Automotive Technology

Ultimate Buying Guide for Car Dashcams

A car dashcam, which stands for a dashboard camera, is a kind of camera that you install in your car for many reasons. It can be mounted inside your car, usually on the front windshield. It can do a lot of things such as record when your vehicle is both being driven or when it is parked. It can also record audio and provide a connection to a smartphone application so that you can review the video it records on the spot.

It is like a silent witness for you in incidents so that you will be able to save footages of what really happened in a certain scenario you’re in while you’re driving or while your car is parked. Car dashcams have saved people a lot of money and have also helped in lowering insurance premiums. In fact, there are many insurance companies that offer discounts if you have a dashcam in your car.

Car dashcams are reliable gadgets you can install in your car. If you want to install one in your car, then you’re in the right place because we are going to help you find the best one. Here’s an ultimate buying guide for car dashcams.

Different Types of Dashcams

There are three basic types of dashcams that you can install in your car. Each of the types offers different features that can be useful for you.

  • Basic Dashcams

Most of the dashcams you can find in the market fall into this category and they are the most affordable ones as well. Basic dashcams are easy to install and to use. They are usually hard-wired into your car’s electrical system, while some are designed to be plugged into the cigarette lighter socket, and others have a built-in lithium-ion battery. These are simple video cameras with built-in or removable storage media that records constantly when you are driving. This is a great choice if you just need a simple camera in your car or if you’re on a tight budget.

  • Dashcams with Advanced Features

There are also some dashcams with more advanced features such as audio recording, GPS logging, speed sensors, accelerometers, and uninterruptable power supplies or UPS. Though these features are not necessary, they might come in handy as well. For example, the GPS feature might help you establish the location of your vehicle after an incident has occurred.

  • Dual Camera Dashcams (Interior and Exterior)

Some dashcams are two in one. One camera faces outward while the other records the interior of the vehicle. This type of dashcam has two purposes. One is to allow parents to keep tabs on their new teen drivers and the other one is to allow vehicle owners to observe both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. Aside from those, this type of dual camera device is also useful for security purposes such as hit and run accidents and theft.

Features to Look for in Car Dashcams

There are many dashcams available in the market today and each of them has pros and cons. Therefore, it’s quite difficult to say whether one is better than the other and it also depends on what you need. When looking for the best dashcams, here are some of the important features to look for.

  • Automatic On and Off

There are dashcams that can turn on with the car engine and turn off when the car engine shuts off. This is an important feature because dashcams are usually only useful when they are on, and when you forget to turn them on, you might not be able to record what happens if ever there’s an accident.

  • Video Resolution

This one is very important. You will need an HD 720p recording to ensure that the footage is sharp enough to record license plates, car makes, models, and even faces. There are also dashcams that are HD 1080p and 2K resolution but the trade-off is larger video files.

  • Night Vision

This is another important feature that your dashcam must have because you never know when an accident might happen. It’s true that city lights, headlights, and street lights can provide enough illumination at night, however, they won’t always be there that’s why a night vision feature is important in your dashcam.

  • Storage Capacity

You should aim for 64GB storage at a minimum when choosing a dashcam. The higher the resolution of the camera, the more storage capacity you need to record the same amount of footage. When you record an hour of 720p footage, it might take 1 to 2GB in your storage. Therefore, choose one with higher storage capacity, so that all your video footages will be saved.  

  • Loop Recording

When the storage of a dashcam fills up, there are two things that can happen. It can either stop recording or loops back and records over the oldest footage. Loop recording is less risky between the two options because if you choose the one that stops recording, it can leave you vulnerable in the middle of a long drive.

  • Size

Size is also an important factor when choosing a dashcam because all view obstructions are dangerous when driving. It means that you should avoid choosing large dashcams that may block your line of sight while driving. Therefore, choose a dashcam that has an ideal size that will not become a view obstruction when you drive.

  • Impact Sensor

There are dashcams that can detect accidents and others automatically turn on when there’s an impact. If your dashcam has this feature, even if it’s turned off, it will automatically turn on when there’s an impact detected. It is a useful feature, especially when you leave your car in the parking lot.  

The Best Car Dashcams

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

Garmin Dashcam 55

Timetec Road Hawk HD Car Dashcam

Z-EDGE S3 Dual Dashcam

Garmin Speak Plus Dashcam

PAPAGO Car Dashcamera GoSafe 535

Cobra Electronics 840 Drive Dashcam

Rexing V1P Wide Angel Dashboard Camera

Accfly Wide Angle Lens Dashcam

Mio MiVue 766 Wi-Fi Car Video Camera

WheelWitness HD Pro Dashcam

 

Now that you know the different types of dashcams and the important features you should look for, you will now be able to easily choose one that will fit your needs. To further help you, here are some of the best car dashcams we can recommend.

1. Garmin Dashcam 55

This is a small dashcam but it packs a lot into a compact body. It is a mid-range Dashcam that offers sharp imagery and additional features. It offers 1440p video resolution at 30p. It also has 122-degree viewing angle which is pretty good. It comes with an attachable polarizing filter to remove unwanted glare from the windscreen of your car. This dashcam also has a built-in GPS unit and all of the footage it stores are stamped with time and location. Aside from that, it also has a voice control feature, some drive awareness warnings, a travelapse feature, making it a really great choice.

