Best Dash Cam of 2020 – Complete Reviews with Comparison
Are you in the market for a new dash cam? We’re here to help.
Dash cams have gained popularity over the years among many drivers.
In part this is because of an increase in scam artists literally “creating accidents” so they can sue you.
Either that or you can purchase one to simply capture those scenic views during your vacation travels. It also comes in handy when a dispute arises after a collision.
Whatever your reasons, we’ve decided to help you pick the right one by reviewing some of the best dash cams.
Best Dash Cam Reviews
1. Apeman Dash Cam
This is the ultimate go-to if you’re looking for a budget friendly dash cam that doesn’t compromise on both quality and performance. Because it’s practical, yet stylish, it’s at the top of our list of recommendations.
The highlight of this dash cam has to be its large screen which displays the road’s condition in real time. You can view images clearly thanks to the 1080P full high definition resolution. With a field view of 170° it’ll capture pretty much everything ahead of your car—cross traffic included.
The technology it features makes it a far cry from the ordinary low-end cameras. The HDR is one such example which ensures the camera creates clear videos. What’s better is this same technology allows you to view images clearly if you’re in low light situations.
Any driving collisions aren’t only captured but saved thanks to the emergency accident lock feature.
What's to like about the Apeman Dash Cam
What impresses us about this dash cam is its continuous recording abilities—even if the memory card is full. It’ll record over the oldest footage to avoid stopping the recording.
You’ll also appreciate that it not only records videos but also acts a surveillance camera. It offers 24-hour monitoring of the surrounding environment when it’s parked.
We particularly like its impressive image quality especially at night; Something most low-end cameras don’t have. The only pre-requisite is to ensure you have a clean windscreen.
What's not to like about the Apeman Dash Cam
Overall it works well; however, it takes a bit of practice to grasp how it works. The control buttons aren’t as intuitive as you’d like them to be. Also, you can consider purchasing another SD card for better storage because the one provided will fill up quickly.
2. TopGuard Backup Mirror Dash Cam
If you’re looking for a professional dash cam then this might be for you. This mirror dash cam is one of the top sellers from the market leader in personal security monitoring TopGuard.
What sets it apart from the other models is it offers simultaneous recording. Like the Apemam dash cam it provides 1080P front view video recording. However, the manufacturers went a step further by ensuring it also has 480P rear cam to capture all angles. And the best part is this rear cam is waterproof.
It also features a 7” screen for clear image viewing. When tilted laterally it further increases the clarity of the footage.
What’s also different about this camera is the reverse camera kit designed to ensure safe parking when you engage in reverse gear. Like most dash cams it also has parking monitoring abilities. The only difference is the TopGuard dash cam automatically switches on and starts recording as soon as the car is in park mode.
Any recorded videos are auto locked if the cam detects a collision. This way you can still present evidence of recorded footage when the need arises.
What's to like about the TopGuard Backup Mirror Dash Cam
The intuitive controls on this nifty gadget make it a user-friendly device. You can easily switch from one view mode to the next by simply using one key. The sensitive touch screen buttons also make it an easier interface to operate.
Apart from being a hassle-free device it’s also versatile. When you’re not using it as a dash cam it also works as a regular rear view mirror.
What's not to like about the TopGuard Backup Mirror Dash Cam
You may have to do a little drilling if you want to install the rear camera on your number plate which affects your car’s aesthetics.
The sensors are great features but tend to be too sensitive. Any door closing is often misinterpreted as some form of a collision resulting in a locked video recording. This pointlessly takes up the already limited storage space.
3. Byakov S604 Dash Cam
If you’re working on a budget this might not be the cam for you as it’s slightly on the expensive side. But with good reason. Its impressive functionality and performance make it worth every penny.
This is relatively smaller than the other dash cams which is a good thing because it won’t take up much of your windshield space.
You can record over old videos with this dash camera thanks to the loop recording feature. This way you won’t have to take the SD card out when deleting anything.
Like most dash cams it also has G sensors to lock any footage recorded during a collision. This way you’ll have concrete evidence to determine who’s at fault when a dispute arises.
Most people complain of limited storage space when it comes to these dash cams. Byakov took that into consideration and made sure this model has upgradable storage. While other dash cams in the same price range can only accept 16GB, you can upgrade storage to 32GB with this device.
