Garmin Mini 2 Review
Pros: Lane departure warning, collision ahead warning, 'OK Garmin' voice commands, GPS location, tiny footprint
Cons: No backup battery, no LCD screen, so-so adhesive mount
Compare to Similar Products
Garmin Mini 2
$129.99 at Amazon
|$120 List||$60 List||$100 List|
$94.99 at Amazon
$79.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Lane departure warning, collision ahead warning, 'OK Garmin' voice commands, GPS location, tiny footprint||Very good video quality, relatively inexpensive, very slim profile||User-friendly, inexpensive||Very good video quality, small visual footprint, built-in Wi-Fi||Budget-friendly, parking mode, auto-on, small profile|
|Cons||No backup battery, no LCD screen, so-so adhesive mount||No built-in Wi-Fi, no rear or interior camera||Average video quality||Somewhat frustrating interface||Confusing controls, grainy night vision, small screen|
|Bottom Line||A teensy dash cam with fun and useful features like voice command and Event Detection G Sensor||The best performance and value for those who only want to record the road in front of them and don't need a second, rear-facing camera||This user-friendly model features a nice interface and a reasonable price tag||A great camera that is somewhat held back by quite a frustrating user interface||An affordable device that offers a small footprint, minimal convenience features, and sub-par night vision|
|Rating Categories||Garmin Mini 2||AUKEY DR02||Roav A1||Rexing V1||Vantrue N1 Pro|
|Video Quality (40%)|
|Video Capture (25%)|
|Visual Footprint (10%)|
|Specs||Garmin Mini 2||AUKEY DR02||Roav A1||Rexing V1||Vantrue N1 Pro|
|Field of View||140 degrees||170 degrees||140 degrees||170 degrees||160 degrees|
|Event Detection G Sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Camera Dimensions L x W x H||1 1/4" x 2 1/8" x 1 1/8"||3" x 2" x 1.5"||3.3" x 2.2" x 1.3"||6.6" x 5" x 3.4"||2 1/2" x 2" x 1 3/8"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This mini dash cam offers a very small footprint, measuring 1 1/4 by 2 1/8 by 1 1/8 inches. It comes complete with GPS and event detection. Read on to see how it measures up to its competitors.
The Garmin Mini 2 offers a 140-degree field of view and 1080p resolution, which are not particularly impressive specs. The field of view is subpar compared to the others in our test suite, many of which offer 160 to 180 degrees. The 1080p resolution is decent, but the video quality is quite bad. Even reading license plates during the day is very difficult. There is a decent amount of lens flare, and brighter images are washed out. The lens flare is even worse at night, and the film grain makes license plates very difficult to discern. Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of positive items to report back about the Mini 2 video quality.
The Mini 2 may not be very reliable in Video Quality, but it's quite reliable when it comes to capturing accidents. With the device on its default settings, the Event Detection G Sensor goes off even with hard braking. When an event is detected, the save button and voice command initiates automatically. The device will save the previous one-minute clip, the current minute, and the preceding minute, giving the driver three minutes of recordings surrounding the event.
Unfortunately, the Mini 2 does not offer WiFi or an interior camera. You must remove the device to upload any video or imagery. Another downfall is that the battery doesn't last very long when it's not connected to a power source, so the Mini 2 isn't great for long road trips if you prefer to keep it unplugged.
The interface on the Mini 2 is minimal. Because Garmin's main priority here is making a very small device, the mini does not have a screen. You also have to control the camera through an app. The app is intuitive and works well; however, waiting for it to load requires patience. One convenient feature the Mini 2 offers is voice commands: simply say 'Okay, Garmin' to get things started and follow up with your command. You can say 'take a picture or 'save a video' so you don't have to fuss with the app or the interface while driving.
A few more helpful features that the Mini 4 comes equipped with are lane departure warnings, collision ahead warnings, and GPS location.
The Mini 2 lives up to its name with a footprint of 1 1/4 by 2 1/8 by 1 1/8 inches. Its small stature is barely noticeable on your windshield and therefore does not hinder your ability to see the road. That said, a device this small comes with its cons too. Unfortunately, it does not have a camera, and the general power is low. The Mini 2 adhesive mount rocks, but we prefer suction mounts for a little versatility.
Should You Buy the Garmin Mini 2?
The Mini 2 offers some fun features like lane departure warnings and voice commands, but its video quality leaves much to be desired. The tiny footprint is great for visibility, but it has no screen. It is on the lower end of the price range, but its performance is subpar. Plenty of other options offer higher performance for the same or even less money, ultimately dubbing the value of the Mini 2 low.
What Other Dash Cams Should You Consider?
If you have taken the time to read through the Garmin Mini 2 review, you are probably looking for something compact. The Rexing V1 is 3.3 by 2.2 by 1.3 inches and rocks a 2.5 inch LCD screen. Unfortunately, the interface can be quite frustrating, but the video quality is great for such a small machine. Another compact dash cam we would recommend is the AUKEY DR02. Not only is it small in stature, but it's among the most budget-friendly of the group. It has an intuitive menu and a clear 1.5-inch LCD screen.
— Hayley Thomas and Matt Spencer
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