Dash Video Camera Recorders or dashcams for short are becoming not only popular but extremely affordable. Recently I have had a number of extremely close calls that nearly resulted in accidents from causes by reckless and careless drivers. Nearly every day I am sure you experience drivers who cross into your lane or cut right in front of you nearly hitting your car. AM I the only one that still uses blinkers to switch lanes? As litigious as Americans are nowadays it only makes sense to have some proof that you weren’t at fault.  So I have done the hard work for you and reviewed what I think are currently the best dash cams on the market.

My Pick for overall best overall dashcam Vantrue X4 $179

 

The Vantrue X4 is packed with premium features such as 2160p (4K/UHD) resolution, night vision, 24-hour parked-car monitoring to catch hit-and-run perpetrators, and GPS tracking in the windshield mount (which is included for free in some bundles), yet it costs half as much as some comparable models. It’s compact (a little smaller than most point-and-shoot cameras) and relatively unobtrusive on a windshield, and its 3-inch screen is bright and easy to read. It has an intuitive menu, and its control buttons are clearly marked and easily accessible. And since it’s powered by a capacitor instead of a lithium battery, it can work even in extremely hot climates such as in the American South and Southwest. Unlike some of our other picks, the X4 lacks app connectivity for you to view and download video remotely. But we think most people wouldn’t miss that feature, as it’s still fairly convenient to view footage on the camera itself or with a microSD card reader. It is currently $179 on Amazon.

Pros:
-Great build quality.
-Integrated GPS, not an accessory module add-on
-GREAT customer service.
-Parking mode
-User-friendly interface
-Included very long cable for the rear camera (heavy duty). W

Cons:
-Picture quality, although higher res, not as sharp as the N2
-The rear camera lens may be difficult to adjust and get the perfect angle as the 90-degree mini USB plug may get in the way of full tilt-in-motion.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Overall Dashcam for cold weather – Nextbase 422GW $214

If you want even more capabilities than the Vantrue X4 can provide—such as a built-in Wi-Fi network to connect to a smartphone app, Bluetooth connectivity, Alexa support, and an emergency-calling feature that automatically sends help in the event of a crash—the Nextbase 422GW is worth splurging on. It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery, so it’s less suited to extreme heat than capacitor-powered options, but because it’s rated to operate in temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit (colder than an average Minnesotan winter night), it should fare better than my other picks in extreme cold. And like the X4, it has 4K resolution, night vision, GPS tracking, and 24-hour parked-car monitoring.

  • QUAD HD LOOP RECORDING & 6 LANE WIDE VIEWING ANGLE – The 422GW has been designed to provide high quality, detailed images of your journey on the road with the option of 1080p/60fps and 1440p/30fps front recording with a Glass F1.6 lens. The 140° wide viewing angle ensures that a wide coverage of the road ahead will be recorded for fantastic footage.
  • 【ALEXA VOICE CONTROL & TOUCHSCREEN BUILT-IN】 – The Nextbase Series 2 range is the world’s first 1440p DashCam series with Alexa built-in. With Alexa Built-in and access to tens of thousands of skills, you can ask to play music, place calls, listen to audiobooks, hear the news, check the weather, control smart home devices, get directions, find parking, and more.
  • EMERGENCY SOS RESPONSE, BLUETOOTH 4.2, & WiFi – In the event of an accident, 322GW provides ultimate Vehicle Accessory on the road. Track where an accident happened, safeguard your footage upon impact and allow the dash cam to automatically alert emergency services of your location and for help in the case of an accident. The alert instantly sends your personal medical data such as blood type and medical history to paramedics to aid in rescue.
  • MOTION DETECTION PARKING MODE & CLICK&GO POWERED CAR MOUNT – This DashCam is Wireless as it connects to the mount via magnet. The intelligent parking mode informs the dash cam that your car is parked and will immediately record any bump or physical movement of the car when left unattended. The integrated magnetic power connectors allow you to install and remove your dash cam easily
  • 【GPS】REAR CAMERA AND POLARIZING FILTER COMPATIBLE: Easily add on additional camera modules to your Nextbase 422GW to expand viewing area’s including rear view, rear window, and cabin view. The Polarizing filter reduces glare and improves overall recording quality. With 10Hz GPS, you can record location, speed and time. All is required to use the footage for legal purposes. Be confident that your Dash Cam won’t let you down.

