A dash cam in operation in a carSource: iMore

Best dash cams iMore 2021

A dash cam is the best way to record your road activity and 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. The best dash cam today is the Rove R2-4K. It records UHD video in 4K resolution and lets you view and share those videos from your phone. Just like aftermarket backup camera displays, there is an abundance of high-quality dash cams to choose from today. We've looked at them all and compiled this list of the best dash cams of the year.

Best overall: Rove R2-4K Dash Cam

Rove R24k LifestyleSource: Rove

Rove's R2-4K dash cam records UHD video in 4K resolution for incredibly clear video and still frames so sharp you can read a license plate. The enhanced definition also helps you take clear low-light photos and videos, making it one of the most useful dash cams on our list. This is a big camera, so it's not for those who desire something discreet.

With the Rove, you can view and share videos from your phone over built-in Wi-Fi. It also has onboard GPS to record your driving location, speed, and other pertinent details. And when you're parked, the Rove still has your back. When it senses vibration, even when you're not in the car, the Rove's onboard vibration technology initiates recording on its own. That means it'll capture break-ins, collusions, and other disturbances when you're away from your car, making it a dash cam and security cam in one.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Wi-Fi functionality
  • Vibration detection even while parked

Cons:

  • Fairly large for a dash cam

Best overall

Rove R2 Render Cropped

Rove R2-4K Dash Cam

UHD footage

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

Best value: Crosstour CR350

Crosstour Dash Cam CrSource: Amazon

If price is your strongest motivator, Crosstour offers an inexpensive dash cam that doesn't compromise quality. You get 1080p recording, 12MP resolution, and a big aperture, along with a 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. With built-in G sensor technology, this dash cam detects shakes and collisions on its own, and it can lock the footage so it isn't overwritten during loop recording. This model suctions to your windshield and is easy to use and our favorite budget-friendly pick. The only downside is that buttons are sensitive to the touch. If you turn the microphone off, for example, adjusting the camera's angle will inevitably turn it back on without warning. Still, for the money, this is one of the best dash cams you can buy today.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive without compromising quality
  • 170-degree wide-angle lens
  • Easy installation
  • Strong suction cup mounting

Cons:

  • Buttons are sensitive to the touch

Best value

Crosstour Dash Cam Cr350 Rec

Crosstour CR350

Solid, inexpensive option

The Crosstour is reliable and cheap. It's easy to install, gives a clear picture, and has 170-degree coverage.

Best dual cameras: CHORTAU dual dash cam

Chortau Dash Cam LifestyleSource: CHORTAU

When you want eyes on the front and rear of your vehicle, the CHORTAU dual dash cam is the best in class. The front camera has full HD 1080P resolution and has a 170-degree angle view. The waterproof rear camera captures everything in a 130-degree radius and works as a backup camera. This model fires up by itself when you start the car and monitors for disturbances when you're away from your car.

The CHORTAU camera is simple to install. The front dash cam attaches to your windshield with a suction cup and the rear cam wires to the backend of your vehicle. This model has a bright 3-inch display as well, so you never have to pull your phone out to see what your camera captured. All video stores itself on an SD card, so you can also review footage on your computer. One complaint: the suction cup has difficulty gripping to the window in temperatures below freezing.

Pros:

  • Excellent wide-angle views
  • Two cameras for the price of one
  • Motion detection with automatic record
  • Simple installation

Cons:

  • Suction cup fails in cold weather

Best dual cameras

Chortau Dual Dash Cam Render Cropped

CHORTAU dual dash cam

Two cams for the price of one

Reliable front and rear cameras with wide-angle views, plus a 3-inch display.

Best app: Rexing V1 Wi-Fi dash cam

Rexing V1 LifestyleSource: Rexing

If full integration with your iPhone is important to you, 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 Android or iPhone. The LCD quality on this unit is bright but isn't the highest quality, so having phone compatibility is a huge plus. Another nitpick: this is a huge dash cam. If you need something compact, this isn't the model for you.

On the plus side, this unit has a 170-degree wide-angle lens, records in 1080p, has an ƒ1.8 aperture, and is temperature-resistant to extreme hot and cold days. Also, vibration detection works on this model even when parked. That means that if your car is dinged when you're not behind the wheel, this dash cam will capture it all.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • It's big
  • LCD display is low-quality for the price

Best app

Rexing V1 dash cam

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 voice control: Garmin Dash Cam 66W

Garmin 66w LifestyleSource: Garmin

Go hands-free with the Garmin Dash Cam 66W. This model gives you an extra-wide 180-degree field of view, so you never miss a thing. You'll also get 1440P HD, a 2-inch LCD, and incident detection, and automatic recording. This model automatically saves incidents to an 8GB microSD (not included).

My favorite feature here is voice control. You can save a video or picture, start and stop the audio, or start and stop the travel lapse using only your voice. The downside to this model is the price. It's more expensive than other options, but we think it's worth it.

Pros:

  • Compact and discreet
  • 180-degree wide-angle lens
  • Controlled by voice

Cons:

  • Pricey

Best voice control

Garmin 66w Render Cropped

Garmin Dash Cam 66W - Extra Wide

Hands-free

It's pricier than other options, but we like the size, features, and the fact that it's voice controllable.

Bottom line

Dash cams are becoming more and more popular and less and less expensive. It's not hard to find a capable camera, no matter what your budget is.

The best dash cam this year is the Rove R2-4K. It captures stunning, high-resolution details in UHD 4K video, and the footage is freezable, so you can grab a still shot. The pictures are every bit as sharp in bright sunlight as they are at night. And thanks to onboard vibration sensors, the Rove acts as a security camera too. Even when you're away from your vehicle, the Rove captures movement around when your car when it's been disturbed.

This is a big camera; there's no getting around that. We don't mind the size, though. We love the built-in Wi-Fi, ability to stream footage to our iPhones, and the crystal clear video it puts out. If you want the best of the best, throw the Rove R2-4K in your cart now.

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