Dash cams aren’t a luxury reserved for police cars. Whether you’re looking to capture the experience of a cross-country trip or make sure that your ride is documented in the case of an accident, a dash cam can provide you with everything you need. But that doesn’t mean that all dash cams are created equally. Finding the right balance between resolution quality and angle is important, and there are some brands that have a reputation for reliable service from top to bottom.
There are also a variety of additional features that can be a practical necessity depending on your needs – from automatic detection in the case of an accident to improved storage. These dash cams listed below are some of the best on the market.
TL;DR - Best Dash Cams:
- Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam
- Garmin Dash Cam 55
- AUKEY Dash Camera Recorder
- VAVA Dash Cam 2K Wi-Fi
- BlackVue DR590 Full HD Dashcam
- THINKWARE F800PRO Dual Dash Cam Front and Rear
- The Video Security Company Owl Car Cam
- Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual Dash
- Roav DashCam A1 Camera Recorder
- TOGUARD Mirror Dash Cam
- YI Vehicle Dash Cam
1. Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam
Rexing deals exclusively in dash cams, and that level of specialization pays dividends. While the V1 is the most basic Rexing dash cam model, it's built with a confident understanding of what drivers want. The black finish and low profile means that it won't stick out like a sore thumb on your dashboard, but the wide angle lens offers an impressive 170 degrees of visibility on the road ahead. Memory storage is limited to 256 GB, and it can only record in intervals of up to 10 minutes, but the G-Sensor technology built in is incredibly useful.
This auto-detection tech uses a gravity sensor to recognize when there's been a collision and locks the current recording in place to prevent it from being overwritten. Recordings are saved in full HD for crisper results, and the recording works well regardless of the lighting conditions.
2. Garmin Dash Cam 55
Standing at approximately an inch and a half in height, the Garmin 55 has an impressively low profile, but its real strength comes from how much awareness it gives you of your wider surroundings. The fact that it comes packed with GPS capabilities is no surprise given the fact that Garmin has made a name for themselves with their GPS assistants, but it also offers alerts for red lights and speed cameras and lane departure warnings.
If you want to improve your safety on the road and reduce the amount of tickets you receive, there's potentially no better dash cam around. The inclusion of voice recognition allows you to take stills, activate the travelapse photo capture feature, and stop or start recording without ever taking your hand off the wheel. It can also let you know when you're approaching the car ahead of you at dangerous speeds.
3. AUKEY Dash Camera Recorder
Portability and discretion are the two big selling points of AUKEY's flagship dash cam. Unlike most cams on the market, it mounts directly behind your rearview window through the use of clips and a 3M sticker mount. The easy attachment and detachment make it a great choice for families with multiple cars, and the accessibility of this cam is partnered with a whole host of quality of life features. Emergency recording mode automatically activates whenever there's a sharp turn or sudden stop, so you can employ it as safety insurance even if you don't find yourself regularly managing the camera.
Integration with AUKEY GM-32 GPS Antenna and free third party apps allow you precise information on your location and driving speeds, and charging is as simple as plugging it into your standard 12/24 V socket. This cam automatically starts and stops with your ignition.
4. VAVA Dash Cam 2K Wi-Fi
VAVA understands the kind of convenience afforded by social media, and that's why their dash cam is built from the ground up to coordinate with the online lives of their users. A free mobile app syncs directly with the dash cam and allows you to view, edit, and share your saved videos with friends on platforms, and that versatility can be further expanded through the purchase of a GPS module. VAVA's functionality is Wi-Fi enabled as well, and the full swivel functionality allows viewers to get a view from the sides or rear of their car if it's strategically positioned.
When pointed to the front of the dashboard, the VAVA offers up to five different lanes of vision. The collision detection sensor automatically records 20 seconds of footage in the case of an accident and prioritizes it to ensure it's not overwritten by later footage.
