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Garmin Mini 2 Review

A teensy dash cam with fun and useful features like voice command and Event Detection G Sensor
Garmin Mini 2
Credit: Garmin
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Price:   $130 List | $129.99 at Amazon
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
Manufacturer:   Garmin
By Hayley Thomas and Matt Spencer  ⋅  Sep 20, 2022
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52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 12
  • Video Quality - 40% 4.7
  • Video Capture - 25% 5.9
  • Interface - 25% 3.8
  • Visual Footprint - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Garmin Mini 2 comes with a number of useful features in a very small package. It offers an Event Detection G Sensor, which results in three one-minute clips: one from right before the event, one during, and one after. The voice commands work well, and the GPS allows for lane departure and collision ahead warnings. Unfortunately, the video quality is very poor, the mini footprint does not allow for a screen, and the adhesive mount can be a little annoying. Overall if you are looking for a small dash cam, the Mini 4 may work for you, but there are higher-performing options.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Garmin Mini 2
This Product
Garmin Mini 2
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $130 List
$129.99 at Amazon
$120 List$60 List$100 List
$94.99 at Amazon
$80 List
$79.99 at Amazon
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Pros Lane departure warning, collision ahead warning, 'OK Garmin' voice commands, GPS location, tiny footprintVery good video quality, relatively inexpensive, very slim profileUser-friendly, inexpensiveVery good video quality, small visual footprint, built-in Wi-FiBudget-friendly, parking mode, auto-on, small profile
Cons No backup battery, no LCD screen, so-so adhesive mountNo built-in Wi-Fi, no rear or interior cameraAverage video qualitySomewhat frustrating interfaceConfusing controls, grainy night vision, small screen
Bottom Line A teensy dash cam with fun and useful features like voice command and Event Detection G SensorThe 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 cameraThis user-friendly model features a nice interface and a reasonable price tagA great camera that is somewhat held back by quite a frustrating user interfaceAn 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%)
4.7
7.7
5.3
7.7
5.4
Video Capture (25%)
5.9
6.6
8.4
6.6
7.3
Interface (25%)
3.8
6.8
8.0
3.2
5.4
Visual Footprint (10%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
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
Resolution 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p 1080p
Event Detection G Sensor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cabin Camera No No No No No
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"
Built-in Wi-Fi? No No Yes No No

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.

Performance Comparison


Garmin Mini 2 dash cam - the teensy tiny garmin mini 2 is barely noticeable on any windshield
The teensy tiny Garmin Mini 2 is barely noticeable on any windshield
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Video Quality


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.

Garmin Mini 2 dash cam - the mini 2 does not impress us much with its video quality.
The Mini 2 does not impress us much with its video quality.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Video Capture


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.

Garmin Mini 2 dash cam - leaving the mini 2 plugged in is your best bet, as the battery does...
Leaving the Mini 2 plugged in is your best bet, as the battery does not last long.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Interface


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.

Garmin Mini 2 dash cam - the mini 2 offers voice commands so that you can go hands free.
The Mini 2 offers voice commands so that you can go hands free.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Visual Footprint


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.

Garmin Mini 2 dash cam - the mini 2's small footprint is its claim to fame.
The Mini 2's small footprint is its claim to fame.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

Garmin Mini 2 dash cam - unfortunately the mini 2 does not offer a particularly inspiring...
Unfortunately the Mini 2 does not offer a particularly inspiring performance.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Hayley Thomas and Matt Spencer
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