Dash Cam Review : Value HD In car Recorder Vehicle Blackbox DVR

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editor November 29, 2014
 
2.5
 
4.5 (1)
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not overly large
recorder screen
cable inputs for the device
the front of the car recorder

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I am currently ‘road testing’ this birthday gift which I am hoping I will never need to use but in the event of an accident might be one of those very handy to have items. I also think for the learner driver that these in car recorders can offer valuable playback lessons for the student.

 

Mine came in a rather unbranded box and indeed looks a little on the cheap side. But you know what it IS good enough and for this kind of item I don’t want to be having really stylish product design here and fancy materials. Indeed I am able to hide this camera behind the interior mirror. 
One of the key points for me is that it should not be intrusive. I don’t want it to block my view of the road in any way. I would suggest you consider the dimensions of some cameras.not sure if even a screen is necessary but it does help with setting up the camera of which seems pretty easy.
There are plenty of buttons unlike a very expensive go pro ! that is admittedly not for a car camera and that needs turning off and on manually. This product works really well with the motion sensor so again I just want to get in and drive. If I have to turn it on it becomes intrusive. I am that pilot who likes to fire and forget. In this sense I want to install the camera and never need to touch it again. Hopefully never needing to because of idiots on the road.
I also want to protect myself legally with evidence that I am driving well. If someone cuts in front and slams on their brakes I would find it impossible to prove my innocence. I hope car manufacturers start to introduce such in higher specs one day.
I found some negatives to report. At night I cannot read number plates of cars unless they are in front and not moving. I am able to increase the resolution and will see what that gives and it may be better in daylight. 
The files are able to be set to be continually overwritten – and you can press a button to save the last ‘period’ if you need to for any reason. In the event of a crash it is supposed to detect and auto save this as locked. Because if it is a minor bump and you drive off to work to later sort it out the file could otherwise be overwritten. So this device does feel like it has all the features and I will be going in depth more. But I wanted to share my first impressions and will write more as I get more used to it.
Presumably the number plate visibility may only be needed in some edge cases. My friend had £450 of body repair due to a tipper being overloaded with rubble that fell onto the road in front. With this camera running he would have maybe been able to identify the lorry and get an insurance claim in.

Editor review

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
2.5
X - Factor 
 
2.0
Ergonomics 
 
2.0
Aesthetic Appeal 
 
2.0
Value 
 
4.0

I have now tested out quite thoroughly this in car black box or simple camera and have the following to say.
The battery life can last 45 minutes from new and this may deteriorate from further use as it ages. However for most this won't quite make the national average for commuting in the morning.
Indeed you won't want yet another device to have to charge twice a day even if you get to work in 40 minutes say. This kind of leaves you with the option I settled for which is to run the power full time from the cigarette lighter. The cable is long enough to take a route up above the sun visor and around the passenger c pillar down and under the carpet so that it is less intrusive. And now the thing powers up without me doing anything and I never have to worry about charging it. I also tucked the unit almost completely behind the mirror so its hidden apart from the audible tone on start up. I also run it looping 3 minutes so unless I click on lock the footage will get overwritten unless I do have an accident and then it will save in the same way automatically.
If you can use the device like this then I feel for the money its hard to beat. The suction cup works well and is yet to be an issue. The footage during the daylight is far better than at night but in the event of an accident this camera should be a great help. You could as well I suppose run one to the rear in the same way. I am looking forward to cameras being fitted as standard in top end cars to cover all angles of 'attack'.
You can easily find the footage on the micro SD card and see the locked folder as well.
This all hinges on how you can hide the cable and if it will reach (I think it will reach most cigarette lighters) as it means the device is low maintenance otherwise for something you hope you will never need it becomes one more small chore. It doesnt have X Factor because it isn't the most attractive unit with the cable though its fine without.
Ergonomics are not marked high as it is a little tricky to get the hang of the menus and controls at times.
But in the very important value for money stakes it does very well and could save you a lot of money.

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1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.5
X - Factor 
 
5.0  (1)
Ergonomics 
 
4.0  (1)
Aesthetic Appeal 
 
4.0  (1)
Value 
 
5.0  (1)
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Comments
Overall rating 
 
4.5
X - Factor 
 
5.0
Ergonomics 
 
4.0
Aesthetic Appeal 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

I love it simple to use, good quality footage when played back.

G
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