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Ring Car Cam vs Dash Cam Live (2023): Which One Should You Choose?

Getting a dashcam can be a game-changer for drivers, as it provides crucial evidence in case of accidents or incidents on the road. Moreover, dashcams encourage safer driving practices.

If you’re in the market for one, the Ring Car Cam and Garmin Dash Cam Live are two of the latest options available. What sets these two models apart from others is their LTE connectivity, which allows users to access their video feed anytime, anywhere.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Car Cam and Dash Cam Live to help you decide which one is right for you.

Ring Car Cam vs Dash Cam Live Comparison Chart

ModelRing Car CamGarmin Dash Cam Live
 
Price
Camera1080p dual camera system1140p single camera
Field of ViewExternal-facing camera: 111.5Β° horizontal, 56Β° vertical, 119.5Β° diagonal

Cabin-facing camera: 148Β° horizontal, 82.5Β° vertical, diagonal 153Β°
140ΒΊ diagonal
Displayβ€”2.95 in. color TFT LCD display
Live ViewYesYes
Two-Way AudioYesNo
Incident and Motion AlertsYesYes
Traffic AlertsNoYes
Location TrackingYesYes
Voice ControlYesYes
Mobile AppYesYes
ConnectivityWi-Fi, LTEWi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth
PowerODB II PortUSB Port, optional ODB II port
Dimensions4.1 x 2.14 x 4.28.29 x 5.03 x 2.15 cm
Weight166g109.7g

Design

The Ring Car Cam has a stylish design that draws power from an ODB II port, while the Garmin Dash Cam Live has a more traditional dashcam look and boasts a rechargeable battery.

ring car cam vs garmin dash cam live design
Ring’s Car Cam (left) is a more compact and svelte unit compared with the traditional-looking Garmin Dash Cam Live (right)

The Ring Car Cam features a sleek design that sets it apart from the traditional dashcam. The compact camera unit is permanently attached to a curvy mounting arm, and the main module is adorned with the iconic Ring LED that emits specific light patterns. On the side of the module, you’ll find an unassuming Ring logo.

In contrast, Garmin’s Dash Cam Live has a rectangular form and protruding lens that resembles a point-and-shoot camera. The cabin-facing side of the Dash Cam Live features a color LCD display, which is missing on the Car Cam. For safety reasons, the screen doesn’t support touch gestures, so you navigate using physical side buttons.

Mounting the devices is also different. The Car Cam is designed to be wedged between your car’s windshield and dashboard, using a pre-installed adhesive pad to keep it in place. Meanwhile, the Dash Cam Live attaches to your windshield with a magnetic mount and comes with adhesive metal discs to install before fitting the dashcam.

When it comes to power, the Ring Car Cam draws its juice from an ODB II port. If you’re not sure you can use the Car Cam on your car, you can check Ring’s list of incompatible vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Garmin Dash Cam Live can power using various methods, including the 12V cigarette lighter socket, OBD-II port, or fuse box in your vehicle. Alternatively, you can use a dashcam battery pack to supply power to the device for up to 30 minutes.

Camera and Features

The Ring Car Cam’s dual-camera system and two-way audio make it more of a car security system. In contrast, Garmin’s Dash Cam Live works as a more functional HD dashcam.

ring car cam vs garmin dash cam live camera and features
Dual cameras on the Ring Car Cam offer front-facing and cabin-facing views; Garmin’s Dash Cam Live automatically records incidents

Dual 1080p HD ultra wide angle cameras are featured on the Ring Car Cam, providing a 153ΒΊ diagonal FOV for the cabin view and a 119.5ΒΊ angle for the exterior view. The cabin-facing camera even includes small infrared lights that enable night vision.

Additionally, the device is equipped with a privacy shutter, which can disable video and audio recording inside the cabin while allowing exterior recording to continue. Meanwhile, a built-in microphone and speaker allow for two-way communication and support for voice control.

On the other hand, the Garmin Dash Cam Live is equipped with a standard single 1440p camera featuring a 140ΒΊ FOV, which is typical for car dashcams. It has a built-in microphone, too, for hands-free voice commands but lacks a speaker to support two-way talk.

When it comes to video quality, the Dash Cam Live outperforms the Car Cam, offering up to 2K QHD resolution for video recording. The Car Cam, which maxes out at 1080p, may produce grainy footage in low-light conditions, although it’s clear enough on bright days.

Features

You reap the benefits of Ring and Garmin’s dashcams with an LTE subscription. However, you still have access to certain features out of the box.

Ring Car Cam

  • Video recording
  • Always-on security beacon
  • Motion detection
  • Traffic Stop (records 20 minutes of videos via Alexa voice control)
  • Live View and Two-Way Talk (Wi-Fi)
  • Real-time notifications (Wi-Fi)
  • GPS location (Wi-Fi)

Garmin Dash Cam Live

  • Automatic video recording
  • Voice commands
  • Lane departure warnings
  • Forward collision warnings
  • Red light and speed camera alerts
  • Parking Guard (smartphone alerts when an incident is detected near your parked car)
  • Travelapse (time-lapse mode)
  • On-device controls

Mobile App

Ring and Garmin’s LTE-connected dashcams work with a companion app.

ring car cam vs garmin dash cam live mobile app
Here’s a look at the notifications you’ll get from the Ring app (right) and Garmin Drive app (left)

Both the Ring Car Cam and the Garmin Dash Cam Live come with companion mobile apps for easy access and control.

