A dashboard camera is, for all intents and purposes, exactly what it sounds like: a video-recording camera mounted on or near the dashboard of a car. But it is also much more than that. Commonly called a dash cam, this device can also be an in-car security system, amazing objective witness, a collector of potential evidence for insurance claims, a discrete reminder to discourage tailing, and even a companion who never stops recording on cross-country road trips. As our dash camera reviews show, the best highly-recommended automobile video cameras serve a variety of good purposes.
While it is called a “dashboard camera,” most users find that a dash cam works best when mounted to the windshield rather than the car dash. A review of the many features that distinguish some of the best-rated video recording devices reveals that deciding what is a good product depends on the purpose for which it is being installed and the type of driver. The product can have many amazing additional features, such as HD resolution, angle view, audio recording, GPS, etc. Also the price of these devices can vary depending in it's quality and features. In our reviews, we take an in-depth look at these features to compare various models.
Our reviews of the top products available on the market provide information and analyses of each dashboard camera, where to buy these devices, discount codes, the cost and more. While many online reviews are skewed by bias or because the author has received a free sample in return, our reviews are completely objective and are intended to help you choose the best recorders for yourself and your car.
Online reviews across the board claim that a dash cam is the most important car accessory you can have. These devices have been popular installations in cars for quite some time in international markets, particularly in Russia and the UK, but they have also garnered increasing interest and fans amongst other countries too.
So what actually makes them so popular? And how expensive are they? We bet you'll be surprised!
These are practical car accessories for general drivers, and they are also working as video cameras for professional drivers, including semi-truck drivers, personal car driver services (such as Uber or Lyft), taxicabs, traveling salesman, and any other profession that requires extensive driving. Check out our 2018 best dash cams reviews below to find out what’s the right choice for you!
Perhaps the single most important feature that makes a genius dash camera the best-rated recorder device for a car is the loop-cycled recording function. While one could feasibly install just any recording device like a video camera, or even a smartphone to record activity in front of the car, all these recording systems have one problem in common: limited storage capacity. As most people know, when a standard recording device runs out of storage space, it simply stops recording. The best car dash camera, on the other hand, has a loop-cycled recording function, in addition to other benefits:
The loop-cycled recording means that when the storage space is full, the product has an internal function that deletes old footage and records over it. The best dashcams have a loop-cycled recording, which eliminates the need to download, review, and delete footage every day.
There are times when the responsibility for an accident is ambiguous, leading to a messy case of she-said-he-said. A dashboard camera provides the best objective viewpoint, and countless reviews attest to how they saved driver credibility!
Most car accidents happen so quickly the driver hardly has time to honk the horn much less pull out a phone to record the events. A dash cam is the best bet for capturing footage at a moment’s notice and saving it for later review.
This is the best method for recording and video review simply because of safety. Compared to smartphones or other recording devices, a dash camera allows for hands-free recording while driving a car. It allows the driver to capture the footage without having to divert attention from the road or their hands off the wheel.
If you are thinking about buying one of these handy gadgets, the reviews of the best models provided here can serve as a guide that shows the benefits of a dash cam for every type of driver.
Dash cams can be used for a variety of purposes that suit the needs of general and professional drivers alike. Numerous reviews depict the various ways people have put their dashboard cameras to good use and showed that it is more than just a recording system.
While human vision is fallible, and someone’s memory of events can be skewed, a dashboard camera provides the best objectivity while saving footage for later review.
With this device, drivers can instantaneously document and review an accident or altercation. Whether another driver’s dangerous behavior causes one car to rear-end another, or if an aggressive driver approaches the driver-side window, a dash camera is the best way to document the incident.
Parking lots make cars vulnerable to any number of collisions, bumps, or scratches. In addition to recording these incidents while you are driving, some of the best dash cam devices will begin recording even when the car is parked and off, so the driver can review the events that occurred while they were out of the car.
While such occurrences might be rare, it is not entirely unheard of that a person themselves or their car in the way of an oncoming car to make money. A dashboard cam is the best protection against this kind of fraudulent behavior because it can provide evidence that police and/or insurance companies can review.
Insurance companies look for any number of reasons not to cover a claimant, especially when the responsibility for an incident is ambiguous. The best solution to clarifying a situation is to provide footage that the insurance company can review to prove the driver was not liable. Some insurance companies in the UK have caught onto the benefit of dashboard cameras and offer as much as 10-15% discount to drivers who install the them in their cars.
In addition to a front-facing dash camera, some drivers also mount a rear-facing devices in the car to discourage tailing. Drivers in various reviews have attested to the efficacity of the best rear-window cameras, saying that when other people notice a dash camera facing them, they tend to back off.
