Best Dash Cams: Perfect Options For Any Size Budget

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Best…
Overall Value
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Under $50
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Under $100
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Under $200
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Whether you’re looking for a dash cam to capture video evidence of a traffic accident or you want added safety features, we’ve chosen a variety of the best dash cams on the market. What features do you want versus what fits your budget?

Article Overview

What Dash Cam Features Do I Need?

Dash cams have been around for decades (used mainly by police in the U.S.), but within the last few years they’ve exploded in the mainstream consumer market. The features below are essential in a dash cam, but we also review several products that come with a variety of extra features like built-in GPS and voice command.

Wide-Angle Viewing

We suggest a camera with at least a 140° viewing angle, which covers three lanes of traffic. Some dash cams have wide enough angles to capture cross-traffic at intersections.

Loop Recording

Most dash cams use loop recording, where new recordings automatically overwrite oldest recordings when the memory card is full. This way you never run out of recording space when it’s most needed. Some dash cams let you program loop intervals.

G-Sensor (Gravity Sensor)

A gravity sensor is advanced technology that automatically senses a collision and protects video clips from before, during and after each event to help investigators determine what happened. The camera won’t overwrite this critical saved footage.

Night Vision

This is an essential feature to capture details, like license plate numbers, of any collision at night time.

What Are The Best Dash Cams For The Money?

We chose our best picks based on several factors, including:

  • reliable and clear HD recording
  • viewing angle
  • ease of use and mounting
  • value
  • added safety features
  • price

Best Overall Value: Z-Edge S3 Dual Dash Cam

Z-Edge S3 Dual Dash CamView on Amazon

At under $150, the Z-Edge S3 Dual Dash Cam is an excellent value for what you get — both front and rear HD recording with 150° wide-angle views, so you can capture all types of collisions. Its built-in battery allows for 30 minutes of recording if your vehicle’s battery fails after an incident.

Both the forward- and rear-facing cameras record in sharp 1080p resolution, or you can opt to use only the front camera to record at 1440p. The Z-Edge S3 also has parking mode, which automatically starts recording video whenever it senses motion — a super feature for 24/7 surveillance of your car.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy-to-install front and rear windshield cameras
  • G-sensor technology
  • Wide dynamic range (WDR) technology balances exposure for superior night video recording
  • Built-in battery can record up to 30 minutes without power supply
  • Parking mode with motion detection
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 18-month warranty
  • Camera setup could be more intuitive
  • Some user complaints that the included MicroSD card is low quality

Price

  • $129.99
  • 16GB TF/Micro SD card included
  • Dimensions: unavailable (screen is 2.4 inches)

Best Under $50: YI Smart Dash Camera Review

YI Smart Dash CameraView on Amazon

YI’s Smart Dash Cam combines a user-friendly camera, a robust set of features and the latest technology into a surprisingly affordable package. The company says that its Advanced Driver Assistance System uses the most advanced algorithms to ensure a safe driving experience.

This dash cam includes G-sensor technology, a real-time lane departure warning and a wide-angle coverage that lets you see three lanes of traffic to reduce your blind spots. It also has easy-to-identify, large buttons and icons. Installation involves a secure T-mount for your dashboard.

Pros

Cons

  • Intuitive interface
  • G-sensor technology
  • Good night vision
  • Lane departure and forward collision warning
  • WiFi connectivity with mobile apps
  • 1-year warranty
  • A few complaints about the plastic casing warping from heat
  • Some users say the video quality needs improvement and the G-sensor isn’t reliable
  • Memory card not included

Price

  • $49.99
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.4 x 2.4 inches

Best Under $100: Rexing V1 Review

Rexing V1View on Amazon

At just under $100, the Rexing V1 dash cam is ideal for people who want excellent 1080p HD video recording with a 170° viewing angle during collisions at a price that won’t break your budget.

Although this camera lacks features like lane departure warning and GPS, it makes up for these missing extras with its reliable G-sensor performance. This camera is designed to automatically adapt by fine-tuning the exposure to create balanced images and footage in any type of lighting. You’ll get sharper video with this camera than cheaper alternatives.

Installation is easy using the included 3M adhesive windshield mount (optional suction cup mount available). The V1 is also built to weather high temps in your car, with 140°F operating and 160°F storage temperature limits.

Pros

Cons

  • Fantastic value
  • Ultra-wide viewing angle
  • G-sensor technology
  • Can program loop recording in 3, 5 or 10-minute intervals
  • 1-year warranty
  • Camera interface can be confusing
  • Lacks advanced features you can find with the YI (like lane departure warnings and WiFi)
  • Some users say it broke after a few months
  • Memory card not included

Price

  • $99.99
  • Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.9 x 3 inches

Best Under $200: Vantrue N2 Pro

Vantrue N2 ProView on Amazon

The Vantrue N2 Pro dash cam is ideal for drivers who want front and interior views of their cars when they’re driving, e.g., Uber, Lyft and taxi drivers. Even if you’re not a ride-sharing driver, this dash cam is an excellent option at a reasonable price point.

The forward-facing camera has a 1080p HD resolution with a wide view of 170°, and the rear-facing camera captures the entire cabin. When you switch the N2 Pro to single-cam mode, the front-facing camera can record at 1440p resolution, among the highest in our reviews. Installation is via a windshield suction cup mount.

