The best mini dash cams

Go big or go home? Go small and get home.

best mini dash cams

by Seth Walton |
Updated on

You don't have to spend that much money on mini dash cams. There are plenty of trimmed-down motoring gadgets designed to carry out a specific role and manufactured to do it well. They range from dehumidifiers to battery chargers to a fantastic range of mini dash cams. They're much like your usual dash cams, only smaller.

They're small cameras designed to film the road ahead of a vehicle once affixed to its windscreen. In essence, they're like full-sized dash cams but boast inconspicuous profiles, limited capabilities beyond their primary function and low price tags.

There is no wrong time to up the security on your vehicle. A good dual dashcam will allow you to monitor your driving but can also provide court evidence should you become embroiled in a legal dispute. While most modern dashcams come equipped with myriad sensors, loaded with technology to provide you with as much information as you could ever need, mini dash cams are designed to simply film the road.

The best mini dash cams at a glance:

Editor's pick: Garmin Mini Dash Cam - Buy from Amazon.
Best for premium features: Road Angel Halo Go Full HD Dash Cam - Buy from Amazon.
Best budget mini dash cam: Ring Automotive Dash Cam with GPS - Buy from Amazon.

Without all the extra technology onboard, mini dash cams are very small and light. Their modest profile can simplify the setup process while making the dash cam easier to take down and then reapply, which is especially advantageous for anyone conscious of removing onboard tech to avoid break-ins when not in use. For those who are security conscious, mirror dash cams are also a great, discreet option.

The best mini dash cams

Editor's pick

best mini dash camsVia Garmin
Price: $241.00

The Garmin Dash Cam Mini is one of the smallest dash cams money can buy. At the expense of a display screen, GPS or 4K resolution quality, the Garmin Mini offers unparalleled inconspicuousness and discretion. Rather than having to remove your dash cam after every journey to deter potential thieves, the Garmin Mini is small enough that it could slip beneath a rearview mirror without anyone ever noticing.

Although small, this camera can still shoot 1080P HD video with a 140-degree wide-angle lens for great windscreen cover. It even includes a built-in G sensor to detect collisions then stores the footage in a separate folder accordingly.

Pros

  • Very small and discreet
  • Great quality product

Cons

  • Connectivity could be better

Best for premium features

best mini dash camsVia Road Angel

With its long, thin cylindrical body, this mini dash cam from Road Angel is another great example of how small and how indiscreet dash cams can be. Like the Garmin model, this dash cam shoots with a 140° wide-angle lens in 1080P HD with a maximum aperture rating of f/1.8, only this example boasts a few more features.

Despite its relatively small profile and indiscreet presence, this dash cam can record audio, boasts a parking mode function, and includes night vision sensors for quality low-light footage. Impressive qualities, given that it's only 9cm long and only 3.2cm wide.

Pros

  • Small and discreet but loaded with features
  • Great quality product

Cons

  • Not as inconspicuous as the Garmin

Best budget mini dash cam

best mini dash camsVia Ring Automotive

It may not be the smallest dash cam money can buy, but models such as this example from Ring Automotive are still very inconspicuous, just with a lot more to give. This Ring Automotive mini dash cam features a 2.4" LCD display, so you or your passenger can access video playback while on the go.

Like the Road Angel model, this dash cam has a G sensor so it can detect when a collision has taken place, as well as GPS tracking so that you can follow where you've been.

Pros

  • Clear LCD display
  • Great value

Cons

  • Relatively big footprint

Best quality mini dash cam

best mini dash camsVia Nextbase
Price: $59.99

While it may be the baby of the Nextbase Dash Cam range, the 122 model is still packed with tricks and features to elevate your driving experience. It's only 8cm wide, 5cm tall and 82g, yet this camera can still film in 1080p HD video with night vision and a photo mode function.

It has a parking mode for rolling cover while stationary and automatically starts with your vehicle for added convenience. It even packs a 2" LCD screen – now on offer for under £60.

Pros

  • Highly capable
  • Lots of features for a great price

Cons

  • Narrow viewing angle

Best dual facing mini dash cam

best mini dash camsVia Vantrue

This mini dash cam from Vantrue also features a rear-facing display, though it's so small that you may have a hard time digesting its contents while on the move. Luckily, Vantrue includes a small remote control for users to take snapshots, lock the camera in an emergency or disable the microphone.

Alternatively, this camera can be operated via voice recognition and control, but we especially like this model for its 2.5K resolution, Sony CMOS sensors for night vision and wide 160 ° lens, especially given its very modest presence. It may be more expensive than the other cameras on this list, but this model packs the capabilities of a full-sized dash cam, only it's 1.5 inches wide.

Pros

  • Highly capable
  • Very discreet

Cons

  • If you're after a display, you may as well opt for a bigger model

What to consider with mini dash cams?

First and foremost, mini dash cams shouldn't cost you as much as a fully comprehensive one. They're more compact and subsequently have fewer features than, say, a high-tech dash cam. As outlined in the above, there are plenty of options that don't cost the earth.

Secondly, one of the USPs of mini dash cams is their discreetness. Usually, the smaller, the better, as they don't tend to get noticed as easily as something like a full-size Wi-Fi dash cam. So, if you are security-conscious when leaving your car unattended, a small and well-disguised mini dash cam shouldn't attract too much attention.

Finally, lots of dash cams are packed with features, which include a couple in this guide. But mini versions and indeed those cams less than £100 are generally less equipped. If you fancy yourself things like G-Sensors, parking modes, and Wi-Fi connectivity, then a full-size cam will probably suit you better.

Seth Walton is an Autos Product Writer for Parkers and CAR, specialising in car cleaning and motorsport. He also contributes to What's The Best with interests in audio equipment and technology.

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us