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Garmin Nuvicam LMTHD
The Nuvicam is large and in charge, if only because it serves up a large 6-inch touchscreen display and adds a substantial $400 charge to your credit card. Granted, it's currently the most expensive product in our dash cam roundup, but it's also the only one that gives you lifetime maps and traffic, a handy talent to have in a co-pilot that also takes video.
The Nuvicam LMTHD also sports “intelligent” features such as lane departure and collision warnings, as well as the smarts to switch the display to the camera when you reach an intersection—a hotspot for fender benders. The latter I found useful, the former two, as mentioned up front—I turned off. One thing I did like is that you can pair your phone with the unit via Bluetooth, to use the Nuvicam LMTHD’s speakers as a hands-free solution.
What’s really enjoyable about the Nuvicam LMTHD is the ease with which you can control it via its 6-inch touch display. The only things non-touch are the snapshot button on the top of the unit and the power button on its front face. Garmin couldn’t tell me the rating for the onboard battery, but it lasts for quite a while—long enough that you can use it dismounted as a happy-snap camera for at least ten minutes.
The Nuvicam LMTHD marries to its mount using a clever single-orientation, magnetic coupler and sticks to the windshield with a rather powerful suction cup. It’s the only unit in the review whose cable runs to the mount, which makes it by far the easiest to remove and take with you. The unit supports Garmin’s BC 30 wireless backup camera and has dual SD card slots—one for the dash cam, and the other for the augmenting the onboard map storage. If it did radio and music via reverse Bluetooth it could be a rockin’ infotainment add-on for older vehicles.
My only minor issues with the Nuvicam LMTHD, besides its having a short, fat cable that’s nearly impossible to hide, are that it’s cool-looking, conspicuous, and large. Huh? Okay, cool-looking and conspicuous are only a negatives in that the day you forget to take it with you is probably the day someone will smash a window and pilfer it. C’est la vie. On the other hand, when drivers around me noticed the video screen, they tended to drive more respectfully. C’est la vie. Large means you must be careful where you place it lest you block a considerable portion of your view.
One other thing: you might want to knock the g-sensor sensitivity down a notch right off the bat. I have a stiff suspension, but logging 20 possible incidents in 20 miles was a bit much. And come on Garmin, throw in an 8GB or maybe even a 16GB or 32GB SD card. 4GB is being kind of cheap on a $400 retail device.
Garmin Nuvicam LMTHD
This is a premium-level product and you get a lot of features for the money, but it also seems really easy to steal.
- Large touch display
- Navigation data is very convenient
- Integrated GPS
- Accommodates Garmin's Wi-Fi backup camera
- Large size and conspicuous mounting could make it a tempting steal
- You can't record from the backup camera
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