This device provides one or more angles of recording while you are driving so that should anything happen whether on the road or parked there is a reliable accounting of the events.
Best Dash Cams of 2018
That is why we have scoured the internet and put together a list of the 5 best dash cameras available today. Then, we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can know what to look for in a quality dash cam and which one is right for you.
|Z-EDGE S3 (Editor’s Choice)||1440P/1080P||Yes||Two||2.4” LCD||Yes||No||No||Check Price|
|KDLINKS DX2||1080P/720P||Yes||Two||3” LCD||Yes||No||No||Check Price|
|360 FHD||1080P||Yes||One||3” LCD||Yes||Yes||No||Check Price|
|WheelWitness HD PRO||1296p||Yes||One||3” LCD||Yes||No||Yes||Check Price|
|OJOCAM Pro Original Mini||1080P||No||One||1.5” LCD||Yes||Yes||Yes||Check Price|
1. Z-EDGE S3 – Best Dual Dash Cam
Aside from the fact that this unit will record both in front of and behind your vehicle, it will do so at exceedingly high resolutions. The front camera sports a crystal clear 1440p Ultra HD resolution, while the rear camera offers a surprising 1080p resolution. Combined, they offer one of the best pairings of camera qualities available.
Of course, that quality does not come cheaply, and this is definitely a more expensive dash cam. However, that expense also goes to cover a number of convenient automatic features. For one, this dash cam provides a solid G-Sensor that does not respond to lighter motions but is ready for any serious movement. This same proper gauging applies to the parking mode as well.
Unfortunately, this is one of the higher end models available that does not also come with a GPS or navigation system.
In fact, that system is found on the S4 which is also thirty three percent more expensive. Another surprising misstep is the fact that the S3 only provides a 2.4” LCD screen. While the screen is clear and easy to read, the small size makes using the controls a bit difficult and navigating the menu while driving a real pain.
- The front cam records in 1440
- The rear camera records in 1080
- WDR offers good night image quality
- Does not include GPS tracking
- A fairly expensive dual dash camera
- A 2.4” display is pretty small
2. KDLINKS DX2 – Best Dash Cam with Night Vision
And on would certainly expect the DX2 to be top of the line considering it is an exceedingly expensive model. In fact, the DX2 is comparable to the Z-EDGE S4 in price if not image quality. However, the DX2 makes its bread and butter in an area where a number of other dash cams fail to shine: at night.
The DX2 also puts to good use the six layer glass lens that features an anti-glare polarized lens thrown in the mix. This allows the DX2 to maintain an excellent image quality even when the sun is shining directly into the camera whether during dawn or dusk. Moreover, reflective surfaces like glass or water also fail to affect the image.
- Refreshingly easy to setup and install
- The camera’s filter effectively remove glare
- WDR, a F 1.6, and six layer lens combine for superior night vision
- The rear camera only records 720
- Suction mounting is less secure than adhesive
- An expensive dual dash camera
3. 360 J511 FHD – Best Dash Cam With Wi-Fi
Some of the biggest problems that other dash cams occasionally have is blank spots in the recording or skipping. That is often in a large part due to the physical constraints of the dash cam’s processor. Unfortunately, the 360’s sensor cannot claim the same kind of stature.
However, the AR2380 CMOS sensor is not terrible, but it certainly is not the best. This translates to image quality, and even recording in 1080p will not necessarily help the images if the sensor simply cannot record the light. Ultimately, this will translate to the images distorting when the subject is further away quicker and especially at night when there is less light to strike the sensor in general.
- Can connect to smart devices through Wifi
- Uses a best in class Ambarella A12 processor
- Is a fairly inexpensive dash cam
- On loop-recording, only records one minute loops
- The bluetooth is much spottier than the Wifi
- The AR2380 CMOS sensor is only okay
4. WheelWitness HD PRO – Best Dash Cam With GPS
Thankfully, the WheelWitness offers a GPS tracking while also providing an excellent video resolution. While this model does not come with a second channel, the camera itself records in 1296p Super HD. Moreover, this dash cam can record in both 4:3 and 16:9 ratios of Super HD.
Unfortunately, the outside of this product does not provide the same quality as the software. For one, this dash cam feels a tad cheap. Specifically, the casing and the buttons are a lower grade plastic that does not provide the substantial feel one often prefers in their electronics. Moreover, this model artificially inflates its viewing angle which can create a fisheye effect at the edges of the recording.
- Can record in 1296p Super HD
- Provides one of the more robust GPS tracking
- Comes with driver assist features
- Plastic feels cheap and fragile
- Simultaneous use of multiple auto features causes looping issues
- Artificial 170 degree view angle creates fisheye effect
5. OJOCAM Pro Original Mini – Best Smallest Dash Cam
On the other hand, this also means that the company is incredibly responsive when it comes to dealing with these kinds of issues. In fact, if you are able to provide some basic, specific information about your problem, the company is known to send personalized firmware updates for your problem in particular within a week’s time. Unfortunately, none of this is made any easier with an A2S60 processor that is fairly non-standard in the first place.
- One of the least expensive dash cams
- Incredibly small profile in unobtrusive
- One of the easier dash cams to hardwire
- The 1 ½” LCD screen is small
- Only features a 135 degree viewing angle
- The Ambarella A2S60 processor is sketchy
Best Dash Cams – Buyer’s Guide
This is easily the top consideration of any dash cam arrangement. Whether you are trying to protect yourself from a criminal or provide a reliable witness for an insurance claim, neither are benefited from dash cam footage that is too blurry to make out details.
However, some factors are more important than others when determining the video quality. Moreover, some that might seem a bit secondary can turn around and be more vital because of the setting.
