10 Best Dash Cams of 2017

Get you acquainted with the world of possibilities of having a Dash cam.

  • April 18, 2017

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Having an efficient dash cam installed in your car to record unfortunate incidents can make a world of difference. Read on to know the ten best dash cams of 2017 that can help you out of tight spots.

Why do you need a Dash Cam?

I am not a professional driver and my livelihood does not depend on my driving skills. However, I know that my life and everyone around me depends on what I do when I'm driving. I have been driving for 20 plus years and it hardly took me any persuasion to install a dash cam on my car when I got to know about it. I have been in some crashes, been a witness to some others, and escaped by a hairline in even others. The one thing I needed every time I told someone what I did to avoid or while I was in the crash was a witness, or an incorruptible proof or evidence. So imagine my surprise and eagerness when I heard first about dash cams and what they do.

A Dash Cam is a device that you can install on your vehicle to record videos of what happens in the front/rear of your vehicle when you are driving. However, unlike conventional cameras, dash cams are rigged to work whenever the key is put into ignition and records continuously. If the memory fills up, then it automatically deletes the oldest files to make room for the newest. This principle is unchanged and is pretty much how even the ten best dash cams of 2017 work.

Additionally, the unique features about the ten best dash cams of 2017 are a few parameters in recording that I will introduce in the coming section. Since technology has evolved well in all areas, dash cams have now become more reliable and solid devices.

So when does the video footage from dash cams become necessary?

Speaking from personal experiences, I would say dash cams are pretty important if you had a recent run in with the god of misfortune. While cops and insurance agents will listen to your version of the story, there is nothing that will be of use for you if it checks out with evidence from sources like a dash cam. The video footages can be helpful in clearing out misunderstandings in collisions, accidents and more. It can also help you claim insurance most of the time.

Another reason why I use dash cams is to monitor how my son drives. He recently got his license to drive and he is pretty much a rookie in the road. Just to be sure things run smoothly during his expeditions I occasionally check the dash cam footage. I found out that this gives parents a peace of mind.

What makes a Dash cam, the “best” Dash Cam in the market?

Choosing and buying a perfect Dash Cam is no rocket science. After switching between quite a few, I found out that it is not even as challenging as buying a new phone (yes, I seriously CHECK OUT the specs when I buy anything new!). There a few specs that I would like to call key specs that you should keep your eyes peeled out for. Once they do satisfy these specs, any other added features and the price tag attached to the product should tell you whether it warrants the purchase or not.

I went through close to 48 dash cams and reviewed them on my long drive to the office. I checked out if each cam on this list does deliver what it promises and if so then I focused on the reliability of the product. There are dash cams available in the market for price as low as $15. I reviewed one such dash cam and found it got bricked after four days of constant use. This was when I decided to test out dash cams that are available above $ 50 since these gave an impression that they are more reliable.

I was not let down when I found the Black Box G 1W which can be purchased from Amazon at $50 is quite reliable and is one of the best dash cams in the market considering the features it offers and the pocket-friendly cost of the dash cam. However, if you are looking for a serious dash cam and you are not limited by the initial cost of the product , then the Garmin Nuvicam is what I would suggest. At a price range of $300, the device offers an arsenal of features from the functional dash cam to even a Sat-Nav system.

The Key specs that I earlier spoke about are the following:

  • Viewing angle
  • Screen Size
  • Storage Capacity
  • Video quality
  • GPS

In my opinion all dash cams should have a minimum viewing angle of approximately 130 degrees. Anything less than that is considered too less to do any good. Screens on the other hand are a debatable topic. While most users prefer a small screen on their dash cam to review, interact with and display footages, there are people who prefer a sleek dash cam that makes users forget it even exists. The Thinkware F770 is one such dash cam on this list of the best 10 dash cams of 2017. All the dash cams in this list support 1080p Full HD recording and have a storage compatibility of 32 GB and upwards. While lawyers usually say that a GPS system can be a hindrance more than help in insurance claims, I find them to be pretty useful provided you stick to the limits laid by law. However, for easiness, I have included products with and without embedded GPS modules.

