Garmin Virb XE review

Garmin's GPS enabled action camera has evolved to capture every nuance of those blood pumping moments

Garmin Virb XE

TechRadar Verdict

If you have other Garmin or ANT+ devices that are compatible with the Virb then it's an easy choice. Video quality is exception and although limited to 60fps at full hd the quality at 720p at 120fps is still very good. GPS and motion sensors add an extra level to video capture and the locate camera feature is a personal favourite. A good all rounder and a viable alternative to the GoPro Hero4 Silver.


  • +

    Excellent quality footage

  • +

    Captures GPS and motion data

  • +

    Pro recording options


  • -

    Proprietary USB cable

  • -

    Limited resolution and frame rate options

  • -

    Let down by the software

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Garmin's XE action camera is an evolution in design over the original Virb Elite and features a complete redesign in both looks and control. The Virb XE takes capturing the action to another level. Not only can you capture what you see, but also location, speed and other GPS data.

Plus if you already own a compatible Garmin device such as a vívosmart HR then the Virb will enable these devices to be synced with the footage as well.

Garmin Virb XE

It might not stand out like the old Virb Elite but the dramatic change in design is definitely beneficial to the camera's usability and ease of mounting.

Garmin Virb XE

The lever lock latch on the side is easy enough to open, but despite its ease of use it's unlikely that it will open accidentally.

There are two Virb models – the XE (the E stands for Elite) and the almost identical Virb X, the entry model. The feature sets are similar, and both models feature a 1/2.3in CMOS with 12.4 million pixels. The major difference is the top capture resolution and frame rate. The Virb X can capture a maximum resolution of 1080p at 30fps, but the Virb XE captures 1440p at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps.

Both the X and XE feature Garmin's G-Matrix data feature, which is basically Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, an accelerometer and Full ANT+ sensor capabilities. ANT+ is a wireless standard that enables the cameras to gather data from other devices such as heart monitors. This compatibility with other devices is unique to the range and users who subscribe to Garmin hardware and compatible software are able to get a full picture of their activities through the data and visuals that these devices capture.

Imaging Lab Manager

Ali Jennings is the imaging lab manager for Future Publishing's Photography portfolio. Using Imatest Master and DxO Analyser he produces the image quality tests for all new cameras and lenses review in TechRadar's cameras channel. Ali has been shooting digital since the early nineties and joined Future's Photography portfolio back in 2003.