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Nexar beam2 vs Garmin Mini 2

the beam2 is the latest compact and efficient dashcam from Nexar

Last updated at: Jun 3, 2024

The question for today’s drivers isn’t whether you need a dashcam, it's which dashcam. Strategically mounted on the windshield, a dash cam can provide a continuous eye on the road ahead, protecting you the driver against accident fraud, insurance disputes, and those unexpected ‘did that just happen?’ moments.

If you're looking for a compact solution, Nexar beam2 and Garmin Mini 2 should be right on your radar. Two big names, discreet form factors, and tons of features—both dashcams promise a lot in a small package. But which one is right for you? We go hands-on to see if their diminutive designs deliver big on image clarity, ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and other special features.

Be ready for anything on the road. Drive with confidence knowing Nexar has your back. Shop our dash cams.

Feature

Nexar beam2

Garmin Mini 2

Price (Starting MSRP)

$249.99

$129.99

Main Video Recording Resolution

3.7 MP (1440p) QHD Main Camera

2.1 MP (1080p) HD Main Camera

Camera Type

Road and cabin view

Road view

Field of View

115 degrees low distortion

140° diagonal

Dimensions

107 x 60 x 37 mm (Main)

40x 40 x 52 mm (Camera with IFC)

31 x 53 x 29 mm

GPS

Built-in GPS, high-accuracy tracking*

No built-in GPS (requires another compatible Garmin device for GPS tagging)

Audio Recording

Yes

Yes

Voice control

Yes

Yes

Local Storage

Single slot microSD (included)

Up to 256GB

Single slot microSD (not included)

Up to 512GB

Cloud Storage

Unlimited clips and incidents

Up to 24 hours storage by default (

long-term requires Garmin Vault subscription)

Incident Detection

Automatic incident detection and clip saving

Automatic incident detection and clip saving

Live Alerts/Parking Mode

Yes*

Yes (with separate cable, sold separately)

Remote Live View

Yes*

Yes

Connectivity

LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

App Support

Nexar App

iOS, Android

Garmin Drive App

iOS, Android

*Requires paid subscription service

Video Quality

Crisp, clear video is where a dashcam earns its keep, providing you with the most detailed account of what happened out there on the road.

Nexar beam2 main (road-facing) cam records footage at 2K QHD resolution, ensuring excellent visual detail. This comes in handy when deciphering license plates, signs, or other essential information in footage, day and night. An optional cabin-view camera is available in 1080p (especially useful for Uber/Lyft and new drivers).

Garmin Mini 2  rear cam records at 1080p Full HD resolution, a step below Nexar beam2. While fairly decent, details may not be as clear in dim lighting or when zoomed in.

Design And Setup

Both Nexar beam2 and Garmin Mini 2 are designed for discreet attachment to your windshield, ensuring a seamless blend with your car's interior. Garmin Mini 2, with dimensions of approximately 1.22" x 2.09" x 1.14", is compact, roughly the size of a car key, making it barely noticeable. Nexar beam2, while still unobtrusive at approximately 4.21" x 2.36" x 1.46", goes a step further in minimizing visual obstruction. Its unique design focuses on making only the lens part visible, offering a sleek and less intrusive presence. Specifically, the lens cube of Nexar beam2 measures about 1.57" x 1.57" x 2.05", ensuring that the device remains almost invisible from the driver’s perspective, highlighting its commitment to both aesthetics and functionality.

Both dash cams are easy to install. For example, Nexar beam2 can be easily placed on your car’s windshield with the aid of an adhesive sticker.

Neither comes with a built-in display. That means setting them up, reviewing footage, and adjusting settings happens mostly through a paired smartphone app.

Storage: Unlimited Cloud vs. Recurring Costs

When it comes to storage, the choice between these cameras becomes a question of both convenience and long-term cost.

Nexar beam2 comes with a micro SD card out of the box, which isn’t even the best part. The true champ here is unlimited cloud storage for all captured incidents and clips. Every incident, clip, and even time-lapse drive is automatically and securely backed up, instantly accessible whenever you need it. You won’t ever have to worry about memory card space, corruption, or retrieval.

With Garmin Mini 2 your data remains primarily limited to local SD card storage (not included), with its associated risks. While Garmin Vault offers cloud storage for 24 hours, prepare for recurring cloud subscription fees if you want to store and access footage long-term.