With the Ring app, you can monitor live streams from the Car Cam’s interior and exterior cameras, communicate using two-way audio, adjust the Car Cam’s power settings, and receive alerts when the vehicle is tampered with. However, to access these features from anywhere, an LTE subscription is necessary.

At home with a strong Wi-Fi connection, the Ring Car Cam’s sensors detect potential theft and send immediate alerts to the app. Shared users of the Ring app also receive notifications, and you’ll receive an alert if the device is unplugged while driving.

In contrast, the Garmin Drive app is integrated into the Dash Cam Live itself. The app offers various convenient features like live traffic cameras, smartphone notification syncing, traffic updates, and parking recommendations.

The Drive app is also available for download on your phone for quick access to settings and controls, as well as reviewing and sharing captured videos. If you have an active LTE subscription, videos can also be stored securely online.

Furthermore, the Garmin Drive app provides helpful notifications, such as a map of your parked vehicle’s location and live video monitoring support through Wi-Fi or LTE.

Subscription and Pricing

Ring’s Protect Go subscription is more budget-friendly than Garmin’s LTE Vault plans.

ring car cam vs garmin dash cam live subscriptin
With an active LTE subscription, you can get a live view via the Ring Car Cam or Garmin Dash Cam Live on your smartphones

In order to take full advantage of the Ring Car Cam or Garmin Dash Cam Live, an active LTE subscription is required. This subscription enables you to access live streams of your car’s surroundings at any time and from anywhere. The Ring Protect Go Subscription, which connects your Car Cam to the internet through cellular data, is available for $6 per month or $60 per year.

On the other hand, Garmin offers two types of LTE Vault subscription plans with advanced features for your Dash Cam Live. The Standard plan, which is priced at $9.99 per month, provides storage for up to 7 days of recorded videos, while the Advance plan, priced at $19.99, stores videos for up to 30 days.

Additional Features with LTE Subscription

Ring Car Cam with Protect Go

  • Live View and Two-Way Talk (Wi-Fi + LTE)
  • Real-time notifications (Wi-Fi + LTE)
  • GPS location (Wi-Fi + LTE)
  • Cloud storage (up to 180 days)
  • Cloud storage for Traffic Stop recordings
  • Rich notifications
  • Download and share videos

Garmin Dash Cam Live with LTE Vault

  • Live View (over LTE)
  • View and share videos
  • GPS location tracking
  • Theft alerts
  • Incident detection
  • Parking Guard
  • Vault Storage (cloud storage)

Verdict

Opt for the Ring Car Cam if you need a dashcam with a cabin view and support for two-way audio. Buy the Garmin Dash Cam Live if you want HD video recording and traffic monitoring.

The Ring Car Cam is an innovative addition to Ring’s security system, offering enhanced protection for your car. Unlike other dashcams, the Car Cam features both interior and exterior-facing cameras, allowing you to keep an eye on the road ahead and the inside of your vehicle. Additionally, the Car Cam comes with two-way audio support, a feature that many consumers will find useful.

While the Car Cam’s video quality is not as impressive as some other Ring cameras, it’s important to note that the Car Cam is one of the most affordable options on the market, both in terms of its upfront cost and subscription fees. If video quality is your top priority, you may want to consider the Garmin Dash Cam Live, which boasts up to 2K HD video resolution. However, it’s worth noting that the Dash Cam Live is not as stylish as the Ring Car Cam.

In terms of hardware, the Dash Cam Live has some notable advantages, including a built-in display, app support, and traffic safety alerts. However, it’s also important to consider the price, as the Dash Cam Live is significantly more expensive than the Car Cam. Additionally, to access features like GPS tracking, you’ll need to pay for a pricier LTE subscription.

FAQs

πŸ“Œ What is a dashcam, and how does it work?

A dashcam is a camera that is mounted on the dashboard of a vehicle to record footage of the road ahead. It is powered by the car’s battery or a separate battery, and the footage is usually stored on a memory card. The camera automatically starts recording when you turn on the ignition, and it stops when you turn off the car.

πŸ“Œ Are dashcams legal?

In most countries, including the US, it is legal to use a dashcam as long as it does not obstruct the driver’s view or violate any other laws. However, it’s important to check the specific laws in your state or country before installing a dashcam.

πŸ“Œ Can I use a dashcam in a rental car?

Yes, you can use a dashcam in a rental car, but it’s important to check the rental company’s policy first. Some companies prohibit the use of dashcams or may require you to remove them before returning the car. If you plan to use a dashcam in a rental car, be sure to ask the rental company about their policy beforehand.

πŸ“Œ How do I install a dashcam?

Installing a dashcam is usually a simple process that involves mounting the camera on the dashboard or windshield and connecting it to the car’s power source. Some dashcams also require a separate memory card for storage. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper installation and use.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.