Buying Guide for the Best Dash Cams in 2018
Dash cams are small cameras that sit on your rear or front windscreen or clip onto the rearview mirror that provides an uninterrupted view of your drive and giving you a record ready for insurance claims. Some of the insurers will also offer you money off your premium for having a working dashboard camera in your car as it can help sort out claims.
Dashboard cameras can also be a good way to keep an eye on younger and on inexperienced drivers, with their permission of course.
Whether you are looking to protect your precious no-claims bonus or dream of grabbing the clip that will make you a YouTube sensation, a decent dashboard cam for your car is a sound investment. We have done hundreds of miles of motoring to put some of the leading models on the market through their paces.
Benefits of dashboard camera:
1. Evidence of an accident.
2. Reporting undisciplined drivers.
3. Peace of Mind.
4. Fraud Prevention.
5. Insurance Cost Savings.
8. Capture Great Events.
9. Make Driving Better
Modern devices are packed with impressive features such as G-force sensors to measure impacts, GPS to pinpoint your precise position and speed, and even collision avoidance software to warn you if you are approaching other vehicles too fast. And many cameras also include built-in Wi-Fi, which can make it easy for you to alter settings and download footage to a phone.
Features And Functions:
Dashboard cams have got better and better over the years since their creation with the revolution in technology helping to give them more and more features than just recording. Some of the features that can help drivers along the way include:
>> Audible notifications and spoken status are updates to keep you up to date with what is recording and to advise/inform you if there are any problems.
>> Majority of them has a GPS device to help track speed and location and to help manage your journey.
>> Low battery usage (so that car battery is not drained)
>> A generous and high-tech touch-screen LCD screen with a comprehensive, user-friendly and straightforward navigation menu. (You can check more imp features here.)
If you are unsure or confused about where to look? Or what to purchase? Don’t worry, when it comes to dashboard cams, do not fret we have got you covered. Our complete and detailed rundown means regardless of budget or expertise you will be able to find the right dashboard cam without any hassle. Let’s take a look at the latest and best dash cams of 2018.
Check out our reviews and buyer’s guide on the top dash cams for this year.
Top 5 Best Dash Cams to Buy in 2018
|2||Yi Dash Cam Ultra|
|3||Garmin Dash 45|
1.Nextbase 512GW – The Best Feature Rich Dash Cam
Nextbase 512GW sits at one of the top dash cams of the company’s range, and it is the best we have ever used. It captures quality video at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 up to 30fps frame rate, it has a Sony sensor (EXMOR) and coupled with an adjustable polarising filter in front of the lens, it records the superb quality of a video. It is even better than the 412GW below and a world away from an inexpensive 1080p or 720p camera.
In a dash camera, where the readability of number plates is key, that is important, and the filter on the front means it deals with tricky conditions also, where the sun is low in the sky, better than most as well.
And aside from the imaging part, this is an exceptionally well-designed dash camera. It has a 3-inch screen on the rear, and touch controls to the right and left of that and videos are stored on a microSD card. Owners also have the option of watching a video by transferring it to the accompanying smartphone app over Wi-Fi, copying files straight off the card or by plugging it to a monitor or TV and viewing clips via HDMI.
More advanced features include an accelerometer and a GPS, which track your potential impacts and position, and there is a software for Windows and Mac OS that displays your video footage with your location and accelerometer data overlaid. That data can also be embedded on your videos for when you share your video or export the file.
Perhaps the weakness in for the 512GW is that it does not come with a microSD card in the box. Otherwise, it is pretty much the perfect dash cam.
2. Yi Dash Cam Ultra – The Best All Around Dash Cam
It comes with a 16GB of microSD card, both suction, and adhesive mounts and it records at up to 2688×1520 pixels and a resolution of 2.7K. At lower resolutions such as 1080p, it can record at 60 fps, but it is 30fps at the top resolution.
In daylight, it’s quality is very good indeed, with detailed and bright images that let you see the registration plates of passing and parked cars, as well as those in front. And the field of view is wide, but not so broad that vehicles in front become tiny blobs.
And at night, quality is a lot worse, but no dashboard camera lives up to claims that you can see every last detail in low light also.
It is a bit bulky and does not have a quick-release mount or GPS, but Yi’s Dashboard Cam Ultra is still a good choice.
The app for Android and iOS is great. It connects easily to the dash camera and lets you watch low-resolution clips as well as downloading and selecting only the portion of the full quality clip that you need in the event of an accident. It works quickly and reliably.
Usefully, a long micro USB cable is supplied with a twin USB adapter so that you can still charge a phone from your 12V accessory socket even with the dashboard cam connected.
