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The Garmin Dash Cam Live is a smart, slick drive recorder, enhanced with impressive and genuinely useful features. But it’s expensive for a 1440p dash cam with no rear or cabin-view support, particularly when that includes neither the hardwiring cable or the monthly subscription you’ll need to get the most from its mobile data features. Ultimately, it does many things well, but it’s just too expensive.


  • Smart and easy to use
  • Advanced driver safety features
  • Good video quality


  • Very expensive
  • Safety features are a mixed bag
  • No rear camera support

Key Features

  • A front-facing QHD dash cam with GPSThis dash cam records at the front only, and uses GPS to record your speed and position
  • Mobile connectivity lets you check on your carWith an LTE modem, this camera offers great features – like letting you locate and view your car at any time
  • Advanced driver safety featuresThis camera can tell you about speed cameras, warn you of a front collision, or tell you if you’re wandering out of your lane


The Garmin Dash Cam Live combines 1440p (QHD) resolution filming, always-on cloud connectivity and advanced driver safety alerts into a compact dash camera.

It’s a smart little device, packed full of features, but it’s also missing some biggies – most notably, support for a rear-view camera. At this price I’d also expect 4K resolution, as I’ve seen it on cameras costing around half as much.

Design and features

  • Stylish, compact design
  • Excellent user menu and app
  • No rear camera support

There’s no doubt this is a great looking camera, and with no rear module it’s also easy to set up. Its mount looks for all the world like a 50p piece with a sticky pad on one side – although it’s actually a nonagon. It’s strongly magnetic, and the most slimline mount I’ve seen on any camera.

Garmin Dash Cam Live mount
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

That helps the Garmin Dash Cam Live fit snugly behind or to the side of your rear-view mirror, although you’ll probably want it where you can see any warnings on its screen. One thing to look out for is the bright red power LED at the base of the screen, which can be distracting – I covered it with a small blob of Blu-Tack.

Garmin Dash Cam Live installed
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Unusually, this camera comes with a choice of two lengths of power cable to fit into the supplied cigarette lighter adaptor. The cable plugs directly into the dash cam’s body, so you’ll need to disconnect it if you’re removing it from the car. As with most dash cams there’s no hardwiring kit in the box: you’ll need to spend $34.99/£45 on one if you want to get the most from the Dash Cam Live’s connected features.

This gadget offers a heads up of any speed cameras. It can also warn you if you’re drifting out of your lane, or in danger of running into the back of another car. Many cars built in the last five years or so already have the latter two features, with the advantage that they may be able to act on warnings by tweaking the steering or hitting the brakes. All the same, a dash cam can be a helpful way to add them to an older vehicle.

Garmin charges $10/£10 or $20/£20 a month for subscriptions to activate this camera’s LTE data features. Sign up and you can get an alert if anyone drives your car when your phone isn’t inside it. You’ll also be able to use the smartphone app to check the location of your vehicle, and even get a live view from the camera at any time. If you press the manual recording protection button, or the g-sensor thinks you’ve had a prang, it’ll automatically upload video to your online vault.

Garmin Dash Cam Live uploading video
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The g-sensor is also used to power a great SOS mode, where the camera can automatically alert up to three contacts if you’re unresponsive after a large impact. There’s also voice control, allowing you to issue commands like ‘OK Garmin, take a picture’. To get the most from this camera’s always-on capabilities, you’ll need its Constant Power (hardwiring) kit which, when combined with a data subscription, enables its always-on parking mode.

It’s good to see a MicroSD card in the box, though at 16GB it only has space for around two and a half hours of recording – the Dash Cam Live will accept up to 512GB. Unfortunately, there’s no rear-view module available for this camera, so it’s front-facing only.

Performance and video quality

  • Very good video quality
  • Disappointing driver assistance

I tested the Garmin Dash Cam Live during a spell of mostly sunny weather in mid-May. As such I couldn’t see how it performed in heavy rain, but it coped admirably with almost everything else.

Like other good dash cams, it could expose the road, vehicles and the bright sky without washing any areas out, or losing important details in heavily shaded areas.

Garmin Dash Cam Live daylight sample
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Despite not having an especially high resolution, videos were quite crisp, and still frames were well resolved with little blurring. That’s important, as it makes it possible to read other cars’ number plates, even when they’re coming towards you with a fast closing speed.

Like other dash cams, this one picked up some cabin reflections in bright conditions – Garmin will charge you $30/£26 for a polarising filter to remove them.