Resolution – Out of all the factors, whether related to video quality or otherwise, resolution is the most important. Not only does this quality determine how clearly you can see the video’s detail, it is also one of the qualities that comes in a wide range of values–from excellent to substandard.
Field of View
This again becomes more of an issue when you use a dual channel dash cam arrangement, because the rear camera is generally not designed to be as good as the front camera. However, there are a few benchmarks you can look for to identify the quality of your dash cams.
For the front camera, dash cams will generally top out at 170 degree view angle, though anything that provides a 150 degree view angle or better is acceptable. For the rear camera a 120 degree view angle is fairly standard–regardless the front angle–with anything below 100 degrees being a bit suspect.
Night Vision (WDR/Infrared)
In fact, field of view and night vision can be seen as 2A and 2B factors. Aside from the obvious fact that a dash cam that cannot record quality images at night ceases to truly serve its function, the quality of driving–and incidence of traffic accidents–also increases as the sun goes down.
In an effort to increase night vision of dash cams, manufacturers generally rely on two different means: WDR and infrared. However, these two features are a bit restrictive in how they function especially infrared which will not penetrate a windshield and provide night vision outside of the vehicle unless mounted outside of the vehicle.
WDR, or Wide Dynamic Range, is a way to make the lenses so that the images themselves appear lighter. However, this is an important distinction, because the lenses do not actually pick up more details as much as they allow the details otherwise picked up to be represented in a lighter quality.
While exceedingly rare, the ideal FPS is 60. This means that each second of recording is composed of 60 individual images. This increases that speed with which the dash cam can snap a still image and provides far more images to ensure a car hurtling at 50 mph or faster will still show up clearly on the recording.
However, 30fps is more common–though thankfully, few dash cams record lower than this fps. If they do, you should likely invest a bit more for a better dash cam as the images will only be useful while parked.
This refers to how many different cameras your dash unit actually uses. Some of the most professional arrangements can accommodate as many as four different channels–often used to record out front and back, the back interior, and the driver from the passenger’s side. However, most consumer units offer a maximum of two channels.
Though, for evidentiary purposes, two cameras is often enough: one to film in front of the vehicle and one behind. However, be careful that your rear camera can record in a high quality video image or it may simply add an unjustified cost to the unit.
This feature is fairly important, but it is also dependent on your ability to purchase peripherals. If you do not mind buying numerous memory cards, then the maximum size does not matter all that much. However, if you do not have the ability to purchase a handful of memory cards, it is better to get a dash cam that can use 64 GB microSD card or better.
Loop Recording – Regardless of the file format, video codecs, or size of the memory card, the ability for a dash cam to loop its recording should not be overlooked. Loop recording basically allows the dash cam to record over old footage removing the need to constantly swap out memory cards. If the dash cam cannot loop record, it will simply stop recording when the memory card is full.
Various dash cams offer a number of automatic features designed to make using the cam easier. The primary benefit of these features is that they do not require the user to specify when the camera should start recording in a variety of different, relevant situations.
G-Sensor. This feature is arguably the most important automatic feature a dash cam can have. Basically, whenever the dash cam is subjected to a force that jolts it, the camera will mark the footage before and after the shock as vital. This will prevent the dash cam from recording over this footage if it makes use of loop recording.
Parking Mode. This feature is similar to the G-sensor, except it applies to your vehicle at rest. Basically, if you vehicle is subjected to jolting shock or triggers a motion detection, the dash cam will automatically start to record.
This feature can be a bit trickier than G-sensor depending on the sensitivity. If your dash cam allows you to manually adjust the sensitivity of this feature, then you can find the sweet spot for your vehicle. If not, you may very well end up with hours of cats walking across your car in the recordings.
Automatic Start/Stop. This seems like a bit of an obvious, but it also requires a good bit more effort. Basically, whenever you turn your vehicle’s ignition on the camera will start recording. When you turn the vehicle off, it will stop.
To get this feature to work, many dash cams require the unit to be hardwired to your vehicle. This will take significantly more time to install not to mention the possibility of having to hire a professional. Though, this is not the only potential feature to require such.
Most dash cams only connect either through a USB connection or by removing the memory card. Moreover, most USB connected dash cams require a computer to download the video feed from if they include that feature.
WiFi – A more convenient method of connecting externally is through Wifi. This allows the dash cam to sync with a smart device from which it can be controlled. Moreover, the video stream can also often be downloaded from the dash cam via Wifi and onto an external device.
Smart Devices – Wifi is not the only means some dash cams have of connecting to your smart device. Some are able to make use of a USB port, though that is generally used for computers. The other method, though the least common or reliable, is Bluetooth. Unfortunately, bluetooth is more prone to interference and is not always reliable.
Output – The final form of connectivity involves direct feeds. This is where the dash cam includes a port that can connect to another display device directly. However, this display device will rarely be able to control the dash cam itself. Instead, various TV screens built into your vehicle can accept either an AV or HDMI input and display what the camera is recording in real time.
For those of you who purchase a dash cam as a means of deterring crime, this feature becomes even more important. Quite often, the GPS will track the entire route, the speed of the vehicle at different points, and a number of other values.
This information can also be useful for filing an insurance claim. You can prove where you were as well as how fast you were going. The better GPS systems will include time and date syncing which can further support an insurance claim.
The best dash cam will be the one that provides the best features at the right cost. If you are comfortable splurging a bit, then either KDLINKS or the Z-EDGE are right up your alley.
If you are looking for the best package around, the Z-EDGE records in amazing Ultra HD while still recording in 1080p for the rear camera. The KDLINKS may not provide the absolutely best resolution, but it more than makes up for it with amazing nighttime video quality.
Of course, not everyone feels the need to have two cameras and are looking for other qualities instead. For those of you who want your devices to easily connect with your smartphone, the 360 allows you to control everything from your handheld device.