3. Garmin Dash Cam 45 – The Best Dash Cam
Garmin’s tiny Dash 45 is a discrete dashboard camera with a 2.1MP camera which records in 1080p. It has built-in GPS feature which records your location data and speed for your records or if you have any incident on the road. Its 2-inch display shows useful info to add to your road awareness, and without bombarding you with details as you drive. Alerts include forward collision warnings and lane departure warnings if you drive too close to the vehicle in front.
It is also pre-loaded with speed camera alerts from the database of Garmin. And with a thin sticky magnet mounting the Garmin is easy that means you can unclick the camera easily although the actual magnetic strip itself is harder to remove.
We particularly loved the Garmin Dash for its pretty small size, which provided the least distraction mounted on the windscreen. While it is not the cheapest dashboard camera on the market, you get all the essentials in a miniature package.
4. Snooper DVR-4HD – The Best Budget Dash Cam
Snooper DVR-4HD is quite pricey and offers a relatively low resolution of 1080p, and its footage cannot match the Nextbase 412GW for performance or sharpness in low light. However, its 1/2.7in sensor and f/2 lens ensure image quality is still outstanding, and there is a huge range of great features to play with as well. In addition to dashboard camera facilities, Snooper comes with speed camera alerts, collision detection warnings and lane departure.
There is also Wi-Fi connection so you can connect your Android or iOS smartphone to the camera and review footage without having to take out the microSD card out or connect your camera to your laptop. There are some irritations: it is terribly tricky to unclip from the windshield mount when you want to take it out of the car, and the dock is not powered. Overall, though, the Snooper DVR-4HD is a great product, and among most feature-rich dash cams you can buy.
5. Thinkware F800PRO Dash Cam – Best Dash Cam For Your Car
This screen-free device was the most discreet camera, and also the most expensive one. It uses an adhesive pad to stick tightly to the windscreen of the car, so you can hide it behind the rear-view mirror (but here make sure you get it perfectly lined up the first time because it will stick like a limpet). And to remove the camera form mirror, you just slide it to the side until it unclips. As there is no screen, you need to download a Thinkware’s app to rotate the lens into the correct position. And once that’s done you can pretty much forget it is there, especially if you have professionally wired into your car’s electrics.
Its daylight footage was excellent and thanks to the Sony Exmoor R Starvis sensor for that at the heart of the device.
Its night-time footage was also excellent in well-lit areas, but like all the cameras in our test, it struggled to capture number plates on dark roads very clearly.
There is a parking mode to keep an eye on your vehicle while you are away from it, and the 140-degree wide angle lens offers excellent coverage of the road ahead. This is the latest dashboard camera in the Thinkware range, and the company has also promised a raft of software updates soon, including a driver notifications via a phone app if anyone bumps your car while you are away from it. You get safety camera warnings, and there are alerts for potential frontal collisions and lane departure.
Even it can tell you if queuing traffic ahead has started moving. We found it did not run entirely smoothly with the Apple software, but it worked fine with an Android tablet.
Why do you need a dash cam?
Dash cams record video while you are driving so you have evidence if anything happens intentionally. Footage from dash cams is now accepted by insurers to settle who was at fault in an accident, and it is also admissible in court. Here is what to look out for so you can spend your money wisely.
The UK’s roads can be a grueling and dangerous place in 2017/18, and it is reported that the driving test is getting easier things could get worse on UK’s roads. It might seem pessimistic but there are no of uninsured drivers out there in the country, so investing in a dash cam is a safe bet to protect your car.
Hardware retailer Halfords says that it has seen a huge increase in dash cams fittings in recent years, up by nearly 200%.
Halfords Natasha Chauhan, a dash cam expert, said that: “Fitting dash cam to your car can help to reduce the cost of your insurance premium and also offer reassurance when it comes to disputes over liability in the event of an accident.”
Dash cams are the only growing in popularity in the UK, where “crash for cash” scams have been on the rise. In other countries, they are hugely popular. In Russia, almost all drivers fit their cars with dash cameras, due to dodgier roads and high accident rates.
Imp Key Features Of Dash Cam:
There are several imp key features to look for in your dashboard cam.
Screen resolution: is a key part of dashboard camera tech, and most of the best models will have at least resolution of 1080p or HD resolution, but premium models may even have a 4K resolution for extra details.
Having a wide view of the dashboard camera is also imp so you can make sure camera takes in plenty of details while recording.
You also want to make sure that the camera you buy has built-in incident detection feature. This means the camera will start recording automatically when it realizes an accident or any collision has happened due to change in speed suddenly or due to any issue whatever so. Others provide feedback and alerts you as you drive.
Storage: is also important to look out for when buying a dash cam for your car. Check what size of max memory card your dash cam can take, which means that it will need changing and checking less often.
Mounting: Some dashboard cams clip onto your windscreen mirror and some sticks to your windscreen. So that you can easily remove or change their location and hide them whenever you want.
Size: Having a small and discrete dashboard camera is a bonus as you do not want them to make any distraction while driving.