Best Dash Cams for your Car in 2021

We compared dozens of technical specs and read hundreds of reviews to find the best dash cams on the market.
Best overall
Rexing V1P
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Rear cam included
  • Icon Pros  Light
    LCD screen
  • Icon Cons  Light
    GPS logger sold separately
Best for driver assistance
Thinkware U1000
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Rear cam included
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No LCD screen
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in GPS logger
Budget pick
Chortau B-T13
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Rear cam included
  • Icon Pros  Light
    LCD screen
  • Icon Cons  Light
    GPS logger sold separately
Best for voice control
Rove R2-4K
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No rear cam
  • Icon Pros  Light
    LCD screen
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Built-in GPS logger
Best 3-channel dash cam
Vantrue N4
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Rear cam included
  • Icon Pros  Light
    LCD screen
  • Icon Cons  Light
    GPS logger sold separately

Our favorite dash cam is the Rexing V1P because it works in extreme temperatures and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It includes all the basic features you’d expect from a dash cam and nothing more. Whether you want footage to file with insurance claims or you’re hoping to record a viral clip, the Rexing V1P gets the job done.

If you do want a bunch of extra features, there’s really no “all-in-one” dash cam available. Each one has a unique selling point. We’ll break down the differences to help you make a decision.



Compare the best dash cams

Product
Price
SD card included
Temperature rating
Power supply
Viewing angle
Learn more
Best overall
Rexing V1P
Icon No  LightNo
-20°F to 176°FSupercapacitor170° front and rear
Best for driver assistance
Thinkware U1000
Icon Yes  LightYes, 32 GB
14°F to 140°FHardwired150° front, 156° rear
Budget pick

Chortau Dual Dash Cam B-T13

Icon No  LightNo
-86°F to 158°FLithium ion battery, plug170° front, 130° rear
Best for voice control
Rove R2-4K
Icon No  LightNo
-22°F to 176°FLithium ion battery150°
Best 3-channel dash cam

Vantrue N4

Icon No  LightNo
14°F to 158°FSupercapacitor155° front, 160° rear, 165° inside
Best for SOS response
Nextbase 522GW
Icon No  LightNo
-4°F to 113°FPlug140°
Best for LTE connectivity
BlackVue DR900X-2CH
Icon Yes  LightYes, 32 GB
-4°F to 158°FSupercapacitor and hardwire162° front, 139° rear

*Amazon.com price as of 8/24/2021 at 7:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Checklist
Don't forget a card reader

It’s much easier to transfer dash cam footage to another device with a card reader than with a mobile app.

Best car dash cam reviews

1. Rexing V1P: Best overall

Top pick

*Amazon.com price as of 8/24/2021 at 7:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Rexing V1P clinches the top spot thanks to its affordable price, ultra-wide viewing angle, unbeatable temperature tolerance, and optional suction mount. If you’re looking for some extra features, you’ll want to skip down the list; the Rexing V1P is affordable because it’s “just” a dash cam.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Front and rear dash cams
Pro Bullet G-sensor
Pro Bullet Adhesive with optional suction mount
Pro Bullet 2.4 in. LCD screen
Pro Bullet US-based customer service
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet GPS logger sold separately
Con Bullet SD card sold separately
Con Bullet Poor app performance

Like most of the dash cams on our list, the Rexing V1P features both a front- and rear-facing camera. Both record in 1080p at 30 fps, have a 170° viewing angle, and use wide dynamic range (WDR) technology and a Sony Starvis image sensor for improved night vision. The front camera also features an LCD screen.

The G-sensor automatically locks clips when it detects an impact—a standard feature to prevent important video footage from being deleted or overwritten. But we love that the Rexing V1P also allows you to manually lock footage by pushing the “OK” button on the camera while recording. So if something unexpected happens while you’re out and about, you can save that clip.

Necessary and optional accessories for the Rexing V1P

The Rexing V1P’s low price comes with a caveat: you’ll need to purchase some accessories for full functionality.