SO THE 10 BEST PRODUCTS ARE:

Device Name Viewing Angle Screen size Storage capacity GPS  
Black Box G 1W  

140 degrees

2.7 inch 32 GB No Check Price
Garmin Nuvicam  

145 degrees

 

6 inch

32 GB + 64 GB Yes Check Price
Thinkware F770  

140 degrees

 

No Screen

 

32 GB

Yes Check Price
Garmin Dash Cam 30  

140 degrees

 

1.4 inch

 

64 GB

No Check Price
Z-Edge Z3  

135 degrees

 

3 inch

 

32 GB

 

No

Check Price
Falcon Zero F-360  

240 degrees

3.5 inch  

32 GB

No Check Price
Transcend DrivePro 220 130 degrees 2.4 inch 64 GB Yes Check Price
HP F800x 140 degrees 2.7 inch

64 GB

Yes Check Price
Rexing S300 170 degrees 2.7 inch  

128 GB

No Check Price
Cobra Drive CDR 900  

160 degrees

2 inch  

64 GB

No Check Price
1. Black Box G 1W

Salient Features:

  1. 1080p at 30 FPS and 720p at 60 FPS
  2. 140-degree viewing angle
  3. 4x zoom with 2.7" LCD screen that supports instant playback
  4. Easy setup
  5. Economic yet highly reliable

The Pros

  • Cheap yet reliable
  • Great clarity in recording
  • Supports night vision and motion detection
  • Features 1080p HD recording

The Cons

  • No inbuilt memory storage
  • Issues in compatibility with Sandisk micro SD cards

If what you are looking for is a cheap yet reliable dash cam to get you acquainted with the world of dash cams, then I would suggest the Black Box G 1W. Besides just getting acquainted, this is one of those small powerful cams that can last a long time and get the job done for a very cheap rate. It contents with some of the best dash cams in the market and has decent specs for the price it comes at. This is the reason why I would say the G 1W is the most economic product amongst the ten best dash cams of 2017.

The G 1W comes with a 140-degree viewing angle and a lens with 4x zoom capacity. The cam has a resolution of 5 MP, and while this might sound a bit low if you’re thinking in camera terms, I found the clarity of recording to be satisfactory.

The dash cam supports full 1080p HD recording and also features a great compression algorithm to ensure that not a lot of space is taken. The camera also supports LED night vision and motion detection and records at 30 FPS for 1080p and 60 FPS for 720p.

The dash cam also facilitates Auto-On, meaning it turns on at ignition and has no switch on/off button. It supports instant playback and features a 2.7" LCD screen. The swivel ball suction mount allows you to mount the cam on any flat surface and be sure it never falls off.

The only thing I found a bit cranky was the fact that the cam had an issue supporting the 32 GB micro SD from Sandisk. However, when I used a Transcend SD card in place, it worked perfectly. Apart from this minor issue, I find the Black Box G 1W to be one of the ten best dash cams of 2017 in today's automotive market.

2. Garmin Nuvicam

Salient Features:

  1. Dash cam with full HD recording
  2. Dual memory card slots
  3. Inbuilt GPS and Sat-Nav system
  4. Collision warning and lane deviation warning system

The Pros

  • Manufactured by one of the most reputed brands
  • Reliable product with many features
  • Interactive display and features

The Cons

  • Screen size is a bit too large at 6”
  • Can be too bulky for some users

If you just got yourself a new car and are looking for top-end accessories including a Sat-Nav system, collision preventers, dash cam and more, then Garmin has all this rolled into one perfect premium product. The Garmin Nuvicam is what I would call a one stop solution to almost all automotive problems that can be addressed with accessories. The Garmin Nuvicam is without doubt, the one premium product amongst the ten best dash cams of 2017 which is well worth the price.

For starters, Garmin is a well-known American brand that has been in the market since 1989. It not only assures reliable quality in products but also has a well-established network of customer support. The Nuvicam is not just a dash cam, it is also a Sat-Nav system that is frequently updated and can be paired with your smartphone. It offers maps, routes, and roads to the precision of roads under current construction.

The Nuvicam also works as a collision detector, lane deviation warning system and has a GPS. However, the best part about the device is the dash cam. The dash cam is works at full HD and records 1080p video. There are slots for 2 memory cards (32 GB and 64 GB) and up to 18 hours of video playback is supported on the 64 GB card. The inbuilt GPS system marks the exact location of collision on the map including a time and date stamp in case of accidents. Videos prior to collision are automatically saved so that they are not deleted during loop time. The screen size is 6” and supports a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.