Closer Runner Up – Garmin Dashcam 66W $214

The Garmin Dash Cam 66W is the replacement to a previous favorite dashcam of ours, the Garmin 55. It retains its predecessor’s compact size and ease of use, but increases the field of view from 122 degrees to 180 degrees, giving a far broader view of the front of your car and the road ahead. Also new is HDR (high dynamic range) video recording, to help retain detail in high-contrast lighting, while a Wi-Fi connection to your smartphone and the free Garmin Drive app means that you can connect up to four cameras at once and synchronize the video they shoot, giving a 360-degree view around your car. Battery life is just 30 minutes without plugging into your car’s power socket, but if you opt for a hardwired professional install the camera (or cameras) will stay on when parked, then record if someone carelessly bumps into your car while parking or driving past.

 

 

 

Most Affordable Dash Cam for Cars 1080P $49.98

I looked at more expensive 4k models but settled on this one as my first dashcam because of the price of $49. The included cord is plenty long enough to hide the wire around the top of the windshield and in the A pillar. The mounting clamp (there are 2) is very secure and easy to install. I suggest cleaning the glass with some kind of glass cleaner before mounting. Video quality is excellent considering the budget price. Recording is approximately 130 minutes for a 32GB card. I find it easiest to pop the memory card into my laptop rather than trying to view video directly in the camera. I have audio disabled, all quality settings maxed, and the unit automatically starts up and shuts down along with the engine. I liked this unit so much I bought a 2nd one for my other car.

  • Dash Cam For Cars 1080P FHD】This dash cam simultaneously recording at 1080P. Dash cam front could clearly record the license plates and thus ensuring to get you the best footage. Keeps you safe and ensure your pleasant journey.3 inch diaplay screen will show you the real – time image. Dashcams will start recording automatically once you start car engine. Warm tips:The SD card is not included in dashcam package. Please kindly buy a class 10, 32GB high speed micro SD card.
  • 【Loop Recording & Accident Auto-detection】Dashcam with seamless loop recording overwrites the oldest footage with newest content when the storage limit of card is reached. Car dash camera built in adjustable sensitivity gravity sensor automatically detects a sudden collision,then immediately saves the unexpected driving incidents and locks it to the file. Thus preventing any overwriting and thereby protecting your video evidence.

 

 

Best Seller Rove R2-4K Dash Cam Built-in WiFi $119.99

 

  • 4K ULTRA HD RECORDING – The Rove R2-4k dash camera can record videos up to a resolution of 2160p. The ultra hd video recording quality is so good that you will notight Sce much more clarity and quality difference than all other car dash cams. Revolutionary Super Night Vision Technology (Ultra-low liensor NT96660 + SONY IMX335) helps to get comparatively clearer footage and images from the recording in low light condition
  • BUILT-IN WiFi – Use the ROVE App to view and manage dash cam recordings instantly on your iOS and android devices. By using the app you can download your recorded 4k videos directly to your smart phone and then easily share these on social media with friends and family
  • DASH CAM WITH GPS – Built-in GPS accurately records your driving location and speed. View your driving route and tracker on google maps via Wi-Fi using the App or with our Car DV Player. We provide FREE Firmware Upgrade for this car camera

The things I love about it;
1. GPS tells how fast you’re going, what direction and your coordinates at all times. If a cop pulls you over and says you’re doing 65 in a 55 zone, if you were, oops, if not, you have video proof of exactly how fast you were going.
2. You not only have video but you can take snapshots at any time, even use it as a camera to take pictures of places and things. Might have to carry a battery pack for power but it’s a great cam too.
3. I can connect to it with my Android phone (works with smart phones too) and see what it sees. Of course the range isn’t going to be super long but say it’s on outside a restaurant and you’re close enough, you can connect and watch what’s going on.
4. The suction cup to mount to the windshield is the best I’ve seen. It also has other mounting options but I chose this and it’s great.
5. I can do 1, 3, 5 and 10 minute size video. You can also do 4gb per video but at the highest setting, you’re not going to get much, and that setting is the only setting that once the micro sd card is full, it will not overwrite old files. The other settings will.
6. You can watch the video on the cam, your phone, your TV and the computer.
7. With the Rove APP you not only see your videos, but it will show you on the map where you are during the video.

