Best Dash Cams 2018

Electronics

Best Dash Cams 2018

In this ultimate guide, you’ll find everything there is to know about Dash Cams.

I personally tested over 23 best front and rear dashboards cameras and reviewed the top picks below that offer the best balance of image quality, features, functions, reliability & price.

Check out the Updated list of best dash cams in 2018 below.

Best Dash Cams 2018

Name Item Weight Battery  
Vantrue OnDash N2 Pro
(Editor’s Choice)
3.52 ounces 250mAh Check Price
Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam
(Editor’s Choice)
4.32 ounces N/A Check Price
Garmin Dash Cam 35
4 ounces 1 Lithium ion batteries Check Price
Papago GoSafe 535
(Editor’s Choice)
2.4 ounces 1 Lithium Polymer batteries Check Price
Magellan MiVue 420 DashCam
9.6 ounces N/A Check Price
Garmin Dash Cam 65W
3.52 ounces 1 Lithium ion batteries Check Price
Magellan MiVue 480D DashCam
1.5 pounds 1 Lithium ion batteries Check Price
KDLINKS DX2 Full-HD 1080P Front + 720P Rear Dash Cam
5.28 ounces 3.7v 200mah Check Price
Rexing Wide Angle Dashboard Camera
9.6 ounces 1 Lithium Polymer batteries . Check Price
Z-Edge Z3 Dash Cam
2.17 pounds Lithium Metal batteries Check Price

Related:

1. Vantrue OnDash N2 Pro

 

The Vantrue OnDash N2 Pro features two cameras in one housing capturing road views in front of your vehicle and activity inside the vehicle. Whether you have an active family or provide ride-share or taxi services, this is one of the best dual dash cam devices for simultaneous road safety and passenger security recording. Front camera view of up to 1440p provides 170 degrees for good detail and clarity even at night. Easily angled rear-facing interior camera provides 1080p HD resolution with a 140 degree field of view.

PROS

  • Dual 1080p HD cameras enable simultaneous front-of-vehicle and interior camera video or single-cam mode for front-facing camera only at a sharp 1440p HD resolution
  • Even at night the interior cabin view camera gains a clear view of both front and rear seats using infrared LED lighting
  • 170-degree front view and 140-degree interior cabin view capture footage at 30 frames per second or through the front camera only at 60 frames per second
  • Seamless loop recording overwrites aged footage with current video to fully utilize memory card capacity
  • G-sensor detects vehicle shake or collision and locks captured footage to a protected event file
  • Accepts microSD cards up to 64GB, class 10 formatted to FAT32

CONS

  • For GPS functionality of the OnDash N2 Pro you must purchase a separate GPS mount
  • Ideal only for environmental temperatures above 32 degrees, so not well suited for colder climates
  • The microSD memory card is not included and must be purchased separately by the customer

2. Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam

 

If you are on a budget but want a quality dash cam, the Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam provides quality on a shoestring. The Old Shark records 1080p HD for standard high definition detail for a 170-degree field of view at 30 frames per second. This dash cam works well in all lighting for day and night clarity. A G-sensor detects incidents and automatically locks videos to protect accident footage. Features of the Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam rival more expensive cameras, including loop recording, motion detection, night vision, timestamping, parking monitoring, instant playback and more.

PROS

  • Mounts easily to windshield and easily powers for automatic driving recording
  • Great clarity in recording, instant playback and menu selection for the price, including a sharp three-inch LCD display
  • The GS505 Dash Cam comes with a 32GB microSD card, power cable, suction mount, cable clips, USB adapter, USB transfer cable and gift package
  • Dash cam protected by 45 day manufacturer’s money-back guarantee with 18 month warranty and lifetime customer service

CONS

  • Windshield suction mount frequently fails after standard use and melts in extreme heat, so many customers purchase a third-party mount
  • Printed English instructions are difficult to understand due to grammatical and syntax errors and do not fully cover the camera’s functionality
  • Menu review and programming of the camera is cumbersome as compared to other dash camera models

3. Garmin Dash Cam 35

 

Offering great overall performance and value, the Garmin Dash Cam 35 offers more features than expected for the price, including a nice three-inch LED screen. This Garmin records 1080p high definition imagery at 30 frames per second for clear detail. The 180 degree field of view provides accurate representation of the environment and vehicles in front of you. The camera records for an hour on its included microSD card and features automatic recording when a collision incident occurs. Additional features include forward collision, red light camera and speed camera warnings. The unit also doubles as a still photo camera for documenting accident damage and scene evidence.