A dash cam can be used to record road trips and create vlogs, and the hands-free capability makes these the best recording devices to capture an entire day of driving. Such footage can be saved for later review and editing. Some of the best dashboard camera devices also have a GPS functionality that allows the driver to later pinpoint the exact location of the footage during a review.
Not just for anticipating accidents or other hazards of driving, the best highly-recommended dash cams can also be used to capture, review and share footage of unexpected sights, like falling meteors, with amazing clarity and detail.
Our reviews also have suggestions for the various ways in which the best dashboard cameras can be used.
For people seeking the most inexpensive, best-rated, affordable, no-frills dash camera, we review the best basic devices. Most of the top budget-friendly and cheapest basic products share some common features, such as loop-cycle recording functionality, storage capacity up to 32GB, multiple resolution settings, and audio recorder. The best ones have additional features, such as wide-angle view, whirl capabilities, or night-time recording. Below is a quick list of the 5 top-rated basic devices for 2018, but to get the best dash cams reviews in detail, and to find out how much do they cost, check out the full reviews!
Lecmal 2.5" HD is the best basic dash cam on our top. this device lets the user capture not only what is directly in front of the car but also on the sides! With 270-degree whirl capability, the user can direct the device to focus on any activity taking place in or around the car. Three resolution settings allow the user to choose between the best quality picture at higher resolutions or increased storage capacity at lower resolutions.
Footage can be stored in three review segments—2, 5, or 15 minutes—and the dash cam supports up to 32GB of storage. This device has a 120-degree wide angle view as well as 6 infrared (IR) LEDs, which allows for the best night-time recording and review quality as well as 24/7 security. A built-in microphone enables audio recording. The Lecmal can easily be installed on the car windshield with a suction-cup cam mount.
Our dash cam review shows this device boasts the best, high-definition picture with 1080p resolution. It turns on and off automatically with the car, but even if the car is off and parked, a vibration detector turns on the dash camera whenever it senses any vibration of the car. Reviews tout it as one of the best basic and affordable devices on the market. The Btopllc HD 1080p comes equipped with a highly sensitive G-sensor that triggers automatic video recording and video file locking in the event of an accident. Reviews can be customized in video clip lengths of 1, 3, 5, and 10 minutes, and the camera holds up to 32GB of memory. A time-lapse recorder setting allows the user to perform a quick review of activities that occurred while the car was parked. Installation is easy, convenient and sturdy with a lockable suction cup that sticks to the car windshield. The microphone sensitivity can be manually adjusted per user preference.
At number three in our list, the affordable Cutelook TM HD dash cam has a 2.5” screen that allows for easy display and review. Adjustable resolution settings allow for a high-quality picture, and a 270-degree whirl allows for recording of activities in front of and on the sides of the vehicle. The night-time recording is made possible with IR LEDs. An internal microphone makes this device capable of audio recording.
Time stamp settings allow the user to choose between date and time display or date only, so that this device can function as a clock and calendar in the car. Footage can be recorded in 2, 5, or 15-minute review segments, and it supports SD/MMC cards of 1GB to 32GB. The Cutelook uses the car charger for its power source in addition to a built-in rechargeable battery. With the best intuitive user interface and controls, the Cutelook covers all the basics of recording.
Dash cam comparison reviews reveal this gadget goes beyond the basics. The V-Walk 1080p is the best option for those who want the discretion of a hidden car camera. With the best HD resolution and a 170-degree wide angle view, this device can capture all the crucial details while covering a large area. Compared to other devices in the reviews above, the V-Walk does cost more money, and installation will likely require a professional since it connects to the car’s fuse box. However, other features that put this device among the best devices include a wide operating temperature range of -20 to 75 centigrade. Footage can be stored on TF cards between 8 to 32GB, and the camera comes with a free 8G TF card. Users can review or share video from the DVR onto Androids or iPhones via Wi-Fi and the V-Walk mobile app.
At number five in the review, the Klaren 2.5" is a cheap price, budget-friendly device that has a 270-degree whirl that can be used to record activities outside and inside the vehicle. The whirl capability, however, is necessary since the angle view is not the best at only 90 degrees. Great multiple resolution settings allow for high-quality video recording, and 6 IR LEDs provide improved picture quality during night-time recording.
A built-in microphone makes the Klaren capable of audio recording, and it has quick snap, quick video recording, and quick review settings. This product has a USB 2.0 interface and pulls power from the car charger in addition to a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. Video recording can be stored on SD cards up to 32GB. The video format is saved as AVI, and photos are stored as JPEGs. This device is one of the cheapest on the market, it's very good for its value and is easy to install in the car with a suction cup camera mount.