 

Most Adjustable Rexing V1 $99.99

  • ULTRA HD DISCREET DESIGN DASH CAM: Top OV4689 image sensor captures beautiful 2160p video even while driving fast. Signature low-profile design allows the V1 to be a well-hidden witness to the road ahead. Supports high-endurance micro SD memory cards up to 256GB in memory size
  • 170 DEGREE ULTRA WIDE ANGLE LENS & WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE: The 7 layer glass lens opens up to capture a sweeping view of your surroundings. The superior WDR technology allows the camera to perform optimally in any lighting situation by adjusting the exposure to create balanced images and footage.
  • SUPERCAPACITOR & PARKING MONITOR: The dash cam uses a supercapacitor which can withstand extreme temperatures from -20 to 176°F, that prevents the risk of overheating, extends the life span and reliability of the camera. With the parking monitor feature, the dash camera will automatically turn on and record a 20-second video when the car camera detects vibration OR select to record 24/7 by capturing frames to make a 24/7 time-lapse video. Need a smart hardwire kit to activate the parking mode.
  • WIFI CONNECT: View, save, and share dash cam recordings wirelessly on your mobile device with the use of an app interface.
  • LOOP RECORDING AND G-SENSOR: Video can be recorded in 1,2 or 3-minute intervals. When the storage limit is reached on the memory card, new recordings will automatically overwrite the oldest recordings. When the built-in gravity sensor detects a collision, the current video is locked, ensuring important footage is kept protected. Locked videos will be kept safe from being overwritten.
  • Pros
    – Secure adhesive mount (it has a quick attach/detach system);
    – Adjustable lens angle;
    – Ability to mute/unmute the microphone with the press of a button;
    – Excellent 1080p quality during daytime. The nighttime quality is not as great but it is still above the average when compared to other models;
    – Loop recording;
    – Ability to select the length of the video files (3min/5min/10min);
    – Stealth appearance;
    – the ability to support up to 128GB (as of now I have only tried it with a 32GB card);
    – multi language menu;
    – ability to record speed and lat/long if using the GPS antenna (I bought the Itrue GPS logger. It allow me to view the tracking on the map, lat/long, current speed, max speed, average speed and distance traveled);
    – Screen saver that allows the screen to automatically turn off after 15sec, 1min or 3min

 

Best value Dash Cam Front and Rear CHORTAU Dual Dash Cam $59

About this item

【Dash Cam Front and Rear】This dual dash cam equipped with 1080P resolution front camera and waterproof rear camera.The car dashcam with 6 pcs IR LED and Wide Dynamic Range, the front camera captures the license plates and road signs clearly even at night, thus ensuring to get you the best footage. Wide-angle front (170°) and rear(130°)camera help eliminate the blind spots of your vision.

Loop Recording & Emergency Accident Locks】Seamless loop recording overwrites the old footage with new content when the card is full. Variable sensitivity G-Sensor automatically detects a sudden collision and immediately saves the relevant footage and locks it to SOS file. Thus preventing any overwriting and thereby protecting your video evidence. Keep you away from driving disputes. This dashboard camera supports up to 32GB of micro SD card (card not included in package).

【Dash Cams with Parking Mode】The dash cams automatically powers on and starts recording as soon as impact is detected, thus providing you a video evidence if your car is scratched by someone in parking. Hence ensuring your peace of mind with complete 24×7 monitoring of your car.We suggest some important function settings for your daily using: G-Sensor level choose” low” , or turn off; loop recording choose “3 minutes”; motion detection choose “off” ; parking monitor choose “On”.

[Easy Installation & Use】This dash camera is very easy to install and operate with reference pictures in our user manual.The included suction mount could be easily attaches anywhere on your windshield in seconds.Just insert SD card (not included) and connect to the power supply.  The car dash camera will start recording immediately after igniting, shut down and save the video when you shut off the engine.

Excellent value for money. The dashcam was very easy to install and use, it took twenty minutes to install. The picture quality is fantastic even when using the split-screen mode. The dashcam itself is quite small and does not cause a distraction when driving, as some cameras do due to their size. I would definitely recommend this product. Especially if you want peace of mind when driving as you often hear of crash for cash scams which are very commonplace.