PROS

  • A large three inch viewing screen means easy footage review and menu operation
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 frames per second for video and still photography for accident scene documentation
  • Features automatic recording upon impact, forward collision warning, red light camera warning and optional speed camera warning signals

CONS

  • The model available in the United States does not record audio, so all video is silent
  • For recording periods longer than one hour, you must purchase an available 64GB microSD card that is sold separately
  • The speed camera warning function requires a paid subscription and is illegal in some jurisdictions

4. Papago GoSafe 535

 

An all-around best bet, the Papago GoSafe 535 is an affordable, small, easy-to-use dash cam with outstanding screen resolution of 2304×1296 at 30 frames per second. You do not miss the details even in difficult lighting conditions, with this camera’s crisp imagery and sharp resolution. A wide, 160 degree field of view captures what other dash cams cut off without making cars ahead appear farther away. High resolution means you can zoom in during footage review to pick up the details on the included 8GB microSD card or optional memory cards up to 64GB. The GoSafe 535 mounts easily on your windshield and operates automatically every time you drive. Using the camera is easy and it provides reliable imagery with the most important features for your best footage.

PROS

  • A small, affordable camera that is easy to install and use but still provides top quality video at 1296p resolution for catching even small details
  • 160 degree wide angle field of view for sharp imagery even at night or in bad weather conditions
  • Includes a free 8GB micro SD card but accommodates up to 64GB micro SD card for eight hours of footage at the 1080p setting
  • Three recording settings provide footage you need: Automatic for loop video, monitor mode for one image per second and motion-activated recording

CONS

  • Getting help from Papago customer service can be difficult, in regard to responsiveness and solutions for defects
  • Light adjustment for night or other changing lighting conditions is manual and not automatically adjusted by the camera
  • Provided mobile device cables are compatible with android devices only, adapter or iPhone cord sold separately
  • The camera features only a small two-inch footage viewing screen, so for detail footage must be reviewed on a compatible device

5. Magellan MiVue 420 DashCam

 

The Magellan MiVue 420 DashCam provides high quality super HD resolution at 2304×1296 for great detail even in nighttime or inclement weather conditions. The HD display of this dash cam is 2.7 inches for adequate replay of captured footage and clarity for field of view. The camera’s integrated GPS receiver handily records your travel statistics along with video, including the GPS location and vehicle speed. The Parking Watch mode wakes up the camera for recording when it detects any impact while the vehicle is parked.

PROS

  • Super sharp 1296p HD resolution and GPS receiver provide sharp detail, location and vehicle speed information for well-informed video capture of events
  • The large 2.7-inch high definition display makes playback of recorded footage as easy in the vehicle as on other devices
  • Performs well with great video quality at night and in low light conditions with the camera’s enhanced low light features
  • Simply pointing the camera lens toward potential parking impact areas captures post-impact events automatically while the car is in park

CONS

  • Useful lane departure and forward collision safety alerts can be over-active and annoying, but are also easily turned off
  • 140-degree, narrower field of view and slightly more complex operations than some other dash cams
  • Slightly more expensive than some other models with broader fields of view, but counterbalances through quality Magellan customer service

6. Garmin Dash Cam 65W

 

If you are looking for a small profile camera, the Garmin Dash Cam 65W takes up little space but includes lots of features. Magnetically held on its windshield mount, the small Garmin Dash Cam 65W provides a wide 180 degree field of view to capture your position, cars ahead of you and scenery. Safety alerts, WiFi, GPS and voice control dress the camera up but it still provides detailed exposure and color accuracy for around-the-clock lighting.

