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Garmin Dash Cam 57 review: A solid mid-range dash cam

The best-looking dashcam on the market?

Garmin dash cam 57 review
(Image: © Garmin)

Our Verdict

With impressive features and decent video quality, the Garmin Dash Cam 57 makes for a solid mid-range dashcam.

For

  • Compact size
  • Voice control
  • Good safety features
  • Easy-to-use magnetic mount

Against

  • No glare filter
  • Slightly fuzzy images at duskier times
  • No touchscreen
Garmin Dash Cam 57: Specs

Field of view: 140°
Megapixels: 3.7
Resolution: Up to 1440p
Output resolution: 2560 x 1440
GPS: Yes
Display: 2” LCD

Building upon past iterations, the Garmin Dash Cam 57 hides plenty of features within its diminutive body, including voice control, parking guard and driver alerts.

While video quality isn’t quite class-leading, the 57 represents a neat and tidy package. Plus, those not fussed about a touchscreen or bigger display will appreciate its stealthy, discreet design.

Garmin Dash Cam 57 price and availability

The Garmin Dash Cam 57 is available from Garmin’s website right now, and priced at $229.99 / £149.99

Garmin Dash Cam 57 review: Design & features

The design of the Garmin Dash Cam 57 follows its previous brethren, this time incorporating a latticed pattern on its front. Its jet black appearance and small, matchbox-sized body make it easy to fix discreetly on a windshield. 

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Garmin dash cam 57 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
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Garmin dash cam 57 review

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Four physical buttons adorn its side, and while these feel nice and chunky, they’re a touch loose against the housing. Despite this, I dare say this device’s simple yet elegant fascia puts it among the best-looking dashcams on the market.

Garmin dash cam 57 review

(Image credit: Garmin)

And while the 57 might be small, it boasts a flurry of additional features.

First up, voice control. You can verbally instruct the 57 to save a photo or video, enter Travelapse mode or start audio recording. This feature may be commonplace, but it’s still an important function to help drivers keep their hands on the steering wheel and not rooting around for the save button.

Garmin dash cam 57 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The 57 also comes with multiple driver alerts, including lane departure warnings, speed camera notifications and a forward collision warning for when you’re too close to the vehicle in front. However, I’ll admit that these audio warnings felt relatively shrill on my ears.

Garmin dash cam 57 review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Incident detection is also included. Should the unit detect a collision, the camera automatically saves footage 15 seconds before and 15 seconds after, stamped with the date, time and location of the event, thanks to the onboard GPS. For added peace of mind, the parking guard feature also starts recording if it detects an incident while the engine is off.

Finally, the Travelapse function creates a speedy reel of your journey, fast-tracking hours of footage into mere minutes. Admittedly though, it’s pretty gimmicky and might only interest social media aficionados looking to spice up their feeds.

Garmin Dash Cam 57 review: Setup

Setup with the Garmin Dash Cam 57 was very straightforward. The kit comes supplied with thumb-sized sticky metal dots for placing onto the windshield, to which you can attach and detach the mounting arm and device. Unlike larger dashcams, its small size meant I could position it in more places without obscuring my view.

Garmin dash cam 57 review

(Image credit: Garmin)

I also appreciated the inclusion of two charging cables for upward or downward power routing, meaning I didn’t have to wrestle with any uncooperative wires during installation. The unit starts recording as soon as it’s turned on or registers power from the ignition, so no second-guessing whether the camera is rolling or not.

Garmin Dash Cam 57 review: Software

Connecting the 57 to the Garmin Drive app was no hassle. The app allows for an impressive level of control, letting you tinker with various settings and access stored video and image files. You can also link it with up to four other Garmin dashcams.

There’s also a Live view feature that offers a live feed of your camera from wherever you are. Likewise Garmin’s Vault Storage ensures your videos are saved in the cloud automatically. Videos are saved for 24 hours, though you can keep them for up to 30 days with a $10 a month subscription plan.

Garmin Dash Cam 57 review: Video and audio quality

During my drive test, the Garmin Dash Cam 57 featured generally decent video and audio quality, with no discernable lens distortion. However, during monitor playback, I noticed some graininess running through some footage, most apparent during dusk or nighttime shots. 

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Garmin dash cam 57 review

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It’s also prone to glare on sunny days, which would have been minimized with a polarizing filter. However, I wouldn’t say these are deal-breakers.

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Garmin Dash Cam 57 review: Verdict

The Garmin Dash Cam 57 is a great all-round device with a host of features. While its video quality doesn't quite stack up to its best rivals, the difference is relatively negligible. 

If you’re in the market for a compact, unobtrusive dashcam and aren’t bothered by the lack of touchscreen or more prominent display, the Garmin 57 might be a perfect fit.