Garmin Speak Plus

Garmin’s Speak Plus includes a built-in dash cam


Do not think it has enough to have Amazon Alexa in your car? Garmin thinks it’s a better plan: throw in a dash cam. Its new Speak plus includes the same voice assistant which provides directions, music playback, and other hands-free controls. But it’s tucked in a camera that can both record “incidents” (read: collisions) and gives alerts. If you are too close to a car it will warn you. If you are riding out of your lane or if that gridlocked traffic has finally started moving.

The plus continues to pair with your mobile to get online, and can use both Bluetooth or an aux cable to pipe music to your car audio system. An OLED screen provides basic navigation info so you do not miss a turn.

No wonder, the addition of the camera increases the price. The Speak plus will sell for $230 if it ships on Jan 22nd ($200 if you pre-order by Jan 20th), or more than $150 for the original Speak. However, it will be more reasonable. Most of the people are content with mounting their mobile and using its built-in assistant. And there is not much point to speak if you have a vehicle with android auto or Apple CarPlay. However, dash cams are a different story — that gives you some valuable safety and insurance features in addition to keeping your eyes on the road while you drive to an unfamiliar destination.

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