PROS

  • A wide field of view, great video quality and lots of extra features provide good value for the camera’s price
  • Extra features include GPS, WiFi, voice control and safety alerts for forward collision, lane departure, red light cameras and speed cameras
  • Cross traffic, more of your environment and a full field of view are captured through 180-degrees of view
  • The 2.1 megapixel camera works even in low light of nighttime and inclement weather for detailed 1080p video capture
  • Automatic incident detection G-sensor captures footage of impact and aftermath with GPS location stamping

CONS

  • Pricier than other dash cams, so cost may outweigh your practical or desired feature preferences
  • 180 degree viewpoint makes cars and objects in front of the vehicle appear farther away than they really are
  • Warnings for red light cameras and speed cameras require a paid subscription

7. Magellan MiVue 480D DashCam

 

From Magellan, the MiVue 480D Dash Cam records views in front of your vehicle and behind at the same time using two separate cameras. But unlike other dual-channel dash cams, the MiVue 480D provides top quality 140-degree front video at 1296p resolution. The rear camera footage provides good, clear quality but suffers in contrast at night. The front camera is easily repositioned thanks to a ball joint suction mount, whereas the rear camera is sticker-mounted and pivots to desired angles.

PROS

  • Affordability for front and rear video capture with good quality video definition at 1296p in front and 1080p in rear
  • Playback and control are made easy through a sizeable 2.7 inch video display
  • Dual cameras provide greater accuracy in incident recording with views of both front and back
  • Provides an array of audible and visual hazard warnings for issues like lane departure, forward collision and driver fatigue
  • Included 32GB microSD card provides greater memory space versus other camera models, with compatibility for up to 128GB
  • G-sensor locks video recording with time, speed, location and date stamping upon impact

CONS

  • Periodic camera display and recording freezes may occur during normal use and at mild temperatures
  • Rear camera records at lower quality than the front, with contrast and darkness issues at night or in low light
  • Price is higher than some customers want to pay, but compares well with other models based on features and capabilities

8. KDLINKS DX2 Full-HD 1080P Front + 720P Rear Dash Cam

 

Featuring a quality three-inch video screen and powerful camera capabilities, the KDLINKS DX2 Full-HD 1080P Front + 720P Rear Dash Cam provides the coverage you need for optimum protection. The front camera features a super wide 165 degree field of view and the rear features 125 degrees of rear viewing. This dual dash cam records at 1080p HD for 30 frames per second. The camera is accompanied by a 16GB microSD card but accommodates an optional card of up to 32GB if you prefer more recording time. The KDLINKS DX2’s auto-detection feature means the camera reliably activates and records if motion occurs.

PROS

  • Accompanied by a one-year dash cam hardware manufacturer’s warranty and 100 percent satisfaction guarantee for 24-hour customer support
  • Dual lenses for simultaneous front and rear recording, with front at 165 degrees and rear at 125 degrees
  • 1080p recording at 30 frames per second in full HD video with audio
  • Proven functionality at extreme temperatures, with official MSDS report and PONY Lab Certification for six hours from -40°F to 170°F

CONS

  • Included microSD card is only 16GB, so lengthier recording requires separate purchase of 32GB microSD card
  • Does not allow preset preferences for driving or parking, requiring multiple menu selections for each use
  • Rear video recording is not adequate for nighttime clarity
  • Manufacturer parts for the camera housing feature screws that tend to fail and require replacement
  • Front camera suction mount and rear camera double-sided adhesive tape tends to fail and require replacement

9. Rexing Wide Angle Dashboard Camera

 

As far as budget-priced dash cams, the Rexing Wide Angle Dash Cam provides great value. With this camera you get great HD video quality and many usable features for at or under $100. The Rexing features 1080p HD video with a 170 degree field of view at 30 frames per second. This means you capture every necessary detail when you need it. The camera features important collision detection and locks those videos to prevent overwriting of the important footage. You can choose the length of your looping video files, in increments of three, five or 10 minutes. The camera also accommodates up to 128GB microSD cards for greater capacity than most dash cams allow, at about 22 hours of 1080p or 40 hours of 720p recording.

