Dash Cam Guide
Here is a guide to some of our most popular dash cams. Read our specs and feature breakdowns as well as some of our personal thoughts (italicized).
Thinkware FA200 1CH/2CH
This dash cam is available as a 1-channel or 2-channel dash cam. The 720P rear camera options include a regular rear facing camera, an infrared interior camera, and even a waterproof exterior mounted camera. This is an entry level dash cam from Thinkware but the front camera offers significantly better video quality than their F50, F70, and F100 cameras. GPS is an optional extra but WiFi is standard. WiFi download speeds are a little slower than the F800 Pro and streaming is not available (you must download the entire clip to watch it). Thinkware's parking mode feature works very well when paired with memory partitioning which separates motion detection and parking impact files.
The FA200 is one of our best selling dash cams as it offers a powerful parking mode feature at a very low price. Video quality is adequate but the rear camera is noticeably weaker than the F800 and Q800. Form factor is nice and small and reliability has been excellent. It's also worth noting that power consumption is very low meaning longer than average parking mode recording times.
VIOFO A129 Duo
A well-priced dash cam with very good 1080P recording on both front and rear channels thanks to higher bitrate recording. A 3-wire hardwire kit is available but the parking mode is not comparable to Korean dash cams that offer pre-buffered recording. WiFi app is not well refined but download speeds are decent. As a driving mode camera it works very well and video quality does not disappoint.
The addition of the rear camera brings some sloppiness in product design to light. The rear camera is massive with the mount and the USB cable that connects the front to rear is ridiculous. DIY installers will find tucking this wire in the headliner trickier than Thinkware's USB cable and the fact that the rear cable plugs into the top of the rear camera makes for really awkward mounting. Those who shop based on specs and video samples should be happy with this camera but there have been some corners cut in the development of this dash cam.
This is a mid-range dash cam from Blackvue that offers good video quality and one of the cheapest parking mode dash cams to offer a Sony STARVIS sensor (front camera only). With 1080P on both front and rear, most users will find the performance adequate. It's very discreet and a bit smaller than the DR750S and DR900S which add Cloud and internal GPS. WiFi download speeds are decent and the app works well.
The DR590W offers a noticeable step up in video quality compared to Thinkware's entry level offerings. It's worth noting that the 590W-1CH offers 60 FPS and better video quality than the 2-channel variant as the processor has less demand. Unlike Thinkware's dash cams though, you cannot add a rear camera after the fact as there is no port on the 1CH version, so you must make your decision ahead of time.
Thinkware F800 Pro 1CH/2CH
The F800 Pro has been the flagship dash cam from Thinkware for a while now. It was one of the first to offer Sony STARVIS sensors on both front and rear cameras and low light performance is excellent. Built-in GPS offers speed display as well as safety camera alerts. The flat and low-profile shape blends in nicely on many newer vehicles. WiFi download speeds are better than the F770 and FA200 but not quite as fast as the DR750S or DR900S from Blackvue.
The F800 Pro is a solid performer and perhaps the most reliable dash cam in our experience. It is a talkative camera but also one of the safest with really good alerts that tell you exactly what the camera is doing and whether it has any issues. Thinkware Cloud is tricky to setup and not as feature-rich as Blackvue Over the Cloud, those looking for a true cloud solution should look at Blackvue's options.
Thinkware Q800 Pro 1CH/2CH
The Q800 Pro looks virtually identical to the F800 Pro but offers an upgraded Sony STARVIS sensor capable of 2K (1440P) recording with the front camera. The rear camera is unchanged from the F800 Pro. Features-wise, it is pretty much the same as the F800 Pro and offers the same great parking mode. Price-wise it's not a huge jump either to go from 1080P to 1440P.
Video quality on the front camera is noticeably sharper than the F800 Pro but we wish Thinkware would've done more to upgrade this dash cam over the almost 2 years between the two models. It's worth noting that with 2K recording, front camera file sizes are about 50% larger than Full HD so the memory card will fill up faster. This is a bit of a trade off as the largest card supported is still only 128GB.
This camera is now only available as a 2-channel system. It replaces the DR650GW and DR650S which put 2-channel parking mode dash cams on the map. It addresses the biggest issue with the DR650S by offering higher bitrate recording and 1080P rear resolution. It's also one of the first to offer 60FPS recording which is great for motorsports applications. WiFi is fast and user friendly as with previous Blackvue devices.
One issue not addressed with the DR750S is the use of the fragile coaxial cable. Although thinner and easier to install than USB cables, carelessly plugging in this cable means you'll need to replace it which is added time and effort. 60FPS makes it great for track days and the microphone quality is excellent as well. Cloud works well enough and the amount of features with the free plan are pretty decent.
Blackvue DR900S 1CH/2CH
The biggest news with the DR900S is the upgrade to 4K (2160P) resolution. This offers even better video quality than the DR750S and perhaps the best in a true parking mode dash cam. The rear camera is the same as the DR750S-2CH and still quite good. Dual-band WiFi simply works great and H.265 compression keeps file sizes reasonable despite the higher resolution. Power consumption is on the higher side so expect a bit less parking mode recording time when compared to Thinkware's offerings.
This is the choice for anyone wanting the most future-proof dash cam setup. If you're leasing a car for 4 years, the DR900S will still likely be relevant after that time. It's a thoughtfully engineered product that was well worth the wait when compared to the now defunct DR650S. 128GB card highly recommended, others have experimented with even larger size cards with some success.