Though I found the 6” screen a little excessive, I feel that for the range of features the product offers, it should not be marked down for this reason. The camera records excellent quality footage including night vision. The product is certainly one of the ten best dash cams of 2017, though it is a lot more than just a dash cam.

3. Thinkware F770

Salient Features:

  1. Unobtrusive and sleek design
  2. 1080p full HD recording
  3. Lane departure warning
  4. Collision avoidance
  5. Inbuilt GPS module
  6. Compatible with smartphones

The Pros

  • Great range of features
  • Unobtrusive and sleek
  • Full HD recording
  • Parking time lapse
  • Night mode

The Cons

  • No screen
  • Other makers offer additional Sat-Nav in the price range
  • Supports memory extension only up to 32 GB

For those looking for an unobtrusive dash cam that also offers features such as collision warnings and lane deviation detection, the Thinkware F770 is a great dash cam to go for. The reason why I feel this dash cam deserves a place amongst the ten best dash cams of 2017 is because of the arsenal of features it offers and still affords to remain so sleek you forget it even exists.

The dash cam supports full HD 1080p recording and has a memory capacity of 32 GB. The Thinkware F770 offers almost all the features that the Garmin Nuvicam offers except for the Sat-Nav system and the bulky 6” screen. The F770 is equipped with collision avoidance systems, Lane deviation warning systems, safety camera warning, red light and speed cam warnings and much more. The dash cam can fit snugly right behind the rear view mirror which gives it a great perch angle and hides it from view.

The cam can be coupled with smartphones. It is also equipped with GPS. The F770 has an impressive clarity in recording footages and the night mode is pretty great. It also has a time lapse mode which records footages when your car is parked for up to 48 hours. Besides making it a great tool for anti-theft, it can also be a great witness element in any untoward incidents happening around your vehicle.

4. Garmin Dash Cam 30

Salient Features:

  1. 140-degree viewing angle
  2. 1080p Full HD recording
  3. Inbuilt G-Sensor to save footages upon collision
  4. Reliable product
  5. Capable of taking snapshots

The Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Non-intrusive
  • Inbuilt G-sensor that saves footages on collision detection
  • Can work as a camera and take snapshots

The Cons

  • Screen size can be a bit too small
  • No GPS module
  • Minimalistic features

For those looking for a pretty basic dash cam which is highly reliable and from a reputable maker, the Garmin Dash Cam 30 is a great option to choose. The cam works as both a dash cam and also a camera that is capable of taking snapshots. The sleek design of the product ensures that the device is non-intrusive and is pretty much everything you can expect in a perfect dash cam.

The cam has a 140 degree wide viewing angle and captures all footages in 1080p HD. It has a 1.4” LCD screen that is capable of immediate playback. The cam also has a mounted G-sensor that detects a collision. Once there is a collision, the camera saves the last, current and next footages which can then be used for insurance or court purposes.

The Garmin Dash Cam 30 is a straightforward dash cam. It is also the second pocket-friendly camera in this list of the ten best dash cams of 2017 being sold at a reasonable price. Though the cam has no GPS module or other features seen in the Nuvicam, the Dash Cam 30 is a great cam for people who need a no-nonsense device they can rely on.

5. Z-Edge Z3

Salient Features:

  1. Supports 480p, 720p and 1080p recording
  2. Loop Recording
  3. Ignition detection
  4. Motion detection
  5. Crash detection
  6. Vibration detection
  7. WDR Technology

The Pros

  • Full HD 1080p recording
  • Economic
  • Ignition and motion detection

The Cons

  • Inbuilt power capacity is a little low
  • Flimsy connector

The Z-Edge Z3 would be what I call a great competition for the Garmin Dash Cam 30. However, keeping in mind that it comes from a reputed company and is one of the most reliable and cheapest products in the market, I decided to give it the higher spot. Nonetheless, that does not make the Z-Edge Z3 any lesser of a product among the ten best dash cams of 2017.

