Why Should I Get a Dash Cam? The Biggest Reasons

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Should I get a dash cam to film my fellow road users? It’s a question that many US drivers ask before they decide. Those who do don’t usually regret it, and we’ll look at why shortly. Americans have a love-hate relationship with public cameras. Most countries now install highly-visible surveillance equipment at every corner. But when it comes to dashboard cameras, the pros easily outweigh the cons.

Much of the public feels safer with thousands of cameras following their every move. This page, though, is about you tracking others. Keep reading to see why dashcams make so much sense.

Budget
best-budget-dash-cam
Crosstour DVR Dash Cam
4.6/5.0
Resolution: 1080P
LCD: 3”
Small & discreet, 3” LCD, 1080p video, G-sensor, motion detection.
Check Amazon
Best Value
best-value-dash-cam
TOGUARD IR Dual Dash Cam
4.7/5.0
Resolution: 1080P/720P
LCD: 1.5”
Small and compact, quick install, good in low-light, loop recording, G-sensor.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
top-value-dash-cam
Vantrue N2 Pro IR Dash Cam
4.8/5.0
Resolution: 1080P
LCD: 1.5”
Easy to set up, intuitive menus, built-in USB, large storage capacity.
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5 Dash Cam Benefits

The purpose of this introduction is so that first-time buyers can make better sense of the reviews. A little insight into popular features helps you to make better-informed buying decisions.

Dash cams are more than hip gadgets for a vehicle’s cab. Here are 5 of the main advantages:

  1. Indisputable evidence of an accident
  2. Records reckless drivers
  3. To capture criminal activity on the road and off
  4. Helps to prevent fraudulent insurance claims
  5. Peace of mind for parents who lend the family car to their kids

OK, let’s look at the above benefits in more detail.







Lesser-known Benefits of a Dashboard Camera

There are some lesser-known benefits of a functional dashboard camera. It records anything and everything in its field of view (FOV) because it’s always on as you drive. That could be a breathtaking weather occurrence, strange or funny goings-on, or a historical event. It can also capture on and off-road criminal activities. YouTube is full of unusual and fascinating dashcam footage.

Your dash camera can also record memorable road trips that you can save for posterity. The GPS feature found on some models also lets you identify special places en route.

5 Most Valuable Dash Cam Features

Modern dash cams are feature-packed, but the following 5 are the things to look out for:

  1. Loop Recording w/ auto-start: overwrites old data, so recording never stops
  2. Impact detection: saves video and stops recording to prevent overwriting the incident
  3. Motion Detection or Parking Mode: starts to record when the camera detects motion
  4. GPS & speed logging
  5. Supercapacitor (see below)

Any other bells and whistles are non-essential features that some drivers may find useful.

Why loop recording matters

Most dash cams offer the convenience of Loop (continuous) Recording. When the vehicle starts, it begins to film automatically. The cam overwrites the oldest data with new once the memory card is full. You can also transfer any footage to another device if you want to keep it. Loop Modes let drivers specify the time for each saved video segment. That’s typically 2, 3, and 5-minute segments.

Supercapacitor Vs. Battery

Some of the costlier dashcams use supercapacitors instead of batteries, so what’s the difference? Well, capacitors are safer and more reliable. They’re safe because of their heat-resistant properties. It’s something to think about if you live in a hot climate. You can also charge and discharge supercapacitors much faster than batteries. The downside is that they can’t store as much energy.

About My ‘Should I Get a Dash Cam’ Guide

Buying a dashboard camera for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. There are just so many of them nowadays. I’ve taken 10 models from 100s of available products. My straightforward mini-reviews look at the dashcam’s pros and cons for each one. I’ve included products for all budgets that range from under 30 dollars up to 200.

The first reviews are the Editor’s Choice for Best Budget, dashboard cam, Best Value, and the Top Pick. I’ve arranged the remaining products by price order for convenience, lowest to high.

Dash Cams Comparison Table

1. Crosstour 1080P DVR Dashboard Cam | Best Budget

Crosstour 1080P DVR Dashboard CamView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Editor’s Best Budget pick goes to the affordable Crosstour CR300 Dashcam. It’s a bestselling product for its class and one that gets lots of favorable feedback.

