Here’s another riddle: what you get when you combine a GPS with dash cam and Amazon Alexa? The answer: Garmin Speak Plus.
It’s an interesting and unique concept for sure. Garmin has been losing automotive GPS market share to free apps such as Waze and Google Maps for several years. They needed to offer a device that is unique and people would be willing to pay for. Combining Alexa with a GPS is definitely unique. That is, until someone does it on a phone.
Most noticeable is the lack of a map on the display. It’s a round shape but instead of maps typically found on a Garmin Drive or Nuvi GPS, you will find turn by turn directions for the next navigational maneuver. For those wanting to see the road ahead, the Garmin Speak isn’t going to be a help. However, for those wanting to ask Alexa for the weather or what’s on the agenda for noon, this might be what you’re waiting for.
It’s a small GPS. The product dimensions are 37.5 mm x 37.7 mm (roughly 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches). The display is 17.2 mm x 9.6 mm (0.68″ x 0.38″). This is a small device.
The Garmin Speak connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth along with Garmin’s app. That’s how it interfaces with Alexa and the internet. No tethering or hot spot is needed to use the Alexa feature in the Garmin device.
Now on to the mount discussion.
The Garmin Speak mount in the box is completely redesigned. It’s a mount that was introduced with the most recent Garmin Dash Cam 45. We referred to it as the Baby Groot of car mounts. The ball and mount is smaller than anything we have seen. And when we say small, we mean small. Therefore all the other Garmin mounts that you may have used are not going to fit the Garmin Speak GPS.
The mount in the photo that accompanies this article is the new Garmin Low-profile Magnetic Mount. That’s what comes in the box with the Garmin Speak.
The mount fits the socket on the top of the GPS. All the way to the right of the photo is small hexagonal metal plate. This plate adheres to the windshield and is not easily removed. It is designed to stay on your windshield as a permanent attachment. It fits within a recess on the bottom of the mount that we just discussed. The bottom of the mount is magnetic and sticks to metals that contain iron, such as steel.
Always liked the suction cup more than adhesive because it’s easier to put on and take off. Adhesive is a one time shot. A suction cup can be reused. That’s where the Garmin Mini Suction Cup Mount comes to the rescue. It’s made by Garmin so you know it will fit these Dash Cam models just fine. It has that small ball form factor that only fits these cameras.
For those wanting to use a vent mount, consider the Square Jellyfish Jelly-Grip Car Air Vent Mount. The Square Jellyfish Jelly-Grip includes an expandable cradle that can grip the sides of the Garmin Speak very tightly. It has a ball and socket so the cradle swivels into any orientation. This mount will work on flat vent slats that are 3/8 to 1 inch deep. The included cradle opens to 3 5/8 inches so you can also use this on a smartphone. We reviewed the Square Jellyfish mount in detail in 2016.
The Garmin Speak and Garmin Speak Plus are interesting. Will the public grasp on to the concept of a minimalist GPS coupled with their favorite voice enabled assistant? We’ll see.