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Garmin - Speak Plus with Amazon Alexa and Built-In Dash Camera-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 3.8 out of 5 stars with 159 reviews

72%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

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  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Good concept, but a big miss

    Posted
    BADog
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    The Garmin Speak Plus with Alexa + dashcam is a good concept, but in all reality, a big miss, in my opinion. PROS: ----- * Camera has decent video during the day. Width of coverage could be a bit better though. I think the width is only 82-degrees. * Compact size with lengthy power cord * Easy setup though it did take a while to confirm the update was in fact updating. * 2-3 apps need to be installed on smartphone for this device to work. * MicroSD card can be popped out of the device with something similar to a small flathead screwdriver... push it in, and it pops out. Easily readable on a PC if you have an microSD card adapter (not provided). Transferring files off the card is quickest using this method. * Easy readable front display for instructions and directions. * After I linked Pandora to the device, it was able to start up Pandora, pause, and start music with no issues CONS: ----- * Camera does not have good video at night. * My biggest complaint is that it ALWAYS has to be connected to your phone's BT connection in order for the ENTIRE unit to work. I found that if not connected, the dashcam does not even function. Perhaps a SW upgrade could make the dashcam work regardless of BT connection - and if you want Alexa's other functions, then have the ability to turn it on. Forget your phone? Unit won't function. * Couldn't cancel directions if I didn't need them anymore. I was at address but still 300' away from where it thought I needed to be... I couldn't get Alexa to stop telling me what to do directionwise. * Unable to call or text with Alexa. Alexa stated that this device is not supported for voice or text functions. * Simple function of "Alexa, start my day" did not work after I had programed it to do so. * The user is unable to select what size video files are stored. Usually the option is up to 3-4 minutes per clip... this device auto-stores the videos in 1-min increments only. * User is able to download videos to smart device but only through crazy wifi connection that can sometimes be a bit aggrivating. * Unit came with an 8GB microSD card. As cheap as these cards are, at least 32GB would have been a better choice. OTHER OBSERVATIONS: ------------------- * The power cord has to be facing up due to forced nature of microUSB power port. I didn't mind as my cord was going to be hidden up top, but some people may want it to go down in some applications. Perhaps a USB-C power connection would be better? * The blue light on the power adapter is very bright and might be a bit distracting at night if the cigarette lighter outlet is in a bad spot in front of you. You can use a small circle of electrical tape to black-out completely OR 1-2 small circles of white cloth tape to dim the light. * The only option to mount to windshield is using the sticky flat area. There is no other way to "mount" the device (no suction cup, no visor connection, no rear-view mirror connector, etc). Suction cups give out after time, so that's fine. CONCLUSION: =========== I honestly don't know why anyone would need to be doing "assistant" type tasks while driving when your focus should be on driving somewhere safely. The turn-by-turn directions by Garmin is great... and the webcam is the best feature; however, having to use and learning HOW to use Alexa is the tedious part of this process. If you're already familiar with Alexa, perhaps this might be the device for you. But seeing how I have other apps for most of the functions that Alexa is used for, I found the assistant feature nearly useless. Also, not being able to text or call someone nearly defeats the purpose of an in-car assistant as that's what people usually do in a car - make phone calls or text people (though texting manually is NEVER a VIABLE option... voicing a text is at least slightly safer). I just don't know many people that need to tell their home devices to do things as they are usually on auto-pilot themselves... or making lists. Product missed the mark, in my opinion, and with device not working unless BT is enabled, that's the biggest miss of all. If I don't bring my phone, then the dashcam doesn't even function. Fix that, and it might earn one more star. For the issues here, I would hope the price of this product is significantly lowered unless fixes are made.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your review. I’ve passed along your comments for review in future models. We’re always releasing updates to improve the product based on customer feedback. I wanted to address several of the items you mentioned.
      Stopping a Route: You can say phrases like Alexa, ask Garmin to stop the route or Alexa, ask Garmin to stop navigating.
      Viewing videos: You can view and transfer photos and videos by connecting the memory card or the device to your computer using a micro-USB cable. Depending on your computer operating system, the device appears as either a removable drive or a removable volume. Videos are stored in MP4 file format, and photos are stored in JPG format.
      Thank you again for your review. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please reach out to us at tellgarmin@garmin.com. Garmin

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    So Much Potential, Connectivity a Huge Issue