  • Best feature 1: Quick & easy to install
  • Best feature 2: Secure suction mount
  • Plus points: Small & discreet, 3” LCD, 1080p video, G-sensor, motion detection, loop recording
  • Minus points: SD card not included, max card capacity 32GB

Crosstour DVR Dash Cam Highlights

Crosstour’s CR300 Dashcam is small enough to place discreetly behind a rearview mirror. Installation is easy, even for first-timers. The cam has a large 3” LCD screen, 1080p Full-HD video, 12MP resolution, and a 170° lens. The wide field of view (FOV) captures 4 lanes of traffic. The easy to use navigation and function buttons run along the right and left side of the casing.

A built-in G-sensor (accelerometer) locks the footage when it detects shake or impact. Locking prevents the camera from overwriting the recorded incident. Other functions include loop recording, motion detection, timestamp, license plate stamp, and ON/OFF audio. The screen saver and auto power-off are two more welcome features of this budget-end dashcam.

The Not So Good

Make sure you buy an SD card if you choose this product as there isn’t one included. That’s no surprise considering the affordable price tag. A more significant gripe is that it only takes SD cards up to 32GB. It’s not a problem for short trips around town. However, 32GB is not ideal for recording longer road trips of 2+ hours. That’s because the cam will start to overwrite old data before the journey ends.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand Name: Crosstour
Camera Type: Front
Video Resolution: 1080P
Aperture: F1.8
Rotation: 360°
View Angle: 170°
Emergency Backup Battery: Yes
Max Card Support: 32GB SD
Screen Type: 3” LCD
Camera Weight: 8.2 oz.
Dimensions: 3.5 x 2 x 1.4”
The Pros
Easy and quick installation
Secure suction mount
Small, discreet dashcam
Wide 4-lane lens capture
Large display screen
G-sensor
Motion detection
Loop recording
Time and license plate stamp
Auto power-off
ON/OFF audio
Burst photo
Screensaver
The Cons
SD card is an extra cost
Only takes SD cards up to 32GB

2. TOGUARD IR Dual Dashboard Cam | Best Value

TOGUARD IR Dual Dashboard CamView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

A TOGUARD product gets the Best Value Slot with its CE41 IR night vision dual 6-Glass lens dashcam. It has a 1080p front-facing lens and a 720p lens for inside the cabin. Let’s check it out.

  • Best feature 1: Dual-lens dashcam with infrared (IR) night vision
  • Best feature 2: Perfect product for taxis and rideshares
  • Plus points: Small and compact, quick install, good in low-light, loop recording, G-sensor
  • Minus points: Weak battery backup, SD card not included, max card only 32GB

TOGUARD IR Night Vision Dash Cam Highlights

TOGUARD’s CE41 dash cam is ideal for folks who do rideshares, drive taxis, and for the family auto. This product is small, slim, and compact, weighing less than 3 oz. Installation only takes one or two minutes at most. The front-facing camera has a wide, 4-lane 170° angle of view and records in 1080p. The cabin cam has a 140° wide-angle and records in 720p.

Night recording in the cabin captures decent images thanks to the 4 x IR night vision LEDs. The cam’s 1.5” LCD is small compared to some rivals, but it’s still clear and bright. The front camera is more impressive in low light with its superb exposure and high dynamic range. Other highlights include loop-recording and G-sensor, Parking monitor (motion detection), auto-recording, and screensaver.

The Not So Good

Battery backup is only for emergencies with all dashcams. The problem with this one is that it’ runs out of power too quickly. It’s better than no battery backup, but only just. You need an SD card, but there isn’t one included. That’s a surprise considering the price of this product. The max SD card you can use is only 32GB (class 10), so it’s not ideal for recording long road trips.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: TOGUARD
Video Resolution: 1080p/720p
Camera Type: Front/cabin
Aperture: F1.8
Rotation: Rear camera only
View Angle: 170° (F) 140° (R)
Emergency Backup Battery: Yes
Max Card Support: 32GB Class 10+
Screen Type: LCD 1.5”
Camera Weight: 2.88 oz.
Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.5 x 1.6”
The Pros
Dual lens dashcam (front & cabin)
Infrared (IR) night vision
Ideal for taxis and rideshares
Small and compact design
Super-quick install process
Good in low-light
Loop recording and G-sensor
Motion detection (Parking Monitor)
Auto recording
Screensaver
The Cons
Weak backup battery
No SD card
Only supports 32GB cards
Small LCD screen

3. Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual IR Dash Cam | Top Pick

Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual IR Dash CamView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Vantrue N2 Pro makes the Editor’s Top Pick. It’s another front + interior dual dash cam system, but with a higher price tag. The number of sales and positive feedback seems to justify its cost.

