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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?
- Essential Features
- Best Dash Cams For The Money
- Best High-End Dash Cams
- Comparison Table
- See A Dash Cam In Action (Video)
- Need GPS In Your Car?
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.
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.
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.
This is an essential feature to capture details, like license plate numbers, of any collision at night time.
We chose our best picks based on several factors, including:
- reliable and clear HD recording
- viewing angle
- ease of use and mounting
- added safety features
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.
- 16GB TF/Micro SD card included
- Dimensions: unavailable (screen is 2.4 inches)
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.
- Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.4 x 2.4 inches
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.
- Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.9 x 3 inches
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.
- Dimensions: 3.8 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches
|Z-Edge S3 Dual||YI Smart Dash||Rexing V1||Vantrue N2 Pro||Garmin 65W||Owl Car Cam|
|Best For:||Overall Value||Under $50||Under $100||Under $200||Features||Security|
|View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
|Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
|Type||Front & Rear||Front||Front||Front & Cabin||Front||Front & Cabin|
|Viewing Angle||150 degrees||165 degrees||170 degrees||170 degrees||180 degrees||145 degrees|
|Memory||MicroSD card||MicroSD card||MicroSD card||MicroSD card||MicroSD card||Internal (limited); Cloud|
|GPS||No||No||Syncs w/ external GPS||Syncs w/ external GPS||Internal||Internal|
|Forward Collision Warning|
|Lane Departure Warning|
|Warranty||18 months||1 year||1 year||18 months||1 year||1 year|
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.
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.
- MicroSD card included
- Dimensions: 2.2 x 1.6 x 1.4 inches
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.
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).
- 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
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.
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.
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