    Posted
    Cupra
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I'm a huge home automation fan, so when I saw that Garmin was bringing out a GPS with Amazon Alexa built in, I was really excited, and then to have the dash cam in there sealed the deal for me. Upon receiving the Garmin Speak Plus, with Dash Cam and Amazon Alexa, I was surprised to see just how small it is. The round face of it is right at 1.5" in diameter, so when it's on the windshield, it is really unobtrusive, and I love that. I really, really wanted to love all of this product from the first day I saw it. It had everything I wanted in something aftermarket I wanted in my vehicle. Being able to speak to Alexa when a weird question arose or to add things to my Amazon shopping cart on the move, or to control the lights in my house BEFORE I got home, (without using GeoFencing) would be great. Out of the box, you get very little instructions, a nice long power cord with a 12V adapter on the end, the unit and two sticky magnetic mounts. Installation is a breeze. You stick the mount where you want to (I chose the center of my windshield up high, to the left of my rear view mirror). I ran the power cable straight up and into the headliner, all the way along the front of the windshield, down the A pillar and then in behind the rubber of the door seal on my Camaro. You can only see about 3" of cable, all of the rest is hidden. Looks perfect! Download the Garmin Speak App and connect to Bluetooth. Now this is where I have some issues. On day one, I connected and it found my Garmin Speak Plus. Was able to play around with it in the car that evening. I was excited to use the GPS in the morning. Started my drive to work the following day and on my 17 mile commute to work, my iPhone and Garmin Speak Plus disconnected from Bluetooth 8 times. My phone never moved and was only 24" away from the Garmin Speak Plus. This was infuriating. I use Bluetooth all the time in my car, as I walk up to the car, it automatically connects to my Camaro and I've used it like this for almost 8 years now, but in one day with the Garmin Speak Plus, it disconnected over and over and over again. It rendered the product almost useless at all to me, being as I couldn't use the GPS, or use Alexa, and couldn't review any of the dash cam footage that had been recorded. I was incredibly disappointed. This was on Feb 10th. I did some searching and investigation online to find out that Garmin was releasing an update for the Garmin Speak Plus software and also an app update around Feb 12th. Feb 12th came and went, I was still having connectivity issues, but the dash cam was working and actually a lot better than I was expecting. I posted a recording online and my friends were very impressed with the quality of it! So instead of removing the Garmin Speak Plus, I decided to keep it in the car and use it for the dash cam. A couple of days later, while driving home, the Garmin Speak Plus turned itself off and did the software update (mid navigation, which was a tad inconvenient!). And then that evening, the Garmin Speak app updated as well. Since then, the connectivity issues have been fewer, and now my phone and the Garmin Speak Plus reconnect fairly seamlessly, meaning that I can complete a navigation route, however, it does still disconnect about 4 times in a trip. And every time it connects back up, you get the 'welcome sound'. Which you can turn off, but I kind of like having it on so that I know that it has initially connected. Just gets a little annoying by the fourth or fifth time of connecting on the journey. The GPS doesn't appear to be particularly dynamic, unlike Google Maps. There are times that Google Maps has taken me to work 5 different ways on 5 different days, in order to avoid delays, traffic, wrecks etc, whereas the Garmin Speak Plus has taken me the same way to work, every single day. There doesn't appear to be any algorithm to take account of the traffic. I do like that the ring around the Garmin Speak Plus lights up in green at the bottom and builds around the whole ring as you get closer to your desired junction. That is very useful and a nice feature. Something that would be nice to have is to be able to click on the map in the app, and see real time your position on the map, again, as a visual cue, if you have your phone mounted in the car. I've tried tapping on the map in the app to no avail. I do like the forward collision warning, and the lane departure warnings, both the audible and visual cues (ring turn yellow in the direction of the obstacle). The sensitivity can be adjusted and it works very well indeed. My Amazon Alexa account linked quickly and cleanly, and works reall well, when the bluetooth connection is available. I'm able to control my lights, thermostat etc as I am driving, so that my house is how I want it when I get home. I also find myself asking random questions, which passes the time on the commute. The Garmin Speak Plus also lowers the volume of what ever you are listening to when asking questions or receiving information. The dash cam is really, really good. Nice and smooth, nice high definition and a good frame rate. The Garmin VIRB app doesn't seem to work well. I couldn't get it to work as requested in the user guide. Instead, if you click on 'Gallery' in the Garmin Speak app, you are able to connect to the dash cam footage a lot easier. And easier still is to connect your dash cam direct to your PC. You can simply drag and drop your footage that way. It would be nice if the power cord was also a USB cord, so you could just plug it into a USB outlet in the car (most cars have them now a days) and then you could also use it with your PC to download your video footage. The Garmin Speak Plus is a fantastic product with so much potential. It has a nice small footprint, unobtrusive, pleasing to the eye and useful. The caveat is 'when it works'. The bluetooth connectivity issue is so frustrating. I use bluetooth headphones with my phone at work, they never disconnect. I use the bluetooth in my car, and it never disconnects, I use bluetooth to connect to my media center at home, and again it doesn't disconnect, so I don't quite understand why the Garmin Speak Plus continually disconnects from the bluetooth on my phone. I'd happily give this product 5 stars, if there wasn't such a connectivity issue. I can recommend this product as a dash cam, as it does record even when the bluetooth isn't connected. Outside of that, it's a tough sell.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your in-depth review, your feedback is appreciated. We are continually releasing updates to the Garmin Speak app to address intermittent connections issues. If we can help with anything, Garmin Speak support is available at https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?productID=591054. We have many online resources available to help with setup along with chat and phone support available here to help. Thank you again for your review. Garmin

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Hello Alexa, Goodbye Distracted Driving

