While we have specialized in parking mode dash cams for more than 5 years, we understand that a portion of our customer base doesn't need the parking mode feature. Quite a few customers in fact just want a dash cam that turns on when you start the car and turns off when you turn the car off. This makes for simpler installation, no battery concerns, and a simpler (thus more affordable) dash cam solution. So we brought in a few of these best-selling 360Cam G300's to try out!
Pricepoint & Design
At a starting price of around $90 USD/$120 CAD, the 360 G300 is a small investment as far as protecting your vehicle and giving you the peace of mind offered by even a basic dash cam. This camera is decently equipped with premium parts like a Sony EXMOR IMX323 sensor and Novatek NT96658 processor. These were components found in top-tier dash cams just a few years ago that have trickled down to more affordable models.
The design of the G300 is elegant with a slim mount that can slip between the rearview mirror and windshield of most cars. The 2" screen is essentially vertical which is easier to view and use compared to cameras like the A119 where the screen will be more slanted. The front camera lens can be rotated up and down to work on a variety of vehicles. There were only two things we didn't like about this design. One is that the camera cannot be separated from the mount which is a feature on most other dash cams, making it easy to hide the camera if necessary or transfer it from one vehicle to another or bringing it inside the house for playback. The other is that the angled shape makes it an awkward install for cars with more upright windshields, such as a Jeep Wrangler or many commercial trucks. One minor gripe is that the tape used is a grey colour which is more visible than the clear or black tape used by other dash cam manufacturers.
Real World Test Results
We tested this camera for more than 3 months to get an idea of the performance. The camera records at a bitrate of 10 Megabits per second, this is on the low side for cameras these days but pays off in terms of storage space. At just 75MB for one minute of footage, a 32GB card goes for about 6 hours of recording. Which for many drivers who drive an hour or less a day, means that you can easily store about a weeks worth of footage on a 32GB card.
Video quality is still reasonably sharp but the camera lacks in terms of dynamic range. What this means is that bright areas on screen during the day tend to be overexposed, while dark areas at night appear very dark. It's not as good as something like the VIOFO A119 V3 (perhaps the best video quality dash cam under $200) and is more similar in terms of video quality to the Thinkware FA200.
We went one step further and tested the dash cam on a racetrack. Here the 30FPS recording definitely lagged a bit behind the VIOFO dash cam which can do 60FPS, but what blew us away was this camera's audio quality. Despite lots of wind and tire noise, the mic did not distort. The audio is perhaps the best out of any dash cam we've tested and holds up even with the windows down at over 150km/h. The adhesive mount is also fairly stable despite the bumpy conditions.
One of the major selling points of the G300 is that it offers a WiFi app. This app is surprisingly intuitive and simple. 360Cam actually designs their own interface rather than using the generic menu and app found on the VIOFO dash cams and a number of other Chinese cameras. The WiFi download speeds are reasonably quick and the app is easy for first-timers.
The camera also has a parking guard mode which will wake up if your vehicle is hit. This isn't worth much since in the event of a hit and run it will only record what happens after the hit, and not the actual impact itself. Those looking for a true parking mode dash cam should look at the VIOFO A119 V3 or Thinkware FA200 (under $200). These cameras offer a true buffered parking mode and don't cost too much more than the G300.
If you're looking for a simple and affordable dash cam to record when you're driving, the G300 makes a lot of sense. Boot up time is very fast and the WiFi app is excellent. Video quality is appropriate for the segment and good enough to prove which driver is at fault in most cases. It IS NOT a true parking mode solution but otherwise it is a sleek and fairly powerful 1CH system. This is the best-selling dash cam in China for a great reason as it fulfills most user demands at a very attractive price.