PROS

  • Fits up to 128GB microSD card for lengthy recording of up to 40 hours for your long road trips
  • You choose duration of the video loop, filming in increments of three, five or 10 minutes
  • Features 1080p high definition, 170 degree field of view, 30 frames per second quality recording
  • Offers many desirable features of more expensive camera models, yet priced at $100 or less

CONS

  • Nighttime video recording is lower quality than other cameras, only providing views of the roadway or traffic in your headlight beams
  • Windshield mounting adhesive tends to fail in extreme heat or cold and requires replacement of the adhesive only

10. Z-Edge Z3 Dash Cam

 

The budget-conscious Z-Edge Z3 Dash Cam provides recording of high quality Super HD footage with impressive resolution at 2560 x 1080p. F1.8 six layer glass lenses pick up fantastic night vision detail, so your night videos are as clear as day recordings. The camera mounts on your windshield and features a 170-degree field of view for clear view of the road and wide surroundings. Unlike many dash cams, this one features an out-of-the-box 32GB microSD card, so you have lengthy recording time from the start.

PROS

  • The camera’s G-sensor provides automatic crash or vibration detection for recording of accidents or parking lot dings as they happen
  • Camera kit comes with a 32GB microSD card and extra-long USB cable for easy setup and lengthy recording
  • Clear three-inch screen provides excellent clarity for footage review and menu navigation, also auto-switching off for energy savings
  • Budget pricing with the most important features, a sizeable memory card, quality imagery and broad field of view in HD

CONS

  • There is no GPS functionality for automatic logging of location during recording or at the time of an accident
  • The camera does not feature WiFi connectivity, so there are no WiFi related functions or features
  • Optional G-sensor is highly sensitive and activates on some vehicles when doors or trunk are closed during normal use

Dash Cameras – Buyer’s Guide

If you are seeking the best dash cam for your personal or business needs, you need to first flush out what those specific needs include. These are your considerations for buying your dash cam. Below are several features, options and functions you need to consider before shopping for a dash cam, so you can find the best possible fit.

Your Dash Camera’s Point of View

If you only want to record what you see in front of your vehicle, most dash cams will suit your needs. Most of today’s dash cameras actually mount on your windshield, focusing on the road ahead of your vehicle to a specific field of view. These are known as single-lens dash cams.

If you want to record video of behind your vehicle, as well as through the front windshield, you need a dual-lens dash cam. A dual-lens dash cam simply includes two camera lenses, also known as “channels.” These cameras record footage through both lenses at the same time.

Dual-lens dash cams are available for recording through the front windshield and rear of the car at the same time, as mentioned before. But they are also available for recording video through the windshield and inside your vehicle. This means you can see what is happening outside the car and inside among passengers, at the same time.

These types of dual-lens dash cams are perfect for drivers shuttling passengers as part of ride-share or taxi services. They also work well for fleet managers, delivery companies or parents wanting to monitor people inside the vehicle, as well as the road ahead. But anyone can benefit from a dual-lens dash cam, particularly when it comes to proving your actions as part of an accident case.

Some dual-lens dash cams have fixed lenses on one camera body. Other dual-channel dash cams feature secondary cameras that can be positioned to whatever viewpoint you choose. You can record out the side of the vehicle or within the passenger compartment, according to your own needs. It can also be used for security, angled specifically toward valuable equipment or cargo in the vehicle.

Camera Visibility in Your Vehicle

Dash cams are available to suit most needs. These needs may include an inconspicuously sized dash cam mounted in the windshield, one less visible to passers-by. These cameras are less prone to raising risk for vehicle break-in or vandalism.

If you want a discrete dash cam, some models are so small and hidden from view that people outside of the vehicle either cannot see the camera or are unaware that it is a camera device. Many of these position on the windshield behind the rear view mirror.

If you simply prefer an unobtrusive, small and non-distracting dash cam, many miniature models are available on the market to suit this need. These dash cams do not necessarily sacrifice features or functionality, either. Many small dash cams still have built-in screens and other capabilities, albeit at smaller size.

Of course, if you prefer a large LED screen for video playback in your vehicle, many dash cams feature three-inch screens or larger. If you have a substantially-sized, expensive or highly visible dash cam, most insurance companies and security experts recommend taking the cam out of your vehicle as you would your cell phone or wallet.

Quality of the Dash Cam’s Video Footage

Do you want to see every detail in high definition video, or do you simply want a “bigger picture” view of what happens on the road? Most cameras today provide great quality. But dash cam video quality still varies enough from camera to camera that you must consider what quality you need.