A microSD card isn’t included with the camera kit, so you’ll need to purchase one separately. The Rexing V1P accepts cards with up to 256 GB of storage, like the SanDisk High Endurance MicroSD (about $38 on Amazon).

These accessories are optional:

  • The Rexing GPS logger (about $27 on Amazon) pairs information about your location and speed with all of your dash-cam footage.
  • The Rexing Smart Hardwire Kit (about $30 on Amazon) allows you to activate Parking Surveillance Mode and automatic ignition recording.
  • The Rexing Suction Cup Mount (about $10 on Amazon) may provide a sturdier grip in hot weather than the standard adhesive mount.

You’re looking at a total of about $240 if you purchase the Rexing V1P, a 256 GB microSD card, and all three accessories. That still makes it the second-cheapest option on our top five list.

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Just want one camera?

You can get just the front-facing Rexing V1 camera for $99.99.

Unbeatable specs

The Rexing V1P’s supercapacitor makes it far more temperature tolerant than lithium battery-powered or hardwired dash cams. That’s one of the main reasons we love it so much. It’s rated for a jaw-dropping -20°F to 176°F. To put this into perspective, parking your car in the sun on a 100°F day for just one hour causes the dashboard to reach 157°F.1 

It’s not always practical to park in a garage or in the shade to keep the internal temp down. It’s also pointless to remove the camera when the car is parked because you want the camera to record an accident when you’re not around.

Let’s just put it this way: temperature tolerance is important in dash cams, but it’s not as common as you might think.

Thumbs Up
Unique feature alert

The Rexing V1P boasts the highest operating temperature of all the dash cams on our list.

Rexing Connect app needs an overhaul

The Rexing V1P won us over with those temp specs and wooed us even more with an industry-leading 170° viewing angle. But as much as we hoped the Rexing would be the dash cam of our dreams . . . its mobile app isn’t quite perfect.

This free app lets you adjust a few settings like G-sensor sensitivity and the date stamp on videos. You can also use it to look at video clips and transfer them to your device via Wi-Fi. That’s where, according to most reviewers, the app just doesn’t work. 

Rexing Connect earned just 2.0 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store and a meager 1.3 out of 5 stars on the Google Play store. Most complain about transfer/download issues. We’re concerned that Rexing has amassed so many poor app reviews and still hasn’t released an update, fix, or troubleshooting tip.  

Rexing dash cams also work with a third-party app called TimaCam, but its ratings aren’t much better: 2.4 on the Google Play store and 2.0 on the Apple App Store.*

One reviewer did mention that you have to turn your phone’s cellular data off in order to download the videos. If that’s all it takes, the app developers should make that clear. If you’re among the unlucky users who can’t get the app to work, you can still transfer videos from the Rexing V1P to a computer with a card reader or USB cord. 

*Ratings as of 8/24/2021

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New for 2021: Rexing V5

We also like Rexing's new V5 dash cam, which includes an in-cabin camera, voice control, and 4K resolution. It costs around $320 to purchase the front, in-cabin, and rear cameras.

2. Thinkware U1000: Best for driver assistance

Best for driver assistance

*Amazon.com price as of 8/24/2021 at 7:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Thinkware U1000 is the bulkiest dash camera on our list, but we can easily overlook that thanks to its high video quality (4K/2K) and advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS). The mobile app also sounds promising, but we question the practicality of its Wi-Fi-dependent features.

Its price also jumped about $200 since we initially wrote this review, but we think it's still worth the investment.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 4K front camera and 2K rear camera
Pro Bullet Front cam records at 30 fps or 60 fps
Pro Bullet Built-in GPS logger
Pro Bullet G-sensor
Pro Bullet Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS)
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No LCD screen
Con Bullet Expensive
Con Bullet App incompatible with radar accessory
Con Bullet A bit bulky

The Thinkware U1000 does its primary job very well: it records clear footage day and night, catching important details about car accidents, including license plate numbers. The front-facing camera records in 4K at 30 fps or in 2K at 60 fps. The rear camera records in 2K at 30 fps. 