    Posted
    Kelby
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
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    Design: The sleek and cylindrical design of the Garmin Speak Plus minimizes windshield space that is taken up, and the display is just large enough to easily see directions that are displayed. With this being a dashcam, GPS and voice assistant all in one, I am impressed by the small size. What I dislike about the design is the power cord. It plugs into the right side of the Garmin Speak and you must route the cord along the edge of your windshield down to wherever your car’s power supply is. I would recommend putting some thought into where you place the Garmin Speak because, unfortunately, the power cord is quite noticeable. I wish the Garmin Speak could be wireless, but I understand that all the active features would quickly deplete a battery. On the other hand, I do like that you do not have to worry about ever charging it, so the power cord is not all that bad. Overall, the Garmin Speak Plus is a well-designed product that is sleek and practical for a windshield but keep in mind that a power cord will need to be routed to it. Alexa Voice Assistant: I quickly realized how beneficial having the Alexa voice assistant in a car could be. Alexa picks up my voice easily and responds quickly. I primarily request directions, additions to my to-do list or shopping list, weather forecasts, and sports scores. Like the in-home version, there is obviously a lot more that Alexa can do. Asking questions and playing games like trivia make extended drives more enjoyable. So far, I have not had any connectivity issues that would inhibit Alexa from responding to my requests. Dashcam: The Garmin Speak Plus has impressive video quality and additional features that set it apart from other dashcams. If your windshield is relatively clean, you can expect video clarity, as well as a wide viewing angle. Video is recorded continuously, so it will not miss anything, and I have found that reviewing the video is quite simple thanks to the date and time labels. Not only do the Alexa voice assistant and GPS features set the Garmin Speak Plus apart from other dashcams, there is also driver alerts that include lane departure warnings, forward collision detection, and “Go” alerts that notify you when stopped cars in front of you start moving again. Thankfully I have not had a collision warning occur yet, so I can only speak to the lane departure warnings and “Go” alerts. I would say that they work most of the time. Unfortunately, these alerts are not perfect, but I would rather have the imperfect features than not have the features at all. Despite its imperfections, I think that the dashcam on the Garmin Speak Plus is one of the best on the market. Garmin GPS: The Garmin GPS navigation is up to date and accurate. Now that I have the Garmin Speak Plus, I prefer getting directions on the Garmin rather than using my phone. The turn-by-turn directions are spoken clearly, and the minimalist display is easy to read. A subtle feature that I like is that the illuminated ring around the Garmin Speak’s display starts to turn greener as you approach an upcoming turn. I have not had any occurrences of inaccurate directions, so the GPS is very effective. Verdict: I am excited about the future of car technology because I have realized the benefits that devices, such as the Garmin Speak Plus can provide. Thanks to the Garmin Peak Plus, I feel less distracted by my phone and can have productive commutes, since I can perform actions with my voice and ask questions that are on my mind. Some of the features have imperfections, but the benefits and enjoyable overall experience far outweigh those minor imperfections.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Not for everyone but a useful product

    Posted
    psyclopps
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    This product is overall a mixed bag. There were times where I loved it and times where I hated it. Here is my experience. Upon unboxing, I expected more. This is not bad but I just assumed the product would be larger and have more in the box. This thing is tiny! There is some manuals, the unit, the mounting base and a charger in the box. 8GB of MicroSD memory are preinstalled in the device. Installing in the car is a mixed bag. Placing it in the upper left part of my windshield it was out of the way but then I had to worry about the cabling. The adaptor has a long cord but it plugs into the right side of the unit. This just doesn't make sense to me as it just seems as if the cord should be on the left side to better aid in cable management. The cable is meant to be routed in the trim of the car and routed to the the charging port. This just felt kind of lazy to me. A better solution would have been allow for charging and put a battery in the unit with at least a few hours of use. There is no battery in the unit and you will have to live with the cable. It mounts to the windshield we an adhesive sticker that really sticks! I honestly have no clue how to get this thing off without a heat gun so make sure you put it in a spot you are happy with. Once you place the adhesive part on the windshield you can detach that part as it connect to the unit itself via a magnet if you switch cars or need to get the SD card out. If you care about how things look in your car you might be annoyed by all of this, others might not. Setup wasn’t too bad but there are a few issues. You must download the Garmin Speak app and if you want to view camera feed you must download another Garmin app. I was using this with a Apple iPhone X which doesn’t seem to play together too well in my experience. I tied the device to my Amazon account for Alexa integration but skills seemed rather finicky. First, in order to use the app you need to have the Speak app open. I assume that due to Apple’s multitasking management, I had to reopen the app from time to time. I did not have this issue when I tried it on my wife’s Android phone. I was excited to use Alexa to play Spotify and Sirius XM in my car easily without using my phone as I would do at home on my Alexa speaker, but it did not work as easily as I assumed. I had to re-pair Sirius XM to Alexa to get that skill working with the Garmin and it repeatedly told me that Spotify was not supported. As for normal use and navigation. I found that if you start a navigartion sentence as “Alexa, ask Garmin what time I will reach my destination”, it works just fine. If I just say “Alexa, what time will I reach my destination” it gets confused and looks up flight info that didn’t exist. It makes sense since Garmin is a skill but it is easy to forget. The display is great on the device. It is off in a spot that it doesnt distract you and when you need it it is clear and to the point. The color ring assists in displaying what is happening. Green means I might be getting close to the turn, blue is listening, orange is an alert and so on. Speaking of alerts, these were interesting. The device features lane departure warnings and collision detection. My car I tested it on initially has this as built in so I was able to compare accuracy. Lane departure wasn’t too bad but it gave me a lot of false alarms when I was in a long turn. I tested it on a empty road and got toward a line which triggered it ok. I think the errors were due to the placement of the device and it is using only one camera to make a decision so there is no depth information. Collision detection was hard to test since I never had any pending accidents but there were a few false alarms from cars slowing down on the highway. It did not trigger an alert in my car and there was no safety issue so maybe it wouldn’t have triggered if I lowered the sensitivity. As a dash cam it works pretty good! My only gripe is that the app has to connect via wifi. But, if there was an issue you could always just take the device out and pull the file straight off the SD card. It is small and is always recording, including interior audio. The Garmin is great for entertaining the kid of course too with a simple Alexa fact or joke. I got to test it driving to an island up north and it was a mixed bag. If I was in the city it was great! Navigation worked most of the time with quick redirection if needed (only issue was when I had to restart the speak app). As I got more toward nature the device was essentially useless if there was no cell signal and I had to rely on my car’s GPS. At the end of the day I do recommend this product if you have a need for it. If your car is fairly modern and you care about the wiring in your car, I would say ignore it. If you have a car that is a little older (with bluetooth), dont have GPS (or old maps) and wants some upgraded safety features, get this! If nothing else it is an awesome dash cam as well! That is why I give it a 3 out of five. There are a lot of bugs but it has a lot of usefulness as well. It was hard to love it but hard to hate it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your review. I’ve passed along your comments about the alert tones and voice address search for review. We’re always releasing updates to improve the product based on customer feedback. I wanted to add some additional information on a couple of your points.
      Garmin Speak app: We’ve found that ensuring the Speak app and your iPhone are both using current software resolves most connection issues. Here are
      Advanced Driver Assistance: Several factors affect the performance of the forward collision warning system (FCWS) and the lane departure warning system (LDWS). These features provide alerts only when your vehicle speed exceeds minimum speeds. Incorrect placement and alignment of the camera will also affect functionality. Here are additional tips to help with both features: https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webhelp/speakplus/EN-US/GUID-2FBEBC18-3F6C-4354-B62D-CD86701ECC4C.html
      Thank you again for your review. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please reach out to us at tellgarmin@garmin.com. Garmin