 

The best 4K dash cam and a device that does it all Thinkware U1000 $499

If you’re looking for an all-singing, all-dancing dash cam that does everything – but also lacks a screen to distract you while driving – this is it. The Thinkware U1000 shoots in sharp 4K video (albeit with the associated huge file sizes) through a wide, 150-degree lens. There’s built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, which is used to serve up speed camera alerts and add location and speed data to all of your recordings. An Thinkware U1000 Front & Rear can also be purchased and plugged into the main unit, which shoots in 2K resolution at 30 frames per second for sharp footage of what’s going on behind you. Enhanced night vision and wide dynamic range help to produce high quality video during the day and night. We admit this is an expensive option, and it has to be hardwired into your vehicle. But if it’s a feature-packed, high-quality dash cam you want, this is it!

4K UHD 30FPS or 2K QHD 60FPS】Capture sharp detailed footage in 4K native UHD or switch to 2K QHD at 60fps to make license plate reading a breeze with the new and improved 8 42MP Sony STARVIS image sensor

【150-degree Viewing Angle】Uncompromised video coverage with the 150-degree viewing angle so you never miss a moment

【Super Night Vision】Reduces noise and enhances image quality in low-light conditions

【Anti-file Corruption Technology】Improves the reliability of your Think ware memory card by minimizing the risk of loss footage due to bad blocks and data corruption

【1 year manufacturer quality assurance】1 year quality assurance is only valid when purchased from an authorized re-seller

【Thinkware Cloud 2 0*】Thinkware Cloud features include Remote Live View Geo Fencing Parking Impact Notifications Locate Vehicle and Driving Impact Notifications *Hotspot connection is required

 

Close Runner Ups worth considering

BlackVue DR900S-1CH $329

Nextbase 522GW $259

Thinkware Q800 Pro $399

Kenwood DRV-A601W $299

Thinkware F800 Pro $231

Garmin Dash Cam Mini $134

What to look for in a dash cam

There are a huge number of dash cams on the market today, and some of them are very cheap indeed. But the best dash cams go further, with better quality, better connectivity, more driver aids or more safety features. So here’s a quick run-down of what to look for:

• Angle of view: Dash cams typically have wide-angle lenses. The wider the angle of view, the more likely it is to take in what’s happening in junctions and side roads, but objects up ahead will be smaller.

• Resolution: 4K capture is great, and high resolution means clearer, sharper images with more detail, but it also means the files are bigger and you need more storage.

• Batteries vs wired: Some dash cams have batteries and can easily be installed without wires, but the batteries won’t last long – typically around 30 minutes. Some dash cams can plug into a USB socket or 12V supply and keep running indefinitely, though the cables may look messy. The other alternative is to get your dash cam installed professionally with hidden wiring. It will cost more, and you can’t move the camera from one vehicle to another, but it looks better.

• Protection while parked: The advantage of a wired in dash cam is that it can keep running while your car is parked, and record suspicious activity, attempted theft or parking bumps.

• Front and rear dash cams: Sometimes, the hazard is from behind, so a rear-facing dash cam can be very useful.

• High dynamic range: It sounds like a feature for a high-end digital camera, but HDR capture can be an advantage in very bright, high-contrast lighting.

• Night vision: We don’t just drive in the daytime. A dash cam with night vision can offer protection and security at night, too.

• Wi-Fi: Dash cams with Wi-Fi can communicate with a smartphone app for controlling settings or checking video.

• Cloud subscription: An optional extra with some dash cams which could be useful for fleet owners keeping track of a number of vehicles.

• Driver assist safety aids: Some dash cams can sound alerts if you cross lane markings or warn you that a vehicle ahead has stopped in traffic.

• Voice control: You need to keep your hands on the wheel while you’re driving, so voice control is a safety feature, not just a convenience.

• GPS and emergency services: It’s the last item on our list but perhaps the most important. If you are involved in an accident, you may not be able to ask for help, and some of the best dash cams can detect a collision and automatically notify the emergency services. And if they have GPS, they can send your exact location to the emergency services too.

 

 

 

 

By Alan Wood

Musings of an unabashed and unapologetic liberal deep in the heart of a Red State. Crusader against obscurantism. Optimistic curmudgeon, snark jockey, lovably opinionated purveyor of wisdom and truth. Multi-lingual world traveler and part-time irreverent philosopher who dabbles in writing, political analysis, and social commentary. Attempting to provide some sanity and clarity to complex issues with a dash of sardonic wit and humor. Thanks for visiting!

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