This dash cam also includes driver-assistance features:

  • Forward collision warning system to alert drivers before they rear-end the vehicle in front of them
  • Urban forward collision warning system to alert drivers to road hazards in low-speed environments (such as snail’s pace traffic jams)
  • Front vehicle departure warning to tell drivers that the car ahead of them has taken off. (It’s the friendly version of getting honked at by the driver behind you.)
  • Lane departure warning system to help drivers avoid drifting into another lane

And, if that’s not nifty enough, the Thinkware U1000 also warns you about upcoming red lights so you don’t run through them. It will even give you a heads up about speed cameras lurking in the distance.

Average dash cam specs

The 150° front and 156° rear viewing angles on this camera aren’t bad, but they’re also not the widest you can find on the market.

The same goes for the Thinkware U1000’s temperature tolerance. It can be stored in temps up to 158°F but has to cool down to 140°F before it operates. If you live in a hot climate, this could be a dealbreaker. 

Thinkware U1000 accessories

The Thinkware U1000 is a high-quality dash camera by itself, but these accessories can boost it even more.

  • Up to 128 GB microSD card (about $22 on Amazon) for additional clip storage. The Thinkware U1000 dual dash cam comes with a 32 GB card, but some users have found this to be insufficient; 4K UHD video files are quite large.
  • Thinkware U1000 Radar Accessory (about $90 on Amazon) for enhanced protection in parking mode. This device detects “car-sized” motion and signals the dash cam to turn on and start recording, thus conserving its energy and allowing it to remain in parking mode for a longer time. Unfortunately, it’s incompatible with the mobile app.
  • The Thinkware iVolt Mini External Dash Cam Battery (about $210 on Amazon) allows both front and rear cameras to stay in parking mode for 16 hours. It fully recharges in 45 minutes once the car’s ignition turns on.
Thumbs Up
Unique feature alert

The Thinkware U1000 is the only dash cam on our list with lane assist and other advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) alerts.

The Thinkware Cloud app doesn’t deliver

A smartphone app called Thinkware Cloud acts like your LCD screen on this screenless dash cam, allowing you to review video clips, create geofence alerts, change settings, and even remotely view the cam’s live feed. 

There’s one major catch: you can’t view the live feed when the camera is parked. In fact, connecting the radar accessory disables all of the app’s functions. Huh? 

The dash cam also has to connect to your phone’s Wi-Fi signal (or hotspot connection) to send notifications to your phone. That means you’ll only get notifications if you’re near the car, and that isn’t convenient at all. Surely a cellular connection makes more sense. 

We’re not the only ones scratching our heads. Thinkware Cloud has received just 1.8 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store and 2.2 stars on the Google Play store.*

*Ratings as of 8/24/2021

3. Chortau: Budget pick

*Amazon.com price as of 6/28/2021 at 7:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

This Chortau dash cam retails for about $100 and, as you might expect for that price, offers basic functionality. It supports memory cards with just 32 GB of storage, but the camera locks footage that coincides with an impact for overwrite protection. If you end up with a lot of locked footage, you'll have to download it often to reset the memory card.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Affordable
Pro Bullet Front- and rear-facing cameras
Pro Bullet Plugs into lighter socket
Pro Bullet Doubles as a back-up cam
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Limited video storage
Con Bullet Confusing owner's manual
Con Bullet GPS logger sold separately
Con Bullet No mobile app

We like the industry-leading 170° lens on the front-facing camera, but the 130° angle on the rear-facing camera is relatively narrow compared to competitors. You can see footage from both cameras simultaneously on the three-inch LCD screen. Both cameras record in 1080p and can tolerate temperatures up to 158°F.

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Just want one camera?

Chortau sells just its front-facing camera for about $80.

Chortau GPS logger sold in separate bundle

One of the reasons the Chortau dash cam is relatively affordable is its lack of a GPS logger. Without this accessory, your videos won't have coordinates or vehicle speed stamped on the footage. 