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    So Much in A Small Package

    Posted
    antosc
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
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    The built in camera is very nice. It produces a clear picture and has a wide enough angle to show the entire road in front of the vehicle. The mount allows easy adjustments to line the camera straight ahead. I used some of the footage for a safety briefing and was able to blow it up with a projector onto an approximately 8’ screen with satisfactory clarity. My only issue with the camera is the mount cannot be moved to another vehicle without losing it’s adhesive. I read a couple reviews from people placing this in the top right corner and having difficulties with driver alerts and cable placement. Mine is placed in the top center just under the mirror. With it’s small size, it doesn’t interfere with visibility and I was able to easily hid the cable down the passenger side trim. The GPS functions exactly as advertised but doesn’t have all the capabilities of a standard Garmin or build-in GPS system. Being such a small device (which I do see as a perk), the display only provides left, right, and straight as well as driver alerts (lane departures and front collision detection). I like to see a layout of the roads in the area I’m driving and trip information. I love the driver alerts. It takes a few initial adjustments to get the lanes “calibrated” but, once set, accurately helps keep you aware of drifts. I installed this in a heavily modified vehicle with a very soft suspension so stopping on a dime is not always a luxury. The front collision indication works far enough ahead that I have plenty of time to stop (even tested last night in the dark). For a regular vehicle, this should give ample time to respond in order to avoid accidents. Though others may not have an issue with it, I do not personally like the apps Garmin Speak and Garmin VIRB. It takes a bit of use to even become familiar with it and then you need to leave power to the Garmin speak to use it. Amazon Alexa integrated into the unit is it’s saving grace for my opinion of this device. The option for hands free control is more flexible than and more accurate than my Garmin GPS system. Since I installed this in an older vehicle, it’s nice to have the hands free calling. Something I miss when not driving my second (newer) vehicle. My last drawback to the Garmin Speak is the volume. After extensive research, I can’t determine how to increase the volume. The included manual only shows installation. With the radio on, I can’t hear any directions. Bottom line, is this is a nice unit for all it comes with but I’ll only be using this for the built-in dash camera and lane departure warnings. I’ll stick with my GPS unit for directions.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your feedback. You can also view and transfer photos and videos by connecting the device to your computer using a micro-USB cable. Depending on your computer operating system, the device appears as either a removable drive or a removable volume. Videos are stored in MP4 file format, and photos are stored in JPG format.
      The device provides ten volume levels. You can say phrases like these to adjust the volume level: Alexa, turn it up, Alexa, turn it down Alexa, set the volume to four. If you have questions, Garmin Speak support is available at https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?productID=591054. We have many online resources available to help with setup along with chat and phone support available here to help. Thank you again for your review. Garmin

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great device with minor flaws

    Posted
    dlowen
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    The Garmin Speak Plus is a great concept but it does come with a few flaws. It packs so many awesome features into such a tiny package. Starting with setup, it is pretty simple as it just comes with the GPS and a power cord. You simply stick it to your window and then route the chord and plug into a cigarette lighter. This comes to my first downfall. It attaches to the window with a sticky. I wish there was a better way to attach to the window such as a suction cup. This being said, it doesn’t fall down easily. Connecting to the app was simple as downloading and following the instructions to connect. My next down fall is that it at times had connection issues. This included losing data connection when trying to navigate. In addition to that if you want to see live video from the dash cam or look at saved footage you have to disconnect it from Bluetooth, connect through your phone Wi-Fi, and use another app. I also have yet to find a way to get the SD card out of the camera to view the footage on the computer. The footage that it does capture is great if you are able to actually use it. When I went to download a clip that was 3 mins long it got about halfway done (after 10 mins) but then the connection failed and I could not get the clip. In regards to the video quality and the forward collision/lane departure warnings, it is all great and even impressed me in the dark. The navigation worked well and was simple to read the directions. The only downfall was that I couldn’t really find anyway in the app to stop navigating or change route. My last flaw about the device is the audio. You have two options, the audio can come out of the device itself or through your vehicles Bluetooth. When I drive I normally listen to my radio and you cannot simultaneously listen to the radio and Bluetooth audio. I also tried having the audio go through the Speak Plus but the speaker was not loud at all and it took my phone call audio through the speak plus with this option as well. Overall this device can do a lot and I will be integrating it into my daily drives. I am hoping that with future updates all the little flaws will be fixed. The flaws are not enough to steer me away from this device but if you do not need everything this device offers a standalone GPS or dash camera could be a better option.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your review. I’d like to address a couple of points that you mentioned.

      Mount: The mount for this device includes 2 pieces (Magnetic mount and metal adhesive disc). The only thing that remains attached to the windshield after the initial installation is the small metal adhesive disc. The Speak Plus device and the low-profile mount can be removed when the device is not in use. This link takes you to the installation instructions in the owner’s manual:  https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webhelp/speakplus/EN-US/GUID-C495A8FA-5BA6-4C93-B300-2A015385E11F.html
      Also, this Garmin Support video shows the process for mounting a Garmin Speak:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzyroW5-zeE

      Garmin Speak app: We’ve found that ensuring the Speak app and your iPhone are both using current software resolves most connection issues.