The Z-Edge Z3 is one of the most popular economy choices for the range of features it offers for an unbelievable price. The Z3 is not just another run of the mill dash cam. It has a 130-degree viewing angle and records video at 2000 x 1080p quality. However, you can choose between 480p, 720p, and 1080p. Besides the 2K HD image clarity, the device also has an inbuilt collision sensor that automatically stores videos before, during and after collision.

The cam has an inbuilt storage that can record videos for up to 15 minutes. However, there are options to expand memory up to 32 GB using micro SD cards. The dash cam has crash, vibration and motion detection features which make it a great device that you can rely on all the time. One of the best things about the dash cam is the low light compensation that allows you to get clear footages even in the most dimly illuminated streets. This is what makes the Z-Edge Z3 a worthy part of the ten best dash cams of 2017.

6. Falcon Zero F-360

Salient Features:

  1. 1080p full HD recording
  2. Dual 120-degree cameras
  3. Two channel recording
  4. Highest viewing angle at 240 degrees

The Pros

  • Easy setup
  • Loop recording
  • 3.5” LCD screen
  • 1080p full HD recording
  • Inbuilt G-sensor

The Cons

  • AWB issues
  • Focus issues

If what you are looking for in your dash cam is an unobtrusive, highly functional and economic dash cam then the Falcon Zero F-360 is a great choice. The dash cam has been crafted in such a way that it substitutes for your rear view mirror. A 3.5” LCD screen on the mirror gives you both front and back views side by side. Moreover, the best part is that the two wide angle cameras can be rotated and positioned such that the total viewing angle comes to an amazing 240 degrees.

Just like all other dash cams in this list of the ten best dash cams of 2017, the F-360 also features functionalities like Auto-on and loop recording. However, the cam does have some auto brightness adjustment issues in very sunny conditions. Although the 1080p full HD quality recording ensures that this issue does not largely inhibit the functionalities of the dash cam.

The cam also has easy setup, and its sufficiently long cable ensures that there is nothing to ruin vehicle aesthetics. The inbuilt microphone can muffle engine noise to an extent so that even audio files during an accident have good quality. The F-360 is a worthy purchase for people looking for a dash cam that can substitute the rear view mirror. This is one of the ten best dash cams of 2017 that you can consider buying if you are looking for a dual channel dash cam.

7. Transcend Drive pro 220

Salient Features:

  1. 130-degree viewing angle
  2. 1080p full HD recording
  3. Inbuilt GPS module
  4. Supports Wi-Fi and is compatible with phones
  5. Equipped with forward collision warning, lane change warning and more

The Pros

  • Economic product
  • Wide range of features
  • Excellent quality HD footage
  • Reputed brand

The Cons

  • Bulky charger
  • Focus issues
  • Minimal rotation angle

Transcend is a popular electronics company and its most successful product are memory storage devices. However, the Drivepro 220 from Transcend is no dash cam to be looked down upon. Transcend is offering a great set of features for a reasonable amount through the Drive pro 220 and I really wanted to check out if the makers stick to the standards expected of them.

The Drive pro 220, has a built-in Li-ion battery that gives you an assured 30 second recording time even after power failure. It can, however, record up to 30 minutes if fully charged. The video clarity is superb, and the 2.4" color LCD screen does great justice to the full HD recording.

What makes the Drive pro 220 a part of the ten best dash cams of 2017 is the range if additional features it offers for the price tag. The dash cam is compatible with smartphones, and can be used to stream and share videos. It is also equipped with a lane change assist, forward collision warning and has an inbuilt GPS module. This brings it to league with some of the higher end dash cams in the ten best dash cams of 2017 list.

8. HP F800x

Salient Features:

  1. 1080p Full HD recording
  2. 2.7” touch screen
  3. Inbuilt GPS and G-sensor
  4. Equipped with ADAS features

The Pros

  • 1080p full HD recording
  • Inbuilt GPS module
  • Equipped with ADAS features

The Cons

  • Battery life gets depleted in time
  • Non-serviceable battery

HP is a popular brand when it comes to consumer electronics, and the maker has not just stopped with laptops and printers. The HP F800x is one of the ten best dash cams of 2017 simply because HP has put in all features a dash cam is expected to have in a sleek package for a great price.

The F800x has a 140-degree wide angle lens, and I found this to be great when it is clubbed with the 2.7” touchscreen LCD. The camera records video footages at 1080p Full HD and leaves no room for critics to complain about anything.

