(Pocket-lint) - 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 A139 3 channel dashcam
- Triple-Channel dashcam setup
- 2K (1440P) front capture, 1080P rear dash cam and 1080p interior
- Sony Starvis Sensor for clear night vision, polarising lens cover option
- Front F1.6 Aperture 140-degree viewing angle (rear and interior are 170-degree)
- G-Sensor and motion detection, advanced parking mode
On the face of it, the Viofo A139 is easily one of the best dash cam systems money can buy. It might not be 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, this is a triple camera dashcam system. It's designed to capture every useful angle of the car and be used by families, rideshare drivers and more.
It has one camera for the front, a second for the rear and a third internal camera for peace of mind. The front-facing camera is capable of capturing video in 2K (2560 x 1440p30FPS) while the rear and internal cameras record 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. The parking mode intelligently detects bumps and events automatically and everything is designed to be convenient.
One thing we really like about this dashcam package is the attention to detail. The system uses a super slim coaxial cable to connect the front, rear and interior cameras. This makes it a lot easier to install and ensures cables don't get in the way with daily use and are much easier to hide.
The front camera can also be rotated 300 degrees, so you can easily position the lens facing the right way and there's an optional polarising lens to block excessive sun glare too. It's these little touches that make the Viofo A139 a joy to use.
There's an accompanying app that allows you to access footage and download it directly to your phone rather than having to transfer it to your PC first. Ideal if you need it in a hurry.
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.
Most user-friendly dash cam
Nextbase 622GW dash cam
- 3-inch HD IPS Touch screen
- Video capture at 4k 30FPS, 1440p 60 FPS or 1080p 120 FPS
- 140-degree viewing angle, built-in polarising filter
- Intelligent Parking Mode
- Support for Amazon Alexa
- Upgradable with additional rear camera
If you're looking for something that's easy to manage, with a simple interface and very little fuss then we'd suggest the Nextbase 622GW 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 4K footage at 30 FPS and a simple mounting design.
This dash cam 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.
The Nextbase 622GW is an updated version of the company's very best dash cam with numerous superb features including smooth image stabilisation, enhanced night vision, super slow mode, extreme weather capture and what3words capabilities. That last feature can be used to help emergency services find your exact location with ease if you're in an accident.
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.
The Nextbase 622GW is a superb dash cam, that's convenient, easy to use and packed full of great features for a very reasonable price.
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.
The best dash cam for Uber drivers and lift sharers
Zenfox T3-3CH triple channel dash cam
- Front QHD 1440P, Interior FHD 1080P and Rear FHD 1080P
- Sony STARVIS IMX335 5MP (Front), IMX307 2MP (Interior), IMX291 2MP (Rear) image sensors
- 160-degree 6G F/1.8 aperture, Interior & Rear lens: 140° 6G F/1.8 aperture
The Zenfox T3-3CH is an excellent option for those who not only need eyes on the road but an inside view of the vehicle too.
Whether for safety sake or for peace of mind, taxi drivers or Uber drivers or those involved in lift sharing will appreciate this triple camera setup. Not only does this camera record both a front and back view, but also a nice wide angle view of the inside of the vehicle too.
The main camera can capture 1440p footage while the inside and rear capture at 1080p. Sony STARVIS sensors and Wide Dynamic Range tech and IR LEDs mean you get a great view from every camera whatever the conditions.
This one is easy to adjust too, with cameras that can be moved to the perfect position with ease. All this from a single power source as well. Fantastic.
As you'd expect, the Zenfox T3-3CH has a built-in G-sensor supporting variable sensitivity, so it'll automatically capture and save footage in the event of an accident. You can also protect important clips with a click of a button too. Other highlights include built-in GPS accurately records the driving route, location, speed and time too, but for us, it's the usability of this triple camera setup that makes it appealing.