      Viewing videos: You can view and transfer photos and videos by connecting the memory card or the device to your computer using a micro-USB cable. Depending on your computer operating system, the device appears as either a removable drive or a removable volume. Videos are stored in MP4 file format, and photos are stored in JPG format.

      Stopping a Route: You can say phrases like Alexa, ask Garmin to stop the route or Alexa, ask Garmin to stop navigating.

      Speaker volume: The device provides ten volume levels. You can say phrases like these to adjust the volume level: Alexa, turn it up, Alexa, turn it down Alexa, set the volume to four.

      Thank you again for your review. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please reach out to us at tellgarmin@garmin.com. Garmin

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    pretty good alexa device in your car!

    Posted
    blah
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    Member ID: 2960219775 Setup is pretty easy, just stick to your rear view mirror back. It has a sticky thing with a magnetic charge. I like that you don’t have to put it on your windshield, and can have it hang off your rear view mirror. It doesn’t look like it, but it will actually not fall. I was really surprised that it did not fall off. This thing is really tiny, just a cylinder with a screen on it telling your next driving direction turns, etc, basically a HUD (heads up display). Have a few amazon alexa devices at home, and this is the first device in car that I have tried. The Alexa commands and functionality work very well. Controls everything they way my other Alexa devices to in my home. Want to know what is nearby by? Ask Alexa, it will speak right out to you. Want to turn your Alexa controlled lights back home on or off? Just ask Alexa to do it for you, hands free, in your car. Basically anything that you can ask Alexa at home, it will tell you. Weather, stocks, news, etc. Want to play music by a certain artist? “Alexa, play music by Justin Timberlake” and it will shuffle the music by the artist. Using the GPS on this thing via voice works pretty well, unless I have to speak really obscure names, it seems to be a bit hit or miss on finding them. I can always go into the actual app to enter them in by hand. It uses it’s own Garmin GPS app on your phone, and passes it thru to the Garmin Speak. Want to get directions, say “Alexa navigate me to the nearest Best Buy”, and it will launch the directions on Garmin directions to your location. You can also ask Alexa about traffic conditions and it will offer up fastest routes. Via Garmin Speak app, you can set your home location, work location, school, setup avoidance of toll roads, very much like the Waze app works, only this one can be controlled by Alexa the Garmin Speak. The camera was one of the biggest reasons to get this. Daylight recordings are fine, but if it is dark out, it is difficult to make out fine details in the recordings. The recordings have date and time stamps,your speed, and even GPS location on the bottom on a small bar. The camera will also warn you of lane departure, and I find this to be the best feature of having the camera . It even tells you if you are too close to the car in front of you. I don’t have any of those features in my car, so it was great to have them on-board now. Overall, the Garmin Speak Plus with Amazon Alex and Dash Camera, is worth getting if you would like Alexa voice control in your car, and the camera features are most worth it for lane departure warnings. I think some of the small bugs will be fixed via app updates. Recommended.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    I wanted to like this...

    Posted
    AverageConsumer
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    To start off let's head to the unboxing experience. It is a lot smaller than you think it's going to be being able to fit in the palm of my hand which was a benefit when it came to installation. You have to use there own micro-usb vehicle charger which is a complete all in one system which I wasn't a fan of because I already have usb ports in my car and other car chargers. Installation is where most people will be annoyed. I tried to hide mine by making little holes to funnel the cable under my dash but I didn't like the fact that it used micro-usb because when i found the perfect spot i wanted it looked funny because the cable only goes one way. This means I have a bit of a loop going in the opposite direction which is a minor problem but I expect more for something at this price level. When you jump into the app this is where I disliked the most. First, you can't just view live feed the camera has to change what time of connection mode it is EVERY TIME when you go in and out of gallery to get to live mode. Second, you got a voice activated Garmin so you can ask it to take you places right....WRONG it will inform you that you must use the app to input your searches. To answer your question yes I went to Alexa's skills to see exactly how you need to say it to Alexa and still nothing. Last thing I want to say and the reason why I do not recommend this product is the BEEPS. You need to find Garmin's perfect spot in your car because if you are even slightly off it will beep at EVERYTHING. When it thinks there is a car in front of you but there isn't BEEP. When it thinks your switching lanes when your not BEEP. I wanted to like this to prove that point I have holes now around my car for something that I am uninstalling today. I'm annoyed and my recommendation is to simply wait for the next one. Alexa, ask Garmin to take me to "ADDRESS". Alexa responds: I'm sorry but you must use the Alexa app to input the address.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your feedback. I wanted to address a couple of the items you mentioned. The only requirements to use the Speak plus is to have an Amazon account and a Bluetooth-enabled iOS or Android smartphone with Internet access. The device must also have the Garmin Speak App installed. The Amazon Alexa mobile app is not required to set up the Garmin Speak Plus device, or to receive directions and traffic information. However, it is recommended to download the Amazon Alexa app to make use of other functionalities with the device, including music, audio book or news playback. Visit Amazon Alexa for more information about the Amazon Alexa app and available skills.
      This link offers helpful tips on using the forward collision warning and the lane departure warnings. Detailed instructions for aligning the camera are also included:  http://bit.ly/2HH5pab
      Garmin Speak support is available at https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?productID=591054. We have many online resources available to help with setup along with chat and phone support available here to help. Thank you again for your review. Garmin

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love Alexa and Dash cam, don't need the GPS.

