Anstar 1080p Dash Cam

 

 

At one time you could not get a good quality car dashcam for under £150 but now prices seem to be in freefall as more and better specified new models come on the market. With a current Amazon price of just £79.99, this has to be one of the least expensive dual camera dashcams available and by far the best I have yet tried.  There are cheaper more basic cameras available is this one worth paying more for?

Packaged in a large and robust mid-market product box aside from the front camera there is also the small rear camera and cable set, short micro USB cable, car power adaptor, rubber mirror mount straps, rear camera mount set, and User Guide. The User Guide, unlike most, was very well printed, easy to read and informative. There is also a black plastic backplate for the front camera assembly, I am not sure what it does but it may be connected in some way with an external GPS option. I include a scan of selected pages from the User Guide at the end of my unboxing video, switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it. Unlike with some more expensive rivals, there was no SD card and the user must supply their own.

Most dashcams are single camera units but 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 video from the rear cam can be viewed on and is recorded by the front camera. The front camera has a 140-degree angle of view according to the User Guide (although the Amazon listing claims 170) and records at either 1080p or 720p at 30fps. The rear camera records at 720p@25fps. I was pleased to see there is no built-in LED nightlight. Such lights are worse than useless and always reflect off the windscreen making the picture impossible to see.

Fixing the camera to the mirror on my Toyota Aygo was easy enough and the cables were easily long enough for both cameras. The front camera is built into an extra large mirror which clips over the existing rear view mirror with the 9.35″ LCD screen incorporated into it. The front camera has a turret mount which can be rotated to give the best viewing angle and slid in and out from the side of the mirror. 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. If you wish to use it as an automatic reversing camera then you need to take a power feed from the reversing light to the red wire in the rear camera assembly. This is optional as the rear camera takes power from the front and records continuously. Personally, I will just stick to the front camera.

Setting up could not be easier as it can all be done on the huge LCD touch screen. This screen occupies the full mirror surface and not just a central smaller insert with lesser rivals. Just swipe the screen to instantly change from front to rear camera feeds and touch the onscreen buttons to view or delete records as well as to access settings. Due to the size and ease of use of the screen, you can do all you need to do inside the car with no need to use an external computer to configure the device or view and edit files. There is just one physical button which is used to turn the camera off and on to toggle the screen off and on. When the screen is off the mirror functions exactly as a normal rear view mirror.

I found the image quality to be one excellent 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 bear in mind that Amazon compress the video greatly and so it can serve only to show the brightness and clarity of the video rather than the resolution. Unlike with some cheaper rivals, this camera offers full 1080p front-facing video at all times and does not default down when the second camera is connected. 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 does not pointlessly offer multiple lower quality modes as only 720p or above has the required resolution. Full HD at 30fps is the minimum to consider these days for a dashcam. The camera has the all-important G-Sensor which autosaves and protects video files in which it detects a sudden stop or impact. It also has a picture mode onscreen button to take still images but the screen would need to be switched on first.

This is a mid-priced dashcam but offers all the features needed and a few more besides. 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 speeding errors detected by the GPS against you. GPS is available through a third party add on the device has a socket for this. It has 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 but I have never found this to be much use in any camera due to the delay in awakening the camera following 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. No card is included, which is a pity when you buy your own remember to ensure it is Class 10 rated or above and no larger than 64GB to ensure best results.

This is a good quality budget dashcam which will meet all your needs. It is attractive and discreet in appearance and capable of giving good quality results. Perhaps the main appeal of the unit is the large high-quality touch screen which makes using the device so simple and hassle-free.

The price is good given the quality of the video and the addition of the second camera. In fact, the price is great even if the second camera is disregarded and not used.

The Good
Great price
Good build quality
Good image quality
Microphone
No annoying i/r lights
Huge, bright LCD screen

Parking Mode

The Bad
No GPS
Low light video could be better
No WDR/HDR
No HDMI port

No SD card included