Nextbase 622GW

The Nextbase 622GW is a new flagship dash cam, and it’s proven itself as the best dash cam you can buy right now. In our tests, it delivered much-improved video quality and better stabilization

1. Nextbase 622GW

The Nextbase 622GW is a new flagship dash cam, and it’s proven itself as the best dash cam you can buy right now. In our tests, it delivered much-improved video quality and better stabilization, along with the inclusion of what3words geolocation services for pinpointing stricken vehicles within a three-meter radius. 

When we chose to shoot in 4K/30p, the resulting footage looked almost cinematic in its presentation, with extremely crisp definition and great detail, even in poor lighting. This makes it much easier to pinpoint registration numbers or pick out hard-to-see elements of an accident.

A built-in polarizing filter on the front of the camera can be rotated to reduce glare from windscreens, while digital image stabilization is another first for the dash cam market and helps smooth out those bumps and shakes caused by potholes and poor road surfaces.

Like its 522GW sibling, this model can be controlled via your voice with Alexa Skills, but it requires the accompanying smartphone app to work, which we didn’t rate as the best we’ve tried. Despite new dual 2.4GHz + 5GHz Wi-Fi, we found that it still had trouble connecting with phones to transfer images and video clips.

Thankfully, the 3-inch rear touchscreen is crisp, clear and very easy to use, while the inclusion of what3words combines well with Nextbase’s emergency SOS feature, which you get a year’s free subscription for with this dash cam.


2. Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

The Garmin Mini 2 is a tiny dash cam that all but disappears behind your car’s rear view mirror, yet boasts Full HD video with HDR, voice control that actually works reliably, a decent smartphone app and a dead-simple magnetic mounting system. 

The Garmin Mini 2 is a tiny dash cam that all but disappears behind your car’s rear view mirror, yet boasts Full HD video with HDR, voice control that actually works reliably, a decent smartphone app and a dead-simple magnetic mounting system. 

Installing the Mini 2 is the same as other members of the Garmin Dash Cam family. We found the setup process took just a few minutes with the use of Garmin’s Drive smartphone app (iOS and Android). The simple but effective mounting system comprises a ball-and-socket joint for positioning the camera at the perfect angle, while a coin-sized magnet that sticks to your windscreen and holds the dash cam securely in place.

We found video quality to be good for the size of the camera. It records in Full HD, 30fps with HDR and produces footage that is sharp enough to pick out key details like registration plates, whatever the ambient light and weather conditions. At 140 degrees, the lens’ field-of-view isn’t the widest on the market, but still provides a good view of the road ahead.

There’s a button for quickly saving a portion of video (or you can rely on the g-sensor to automatically detect a collision) and voice controls for functions like taking a photo or turning audio recording on and off work surprisingly well.

Due to the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2’s compact size, it does not have a display. Instead, you need to use the smartphone app to check the camera’s view and access recordings. It also misses out on GPS, which is a shame, but this is arguably the only major feature missing here. Unless you need the best dash cam with driver assistance functions like speed camera alerts, the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 will leave you wanting for very little. Simple, subtle and reliable, it’s the definition of set-and-forget- technology.


3. Nexar Pro

3. Nexar Pro

Aimed at those who spend extended periods behind the wheel, the Nexar Pro is a dual-cam solution that can record video both inside and outside a vehicle. Comprised of two separate camera units connected by a cable, we found the setup to be pretty neat, even if it took up a fair bit of screen real estate.

Aimed at those who spend extended periods behind the wheel, the Nexar Pro is a dual-cam solution that can record video both inside and outside a vehicle. Comprised of two separate camera units connected by a cable, we found the setup to be pretty neat, even if it took up a fair bit of screen real estate.

The Nexar app is central to the twin camera experience: it’s where you can fine-tune settings, generate incident reports and back recorded clips up to the cloud (Nexar bundles cloud storage in for free). Other useful tools include break-in alerts if someone tries to tamper with your car, as well as GPS data logging.

This dash cam doesn’t record in 4K, but we found its 1080p video to be perfectly serviceable. The external camera fares well even in tricky shooting situations, from heavy rain to bright sunshine. There are cheaper dash cams out there with fewer features to play with, but if the security of your car is crucial to your daily life, the Pro is hard to beat in terms of protection and overall value.


4. Thinkware X1000

4. Thinkware X1000

Thinkware’s X1000 comes bundled with everything you need to record front and rear. Our tests found a lot to like about the X1000. Its best attribute is its ease of use: with a large 3.5-inch touchscreen and icon-based interface, it’s simple to configure. It can also work standalone, without a partner app.

Capable yet accessible, Thinkware’s X1000 comes bundled with everything you need to record front and rear. Our tests found a lot to like about the X1000. Its best attribute is its ease of use: with a large 3.5-inch touchscreen and icon-based interface, it’s simple to configure. It can also work standalone, without a partner app.

Both cameras offer a 2560×1440 resolution and a wide 156-degree field of view. We found that footage was dependably impressive, with plenty of detail and decent dynamic range, even in dim and dark conditions.

You will need to hard-wire it for the full set of features, including parking surveillance. In testing, fitting the cabling required care, but wasn’t too difficult for a novice. There’s no Wi-Fi for cloud backups, while GPS requires an optional accessory, as does radar detection. But if you’re looking for a stress-free and reliable dash cam, the X1000 does much to impress.


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