A dash cam in operation in a carSource: iMore

Best Dash Cams iMore 2019

A dash cam is the best way to record your activity on the road and to capture everything from collisions to reckless driving to cute baby geese crossing a busy highway. With more and more smart options available, I've taken notice and done the research. Your best overall option is the Apeman C450 Series A, which features full 1080p recording at 30FPS and a 170-degree wide angle lens, as well as some other smart features that make for the ideal dash cam.

Best Overall: Apeman C450 Series A

For impeccable value for the dollar, with features you actually need, like 1080p recording, a 170-degree wide angle lens, and great low-light performance, go with the Apeman C450 Series A dash cam. This cam also has a built-in "G-sensor," which recognizes shakes or collisions and immediately locks the footage to prevent overwriting, allowing you to fully capture the scene of an accident. This camera's large ƒ1.8 aperture has near-night vision capabilities, letting you clearly record collisions even at night.

The wide-angle lens provides three-lane coverage, and the 3-inch LCD screen makes for clear playback, letting you view the live recording while driving or allowing your passengers to view immediate playback.

Pros:

  • FHD 1080p recording
  • 170-degree wide-angle lens
  • Very inexpensive compared to similar alternatives
  • "G-sensor" locks footage in the event of a collision

Cons:

  • User manual lacks detail
  • On-camera menus are a bit complex

Best Overall

Apeman C450 Series A

Great value for features

This dash cam works exactly as intended, without unnecessary bells and whistles, for an excellent price.

Best Value: Pathinglek Dash Cam

If price is your strongest motivator, Pathinglek offers an inexpensive dash cam that doesn't compromise on quality. You get 1080p recording at 30FPS, and a wide aperture, along with wide dynamic range to improve night vision and clarity of still frames.

The 3-inch screen lets you see live video, and it's large enough to replay incidents clearly. When on standby, Pathinglek's cam's motion detector can help prevent theft by detecting moving objects nearby and turning on automatically. Loop recording helps keep storage space free by automatically deleting the oldest recording by overwriting it with the newest.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive without compromising quality
  • 170-degree wide-angle lens
  • Easy installation

Cons:

  • License plates can be difficult to read
  • Materials aren't the highest quality

Best Value

Pathinglek Dash Cam

Solid, inexpensive option

For a "just in case" option, go with Pathinglek's inexpensive dash cam, since it shares features of more expensive cameras.

Best Compact Option: Apeman C420 Mini Dash Cam

For a discreet, "hiding in plain site" dash cam, Apeman's C420 is ideal. Rather than the usual small rectangular shape most dash cams come in, this one's about half the size and square. It still records in full 1080p at 30FPS and boasts a large ƒ1.8 aperture and 170-degree wide-angle lens for a three-lane field of view.

If this dash cam detects vibration — even when your vehicle is off — it automatically starts recording, protecting you from theft, as well as collision liability.

Pros:

  • Smaller form factor for tight spaces
  • Same lens as larger Apeman cams
  • Motion detection with automatic record

Cons:

  • Poor instruction manual
  • Set-up menus are a bit convoluted

Best Compact Option

Apeman C420 Mini Dash Cam

Small but mighty

If you want a dash cam that fits anywhere you need it to, this is your buy. Get all the functions of larger cams in half the size.

Best Reviews: Rexing V1 Wi-Fi Dash Cam

If full integration with your phone is important to you in a dash cam, then check out Rexing's V1 cam, which has Wi-Fi functionality and its own app. You can view footage on your phone, save recordings, and share them, all on your phone (you do, of course, have to bring the camera in the house and connect to Wi-Fi).

As with other dash cams, this unit has a 170-degree wide-angle lens, records in 1080p, has an ƒ1.8 aperture, and is temperature-resistant to fairly extreme hot and cold days. With over 7,400 reviews on Amazon, this dash cam maintains a 4.3 rating, which means it works as intended and is generally trusted as a quality pick by many buyers.

Pros:

  • Excellent reviews
  • Wi-Fi functionality
  • Vibration detection even while parked

Cons:

  • Fairly large for a dash cam
  • LCD display is low-quality for the price

Best Reviews

Rexing V1 Wi-Fi Dash Cam

Shareable recordings

If you want to be able to share dash cam video straight from your phone, Rexing's V1 has the Wi-Fi capabilities you need.

Best 4K Option: Rove R2-4K Dash Cam

Rove's R2-4K Dash Cam records UHD video in 4K resolution for incredibly clear video, making for even better still frames if you need to read a license plate. This enhanced definition also helps clarify low-light video.

You can view and share video from your phone thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, and it features onboard GPS to record your driving location and your speed. The built-in vibration sensor initiates recording as soon as a collision occurs or will start recording for one minute when your vehicle is parked and turned off, and someone either tries to break in or hits it.

Pros:

  • Excellent reviews
  • Wi-Fi functionality
  • Vibration detection even while parked

Cons:

  • Fairly large for a dash cam
  • LCD display is low-quality for the price

Best 4K Option

Rove R2-4K Dash Cam

UHD footage

For high-res dash cam footage, turn to the Rove R2-4K, which records in 4K and offers convenient Wi-Fi capabilities.

Best Alternative: Crosstour Dash Cam

If none of the above options have really convinced you, then Crosstour's dash cam is the best alternative choice. It's inexpensive, shoots excellent footage, and features all the functions of the best dash cams around (wide aperture, 1080p recording, vibration sensor, loop recording).

This camera has a great 3-inch display for replaying video, and it comes in a relatively slim form factor that's low-profile and easy enough to fit into any vehicle. Crosstour's dash cam has a motion detection sensor, which will initiate recording even when you're not in the car so that you can save any necessary evidence if you're hit or broken into.

Pros:

  • 1080p recording
  • Wide-angle lens
  • Great price point

Cons:

  • Manual is not intuitive
  • Same low-light shortcomings as any dash cam without infrared

Best Alternative

Crosstour Dash Cam

Another great one

This is another solid, inexpensive dash cam option that provides all the functionality you need to capture every drive.

Bottom line

Dash cams are becoming more and more popular all the time and less and less expensive for what you get. It's not hard to find great FHD cams for cheap, which makes the Apeman C450 Series A all the more appealing. It's inexpensive without being cheap. You get a wide-angle lens to fully cover the road in front of you (or behind you if you so choose), and its automatic vibration sensor is ideal to make sure you capture everything that's necessary when it matters most.

Yes, there are cameras with Wi-Fi available, but that's a convenience. Unless taking and SD card from your dash cam to your computer is an extreme inconvenience, then there's no real need to shell out the money for Wi-Fi anyway. 4K is also nice, but only for the folks who really value it over price. For all intents and purposes, the Apeman cam is the best for most people.

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