Some models of dash cams feature standard video quality at 480p to a higher quality at 720p. For high definition review of footage, such as on an HD video screen or television, you will want HD 1080p or the highest possible quality on today’s market, at Super HD 1296p.

Remember that the higher the quality, the better your video detail. If you want to read vehicle makes, models and license plate digits, you need high definition of at least 1080p. Night video quality is better at high definition, too. But of course, higher definition equals higher cost.

GPS Location Tracking

Many new dash cams provide GPS vehicle position logging. Many of these models also feature speed tracking through the built-in global positioning system, too. This capability means your video playback provides Google mapping of your vehicle adjacent to the video display.

Benefits of GPS logging include fleet vehicle tracking, court defense against inaccurate speeding tickets, proving your whereabouts at particular times and accident detail. These GPS systems either include a built-in antenna as part of the camera body or GPS signal receipt through external antenna and cabling. External cabling and antennas work much like a satellite radio system does.

Optional Turn-By-Turn Navigation

Dash cams today provide many optional features, such as navigation. This means you can let your smartphone or GPS rest and rely only on one device for recording video and providing turn-by-turn instructions. This navigation works like your smartphone app or other vehicle GPS system. You simply enter an address as the destination and let the device do the rest, providing both audible and mapped visual directions.

This type of dash cam enables you to remove the windshield or dash-mounted navigation system. It reduces the number of devices obstructing your view or cluttering the car.

Business or Fleet Vehicle Use

If you are using your dash cam for business, you want a model adequate for meeting your specific needs. A business dash cam is usually dual-channel, meaning two camera views. One camera records video through the front windshield, showing the vehicle’s path and maneuvers. The other camera usually records into the passenger cabin, showing the driver and vehicle occupants.

Some dual channel dash cams feature tamper-proof casings and mounts. This means the camera cannot be disabled or disconnected. On these professional dash cams, memory cards cannot be removed or erased. Some of these dash cams also provide remote tracking, so the vehicle owner can keep up with the vehicle’s location at all times.

Memory Card Capacity

How long your dash cam records video relies on the capacity of storage on the memory card. After the memory card is full, most dash cams loop the video and overwrite older footage.

Dash cam memory card quality is measured primarily by write speed and capacity. Write speed determines the memory card class, with that class being rated as 1, 2, 4, 6 or 10. A higher class card writes data at faster speed and provides better quality of video playback, among other benefits. So you should aim for a class 6 card or a class 10.

How many hours of video your memory card can hold is determined by its gigabytes, known simply as “GBs.” An 8GB memory card will hold two to three hours of video before looping the recording and overwriting older footage. A 16GB card provides four to six hours of consecutive recording. For six to 12 hours of recording you need a 32GB card. A 64GB card provides 10 to 20 hours of recorded footage before looping and a 128GB card provides between 20 and 40 hours. All of these times are for HD recording. For standard definition video of up to 720p, these recording times double.

A commercial truck driver or fleet vehicle owner benefits from longer spans. A typical personal vehicle driver may not need to store more than mere minutes’ worth of footage, particularly if the camera just serves accident recording purposes. How long you need your memory card to record depends on the purpose of your recordings. Remember that many dash cams only work with memory cards up to a particular capacity. This means that it does you no good to buy a 128GB memory card, if your camera only accepts cards up to 32GB.

Temporary or Permanent Dash Cam Installation

Some people are okay with temporary dash cam setups, using power cables leading to a cigarette lighter or other power outlet. Other people prefer no power cables show and want a sleek, clean appearance to their vehicle’s devices. If you want permanent installation without power cords left dangling, you can install your dash cam using vehicle power system access. Of course, running off your vehicle’s switched power system means your dash cam only operates when your car is running. But this method of permanent installation frees your cigarette lighter power outlet for other purposes.

WiFi Connectivity for Your Dash Cam

WiFi is an important feature for many devices today. Your dash cam is no different. Having WiFi connectivity means your dash cam syncs to your phone, tablet or other devices. This provides important functionality, such as using your phone, laptop or tablet as a video screen accessing and controlling the dash cam.

