I really liked Garmin’s bare-bones Speak navigation device when I tried it out a few months ago. Instead of a touchscreen, the $130 device relies on voice commands, processed by Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant, to get you where you want to go. A few months later, Garmin is already introducing a new version that adds a built-in dash cam for documenting accidents, but it’s a feature I wish the unit had had from day one.
As a result of the added camera, which continually records the road ahead and automatically saves a clip when it detects an incident, the new Garmin Speak Plus has a $230 price tag, which is $100 more expensive than the original Speak. But $100 for a dash cam from a company like Garmin is a good deal, and given the Speak is designed to sit smack dab in the middle of your windshield, you probably wouldn’t want to stick a second device up there anyways.
Both versions of the tiny nav unit will still be available once the Speak Plus goes on sale starting on January 22nd, but I don’t think you should even bother considering the original model, even if it’s cheaper. The Garmin Speak Plus is by and large a far more useful device to have in your vehicle, and the added insurance of being able to prove you weren’t at fault in an accident (assuming you weren’t) is worth far more than that extra $100 you’re coughing up for the upgrade.
Update, 2:16 p.m. EST/EDT: Garmin has reached out to us with an update on the Speak Plus’ availability, which has been moved from January 22 to mid-February of 2018.