While until a few years ago, dash cams seemed to have been reserved only for police officers, racecar drivers, and Russians who posted humorous accidents on YouTube, you can now see them almost everywhere.
Their benefits are immediately obvious. In the case of an accident, you would have video footage showing who was at fault (which can be invaluable if it comes to a lawsuit or if you have to file an insurance claim).
If something strange or funny happens on the road, you can post a video and potentially go viral, becoming an internet sensation. It’s a win-win situation either way.
Now, once you’ve decided to get yourself a dash cam, it can be tough figuring out which exact one to get. There are countless choices with similar features and price tags, all coming from reputable manufacturers.
That’s why we’re here. Together, we’ll take a look at some of the best dash cams currently available in the market, and help you make this choice.
What To Look For In A Dash Cam
Before we go over your top choices, it would be a good idea to know what to look for in a dash cam. Generally speaking, most dash cams have rather similar features, so choosing one mostly depends on your budget, and what you need the dash cam for.
They can all be mounted somewhere on your windscreen or windshield, and they mostly record 720p HD footage, although you can find those with a much better resolution.
Since they have limited memory, most dash cams automatically record new video over the oldest one, and you can easily save a video if you need to. Newer cameras have G-sensors that can detect impacts and automatically save the video of an accident for you.
Additional features that you won’t typically find on a cheap dash cam include multiple lenses that can record the video on the front and back (offering real-time feedback and assisting you with things like parking), full HD video, Wi-Fi connection, and more.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the best dash cams for 2020.
If you’re looking for a dash cam with superior video quality, BlackVue DR900S-2CH is the one for you. It was the first dash cam on the market to introduce 4k resolution, meaning any recording you make will be perfectly clear and crisp.
You get a front and a rear camera, and they do have somewhat different specifications, with the front camera expectedly being of superior quality. It has a 162-degree viewing angle and the resolution of 4K UHD @ 30 FPS with 25Mbps bitrate.
The rear camera has 139-degree viewing angle, the resolution of 1080p Full HD @ 30FPS, and 10Mbps bitrate.
Both cameras perform excellently in almost any lighting conditions. However, if you want to record a video in your driveway at night, you’ll want to ensure that it’s well-lit.
Both cameras can pick up more details than the competitors, especially since the front dash cam can capture up to 1080p at 60 frames per second, making the video much smoother. You’ll be able to easily read license plates regardless of the car speed.
Since the DR900S-2CH uses H.265 (HEVC) compression, the file size will be smaller, saving you storage space without affecting the video quality.
The dash cam has built-in G-sensors, impact and motion detectors, GPS, dual-band Wi-Fi, speaker, and microphone. You can access the BlackVue cloud to review your video footage, and with its smartphone app integration, you can have access to real-time. live recordings.
Its “Time Lapse” feature allows you to continuously record at 1FPS, while the videos are played back at 30FPS, meaning that each one-minute video covers a 30-minute period. Your time-lapse files will be saved in the Parking Mode category, so you don’t have to worry about these recordings overwriting your more important files.
Overall, this dash cam is definitely a top pick. It has great features and excellent specifications, but it comes with a higher price tag, so it’s not suitable for all budgets.
|Resolution||Front: 4K at 30 FPS|
Rear: 1080p at 30FPS
|Viewing Angle||Front: 162°|
- 4K recording
- Very impressive compression codec
- Cloud saving and playback
- Good night vision
- Very expensive
Thinkware F800 Pro
With a bit of a lower price tag than the DR900S-2CH, Thinkware F80 Pro has no problems with keeping up with the competition. This elegant, discreet dash cam has a sticky 3M tape that allows it to be attached and hidden right behind your rear-view mirror, ensuring a completely unobstructed view.
The camera cannot be rotated left or right, only up and down, so it’s important to get the position of this dash cam right on the first try.
The video quality surpasses most people’s expectations, especially with its outstanding night mode. The F800 Pro features an optional rear camera that is capable of 1080p video at 30FPS, just like the front one.
The 2.13-megapixel resolution might sound subpar, but it still manages to provide you with full HD resolution that produces high-quality videos with next to no noise, even in very low light.
