Dash Cam Reviews – Recording Your Drive for Safety and Insurance

Dash cams have become an increasingly popular technology for drivers looking to stay safe on the roads and capture video evidence in the event of an accident. With many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right dash cam for your needs and budget. This comprehensive dash cam review covers everything you need to know when shopping for a dash cam, including key features, top picks across various budgets, and tips for getting the most out of your new dash cam.

Outline of Dash Cam Review Article Contents


  • Overview of dash cams and their benefits
  • Factors to consider when choosing a dash cam

Dash Cam Features and Technology

  • Video quality and resolution
  • Field of view
  • Night vision capabilities
  • Audio recording
  • GPS tracking
  • G-force sensors
  • WiFi connectivity and apps
  • Cloud storage options
  • Parking mode
  • Screen size and touchscreens
  • Storage and memory

Top Dash Cam Picks

Budget (under $100)

  • Vantrue N2 Pro
  • Rexing V1
  • Apeman C450

Mid-Range ($100-$200)

  • Garmin Dash Cam 56
  • Viofo A119 v3
  • 70mai Pro Plus

High-End ($200+)

  • Nextbase 622GW
  • Blackvue DR900X-2CH
  • Thinkware U1000

Installation and Setup

  • Where to mount
  • Hardwire vs cigarette lighter
  • Apps and smartphone connectivity
  • Settings and calibration

Using a Dash Cam Legally

  • State laws
  • Privacy considerations

Dash Cam Footage for Insurance Claims

  • Benefits for claims
  • What footage is useful
  • Submitting video to insurance

Maintenance and Accessories

  • Memory cards
  • Polarizing filter
  • Software updates
  • Cleaning lens

Dash Cam Recommendations by Need

  • Best budget
  • Best video quality
  • Best night vision
  • Best discreet cam
  • Best parking mode
  • Best apps/connectivity

FAQs about Dash Cams

What are the main features I should look for in a dash cam?

Is it difficult to install and set up a dash cam?

What kind of memory card do I need for dash cam footage?

Can I get in trouble legally for having a dash cam in my car?

How can I ensure my dash cam footage will be accepted by insurance?

How often do I need to format my dash cam memory card?

Conclusion and Final Recommendations


Dash cams have surged in popularity among drivers looking to add an extra layer of security and evidence collection while out on the road. These compact cameras mount directly to your windshield and record video while your car is running, providing a visual account of your drives.

For many motorists, purchasing a dash cam provides peace of mind and added protection in case of collisions, break-ins, or insurance claims. The video footage captured can serve as objective evidence to protect you from fraudulent claims and shed light on who is at fault after accidents. Many drivers are even eligible for auto insurance discounts if they install dash cams.

With the myriad of dash cam models available from budget units under $50 to premium 4K cameras over $200, it can be tricky choosing the right one. You’ll want to balance important features like video quality, night vision, and parking mode with your budget.

This comprehensive dash cam buying guide covers everything you need to know about the latest dash cam technology and narrowed down the top-rated models across various pricing tiers. We’ll go over key features to look for, breakdown how to install and use a dash cam legally and effectively, plus provide tips for utilizing dash cam footage for insurance claims. Read on for all this and more to select the ideal dash cam for you and get it set up properly in your vehicle.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dash Cam

Dash cams come packed with various features and specs that allow them to serve different needs. Here are some of the key factors to consider when shopping for the right dash cam:

Video Quality – Look for cams offering at least 1080p Full HD recording, with higher-end models featuring 4K video. Higher resolution equals sharper footage to capture critical details like license plates.

Field of View – A wide field of view up to 160-180 degrees will capture more of the road. Look for wide dynamic range and HDR capabilities for visibility in high contrast lighting.

Night Vision – Low light and infrared night vision allows clear footage after dark. Look for night vision up to 25-30m range.

Audio – Built-in microphones record audio inside or outside your car. Confirm microphone and speaker quality is sufficient.

GPS – Dash cams with built-in GPS can geotag and track driving routes. This provides added evidence for insurance claims.

G-Force Sensors – These detect impacts and auto-save footage to prevent tampering after an accident. Look for 3-axis gravity sensors.

WiFi/Apps – Download footage wirelessly and access features through companion apps.

Cloud Storage – Seamlessly offloads and stores footage in the cloud for backup. Requires paid subscription.

Parking Mode – Monitors for bumps and movements when parked to catch vandals. Must be hardwired.

Screen Size – Bigger displays make footage easier to view directly on the dash cam, with 3-inches ideal. Touchscreens add functionality.

Storage – Look for ample built-in storage and high capacity memory card support. Loop recording overwrites oldest clips automatically.

Top Dash Cam Picks

With an overwhelming number of options, we’ve compiled top recommendations for dash cams across various pricing tiers.

Budget Dash Cams Under $100

These affordable dash cams offer great value with decent video quality and essential features.

