Automotive Reviews

Review: Garmin Dash Cam 66W

Back in March my Garmin dash cam stopped working, I found out by mistake when trying to retrieve a video of an accident I thought I had captured only to find out my dash cam hadn’t been recording any footage for 2 years. I thought it was my dash cam that had failed but turned out it was the fault of my memory card. By then the local Garmin dealer had already seen my post and got in touch with me so they could send me their new Garmin Dash Cam 66W to replace my old one. Exciting!

I had my Garmin dashcam for 7 years and back when I had purchased it, the main selling point to me was how compact it was. But, compared to the new Garmin, my old one now looks HUGE (check the photo above). The size difference is enormous, not only because the dash cam itself is a lot smaller, but Garmin also redesigned the windshield mount making it much more compact. My new dash cam is so small it’s hidden behind my rear view mirror, I literally can’t see it when driving.

Another cool feature about the new Garmin that I love is the ability to connect to it with Wifi to adjust the settings, update the firmware and most importantly, view and download footage. Previously to view the footage I’d have to remove the memory card from my dash cam, take it home, connect it to my computer and then access the footage. When I’m done I then had to remember to take the memory card back down to my car the next time I leave my house which I obviously always forget to do. It was a hassle so I love how I can just connect to the camera from my phone directly. Without removing the memory card I can now connect to the Garmin, find the video I want, select which part of the video I want to download, and then download it to my phone. This is extremely practical, I really can’t emphasize how useful this feature is.

The two features above were really the most important for me, but there are a bunch of other features that other people might be interested in, for example, the Garmin has the ability to notify you of upcoming speed cameras. The 66W has GPS built-in and access to Garmin’s local database of speed camera locations so it can alert you if you’re getting close to one. The dash cam also has an extra-wide 180-degree field of view and records videos at 1440p. My previous dash cam had a 120-degree field of view and would record videos in 1080p but I never had an issue with the field of view or video resolution in my old camera. But, one thing I’m curious about with the new dashcam is how well it performs in the evening but due to our curfew I can’t test that out right now. During the day though, especially when the sky is blue, the footage is pretty sharp and clean and only starts to get noisy when the sun starts setting but that’s pretty normal.

Here are some other random features the cam has which I personally don’t care about:
– Forward collision warning
– Lane departure warning
– Voice control
– Travelapse
– Incident detection
– Go feature which notifies you when stopped traffic in front of you has started to move

As usual, I like to leave the negatives till the end and this camera has two. The first is the fact that it’s pretty slow transferring videos over wifi. It takes around 30 seconds to download 13 seconds of footage so you need to be veryyyy patient. The second downside is the price. The Garmin 66w costs KD75 which is right at the top end of the dashcam market. You do get a lot for that price and the build quality is miles apart from cheaper counterparts, but it’s still a lot of money especially when you can find decent ones at a third of the price.

Based on some recommendations from my readers I also ended up buying one of the most popular and cheapest dash cams from Amazon and I’ll be posting a review of that one soon. I’ll also do a comparison with this Garmin but I can tell you from now that once I got the Garmin I stopped using that other dash cam. The main reason was how cheap the other camera felt but also because of basic things like the user interface and the horrible LCD screen of the other one. But, if you’re interested in getting or checking out the Garmin dash cams, here is the link to the local dealer’s website.

19 replies on “Review: Garmin Dash Cam 66W”

I’ve heard some people talking about using a Go Pro as a dash cam. I wonder how practical that is and how the experience compares to top dash cams such as Garmin’s.

Yeah but, the Garmin at 75kd is already a premium and it’s designed to be a dash cam so has dashcam features. Why would you want to pay 100KD+ for a Go Pro and have to deal with issues like manually having to turn it on and off to record? I can understand wanting a cheaper dash cam but wouldn’t understand the need to get anything that costs more than this one already does.

Absolutely right. I haven’t checked the latest GoPro specs, but “if” it had a dashcam mode with auto on/off and loop recording, then I guess the extra $ might be justified by higher quality video feed (no sure if this is important) + the ability to take the camera with you if needed (again this depends on the user’s needs, so not sure if this is important as well). But if you had to turn the camera on and off everytime, then definitely it is not practical as a dashcam.

GoPro would definitely have higher quality video… but what are you gonna do with higher-quality dashcam footage you know.

Maybe if u have a gopro already and aren’t using it then it could be a good idea, but even then i’d rather get a cheap 10kd dash cam instead of using a gopro. i mean i just did that, when i thought my garmin stopped working i bought a 10kd dash cam instead of using my gopro.

The Garmin 66W has a Li-ion battery, I don’t think it’s suitable for people who park their cars in the sun. For those, it’s better to get a super capacitor dash cam.

Please correct me if I am wrong

yup you’re right, supercapacitor generally is better than li-ion batteries for dash cams. But I’ve had my Garmin with li-ion for 7 years and didn’t have any issues so it wasn’t even a factor when deciding on a dash cam. i don’t even know how long this garmin or my old garmin lasts with battery power. in reality it just needs to last around 10 seconds, enough time to end the recording and shut off.

Question, did you hardwire it to the fuse box or plug it into the 12v? Also, did you do the installation yourself or elsewhere?

I had a 12v socket connected to my fuse box in the dash from when I got my first Garmin 7 years ago. Had that done one zeena street. Then I ran the usb cable through the dash and yo the side and under the roof lining.

Thanks, tempted to try this model in my current car. I’ve always used Blackvue dashcams ordered through Amazon. But with a local dealer and your review it makes sense to go with Garmin. I already use and really like their marine gps and fish finder products due to reliability and user friendly interfaces.

Several of the new cars on the market feature built in dashcams. Mine records to a microsd card with reasonably good quality – starts recording with vehicle start and switches off when engine stops and loops the recording.

Being a built in feature – basically one would never know that it is there and coverage is always available.

i can view clips on the car multimedia screen which is a bonus as well.

Maybe this would be the way forward…

Not sure if can name the brand of car here- so not stating.

What car do you have with a built in dashcam? I think I read Porsches can be specced with built in cameras so they can be used on the race track to record data and that they could also be used as a dash cam. I think it was Porsche.

Is there a legit wiring place you know of? I bought a new car recently and don’t want it picked apart from random workers in Shuwaikh. Did that with my Wrangler and regret it to this day. I doubt the dealership will help with wiring my dashcam.

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