Best Dash Cams 2021
The Ultimate Buying Guide
I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
Installing the best dash cam on your vehicle is the best way to ensure ample evidence of an accident.
Even if it is your mistake, it is always better to have footage of the incident to later reassess.
Best Dash Cam 2021
So without further check posts and speed breakers, let us start with the top dash cameras available in the market.
*FOV: Field of View
The compact design of the Garmin Dash Cam makes it a really stylish looking and easy to use dash camera.
This is rated as a major upgrade to the Garmin Dash Cam 65W as the video stabilization has improved in a remarkable manner.
With a variety of features to offer, the BlackVue DR650S is among the top 2-channel dash cams in the market.
The availability of large memory size also comes as a handy feature. This is because it comes with a 64GB SD card that provides enough space for the recordings, minimizing the worries of the user to manage memory repeatedly.
The design of the BlackVue DR650S is also stealthier and this also comes handy for the user as the other drivers on the road are not bothered by the inclusion of the camera.
The color of the camera has a lot to do in this regard as black is always ensured stealth.
Other features like the inclusion of Wi-Fi, GPS, and great performance ability to record 60 frames per second really makes it stand out among the rest.
This dash cam stands out in every feature it has to offer, PERIOD!
This is because apart from being an award winner, it is heavily equipped with the features more than enough to catch your eye.
What differentiates it from the rest of the dash cameras is its unique ability to record videos with 4K ultra HD quality. This immediately enables it to move up the ladder for the top quality dash cameras around.
It is another 2-Channel dash camera in the list which includes Ambarella A12 chipset, which allows it to record full HD 1080p videos at 30 frames per second.
This provides tremendous quality whereas the shortcomings are covered by the inclusion of the Sony Starvis Sensor, which allows the Thinkware F800 to perform well in low light conditions. Video is recorded via both channels and the inclusion of rear camera also adds versatility to the performance.
Garmin Dash Cam 35 - Economical King
The Garmin Dash Cam 35 is one of the most reliable and solidly built Dash cams that are priced really reasonably.
It is a full HD dashboard camera that comes with a 3-inch widescreen; this means that you’ll get great overall recording experience with this dashcam. The Garmin Dash Cam 35 is the latest flagship camera from the company and it shows clearly with the design philosophy.Check Price on Amazon
It is an overall compact mental camera that will be easier to mount thanks to its circular adhesive patch.
Previously, we have seen Garmin use the usual suction mount, however, this time around there solution is rather permanent. The only thing that makes Garmin Dash Cam 35 not perfect is the lack of a proper cable management system. It would have been amazing if Garmin also added additional safety features that are available on competing Dashcams.
There are a lot of things the Garmin Dash Cam 35 does absolutely right; the 3-inch widescreen provides great viewing experience, it is capable of capturing HD quality video, and it comes with built-in GPS to geo-tag your videos.
The Garmin Dash Cam 35 also ships with a 4 GB memory card which is necessary for recording purposes. However, in our experience 4 GB is absolutely inadequate when it comes to recording a full trip. For an additional cost, you can easily get a 64 GB microSD card, even though it is priced really inexpensively these days, it is still an extra cost to consider when purchasing the Garmin Dash Cam 35. A point to be noted here is that the Garmin Dash Cam 35 actually starts recording over previous footage if you run out of storage space, so a larger memory card is always a great choice.
We also really loved the extra safety features provided by the Garmin Dash Cam 35.
It comes with a forward collision warning that notifies you if your car is getting a little too close to another car. It also comes with automatic incident detection technology that records automatically if there is an accident. The speed camera warnings, as well as red light notifications, will help you in your day-to-day commute.
Aukey DR-02 Dash Cam - Runner Up
I’m always surprised to see Aukey making something other than phone cases and it’s always a pleasure to see what they have done in another market.