    Posted
    TechMatcher
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    OK - I have several Alexa device in my home, so it's only logical that now I have one for my car! The Garmin Speak Plus does just that - a step up from the original Garmin Speak as this new version adds the Dash Cam, GPS and more from Alexa. First off - the BAD. I wish this had a portal suction cup mount so I can move it from vehicle to vehicle or use in a rental. As of now is has a magnetic base that adheres to the windshield - and you only get one in the package. At a min, they should include 3. Overall - they should make a suction cup mount. Second, the GPS is touch to use when by now we are all used to the built in GPS or cell phone GPS. I'm a huge Waze user on my iphone, and there's no way I'm going to switch so the GPS function in the Garmin Speak just won't be used. What I will use, is the Dash Cam and Alexa. Even from my first trip with it, I can see it is beneficial. The Driver Assist features are pretty cool too for older vehicles that don't have these features built in: Lane Drift Warnings, Forward Collision Warnings and Go Alerts for when you are stuck in traffic jams. The Dash Cam seems to have a limited view angle - so only head-on or far front collisions may be detected. Still - better than having nothing. You have to ask Alexa to save a picture or save mobile video - would be better if that was more straightforward. You can use the Garmin Speak app on your phone as well, but voice commands are infinitely easier. It also auto-detects collisions and will save the footage upon that trigger as well. Mobile footage management isn't the best because it's all done with Garmin's VIRB app, which is stark, to say the least. All that said - I love having Alexa as my driving companion in the car. If you have a older vehicle lacking many of these features - this is a no brainer!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Alexa enabled car!

    Posted
    AKK1
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    I wrote this review after testing the device for a full two days and after comparing it to other alternative, which I will explain in details below: The things I LOVE: - this thing is GREAT if you have kids and have long trips, it can keep them busy with riddles and stories - all the power Alexa has to offer in your car. - it doesn't suck a lot of internet bandwidth. I used it for about 4 hours of navigation and music and news and it used about 40MB. very good for people on limited internet plans. - this thing is small! - the dash cam is accurate, nimble, with HD resolution. you can say: Alexa, save this video, and it starts saving your trip, then you have the option to download on your phone or share across social media. - Garmin navigation is responsive, good, and has the same accuracy and smartness like waze or google maps. - the Speak app which you need to connect to the device auto detects when you are in the car and connects to it in no time. - the connection is amazing, Bluetooth was connecting to my car, my smart watch, and to Garmin speak at the same time (this depends also on how good your smart phone is). Things I DONT like: - this thing has to be wired at all times, it is Ugly, can be hidden well with some work, but still, I don't understand how when they designed it to be fixed on the left side of the windshield they ended up pacing the charging slot on the right side, and the 2 buttons on the left side. - Alexa on the Garmin speak plus does NOT support Spotify, or making phone calls through your phone. these are 2 very important features. - front and side colission assistance is more of a cosmetic featue as it doesn't always work, and sometimes it works when its not supposed to. - one very huge issue is that I was driving and using Navigation when all of a sudden the device started an update and STOPPED giving directions for a whole 10 minutes. there should be a notification asking if you want to update now or postpone it to a later time when you are not in need of the device. final words: while I do not really need it in my car for navigation, or music since I have a bluetooth enabled car equipped with navigation, I will be keeping it because of Alexa, and the dash cam.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your feedback, I’ve passed along your comment about Spotify as well as the timing of the device updates. Several factors affect the performance of the lane departure warning system (LDWS). The feature provides alerts only when your vehicle speed exceeds 40 mph. Incorrect placement and alignment of the camera will also affect functionality. Here are additional tips to help with this feature: https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webhelp/speakplus/EN-US/GUID-05B83C05-D9E9-4AAF-A0C1-ABA55EE1212C.html

      Thank you again for your review. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please reach out to us at tellgarmin@garmin.com. Garmin

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Functional, Feature Filled

    Posted
    JorgeST
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    When i first heard that Garmin was coming out with Speak Plus I was super excited. As I had always wanted a dash cam, this was the prefect item for me. After giving it some thorough use i have some to the conclusion that the quality of this item really boils down to 2 categories. Functionality and Features. After the super smooth set up i jumped right into the basic 101 of the item. Easy GPS, Easy recordings, Easy Alexa Integration. The App was very intuitive in setting up too. One thing that i noticed, however was that the App was a little lagging on features... but the alexa integration hedged that thought of mine. The app doubled as my in vehicle GPS, but smoother. I was able to "ask Garmin" to direct me to the nearest coffee shop in a breeze. Bottom line, if you are looking for an intuitive device to assist with GPS capabilities, this is a go to. It also is super compact and does not eat up a lot of room on my dash/windshield... and although the OLED display is solid the wires that go from the unit to the power plug in are a bit in the way which which negated the overall score of this review. Functions - One thing that, for me, is a little bit of a learning curve is the "connected" nature of our tech era. I enjoy if, but often times forget of the capabilities. The Alexa integration is a great example... the feature are endless... change my thermostat, can play music, etc etc. Its hard to remember all of the features. But never the less, practice makes perfect. All in all a great slender, device that is bound to change the way we stay connected while on the go!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Good device but not good enough

