A dashcam is a camera mounted inside your vehicle whose primary objective is to record footage of the road ahead in audio/video format. Dashcams can be a fantastic gadget for your cars while driving. Whether you want to capture your driving experience, record road incidents like irresponsible drivers, accidents, car theft, or other unexpected events, dash cams can do it reliably. They are generally compact and discreet, providing little to no obstruction while simultaneously providing you utility. The car’s cigarette lighter port or the vehicle’s battery can power up these dashcams. Older models rely on microSD cards to store data, while newer variants can transmit data to your smartphone or PC via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Some dash cams have a small built-in that allows you to review footage and adjust settings, removing the hassle of having to use your phone or laptop.
Dashcams aren’t just limited to recording videos. Dashcams can have built-in GPS, making it easy for you to navigate on the road without having to rely on your smartphone if your car already doesn’t have a built-in GPS. Some of them offer built-in Virtual Intelligent Assistant(VIA) like Alexa so you can drive safely without having to rely on your smartphone’s VIA. Another critical feature dash cams have is Emergency SOS, where in the event of an accident, they can send alerts to emergency services on your behalf. Some of them can even have a secondary camera that can record the inside of your car. This can help you keep an eye on other passengers like your kids or record possible unforeseen events.
What to look for
The market has countless dash cams you can buy. Hence, choosing one of them isn’t simple. Here are a few parameters to guide you on what dash cam will best suit your needs.
As you’d expect, the higher the price, the better the product. Higher-end dashcams offer various features like built-in GPS, VIA, emergency alerts, built-in screens for previewing, secondary camera, better storage compatibility, camera quality and so on. Decide what you want from a dashcam—simple recording with the average rate or high-quality recording. There is no point in looking for a dashcam that is out of one’s budget.
As mentioned before, dashcams can be more than a recording device. For example, using a dashcam with built-in VIA or voice control means you can command it to start recording, stop recording, and so on with your voice commands. This reduces any distractions and ensures safety while driving. These features dash cams offer can justify the price if appropriately utilised. Ask yourself if such features are worth spending more on.
Camera quality is something you shouldn’t compromise on. What good is a video if you can’t recognize anything in it properly? Look for your preferred resolution, frames per second and other features like broader viewing angles and better recording in low-light situations. Better camera quality ensures you can distinguish details like license plates, road signs, etc.
Now that we know more about dash cams and what you should be looking for when purchasing one. Let’s look at a few options available in the market to give you a better idea of what to buy.
The ROAV A1 is a very cheap dash cam that offers 1080p video quality resolution. The device has NightHawk Vision which makes recordings in low light surroundings clear and distinguishable. It features a G-sensor for auto-recording when it detects sudden car movements, built-in Wi-Fi so files can be transferred seamlessly within devices, and a user-friendly navigation panel and buttons so you can operate the machine efficiently. However, it doesn’t have features like sound alerts for recording errors and relies on Lithium-ion batteries which means its life span isn’t as good as capacitors and even worse in a hot climate. For a device with such a cheap price tag, ROAV A1 is a decent choice.
Viofo A119V3 is a budget-friendly dash cam that offers 1440p video quality resolution at 30 fps and a 140-Degree wide-angle lens. The device is capable of recording clear footage even at night and in surroundings with low light. They use capacitors instead of lithium-ion batteries, which means they have a longer life span in hot temperatures and need less time to warm up in cold temperatures. Its other features include a built-in GPS, true HDR for good video quality, motion detection, sound alerts and a G-Sensor. The sound alert notifies you there is an error in recording. G-Sensor automatically stores crucial footage without intervening with the driver to detect hard braking, car crashes or movement while staying stationary.
The DR02 J is another budget-friendly dash cam that offers 4k video quality resolution at 24fps and a 157-degree wide-angle lens. While it claims to have 4k quality, the output is interpolated by its 5MP sensor. Its features include emergencies with its G-sensor, loop recording for continuous use by writing over old data, time-lapse recording, and night vision for better quality at night. One of the best characteristics of this camera is its supercapacitor which means that it can endure hot climates and still work well, something other dashcams can struggle with.
The Blackvue DR900S is a premium high-end dash cam that offers a front camera with 4k video quality resolution at 30 fps and a 162-degree ultra-wide-angle lens. The rear camera has a 1080p video quality resolution at 30 fps and a 139-degree wide-angle lens. Its other features include fast Wi-Fi for quick file transfers, built-in GPS, parking mode for more straightforward operation, toggleable audio recording, voice alerts when there is an error in recording, loop recording, and Blackvue Cloud remote live viewing, and push notifications to your phone and so on. It can come in up to 256 GB SD card versions and relies on supercapacitors as a backup battery. This high-end dash cam is perfect for those that can afford it.