Garmin Dash Cam Live daylight sample  with cabin reflection.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Night presents all cameras with a challenge, but this dash cam’s performance was slightly better than average. It was quite capable of resolving the detail of my night time trip around a streetlit city block, and I was able to make out a few number plates from the journey – always a challenge given they reflect headlights so strongly that it washes them out.

Garmin Dash Cam Live night sample
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

At the default exposure, however, night videos were a little too dark, leading to some loss of detail away from pockets of street or shop light.

Garmin Dash Cam Live night sample default exposure
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

You can adjust video exposure in one-third steps: I found that nudging it up by a stop (three steps) made a big improvement to night videos, without overexposure during the day.

Garmin Dash Cam Live exposure valuesGarmin Dash Cam displaying exposure adjustment setting.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Garmin Dash Cam Live is almost certainly the most user-friendly dash cam I’ve tested. Its menu system is excellent: simple and logical, with all but one of the options I wanted (as I explain below).

You can make most changes without needing to first stop recording, and there’s about 30 minutes of battery backup, so you can use it for a short while with the ignition off. Garmin Drive is also the best dash cam app I’ve used – it balances ease of use with a crisp design and good feature support.

Garmin Dash Cam Live appScreenshots of Garmin Dash Cam Live mobile app interface.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

In theory, it’s great when a dash cam offers advanced driver assistance features, but in my experience they’re always disappointing. Unfortunately, that’s the case here. On a 70-mile journey taking in city and motorway roads, the Dash Cam Live warned me only three times that I was drifting from my lane, and it was wrong every time. Conversely, it warned me again and again about speed cameras, even though I drove entirely within the speed limit. I checked with Garmin, and this is by design – speed and traffic camera warnings will always sound, however you’re driving.

The forward collision alarm was much more consistent and accurate, warning me several times when I got too close to the car in front. However, the Go Alert feature – designed to notify you when the car in front of you moves off in a traffic queue – didn’t trigger once.

If dash cams’ warnings were consistent and reliable, they might be a useful tool to increase driver attention and potentially avoid incidents. As it is, I found the Dash Cam Live distracting and unpredictable, so I turned its warnings off. You can’t turn off the speed camera alerts, though, which is a massive irritation if, like me, you aren’t prone to speeding or running the lights.

Garmin Dash Cam Live driver assistance features
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Latest deals

Should you buy it?

You want a live connection:

The Dash Cam Live has some really useful mobile-data-enabled features

You’ve got a tighter budget:

It’s much too expensive, especially once you factor in an LTE subscription

Final Thoughts

This is a good dash cam. It’s easy to use, produces decent videos, and has loads of useful features – particularly if you stump up for an LTE subscription and hardwiring cable. But that’s the problem: it’s already around $400/£350, and a hardwiring cable takes that nearer $450/£400, with an LTE subscription adding $10/£10 a month.

That’s a huge amount for a dash cam that isn’t 4K and doesn’t support a rear-view camera. If money’s no object and you want to monitor your vehicle remotely, this is a good choice, but otherwise I’d recommend Nextbase’s 622GW.

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How we test

We test every dash cam we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main dash cam for the review period

We take sample video during the day and night to see how good the footage really is.

We test any smartphone apps to see what additional features are on offer.

We test any additional safety features, such as lange change warning, to see how useful they really are.


Is it worth buying this camera without an LTE subscription?

This is an expensive dash cam, and some of its best features – car location and remote view included – depend on an LTE subscription. Without it, it’s a more limited device, although it still has big plus points like its ease of use and good video quality.

For me, it’s not worth buying without its USP of always-on protection, which requires hardwiring and an LTE subscription.

Can I expand this camera with a rear-view module

No – there isn’t one available.

Is the Dash Cam Live worth it for the driver aids?

I’m not fully convinced by the worth of the driver aids on the dash cams I’ve tested, and the Dash Cam Live is no exception. It’s certainly no better than many modern cars, which typically offer at least lane change warnings and automatic emergency braking, both of which work reliably and quite consistently in my experience.

If you have an older car and want to add driver assistance, a dash cam that offers it may be better than nothing, but you’ll still need to act on its warnings. I’m yet to find one consistent enough that I’d feel particularly reassured by it.

Full specs

Quiet Mark Accredited
Size (Dimensions)
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Dash cam front camera resolution
Dash cam memory card slot
Dash cam rear camera
Dash cam max memory cad size
Dash cam GPS
Dash cam Wi-Fi
Dash cam parking mode
Dash cam screen size
Dash cam screen resolution

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