We couldn't find the GPS logger sold on its own. It seems the only way to purchase it is to buy it as a bundle with the front and rear dash cams. 

You may also need to purchase an extension cable to connect the rear dash cam to the power supply in larger vehicles.

No Chortau mobile app

Keep looking if you want a dash cam that connects to your smartphone. There's no companion app for Chortau dash cams. Don't forget to grab a card reader to download clips.

4. Rove R2-4K Dash Cam: Best for voice control

Best for voice control

*Amazon.com price as of 8/24/2021 at 7:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

A front-facing dash cam, the Rove R2-4K records in 4K with a 150° lens. It has built-in Wi-Fi for fast video uploading. But if you'd rather use local storage, the Rove supports a whopping 512GB microSD card, which you'll have to buy separately.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Built-in voice control
Pro Bullet Built-in Wi-Fi
Pro Bullet Built-in GPS
Pro Bullet Industry-leading storage capacity
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No rear camera
Con Bullet Limited backup battery
Con Bullet Slow app

You'll also need to purchase a separate hardwire kit to use the 24-hour parking mode. The camera's lithium ion battery lasts for just five minutes without direct power supply.

We also love that you can control this dash cam with your voice. No Amazon Alexa or Google Home integration is required. 

The Rove R2-4K features variable resolution and framerate settings, which helps your memory card store even more clips. You can also record timelapse or slow-mo videos with this car dash cam. The suction cup mount includes a 360° swivel so you can focus the lens in any direction. We couldn't find a compatible rear-facing camera.

Temperature tolerance caveat

The Rove manual says the R2-4K operates between temperatures of -22°F to 176°F, but doesn't recommend leaving it in direct sunlight or exposing it to temperatures above 140°F. We take that to mean parking mode might work best if you use a parking garage, where temps stay a little cooler. 

App has the usual problems

The Rove app has earned a little more praise from users than the competition, but its negative reviews cite the usual problem: very slow upload times. Videos also buffer and lag when played in the app. Despite this, the Rove app earned 2.6 out of 5 stars on the Google Play store and 2.4 stars on the Apple App Store.*

*Rankings as of 8/24/21

5. Vantrue N4: Best 3-channel dash cam

Best 3-channel dash cam

*Amazon.com price as of 8/24/2021 at 7:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Vantrue N4 features three cameras to record what's in front of, behind, and inside your car. If you're a rideshare driver who'd like a record of what goes on in the backseat for liability purposes, that in-cabin camera is super handy. Just make sure you transfer footage to a computer on a regular basis, because there's no cloud storage or mobile app for this Vantrue dash cam.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 4K recording in front camera
Pro Bullet Good heat tolerance
Pro Bullet LCD screen
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet GPS sold separately
Con Bullet Doesn't support Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
Con Bullet No mobile app

Only the front-facing camera records in 4K. The other two cameras record in HD at 1080p, which can seem grainy in comparison. Each camera has a wide-angle lens (155° front, 160° rear, 165° inside), allowing you to capture nearly every corner of your vehicle.

We like that the LCD screen turns off after a certain period of time so you have one less distraction on the road. You can also view video clips on the screen. 

Vantrue N4 accessories

To get the most out of the Vantrue car cam, you'll need these accessories:

Notepad
Other Vantrue dash cams worth a look

Don't need three cameras? Check out these other Vantrue models:

  • Vantrue S1: Front and rear camera with built-in GPS
  • Vantrue N2S: Front-facing camera only with built-in GPS
  • Vantrue T3: Front-facing camera with radar motion detection and an OBD cable

6. Nextbase 522GW: Best for SOS response

Best for SOS response

*Amazon.com price as of 8/24/2021 at 7:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Nextbase 522GW dash cam doubles as an Amazon Alexa smart speaker for your car and will even dial 911 in the event of a crash. That’s its saving grace because it doesn’t have the most impressive specs. 