The dash cam is also equipped with a G-Sensor for detecting collisions and has an inbuilt GPS module. The GPS module gives details such as speed, time, date, and location of the collision. The dash cam has an impressive night mode that records crystal clear footage even in the most dimly illuminated street corners. The dash cam is also equipped with ADAS features such as lane departure warning, front collision warning and more, making it deserve a place among the ten best dash cams of 2017.

9. Rexing S 300

Salient Features:

  1. 170-degree viewing angle
  2. Inbuilt G-sensor and emergency on/off buttons
  3. Full HD 1080p recordings
  4. Can support up to 128 GB storage cards

The Pros

  • Expandable up to 128 GB
  • 170-degree wide viewing angle
  • Full HD 1080p recording
  • 180 degree rotating camera

The Cons

  • Service centers are not available in some localities
  • Some products do not support the 128 GB cards quoted on paper

The Rexing S 300 is one of the ten best dash cams of 2017 simply because it is a dash cam that does the job of being a dash cam pretty well! Though Rexing is not as popular a brand as Garmin or Transcend, I still found the S300 to be quite reliable.

The dash cam has a super wide viewing angle at 170 degrees and records footage in 1080p Full HD at 30 FPS. The 2.7-inch screen ensures that you are constantly in the know about what is being recorded. The cam is designed to be sleek and slim which makes it non-intrusive.

The cam comes with a readily available 16 GB micro SD card so that you can install and start using it the minute you unbox it. It is also equipped with an Emergency on/off button and a G-sensor in case of any fatal accidents that need to be recorded.

10. Cobra Drive CDR 900

Product at a glance:

  1. 160 degree viewing angle
  2. 2-inch color LCD screen
  3. Cloud compatible
  4. Comes with 8 GB SD card

The Pros

  • 160-degree wide viewing angle
  • Full HD and Super HD footage
  • Can easily upload videos

The Cons

  • Expensive
  • Very little extra features
  • Can be unreliable in very hot temperatures

If you are looking for a reliable dash cam that captures videos at great clarity so that you can upload them to YouTube and other social media on an instantaneous basis, then the Cobra Drive is the best dash cam to go for. I decided to leave the last spot of the best 10 dash cams of 2017 out for a camera that functions as a reliable dash cam and has cloud compatibility for easy file uploading and downloading. The Cobra Drive CDR 900 came to fulfill everything I was looking for.

The camera offers superb video quality at 1296p super HDand 1080p Full HD. The camera has an impressive 160-degree viewing angle, and almost nothing escapes its sight. The 2-inch LCD screen facilitates instantaneous playback, and the cam can readily upload videos to cloud provided it is connected to a WiFi hotspot. It easily communicates with both iOS and Android devices through a dedicated app. The CDR 900 is also equipped with an inbuilt G-sensor that detects collisions and immediately saves important footsteps out of loop time.

I, however, found the camera to be proved a bit steeply for the features it offers. There are cams that offer a lot more features including GPS and ADAS for the same price. However, if what you are looking for is a dash cam that provides reliable and high-quality video footage that can easily be uploaded, then the Cobra Drive CDR 900 is worth trying out.

Verdict

Buying a Dash Cam and installing it on your vehicle can make a world of difference. With value for money being a huge factor around which these extra pair of eyes are designed, it can be seen that almost all of the ten best dash cams of 2017 are more than just dash cams. They might have inbuilt GPS, cloud support, ADAS features and more, but there are also dash cams that offer uncompromising performance.

If you are about to purchase your first dash Cam, then the Black box G 1W is a great starter. It will get you acquainted with the world of possibilities of having a Dash cam. However, if you are looking for a dash cam which has an arsenal of features including a great screen, then the Garmin Nuvicam is what you should go for.

During reviewing each of these products, I found that there was a section of people who prefer to have an unobtrusive dash cam that remains sleek, yet provides all the support they need while driving including ADAS. This is the reason why I included the Thinkware F770. With no screen, and yet a multitude of features, this dash cam is for those folks who hate screens on their dash cams.

The other dash cams that I reviewed were quite great. However, from the perspective of value for money and features offered, these are the ten best dash cams of 2017 that I would suggest to you.

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