This dash cam has the highest resolution compared to the other models reviewed so far. With an HD of 1920 x 1080p it offers impeccable visual displays. The six layers of glass lens and unique auto adjust exposure feature ensure even the most minute details are captured clearly on screen.
What's to like about the Byakov S604 Dash Cam
First off, you’ll appreciate that it’s made using quality material, so it’s built to last. Also, you don’t have to worry about it coming off once it’s attached—even when driving on the roughest of roads.
You’ll find this dash cam pretty easy to install thanks to its sturdy camera mounts which are adjustable.
What's not to like about the Byakov S604 Dash Cam
Overall, it’s a quality cam but our only major issues are with the SD card. In some cases, the SD card continuously pops out which can be rather annoying. Also, you may have to take out the SD card if you want to navigate the menu which is inconvenient.
Word of advice: Its highly recommended that you purchase a class six SD card or higher to avoid the above mentioned issues.
4. Aukey Dash Cam
Here we have a unique dash cam that features a low-profile design for those who want to record discreetly. And it doesn’t cost much.
If you’re a fan of Sony, you’ll appreciate this dash cam integrated with a Sony sensor to capture sharp videos in full HD. It has the same impressive field of view of 170° as found in the other dash cams on this list. This means you’ll also get full road coverage of what’s ahead.
What’s different about this dash cam? Unlike other dash cams which are there for everyone to see, the Aukey features a stealth design. This means you can install it behind your review mirror—out of public view.
In addition, it continues to record even after you’ve locked the car and left. This is made possible by the motion detection recording method feature. The only pre-requisite is it requires a continuous power supply for this feature to work.
With this dash cam you can track your trip because it pinpoints your exact location. However, note this optional function is only activated if you connect the cam to an Aukey GPS antenna.
For effective performance you’ll need to use a 10 micro SD memory card. Any lower and you might not enjoy reliable performance—or recording. Also, you must format the micro SD card first while it’s in the camera before you use it.
What's to like about the Aukey Dash Cam
The fact that it powers up automatically as soon as you start the engine makes switching it on one less thing to worry about. Plus, it switches off when you turn the car off.
Image quality isn’t affected regardless of the time of day. If anything, it displays even clearer images at night thanks to the clear night time recording feature.
It generally has a longer operational life because the battery is designed to withstand extreme heat or cold. The same can’t be said about batteries from the other dash cams.
What's not to like about the Aukey Dash Cam
Generally, it captures images clearly except for bright reflective license plates. However, this is common among most dash cams so it’s not a deal breaker.
You’ll also need to format the SD card on a monthly basis for effective performance which is rather inconvenient.
5. Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam
This is one of the low budget dash cams from one of the top dash cam providers in America— Rexing. Though affordable, it in no way compromises on functionality and reliability.
Like the Aukey dash cam this model also has a built in Sony image sensor, so it doesn’t miss the minor details during recording. You can mount it anywhere and still capture a relatively large area thanks to its wide field of view. While most dash cams in similar price ranges have five layer glass lenses this one has six for even clearer images.
One of its unique features has to be its wide dynamic range designed to create balanced images and footage. This allows the cam to perform well in any lighting situation. Also, unlike the other models, the Rexing dash cam has high temperature resistance. This means it can record clearly in virtually any climate.
You’ll need a memory card of class 10 or higher to effectively operate this cam. On the upside, it has the best storage capabilities of all five cams reviewed in this article. It accepts a memory card of up to 256GB. However, note this has to be purchased separately.
Like the Aukey dash cam, it also features a discreet design, so you can place it out of sight.
What's to like about the Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam
We like that it’s pretty easy to install—simply make use of the adhesive mount provided. Not only is it easy to attach but to detach as well.
It has a screen saver that allows the screen to turn off automatically after varying intervals depending on your preference.
What's not to like about the Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam
You may experience difficulties when setting the date. However, it’s nothing a quick call to customer services won’t fix.
While the adhesive mount is pretty easy to install, we can’t say the same about its sturdiness—particularly in hot weather. It tends not to hold up well in heat.
In case you’re buying it for the GPS function, you might be a disappointed because it only works if you update the firmware.
Not sure which dash cam to buy? We’ll help narrow down your selection by outlining the most important considerations to look out for. Know this: No dash cam is best for all situations because they come with different features for different experiences.
The best dash cam is basically the one that meets your needs. Below we’ll discuss some of the factors worth considering so you get value for your money.
