Garmin Dash Cam Tandem Review

With the uprise of Uber, Lyft, and other ride share companies, we’re entering a new age of needing to keep yourself safe when driving. Dash cameras were always a means of keeping yourself protected from other drivers, but in this day and age, video evidence is everything in any situation.

Overview

Here is where the Garmin Tandem comes in. The Tandem features a front 1440P lens from the well-known and highly appraised 66W Dash Camera. This lens has always been a top performer, scoring across the board with top reliability and video quality, thanks to their top tier HDR recording.

What’s new, is the LCD is now gone from the unit, and features an interior recording camera which records in 720P, all in the same tiny package that we’ve all come to know and love.

The interior camera has Garmin’s NightGlo™ which makes use of the embedded IR light. IR light is invisible to the human eye, but is visible through the special filter used on the Tandem. What does this mean for you? 

You get a perfectly lit cabin in your recordings while, in person, you and your passengers won’t notice a difference.

Most interior cameras on the market are separate rear cameras, and have a significantly higher footprint on your front windshield. The Tandem keeps the footprint small, while still packing all the same features, if not more.

Connectivity

Garmin has one of the most interesting takes on connectivity when compared to the rest of the market. With their proprietary “Dash Cam Auto Sync” feature, you can connect up to any 4 dash cameras (Mix and matched!) that Garmin offers. This includes the:

  • Garmin Dash Cam 46
  • Garmin Dash Cam 56
  • Garmin Dash Cam 66W
  • Garmin Dash Cam Mini
  • Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

 

We’ve loved this feature since it came out. Compared to the the current top cameras, dual-channel cameras were the gold standard, but they always came with one caveat— They shared a MicroSD card at a typical max capacity of 128GB, effectively splitting processing power and the capacity of the card. This gives additional heat (terrible for reliability of electronics) and less storage space for your recordings.

With Garmin’s system, every camera has its own processor, own storage, and can be placed anywhere in the vehicle. Hypothetically, you could place 4 Tandems in tandem (Ahem.) and have 8 lenses from 4 different angles, facing both in and out of the vehicle. With the Garmin Drive app, you’ll be able to view all of the cameras simultaneously.

Build Quality

As mentioned earlier, heat is the enemy of most, if not all, electronics. In dash cameras specifically, heat kills lenses, processors, and worst of all, memory cards.

Garmin cameras have always been some of the smallest around, but with added features like in the Tandem, venting the heat should have been an issue.

The Tandem manages to keep the same footprint as its other cameras, due to an ingenious design by its engineers. The Tandem actually features an active cooling system, with a fan and cooler on the side of the unit. The fan is temperature throttled and turns on and off automatically. Even with the fan on, it’s dead silent.

Conclusion

Whether you’re a ride share driver, or just driving your family around, the Tandem is the camera to get. Crisp front recording keeps you protected from other drivers, while the rear camera keeps evidence of the interior of your car— Something that’s been missing from the market.