Dash cams are a great upgrade to your car setup. They add peace of mind while you're on the road, with an extra pair of (digital) eyes working as a witness should you ever be in an accident.
They're also useful for other things. Some car insurance companies offer discounts on your premium if you have a dash cam installed for example. Alternatively, they can be used to report motoring offences or simply prevent others from making malicious false claims against you.
If you're after a dash cam, then you've probably noticed there are quite a number to choose from. At a glance, it's hard to know which is the right one for you. To cut down on the fuss, we've been testing out a number of different dash cams to bring you the low-down on the best cameras to buy for your car.
The best dash cam system
Viofo A129 Pro Duo
- Dual-Channel 4K front and 1080P rear dash cam (both 30FPS)
- Front F1.8 Aperture 130-degree viewing angle/rear F1.6 aperture 140-degree viewing angle
- 2-inch HD LCD Display
- G-Sensor and motion detection, advanced parking mode
On the face of it, the Viofo A129 Pro Duo is easily one of the best dash cam systems money can buy. It might not be as user-friendly or as affordable as other dash cams on this list, but it is one of the most feature-packed cameras available.
As you might have gathered from the name, the Viofo A129 Pro Duo is a package that includes two cameras. One for the front and a second for the rear. The front-facing camera is capable of capturing video in 4K (3840 x 2160P 30FPS) while the rear records HD footage (1920 x 1080P 30FPS). You can, of course, choose to tweak settings on the camera and within the app. This includes various recording modes, timelapse and parking mode too.
Setup includes incredibly convenient gear and accessories with everything that you could need. This includes a MicroSD convertor to read files from the camera on your PC, a car charger adapter with two ports (so you can still charge your phone), multiple cable tidying hooks and even extra sticky labels to keep the cameras in place. There's even a tool to tease out the inner trim of your vehicle and run the cable behind it to keep things neat.
The Viofo A129 Pro Duo has an accompanying app that allows you to both live-stream footage from the camera and download it directly to your phone rather than having to transfer it to your PC first.
There's an easy access button to secure footage on this camera should you witness or be involved in an accident. It also has a "G-sensor" technology to detect crashes, collisions or near misses. Those recordings are "locked" so they can't get deleted as generally the recordings are done on a rolling basis, so when the card gets full it gets overwritten.
The result is a low maintenance, feature-rich dash cam that's capable of not only capturing great footage, but also can save your bacon if you happen to get rear-ended. If you're looking for a dual-camera setup, look no further.
Most user-friendly dash cam
Nextbase 522GW dash cam
- 3-inch HD IPS Touch screen
- Video capture at 1440p 30 FPS or 1080p 60 FPS
- 140-degree viewing angle, built-in polarising filter
- Intelligent Parking Mode
- Support for Amazon Alexa
- Upgradable with additional rear camera
While the Viofo A129 Pro Duo might be the most feature-rich dash cam on our list, it's also not the most user-friendly. If you're looking for something that's easier to manage, with a simple interface and very little fuss then we'd suggest the Nextbase 522GW is the answer to your quest.
This camera has a number of fantastic features to it that include a large 3-inch touchscreen display, the ability to capture up to 1440p footage at 30 FPS and a simple mounting design.
The 522GW boasts a quick release catch which means you can easily take it out of the car when not in use if you're worried about theft. There's also a suction cup mount as an alternative installation option. Like the other cameras on this list, this dash cam has a trim tool for easy installation too.
This dash cam has a rolling video capture capability and a large button to protect important footage from being overwritten. A quick tap on the touch screen also snaps a still photo should the need arise. You can then use this touchscreen to scroll through and replay captured footage without moving it to another device.
As if that all wasn't enough, you can use the accompanying app to adjust settings and review footage. The 522GW is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, meaning you can use simple voice commands like "Alexa, start recording" and "Alexa, ask Nextbase to send video to my smartphone" to get even more functionality out of this dash cam.
It's also worth noting that Nextbase also has a system to help you easily submit footage to local police forces with ease, which is pretty neat.
Most affordable dash cam
Nextbase 222 dash cam
- 2.5-inch LED screen
- 140-degree viewing angle
- 6 layer f1.6 lens
- Video capture at 1080p with 30 FPS or 720p with 60 FPS
- Intelligent parking mode
- Click and go mounting system
If you're shopping on a budget, but still want something reliable and able to capture useful footage, then look no further than the Nextbase 222. This camera is essentially the cheaper, less feature-packed brother of the 522GW. It might not have the touchscreen, the Amazon Alexa compatibility or the ability to capture 1440p footage, but that doesn't mean it should be overlooked.
The Nextbase 222 is an easy to use dash cam that's easy to install, convenient to use and is capable of capturing up to 1080p footage as well.
Alongside the standard road-facing footage capture, this camera also has an Intelligent Parking Mode. This can be used to keep an eye on your car when you're not in it. Park in a car park and nip off to the shops and the camera will automatically switch into this mode - only recording if it senses a bump or shunt. Meaning if someone reverses into your car while you're away and makes off without leaving a note you'll have footage to prove it.
This system is available on other dash cams too, but having the feature on such an affordable camera is certainly a bonus. Other highlights include a simple mounting system that makes it easy to take the camera down and into the house with you if you want to keep it safe or check the recorded footage.
All told, the 222 is a fantastic camera for the money and does not disappoint.
Best for the speed conscious
Mio MiVue 798 Dash Cam
- 2.5K QHD 1600p (25 FPS) with Sony's premium STARVIS CMOS sensor
- F 1.8 lens with 150-degree viewing angle
- Speed camera warning system and speed limit alerts
- Various smart alerts including fatigue warning, headlight reminder, lane departure warning
If you demand more from your dash cam and want something that does more than just capture footage then how about one that also spots speed cameras and helps ensure your safety on the road?
The Mio MiVue 798 seemingly has it all. It sports Sony's premium STARVIS CMOS sensor, along with a 150-degree wide-angle lens that's capable of capturing up to 2.5K footage at 25 FPS.
It also boasts several intelligent features that include smart alerts for fatigue warnings, headlight reminders, lane departure warnings and more. One of these alerts is a "safety camera warning" system that will let you know when you're approaching a speed camera and highlight your current speed so you don't get an any unnecessary/accidental tickets.
The others are intended to help reduce the chances of you getting into an accident by drifting into other lanes or overdoing it.
The Mio MiVue 798 has a G sensor for recording "events" like high speed driving, aggressive braking, crashes and more. The footage it captures is fantastic too. All told, this is a fantastic camera for the money and a great choice if you happen to have a heavy right foot.