The Nextbase 522GW only operates in temperatures up to 113°F, which makes it pretty useless in a parking lot on a hot day. Nextbase doesn’t even recommend storing it long-term in temperatures over 77°F.2 Its viewing angle is just 140°, and if you want a rear dash cam, you’ll need to purchase it separately for about $99.99.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Built-in SOS response
Pro Bullet Works with Amazon Alexa
Pro Bullet Bluetooth connectivity
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Rear cam sold separately
Con Bullet Poor temperature tolerance
Con Bullet Relatively narrow viewing angle

If you don’t have a super modern car with Alexa already built in, it’s tempting to grab the Nextbase 522GW for that feature alone. But honestly, if you just want a voice assistant for your car, you might be happier with a separate gadget like the ROAV Viva Car Charger and a better-quality dash cam.

Thumbs Up
Unique feature alert

The Nextbase 522GW is the only dash cam on our list that doubles as Amazon Alexa.

Stand-out feature: SOS response

Despite its flaws, the Nextbase 522GW has a stand-out feature we couldn’t find on any other dash cam: emergency SOS response. If this device detects an accident, it automatically dials 911 and shares your GPS location, medical information, vehicle information, and phone number. 

The SOS feature only works if you download the MyNextbase Connect mobile app from the Google Play store or Apple App Store and fill in the emergency SOS section. You must also have Bluetooth turned on and have an internet connection at the time of the accident. If everything works as it should, this little cam could save your life by immediately dispatching first responders.

Nextbase 522GW accessories

Unlike most of the other cameras we considered, the Nextbase 522GW doesn’t require umpteen accessories for full functionality, which makes the overall price more palatable. 

It’s also easy to use this dash cam in multiple vehicles with a couple extras:

  • Install the Nextbase Click&Go Mount (around $30 on Amazon) into each of your cars and only worry about moving the camera around.
  • Use the Nextbase Carry Case (around $25 on Amazon) to safely store your dash cam in your purse or pocket when it’s too hot to leave it in the car or when transporting it between vehicles.

MyNextbase Connect app uses Bluetooth

Nextbase has tried to solve the Wi-Fi connectivity problem plaguing the entire dash cam industry by allowing its cameras to sync with your smartphone via Bluetooth. 

But users have still rated MyNextbase Connect with an onslaught of 1-star reviews, resulting in a total of 1.7 out of 5 stars on Google Play and 2.6 stars on the Apple App Store. You guessed it: connectivity is the main concern.* 

*Ratings as of 8/24/2021

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Nextbase 622GW

Gotta have great video quality? Spend about $140 more to get the Nextbase 622GW, which can record at 120 fps for ultra-smooth video.

7. BlackVue DR900X-2CH: Best for LTE connection

Best for LTE connection

*Amazon.com price as of 8/24/2021 at 7:30 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

We’re impressed by the BlackVue DR900X-2CH’s features. If cost isn’t a dealbreaker, you’ll love the BlackVue’s 4K video, LTE connectivity option, and two-way voice communication—it reaches around $1,000 once you factor in the price of its accessories.

The BlackVue dash cam has the second-widest viewing angle and second-best temperature tolerance of the cams on our list. 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Front cam records in 4K
Pro Bullet Automatic ignition recording
Pro Bullet Built-in GPS logger and tracker
Pro Bullet G-sensor
Pro Bullet Optional 4G LTE connectivity
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No LCD screen
Con Bullet Expensive cam and battery packs

The BlackVue dash cam talks to you

We love that the BlackVue talks to you if there’s an issue while you’re driving, which is much safer than a push notification when you’re on the road.

The BlackVue also provides voice alerts if an incident was recorded in parking mode and uses audio to confirm a change in settings (such as turning Wi-Fi on or off).