When getting this dash cam, you’ll receive a 32GB microSD card for storage. You can record over 400 minutes of footage before the camera starts looping and deleting your older files. Keep in mind that both the front and the rear dash cams use the same data rate simultaneously, so while you would get 400 minutes if you were using only the front camera, you’ll be able to record about 200 if you’re using both of them.
You can connect the dash cam to your smartphone since it has built-in Wi-Fi, although there have been reports of connection issues, so beware.
The F800 Pro has excellent cloud service, and you’ll receive notifications if your car is outside of the geofenced area, and if an impact occurs.
While there’s always room for improvement, the Thinkware F800 Pro is one of the better dash cams that does its job well.
|Resolution||Front: 1080p at 30FPS Rear: 1080p at 30FPS|
- Front and rear 1080p recording
- Excellent image sensor and chipset
- Very expensive
Still in the pricier category at around $230, the Nextbase 422GW has some truly amazing features that make it worth it.
This dash cam has a 140-degree viewing angle, and can capture 1440p video at 30 FPS, and 1080p at 60 FPS. The videos captured are of great quality, they show many details, and have great color. The night mode is surprisingly nice and handles headlight flare almost perfectly.
It has 3 different rear camera modules you can choose from, and each of them captures at 720p while still providing high-quality video. The modules include a 140-degree interior view, a 140-degree windshield camera, and a 30-degree telephoto module.
The dash cam features a touchscreen and has built-in GPS and phone connectivity. For added features, you can download the MyNextbase Player app. This allows you to upload videos to the Nextbase cloud, review your videos, and edit them as needed.
The app also allows you to use the SOS Emergency support which is used in case of an accident if you need help.
One of the best things about this dash cam is that it supports Alexa. You can use it to record an incident and save it, get directions, play music, etc. Users in the UK will have to opt for Nextbase 522GW if they wish to use Alexa. The 522GW version is the first dash cam in Europe with built-in Alexa, so it’s a great and useful option.
The only major downside with these dash cams is that they aren’t infrared, meaning they don’t perform as well as they could in low-light conditions. Otherwise, this can be an excellent choice for the average driver.
|Resolution||1440p at 30FPS or 1080p at 60FPS|
- SOS Emergency
- Easy modular support
- 1440p recording
- Very good and reputable manufacturer
Vantrue N1 Pro
If you need a cheap dash cam to suit your budget, but one that still offers plenty of excellent features, you’ll want to get the Vantrue N1 Pro. It has a very compact design ensuring your vision isn’t obstructed in any way while you’re driving.
It has a tiny, 1.5-inch (3.8cm) TFT LCD display that’s crystal clear. The interface is easy to navigate, and everything is very straightforward.
The camera itself has a very wide view of 160 degrees and can capture 1080p videos at 30FPS. While some other dash cams have better resolution, they come with a much higher price, and at under a $80, this a good best dash cam in this price range. Besides, 1080p at 30FPS is your best compromise between video quality and file size.
The N1 Pro features Super Night Vision which kind of disappoints. Videos in low light are not that crisp and it is hard to clearly read the license plate numbers.
The Parking Mode enables the camera to start recording once it detects motion in front of the car, although you do need to get an external battery to keep it running.
Equipped with a G-sensor, the N1 Pro automatically detects any collision and locks the footage so that it isn’t overwritten in loop recording.
It has a built-in microphone and speaker that you can turn off if you want. However, the GPS function is optional. If you’d like to track your GPS information, you need to buy a mount. Even with this additional expense, the dash cam will come to about $100. But still, it will offer you plenty of excellent features.
|Resolution||1080p at 30FPS|
- Solid look with a nice finish
- Good day time recording
- Customer support is not good
- Unknown company
- Night vision is nothing special
Garmin Dash Cam 66W
This tiny, little dash cam has some quite powerful feature, and at quite a cost. The Garmin Dash Cam 66W has a simple, elegant design, and is next to invisible behind your rear-view mirror. With a 2-inch (5cm) display, it’s a compact and easy-to-use camera. All it has are 4 buttons on its side, a micro USB port, and an SD card slot.