Dash cams are just that: Video cameras with either built in or removable storage to capture footage while driving. They can either be:
- Traditional: This type is specifically built for cars, trucks or SUVs. It can either be attached on the rear view mirror or windshield depending on preference.
- Digital cameras: Here you’ll use your regular camera. However, it requires you to purchase a mount.
- Smart phones: Working on a tight budget? Improvise and use your smart phone to get the job done.
How clear do you want your video quality? I’m guessing crystal clear. After all that’s the only way you can capture that license place with clarity, right? What determines the quality is the video resolution. Generally, the one with a higher resolution is always best as it translates to clearer images.
While you can get cheaper models with good video superiority, the truth is spending a little more will give you a cam with better quality. The video quality must be clear in the following scenarios:
- When the vehicle is in motion
- At night
- In extreme lighting situations
Most dash cams on the higher end of the spectrum offer advanced features which help produce better video quality. Sensors, lens and processors are some of the features they come with.
Considering the size of these gadgets it comes as no surprise that most have limited storage capacity. The trick is to opt for one that has upgradable storage which means picking one with a micro SD slot.
This way you can purchase an additional memory card to increase the memory space and store more videos.
Single Channel or Dual Channel
How many cameras do you want in your vehicle? Better still, how many angles do you want to cover? Answering these questions will help you pick a cam with the number of channels you want.
Ultimately the one you decide on will depend on your budget as well as your vehicle. Naturally the dual channel is slightly more expensive than the single channel. Also, some vehicles don’t allow you to install rear cameras so be wary of that:
- Single channel: This is one of the popular types and comes with a front facing camera. With this you can only view what’s ahead.
- Dual Channel: This is a more versatile cam which offers both front and rear recording.
Mounting Options and Ease of Installation
There are basically two mounting options and the one you should pick is a matter of preference. Either you attach it to your rear view or your windshield with one of the following:
- Adhesive mounts: With this type you basically use a tape to keep your cam securely attached in place. Attaching your cam in this manner basically means less vibration which is a plus. Also, they’re more compact so the attachment won’t be taking up much space. The only major drawback is they aren’t reusable because they’re difficult to reposition. This means a new tape is required when you have to move your cam to another vehicle.
- Suction mounts: This type is easier to install, and a vacuum is used to attach your camera in place. Unlike the adhesive mount this type is reusable. Just be prepared for a little vibration. In extreme cases the shaking is quite noticeable. Also, their longevity is questionable as they tend to fall of easily—especially in extreme weather changes or over time when the rubber hardens.
How to install dash cam?
Whichever type of mount you pick, the first thing you need is a steady hand—especially if you’re installing the adhesive mount. It’s better to fit it behind the rear view mirror—in the center of your windscreen. This way it’s doesn’t obstruct your view and captures both lanes of the road ahead.
How to hardwire dash cam
In this instance your dash cam is connected directly into your vehicle’s electrical system. This means there’ll be no dangling wires in sight as they’ll be tucked away under your dashboard. Needless to say, this is a job for the professionals.
How to view dash cam footage?
Simply follow these five easy steps:
- Remove the memory card
- Insert memory card into the SD adapter that came with your memory card
- Insert the memory card into the built in card reader on your computer
- Copy video files to your PC
- Double click on the video and watch
Do I need a dash a cam?
Recorded footage will come in handy if a dispute arises in the unfortunate event of an accident. Also, some serve as forms of surveillance. Vehicle owners can use them to monitor the surroundings when parked.
A stealthy dash cam can also be used to monitor your new teen driver’s driving habits if need be. Are they speeding through red robots? Only the dash cam will provide you with the truth.
Can you use a GoPro as a dash cam?
Using a GoPro as a dash cam, though possible, is quite taxing. Firstly, you need to remember to turn it on and press record before every drive. No guessing what will happen if you forget and you’re involved in an accident.
Secondly, the battery life is very short. This means you’ll need to purchase multiple back up batteries. With that said can you use it? Absolutely. Is it reliable? You decide.
Of the five dash cams, we highly recommend the Byakov brand; partly because of its space saving design and impressive video quality—even at night.
If, however, you’re working on a budget then the Rexing dash cam is your best bet. With upgradable storage of up to 256GB, you won’t be deleting videos too frequently, plus the lenses are adjustable which users find very handy.
Sure, you could improvise and use recording alternatives, but chances are they won’t offer half the performance or reliability only a dash cam has. Are these gadgets worth having? We definitely think so!