    Posted
    Santy41
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    I’ve always been interested on having a cam like this on my vehicle , so I give it a try to the Garmin speak plus with the built in camera & Alexa. I have a few gadgets that use Alexa so I’m familiar with the voice command, and on this device , Alexa works great !.This Garmin plus was easy to install and set up, but there was a few things I didn’t quite sure liked , for example ,the way you have to install the metal part on your windshield, rather than suction cups that way you can move it to another vehicle if you like, the second down side was the cord it’s a little annoying having that cord on the right side sticking up and you have to put that long cable around your dashboard to hide it, it would’ve been nice to have a wireless-rechargeable device, like regular GPS. I will recommend this Garmin plus for those people that do not have those basic driving alerts like the new vehicles have ( lane departure alerts, stop traffic alerts, etc). There’s two apps that you need to download on your phone to be able to manage videos and pictures from the dash cam, the app need some work since you can’t control to much on it unless you are connected to the Garmin plus via data network. Once in a while the Garmin lost connection because poor data connection, in order to see the videos on the Garmin video app, you will need to be connected to the WiFi . The switching to Alexa app to the Garmin app or to the Garmin video app it’s to much. I rather have a gps from Garmin that include dash cam that you be able to see it on the screen and has voice command on a rechargeable product , I’m sure they have one. Good try with the Garmin speak plus with Alexa, but it really need some more work and updates for the price.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your product review. We are always working to improve the product based on customer feedback. I’d like to address several of the points that you mentioned.
      Mount: The mount for this device includes 2 pieces (Magnetic mount and metal adhesive disc). The only thing that remains attached to the windshield after the initial installation is the small metal adhesive disc. The Speak Plus device and the low-profile mount can be removed when the device is not in use.
      Power Cable: The power cable is designed to be routed up and out of sight around the windshield, tucked it into the gap between the windshield and the trim. The owner’s manual provides an illustration for installing and powering the Garmin Speak™:  http://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webhelp/garminspeak/EN-US/GUID-6A26C806-35D9-4C00-90C7-B7D9EFE13207.html
      Viewing videos: You can view and transfer photos and videos by connecting the memory card or the device to your computer using a micro-USB cable. Depending on your computer operating system, the device appears as either a removable drive or a removable volume. Videos are stored in MP4 file format, and photos are stored in JPG format.
      If you have questions, Garmin Speak support is available at https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?productID=591054. We have many online resources available to help with setup along with chat and phone support available here to help. Thank you again for your review. Garmin

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    OK but not good enough

    Posted
    Jtynn
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I was pretty excited for the Speak plus as I have a home with Alexa controlled devices and thought it would be nice to recall scenes as I approach home. The Alexa portion works great, the navigation is OK and by that I mean that the OLED screen is easy to see and really convenient but using my voice has been pretty hit and miss for street names where it tells me it cant find them so I have to use the Speak app to manually enter anyways. The real deal breaker is the camera, which is the real reason to buy this, as the view angle is very narrow, at 82 degrees, compared to most other cameras and even worse is that in my recordings thus far at night the dynamic range is so bad. I cannot read a single license plate when I download a file rendering the recordings basically useless. As the main reason for this version of the Speak over the standard Speak is the camera I have to say I cannot recommend this. I hope the dynamic range is something they can fix with software but I fear it is simply hardware related and this is a situation where form factor was more important than performance. For me the compromises are too great...

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your feedback about the image quality of the dash cam. I’ve passed along your comments for review. We are always releasing software updates to improve the device. The Garmin Speak Plus does not support address searches via voice. As you mentioned, to get directions to a specific address through the Garmin Speak device, the Garmin Speak app is needed to search an address. The device will allow for Points of Interest searches via voice. For example, you can say, "Alexa, ask Garmin to take me to Starbucks".
      Thank you again for your review. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please reach out to us at tellgarmin@garmin.com. Garmin

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Nice, but needs work

    Posted
    Lonestar10
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I'm a huge Garmin GPS fan and had been considering the Garmin dash cams, but when they combined the dash cam with Alexa, I jumped at the chance to buy it. After using it for a week or so, I'm a bit disappointed. It's not a great dash cam (it's only 82 degrees wide), but my biggest complaint is about how clunky the camera is to set up. You are asked to use not ONE, but TWO separate Garmin apps, Speak and VIRB. Without them, it's impossible to see or aim the camera image. It really feels like this product was rushed to market before just one, robust app was developed. Maybe it's coming soon. I hope so. When driving, the Speak Plus will (optionally) alert with a tone you when your vehicle drifts out of its lane or if you're about to collide with something. It will also alert you if the stopped cars ahead of you have moved on and you're still stationary. But it's the SAME tone for any alert. A little variety would help. The Alexa service works as promised. I like listening to Internet radio stations and podcasts, and this device, when paired to your car's stereo, makes that very easy. The GPS feature is another area that needs work. You cannot ask Alexa to ask Garmin to "Direct me to 123 Main Street." You have to type the address in the Speak app. Again, an update could possibly fix this. I considered returning the Garmin Speak Plus, but I'm going to keep it just to see how they improve upon it. At the very least, I'd love to see Alexa incorporated into the Garmin DriveLuxe GPS series. THAT would be cool.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your review. I’ve passed along your comments about the alert tones and voice address search for review. We’re always releasing updates to improve the product based on customer feedback. After the initial install and pairing of the VIRB app, viewing live dash cam and saved clips should be seamless through the Garmin Speak app. If it’s not please reach out to us with the details at tellgarmin@garmin.com. Garmin

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Mini Alexa GPS

    Posted
    Janine
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Experience the fun and convenience of Amazon’s Alexa-enabled voice control for your music and more ... right in your vehicle. Along with Garmin’s trusted route guidance, all in one! I really like the idea of what this device is. One of the first things I did was just play around with the Alexa part of it, never having had one of these Amazon devices before; and it was fun! To get started, there are a few apps you will need to download and install on your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to be able to properly use this Garmin Speak Plus with Alexa device, including - the Garmin Speak app, Amazon Alexa app, and the Garmin VIRB app (in order to use the built-in dash cam feature). My advice, take the time to fully get to know your new device and fine tune the customizable settings. From the Amazon Alexa app you can have your Garmin Speak ‘learn’ other “skills” so as to make the device even more useful and fun. Something I found particularly disappointing, however, was the lack of any real instructions included in the box with the device. There basically wasn’t any; just an insert with a short and simple description of how to mount the base in your vehicle, along with a paper mentioning some of the ‘Things to Try’ with your new device. A frustrating issue I continued to keep having, was that the Garmin Speak seems to need to reconnect and re-pair every time I go to use it, as well as, losing connection to my phone via Bluetooth. This is rather annoying, but hopefully there may be some sort of software update to fix this type of problem, in the near future. My overall impression - the Garmin Speak Plus with Amazon Alexa works adequately, but there’s some room for improvement. Still a really fun little device!

