Investing in a dash cam is one of the wisest decisions you can make to enhance driving safety and peace of mind. A good dash camera lets you capture pivotal footage for insurance claims, monitor your car remotely, and even deter thieves.
But with so many options in the market, picking the best dash cam for your needs can get overwhelming. This comprehensive guide will discuss the key factors to consider and recommend stellar choices across budgets.
Dash cams are must-have accessories that offer three core benefits:
- Gather incident footageas evidence for insurance/legal claims.
- Monitor your parked vehiclefor security and collision detection.
- Improve driving habitswhen you know you’re being recorded.
But dash cams vary widely in video quality, reliability, features and price. Here are the main buying factors:
- Resolution– 1080p minimum, higher is better
- Field of View– Wide 140-160° angle reduces blind spots
- Night Vision– Low-light sensitivity for usable night footage
- Build Quality– Heat/cold resistant with durable casing
- Extra Features– GPS, WiFi, parking mode, etc
- Ease of Use– Simple mounting and controls
By evaluating models based on the above aspects, you can zero in on the optimal choice. Let’s look at the top recommendations.
This is the first make-or-break factor – a dash cam is only as good as the quality of footage it records.
- 1080p resolutionis the sweet spot. It offers ample details without massive file sizes.
- 1440p or 4K resolutionare recommended if you want ultra-sharp footage or license plate clarity.
- A120-160 degree field of viewcaptures multiple lanes without blind spots.
- WDR and Night Visionmodes are musts for usable low light and night videos. Look for f1.8 aperture.
A cam with great imaging will serve you well for years, so don’t compromise here.
The rigors of daily driving demand a robust dash cam that can hold up under tough conditions. Check for:
- Extreme temperature tolerance– for subzero winters and blazing summers.
- Waterproofingwith IP68 rating allows washing and rain protection.
- Impact resistance– G-sensor or casing that can withstand collisions.
- Discreet designthat integrates seamlessly into your car’s interiors.
- Easy mountingwith stickers or suction cups. Avoid flimsy mounts.
Bonus capabilities that enhance functionality:
- Built-in GPSfor speed and location tracking. Helps provide context.
- Parking monitoringto detect hits and collisions when parked. Needs hardwiring kit.
- WiFi connectivityallows accessing footage remotely on your smartphone.
- Cloud storagelets you backup videos to the cloud automatically.
- Driver assistancefeatures like forward collision and lane departure warnings.
Top Budget Models
You can find excellent entry-level options for under $100:
- Rove R2-4K– Packs impressive 4K resolution and night vision in a compact form.
- Vava Dual Dash Cam– 1080p front + rear coverage and parking monitoring under $100.
- Aukey DR02 Mini– Discreet and affordable single cam with excellent usability.
- Crosstour Uber Dual Cam– Features packed cam with 1296P resolution and GPS.
Best Mid-Range Cameras
Stepping up to $100-$200 fetches advanced capabilities:
- Garmin Dash Cam 67W– GPS enabled, voice control and outstanding day/night videos.
- Nextbase 422GW– Alexa built-in, WiFi, GPS, emergency SOS response.
- Viofo A129 Pro Duo– 4K front + 1080p rear with excellent night vision.
- Rexing V1P– 170° ultra-wide lens, WiFi, collision auto-detect, and more.
Premium cams over $200 take convenience and coverage to the next level:
- Thinkware U1000– 4K video, built-in radar for collision warnings, parking surveillance.
- Blackvue DR900X-1CH– 4K @ 60 fps, driver assistance, cloud connectivity via LTE.
- Garmin Dash Cam 67W– 1440p video with HDR, driver alerts, and automatic cloud sync.
- Nextbase 622GW– 4K @ 30 fps, Alexa voice control, Emergency SOS, traffic sign recognition.
Our Top Recommended Picks
- Budget– Vava Dual Cam offers dual 1080p coverage and parking mode at unbeatable value.
- Mid-range– Nextbase 422GW strikes an ideal balance with great video, GPS, and smart WiFi features.
- Premium– Thinkware U1000 pushes the envelope with 4K video and driver safety features like collision warnings.
But the Rexing V1P takes the cake as the best overall dash cam. It delivers excellent 1440p video, reliable performance and a robust feature set at an affordable price point difficult to beat.
Installing a dash cam is essential to monitor your vehicle, capture driving footage and boost safety. Carefully assess video quality, build, features and price before choosing a model that ticks all your boxes.
By following this guide and picking from our top recommendations, you are sure to find your perfect dash cam driving partner! Drive safe and let the camera do the work.
Best Mid-Range Cameras
The mid-range price segment from $100 to $200 offers a great balance of premium features without going overboard on the budget. Here are some of the standout options to consider in this bracket:
Garmin Dash Cam 67W
- Sharp 1440p video with HDR for stunning image quality
- Integrated GPS records location, speed, and provides alerts for red light or speed cameras
- Voice control for convenient hands-free operation while driving
- WiFi for wireless video transfer to your phone
- Nifty travelapse feature condenses hours of driving into short highlight videos
- What’s more – built-in emergency assistance can detect accidents and automatically summon help if required
- Packed with cutting-edge capabilities like built-in Amazon Alexa support for voice control of your dash cam and directions by asking Alexa.
- Records crisp 1440p videos with Nextbase’s excellent image tuning
- Emergency SOS response can detect collisions and notify emergency services if needed
- Integrated GPS stamps videos with speed and location
- Supports Bluetooth 4.2 for wirelessly pairing your phone with the dash cam
- WiFi enables previewing and transferring videos on your smartphone
Viofo A129 Pro Duo
- Delivers superb 4K 30fps video quality from the front cam and 1080p rear cam
- Uses top-class Sony image sensors for stellar night time videos with minimal noise
- Integrated GPS records speed, location and provides safety camera alerts
- Built-in WiFi for quick video transfer and playback on your mobile
- Includes Bluetooth remote control for convenient access to key functions
- Supports optional hardwiring for parking surveillance and battery protection
- Records sharp 2K 1440p videos with an extra-wide 170° lens
- Starvis sensor and WDR deliver exceptional night vision and low light footage
- WiFi connectivity allows live view and video download to your phone
- G-sensor auto detects accidents and locks important footage
- Loop recording overwrites old files automatically
- Sleek and compact design fits discreetly behind the rearview mirror
When choosing a dash cam in the popular mid-range segment, you get the perfect balance of value for money and advanced capabilities. Models like the Garmin 67W, Nextbase 422GW, Viofo A129 Pro and Rexing V1P stand out with robust performance, great imaging and usable driver assistance features.
Consider getting a dual cam model if rear coverage is also essential. Prioritize video quality, GPS, WiFi and parking mode support during your buying decision.
Spend some time comparing models in your budget and look up detailed video reviews and sample footage. This will help you make the dash cam investment that fulfills your needs and lasts for years of reliable service.