Dash cam duo tested

Dash cams are the latest piece of technology drivers are adding to their cars. Reasons vary from a work requirement, reducing insurance premiums or simply wanting to record journeys in case people attempt to earn an early Christmas bonus...

Manufacturers are cottoning on to the idea, with the Citroen C3 offered with an inbuilt dash cam called ConnectedCam as well as the Corvette C7 as part of its Performance Data Recorder option.

Many insurers offer discounts if a dash cam is fitted to the car but, this being PH, that isn't always the first thing that comes to mind - it can also be used to record some of those lovely roads you found by taking that wrong turn or filming those epic track day overtakes. We put the Nextbase 412GW up against the Thinkware F770 - two different packages that take video recording very seriously.

Plug and Play
The 412GW, a plug-and-play camera by Nextbase is a portable and fairly small unit capable of recording in 1440p at 30 frames per second viewable on the LCD screen. It's fairly easy to set up straight out of the box by connecting the locking suction cup to the windscreen and letting the magnetic connector link up. The unit is noticeable under the rear-view mirror on the initial drive. However, after a few uses, it slowly gets lost in the peripheral vision and easily forgotten. The camera is more than capable of capturing the full view out front with little shake, no matter how hard your suspension set up may be.

Videos (recorded in two, three or five-minute intervals) are stamped with a GPS location and speed markers (which can be turned off) and can be saved either on the camera or via the app when connected to the camera's built-in Wi-Fi. Honestly, I only tried the photo option once and it works well if evidence of a crash needs to be captured, but in reality, most smartphones will do a better job.

On a few journeys, the camera decided to protect videos that didn't need protecting and at night the LED headlights on our test car (or the exposure settings, we're not sure) affected the camera's ability to capture number plates.

Super Night Vision spectacular!
The F770, Thinkware's offering, only records in 1080p at 30 frames per second but it does have 'Super Night Vision' up its sleeve and the option to pair it with a rear camera. It never had the peripheral vision problem either, slotting neatly behind the rear-view mirror; however, it did need to be set up via the mobile app as the unit doesn't have a built-in screen. Through the mobile app, multiple options can be toggled including parking recording, Super Night Vision and sound recording.

Video footage on the F770 is good when compared with other HD offerings but against the QuadHD the failings start to show. On the move, the camera alerts the driver of speed cameras with updated databases that can be downloaded for free. The camera also offers front collision pre-warnings, lane departure warnings and an alert when the driver ahead pulls away in stationary traffic. Small touches that make the journey a little easier. Using the desktop app, you can view your locations on Google Maps alongside the recordings to easily plot that next Dream Drive.

Worth the expense?
Both cameras have a 140-degree viewing angle and the ability to record incidents when the car is parked, helping catch those pesky car park scrape fiends. If your vehicle doesn't have all the gadgetry of a modern car and you want something extra from your dash cam, the Thinkware F770 should definitely be considered. Costing a little over £200, it brings the car into the 21st century but is let down slightly by its lesser recording ability. If all you are after is a dash cam though, peace of mind is provided by the £130 Nextbase 412GW.

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (37) Join the discussion on the forum

  • The Leaper 20 Dec 2017

    I bought a Next Base 412G dashcam in March. I had it fitted by the retailed which has the real advantage of no wires anywhere. As regards it being in my vision, it is but not at all distracting. The screen goes blank after 3 minutes as per UK legislation requirements, but it remains in operation of course.

    So far I've had no incidents so I've not had to use its real purpose. I have two mates with this camera who have had accidents and they were very pleased with the simple operation etc....and that their insurers decided promptly they had no responsibility for the accidents after viewing the recordings available.


  • The Mad Monk 20 Dec 2017

    What about this one?


    Techmoan says - the cheapest dashcam that's worth buying.

  • charltjr 20 Dec 2017

    Both of these are incredibly expensive, I'd be checking out cheaper and much smaller options myself. I had a Mobius for a while and that was brilliant - about the size of a matchbox and did the basics perfectly.

  • MarkM3Evoplus 20 Dec 2017

    Bought a cheap Chinese dashcam and it lasted a week, so think I will pay a bit more this time round

  • fullbeem 20 Dec 2017

    Still using my Mini 0803 dashcam. Cannot find a good enough reason to replace other than the microsd size is limited to 32gb due to file system resrictions.

    If i had to replace then id seek out a Mini 0804

View all comments in the forums Make a comment