At close to $200, the Vantrue N2 Pro looks a bit expensive to make it as one of the best dash cams you can buy, but when you read the specification in a bit more detail, you realize you’re getting a lot for your money. The top recording resolution is 2.5K, and most impressively the bundle includes a second camera.
However, this is a little unusual in that it isn’t a second device that you can install in the rear window of your vehicle, but built into the main unit itself. So it records the interior of your car rather than what’s going on behind. But that’s still potentially useful for when the car is in parking mode, being used for more recreational dash cam activities like making a narrated driving video, or for taxis.
Vantrue N2 Pro: Features
- Up to 2.5K video recording
- 1080p rear-facing camera
- G sensor for collision detection and looped recording
Vantrue N2 Pro: Key specs
Resolution: 2.5K 2,560 x 1,440 maximum resolution
Screen: 1.5-inch LCD display
GPS: optional extra
Additional Safety Features: G-sensor for detecting incidents, rear-facing infrared camera
The main camera on the N2 Pro records at a maximum resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 and 30 frames per second, which is a nice bump up from Full HD. However, if you want to record from the rear-facing camera at the same time, you will need to drop the resolution down to Full HD.
The front camera has a F1.8 rating and wide 170-degree angle of view, whilst the rear-facing camera has a more modest 140-degree angle. The rear camera has another trick up its sleeve, too – infrared night vision. If it’s dark inside the vehicle, four LEDs will be fired up to capture interior footage even in complete darkness.
When recording in front-only mode, footage is captured at a comfortable 24.7Mbits/sec, and in dual-camera mode the combined data rate is 24Mbits/sec. So a 16GB MicroSD card will be enough for around 90 minutes of footage in either mode. The N2 Pro supports looping, so it will begin overwriting old files once the storage is full.
There’s a G-sensor built in to detect collisions and emergency stops. This will guard the current recording from being overwritten during looping, so you keep the evidence. There’s also a motion sensor that allied with parking mode can keep guard over your car when it’s left unattended. This works through both the front and internal cameras, and operates for up to 24 hours, although you will need to have the dash cam hardwired to your car’s power, or an external battery pack.
The N2 Pro doesn’t have a built-in GPS, unfortunately, but you can add one as an optional extra. This is delivered as a unit integrated into an alternative suction cup mount, and costs just $22, so it’s a reasonable possibility if you’d like to add this feature. You also don’t get any advanced features like collision detection or lane departure. However, there is a time lapse mode that will grab still images at a regular interval of 1, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds.
Vantrue N2 Pro: Design and build
- Quick-release mount
- 1.5-inch LCD display
- Unobtrusive design
The barrel-shaped body of the N2 Pro is smaller than many designs. This makes it fairly unobtrusive when installed at the top of your windscreen. The build is sturdy enough, although it lacks the same premium feel as Nextbase’s latest models. Attachment is via a suction mount, but the dash cam slips into this via a quick-release, so you don’t need to fiddle with attaching the power cable to the unit itself.
The power cable plugs into the windscreen mount, making it easier to route out of the way around your front window. Although the cigarette lighter adapter is permanently attached to this cable, it includes a secondary USB port for plugging in your phone or sat-nav. However, the bundle doesn’t include any clips to help you tidy the cable, so you will need to sort this out for yourself. The dash cam itself slides into the mount, making it relatively easy to attach and remove, although not as easily as Nextbase’s latest premium models, such as the 422GW.
The 1.5in display is not a touchscreen. Instead, some buttons underneath and to the left of the LCD are used to operate the menu. This is a little fiddly, because you have to alternate between the two locations to navigate. The N2 Pro doesn’t have built-in WiFi either, so you can’t connect to it with a smartphone. However, if you purchase the GPS suction cup mount, you can use the Vantrue Player Software to view locations alongside the video footage.
Vantrue N2 Pro: Performance
- Decent 2.5K image quality
- Dual Full HD recording with rear camera enabled
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It’s a shame that you can only choose the highest-resolution 2.5K recording if you opt not to record from the rear-facing camera at the same time. The Full HD option is a little soft in comparison. The rear-facing camera seems to offer very similar Full HD image quality. However, you need to make sure you position the N2 Pro well away from your rear-view mirror, because we found that the IR LEDs could cause a lot of glare from the back of the mirror if it was visible in shot, and significantly reduce the quality of the low light.
The 2.5K footage isn’t the best we’ve seen, and still displays some softness. But if you pause playback at an appropriate moment you can easily read nearby number plates and take screenshots that could be useful as evidence. By default, brighter areas are blown out in favor of picking up detail in shadows, but that’s an acceptable compromise as you probably won’t need to see what’s in the sky, just what’s on the road beneath.
Vantrue N2 Pro: Verdict
The Vantrue N2 Pro may be a little pricey, but the rear-facing camera is a valuable bonus if you want to capture the interior of your car alongside the road ahead. However, you do have to drop the resolution of the main camera to Full HD from 2.5K to enable this, which results in a notable reduction in image quality. So whilst this is a neat dual-camera solution, if you merely want the best dash cam video quality there are better-value options without the extra camera.