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The best dash cam: What are your options?
It’s bad enough when you drive and are involved in a car crash. It’s even worse when the crash wasn’t your fault. Even if you’re not to blame, it’s easy for conversations with law enforcement and insurance companies to devolve into a “he said, she said” scenario.
Save yourself the hassle and get the closest thing to an objective witness: a dashboard camera. Often mounted on your car’s windshield, dash cams can be the difference between getting saddled with insurance fees and avoiding them altogether. They can also be the difference between being found at fault and found blameless.
Here are the best dash cams you can buy right now.
Best dash cams:
Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best dash cams as new devices launch.
1. Nextbase 522GW
Featuring a 140-degree viewing angle, the Nextbase 522GW captures up to 1440p-resolution video. There’s also a three-inch touchscreen, an ambient light sensor to dim the screen in low-light environments, and a button below the display to manually lock a video and prevent the camera from overwriting footage.
The magnetic mount features an integrated GPS sensor, with the camera itself featuring Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There’s even a polarizing filter to minimize reflections from the windshield and Amazon Alexa support. As if that wasn’t enough, you can connect up to three different rear cameras.
There are a ton of features here but the headline feature seems to be Emergency SOS. If the camera detects a crash and your phone is either still or goes unanswered, Emergency SOS automatically notifies emergency services and provides the car’s GPS coordinates. The feature also sends limited personal and medical information, so long as you entered it in Nextbase’s app.
The Nextbase 522GW is available for $259.99.
2. Vantrue N2 Pro
Whereas most other dash cams only have one camera, the Vantrue N2 Pro has two. The one pointed forward records in 1440p resolution, while the one pointed at your car’s interior records in 1080p resolution. When simultaneously recording, the cameras top out at 1080p.
Even though the road-facing camera boasts plenty of features, the focus is slightly more on the interior recording. The rear camera features four infrared LEDs, which let you see people in the car when in total darkness. The resulting image is grayscale instead of color, but the footage should still be more than usable.
Also read: The best mobile car accessories you can buy
The 1.5-inch display isn’t the largest on a dash cam, and the cylindrical shape will catch some eyes. Also, the GPS function requires a separate mount purchase. That said, the camera supports up to 256GB microSD cards. For some reason, the Amazon listing warns against using SanDisk microSD cards.
The Vantrue N2 Pro is available for $199.99.
3. Garmin Dash Cam 66W
Garmin dash cams aren’t known for their affordability, and the Garmin Dash Cam 66W only continues the trend. Then again, you get quite a bit for the price.
To start, the Dash Cam 66W is refreshingly small and simple. The four side buttons control what you see on the display, which is on the smaller side but still adequately viewable. More importantly, the camera’s inconspicuous nature means it won’t catch the eyes of passersby.
Given its size, it’s nice to see the Dash Cam 66W with a slew of features. The 1440p footage gives you an incredibly-wide 180-degree field-of-view. Some driver alerts include lane departure warnings, forward collision, and “Go” alerts. There’s also voice control, available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Swedish.
The Garmin Dash Cam 66W is available for $219.99.
4. Papago GoSafe S810
Similar to the Vantrue N2 Pro, the Papago GoSafe S810 is a dual-sensor dash cam pointed to the front and interior of the car. Unlike Vantrue’s offering, Papago’s dash cam comes with two separate cameras.
It can look a bit excessive when placed on your windshield, but the GoSafe S810 at least gives you more flexibility than other dash cams. The two sensors record in 1080p, with the front and secondary cameras featuring 140-degree and 120-degree field-of-views, respectively.
Because the secondary camera doesn’t have infrared LEDs, it relies on lighting sources to record everyone in the car. At least the GoSafe S810 comes with your standard array of dash cam features, such as a parking mode, loop recording, and several safety features.
The Papago GoSafe S810 is available for $169.89.
5. Garmin Dash Cam Mini
If you like the idea of an ultra-compact dash cam and don’t care about having a display, the Garmin Dash Cam Mini is worth a look.
A bit smaller than a car key, the Dash Cam Mini features a 140-degree lens and records in 1080p resolution. There’s also built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to transfer footage to your smartphone. Finally, the camera automatically records and saves videos of incidents.
The Garmin Dash Cam Mini is available for $99.99.
As our list shows, the Owlcam isn’t the only dash cam with two front and interior cameras. However, it’s arguably the most unique dash cam available.
The front camera records in 1440p, while the interior camera records in 720p. The Owlcam has enough room for 24 hours of footage, with older clips erased whenever storage is full. However, you can also use your voice and manually save specific moments.
Also read: Best car chargers you can get your hands on
Apart from a dash cam, the Owlcam also works as a sort of scarecrow. Called Guard Mode, the feature turns on the Owlcam’s green LED. Your phone then gets an alert if the camera detects an event. You can then use Live View to see and hear what’s happening in real-time. You can even enable a two-way speaker if you have a message for the intruder.
The Owlcam is available for $349.99, but that’s not the full picture. Your purchase includes a one-year membership to the premium service, which uses the Owlcam’s built-in 4G LTE and offers features like the ability to watch video from anywhere, Live View, 911 Assist, and many more. The service normally costs $10 each month or $99 per year.
7. Yi Ultra Dash Cam
Xiaomi doesn’t just make smartphones and laptops; it also makes dash cams under the Yi brand. That’s where the Yi Ultra Dash Cam comes in.
Featuring a 140-degree lens, the Yi Ultra Dash Cam records up to 2.7K resolution. The camera also features voice control, a 2.7-inch display with four buttons, a three-axis gravity sensor to detect when you’ve been in a collision and lock the recorded footage, and a dual-core processor for improved performance.
The Yi Ultra Dash Cam is available for $69.99.
8. Anker Roav DashCam Duo
As the name implies, the DashCam Duo features two front and interior cameras. The two cameras record up to 1080p resolution footage, with infrared letting the interior camera record the occupants in low-light situations. You’ll also find Parking Mode, built-in GPS, a 155-degree lens for the front camera, a 115-degree lens for the interior camera, automatic crash recording, and loop recording.
The Anker Roav DashCam Duo is available for $109.99.
That was our list of the best dash cams you can buy right now. In the comments below, let us know if you have any recommendations of your own or your thoughts on our list!