Best Dash Cams

Best Dash Cams or dashboard cameras come in all shapes and sizes, with function sets and prices that fit together, so finding The Best dashcam can be tricky. Some shoot in Ultra HD and offer driver-assistance technology, while others gain points because they are compact, cheap, and easy to use. Although what you want from a dash cam can vary, the basic principles are easily and universally shared.

These are cameras that capture a forward-looking view of the road ahead of you while you are driving; if you were unhappy enough to have an accident – from a witness – the camera could save the images to an SD card, ready to be used as evidence. With public roads that sometimes look like a battlefield, like commuters displaced with school-runners and delivery guys – not to mention cyclists and pedestrians – it makes more sense than ever to have a dashcam in your car.

Some remain permanently attached to your windshield and start recording when you start the contact and make them feel like they are in the factory as optional extras. Others can be stored in your glove compartment and then cut to a magnetic dock on the windshield for each ride.

List of the best dash cams

Some models can be connected to a second, rear-facing camera and other systems record time-lapse recordings for a few days after you last parked them, thanks to the power supply of the car’s battery. With so many options to consider, we are here to guide you through the Best Dash Cams available today.

Nextbase 622GW

The most advanced dash cam you can currently buy

best dash cams
  • Video quality: 4K
  • Viewing angle: 140 degrees
  • GPS tracker: Yes
  • Memory: MicroSD card

Rather than replace the more affordable 522GW (see below), the 622GW is simply a new flagship dashcam. It offers greatly improved video quality, better stabilization, and the addition of what3words geolocation services, which allow it to locate a struck vehicle within a three-meter radius. By opting for 4K at 30 fps, the resulting images look almost cinematic, with extremely sharp definition and plenty of detail, even in situations with poor lighting. This makes it much easier to pinpoint license plate numbers or pick out hard-to-see elements of an accident.

A built-in polarizing filter on the front of the camera can be rotated to reduce glare from windshields, while digital image stabilization is another first for the dashcam market and helps smooth out bumps and vibrations caused by potholes and bad road surfaces. Like its 522GW sibling, this model can be controlled via your voice with Alexa Skills, but it requires the accompanying smartphone app to work, which is not the best. Despite new dual 2.4GHz + 5GHz Wi-Fi, it still struggles to connect to phones to transfer images and video clips.

$390.00
in stock
3 new from $390.00
1 used from $379.00
Amazon.com
Last updated on September 20, 2021 5:37 pm

Nextbase 522GW

The best dash cam for most people

  • Video quality: 1440p
  • Viewing angle: 140 degrees
  • GPS tracker: Yes
  • Memory: MicroSD card

The flagship Nextbase 622GW (above) may be one of the most advanced dashcams you can buy, but the 522GW remains our top choice for all-around value. With a bright 1440p resolution and wide-angle lens, it does the basics very well, but also offers plenty of additional features.

There’s a responsive three-inch touchscreen on the back, as well as the option to use the built-in Alexa functionality. Currently, users can ask Alexa to play music, place calls and listen to audiobooks through connected devices, but soon they’ll be able to use an upcoming Dash Cam Skill to command it to “start recording,” “stop recording,” “secure a recording” and “send to my phone.

All of that may seem like a bit of a gimmick and, to be honest, we haven’t used it all that much, so it’s fortunate that the rest of the UX is extremely simple. Videos can be quickly and easily shared with a smart device via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, while a smart Emergency SOS system will alert emergency services of your location and other details if you fail to respond after an accident.

$245.99
in stock
5 new from $245.99
1 used from $269.00
Amazon.com
Last updated on September 20, 2021 5:37 pm

Garmin Dash Cam 66W

Very easy to install, effortless to use

best dash cams
  • Video quality: 1440p
  • Viewing angle: 180 degrees
  • GPS tracker: Yes
  • Memory: MicroSD card

We’ve often reviewed Garmin’s dashcams for their ease of use, and new to the company is its concise line of cute, unobtrusive dashcams, which hitch a ride on the brand’s action camera user interface but boast plenty of features that make them a valuable assistant on public roads. This more expensive and latest 66W unit is the one to go for in our eyes, simply because the inclusion of the hugely wide 180-degree viewing angle lens makes it the master of capturing everything that happens in front of you – although there is some distortion at the far edge of the frame.

There are few dashcams that don’t automatically capture and save images when a built-in G-sensor detects an accident, and that’s exactly what Garmin has implemented here as well. In addition, users can control the 66W with voice commands, such as “OK, Garmin, save video” and “take a picture,” but we found this system a bit clunky when we were on the noisy highway.

Shooting is generally excellent and performance in low-light situations is very good, but perhaps its biggest appeal is its neat and tidy packaging. It’s small, unobtrusive and doesn’t cost much.

