Garmin Driving Recorder GDR33 review

Garmin Driving Recorder GDR33 – Superior Safety on the Roads

Garmin, formerly an American entity, is since 2010, known as a Swiss company that is manufacturing top notch GPS devices for marine, aviation, and consumer applications.

In the last 24 odd years, ever since it began producing superior quality devices, Garmin has set new standards of excellence in technological innovations, and is today, in a sense leading the way in progressive engineering that’s adding greater efficiency, safety and productivity to the lives of millions.

A new notch in the series of Garmin products is the powerful Driving Recorder, the GDR 33, which is all set to redefine the way we navigate on roads. A stand alone, high definition recorder, this device, has been developed to offer a safe and relaxed drive on the road.


Garmin GDR 33 Garmin GDR33

This review looks at the unique features and technologies in the device and how the device helps to make driving a safer experience.



Garmin Driving Recorder GDR33 – the Next Generation Driving Safety Tool


A next generation GPS tool, the Garmin driving recorder, integrates the GPS system along with display and gravity sensor to offer a fascinating tool for safe navigation.

This device enables high resolution recording of driving and in the process, captures information on collisions and accidents and near hits and misses on the roads.

During the drive, the device captures and delivers significant and accurate information on time, speed, coordinates, images, maps, and tracks, which serve as an overall powerful safeguard from accidents. In fact, point to point references and relative positions on the map are also explicitly understood through the crisp display monitor. The data information that is projected is also comparable to older feeds of data.

The built in GPS technology sets this device apart from several other road safety tools. GPS offers critical information live, along with images, maps, image recording, tracks, coordinates and time and speed parameters. The data recorded here can be transported to a PC device for convenient viewing and analysis.



The Devices that Together Make Up the GDR33 GPS Recorder


The technology of the driving recorder is available as separate devices, which together make up this potent tool. The set includes the following tools:


1. 2.3 inch monitor

This tool displays images as they are recorded, and gives real-time feedback. The images are crisp and those related to accident scenes help in later clarification of the accident and to find out who was responsible for it.


2. Gravity Sensor

A very critical component to the recorder set is the gravity sensor, which is capable of detecting vibrations in the vehicle, emergency braking action, and an impending collision. The G-sensor gets activated automatically as soon as an event requires that. The prerecorded events are also well preserved in the sensor.


3. Built-in Battery

The built-in battery, on 100% charge, survives for one hour, and all recorded files safely shut down when the device is switched off.



Amazing Features in the GDR 33


1. The High Resolution Camera

The striking feature of the GDR33 is its high definition camera, which adopts fast aperture F2.0, while capturing images. The camera has superior quality night lenses that improve recording and images taken in the evening or in poor light.

You need not be concerned about overexposure, because the camera is embedded with a special subtle illumination. Thus there is no after-image. Likewise, noise issues during shooting are taken care of by the low noise processing technology.

Night time shooting is crystal clear, and the 110 degree angle camera lens records every angle from the front view to the blind sides as well! Also, all vehicle movement, from both the left and ride sides can be captured with ease. In all, this entire unique camera feature is what makes the GDR such a superb device to have.


2. Automatic Protection of Files

This is a crucial feature that provides firm protection to all files, both pre-recorded and those which are taken live during collisions. As we have seen, the built in gravity system gears up automatically in events of impacts or collision prompts. With this automatic protection feature kicking in, the files are saved. There is no overwriting or loss of important information – you have all the data right in front of you, that’s for sure.


3. Manual File Protection System

You can use this feature to protect files manually when collision prompts occur. Thus you can be doubly sure that is no loss of important images and other data.


4. Snapshot for Reference

Snapshot allows you to manually capture still images after collision. You can remove the device from the vehicle to use this feature for taking close-up shots. The operation works fast and serves as a vital piece of information for later analysis and investigation of the accident.



PC Tool Software – the Backbone of the GDR 33


This software provides vital information on coordinates, time and speed and road condition. You can watch the files directly on the device or on your computer.

PC Tool Software for GDR33


With the PC Tool Software, you are able to get comprehensive point to point data. By clicking on the track info, you are able to view the corresponding image, and position of the vehicle on the map at that time. Thus it becomes easy to reconstruct the ‘path’ leading up to the incident.

The Garmin GDR 33 is one of the few devices which provide such precise information for comparing data.

For accidents and collisions, the saved files serve as an important source of vital evidence. Comparing road conditions, and positions on the map, as you go along is far easier with the tracking tool built into the display screen.



An Array of Powerful Specs


Having a dimension of 8.19 x 6.57 x 4.16 cm (L x W x D) and weight 122g, this gadget has a special gravity sensor with collision sensitivity, a microphone and speaker, as well as a memory card slot for fitting a microSDHC 4GB – 32 GB card.

Its photosensitive components are 3M, 1/3″, CMOS, with a frame rate of 30 FPS. The gadget supports the AVI video format (enabled with H.264 compression technology)

In recording mode, the battery allows non-stop recording even when the card is full. Old files are overwritten, except of course those which are being protected.

The specific camera features of this device are described below.

At a speed of 30 frames per second, you get a resolution of 1080p, and you can record about 1.8 hours video. When you reduce the resolution to 720p, for the same speed of 30 frames per second, you get 4.3 hours recorded footage. The default micro SD card is the one with 8GB capacity. For videos in WGA format at 480p and speed of 30 frames per second, your 8GB micro SD card has a capacity to record about 9 hours footage.

The gadget best functions in an ambient temperature of 0 to 70 degrees Celsius.

Its special 2.3″ TFT LCD screen offers crisp images that are high definition and very pleasant to the eyes. The camera offers a fast aperture measuring F=2.0 with a shooting range and horizontal viewing angle at 110 degree which also captures images both on the left and right.



Make Your GDR33 Even Better- Get Set for a Refined Experience


The GDR33 is packed with special additional tools to make your recording easier. This includes the most essential driving recorder, a ball arm with adhesive tapes, a 4 meter car charger made exclusively for the recorder and a quick start manual to help you better understand the working of the device.

In all, this is one GPS device that will offer you added safety and a smoother driving experience. And being a product from the house of Garmin, which has already sold over 126 million related GPS products as of May 2014, it is not surprising that this one too is all set to change the way we commute on the roads.



GDR 33 – What Users Are Saying


User feedback on the GDR 33 has generally been very positive.

Most reviews are giving the device a high value rating. Several customers have also identified this new generation driving device as a must-have tool inside vehicles, for a safer experience on roads.



GDR33 Pros And Cons



It has a compact design and is easy to handle. The built-in battery operates for more than an hour, on full charge.

The gadget also comes with a long DC cable. It is truly user friendly, fuss free, easy to operate with an auto start – very good for non-technical users! Interestingly, it also allows some fantastic configurable options for advanced users.



The white balance often jumps when affected by a sudden color change. Also, the tiny micro SD card needs very careful and patient handling.

But these few negative aspects tend to get mitigated due to the gadget’s superior quality.


Final Thoughts

Overall, the Garmin Driving Recorder GDR 33 is a good buy. It is a device geared up towards efficient and insightful analysis of auto accidents. 


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