Dash Camera of the Year shortlist
Dash cameras are increasing in popularity, with some car manufacturers even including onboard cameras to record footage while you drive. We've tested a whole range of dash cams over the last 12 months. See which five made the cut for our Honest John Kit 2019 Awards shortlist.
If you're looking for a top of the line, feature-packed dash cam then the Garmin 55 definitely fits the bill. Footage quality is excellent, as are the driver assistance systems you get included. And because it doesn't record in 4k resolution, it isn't quite as expensive as rivalling high-quality dash cams.
With the addition of WiFi, GPS and the microSD card, the price tag definitely starts to make sense. Yes, there are definitely cheaper rivals that do the job, but the lower footage quality and lack of GPS signal (to show speed and location) discount some of these from providing viable footage to insurers in the case of an accident. If you can afford it, the Garmin 55 is a superb choice.
If you're looking for the most feature-packed dash cam on the market - the Nextbase 522GW is it. It's simply head and shoulders above the rest. In short, we're very impressed with it. Features include Emergency SOS so emergency services will respond to your GPS location in the event of a crash, very impressive footage quality with a new polarising lens, Amazon Alexa connectivity (you read that right) and much, much more.
Taking the 25% SureThing! insurance discount into account, and the fact that many insurers now want GPS, time and speed stamping on submitted footage - the 522GW is a very smart option.
The Z-Edge T4 is a dual dash cam, with both front and rear facing units - which makes a lot of sense, particularly when it comes to providing footage to the police or insurers. Statistics show that around 30 per cent of accidents involve one car hitting another from behind. It's something you'll want hard wiring, otherwise, you'll have cables running everywhere. As long as you aren't looking for a discreet option (the screen is very big), we found it works faultlessly, producing nice clear footage.
The one fly in the ointment is that there's no WiFi or GPS. The former isn't too much of a loss, but the lack of GPS means that it will not display your speed and location, something other dash cams can. If that's not an issue for you, we can easily recommend the Z-Edge T4.
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Mio MiVue 766 WiFi
It might not be the cheapest GPS WiFi dash camera on the market, but the MiVue 766 is certainly one of the easiest to use. Video playback is really good and it's very simple to set-up. Even with the premium price and mean specifications, we'd recommend it for drivers who want a high-quality camera that requires very little tech knowledge to set-up and use on a daily basis.
The driver aids include pre-installed safety speed camera locations, digital speedo and a parking function that will record footage when the vehicle is unattended. The camera also emits a loud audio warning if it thinks the driver is getting tired or detects the vehicle drifting out of its lane.
Vantrue N2 Pro Dual
The N2’s key feature is a wide-angle forward-facing camera that works in conjunction with an adjustable rear-facing camera. Further increasing its capabilities is a G sensor, which protects footage automatically when an incident is detected, and a ‘Parking Monitor’. This uses the cameras’ motion-triggered capabilities to start recording if something moves near your car, which is ideal for those worried about damage that might be incurred while parked.
Footage captured by the camera is vivid and adequately sharp, with key features such as signs and number plates being easy to inspect when close up. Its performance in dark conditions is also very good. Max resolution is 1920x1080 (1080p Full HD). In dual-camera mode, the resolution is reduced - both cameras produce suitably clear but the rear-view camera can sometimes overexpose. The Vantrue OnDash N2 is a capable, straightforward and feature-packed dash cam that offers plenty of functionality for a sensible price. As a result, if you’re looking for an affordable and serviceable dual-camera unit, the OnDash N2 should be on your list.
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