Pros

Cons

  • Front and cabin view
  • Ultra-wide viewing angle
  • G-sensor technology
  • Excellent infrared night-vision capability inside cabin
  • Parking mode with motion detection
  • Supports up to 256GB MicroSD cards
  • Ideal for most climates: -4° to 158°F (up to 194°F storage)
  • 18-month warranty
  • Several user complaints that it doesn’t hold its internal battery charge and drains your car’s battery
  • Some customers say the mount doesn’t stand up over time
  • Memory card not included

Price

  • $199.99
  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches

Comparison Table

 Z-Edge S3 DualYI Smart DashRexing V1Vantrue N2 ProGarmin 65WOwl Car Cam
Best For:Overall ValueUnder $50Under $100Under $200FeaturesSecurity
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
Read ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Price$129.99$49.99$99.99$199.99$269.99$349.00
TypeFront & RearFrontFrontFront & CabinFrontFront & Cabin
Screen Size2.4"2.7"2.4"1.5"2.0"2.4"
Resolution1080p-1440p (front)
1080p (rear)
1080p1080p1080p-1440p1080p1440p (front)
780p (cabin)
Viewing Angle150 degrees165 degrees170 degrees170 degrees180 degrees145 degrees
MemoryMicroSD cardMicroSD cardMicroSD cardMicroSD cardMicroSD cardInternal (limited); Cloud
GPSNoNoSyncs w/ external GPSSyncs w/ external GPSInternalInternal
BluetoothCheckmark
WiFiCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Voice ControlCheckmarkCheckmark
G-SensorCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Loop RecordingCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Parking ModeCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Forward Collision WarningCheckmarkCheckmark
Lane Departure WarningCheckmarkCheckmark
Mobile AppsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Warranty18 months1 year1 year18 months1 year1 year

What Are The Best High-End Dash Cams?

Dash cams over $200 have definite benefits over budget-friendly options. Yes, it’s a more significant investment, but you get some cool safety features that may make the added expense worth it for your driving experience.

Garmin Dash Cam 65W | Owl Car Cam

Garmin Dash Cam 65W Review

Garmin Dash Cam 65WView on Amazon

The Garmin 65W is a reliable, feature-packed dash cam. Instead of pushing buttons, drivers can use voice commands to start or stop video recording or to shoot a still image. Like the Z-Edge, this dash cam will also record for 30 minutes with its built-in battery, even if your car is not able to supply power after the incident.

The Garmin 65W also comes with built-in GPS, WiFi and several safety features, including parking mode and forward-collision and lane-departure warnings. The 180° viewing angle is excellent for seeing cross traffic, but we wish the video resolution (1080p) was higher to match the wide angle. It’s not as crisp for cars immediately in front of you.

Pros

Cons

  • Ultra-wide viewing angle captures cross traffic
  • G-sensor technology
  • Built-in battery can record up to 30 minutes without power supply
  • Parking mode, forward collision and lane departure warnings
  • Built-in GPS
  • WiFi connectivity with mobile apps
  • 1-year warranty
  • The super-wide viewing angle without higher resolution makes cars appear farther away than they are
  • Some customers complain that it doesn’t capture license plates well
  • The magnetic windshield mount only comes with one adhesive strip that wears out over time

Price

  • $269.99
  • MicroSD card included
  • Dimensions: 2.2 x 1.6 x 1.4 inches

Owl Car Cam Review

Owl Car CamVisit Website | View on Amazon

The Owl Car Cam is an excellent solution if you want a combination dash cam and smart car video security camera. In addition to the basic dash cam essentials, this camera has built-in GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, voice command, internal storage up to 24 hours, free cloud storage for the first year (saves footage for 14 days) and added security features.

When you’re away from your car, the Owl Cam sends you video alerts if someone dents your vehicle or tries to break in. It also has a flashing green light with an automatic flood light deterrent when it senses motion outside of the car.

Pros

Cons

  • Front and cabin view
  • G-sensor technology
  • 4G LTE connection gives you 24/7 video access and protection
  • Live video feed to your smartphone if your camera detects motion or a break-in
  • 100% theft replacement
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 1-year warranty
  • Viewing angle isn’t as wide as other products we’ve reviewed here
  • Only syncs with one phone
  • Limited driver assistance features for the price (no collision or lane departure warnings)

Price

Owl Car Cam comes with 12 months of free cloud storage and 3 free months of Owl 911 assistance (Owl agents call you when the camera detects an accident).

  • $349.00
  • Dimensions: 1.1 x 3.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Cloud storage: $10/month after first 12 months free
  • Owl 911 assistance: $7.99/month after 3-month free trial

How Can Dash Cam Footage Help You?

Dash cam compilation videos are rampant on the web, and many involve police footage. But the raw video below shows how having a dash cam in your car can save you from a fraudulent driver, among other traffic incidents.

Do You Need GPS?

Some dash cams have built-in GPS but its function is limited compared to full-on GPS systems. If your car doesn’t have GPS and you’re looking for recommendations, be sure to check out our reviews of the Best GPS Systems for your car, hiking, marine uses and more on our sister site, Exploring Life’s Mysteries.

Why are you looking for a dash cam?

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Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance. Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions. Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

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