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for your review. We are always working to improve the product based on customer feedback. I’d like to address the points that you mentioned.
      Owner’s Manual: To make sure the instructions are the most current and up to date the owner’s manual can be located online at: http://bit.ly/2FpPEDW It can also be accessed in the Speak app, select Settings (Gear icon), Help and Device Manual.
      Connectivity: We’ve released several updates for the Speak recently. Please ensure that the Speak app, speak device and your smartphone are all using current software, this will resolve most connectivity issues. This Support article also provides additional details about troubleshooting connection issues: https://support.garmin.com/faqSearch/en-US/faq/content/0cGSil1tgu8TdraSbanPLA
      If you have questions, Garmin Speak support is available at https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?productID=591054. We have many online resources available to help with setup along with chat and phone support available here to help. Thank you again for your review. Garmin

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Nice little Device

    Posted
    Skyboxer
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I installed this in my 2008 Jeep that does NOT have Bluetooth by using an AUX cord (not included) so I have a bit more wires than I like but that's ok as I wanted the sound to come through speakers instead of just the Garmin device. Installation was a snap and the unit was up and working in no time. You do need 2 apps running on cell phone.:Garmin Speak and Alexa App. The cord to hook it up is long enough to have it tucked away in trim or however you want to arrange it. The power cable plugs into your cigarette lighter/power plug. I have my music subscriptions (like Pandora) linked and I can just say "Play ****** Station on Pandora" and it will. If the station is not set up on my Pandora account it will add it. It does do turn by turn nav also and also has a "warning sound" when you get too close to the car ahead of you OR get to close to center line or shoulder. I may have to turn that off lol Even with a decent amount of noise the unit had no problems hearing my voice. It will save vid and pics to the internal SD card but you can also view these through the Garmin VIRB app. I've only had 1 issue so far and that is sometimes the Speak APP locks up and I have to force stop it and restart it, then all is fine. I will be moving it to my wife's car that does have Bluetooth to also check that method out. Lastly it really didn't come with a manual other than a quick start guide BUT you can download a nice guide/instruction manual from Garmin site. Bottom line is its a cool little device that does a lot. Certainly worth it for the price.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      GarminProductExpert

      Thank you for the feedback. Be on the lookout for updates, we’re always working to add more features and skills to Garmin Speak Plus to improve the product. Garmin

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Garmin Speak Plus - Not Exactly Plug & Play

    Posted
    For4Quarts
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I drive a '94 Alfa Romeo Spider. Needless to say, my car has no Bluetooth, Nav or, even an on-board computer. It's a total Gear-Head car. So, using a device like the Garmin Speak Plus with a Dash Cam is exactly what I need so I don't have to look down at my iPhone sitting on the passenger seat. This device is very User friendly especially if you are already using an Alexa Dot at home. The graffics are clear, traffic alerts such as lane departure and proximety alerts to vehicles in front of you work well. All commands are spoken into the Garmin Speak through the Bluetooth interface betwen it and the Smart phone. The Garmin Speak Plus will even handle phone calls and send a text all hands free, However, during initial setup, it took almost 30 minutes for the Garmin Speak to install updates via the iPhone. Pairing the devices together is easy, you just have to be aware of the commands on both devices. Accessing the Video from the Dash Cam took a little time also and was not completely intuative. Finally, aside from downloading the Garmin APP to my iPhone I also had to download the Garmin VIRB APP as well. Documentation supprt for the Garmin Speak Plus is more of an overview and doesn't provide much detail. However, you can download a PDF Owner's Manual to your laptop for more detailed information. The good news is this device works really well once you get everything up and running which may take 2-3 hours. The video quality is excellent and more inmprtantly I get to keep my ragtop!!! I reccommend the Garmin Speak Plus. TIP - it is normally $229, it's worth waiting for when they go on sale at Best Buy or, Amazon.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Works great - when it connects.

    Posted
    JimS
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I have had the Garmin Speak Plus for several days now. The original installation was fairly easy to maneuver, but since then has been a series of issues. Documentation is minimal, as it tends to be these days. The first issue I had was that the second time I used it, I had a hard time getting the Garmin to connect again to my iPhone. You must have the app open on your phone at all times, although the display can be off, and the app running in the background. I had to force close and reopen the app on my phone, and manually connect in the Bluetooth settings. Then I asked it for directions to Walmart. It said the closest location was near my home, although I was 100 miles away and another Wal-Mart was only a few miles away. It apparently didn’t know where we were. Reset everything, and now it properly knows where we are at. So far. The inability to consistently connect has been the biggest issue. It might be my setup, hard to tell where the connectivity issue blame is. In order to view a video later, it appears you have to save it first. Then you open another app on your phone, and it connects to the WiFi from the Garmin Speak Plus. You can then view the video. Not the most streamlined process. The video was adequate, nothing to get too excited about. The other features that the Garmin provides are Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning. These seemed to work intermittently, but since it is a single unit with sensors instead of a whole cars worth of sensors, I think it did ok. I am hoping that with continued upgrades from Garmin and as my familiarity with it continues, that the experience will improve. When it works, it is great.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nice

    Posted
    Buffalorose
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network