The Aukey DR-02 Dash Cam is a fine example of a sturdily built product that provides great functionality without costing a lot. So basically, it’s the standard Aukey affair with this Dash camera as well.Check Price on Amazon
One of the best things about the Aukey DR-02 Dash Cam is the inclusion of a Sony 2.3 megapixel CMOS sensor. If you are not aware, Sony makes some of the best cameras in the market, especially leading smartphone brands. So naturally, I had my expectations set high for the Aukey DR-02 Dash Cam and it amazingly delivered on each and every one of them. The Aukey DR-02 Dash Cam is small in size, discrete and has great video quality both from front and rear cameras.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Aukey DR-02 Dash Cam is its unconventionally low-profile design. You can easily mount it behind your rearview mirror and it won’t be that much noticeable from the outside. The Sony CMOS camera sensor is capable of recording everything in crystal-clear sharpness and quality. The camera is capable of capturing full HD 1080p resolution footage. The camera also has a wide field of view that enables it to record a wider picture, so anything that goes on in front of your vehicle is recorded.
We were really impressed by how well the camera performed in low light conditions. Even when you are only using your headlamps at night time, the camera was able to capture a lot of detail. Sure it won’t match up to professional-grade cameras, but it does the job remarkably well. The camera is also capable of recording in-car audio as well as still photos if there is a need for those.
The Aukey DR-02 Dash Cam comes with a built-in gravity sensor that automatically starts capturing footage whenever there is an unexpected incident. It basically works just like the rest of the gravity sensors in Dash cameras by detecting sudden changes in speed and acceleration. It is a great feature to have in case of emergency because it automatically captures evidence without any kind of input from the user. It also comes with a memory lock protection system that stops the continuous loop recording system from overwriting important files.
Overall, the Aukey DR-02 Dash Cam is a surprisingly well-built Dash cam that will last you a long time and won’t cost a pretty penny as well.
WheelWitness HD PRO - Great Value for Money
We were really optimistic when we ordered the WheelWitness HD PRO simply because of the raving reviews it has been getting. And to be completely honest, the WheelWitness HD PRO is actually one of the best Dash cams out there and it doesn’t cost a lot as well.
This is an ultra-wide-angle mental camera that captures a wider 170° field of view.Check Price on Amazon
One thing I immediately noticed is that the camera has a slightly wider resolution than the standard 1080p coming at 2306 x 1296 resolution and there is a secondary option of recording in at 2560 x 1080 as well if you want.
No matter what the resolution you choose, the resulting videos are crisp and of high quality resulting in a clearer picture. The WheelWitness HD PRO also comes with an 8 GB microSD card, so you’ll have no trouble recording longer trips; however, it is recommended that you upgrade the card to a respectable 32 GB if you are planning to go on even longer road trips.
Sure, it can be a little bit overwhelming when there is a lot of commotion around but it is nonetheless a great feature to have.
The WheelWitness HD PRO is priced exactly right for what it provides and this is why we have it so higher on our list.
We really liked the memory lock gravity sensing system in the cam. It detects sudden changes in the gravity of the car which occur when you stop suddenly or accelerate at a rapid pace.
The camera will detect it and record a video of that particular incident, that’s not all though, it will even lock the video down so it doesn’t get overwritten.
While it is not as wide-angle as the first cam on our list, it is only 10° shy of the full 180° coverage.
However, it does come with a wide dynamic range which is similar to high dynamic range modes found in top-of-the-line smartphones as well as digital cameras. While the wide dynamic range forks reach the levels of normal life or even DSLR cameras, it does power over normal Dashcams by far.
There is also a 3 inch TFT LCD screen on the WheelWitness HD PRO that shows you live view of what is being recorded. It can also be used to replace any footage that you have already recorded without any problems. Setting up the WheelWitness HD PRO is also hassle-free as it comes with 2 sticky mounts, one suction cup, and a power cord to connect the camera to the cigarette lighter outlet. We also really appreciate the built-in battery that will come in handy in a lot of scenarios. Even though it’s a smaller 450 MAH battery, it can easily shoot up to 10 to 15 minutes of footage.
This high-quality Dashcam provides a surprisingly great video quality, especially when you consider the price point it’s selling.
It does come with a built-in GPS system, a great installation kit, and a microSD card as well.
KDLINKS DX2 - Expensive Quality
The KDLINKS DX2 changes a lot of things for the better over its predecessor KDLINKS DX1 which is always a great sign.