Optional BlackVue dash cam accessories

If you thought $459.99 got you the whole kit and caboodle, think again. You’ll need to shell out some more cash if you want additional functionality:

  • The BlackVue External 4G LTE Module (about $150) lets you use cellular data vs. Wi-Fi to download clips to the BlackVue Cloud app. You’ll need a nano SIM card and a cellular data plan from T-Mobile or another compatible carrier. 
  • The BlackVue B-112 Power Magic Battery Pack (about $159) allows the dash cam to operate in parking mode without draining your car battery.
  • The BlackVue Power Magic Ultra Battery B-124X (about $330) is a fancier version of the B-112. It charges in 40 minutes when the ignition is on and provides power in parking mode for 24 hours.
  • The BlackVue B124E Battery Expansion (about $270) attaches to either the B112 or the B124X to provide up to 56 hours of parking-mode power. It charges in 60 minutes when the ignition is on.
  • The BlackVue BTC-1C Tamper-Proof Case (about $40 on Amazon) stops cords from being unplugged and the microSD card from being removed.

If you’ve got the necessary moola and like the BlackVue’s features, you’re in for a treat. If not, don’t panic; there are more affordable dash cams on our list.

Thumbs Up
Unique feature alert

The BlackVue DR900X-2CH is the only dash cam on our list that offers live GPS tracking in addition to logging GPS coordinates when recording.

BlackVue app is just average

The BlackVue Cloud app provides two-way voice communication, live GPS tracking, push notifications, and up to 5 GB of cloud storage for free. Upgrade to the Smart Plan ($11.99 per month) to view historic GPS data, or subscribe to the Fleet Plan ($24.99 per month) to receive email notifications and set up geofence alerts.

Given the price of the BlackVue, we hoped this app would outperform our expectations. But we found that BlackVue users have the same complaints as everyone else: the app and camera don’t like talking to each other. 

BlackVue has 1.9 out of 5 stars on the Apple App Store and 2.7 stars on the Google Play store.*

*Ratings as of 8/24/2021

More brands we considered

Check out a few other dash cams that didn’t quite make the cut for our best-of list.

VAVA Dual Dash Cam

Coming in at around $120, the VAVA is one of the most affordable dual dash cams on the market. There’s plenty to like about the VAVA:

  • Automatic ignition recording
  • G-Sensor
  • GPS logger
  • Lithium polymer battery
  • Night vision
  • 155° viewing angle in front camera and 126° in rear camera
  • 14°F to 158°F operating temperature (depending on power source)
  • Full HD video recording in 1920x1080p or 2560x1440p at 30 fps 

We also like that the front camera swivels on the mount and that it comes with an SD card. But it didn’t make our top five because it has no stand-out features, and we found too many user complaints about recording failures. 

If you’re on the fence about getting a dual dash cam, the VAVA is a great one to try. If you end up wanting more features, you’ll need to upgrade to a brand like BlackVue, Thinkware, or Nextbase.

Z-Edge Z3

The Z-Edge Z3 sells for around $150 but lacks GPS and Wi-Fi. That was enough to bump it out of the running for the top five best dash cams, but the Z-Edge Z3 does have some competitive specs: 

  • Automatic ignition recording
  • G-Sensor
  • LCD screen
  • Night vision
  • 155° viewing angle
  • 14 to 140°F operating temperature
  • Full HD video recording in 1920x1080p or 2560x1440p at 30 fps 

The Z-Edge Z3 also comes straight out of the box with a suction mount. If you live in a hot climate where glue might melt off your windshield, consider a suction-mounted dash cam like the Z-Edge Z3.

Garmin Dash Cams

In addition to the usual features like a GPS logger and G-sensor, the ultra-tiny Garmin Dash Cams offer voice control, lane departure warnings, and even alerts drivers to upcoming red light cams. Some models also have 180° wide-angle lenses.

But Garmin dash cams ended up on our “honorable mention” list due to some concerns about temperature tolerance. The manual states it can operate in temperatures between -4° to 131°F, but multiple users report overheating issues with typical use. Updating the firmware to version 7.50 helps in most cases. If you’re willing to take a bit of a gamble for about $260, Garmin offers feature-packed and unobtrusive dash cams.