Buyers seeking the best devices with greater reliability and a broader range of features than those provided by the basic and cheap recording devices should check out our list of the best dash cams with advanced features. In addition to performing the basic functions of DVR and loop-cycled recording storage, the best dashboard cameras with advanced features improve upon display and review quality, windshield visibility, recording area, night-time recording, video lock protection, and stability. Reviews of the top products are available in full, while below are condensed reviews of the five best and top-rated dash cams with advanced features.
The impressively compact Lumina HD 1080p tops the advanced features review with its full HD recorder capability, which makes it the best dash camera for day and night time recording. With a 170-degree wide angle view and 6 layers of Nikon glass lenses, this device captures the bigger picture with incredible detail. This device has advanced G-sensor technology that provides the best video security by instantaneously registering an accident and putting a lock on the footage for later review.
A built-in battery enables the dash camera to run for a full 20 minutes without being plugged in. Instead of a suction cup mount for the car, Lumina provides the best stability with three brackets that are secured to the windshield with double-sided tape. Three clips are included to neatly secure the cables to the car dash. Lumina offers the best quality and backs it up with a lifetime warranty for this device.
With a stitched-leather surface, the ITrue X3 2.7" comes out in the review as having the best combination of aesthetics and technology. A 2.7” screen allows for the best display and review, and the device can record at full HD resolution. A super wide 170-degree view angle, wide dynamic range settings, and a 360-degree whirl allow for maximum footage capture and optimal review. This camera has superior night recording capabilities because of its 6-layer glass lenses.
Motion detection support enables the automobile camera to pause and resume recording with the movements of the car. The best-operating temperatures to maximize efficiency range from 10 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Emergency lock button features and G-sensor technology protect video files in the event of an accident. The dash camera comes with an 8GB SD card and can hold up to 32GB. This gadget mounts to the car windshield with an extra firm suction cup.
Another major contender in the reviews, the Rexing S300 records at full HD with a 170-degree wide angle. It boasts wide dynamic range technology for the best picture quality and an 180-degree whirl. Six glass lenses allow for both day and night-time recording. Footage is stored in loop cycled recording, and the Rexing comes with a 16GB card although it can support SD cards up to 128GB. An emergency lock button and accident auto detection (G-sensor) features provide great extra protection for important footage for later review.
The wedge design is one of the best for installation and does not block the windshield visibility. Suggested installation is to use the included adhesive mounting pad, which allows for secure and permanent installation of the camera mount, but a suction cup is also included. This device also has been designed with multiple venting gills that improve its durability in extreme weather conditions.
While at number four in the reviews, the KDLINKS X1 HD is still an impressive automobile cam with great full HD recorder capability, a view angle of 165 degrees, and 360-degree whirl. Six glass lenses and a wide dynamic range allow for image capture of large areas. Advanced features include an emergency lock button and G-sensor technology for video protection.
A GPS functionality built into the suction cup mount allows the user to record GPS data onto the dash camera video clips, in addition to enabling the user to review Google map and check car location, speed, and route through the KDLINKS dashcam player software. Night mode settings allow for recording in poor lighting conditions. A large 2.7” screen allows for the best display and review. Lab testing show this device has some of the best operating temperature endurance with 6+ hours in temperatures ranging from -40 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Z-Edge 3" 2k Ultra has the best visibility and review capability with an incredibly large 3” screen. Recording can be set to HD resolution settings, and the dash camera has a 145-degree wide-angle view. This gadget also includes wide dynamic range technology. Convenient features include automatic recording and power off with the car startup and shutdown.
G-sensor accelerometer automatically locks videos from the time of a collision. Footage can be stored in 1, 3, or 5-minute review clips in a “routine” folder, and important footage can be stored in an “event” folder. Vibration detection initiates automatic recording when the car is parked. A small battery allows the device to continue recording for a short time after the car is turned off. This device can be mounted to the car with a suction cup camera mount, and adhesive clips can be used to attach the cables to the dashboard.
Of all the best dash cams reviews, the dual dash cams are going to stand out as the best dash cams for sale. They are the best devices for recording both in front of and behind the car, and they eliminate the need for drivers to purchase two separate pieces. These dual devices are best for those who want all-around protection.
A rear camera can also be used to record the car interior, which is useful for passenger-carrying cars. An inward-facing rear camera can also provide additional evidence for review in case a car gets broken into. Check out the quick best dash cams reviews below or head over to the full-length reviews for more information.
For car dash cam buyers who want the best in design and technology, the BlackVue DR650GW is at the top of our review list. The BlackVue provides the best high definition picture with a 129-degree wide angle view and 360-degree whirl. It has one of the best storage capacities that supports up to 128GB, and it comes with a complementary 64GB SD card. The sleek cylindrical design makes for the best concealment.
