Top 10: Best value dash cameras
The sheer number of dash cams on the market can be a bit overwhelming, so we've rounded up our favourite ten when it comes to value for money.
The 522 features GPS, WiFi and Amazon Alexa connectivity. Resolution is 1440p @ 30fps with a 140-degree viewing angle and a built-in polarising filter. The 522GW also offers a new and improved 3-inch LED touchscreen, a new software suite to watch and edit your footage, and Emergency SOS so you can alert emergency services of your location in the event of an accident.
It isn't the cheapest dash cam around, but it offers a tonne of smart features for the outlay. Considering most people use dash cameras to protect themselves against false insurance claims or in the event of an accident, Nextbase has also renewed its partnership with SureThing, offering those who buy a 522GW - or any other Nextbase Series 2 dash cam - 25% off a SureThing policy.
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The Apeman C420 offers 1080P HD footage with a 170-degree, wide-angle lens. It doesn't offer a huge range of features, lacking GPS for speed/time stamping and WiFi to make transferring footage easier, however, it has a G-sensor to detect and save footage of incidents. For those wanting a simple dash cam without things like lane departure warning and speed camera alerts, the C420 is excellent value for money.
It's small size also makes it ideal for drivers who want to keep the dash cam out of sight behind the rear-view mirror.
The YI is an excellent dashcam for the money. It's fairly inexpensive but outperforms cameras that are more than twice the price. The footage is very good, it's easy to use with a simple menu layout and is proving reliable too. In our time testing the YI, we had no issues with it freezing or crashing, despite us changing SD cards repeatedly and playing with all the settings.
It's disappointing there's no suction mount, plus the lack of GPS is a drawback - but if that's not an issue for you, this is a no-brainer. YI also has excellent customer support and you only have to have a quick glance at the customer reviews on Amazon to see many satisfied buyers. This is one of the best non-4K cameras we have tested and, for the price, is superb value for money.
While there's no shortage of good dash cams at an affordable price, the 222 stands out for its quality. True it doesn't have GPS or WiFi, but this is clearly a high-quality product. The magnetic connector works really well, reducing camera shake and making for a much more secure fitting while the new windscreen mount is also far better than in the older Nextbase ones and feels like it's built to last.
The footage is very good, although we'd stop short of saying it's quite as good as the Azdome GS63H. However, it's still very sharp and clear. The camera is easy to use with simple menus and the unit has proved reliable during our tests. Buying the 222, or any other Nextbase Series 2 dash cam - will also get you a 25% discount off a SureThing insurance policy.
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The Aukey range is an excellent one, and either the DR01 or the DR02 are both worthwhile, relatively affordable and simple cameras. If you are after simplicity, then the cheaper DR01 model is a very good no-frills option.
There are downsides, such as the lack of battery, which means the camera has to be connected to a power source at all times to record, but it is happy to accept even very large memory cards (up to 128gb) so you can record a lot of footage before it needs to be wiped.
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Suaoki R800 dash cam
At around £40, the Suaoki represents good value for money. It may look cheap, but it performs well and captures 1080p HD at 30fps footage (about average), while it's also easy to set-up and use. The software has frozen a few times when we've been going through menus, but overall the unit has proved reliable when we've been testing it. What it doesn't have is GPS or WiFi, so it won't record your position or speed, nor will you be able to view or transfer files directly to your phone.
As a no-nonsense and simple to use dash cam, the R800 ticks all the boxes, with impressive footage to boot. However, we still think the YI Smart is a better unit all around for similar money, plus it has WiFi which the Suaoki lacks. But the Suaoki is nonetheless a capable and reliable dashcam, especially if you can get it even cheaper.
Lanka Full HD 1080p DVR
While it lacks the latest 4k resolution and high framerate footage of pricier cameras, the image quality from this dash camera isn’t too bad considering its price. Although its performance in particularly bright sunshine or at night isn’t exactly stellar.
But if you want the bare minimum for the lowest price possible, this is okay. It records in loops, has a save button and has legible, if not particularly impressive, video. For the price, it’s not bad at all – but we’d still recommend spending a little bit more.
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The 512GW has dropped in price since the launch of Nextbase's new Series 2 range (which includes the 222 and 522GW models in this list). We like its blend of high-quality footage - maximum resolution is 1440p at 30fps, but it will also shoot in 1080p at a faster 60fps - ease of use and Wifi connectivity that allows you to view clips on a phone.
You can also add a rear camera, called the 512GWRC (GPS WiFi Rear Camera), which costs £50 (although it's about £30 here). Both cameras record simultaneously in 1080P at 30fps, offering front and rear protection against liability claims in case your car is rear-ended. It's our pick for the best dual dash cam.
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While Azdome may not be a familiar name to many, the GS63H is a superb camera for the money. Given the price, it outperforms more expensive dash cams from many well-known brands, both in terms of features and the footage it captures.
Easy to set up, the GS63H is a camera you can leave in your car and not have to worry about. As soon as turn on the ignition it starts recording and you can forget about it. You can also set the screen to turn off when you're driving to make it less distracting - a little lights tells you it's still recording. With GPS, WiFi, an easy to use app and reliable software that works well, the GS63H is a great dash cam and one that's easy to recommend.
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The Garmin 55 offers 1440p resolution footage, forward collision and lane departure warnings, alerts for red light and speed cameras, WiFi and voice-controlled features like Travelapse. 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 dash cams like the Nextbase 612GW.
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. Or, for £20 less you can get the Garmin 45, which offers roughly the same specs (slightly lower resolution at 1080p and no voice control capabilities).