  • Best feature 1: Excellent video quality for both cams
  • Best feature 2: Small form factor
  • Plus points: Easy to set up, intuitive menus, built-in USB, large storage capacity, parking mode
  • Minus points: No supercapacitor, small LCD, GPS extra cost, average nighttime video

Vantrue N2 Pro 1080P Dash Cam Highlights

The high build-quality of the Vantrue N2 Pro is apparent as soon as you hold it. It doesn’t have the same cheap plasticky feel of the economy cams. The product’s Quick Start guide is clear and super-easy to follow. Its small form factor and stylish design help it to harmonize in any cab. The LCD screen is tiny at 1.5”, but any bigger would have increased the size of this sleek little cam.

This product comes with outward and inward-facing 1080p cameras. The Front lens has a wide 170° 6-glass layer and fast F/1.8 aperture. The interior one has a 140° wide view and an F/2.0 aperture. The N2 takes MicroSD cards up to 256GB. That’s a vast improvement on the 30GB capacity of cheaper models. The mini-USB port is another welcome feature along with the long 11.5ft USB cable.

Other standout features include stable performance, Sony sensors, and Advanced Parking Mode. Users can also receive regular firmware updates that enhance features and functionality still further.

The Not So Good

A supercapacitor would have been preferable over a battery for a dashcam in this category. The GPS logger is an optional extra feature, which is a surprise considering the high price tag. The night time video recording is perfectly viewable, but still only average.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand Name: Vantrue
Image Sensor: OV4689 + Sony IMX323
Video Resolution: 1080P (both cams)
Camera Type: Front + Inside
Aperture: F1.8, F2.0
Rotation: 360°
View Angle: 170° (F), 140° (R)
Emergency Backup Battery: Yes
Max Card Support: 256GB
Screen Type: 1.5” LCD
Camera Weight: 3.52 oz.
Dimensions: 3.8 x 1.5 x 1.5”
The Pros
Superb video quality for both cams
Small form factor, stylish design
Easy to set up
Stable performance
Regular firmware updates
Sony sensors
Intuitive menus
Built-in Mini USB port
Large storage capacity
Advanced Parking Mode
2 USB cables (long/short)
The Cons
No supercapacitor
Small LCD
GPS is an extra cost
Average night video

4. Pathinglek Budget 1080P Dashboard Cam

Pathinglek Budget 1080P Dashboard CamView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Meet the budget-priced Pathinglek 1080P Dashboard Cam. Its small form and strong suction pad let you place it in the perfect location without distraction. This model offers quite a lot for very little.

  • Best feature 1: Affordable, feature-packed 1080p dashcam
  • Best feature 2: Long, thin cable makes placement easy
  • Plus points: Car charger, 3” LCD, night vision, G-sensor, loop recording, parking mode
  • Minus points: Cheap plastic, average video quality

Pathinglek 1080P Dashboard Cam Highlights

The installation and operation of the Pathinglek front-facing Dashboard Cam are beginner-friendly. Its button configuration and intuitive menus are a cinch to navigate. This product comes with a long, thin 11.4ft cable and a handy USB car charger. It also sports many of the features found on costlier models. The cam’s 170° wide-angle lens and 1080p video capture footage up to 4 lanes wide.

Another welcome feature is the large, bright 3” IPS screen that makes it easy to view saved footage. That includes video recording in night vision. Other highlights are the built-in G-sensor, Loop Recording, and Anti-Theft Motion Detection (Parking Mode).

The Not So Good

This little dashcam costs under 30 dollars at the time of writing this review. The cheap plasticky build is no surprise, but it doesn’t detract from the cam’s functionality. The video quality is perfectly viewable but only average at best. Again, that’s no surprise given the cost, but it’s sure to be a deal-breaker for some. Pathinglek’s dashcam is unlikely to disappoint new buyers with realistic expectations.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand Name: Pathinglek
Video Resolution: 1080p
Camera Type: Front-facing
Rotation: 360°
View Angle: 170°
Emergency Backup Battery: Yes
Max Card Support: 32GB
Screen Type: 3” LCD
Camera Weight: 8,8 oz.
Dimensions: 3.4 x 2 x 1.4”
The Pros
Affordable and feature-packed
Long cable for easy placement
Easy to install, simple to use
Car charger
Large, bright LCD screen
Night vision
G-sensor
Loop recording
Motion detection
The Cons
Cheap plasticky feel
Average video quality
Max card support only 32GB

5. CHORTAU Dual 3-Inch Dashboard Camera

CHORTAU Dual 3-Inch Dashboard CameraView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The fifth review is for the CHORTAU Dual Dash Cam with front and rear-facing cameras. The product comes with a car charger, adjustable suction mount, and User Manual.