Users can get a live video feed from outside the car (up to 10 meters), and reviews of the recording can be done with the BlackVue app as well as PC software. The best in automobile camera technology, this device has a built-in Wifi, GPS and is cloud capable, in addition to being responsive to voice guidance technology. Other advanced features include an internal emergency battery, motion detection while the car is parked, and G-sensor technology to lock and protect files during impact for later review.
One of the best for professionals in the reviews, the Rexing S500 gets high ratings for full HD capability, an extra wide 170-degree view angle for the front car lens, and a wide 120-degree view angle for the rear lens. The recording features wide dynamic range technology with 6 glass lenses for excellent night-time quality. A large 2.7” screen makes for the best display and review while the sleek design makes both dash cams discrete. Storage capacity supports up to 128GB, and the camera comes with a 32GB SD card.
Wide dynamic range technology and six F2.4 glass lenses provide stellar video quality for highly contrasted areas and night-time recording. G-sensor technology protects files for later review in the event of an accident. For the best functionality, operating temperatures should be between 0 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Adhesive mounting strips provide stable mounting, for when the automobile goes over bumps, and backup suction cup mounts are included.
Designed to record activities in the front and interior of the car, the compact Vantrue N2 1080p dual is third in the reviews because it provides excellent footage in high definition quality. The front lens has an extra wide 170-degree view angle while the rear cam has a 140-degree view angle. Upon turning off the car, the dual cams switch to parking mode. A motion detection feature triggers the camera whenever people or objects come within 10 meters of the front of the car. Time lapse functionality controls the intervals at which the camera takes photos in parking mode and auto-edits the photos into video clips for convenient reviews.
G-sensor technology protects files associated with an accident for later review. The operating temperature range for this dual dash cam pair has a narrower margin than others, with the device operating best between 32 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The storage capacity for these dash cams is up to 64GB.
Designed with driver safety in mind, driver alert system-lane departure warning and forward-collision warning features provide visual and audio warnings whenever the front cam senses that the car is drifting out of the lane or whenever an object rapidly approaches the car. The front camera has a full high-definition recording at 1080p with a 160-degree wide viewing angle, while the rear camera records at 720p with a 130-degree viewing angle. The rear cam can be set up to record behind the car or the car interior. Split-screen viewing allows the driver to display and review footage from both cameras at the same time on a 2” LCD screen.
Automatic accident detection technology protects any video footage associated with a collision for later review. Footage can be recorded in 3, 5, or 10-minute review segments, and the max capacity for this device is 64GB. A 16GB SD card comes included. Cobra CDR895D HD is mounted onto the car windshield with suction cup camera mounts.
KDLINKS R100 dual dash cam from KDLINKS stands out in the reviews because it is designed to replace and upgrade the rearview mirror. An anti-glare rearview mirror with installed front-facing camera fits over any standard rearview car mirror, while one of the smallest rear cams on the market can be mounted inconspicuously on the rear windshield. The rearview mirror displays the camera footage in one corner of the mirror, and users can shift between front and rear cam display using arrows located on the mirror. Both the front and rear dash cams can record at full HD.
An advanced parking mode feature automatically turns the camera off (useful for cars that provide constant power to the car charger), and if any movement is detected, even in park mode, the R100 will record for a short period. This camera utilizes six glass lenses and wide dynamic range for improved overall picture and review quality.
As you read each review and think about which dash cam to buy, you’ll want to check to see how the particular products need to be installed in your car. Depending on the device you purchase, you can either install it yourself or you may require a professional. The mounts of the basic devices, for example, can easily be attached to the car windshield with a suction cup or adhesive.
A more advanced product, however, such as some of the devices in the advanced and dual dash cam section, might require professional installation. The various reasons for requesting professional assistance include if a device is powered through a direct connection to the car fuse box, or a dashcamera for which the cables must be wired under the pillar top and beneath the rubber liner on the ceiling of the car. Our reviews of the best dashboard cameras provide information about the installation types of each product.
During dash cam installation, it is important to make sure the device does not obstruct the car windshield or the driver’s view since such obstruction is not only dangerous but can also lead to tickets and fines. If you install a rear camera in your car, the placement is also important because inaccurate placement can produce the illusion of an approaching car or some other object, as some people have observed in user reviews. For this reason, some drivers prefer to place their rear dash cams in a lower corner of the rear windshield. To determine the best placement for your car, our best advice is to experiment with various placements before installing it permanently in your car and driving on the road.
Additional information about the various device mounting types for each device can be found in the full-length reviews. To get more detailed information so you can decide which is the best dash cam to buy, and to learn about where to buy them, head over to our full-length best dash cam reviews and buy your recording device today!