5. BlackVue DR590 Full HD Dashcam
The BlackVue DR590 is missing a lot of the consumer-friendly bells and whistles - like lane departure warnings and social media sharing - that you'll find in some other models, but if you want a serious piece of hardware that offers you some of the best video logging available, you'd be hard pressed to find a better option. This kit contains both a front and rear camera, and both deliver 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second.
Compatibility with the BlackVue Viewer (available for both Windows and Mac) makes backing up your video on a hard drive a simple affair, and the DR590 supports multiple recording modes. The front camera is supported by a format button and a button to turn the mic on and off. If there's one flaw that could be levied against the DR590, it's that it might be a bit too heavy duty for more casual consumers.
6. THINKWARE F800PRO Dual Dash Cam Front and Rear
Front-facing dash cams are readily available, but less common are cameras that offer both front and rear coverage in a single package. Rarer still are packages that provide the level of quality you'll find with the F800PRO. THINKWARE's impressive kit makes use of the 2.1MP Sony STARVIS to provide pristine image sensoring technology, and Wi-Fi comes built in so you can easily check your camera footage on your phone.
It also comes with a GPS so that you don't need to invest in any other hardware if you're looking for speed and red-light camera alerts. The embedded coordinates, time, and speed add an extra level of security if you have to deal with a traffic dispute. This is a top flight all-in-one camera system, and while you can expect to pay a premium, it would be difficult to find another dash cam with the amount of features here.
7. The Video Security Company Owl Car Cam
While many dash cams are intended to offer road assistance and recordings while on the road, Owl is one of the best choices around if you want 24/7 monitoring of your vehicle. By making use of a built-in 4G LTE connection, Owl lets you check in on your recorded video or even catch a live stream on your phone from anywhere in the world, and it includes enough storage to provide you with a 14 day loop of the recordings.
Further improving the value of Owl's device is the built in artificial intelligence. It can assess the situation taking place around your vehicle and send notification alerts to your phone if anything's amiss. A pulsing anti-theft security beacon can provide an addition level of deterrence against criminals, but the inside/outside facing cameras provide a higher level of surveillance if the worst happens.
8. Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual Dash
Vantrue has marketed their N2 Pro as the top choice for Uber, Lyft, and traditional taxi cab drivers, and they make a compelling argument. The combination of an indoor and outdoor camera assures the evidence you need whether you're involved in an accident on the road or a dispute with a customer during a route. Combine that with parking monitoring services, and you have a great all-around camera system.
The HDR video system automatically adjusts to low and high lighting, and the mic offers some of the crispest audio recording of any cameras on the market. The parking mode is keyed to motion sensors to minimize battery usage while the vehicle isn't in use. This is also a modular camera, able to work offer routing and tracking of location and speeds when partnered with a compatible GPS device.
9. Roav DashCam A1 Camera Recorder
This Roav dash cam doesn't come with the full range of features that some of its more expensive brethren do, but it offers a whole lot for its comparatively modest price tag. The inclusion of 1080p HD resolution is a practical necessity for any camera on our list, but Roav's cam also has Wi-Fi built in so that you can configure, download, and share videos directly with friends and family.
A gravity sensor comes built in, and it will automatically save (and protect) footage whenever sudden movements are detected. It also makes use of NightHawk technology to produce high-end night vision. While it doesn't occupy the top shelf of dash cams on the market, there are few cameras that offer a more economical value.
10. TOGUARD Mirror Dash Cam
TOGUARD's mirror dash cam is like nothing else on this list, but it's unique design eccentricities make it worth a look. TOGUARD's claim to fame is the touchscreen interface that slides right over your rearview mirror. Touch sensitive taps allow you to filter through a variety of different formats, turning this dual dash cam into a more useful navigation aid than your typical cam. In terms of more standard features, TOGUARD offers all the standards you'd expect.
G-Sensor emergency recording automatically records and locks in footage in the case of a sudden turn or collision, while motion detection initiates automated recording while you car is parked. Loop recording is also supported.
