Editor's Note: The Garmin Dash Cam 20 has been discontinued by the manufacturer. However, the buy button link for this review will take you to the Garmin Dash Cam 35, which has similar build, specifications and price to the 20.
The Garmin Dash Cam 20 offers high-definition video, photo and audio capture, and you can watch playback directly on the device. It gives you two options for how to record and save your footage so you can choose what is more convenient for you. The built-in GPS, similar to the Blackbox Guard and BlackVue dash cams, offers additional features like red light and speed camera warnings. The GPS aslo provides exact information, such as location, direction, speed and time, if you experience a collision.
You can choose whether to record video in 1080p, 720p or WVGA resolution. The dash cam also allows you to record audio if you want. You can view video playback on the 2.3-inch LCD color display, or you can connect it to a computer for easier viewing.
Unlike most other dash cams, this one does not have a night-vision mode or any sort of image-enhancing features for extreme lighting situations. This means you may not end up with the clearest details if you drive at night or through a tunnel, or if there is a lot of oncoming traffic with bright headlights.
You have the option to use loop recording with the built-in storage or to save all footage to a microSD card. Loop recording automatically records over old unmarked footage so you won’t ever run out of storage. The device comes with a 4GB microSD card, but it will support a microSD card up to 32GB.
The automatic incident detector will mark and save footage as needed if there is ever an accident or a hit-and-run. Anything recorded will always have your location, date and time hard-encoded right on the footage, which can come in handy as evidence. This is applied via the camera’s GPS feature; however, it does not provide GPS navigation or maps for your car.
You can set up the device’s snapshot feature to take photos instead of videos. This is convenient in case there is something outside the car you need to photograph, such as vehicle damage. You can remove the camera and use it to take close-up images. You can also easily adjust the camera record angle in any direction, depending on your needs. However, it is window mounted, so if you want to record footage you can view right-side up, it must remain window mounted, not dashboard mounted.
The Garmin Dash Cam 20, with its built-in 2.3-inch LCD display, lets you capture footage and playback your high-definition video whenever you want. It also gives you two options for how to record and save your footage. Its motion- and impact-detection features ensure you’ll always have the footage you need.