Having WiFi connectivity also typically enables you to watch and download your dash cam videos. You can change the camera’s settings using smartphone or tablet apps. When you want to share videos from your dash cam on social media or as shared video, being WiFi enabled allows this.

WiFi connection is particularly important after an auto accident or other insurance claim incident. You can easily share dash cam footage with your insurance company, law enforcement officers or others, whether through email, video sharing services or on social media.

Using the dash cam’s WiFi app usually does not require connection to a cellular data plan or provider. Many dash cams have cloud capabilities enabling you to link your camera to an internet service provider or hotspot for full features. These connections enable some dash cams to provide live streaming, location tracking and important alerts, such as if someone hits your parked vehicle. Under these circumstances, WiFi connection is like having your eyes on your vehicle and its immediate surroundings at all times.

Important Dash Cam Specifications and Features to Consider

Regardless of your dash cam purpose, there are certain important features to consider when buying your camera and accessories. The most critical features for dash cam shoppers include:

  • Video resolution, with most purposes requiring at least 720p and best detail seen at 1080p or above
  • Storage capacity, with best use at 64GB or higher
  • Night vision, since many accidents occur at night

Secondary to these critical features are the below needs many people buying dash cams consider important:

  • Automatic on and off, starting with your car and turning off when your car is at rest
  • Camera size, not blocking your field of vision or causing distraction
  • Loop recording, to continue recording by overwriting older, unneeded footage

Below are useful attributes for your dash cam that you may or may not need:

  • Impact sensor or G-sensor, detecting accidents or other impact with your vehicle to automatically record when these incidents occur and even when parked
  • GPS to accurately provide vehicle location, speed and other defensive information
  • Dual cameras, for recording of the front field of view and either inside the vehicle or behind it
  • Built-in mounting, to ensure your dash cam is stable on the windshield or dash instead of being loosely positioned in the vehicle
  • WiFi enabled, to unlock all of the smartphone and other device connectivity and applications available for your dash cam

Frequently Asked Questions about Dash Cams

What is the dash camera’s recording resolution?

For best replay and detailed data capture, look for a minimum of 1080p resolution.

How many frames per second does the dash cam record?

A good dash cam records video at 30 frames per second, but also may provide other options at a slower speed to take up less recording space.

Are there varying recording modes, such as motion-detection or automatic monitoring?

A great option for dash cams is G-sensor or parking monitor mode, to activate recording if your parked vehicle is hit.

Does the dash cam manufacturing company gain positive customer service reviews?

Some companies provide excellent service, while others receive lots of complaints.

Does the camera work in varying lighting?

Night recording capability is important if you drive after dark or in inclement weather.

Does the camera mount on the windshield or the dash?

Most dash cams actually mount on your windshield today, behind or adjacent to your rear view mirror.

Is the camera suited to intense heat or cold weather operation?

Both cold weather and hot weather affect everything from the camera’s adhesive grip on your windshield, to melting parts from direct sun. You need a dash cam showing it works at extreme temperatures, like the KDLINKS DX2 Full-HD 1080P Front + 720P Rear Dash Cam.

How is the camera mounted and does that mounting damage the car’s interior surface?

Most dash cams today use an adhesive mount on the windshield. This method usually causes no harm to the vehicle’s interior.

For capturing clearer perspective around the vehicle, what is the field of view in degrees?

A 180-degree dash cam field of view provides a full scenic view in front of the vehicle or behind it, to its sides. But with the 180-degree view vehicles directly in front of the camera appear farther away than they really are. A 140-degree field of view is still broad, but alters vehicle distance perception less.

Is a memory card included, and if so what capacity is the memory card?

32GB is the optimum memory card length for a loop recording dash cam. Less GB means the recording must loop in shorter sequences or you need to record at lower quality. For someone who drives long distances or records for long periods, optimum size may be 64GB or even higher.

Is the dash cam compatible with other devices?

You need to decide whether you want to perform extended dash cam actions on your smart devices, in your car or on a device outside of the vehicle. Most people find greatest convenience in having a dash cam that is WiFi enabled to work on its own, as well as from an Internet enabled smartphone, tablet or computer.

Does the dash cam feature its own footage review screen or must footage be reviewed on a compatible device?