Smart Features and Connectivity: Your Safety Co-Pilot

beam2 features live parking mode which allows you to monitor your car from afar

Do more than just record. Smart alerts and connected features transform your dashcam into a watchful companion, protecting your family, your business, and your ride.

Nexar Beam2 comes with advanced connectivity and smart AI features aimed at keeping you safer on the road (available with Nexar Connect).

  • Remote GPS Tracking: Nexar stands out with built-in GPS tracking in Nexar beam2. Check your car's location and speed from anywhere via our companion app—perfect for crowded lots, keeping tabs on a teen driver, or even recovering a stolen vehicle.
  • LTE Connectivity: LTE connectivity keeps Nexar beam2 online even if your phone isn't nearby. This means reliable parking mode monitoring, instant incident footage uploads, and those real-time alerts—no matter where you are.
  • Emergency Alerts: In an accident, Nexar beam2 automatically notifies your designated contacts with relevant video footage and location data, allowing help to reach you that much faster.
  • Live Parking Mode: Nexar beam2 is vigilant even when the engine is off. Live Parking Mode detects impacts, starts recording, and notifies you immediately. Nexar’s live streaming feature can also let you check what's happening with your car in real-time, right from your phone.

Garmin Mini 2 dash cam keeps an eye out for you, but with limitations. For one, Mini 2 lacks a built-in GPS, instead relying on syncing with other Garmin devices (if you own them) for this functionality. For connectivity, you get WiFi and Bluetooth. But it's missing the LTE support that puts beam2 in a more connected lane.

And while Mini 2’s Parking Guard feature functions similarly to Nexar's, it’s not fully wireless—you’ll need to buy a separate 'Constant Power Cable' ($49.99) that connects to your car battery for this feature to work. It will also require a constant Wi-Fi connection.

Price Check: The Right Dashcam For Your Bottom Line

Nexar beam2: Starts at $249.99 USD, with various configurations available. At this price, it’s the most affordable connected dashcam in the market. You get everything you need to hit the ground running: a superior camera sensor for clearer video, unlimited cloud storage, built-in GPS tracking, LTE connectivity, and more.

Garmin Mini 2: MSRP at $129.99 USD. Mini 2's base price is tempting, BUT that doesn't include a memory card (essential for any recording). Factor in additional subscription fees that will apply on top of your initial purchase, and it might creep past your budget comfort zone.

If ultimate affordability means getting basic features at the lowest initial outlay, Mini 2 may be right for you. However, if your budget also considers the ongoing cost of connected safety features important to YOU, Nexar beam2 wins on the value scale with its ‘included essentials’ approach.

Which Is The Best Dash Cam? Nexar beam2 vs Garmin Mini 2

Both Nexar beam2 and Garmin Mini 2 dash cams offer decent performance, usability, and design.

Nexar beam2 leans heavily on good video quality (2K), worry-free cloud storage, and advanced connectivity to truly enhance your driving experience and sense of security. You get all the essentials covered alongside impressive tech for the price.

On the other hand, Garmin Mini 2 appeals to the dedicated Garmin user base and those seeking the absolute smallest size with basic, budget dash cam functionality. If you’re already using GPS-enabled Garmin dashcams, the Mini 2 could make sense. However, be mindful of hidden costs for memory cards, cloud storage subscriptions, and the separate power cable needed for specific features.

So, where does that leave you? If you view a dash cam primarily as an insurance backup that passively records your drives, then Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 might meet your basic needs. However, for those seeking more from their dash cam—like connected features that enhance driver safety, provide greater security, and offer unmatched control over their vehicle's environment—Nexar beam2 presents a superior value proposition.

Nexar beam2’s advanced connected features, such as real-time alerts, GPS tracking, and automatic incident detection, are designed not just for convenience but for peace of mind. These features ensure that you're always informed and in command, whether you're behind the wheel or away from your car, making every drive safer and more secure. With the highest image clarity, effortless cloud storage, and these intelligent connectivity options, Nexar beam2 is tailored for the future of driving. It's about more than just meeting today’s needs; it's about investing in a system that provides ongoing safety, security, and control for years to come.

Never drive alone. Safeguard your loved ones and investments with a Nexar Smart AI dash cam that’s more companion than camera. Find your next Nexar-powered dash cam now.