Get a dash cams, and you're adding an excellent piece of security tech to your car. The primary function of a dash cam is to record footage of what you see through your windscreen when you travel, and this video can be used to prove who is at fault if you ever have an accident. What's more, it can be used to combat any false claims made about you or your driving, and some insurers will actually lower your premiums if they know you have a dash cam fitted to your car.
Magnetic mount system
This is a very solid dash cam. The Nextbase 422GW combines great 2.5K video with a robust build and clever magnetic mount system, then throws in Amazon Alexa control ability as a bonus extra.
- Great 2.5K video quality
- Built-in GPS
- Convenient magnetic mount system
- Few advanced dash cam features
The Alexa functionality, whilst clever, may not be something you use regularly, although it could be useful to be able to control music streaming from your phone to your car without having to pull your phone out of your pocket. What really makes this dash cam a recommended choice is its excellent physical design and superb video quality.
The Garmin Dash Cam incorporates a comprehensive range of useful safety features for drivers, including voice control, alongside 2.5K video recording. Other features include built-in GPS for location tracking and safety camera notifications. You also get collision detection and lane departure.
- Comprehensive safety features
- Built-in GPS
- Mediocre 2.5K image quality
- No quick release
The Travelapse feature provides recreational value along with the surveillance function. All of this is rolled into a tiny, discrete form that will sit unobtrusively behind your rear-view mirror. But, unfortunately, the image quality is below what we would expect for a premium dash cam from a premium brand.
The Boscam dash cam hooks over your existing mirror to provide a much wider view, with the dash cam built-in. You also get a separate rear-view camera that is actually a reversing camera. Both cameras are clear enough to capture small details, include night vision, and are laminated to reduce glare.
- Great value
- Rear-view and reversing camera included
- Mediocre image quality
- No built-in GP
The reversing camera does take some rather involved installation but works reasonably well. The huge integrated mirror will be an improvement for most cars, too. The one downside is that the video image quality from the front camera is merely mediocre.
Front and rear-facing cameras
The Vantrue N2 Pro integrates front and rear-facing cameras into one unit, so you can capture the road ahead and what’s going on inside the car simultaneously. This is a good way to keep an eye on what’s going on behind you and record activity inside the vehicle including any damage caused by being hit from behind.
- Reasonable 2.5K video quality
- Built-in infrared internal rear-facing camera
- Easy to remove when not in use
- Full HD only when operating front and rear cameras
You do have to drop the resolution of the main camera to FULL HD from 2.5K in order to use boht cameras at the same time, which results in a notable reduction in image quality. It's easy to install the Vantrue dash cam, and remove it quickly without damage if you want to put it away while you're parked.
What to look for in a good dash cam
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You need a dash cam that records at a good resolution, otherwise, you may find footage is too grainy to be useful, so aim for any of the cams with 2.5K or above resolution. On top of that, you should look for a camera unit that is well built, as poorly made dash cams can be damaged in the event of a collision. If your insurer does offer discounts for fitted dash cams, it's worth checking whether they have an approved list of models, or you may miss out on potential savings.
Many dash cams have built-in GPS, to show your position, and some will record both front and rear views, so you have evidence of collisions where someone runs into the back of your car or truck. Others have some kind of Alexa or voice command features, to allow you to operate them via voice, and they will even warn you about your proximity to other cars (collision alerts) and tell you when you're drifting out of position on a highway.
What we tested
Despite being introduced in police cruisers during the 1980s, dash cams are relatively new to the consumer market. As they've gotten smaller and more affordable, however, they've emerged as a popular tool for protecting drivers. As such, our approach has been to cover the most popular dash cams at all price ranges rather than compare the ten best dash cams. As the industry grows, we expect to provide more extensive reviews with comparable testing combined with more thorough evaluations.
For this review, we looked primarily at the specifications that separate the high-end dash cams from the cheap ones. We considered the resolution, screen size, storage and recording features. We also looked at advanced features such as GPS and Wi-Fi. On a positive note, all of the dash cams we reviewed record in HD. However, where the image quality may distinguish itself is in the night vision or low-light conditions.
In addition to evaluating the specifications to determine our picks, we also looked at user reviews to find the most popular and highly rated products on the market. While user reviews are not always the most reliable source (people are more likely to share a bad experience, and many high-praise reviews are planted by marketing firms), we can find useful patterns in user reviews that can help determine quality in comparable products.
Why trust us
Top Ten Reviews has been covering dash cams for over two decades. We've also been testing and reviewing car tech such as Bluetooth car kits, car audio, backup cameras, radar detectors and more. We've devoted hundreds of hours to research, testing and data analysis to find the best products to improve your ride.
We've developed a keen sense of how to get the most out of your ride, whether you're jamming to your favorite music or making a business call on your commute. Plus, many of our reviews are a regular road trippers who spends a lot of time behind the wheel.
Whenever we review car tech like dash cams, we emphasize technology designed to make you into a better, more aware driver. Too often, new technology becomes a distraction that leads to unsafe driving. Mobile phones, for example, have had a dramatically negative impact on the safety of our roads.