Insurance fraud grows daily one way of protecting yourself from driving related scams is to install a dashcam. Dashcams such as this one are positioned discreetly pointing forwards through the front window and record all your driving activity. The dashcam turns on automatically when the car is started and off again a short time after the engine is turned off. It records continuously in short recordings onto a memory card that seamlessly dovetail together when played back. When the card is full the camera records over the oldest recording. A good camera should have a G-Sensor that will automatically flag any recording containing a possible impact and not record over it.
Packaged in a small and rather plain box aside from the front camera there is also the small rear camera and cable set, short micro USB cable, car power adaptor, User Guide, Install Guide. The User Guide, unlike most, was very well printed, easy to read and quite informative if rather brief. The single sheet Install Guide is very basic as you might expect being a single page. I include a copy of both on the end of my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.
Unlike with many more expensive rivals there was no SD card and the user must supply their own. Likewise, given the amount of cabling needed for the two cameras, it is a pity no stick on cable clip set was included.
Unlike with most dashcams this system is supplied with a second small waterproof camera that is attached by cable to the front camera and can be positioned in the back window or above the rear licence plate to continuously record activity behind the car in addition to the forward picture recorded by the main camera. The rear camera is connected by a lengthy cable to a socket on the main camera. The video from the rear cam can be viewed on and is recorded by the front camera. The front camera has a pretty standard 158 degree angle of view according to the Usder Guide , the rear camera is not specified. N
Setting it up was not too hard and the menu could be navigated on the 2.7 inch screen reasonably well and in any case you should only need to configure it once. Fixing the camera to the mirror on my Toyota Aygo was easy enough and the cables were easily long enough for the both cameras. The front camera is reasonably small which is a distinct advantage as it makes it harder to spot from outside the car. Fitting the second camera was more of a chore as the cable has to be wound through the car from front to back but once it is done there should be no need to adjust it again. The rear camera is optional as the main camera will work perfectly well without it.
This camera has a small built in infra red night light which is unnecessary and a nuisance but it can be switched off by default. LED illumination is a bad thing because when driving at night any built in lights on the camera will just reflect from the windscreen and burn out the image. The device will work with a microSD card up to 32Gb but make sure you use a good quality class 10 card from a known manufacturer, Many people blame video failings on the camera when it in fact the cause is a cheap or low end memory card. It is a pity no suitable card was included in the box.
Image quality is crucial for dashcams as it is important to be able to clearly identify number plates and other details in a recorded incident. This camera will handle several modes but as with almost every camera only 1920 x 1080 or above is worth using. Lower resolutions will make it hard to read number plates of nearby cars. Both camera will record simultaneously with the maximum resolution for the front camera being 1920×1080@22fps and 720×480 for the rear camera. This is a disappointing and is no more than the bare minimum needed for effective use. Setting the front camera to 720p will give a more usable 30fps but at the price of reduced resolution. The camera has the all important G-Sensor which auto saves and protects video files in which it detects a sudden stop or impact. There is also a panic button which when pressed will save all the current files from being overwritten. The camera can also be switched to still image mode with a single button press which is handy.
I found the image quality to be good for a camera in this price range although in low light conditions the image quality dropped somewhat. I include some driving footage on my unboxing video but keep in mind that the uploaded video is compressed greatly and so it can serve only to show the brightness and clarity of the video rather than the resolution.
This is a budget priced dashcam but offers all the features you will need. All you need is a reliable auto On/Off, a decent quality HD camera with a G-Sensor . Don’t complain about the lack of GPS because although it can be fun at first to trace your route on the screen map remember that in the event of an incident the police may review all the files on the card and use previous driving speeding errors detected by the GPS against you. It does have a microphone which can be useful in the event of an incident if you are quick witted enough to read aloud the numbers of the cars involved. It has parking mode (Motion Detection) but I have never found this to be much use in any camera due to the delay in awakening the camera following movement triggering. The only worthwhile feature lacking for me is that of second dual write TF card, handy so you always have a copy of the card handed to the police.
This is an good entry level dashcam which should meet all your needs. It is attractive and discreet in appearance and capable of giving good quality results. It has several high end features not needed for normal use. The price is good given the feature set and the addition of the second camera and SD card.
Good build quality
Still picture mode
Still Camera mode
Video lock button
Low frame rate at 1080p
No cable clip set included
No GPS or option to fit it
Low light video could be better
No memory card included
Annoying i/r light included