There’s a good reason why dash cams have become so popular in the last few years. It’s because they give drivers peace of mind on the road—enabling them to easily compile evidence for insurance claims, lower insurance premiums and record footage of bad drivers! But with the wide variety of dash cams available, you might find yourself stuck on where to begin. In this guide, we’re going to take you through PassMeFast’s top 10 dash cams!
|Not entirely convinced you need a dash cam? Trying to weigh up the pros and cons? Don’t bother—we’ve done it all for you! Check out our guide to why you should (or shouldn’t) buy a dash cam for your car!|
10. Garmin Dash Cam Mini
We’re kicking off the list with the Garmin Dash Cam Mini—one of the most compact and discreet dash cams you’ll likely find on the market. Roughly the size of a car key, this tiny dash cam fits right behind your windshield mirror, recording 1080p HD footage. With a 140-degree viewing angle, the Dash Cam Mini gives drivers a wide view of the road ahead.
As soon as the Dash Cam Mini is plugged into your lighter socket or fuse box, it will start recording. Meaning, once you’ve hooked it up, you can forget all about it. If you leave it in your car while it’s parked, the Parking Surveillance Mode will record motion in front of and inside your vehicle. The Incident Detection feature will automatically save footage from just before an incident, during and after. This means you won’t miss a single second of anything important!
You’ll notice that the Dash Cam Mini doesn’t have a display screen. This is a pretty safe design choice, meaning you’ve got fewer distractions while driving. It comes with a dual USB, which means you can charge your dash cam and phone at the same time. With built-in Wi-Fi, you can download footage from your dash cam using the Garmin Drive app with your smartphone.
9. Viofo A119 V3
Next on our list is the Viofo A119 V3, voted as the Best Budget Dash Cam in 2019 by Car Cam Central. This dash cam comes with a 140-degree wide viewing angle and records in Quad HD at 30fps, creating vivid footage of the road ahead. It is equipped with a Sony 5MP Starvis Sensor, which helps record bright and clear images, even when driving at night. Once you hook it up, you can simply get on with driving and let it do its job!
The A119 V3 comes with a G-Sensor which can sense the acceleration and intensity of the vehicle in all directions. If it detects an incident, it will switch on the Emergency Locking feature. This will ensure that any footage recorded of the incident is not overwritten. The Buffered Parking Mode will record the events leading up to an accident, the accident itself and the aftermath. If that wasn’t enough peace of mind, you’ll be pleased to hear that it will automatically begin recording if it detects moving objects or an impact while your car is parked.
The dash cam also comes with a handy GPS logger, which can record the speed of your vehicle, route data and the exact time of your journeys. This is good information to have to hand when you’re giving evidence to an insurer when making a claim.
8. Kenwood DRV-A501W
Using its 3.7 megapixel CMOS sensor, the Kenwood DRV-A501W offers drivers a 110-degree viewing angle with Wide Quad HD footage at 30fps—that’s 1.8 times as many pixels as Full HD! It comes with a full colour 3.0 inch LCD display screen, which allows you to immediately view high quality footage, without any noticeable loss of resolution.
The DRV-A501W comes with a built-in 3-axis G-Sensor which can detect any unusual impacts to your vehicle. The moment an incident occurs, the sensor will automatically store the video footage, along with the time, speed and location. This footage will be placed in a locked folder, which won’t be overwritten. This is extremely handy for when you need to make an eventual insurance claim or submit evidence to the police. If you want to keep your dash cam charged and recording while your car is parked, you can opt for the extra CA-DR1030 Hardwire Kit which can activate the Smart Parking Mode.
To view, edit and download your dash cam footage, you can use the accessible desktop software with your PC/Mac. You can also make use of the Smartphone Wireless Link App to view footage and change the menu settings of your dash cam.
7. Halfords HDC400
Next on our list is a dash cam that, while relatively basic, offers drivers a range of top features at a reasonable price. The Halfords HDC400 dash cam offers a 180-degree viewing angle, recording at 1440p HD high resolution. Discreet and sleek in design, this dash cam comes with a direct to windscreen mount, which keeps it securely in place. If you’re looking for even more coverage of the road, you can opt for the compatible rear view dash cam.
The HDC400 offers Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), which means you get enhanced, vivid footage, whether it’s day or night. The G-Shock Sensor will automatically save footage the moment it detects a collision, so you don’t have to worry about it missing anything crucial. This is very much the same with the Parking Mode feature, which starts recording if your car is jolted when parked. The dash cam comes with integrated GPS which enables you to track your journey(s) and any incidents that may happen.
To view or download your dash cam footage, you simply need to use the MyHDC app with your smartphone. You don’t even need to worry about the dash cam draining your vehicle battery—the Auto Start/Stop feature will help you conserve battery life!
6. Transcend DrivePro 550
£121.68 – £139.99 (depending on retailer)
The Transcend DrivePro 550 dash cam is slightly different from the ones we’ve looked at so far, as it’s a dual lens camera. This means you get footage of both the exterior and interior of your vehicle. The front lens features an Exmor image sensor with a 180-degree wide angle view and 1080p recorded footage at 30fps. The rotatable rear lens offers a 110-degree view with 720p footage and comes with four infrared LEDs, which gives you sharp in-car footage, particularly during night/low light conditions.
As you’re driving, you’ll notice that the DrivePro 550 will show you driver safety alerts on the display screen. These safety features include Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS), headlight reminder and driver fatigue alert. The dash cam also offers the standard Parking Mode feature, along with Emergency Recording to prevent the erasure of any important incident footage.