11. YI Vehicle Dash Cam
This YI dash cam is built around providing a safer experience while you're on the road. The Advanced Driver Assistance Systems make use of visual recognition algorithms to provide accurate lane departure alerts in real time, while the wide angle reduces the risk of blind spots and provides coverage for up to three lanes at the same time.
This cam comes with both an LCD screen to provide more detailed information on road conditions as well as coordination with a free and intuitive phone app to assist with operations. G-Sensor technology is built in and provides secured footage in the case of a collision.
Best Dash Cams Buyer’s Guide
Our list of dash cams cover a wide variety of different purposes. While some of the features and functions available will vary in importance depending on your needs, there are a few that are a necessity if you’re looking for a dash cam for any purpose.
- G-Force Sensor: While it may sound like a brand name, a G-Force sensor is actually a generic term for a device that serves a critical function for dash cams – evaluating the acceleration of two objects. When combined with a camera, these sensors allow cameras to activate, record the footage, and make sure that it’s prioritized for archiving purposes. While many cams expand on the g-force sensor to offer additional features like collision warning, a cam without one of these sensors as a bare minimum isn’t going to be worth your time.
- Night Vision: Night vision in a camera is complex but relatively simple to produce. Through the use of multiple lenses, the camera can transform the light protons that enter through the top lens, transform them into electrons, and magnify their quality. That said, all night vision isn’t created equally, so if you’re shopping for any cameras that aren’t on this list and intend to do a decent amount of night driving, checking reviews for the quality of the night vision is important. It can also have a significant effect on the quality of the results for cameras that offer surveillance while your car is parked. Regardless, if your camera can’t record night vision consistently, it’s probably going to fall flat in other areas as well.
- Looping: There’s a limited amount of information that any dash cam can hold locally. Most cameras offer support for storage of up to 256 megabytes of data, but that will quickly run out if you’re recording HD quality footage on a regular basis. Looping ensures that old and obsolete footage is recorded over so that you don’t have to manually change out your memory card. Most good dash cams have one provision for looping. They offer the automated archiving of footage activated by the g-sensor, essentially preserving collision footage and preventing it from being overwritten.
- Angle Range: If you’re in an accident, a good line of sight a camera offers can mean the difference between an open and shut police report or a more ambiguous dispute. And if you’re planning on using your camera as an assisted driving device, a camera that accounts for your blind spots is well worth the extra investment. The general standard for a high-quality front-facing dash cam is 170 degrees of coverage, while 140 degrees is usually adequate for a rear-facing camera.
There’s a reason why the list of the best dash cams is so long. Many of them offer specialized features that won’t be right for everyone. While the features listed below are one of the sure signs of a quality product, they aren’t necessarily going to be right for everyone.
- Microphone: If you’re just using your dash cam to dispute tickets or document potential accidents, a microphone won’t lend you much value. But it can be a necessity for ride share drivers who are looking to protect themselves against customer complaints and content creators looking to upload videos to social media.
- Wireless Technology: Many of the best dash cams offer wireless integration through the form of Wi-Fi or 4G LTE. And while some of these necessitate a subscription fee with the provider, they can be hugely valuable assets. At its most basic, wireless connectivity allows you to easily connect to your phone and store your footage on a remote hard drive. More advanced wireless kits come with integrated social media sharing or the ability to receive 24/7 live monitoring of your cameras.
- GPS Integration: Few dash cams offer GPS services out of the box, but many advertise easy integration with GPS antennas. When used in conjunction with one another, your camera can serve as a second speedometer and provide you with actionable data to support your dash cam footage. This integration might not be a make or break deal for many drivers, but it’s a significant boon for drivers who want to build a technological ecosystem within their car.
- Motion Sensors: Any vehicle that offers recording for break-ins and vandalisms needs a motion sensor. Without sensors built in, your battery will quickly run out, and you’ll have to sift through hours of footage to find the recording you need.