A dash cam in operation in a carSource: iMore

Best Dash Cams iMore 2020

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

Apeman Dash Cam LifestyleSource: Apeman

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 capture the scene of an accident fully. This camera's large ƒ1.8 aperture has near-night vision capabilities, letting you 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. Our only beef is with the user manual, which skimps on essential details like how to operate the complicated on-camera menus.

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: Crosstour CR300

Crosstour Dash Cam LifestyleSource: Crosstour

If price is your strongest motivator, Crosstour offers an inexpensive dash cam that doesn't compromise on 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.

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 CR300

Solid, inexpensive option

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

Best Compact Option: Apeman C420 Mini Dash Cam

Apeman C420 LifestyleSource: Apteman

For a discreet, "hiding in plain sight" 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. The only cons are its meager instruction manual and the complicated menu system.

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 App: Rexing V1 Wi-Fi Dash Cam

Rexing V1 LifestyleSource: Rexing

If full integration with your phone 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 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 R24k LifestyleSource: Rove

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. This is a big cam, so it's not for those who desire something discreet.

With the Rove, you can view and share videos 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 build quality
  • Wi-Fi functionality
  • Vibration detection even while parked

Cons:

  • Fairly large for a dash cam

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 Voice Controlled: 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 Controlled

Garmin Dash Cam 66W

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 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 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 value it over price. The Apeman cam is the best for most people.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.