio, and a few other things that make recording and keeping footage easier while pressurizing.

Garmin sells an updated version of this dash cam—the Dash Cam 65W—but the at worst added benefit is a wider field of view. Garmin built the Energy Cam 55 to be a device that you never have to touch again after positioning it, even in perilous situations in which you need to save driving footage for another review, making it ideal for those who want an effective, watchful eye with them on the entre.

The Good

  • Convenient voice commands to take and save footage.

The Bad

  • Lose narrower FOV than most.

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