The camera features a very wide field of view at 180 degrees and can record 1440p at 30FPS, although the default is 1080p. And while some previous Garmin models had poor video stabilization on bumpy roads, the 66W is doing really well. The video stays smooth and crisp, so regardless of the road conditions, you can expect great video quality.
When it comes to its night mode, this dash cam can handle headlight glare quite well, and captures fewer lights and more details, allowing any license plates to be clearly visible in the case of an accident. This is perfect if you have an accident at night, but not ideal for surveillance if your car is parked in a low-light area. Make sure that your driveway is well-lit if you need this dash cam for surveillance.
With built-in Bluetooth/ Wi-Fi connectivity, and with the help of the Garmin Drive smartphone app, you can easily upload the videos to your phone, and free up the storage space.
One of 66W’s best features is its voice control. You can simply tell the camera to save a video or a picture, stop recording audio, etc.
Garmin’s 66W is an excellent choice for anyone who can afford it.
|Resolution||1440p at 30FPS|
- Wide viewing angle
- 1440p recording
- Compact and discrete
- Voice control
- Driver alerts
- Lots of reports of faulty units
- Can run hot in warm environments
- Night vision is not that great
Another one of BlackVue’s dash cams has made our list. The DR750S-2CH comes at around $350 with both front and rear cameras.
Both cameras have a 139-degree field of view, and use the STARVIS 2.1MP sensor, recording up to 1080p at 60FPS. They can rotate a full 360 degrees, so you can adjust them both very easily.
The recordings during the daytime are excellent, although they have a mild fish-eye distortion. But, it’s the night mode that has surprisingly clear video. With STARVIS sensors in both the front and rear cameras, you’ll have high-quality videos from both directions.
The camera features a snapshot button. But otherwise, you’ll have to download the BlackVue app to gain full control of it. You can view all your videos through the app, and you’ll notice that the app also maps your location during the drive.
If the dash cam’s connected to Wi-Fi, it can be connected to BlackVue’s cloud, allowing you to watch live recordings on your phone. You will receive free cloud storage that can be used if you run out of SD card space. The 16GB SD card that’s included sounds great, but since the camera records such high-resolution videos, you’ll quickly run out of space on it.
An additional feature enabled by the cloud technology is the two-way voice communication between the dash cam and your phone, allowing you to make phone calls more easily while you drive. The only problem here is the speaker since it isn’t as loud as it could be. You won’t be able to hear anything if you’re driving a convertible.
|Resolution||Front: 1080p at 60FPS|
Rear: 1080p at 30FPS
- 2-channel front and rear recording
- Excellent night vision
- Cloud saving and playback
- Sony STARVIS CMOS sensors
- Very slim and subtle look
- Very pricey
- No 4K recording at this price range
This middle-range camera priced at around $170 is one powerful dash cam. The Nextbase 322GW was the first to introduce the Emergency SOS Response. In case of an accident, this feature allows the dash cam to send emergency services to your location with the use of highly accurate GPS.
Along with your location, the emergency services will be notified about your personal medical data, including your blood type, or any relevant medical history.
Of course, you are warned before the emergency services are contacted, and you can easily stop this process. If you want access to the Emergency SOS Response feature, you do need to download the app.
The dash cam can record in full 1080p HD at 60FPS, so even if you’re driving full speed over some bumpy roads, you’ll get great video quality. You can also add additional camera modules, including a rearview camera, rear window, and cabin crew.
The Nextbase 322GW has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you can easily transfer the videos to your phone or laptop. Once the memory runs out on the SD card, the oldest videos will be overwritten. You can protect any video of your choice, and the camera automatically protects the videos if it senses a collision.
The Nextbase 312GW is an excellent alternative for users in the UK. This dash cam records in 1080p at 30FPS. Time, date, location, speed, and your license plate number are stamped on the video, and you can easily adjust them.
|Resolution||1080p at 60FPS|
APEMAN Dash Cam
If you’re on a budget, but still need a quality cam, the APEMAN Dash Cam makes for a fine choice. It’s a cheap dash cam, going for just shy of $50, that has excellent video quality for its price.
With a wide viewing angle of 170 degrees, the cam records in 1080p, providing you with surprisingly clear videos. And added bonus is that you won’t get that fish-eye effect, even with such a wide field of view.