The DrivePro 550 comes with a built-in GPS/GLONASS receiver which geotags your videos and images. This means that if you use the DrivePro Toolbox, you can look at the routes you’ve travelled on in a map display during video playback—this is handy for working out where an incident occurred. If you want to access any video footage, you can simply use the DrivePro app without having to remove the dash cam’s memory card!
5. Thinkware X700
£99.00 – £159.00
The next batter up is the Thinkware X700. If you’re looking for a simple dash cam, you don’t have to go further. (Don’t assume that means it’s lacking in any way though!) Offering a 140-degree wide angle view, the X700 minimises the chances of blindspots in your 1080p full HD footage. If you’re looking for complete coverage on the road, you can connect the X700 with one of Thinkware’s compatible rear view dash cams.
To prevent blurry footage when driving or parking at night, the X700 boasts Super Night Vision. With Image Signal Processing (ISP) technology, it’s able to make images 10 times brighter when recording under night time parking mode. As with most dash cams, it comes with a G-Sensor which will record and store footage when an impact or motion is detected. It also comes with a range of road safety warning features including: Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Front Collision Warning System (FCWS) and Front Vehicle Departure. It also alerts you to any speed cameras in the nearby area.
You can access all of your footage directly from the dash cam using the 2.7 inch LCD touchscreen, or by using the Thinkware PC viewer. You can playback and download your footage, not to mention look at your route history and speed records.
4. Mio MiVue J85
Mio’s MiVue J85 offers drivers a 150-degree wide angle view of the road ahead, making it easy to capture every detail. It comes with 1600p recording, with the latest H.264 technology. This means you can enjoy high quality videos with a much smaller file size—so you don’t have to worry about footage taking up too much space on the dash cam or your laptop.
The J85 has a Sony sensor and F1.8 aperture lens, which guarantees superior video quality, even when you’re facing low light conditions. The built-in 3-axis G-Sensor records direction and force, including impact, turns and acceleration. This is useful information to have when you’re submitting evidence to the police or an insurer after an incident on the road. You’ve also got a variety of advanced driver assistance systems at your disposal including: Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Fatigue Warning.
The J85 has integrated Wi-Fi, so you can easily send footage to your smartphone. You’ll be able to access all of the GPS tracking information too—including your speed, altitude, longitude, latitude and heading!
3. Road Angel Halo Pro
In third place, we have the Road Angel Halo Pro, winner of the BB Silver Award in 2019. This dash cam packs quite a punch—offering drivers a front and rear camera, for full coverage of the road ahead and behind. The front camera has a 140-degree viewing angle and supports 1440p ultra HD loop recording. The rear camera has a 120-degree viewing angle and supports 720p recording. Not much will get past this cam!
Not only can you enjoy dual recording, you can also relax knowing that the dash cam comes with a top of the line G-Sensor which can detect any sudden movements or acceleration. Meanwhile, a Parking Mode which helps to protect your vehicle even when you’re not inside it. The Halo Pro also features built-in GPS which records a range of useful telematics information including: location, speed, acceleration, braking, cornering and much more!
You can connect your smartphone to the Halo Pro using built-in Wi-Fi and the Halo Smartphone App. You can download and edit footage, or even simple photos! The Live Preview feature lets you watch real-time footage without even having to download first!
2. Garmin Dash Cam 65W
The runner up on our list is the Garmin Dash Cam 65W. A compact and discreet dash cam, the 65W offers drivers a stellar 180-degree field of view—which will help capture everything in front, including cross traffic. It comes with a 2.1 megapixel camera that records 1080p footage, even in low-light conditions!
As with other dash cams we’ve looked at, the 65W comes with a range of driver safety systems including Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), not to mention alerts for nearby red light cameras and speed cameras. Its Automatic Incident Detection feature will ensure that footage from before, during and after an incident is saved. The most notable feature of the 65W, however, has to be its voice control capabilities—allowing you to control the dash cam all the while keeping both hands on the steering wheel! All you need to say is “OK, Garmin” to save a video, take a picture, start or stop recording and much more!
The 65W has built-in Wi-Fi so you can wirelessly sync your videos with your smartphone. When you’re looking at footage, you’ll have access to a range of GPS data, including: latitude, longitude, date, time, speed and direction of travel. This is especially useful when compiling evidence for an insurance claim.
1. Nextbase 522GW Dash Cam
Coming it at first place on our list is the Nextbase 522GW Dash Cam, winner of the T3 Awards 2019 and Honest John Product Of The Year 2019. It’s safe to say that this dash cam does not mess about. Offering a 140-degree viewing angle with 1440p HD resolution at 30fps, there’s not much the 522GW will miss on the road ahead. If you’re interested in the road behind as well, Nextbase offers a range of compatible rear cameras.
The most noteworthy feature of the 522GW has to be its built-in Alexa. Yep, that’s right! You can use your dash cam to ask Alexa to play music, make calls, check the news, get directions and so much more! (All the while keeping your hands on the wheel and maintaining safe driving practices.) You can even ask Alexa to start or stop recording, protect files, increase or decrease video exposure and so on. The 522GW also comes with an Emergency SOS feature. So, if you’re unresponsive after an accident, it will alert emergency services to your location and even send out personal details like blood type, allergies and medical history!
Additional features include Bluetooth 4.2, Intelligent Parking Mode and integrated GPS. You can connect to Wi-Fi using the MyNextbase Connect feature and make use of AutoSync to share videos from your dash cam to your smartphone.
And that’s our complete rundown of PassMeFast’s top ten dash cams! Let us know if we’ve missed any, or mentioned your favourite, in the comment section below. If you’re on the lookout for more top 10 lists, keep your eyes peeled on the PassMeFast blog!