  • Best feature 1: An easy to set-up-and-forget-about dashcam
  • Best feature 2: Front & rear-facing cams
  • Plus points: Reversing mode, loop recording, G-sensor, motion detection, night vision
  • Minus points: Screen glare, user manual is vague in parts

CHORTAU Dual 3” Dash Cam Highlights

CHORTAU’s Dual Dash Cam comes equipped with a 1080P front-facing camera with a wide 170° lens. The rear waterproof cam is 720P and has a 130° field of view (FOV). Its 4 LEDs let you view the back of the car even in the pitch dark. The Reversing Camera Mode displays parking guidelines that make easy work of reversing into tight spaces.

Loop recording keeps the cam filming by overwriting old data once the memory card is full. This cam’s Variable Sensitivity G-Sensor is worth mention. It auto-detects collisions, then saves and locks the recorded incident to an SOS file to protect it against overwriting. Other highlights include Night Vision, Parking Mode, and a built-in li-ion emergency backup battery.

The Not So Good

Large 3” screens are always welcome on dashcams. The problem with this one is the mirror-like finish that adds a lot of unnecessary glare. It’s hard to view saved video footage in some lighting conditions. Users complain that they must remove the memory card to watch the footage on another device. The last con is that the included manual is a little on the vague side.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: CHORTAU
Video Resolution: 1080p (F), 720P (R)
Camera Type: Front and rear-facing
Rotation: 360°
View Angle: 170° (F), 130° (R)
Emergency Backup Battery: Yes
Max Card Support: 32GB
Screen Type: 3” LCD
Camera Weight: 6.4 oz.
Dimensions: 3 x 1.6 x 0.6”
The Pros
Easy set up and forget dashcam
Front & rear-facing cameras
Reversing mode
Loop recording
G-sensor collision detection
Motion detection (Parking Mode)
Night vision
Built-in battery
Excellent value
The Cons
LCD screen glare; hard to view
User manual vague in parts
Only supports 32GB cards max

6. APEMAN 1080P C420 Mini Dash Cam

APEMAN 1080P C420 Mini Dash CamView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The APEMAN Mini C420 Dashcam only takes a couple of minutes to install. It then powers on as soon as you start the car. The side buttons protrude just enough to make menu navigation quick and easy.

  • Best feature 1: Decent 1080p video footage for day and nighttime recording
  • Best feature 2: Intuitive, protruding side buttons
  • Plus points: Compact & light, easy to install, 2” LCD, motion detection, loop recording
  • Minus points: Max card support only 32GB, short backup battery life, cheap plastic

APEMAN C420 Dashcam Highlights

This is a simple dashcam with a handy video tutorial to help new users set it up. That’s just as well because the written instructions are vague. The C420 has a lightweight, compact design that’s easy to conceal behind most rearview mirrors. The suction cup locks it onto a clean area of glass and won’t budge until you remove it. This cam has a 170° wide lens and can record in 1080P FHD.

APEMAN’s C420 includes all the predictable features of a dashcam in its category. You get a large 3” LCD screen, Motion Detection, Parking Monitoring, and Loop Recording. Its G-sensor records collisions or sudden shocks to the vehicle. It then locks that footage to prevent the file from being overwritten by new data. Both day and night video quality is surprisingly good for a dashcam at this price.

The Not So Good

This dashcam—like most others in its price category—only supports SD cards up to 32GB. That’s more than enough for town or city driving. It’s not much if you plan to record long road trips, though. The included instructions may confuse new users, so watch the video tutorial instead. Other negatives are the short backup battery life and cheap plastic materials.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: APEMAN
Video Resolution: 1080P
Camera Type: Front-facing
Aperture: F/1.8
Rotation: 360°
View Angle: 170°
Emergency Backup Battery: Yes
Max Card Support: 32GB
Screen Type: 2.0” TFT LCD
Camera Weight: 11 oz.
Dimensions: 2 x 1.6 x 0.4”
The Pros
Decent 1080p day/night video
Easy to install; even easier to use
Reliable suction mount
Protruding side buttons
Bright LCD screen
Motion detection
Seamless loop recording
G-sensor feature
Parking monitoring
The Cons
Only supports 32GB cards
Vague instructions
Short backup battery life
Cheap plastic build

7. APEMAN C420D Front & Rear Dual Dashboard Cam

APEMAN C420D Front & Rear Dual Dashboard CamView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

This review is for another Mini APEMAN product. It’s the company’s C420D, a small yet powerful dual product with a full waterproof rear cam to help you park.

