Garmin NuviCam LM review

Dash cams have received a surge of appeal lately, and in terms of numbers that boils down to over an astounding 1000% in sales last year alone! This widespread popularity is due to several reasons, most notably the fact that some insurance companies are now willing to use dash cam footage to support claims. Part of the highly successful Prestige Series, the Garmin NuviCam LM is a top of the line GPS navigator that is packed with useful features.

When shopping for a vehicle GPS navigator, you will be spoilt for choice but the Garmin NuviCam LM is second to none simply because it combines the best of both worlds – driver dash cam navigation and advanced alerts to increase driver awareness on the road. Unlike other bulky dash cam units with resistive touchscreens, the NuviCam LM is outfitted with a 6” capacitive touchscreen display and cool magnetic mount. With regards to design, the NuviCam LM is aesthetically pleasing and while it might not be sleek as the latest smartphones and tablets, it is crafted of metal as opposed to plastic.

The only flaw in the NuviCam LM would have to be the mediocre battery life of just 30 minutes, but Garmin’s justifies this by claiming that it’s more than enough time to restart your vehicle without restarting the NuviCam LM. At its core, the Garmin NuviCam LM is sturdy and boasts a robust build, and is appointed with a camera on the rear that continuously records video footage of the road ahead, and saves the footage to be downloaded at a later time.

Highlights of the Garmin NuviCam LM

  • Onsite dash cam
  • Lifetime maps updates
  • Lane departure warning
  • Forward collision warning
  • Driver awareness features
  • High-resolution 6.0-inch glass display
  • Voice activated navigation
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Smartphone link compatible
  • Millions of new points of interest with Foursquare
  • School zone warnings
  • Ability to add a wireless backup camera

In the box, you receive:

  • NuviCam LM
  • microSD™ card
  • USB cable
  • Vehicle power cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Vehicle suction cup and magnetic mount

Garmin NuviCam LM Design & Features

The rear of the Garmin NuviCam LM features an 800 x 400 pixel camera embraced by a swiveling housing. This allows the unit to be aligned towards the center of the road ahead from virtually anywhere the unit is placed on the windshield. The package includes a 4 GB memory card, which slots into the underside of the Garmin NuviCam LM. You can either capture footage in full HD 1080p resolution or 720p, where the former allows you to capture 45 minutes and latter considerably more.

In addition, you can save more footage by simply using a card reader to download footage on the go and in a safe location. The Garmin NuviCam LM can be linked to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and features programmable voice recognition and Foursquare points of interest. The 6” touchscreen is large and clear and extremely responsive, making it easy to program destinations. Generally choosing the fastest route results in less traffic issues, and the NuviCam LM will choose an alternative, faster route if it detects issues en-route.

Traffic updates are streamed directly to the Garmin NuviCam LM so there’s no need to pair the unit with your smartphone if you don’t want to. Plus, these updates last a lifetime and without any subscription. The directions offered by the NuviCam are clear, easy to follow and timed well, eliminating the chances of last minute panic near roundabouts and junctions. The audio instructions of the NuviCam LM aren’t just easy to follow, but the onscreen instructions are just as clear with accurate lane layouts, road signings to prepare you for upcoming turns and roundabouts.

Another neat feature of the Garmin NuviCam LM is landmark based guidance, where the unit will actually say things like “turn right after school” rather than saying “turn right at Sathorn Soi 12, Silom. Fire up the NuviCam LM and you’re greeted with a simple UI and a Where To? search on the map. The device begins recording as soon as it’s turned on, and this is represented by a discreet red light facing you. Adding to this, the NuviCam LM uses a sensor to detect possible accidents, and you can also manually save footage by pressing the record button on top.

Footage recorded by the NuviCam LM is marked with several key pieces of information such as time and accurate speed, GPS coordinates, which can prove who was at fault. Take note that the memory card will start overwriting the oldest file once it’s full so it is a good idea to transfer your data periodically especially when travelling on long trips. One of the noteworthy features of the NuviCam LM is it can be easily detached from the windshield to be used as a standalone camera if you need to take pictures of damage.

Furthermore, the camera of the NuviCam LM doesn’t just record the road, it watches the road, and alerts the driver when they’re moving close to a vehicle ahead. It also features lane departure warnings that work just as well as systems in modern day luxury vehicles. The first thing you will have to do is calibrate the camera and accept a few disclaimers. You can type in addresses manually or dictate them through voice commands such as find category, find place, recently found and view map.

The NuviCam LM offers the best and most comprehensive driver assist features generally found in luxury automobiles. With the Garmin NuviCam LM, you can say goodbye to hard to read house numbers thanks to Real Vision, which will switch the unit to camera view when approaching select destinations. When you sync your Bluetooth enabled device with the NuviCam LM, you can enjoy handsfree calling with the unit’s handsfree microphone and speaker. Safely store your cell phone in your glove compartment, pocket or purse and never take your hands of the wheel or eyes of the road to take calls.

Garmin’s Smartphone Link app allows you to pair the NuviCam LM with a compatible Android or iPhone, which enables you to use your phones existing plan to share information such as POI’s, your destination and even where you’ve parked. The NuviCam LM’s Direct Access feature guides you to your exact destination within a larger area such as a terminal at an airport or store at a mall. The Garmin NuviCam LM can be transformed into a complete navigation solution by adding an optional backup wireless camera (BC 30), which will give you a clear glimpse of what’s behind you when you reverse.

Pros of the NuviCam LM
  • Easy to use voice commands
  • HD dash cam records continuously
  • High resolution 6” screen

 

Cons of the NuviCam LM
  • Battery life is low, but this allows you to start your vehicle without restarting the NuviCam LM

Final Thoughts

The NuviCam LM is an expensive GPS unit, but comes with more features than GPS units fitted in today’s luxury automobiles. It comes with lifetime maps, over a million pre-programmed points of interest thanks to Foursquare, and even allows you receive calls when paired with a compatible Android or iPhone. The benefits of having a dash camera are too much to list, and if you’re sold on the idea, then the Garmin NuviCam LM is the best solution.

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