Having a 2-inch or larger screen on your dash cam makes reviewing footage in the vehicle much easier. Some dash cams feature 3-inch or larger screens.

If the camera features safety warnings, such as lane departure or forward collision alerts, can these be deactivated if desired?

Some people find the alerts annoying, while others feel safer with these alerts. You may change your mind when using your dash cam, so you need the ability to toggle them on or off.

What is the maximum GB size compatibility for memory cards?

Some dash cams only work with memory cards up to 16GB. Others allow 128GB or more. If you need to capture lengthy footage or high quality video for detailed data, having the ability to upgrade to 64GB or more is important.

Is there a product warranty and what is the company’s exchange and return policy?

As dash cams are electronic devices, they can malfunction. Having a warranty, exchange policy and return policy is important.

Can the monitor video screen be disabled to prevent distracted driving?

Some drivers are distracted by the video monitor screen. Being able to turn the screen off during camera operation helps prevent accidents, for these drivers.

Can you change the camera’s recording resolution to enable lengthier recording on the memory card?

Sometimes you need detailed data, like the ability to read license plates should an accident occur. At other times you only want to enjoy the views from your windshield. Having a camera enabling variable resolution means you use less of your memory card when you do not need sharp detail.

What size is the camera’s video playback screen?

Two-inch or three-inch dash cam video screens are best, if available. These are large enough for great video review, but small enough that they are not distracting.

Does the camera auto-lock or is there a manual locking function to prevent overwriting of recorded incident video?

When you suffer an accident or another incident is captured on video, you need that footage secured so the device does not accidentally overwrite it. This means you need either an auto-lock or manual locking function to prevent video looping.

Does the camera feature the ability to take and store still photographs of accident damage or scene evidence?

If you are in an accident, having a dash cam that takes scene and damage photos means you can securely document damage for your insurance company, police, and legal case.

Are there additional subscription features available on the camera, such as speed camera locator service?

Having the ability to subscribe to apps or features means your dash cam gains additional capabilities. Consider whether individual features are worthwhile when comparing cameras to find your best fit.

Does the camera record audio and video, or just silent video?

Sometimes you need sound on your video, to gain a full picture of events. If you are recording the interior of your vehicle, this is particularly important. Be sure you make this decision and buy the camera best suited to your preferences.

Are replacement parts available for the camera mount, or are third-party mounts usable?

Sometimes camera mounts melt in hot sun, break or malfunction. Some shoppers have found that third-party mounts work even better than those provided by the manufacturer.

Are wiring connections easy-to-use and functional for ongoing use?

The last thing you may need in your vehicle are more wires to cigarette lighters and ports. For a dash cam you only use on special occasions, having a wire is likely not bothersome. But a dash cam used for every outing should be out of your way and functional, with wires neatly tucked away or connected out of sight.

Are the camera and its parts guaranteed or supported by the reseller?

Resellers sometimes fix problems manufacturers will not. Such is the case if you buy a dash cam and receive a broken or damaged one. The reseller may take care of this problem, dealing with the manufacturer for you.

Does the camera feature a G-sensor as incident detection for automatic activation?

A G-sensor wakes the camera and starts recording when something collides with your car or bumps against it. Having footage of these incidents makes the difference between solving a hit and run and not solving it, or gaining insurance compensation or having to pay for damage yourself.

For dual or rear-facing cams, does the rear-facing camera feature adequate night vision for usability at night?

Many rear facing cams lose night capabilities because of headlights of oncoming vehicles or the sheer darkness of the unlit road behind your vehicle. Night vision or light adjusting dash cams fix this problem.

Can the G-sensor be deactivated if it is sensitive to car door or trunk closing?

You do not need your dash cam to record every time you shut a door or close your trunk. If it is too sensitive and wastes video memory, it is very helpful to have the ability to turn this sensor off.

Does the dash cam provide navigation or turn-by-turn directions, if desired?

Having one less windshield or dash-mounted device is helpful, if you need GPS mapping as well as dash cam recording. Some dash cams feature these options and solve the problem of too many devices and wires.

Does the dash cam provide tamper resistance for parental, fleet management or business use?

If you have other drivers using your vehicle, locking your camera may be important. A lock means the camera can only be disabled or footage overwritten by you.

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