Garmin Mini 2 – Smallest Dash Cam Of 2022

Garmin Mini 2 front view

Technical Specs

– Max. resolution: 1920×1080 @ 30fps
– Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AUmore countries & vendors (affiliate links)
– Bit rate: 15 Mbps
– No screen
– Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz)
– Size: 53mm x 31mm x 29mm
– Weight: 32g
– Angle of view: 140° diagonal
– Supports up to 512 GB MicroSD cards
– Time and date stamp on video
– Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor
– Operating temperature: from -20°C to 60°C (-4°F to 140°F)
– Overheat protection
– Parking mode: Impact-triggered (requires hard-wiring kit)
– Lock file button
– Apps for Android / iOS
– Internal capacitor instead of battery
– Internal microphone and speaker
– Adhesive mount
– Voice control
– Cloud capable

Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 Review

Garmin’s Mini 2 is a tiny and discreet dash cam that supports cloud connectivity, as well as a basic parking mode. It doesn’t have a screen, so you control it mainly via a smart phone app. Also, the most important functions are accessible by voice.

Size & Design

The Mini 2 is probably the smallest dash cam available in 2022: It is only 53 x 31 x 29 mm in size (that’s 1.22 x 2.09 x 1.14 inches). As a result, it is barely visible from outside the car.

Rear view of the Garmin Mini 2The camera attaches to the wind shield with an adhesive magnetic mount. Due to its small size, there is no screen, and only 2 buttons:

  • The button on the side serves to mute audio recording. Hold it for more than 8 seconds to format the memory card.
  • The large button on the rear is the “Lock file button” as we call it: It saves a picture and marks the current video clip for safekeeping so it can’t get overwritten. With an active Wi-Fi connection, it also uploads the video to the cloud (see below).

Long-pressing the large button pairs the camera with your smart phone. You’ll need to download the Garmin Drive app first, which is available for Android and iOS phones.

The Mini 2 has two LEDs: A microphone LED on the side, and a status LED below. “Red” means recording, so when both LEDs are solid red, the camera is recording audio and video.

The LEDs can also indicate many other possible statuses, such as “installing an update”, “memory card problem”, and more. Check page 12 of the camera’s manual for all the possible color codes.

User Manual

The Garmin 2 manual is only 19 pages long, and very well written.

Voice Control

You can control the most important functions of the camera by voice. First, activate the voice control by saying “OK Garmin”. Then, when the camera acknowledges with a beep, use one of the following commands:

  • Save video
  • Take a picture
  • Record audio
  • Stop audio

However, if you don’t want voice control, you can disabled it using the smart phone app.

Video Quality

The Mini 2 records 1080p (1920x1080 pixels) at 30 frames per second, with a bit rate of 15 Mbps. Its video quality is actually a weak point of this camera: While it’s good during the day, footage is only average at night time.

This means you’ll be able to read most license plates at day time, but probably not at night. For some examples, check out the video clips featured below.

One dash camera that records better video quality for a similar price would be the Viofo A119, however it doesn’t have all the features like cloud recording and voice control that the Mini 2 supports.

Parking Guard (Simple Parking Mode)

The Mini 2 supports Parking Guard. This is basically a simple, impact-triggered parking mode. When the G-sensor detects an event, the camera will wake up and record a video.

You need either an OBD-II cable (Constant Power Cable) or a hard-wiring kit for parking mode to work. Both of these are sold separately.

If the camera has an active Wi-Fi connection when an event is detected, it will also send a notification to your smart phone. For this to work, you will need an internet access point in your car.

Cloud Connectivity

The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 can upload videos to Garmin’s cloud storage, called Vault. Of course, this requires an active internet connection (over your smart phone for example, or a separate access point).

The simplest version of the Garmin cloud account is free of cost, and allows you to store video footage for up to 24 hours. If you want to store your data longer, you need a paid account.

Garmin’s cloud also lets you view your dash cam’s live footage remotely. For this, you have to enable Parking Guard (so as mentioned above, you need a power supply cable, and internet connectivity in your car). Then you can view what the Garmin Mini 2 is recording from anywhere in real-time, using the Garmin smart phone app.

Multi-Camera Networks

If you install several Garmin cameras in your car (a front and a rear camera for example), you can join them together in a network. Pair them all with your smart phone to create picture-in-picture or multi-picture videos.

Up to 4 dash cams can be in such a network.

If one of the cameras has GPS (the Mini 2 itself doesn’t), you can use the location information for the other camera’s videos as well.

Support

Garmin as a company have a reputation for excellent post-sales support.

Other Features

Overheat protection: The camera will turn itself off before it becomes so hot it would be damaged.

GPS: Not supported, but if you have a multi-camera network (see above) and one of the cameras has GPS, you can use that camera’s location information.

Storage: The Garmin Mini 2 needs a microSD card which can be up to 512 GB in size. It must be class 10 or better. A 512GB card can hold about 75 hours of video.

Conclusion

The Mini 2 is a highly stealthy dash cam that supports many advanced features such as voice control, remote view, cloud storage, a basic parking mode, and multi-camera networks. Weak points are its lack of GPS and its video quality unfortunately, which could be better at this price.

Garmin Mini 2 Video Samples

For full original video quality, make sure to watch on full screen and select maximum video resolution (use the cog icon in lower right corner). You may have to rewind the video after changing the resolution.

Day Time Video Sample

Day time video quality is good. We are always able to read the license plates of nearby cars, even though we may have to pause the video to do so.

Night Time Video Sample

Night time video quality is average. We can read other cars’ license plates only when we’re very close, and even then there is a chance of them being “washed out” (blurred) by our own headlights.

Where To Buy

The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is available for sale from the following vendors:

Amazon US / CA / UK / DE / FR / ES / IT

eBay US / CA / UK / AU

Links to vendors are affiliate links, and help to support this site.