Vantrue N2 Pro ($90)

  • Front and interior facing dual 1080p cameras
  • 24 hour parking mode
  • Motion detection
  • G-sensor


  • Provides full coverage inside and outside the car
  • Good night vision mode
  • Discreet and compact design


  • No GPS tracking
  • App connectivity can be glitchy

Overall, the Vantrue N2 Pro is a leading choice for rideshare drivers thanks to the dual camera setup. It delivers solid HD footage both through the windshield and facing inward to capture passengers. For the price, it packs a surprising number of desirable features like parking monitoring and motion detection. Just be prepared to purchase a large memory card to store all that video.

Rexing V1 ($100)

  • 1080p Full HD @ 30fps
  • 170° wide angle lens
  • WDR and HDR video
  • G-sensor


  • Excellent value for video quality
  • Sleek and compact form factor
  • Easy to use controls


  • No GPS
  • Battery life could be longer

The Rexing V1 punches above its weight class when it comes to video resolution and field of view. Footage is crisp across varied lighting conditions. The streamlined body makes it very discreet once installed behind your rearview mirror. Lack of GPS is a miss, but overall the Rexing V1 is one of the best bang for your buck dash cams available today.

Apeman C450 ($70)

  • 1080p @ 60fps
  • 3” touchscreen display
  • Parking monitor
  • Motion detection


  • Great interface through large touchscreen
  • Good night vision
  • High frame rate for smooth video


  • Material feels a bit cheap
  • adhesive mount could be sturdier

Apeman checks off a lot of boxes for a budget dash cam, including a nice big touchscreen, parking monitoring mode, and 1080p video at 60fps for buttery smooth footage. The materials don’t feel very premium, but it performs admirably for the affordable price point.

Mid-Range Dash Cams ($100-$200)

Step up to mid-range models and you’ll enjoy perks like higher resolution imaging, GPS, and cloud storage.

Garmin Dash Cam 56 ($130)

  • 1440p HD video
  • 140° field of view
  • Integrated GPS tracking
  • Voice control


  • Excellent daytime video quality
  • GPS & voice control functionality
  • Sleek, compact design


  • Night vision could be better
  • Driver awareness features need subscription

Garmin brings their GPS expertise to the Dash Cam 56, which captures super sharp 1440p footage during the day. The integrated voice control and GPS tracking provide great additional utility for a mid-range model. Lackluster night video holds it back from topping our list.

Viofo A119 v3 ($110)

  • 2K QHD video 2560x1440p
  • HDR and WDR
  • GPS mount available
  • Parking mode


  • Fantastic video resolution for the price
  • Sturdy stealthy design
  • Easy intuitive controls


  • LCD screen prone to glare
  • GPS mount sold separately

Don’t be fooled by the plain Jane looks – the Viofo A119 v3 offers amazing QHD 1440p recording that looks fantastic day or night. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but provides stunning video quality along with parking monitoring at a very appealing cost.

70mai Pro Plus ($170)

  • 1080p @ 60fps
  • Sony sensor
  • ADAS driver safety alerts
  • Built-in GPS


  • Great all-around feature set
  • Responsive touchscreen interface
  • ADAS alerts could prevent collisions


  • Exterior night vision isn’t the best
  • Some responsiveness bugs reported

70mai isn’t the most recognizable brand, but their Pro Plus model bursts with handy features like driver safety alerts, integrated GPS, and WiFi for easy video offload. Well-rounded performance for this price point.

High-End Dash Cams ($200+)

Looking for the utmost in HD video quality and connectivity? These premium dash cams deliver advanced capabilities for a higher budget.

Nextbase 622GW ($300)

  • 4K Ultra HD video
  • Built-in Alexa voice control
  • Emergency SOS response
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity


  • Cutting-edge 4K video resolution
  • Alexa integration is handy
  • Advanced safety features


  • Very large footprint on windshield
  • Significant cost investment

Sitting at the cutting edge of dash cam technology is the Nextbase 622GW with its crisp 4K recording, Alexa voice assistant, and integrated emergency contacts and crash alerts. It’s feature packed yet easy to use. The huge upside comes with a matching price tag.

Blackvue DR900X-2CH ($270)

  • 4K front + 1080p rear cameras
  • Built-in WiFi and GPS
  • Parking monitoring modes
  • Over the air firmware updates


  • Professional-grade dual cam system
  • Sturdy heat-resistant design
  • Intuitive mobile app


  • Doesn’t include memory card
  • Battery drain issues noted

For a premium dual camera setup, the Blackvue DR900X-2CH is a powerhouse. 4K resolution on the front cam captures incredible detail, further enhanced by BlackVue’s excellent video processing. The OTA updates help keep it at the head of the pack. Worth the investment for maximum coverage.

Thinkware U1000 4K WiFi Dash Cam ($280)

  • 4K Ultra HD recording
  • Advanced driver alerts
  • Built-in WiFi hotspot
  • Super Night Vision 4.0


  • Night vision capability is amazing
  • Helpful road safety alerts
  • Comes with rear camera option


  • SD card not included
  • Mobile app can be unreliable

With best-in-class night vision recording, the Thinkware U1000 is ideal for driving after dark. The integrated WiFi hotspot allows you to connect other devices to it directly, and the effective ADAS alerts promote safer driving. Partner with a large SD card for ideal functionality.