  • Best feature 1: Reliable feature-packed dual cam system
  • Best feature 2: Waterproof rear cam with parking monitoring
  • Plus points: Easy to use, front & rear dual lens, loop recording, motion detection, G-sensor
  • Minus points: Poor quality audio, average night vision, short backup battery life

APEMAN Dual Dash Cam Highlights

APEMAN Dual Dash Cam boasts intuitive operation with just 4 protruding side buttons. The 170° F/1.8 wide front-facing dashcam captures video in 1080P Full HD. A smaller rear cam has a 720P HD lens and is ideal for reversing into tight parking spaces using the Parking Guard. The front dashcam has a bright 2” TFT display that’s just big enough for real-time viewing.

Other features include 24-hour Parking Monitoring, Loop Recording, and G-sensor protection. It’s also worth mentioning APEMAN’s exceptional after-sales service. Not all companies offer the same.

The Not So Good

The audio feature should be a nice touch for a cam in this price category. Unfortunately, it’s more of a selling gimmick than a useful feature due to the poor-quality sound. The 720p nighttime video is just okay, but it’s not one of the cam’s best features. Still, it’s good enough to document any incidents, and that’s all that really matters. Lastly, the backup battery life is very short-lived.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: APEMAN
Video Resolution: 1080P (F), 720P (R)
Camera Type: Front & rear-facing
Aperture: F/1.8
Rotation: 360°
View Angle: 170°
Emergency Backup Battery: Yes
Max Card Support: 32GB, Class 10
Screen Type: 2.0” TFT LCD
Camera Weight: 16 oz.
Dimensions: 9 x 4.7 x 2.1”
The Pros
Easy to install and operate
Reliable dual cam system
Includes front & rear cameras
Waterproof rear cam
Parking monitoring
Loop recording
Motion detection
G-sensor protection
Outstanding after-sales service
The Cons
Poor-quality audio
Average nighttime video
Short backup battery life

8. Rexing V1-4K Ultra-HD Car Dash Cam

Rexing V1-4K Ultra-HD Car Dash CamView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The Rexing V1-4K Ultra-HD Dashcam is around twice the price of the last product. The reason for that is the outstanding image detail, but it’s not the only reason. Keep reading to learn more.

  • Best feature 1: 4K (2160P) Ultra-HD video resolution
  • Best feature 2: High-temperature resistance
  • Plus points: Built-in WiFi, supercapacitor, parking monitor, supports 256GB cards, app control
  • Minus points: SD card extra, tiny buttons

Rexing V1-4K UHD Dash Cam Highlights

The 4K video means details are clearer, and that’s always a good thing for any dashcam. The small, compact design and low-key interface of the Rexing V1 make it easy to conceal in the cab. The build quality is also worth mention. Its high-temperature resistance lets it function normally in temperatures up to 176°F or down to -20°F. That’s the benefit of a supercapacitor over a battery.

The V1’s built-in WiFi lets you transfer dashcam footage to other devices via the Mobile App. This cam can also use GPS Logger software, though it’s an optional extra. Other V1 features include a Parking Monitor, Loop Recording, and G-sensor lock protection for filmed incidents. Lastly, this popular little dashcam supports Class 10 UHS-I (or higher) cards up to 256GB (card not included).

The Not So Good

There’s no SD card included with the product. It’s a minor inconvenience, but there should have been one at this price. The buttons on this thing are tiny. They couldn’t be any larger due to the small form of the cam. Even so, that’s something to think about if you have large hands or big fingers. Moreover, button placement and labeling are not what you’d call intuitive.

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Tech Specs
Brand Name: Rexing
Video Resolution: 4K UHD (2160p)
Camera Type: Front-facing
Aperture: F/2.8
Rotation: None
View Angle: 170°
Emergency Backup Battery: Supercapacitor
Max Card Support: 256GB
Image Sensor: OV4689
Processor: NOVATEK 96663
Screen Type: 2.4” LCD Screen
Camera Weight: 5 oz.
Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.5 x 2”
The Pros
Superb build w/ discrete design
4K (2160P) Ultra-HD video
High temperature resistance
Built-in WiFi
Supercapacitor
Parking monitor
Loop recording
Optional GPS Logger software
G-sensor lock protection
Supports 256GB cards
App control
Excellent value dashcam
The Cons
SD card not included
Tiny, hard to use buttons
0/50 ratings