Garmin 57 Review
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|Bottom Line||This dash cam does not offer great video quality, but it does come chock-full of useful features||A great camera for rideshare drivers that need in-cabin footage, but probably overkill for most other people||Regardless of the time, this dash cam captures clear and crisp videos||With its continuous recording and saving, this dash cam is sure to capture everything, and in 4K too||A small budget-friendly dash cam with the performance to match|
|Rating Categories||Garmin 57||Vantrue N2 Pro Uber...||Miofive 4K||Rove R2-4K||Vantrue N1 Pro|
|Video Quality (40%)|
|Video Capture (25%)|
|Visual Footprint (10%)|
|Specs||Garmin 57||Vantrue N2 Pro Uber...||Miofive 4K||Rove R2-4K||Vantrue N1 Pro|
|Forward Camera Field of View||180º||170º||140º||150º||160º|
|Forward Camera Resolution||1440p||1440p||2160p||2160p||1080p|
|Event Detection G Sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Camera Dimensions L x W x H||2-1/2" x 1-5/8" x 1-3/8"||3-4/5" x 1-1/2" x 1-1/2"||4-1/2" x 1-5/8" x 1-3/16"||1-1/5" x 2-4/5 x 2-1/2"||2-1/2" x 2" x 1-3/8"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This dash cam is 2 1/2 by 1 5/8 by 1 3/8 inches with a 180-degree field of view, event detection, and built-in WiFi. It sets itself apart from the rest with a plethora of features but falls short in a few metrics too.
The Garmin 57 offers a 180-degree field of view and 1440 pixel resolution. These specs sound great on paper, but our subjective experience inspires little to write home about. The field of view somehow feels narrower than 180 degrees, and the image is far from crisp. Reading license plates during the day is tough but doable and significantly worse at night. The already subpar imagery becomes even more grainy in the absence of light, leaving license plates virtually unreadable. The only saving grace in this metric is the bright and vibrant colors.
The Garmin 57 offers auto-on and Event Detection G Sensor. With the default settings, the sensor is triggered through a hard brake. When the sensor goes off, the save button is pressed, or a voice command is initiated, the device will save three one-minute clips: one minute before, during, and after. The built-in WiFi makes updating the software and connecting to the Garmin Drive App easy. There is no interior camera, but the exterior view is very reliable as far as video capture goes.
The two-inch LCD screen is relatively easy to see, and the interface is user-friendly. With up and down arrows to help navigate the menu and a save button to select your setting of choice. The menu offers six options: Settings, Drive App setup, Parking Guard, Voice Control, Travelapse, and Gallery. There is also one button to save videos, but the voice command is more convenient. To initiate a voice command, you say 'okay Garmin' and then request that the device perform an action, like 'take a picture' or 'save a video'. This is not only convenient, but it's safer than physically messing with the device while driving. The GPS records your coordinates at all times and offers lane departure and collision warnings, but these aren't very accurate.
Compared to the other options in our test suite, the Garmin 57 is a midsized dash cam. Its measurements are 2 1/2 by 1 5/8 by 1 3/8 inches, roughly the size of a large egg. It does a good job of staying out of the way, but we are not fans of the adhesive mount as it is not as reliable or easily moved.
Should You Buy the Garmin 57?
This dash cam has a lot to offer with great safety features like lane departure warning, collision ahead warning, 'OK Garmin' voice commands, and GPS location. That being said, its lack of quality video makes this device a very hard sell. The video capture, interface, and profile are pretty good, but the image leaves a lot to be desired, and you can forget about nighttime footage. There are other options in our test suite that provide better performance across the board for less money.
What Other Dash Cams Should You Consider?
If you want something with wonderful video quality, the Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual is an absolute steal, as it is measurably less expensive than the Garmin 57. If reliable video capture and a user-friendly interface are more your priority, the Nextbase 622GW doesn't miss a beat. Unfortunately, its video quality is subpar and it's very expensive compared to the rest of the options in our test suite.