The previous version of the camera didn’t feature a rear cam but the KDLINKS DX2 rectified that omission by including one. The first thing you’ll notice about this Dash cam is that it is designed really well and looks like an actual camera instead of a WebCam.Check Price on Amazon
The front camera comes at a resolution of 1080p full HD with a wide-angle lens coming at 165°
Continuing the theme of downgrading the rear camera, it comes with a fairly standard 125° angle lens. It is quite clear to us, the star camera of the KDLINKS DX2 is still the front one and it gets a lot of features that are not available on the rear camera.
So, it makes sense to continuously record the footage while utilizing the same memory card. The KDLINKS DX2 basically overrides previously recorded footage in the favor of fresher one, thus ensuring that you always have the latest video recorded safely.
Overall, the KDLINKS DX2 is one of the best Dash cams simply because of its remarkable design, the inclusion of a rear camera and bevy of different features that will enhance your driving safety.
The front camera features a 6 glass Nikon lens that has a maximum of the aperture of f/1.6. This results in great low light performance from the camera.
Nikon has been making cameras and lenses for a very long time, so it is a great thing to have their lens on a dash cam. Another great feature of the KDLINKS DX2 is the inclusion of wide dynamic range, it allows the camera to detect and capture a wider spectrum of luminosity.
This means you’ll get amazing looking whites and close to reality darks in the footage. As a result, your image will have very well exposed look, announcing all the details while still keeping the overall image sharp.
It is also recommended that the dash cam is lightweight, so it won’t put that much stress on the mounting mechanism.
The KDLINKS DX2 also comes with a generous 16 GB microSD card but we would recommend that you upgrade to a 32 GB one for the ease of mind. You also get gravity sensing features that are robust and react really well to sudden deceleration and rapid acceleration and record footage accordingly.
You will also find a very prominent memory lock feature on the KDLINKS DX2.
Recording video during an incident is exactly why you have purchased a dash cam and you don’t want the dash cam to accidentally erase the evidence. The automatic memory lock system ensures that the standard loop recording will not overwrite the important video while it’s on continuous loop recording, ensuring you have evidence safe and secure.
The mounting system of the KDLINKS DX2 is rather permanent. You’ll need to stick it to your windshield with a mounting hurt that comes with a 3M adhesive surface. The grill is attached to the windshield and you will then attach the camera to the hook. You can easily install the power cable to the cigarette lighter port of your car. Everything is thankfully supplied by the manufacturer and you won’t even have to purchase a longer USB cable. A point to be noted here is that setting up the rear camera is a little harder because you have to route a cable directly to the main camera.
Accfly Mini Dash Cam - Budget Pick
Not a lot of people want to spend over $100 for a Dash camera and thankfully there are amazing products that won’t cost a lot; the Accfly Mini Dash Cam is one of them.
Despite coming around the $50 Mark, the Accfly Mini Dash Cam does not skip on features, although there are very clear sacrifices made in order to reduce the cost.Check Price on Amazon
Yes, it is a relatively smaller display that can be a little hard to read especially when you are on the road but that is highly discouraged. The interface is adequate enough with 4 clear buttons that allow easy navigation. Although reading the text on the smaller 1.5 inch LCD screen is a little harder than it should be.
The Accfly Mini Dash Cam is one of the smallest Dash cams on our list and it is also quite a bit lighter.
A lighter dashboard camera is a good one because it won’t stress the mount that is attached to your windscreen. We have seen a lot of cheap Dash cams coming off the windshield in case of an accident, completely eliminating their usefulness. Thankfully this won’t be the problem with the Accfly Mini Dash Cam as it is not only a light camera but also comes with a respectable mounting solution.
It basically detects if there is a sudden change of speed and starts recording accordingly. There is also the industry-standard memory lock system that doesn’t allow the camera to record over footage that is deemed important. All of that is done automatically and you don’t have to do anything in order to save evidence for later usage.
The small-sized dash cam is compact and takes very little space in your car, most of the times it will hardly be noticeable.
Speaking of mounting, the cam comes with a suction-based mounting system.