Viofo A129 Pro Duo

A superb value front and rear cam package

  • Video quality: 4K
  • Viewing angle: 140 degrees
  • GPS tracker: Yes
  • Memory: MicroSD card

We won’t blame you if you’ve never heard of Viofo, as it’s certainly not the most well-known name in the dashcam world, but its Pro Duo model with 4K resolution offers phenomenal value for money. The front camera is a lot bulkier than many rivals on this list, but it has a built-in GPS module, something many other brands offer as an optional extra. Its plastic body looks and feels basic, but it houses some rather trick technology that belies its overall build quality.

It runs supercapacitors, rather than a traditional rechargeable battery setup, which means the power source is built to last and can withstand an extreme temperature range without blundering performance. On top of that, you get the option of glorious 4K (3840 x 2160p) front-facing video recording, with the resulting images offering great detail and Wide Dynamic Range for rich colors in all weather conditions.

Unfortunately, 4K recording is only possible at 30 fps, which is not ideal if you want to slow down the shots. However, dual shots (front and rear camera) are only available in Full HD (1080p) anyway, and these are pumped out at 60 fps for much smoother results.

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

A simple, affordable dash cam with Wi-Fi connectivity

best dash cams
  • Video quality: 1080p
  • Viewing angle: 140 degrees
  • GPS tracker: No
  • Memory: MicroSD card

Garmin’s tiny Dash Cam Mini is designed to be hassle-free and hidden. Attached to the low-profile mount, the compact cam disappears behind the rear-view mirror so you can concentrate on the road. If you run the longer of the two USB cables behind your cab’s headliner, you’ll quickly forget it’s there.

Built to be simple, there are only two buttons on the Dash Cam Mini: one to mute the microphone, the other to save clips – and there’s no display to frame the footage. Instead, you download the Garmin Drive App on your smartphone, connect to the Mini’s built-in Wi-Fi and watch the live preview feed as you adjust position.

The app is also where you can view, edit and export clips, making it easy to get footage from the camera. You can also tweak settings, including data overlay and video quality (which can be reduced to 720p), as well as control the dashcam remotely. It’s a simple, reliable installation – and if you don’t want to sit in your car while you sort through clips, you can remove the cam from the mount and power it with the spare USB cable.

Once installed, the Dash Cam Mini records continuously, looping over the microSD card. While it doesn’t offer the higher resolutions of some rivals, Full HD images are still clear and detailed, while the lighting adapts well to different conditions. And the 140-degree viewing angle covers most of the view in front of you, without fish-eye distortion.

Vantrue N2 Pro

Heavyweight features without the heavyweight price tag

  • Video quality: 1440p
  • Viewing angle: 170 degrees
  • GPS tracker: Optional tracker
  • Memory: MicroSD card

Type in the words “dash cam” on Amazon and the number of search results that appear can be intimidating. But nestled in the pile of listings is this Chinese brand that shows off professional spec dash cams that cost up to half as much as some of the market leaders. The front lens, arguably the most important here, consists of six separate glass elements and packs a whopping f/1.8 aperture, making it brilliant for capturing sharp images in low-light situations.

On top of that, a second f/2 lens focuses on the cabin and is supported by four IR LED lights to boost what are often awkward, gloomy images via an excellent Sony IMX323 sensor. While not for everyone, this kind of functionality is perfect for professional drivers who may or may not want to relive incidents late on a Friday night. There is also a built-in microphone to record audio.

Continuous loop recording is a given here, as is G-sensor technology that detects an incident and automatically saves the footage to the MicroSD card. Buyers, however, will have to opt for an optional GPS mount that stores speed and location data in addition to the video file.

Thanks mainly to the brilliant Sony sensor, image quality is generally very good, and pairing the unit with a laptop or PC is as easy as it gets. The front and back shots are conveniently divided into two separate files, so you spend less time searching through the various folders looking for the clip you want.

Garmin Dash Cam 55

The compact all-in-one

  • Video quality: 1440p at 60fps
  • Viewing angle: 122 degrees
  • Integrated GPS: Yes
  • Screen: 2.0-inch LCD

The Garmin Dash Cam 55 is an excellent and well-priced all-rounder, combining a compact and discrete form factor with excellent video quality, integrated GPS, and voice commands. The Dash Cam 55 also includes a g-sensor to store video when a collision is detected automatically, and thanks to the magnetic mounting system, the camera can be mounted on your windshield in just a few seconds.

Although Garmin’s menu system is not particularly intuitive, it offers all the options you need every day. Our only real criticism is the short battery life of 30 minutes, which means you have to plug in the lighter for all except the shortest rides. Currently, this is The Best dash cam that you can buy right now.

