While portable navigation devices are on the decline, HD dash cams are rising quickly so it’s no surprise that Garmin would combine the two creating a satnav device with a whole bunch of new driver aid features.

The Garmin NuviCam has a 6″ touch-screen which displays a lot of information about the road ahead thanks to the HD camera on the back. The camera continuously films your journey and can detect bumps and accidents and stores the video footage onto its included microSD card. It will also save the GPS speed and location data.

The windscreen mount has a suction cup to stick it to the windshield and magnetic surface to connect it to the NuviCam which also doubles up as its charger. It aids easy installation in and out of the car so you dont have to mess about installing and removing the fiddly mount.

The HD camera will give you an augmented reality of the road ahead aiding you in motorway junctions, traffic and lines down the middle of the road. Garmin have called this ‘Real Vision’. There is a voice guide giving you tips and pointers as you’re driving like which way to go or if there is traffic ahead or which lane to get in on a motorway to come off. A nice feature is the NuviCam’s ablity to overlay house numbers onto the buildings to give you higher accuracy when finding your destination.

The NuviCam films in 60mb increments meaning it’ll be a lot easier to find the footage you need incase of giving evidence of a collision. It also makes the file size much smaller to handle so transfer times are shorter.

You have the option of having the camera rolling while driving but I’m not sure sure where this sits with the law. The law states you’re not allowed broadcasts playing while driving. In a police officer’s eyes, this could be classed as some kind of broadcast but don’t quote me on this.

Bluetooth works very well and calls can be heard crystal clear through the in-built speakers.

There are lifetime map updates included with the Garmin NuviCam so new roads, signs, speed cameras etc will update when you plug the device into a laptop or computer. A USB cable is included to do this. The NuviCam relies on DAB radio signals for its traffic updates which has been pretty accurate throughout our time using it.

I wasn’t sure why Garmin hadn’t included a plug adapter in the box for in-home charging, it only comes with a car power adapter. I would have liked to be able to charge the NuviCam fully at home before departing to save an ugly cable streaming over the dashboard. However, the car charger does double up as an antenna for traffic updates.

Seeing the dash cam popularity take off it’s a good idea that Garmin have combined this feature on their latest satnav. There is an additional rear-view camera that drivers can purchase to film what’s happening behind them. Great for reversing and also collisions into the rear of your car.

If your car doesn’t come already with a dashbooard screen and on-board cameras then the Garmin NuviCam is a decent investment for any driver on the road.

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Stef Murphy

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