Viofo A129 Duo Dual Dash Cams

Viofo's most popular dash cam line seems to be the A129 Duo. It comes in three varieties: the Duo, Plus Duo, and Pro Duo

These front- and rear-facing dash cams feature a large LCD screen with tactile buttons. You can choose HD, 2K, or 4K video quality in the Duo, Plus Duo, or Pro Duo (respectively) but memory card storage capacity (256 GB) doesn't increase along with the video size. 

We're not thrilled to see a relatively narrow lens angle of 140° on the front and back cameras. Their temperature rating also isn't as competitive as we hoped, as these Viofo dash cams tolerate 5°F to 149°F. 

Each cam features built-in Wi-Fi and all of the features you'd expect in a car dash cam and nothing more: parking mode, g-sensor, loop recording, and GPS logger. With prices ranging from around $170 to $250, we recommend checking out the more affordable Rove R2-4K instead.

Apeman C770

The Apeman C770 is a simple dash cam with no extra accessories to buy besides a microSD card up to 128 GB, making it a truly affordable choice. We also like that the rear cam doubles as a backup camera. You can remove the GPS logger and turn off loop recording too.

The Apeman C770 ties with our top pick for the widest viewing angle on our list (170°) but falls short on temperature tolerance (14°F to 140°F). 

Both cameras record in 1080p at 30 fps, but you can also have the front camera record in 2160p at 30 fps. The Apeman looks “good but not great,” especially at night. But it gets the job done and the quality seems fair for the price.

Our main complaint is that Apeman recommends using a Wi-Fi connection located no more than 5 meters (about 16 feet) away from the dash cam. For most people, that would require parking in the driveway to download videos. You could also use your phone as a hotspot, but we all know that eats up a lot of data.

Final word

It’s hard to find a dash cam that does it all. But we feel confident in recommending the Rexing V1P as a basic dash cam that doesn’t need to be coddled in extreme weather. 

You can always supplement it with a separate GPS vehicle tracker, aftermarket car alarm, or gadget like the Vivint Car Guard to build out your car’s safety and monitoring features.

If we had a nice chunk of change to spend, we’d prefer the Thinkware U1000 because the driver assistance adds an extra layer of road safety.

FAQ

Our dash cam budget pick is the Chortau, which retails for around $100.

It depends. Dash cams are worth it if you’re at high risk of vehicle damage based on how much time you spend on the road and where you park your car (street versus garage, for example). If there’s an incident, dash cams help you (and your insurance provider) see what happened. 

They may even provide enough video evidence for authorities to ID whoever scraped your car, tried to break in, or scurried away from a fender-bender. 

If you live in a country like the UK, you might get a car insurance discount for installing a dash cam. We’re not currently aware of any dash cam insurance discounts in the US.

Despite the name “dashboard camera,” dash cams should be placed in the top center of the windshield, not on the dashboard. This usually means the camera will be mounted just behind or below the rearview mirror. The best rear dash cam placement is in the top center of the rear windshield.

Other than that, it all comes down to personal preference. Maybe you don’t want an LCD screen so you don’t get distracted. Maybe you’d rather download video clips through an app instead of using an SD card. There are no right or wrong answers here.

How we reviewed the best dash cams

We researched dash cams with specific features:

  • Both front and rear cameras (also called dual dash cams)
  • Automatic ignition recording
  • A G-force sensor (also called a G-sensor) to monitor the car when it’s parked
  • Recordings aren’t overwritten when G-sensor is activated
  • Night vision cameras

From this pool of similarities, we then sorted out the differences: built-in GPS tracker, temperature sensitivity, geofencing, viewing angle, etc. We read hundreds of online reviews to find consistent praise and criticism of each camera. Our final ranking was also influenced by cost: were the camera’s features really worth the retail price?

You can read more about our approach to product reviews on our methodology page.

Related articles on SafeWise

Sources

  1. Leslie Minton, Arizona State University, “Study: Hot Cars Can Hit Deadly Temperatures in as Little as One Hour,” May 2018. Accessed August 24, 2021. 
  2. Nextbase Dash Cams, “522GW User Manual.” Accessed August 24, 2021.
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Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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