Nextbase 612GW

The world’s first 4K dashcam

best dash cams
  • Video quality: 4K at 30fps/1440p at 60fps
  • Integrated GPS: Yes
  • Screen: 3.0-inch LCD

The Nextbase 612GW is the first 4K dash camera in the world to produce industry-leading video images and is operated via a large 3-inch touch screen. HDR video is recorded with a Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor, and GPS logging means you can view your travels (and any incidents) on Google Maps. Parking mode automatically records a two-minute video when motion is detected while your car is parked.

An internal battery drives this, which means that you do not have to leave the camera connected while your car is not in use. However, during the journey, the battery is only used for 15 minutes, so it must be connected to almost every trip. This is also one of the larger dash cams on the market, which could serve as a distraction while driving or make itself attractive to thieves. Overall, this is one for the Best dash cams to buy right now.

Thinkware F800 Pro

Speed camera alerts, night mode and a factory-fit look

  • Video quality: 1080p
  • Integrated GPS: Yes
  • Screen: No

If you want one for the Best dash cams that looks like it was mounted on your car at the factory, the Thinkware F800 Pro is for you. It is designed to fit exactly against the top of your windshield, behind the rearview mirror, and neatly out of the way. The Pro model can also be permanently connected to your car’s battery, which means it will start up when you turn the key, continue recording. At the same time, you park and leave your vehicle’s 12V socket free for other purposes, such as charging your phone.

There is also an improved night vision setting to improve low-light videos, flash alerts, and the option to mount a rear camera. There is no touchscreen, which could be considered negative, but thanks to Wi-Fi. It is easy enough to connect the camera to your smartphone to view images and adjust the settings.

BlackVue DR900S-1CH

4K video, discreet design and remote access via the cloud

best dash cams
  • Video quality: 4K at 30fps
  • Integrated GPS: Yes
  • Screen: No

This offers a neat factory-fit look, but also has the advantage of a slim and compact design. The BlackVue DR900S-1CH offers 4K video recording, a wider lens than most of its rivals (162 degrees), GPS, and parking mode. Besides, there is a cloud-based subscription package for a remote view of live and recorded footage.

A service that sends a notification to your smartphone when the camera detects a collision – useful if your car has been bumped while you are away. Not everyone will want to pay for a subscription service, but we can see that the extra benefits are useful for fleet managers who want to monitor their vehicles. Overall, this is one for the Best dash cams right now.

Nextbase 112

Fantastic bang for your buck

best dash cams
  • Video quality: 720p at 30fps
  • Integrated GPS: No
  • Display: 2-inch

With its compact design and low price, the Nextbase 112 is a strong candidate for the Best budget dashcam. It records in HD (although only a resolution of 720p instead of the superior and sharper 1080p), has a two-inch screen on its back, and is attached to a handy magnetic windshield mount. This camera is approved by the British car association and is intended to be connected to the lighter connection of your car.

It also has a spare battery that can record up to 30 minutes of video if the camera’s G-sensor detects a collision. Readers who drive a lot at night can consider a camera with a higher resolution sensor and better low-light performance. Of course, extras such as voice commands and a parking position are not available here, but for the price, it is an excellent deal for those who want one for the Best dash cams.

Last updated on September 20, 2021 5:37 pm

RoadHawk Vision Super HD

Small, simple and easy to use

  • Video quality: 1296p
  • Integrated GPS: No
  • Screen: No

Your money goes here in a compact and subtle design instead of a boatload of functions. The Dashboard ridge of the RoadHawk is small enough to hide neatly behind your rearview mirror, matching minimal support that is glued to the windshield (instead of a larger suction cup). However, the lens is only 120 degrees, there is no display (obviously given the size), and the camera has no GPS. The video is transferred to your smartphone via Wi-Fi, or you can take out the included 8 GB SD card to copy to your computer. Full HD is only offered at 30 frames per second or 720p at 60 fps. Overall, this is one for the Best dash cams on the market.

Pruveeo F5

The unique design offers an OEM look with a 1.5-inch display

best dash cams

This bargain of a camera offers an alternative design that is meant to be less distracting while driving. It offers Full HD video, WiF for sending video to the iOS and Android app for smartphones, and a small 1.5-inch screen to quickly check the camera image and view images during installation. This is a camera that, more than most, would benefit from hard-wired, or at least be installed in such a way that the power cable is tapped behind the inside panels of your car, while the power cable jumps out of the top of the device. Once installed, he would have to fit neatly behind your mirror for that smart factory-fit look. Overall, this is one for the Best dash cams that you can buy.

Conclusion

It’s never a bad idea to have a dash-cam fitted in your car – you never know when you need pictures from your windshield. Finding the Best Dash Cams can be overwhelming; there are so many models out the re, and many companies make more than one. But once you’ve found The Best dash cam for you, it can be one of the most crucial pieces of technology you have, handy in case of an accident, or in case something great happens on the road that helps your YouTube channel becomes famous.

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