While it is not as sticky as the more permanent tape-based solution, it is easier to remove and move around. There is also a built-in microphone to record audio, a surprisingly loud built-in speaker that can be very useful during playback, and there is a microSD card slot that supports up to 32 GB of storage.
In the package, you’ll find the main camera unit, a car charger, a USB cable, and a user manual.
Overall if you’re looking for a budget Dash camera for your car, the Accfly Mini Dash Cam will provide you all the necessary features without any extra stress on your wallet.
Rexing V1 - Best Under $100
The Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam comes with loop recording features. You can easily set the recording period manually.
By recording in 3, 5 or 10-minute loops you can be assured you will have the latest footage without having to invest in a large storage card. The new recordings will overwrite the previous ones in a continuous loop and save a lot of storage space in the process. However, the dash cam is capable of supporting memory cardsCheck Price on Amazon
Not every dash cam has to be big and bulky, some can be small and discreet as well.
If you are looking for a sleek-looking car dash cam that not only comes with a low-profile design but can easily blend in without drawing too much attention to itself, then the Rexing V1 car dash cam is made for you. The very first thing you’ll notice about this dash cam is its unique design, it looks really aerodynamic for some reason, which looks really cool.
Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam comes with a sophisticated automatic accident detection system. There is a built-in gravity sensor that can detect collisions and sudden speed changes. The dash cam then locks the footage and doesn’t allow the loop recording feature to overwrite it. This will ensure the important footage remains safely stored.
From hazy mornings to dark nights, the Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam will be able to capture decent looking footage without producing huge files.
The Sony sensor is also capable of automatically adjusting exposure so the detail in the images is not lost and creates a well-balanced footage with good color accuracy.
The 6 layers of glass lens allow the camera to capture a wide angle, covering both lanes and then some.
Final thoughts about this dashcam:
Overall, the Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam with its below $100 price is one of the best dash cameras and will be a solid investment. There is also an inbuilt 320 mAh lithium-ion battery inside the Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam, this will allow the camera to run for a little while even if the car is completely turned off. All of it makes it a perfect companion.
Well, it’s good but Who am I?
I’m just a regular Joe, in his late 30s who loves technology and driving around.
I don’t have any specific degree in Dash cams if you are asking about that, however, I am a software engineer and a fairly okay driver. I’ve also used a couple of dash cams over the years and know how they operate and what makes a dashcam great. I’ve also extensively used different types of cameras, not only the ones found on smartphones but also professional grade DSLR’s so I am intimately familiar with great picture quality.
Why did we write a guide on Dashcams?
The guide on best dashboard cameras was written to help regular consumers in selecting the top dash cam for their personal usage. Some people want absolutely crystal clear picture quality while some prefer a wide-angle view of the road, some may want a rear camera while others need a bigger screen.
All of this information is not readily available on product pages and can be a little bit daunting for someone who is not well versed in technology terms.
So, it was really important that we compiled a list of thoroughly tested dash cameras for people who simply want to look at a few great options and make up their mind.
What is the Selection Process – What we look at?
There are several steps involved in the selection process, one of the major ones is looking at all reviews left by customers, the 2nd step is to go to the local store and actually check out a couple of selections and the last step involves actually using the products that we have selected in day-to-day use.
We basically looked at a couple of different factors that make a dash camera great and then selected the best ones we found at a reasonable price and that was in constant stock.
- Once they were delivered to our office, I went out for a drive. At first, I only used one dash camera during a small 3-mile trip.
- However, I soon realized that I can use at least 4 different Dash cameras in one go. I also drove back home at night with all of the finalists.
- It took about a week to fully test 12 different Dash cams and come at solid conclusions.
- We also looked at the file footage we captured off every camera both in day and night situations.
- We graded the noise levels and clarity of the cameras and also took into account the file size.
The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
When you want to buy a dashcam, there are several factors that you need to keep in your mind before purchasing and to be frankly honest, they are quite a lot to remember.
So for your convenience, we have made a list of things you should look out for before pulling the trigger on a dashcam.
Here are several factors that one must take note of before purchasing a dashboard camera:
What else to look in a perfect dash cam?