Installation and Setup

Installing your new dash cam only takes a few minutes and can provide you with years of secure video documentation. Here are some tips for getting it set up right:

Where to Mount

  • Place towards top center of windshield for optimal view
  • Ensure camera lens is within wiper cleaning area
  • Adjust angle to capture most interior and exterior
  • Check for any obstructions of view

Hardwire vs Cigarette Lighter

  • Hardwiring to fusebox provides constant power
  • Cigarette lighter outlet turns off with car
  • Hardwire recommended to enable parking modes

Apps and Connectivity

  • Sync with smartphone app for enhanced features
  • Use built-in WiFi to connect phone or tablet directly
  • Allow app access to GPS, notifications, cloud backups

Settings and Calibration

  • Adjust resolution, aspect ratio, exposure, loop recording
  • Enable audio, motion detection, driver alerts if desired
  • Format memory card before initial use
  • Set time zone, date and time accurately

Take the time to correctly set up and position your dash cam to get the most out of the investment. Refer to the product manual for optimal settings based on your driving habits and conditions.

Using a Dash Cam Legally

For the benefits of dash cams to apply, it’s crucial to utilize them legally and ethically within your local regulations. Here’s what you need to know:

State Laws

  • Most states allow dash cams, but restrictions apply in some
  • For example, audio recording requires consent in 11 states
  • Check your local regulations before installation

Privacy Considerations

  • Avoid pointing dash cam into neighbor’s windows
  • Turn off audio recording in private conversations
  • Provide notice to passengers they may be recorded

In summary, install the dash cam responsibly with privacy in mind. Disable audio when required and point the camera only towards your driving environment, not into homes or parked cars. Stay within the law and only capture footage needed to document drives.

Dash Cam Footage for Insurance Claims

One of the biggest perks of owning a dash cam is having objective video evidence in the event of an accident or insurance claim. Here’s how to make the most of your dash cam footage:

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Benefits for Claims

  • Resolve liability disputes over who caused accident
  • Protect against fraudulent claims from other party
  • Prevent claim denial by documenting driving conditions

Useful Footage

  • The accident itself and preceding events
  • Date/time/speed/GPS data overlays
  • Street names, traffic signals, and signs
  • Other involved vehicles and drivers

Submitting Video

  • Review footage and save relevant clips
  • Send to insurance soon after incident
  • Provide written summary of video contents
  • Retain original in case further analysis needed

Dash cam video can quickly settle insurance claims in your favor by removing subjectivity. Make submitting footage to your provider a key part of your post-accident process.

Maintenance and Accessories

To keep your dash cam running smoothly for years, follow these maintenance best practices:

Memory Cards

  • Use high endurance SD cards designed for dash cams
  • Minimum 64GB, but larger 128-256GB cards recommended
  • Format card monthly to clear out fragmented files

Software Updates

  • Check manufacturer website for firmware updates
  • Download to SD card or update over WiFi
  • Updates improve performance and fix bugs

Clean Lens

  • Use microfiber cloth and lens cleaner spray weekly
  • Check windshield wiper range covers lens
  • Lens filters can add an extra layer of protection


  • Polarizing filter reduces windshield glare
  • Extra-long USB power cable for rear cam
  • Signaling stickers make others aware of recording

Caring for your dash cam properly ensures it continues capturing critical driving footage when you need it most.

Dash Cam Recommendations by Need

Beyond the top picks already covered, here are our top dash cam recommendations based on some common needs:

Best Budget Dash Cam

Rexing V1 – For just around $100, captures excellent 1080p video day and night.

Best Video Quality

Nextbase 622GW – Cutting edge 4K Ultra HD footage plus built-in Alexa.

Best Night Vision

Thinkware U1000 – Their Super Night Vision 4.0 technology excels in low light.

Most Discreet Dash Cam

Viofo A119 v3 – Tiny camera blends right into your windshield.

Best Parking Mode Feature

BlackVue DR750X-2CH – Records bumps and incidents when parked.

Best Connectivity & Apps

Garmin Dash Cam 66W – Integrates with your smartphone via WiFi for easy video access.

FAQs about Dash Cams

What are the main features I should look for in a dash cam?

Look for 1080p or higher video resolution, night vision capability, a wide field of view, integrated GPS, g-force sensors, parking monitoring modes, and WiFi/app connectivity for starters. Choose features based on your budget and needs.

Is it difficult to install and set up a dash cam?

Installation is quite simple – just mount on your windshield, plug into your car’s 12V outlet or hardwire to fusebox, then align the camera and adjust settings. The entire process takes 10-15 minutes for one camera, 20-30 minutes for dual cam setups.

What kind of memory card do I need for dash cam footage?

Look for a high endurance SD card made specifically for dash cams, with 64GB capacity at minimum. Cards like the Samsung PRO Endurance are tested for constant rewriting. Some cameras now include built-in storage up to 512GB.

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