2. Timetec Road Hawk HD Car Dashcam

This is a simple dashcam that may lack in looks but has amazing additional features, great image, and wonderful audio quality. It has an image stabilization feature and a high-quality sensor that can create excellent footage even in low-light scenarios. It also has an audio-in connection that will allow you to add microphones. This dashcam also has a built-in GPS technology that will take care of speed and location data.

3. Z-EDGE S3 Dual Dashcam

This dashcam has sophisticated camera technology, GPS, and storage capacity. It is affordable and can record footage from the rear and as well as the front. It has super high definition video and its built-in battery can still record for 30 minutes after vehicle battery failure. It also has a parking mode feature that gives your car protection for 24 hours against vandals.

This also has a g-sensor and accelerometer that can detect automatically any signs of a crash or vibrations which indicate an accident. The videos it captures are stored in a micro SD card for up to 128GB of memory. You really can’t go wrong with the Z-EDGE S3 Dual Dashcam.

4. Garmin Speak Plus Dashcam

This is a smart dashcam that you can install in your car. If you already use Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa, you will be able to utter commands to this device. You can also use it to get turn-by-turn instructions. With this device, it’s like you have an onboard assistant in your car who happens to see everything from the point of view of the dash and help you by recording it. It is a small dashcam that only measures 1.5 by 1.5 by 1.5 inches.

It has a driver assistant feature that includes forward collision warnings and lane departure warnings. Meaning, it can notify you if you are drifting out of your lane. If an accident occurs, this dashcam’s automatically shot footage is saved following the detection of the collision.

5. PAPAGO Car Dashcamera GoSafe 535

With this dashcam unit, you will be able to get 160-degree wide-angle video footage from your car. It can provide the highest quality video even if you are driving at night or during bad weather. This dashcam comes with a free 8GB micro SD memory card where you can store video recordings. But this camera can handle up to 64GB of a memory card. It also has a cable that you can use to transfer videos into your smartphone.

It also has an automatic recording mode and loop recording. It has a monitor mode that shoots a single picture every second to decrease the amount of storage space required. Aside from that, its motion detection mode will only activate the camera once it senses that your car has moved.

6. Cobra Electronics 840 Drive Dashcam

This dashcam looks great and it is very easy to use. It has a rear touchscreen that is sharp and very easy to navigate with its joypad-style switch interface. All the options are clearly labeled and there’s a bright red button to manually save important clips. It has a built-in GPS and a G-sensor that automatically saves clips when an accident is detected. This is one of the very few units of dashcam that seems to have been designed with aesthetics in mind.

7. Rexing V1P Wide Angel Dashboard Camera

With this dashcam, you can expect a very good video recording quality because it uses 1080p HR resolution and its shooting video as at 30fps. This dashcam is designed to record in a dynamic range of lighting and it automatically adjusts the exposure to give you a more balanced image.

This dashcam has six layers of glass in its wide angle lens, giving you 170-degrees of viewing. It is also a discreet type of dashcam that is hidden from the casual observer. It also has a gravity sensor that will automatically notice of your car has been involved in a collision, it will preserve the last footage captured and will lock the video to make sure that it stays protected.

8. Accfly Wide Angle Lens Dashcam

This dashcam has a powerful wide-angle lens that can capture more of the round around you. It can record high definition videos and its field of vision can cover three lanes of traffic. There are lots of details you can see on its 1.5-inch LCD display. In the event of an accident or emergency, it can automatically detect it and lock the video, thanks to its g-sensor.

This dashcam shuts down when you turn off the car’s ignition. But before it shuts down, it will automatically save the latest recording first. It comes with a sturdy mount that will keep it securely in place even when you drive on bumpy roads.

9. Mio MiVue 766 Wi-Fi Car Video Camera

This is not a very compact Dashcam but it performs very well. It features a large 2.7-inch touchscreen for simple control. It has a built-in GPS that will take care of speed and location video overlays. Aside from that, it also has a built-in Wi-Fi which makes the video and image transfer to other devices easier.

The extra-wide 140-degree lens of this dashcam does an excellent job of recording the action while you drive. It has a high performing sensor that ensures the video footage you will get is some of the best around.

10. WheelWitness HD Pro Dashcam

This dashcam has advanced electronics and storage capability that is suitable for both cars and trucks. It has a night vision feature that is useful for long-distance truckers, night-shift workers, and anyone who drives after dark. It is also GPS enabled if you want to keep better track of your whereabouts. You can also follow the video footage taken with the dashcam because they have GPS-derived location information.

This is a high-tech dashcam that only weighs 5 ounces. It has an Ambarella A7La50 processor that can easily process super HD 2K videos in 2304x1296p resolution. What’s great is it comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

Dashcams are important because they can improve safety when you drive. Aside from that, it can also make it easier for you to navigate, especially when you’re driving in an unfamiliar place. We hope the guide we shared will be able to help you find the best dashcam for your car.

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