Almost all of the Dash cams on this list come with a free microSD card that is at least 8 GB. Some of the companies ship a bigger microSD card with their Dash cams and it is always appreciated when they do that. However, you have to keep an eye out because some manufacturers may not include internal memory or a free microSD card. Another thing to note here is that some cameras don’t support bigger cards, thankfully, the manufacturer usually has the limit stated clearly.
However, most of the cameras will accept a 32 GB card without any problems. Thankfully, microSD cards are not very expensive these days and a good quality 64 GB card will only cost you around $15.
It is a neat feature to have in case of an emergency where your car is not starting properly or the car battery is unresponsive. However, as most cameras use standard lithium-ion batteries there is an inherent risk of using them. For example, if the car is left in the summer sun, the internal temperature of a car may reach up to 180° or above; this poses a risk of the batteries getting overheated. Same goes for low temperatures and this will make the battery unable to function right away. Some models use a capacitor instead of batteries to better handle high and low temperatures and provide a stable recording experience than the battery would have.
However, without a battery, the capacitor won’t be able to run when it’s unplugged, so the camera will shut down almost immediately.
Almost all the modern Dash cams come with memory lock systems that safeguard the accident footage from being overwritten.
However, a GPS receiver is a great thing to have because it automatically stands the video with your coordinates. It can also record the speed and direction of travel which is also useful.
This is not the kind of GPS that will provide you with directions though, for that you will need a separate device or use your smartphone.
However, in our testing not all of them are reliable and should be used as an additional safety measure rather than a tool. Some of the Dash cams are able to provide forward collision warnings, Lane departure warnings and help you avoid speeding tickets by informing you about oncoming speed traps. As the features rely on the camera footage, they are not as quick or reliable as features found in modern smart cars.
They are great to have but we recommend that you don’t really rely on them for safety.
Finally, here are some of the most asked questions regarding the topic.
The use of a dashcam is quite easy and it is actually the ease of use compared to the safety it ensures, which induces the urge to buy this useful gadget. Once you have a dash camera, you just need to insert an SD card, mount the cup on the windshield, and plug it into the power source.
Yes, dash cams are engineered and designed to record continously after you start the car. Although you always have the option to plug it out or turn off the recording manually for privacy reasons.
Dashcams serve multiple purposes and the primary benefit of using them is the assurance of safety. This is because they monitor the whole driving activity. In case of accidents, moments before, during, and after the accident have a vital role and these moments are captured by a dash camera.
Yes, it is absolutely safe to leave the dashcam in the car. Most of the advanced dash cams do have the feature to detect theft and accidents. So, you will always have proof of what is going on around your car.
Dashcams have a number of kinds to serve multiple purposes. Like any product, the most suitable one would be the one that meets one’s requirements. Some prefer the single-lens dash camera whereas some like dual-lens that might record both front and rearview. Then there are professional dash cams for advanced use.
Using a dash camera is totally legal as long as it does not invade the privacy of others. If you have installed a dash camera to keep track of your speed as well as the driving moments, it is allowed to install a dash camera into your car. However, stopping in order to shoot something negative might get you in trouble.
As mentioned earlier, the power for the dash cameras is obtained from the 12 v cigarette lighter installed in the car. It provides enough power to turn on the dashcam and start recording your driving experience.
Although the dash cams are designed to require the least amount of power in order to operate. However, most of the dash cams are designed without a power source, resulting in them obtaining power from your vehicle. So, there is a probability of them draining your car battery.
While recording a full HD video, it takes almost 20 minutes of recording to occupy 1 GB of space. Therefore, a 32 GB memory provides a time of 10 hours and 40 minutes for recording.
Leaving the dashcam inside the car has a higher chance of scaring the thieves as most of the dash cams now come with cloud security as well. This gives you remote access to the dash camera and can really be a threat to the thieves.
We certainly hope that this list of best dashboard cameras will make your driving experience better and more secure.
Hopefully, in a perfect world, you won’t ever need to use footage captured by the dash camera in your car unless it is a very beautiful sunset.
But we all know that accidents do tend to happen and it is always better to be prepared.