The 3-inch LCD screen is of excellent size to give you a great visual experience, although you’ll want to make sure that you position the camera in a place where it won’t be obstructive.
The most astonishing aspect of this cheap dash cam is its night vision. The camera uses WDR and HDR technology, meaning that your videos in low light are actually very crisp. Unedited videos have somewhat of a yellow cast and seem dark, but if you tweak the brightness level when you’re reviewing the video, you’ll notice a great amount of detail.
The camera isn’t infrared, so it won’t record in complete darkness. But streetlights or even moonlight are quite enough to provide you with adequate video quality that can suit legal purposes. This makes the camera excellent for both driving at night and using it as surveillance while your car is parked.
The built-in G-sensor detects collisions and automatically locks the footage so that it isn’t overwritten by loop recordings.
Overall, this dash cam offers superior features at a very low price and is an ideal choice for anyone.
|Resolution||1080p at 30FPS|
- Very affordable
- Wide viewing angle
- Night vision
- Unknown brand
- Many reports of faulty units
Another affordable, yet surprisingly high-quality dash cam is the Rove R2-4K. It has a very sleek, elegant design that can suit any car interior, and its performance is unmatched at such a low price point.
You can choose from multiple resolutions. As the name would suggest, the camera has a 4K resolution that records 2160p at 24FPS. At 60FPS, you can record in Full 1080p HD. Slow-Mo videos go up to 720p at 120FPS.
The daytime video is (unsurprisingly) amazing. The company claims to be the only one that offers 4K resolution at nighttime. Their night video quality truly offers astonishing details. The camera captures clear and vivid road signs and license plates, and any moving objects are clearly visible.
The dash cam has a viewing angle of 150 degrees, and it can be rotated 360 degrees, allowing you to record anything that’s happening inside your car and outside of it.
It has a 24-hour parking monitor that works on an internal battery, and if the camera detects motion it will automatically start recording. If the G-sensor activates, the camera turns on and records a 1-minute video, and immediately locks it so it wouldn’t be deleted in loop recording.
A very nice and useful feature is its screen saver. After a minute, it enables the black background that shows only your driving speed, driving direction, time, and video recording status. This is perfect for night driving since it minimizes the LCD light, but you can turn off the screen saver if you wish.
The Rove R2-4K is a great camera, it’s only drawback being that it doesn’t offer any Advanced Driver Assistance Features.
|Resolution||2160p (4K) or 1080p at 60FPS|
- Good 2K to 4K upscaling
- ROVE app
- Great value for money
- Not real 4K (2K upscaled)
- Does not have Advanced Driver Assistance features
Garmin Dash Cam Mini
Lastly, we have the Garmin Dash Cam Mini that lives up to its name. It’s a perfectly compact dash cam, no bigger than your typical car key, and it can be discreetly placed behind your rear-view, allowing you to forget it’s even there.
Since the camera is so small, it doesn’t have any additional features that can make it truly stand out. It only offers you the essentials, but it ensures that you get the most out of any feature it has.
It has a relatively wide, 140-degree viewing angle, and records at 1080p, giving you Full HD video quality. All the details in your videos will be sharp, and license plates completely legible. Although the more expensive Garmin dash cams offer a wider viewing angle, 140 degrees is quite enough to capture the road ahead.
With Sony’s STARVIS sensor, you’ll also get high-quality video at night. This makes it ideal for surveillance purposes when you park your car at night. However, the dash cam needs to be connected to a power source if you wish to do that.
Collisions are immediately detected and saved, and if you have the Garmin Drive app, you can pair your phone with the camera and access real-time video footage, review your videos, and more.
This compact dash cam doesn’t have any fascinating features, but it does everything that it should do, and it’s suitable for average drivers.
|Resolution||1080p at 30FPS|
- Suitable for average drivers
- No extraordinary features
- No GPS
- Not available in Amazon US
Getting any of the mentioned dash cams will ensure great video quality. All of them offer superior features for their price, and at the end of the day, your purchasing decision will depend on what you need the dash cam for.
These are the best dash cams currently on the market, and you’ll never regret buying any of them as it might just save the day sometime.