These days, you're bound to find a few crazy bad drivers out there while you're out and about around town. This is when a dash cam comes in handy, not just to show your friends some unbelievable driving incident that you witnessed, but also to protect your own tush when it comes to being in an accident and having to report it to your insurance company.
There are many dash cams available out there, but today we're taking a closer look at the Vantrue T2 Dash Cam.
Price: $150Bottom line: Vantrue's T2 dash cam is a good mid-level dash cam that captures fairly clear video during both day and night, and it has the ability to do 24/7 surveillance, even when your car is off.
- Compact, discreet design
- Records in 1080p HD
- Multiple power cable options
- Easy to install
- Secure mount
- Has night vision & 24/7 surveillance with OBD
- Captured video is curved at bottom
- OBD 24/7 surveillance depends on your car
- Hard to see if it's on or not
- Does not come with microSD card
A solid dash cam for everyone
Vantrue T2 Dash Cam: What I like
I've been wanting to get a dash cam for a while now to capture some of the crazy drivers here in Southern California, so I'm glad I received this unit to test. The T2 is a great little dash cam that should suffice for most people.
Installing the T2 is fairly easy. The mount itself looks like a suction cup, but it there is a switch that allows it to stay locked and secure in place. The T2 camera itself easily slides in and out of the mount, so you can remove it from your car if you don't feel it's safe when unattended.
The tube design of the T2 is discreet, and the size is small and compact. When you have it installed, it won't look very inconspicuous, especially if you have it behind your rearview mirror.
Vantrue gives you a few ways to connect the T2 to your car: a standard 10ft car charger cable, a 3ft USB data cable, and an OBD (on-board diagnostic) cable. Personally, I just use the USB data cable since I already have a dual-port car charger for my iPhone.
When the T2 is plugged in, it should automatically turn on every time you start your car's engine. It's usually right away, and you can tell because there's a small blue LED light that flashes under the button next to the LCD screen.
When I review footage captured from my drives, I'm fairly impressed with the visual and audio quality. There's a microphone on the camera so that it captures all audio, though you can turn that off in the on-camera settings. Recorded footage is in 1080p HD with little distortion, so you should be able to see license plates. It also has a frame rate of about 30fps, and the camera's night vision captures footage well at night too.
The T2 also erases the oldest footage on your microSD card when you're running low on storage, so there's no maintenance involved. Just make sure you pull the footage you want before it goes poof.
Not all cars may work with that 24/7 surveillance
Vantrue T2 Dash Cam: What I don't like
Unfortunately, I had a major issue when I attempted to use the OBD cable to connect the T2 for the 24/7 surveillance and Wave Guard Parking Mode with my 2015 Prius C. When I tried to start my car while testing the dash cam using the OBD cable for about 24 hours, it did not turn on at all. Only until I disconnected the OBD cable and went back to the USB cable did my car start up again.
I'm sure that it's because my car is not compatible with this type of OBD cable. You should definitely double check the compatibility of the 24/7 surveillance with your vehicle first.
I also don't particularly like that the bottom of video footage is curved, but I suppose this is due to the tube design of the camera itself. It doesn't affect the important part of the video (what I see on the road), but just a small quirk.
Another thing I've noticed is that sometimes it takes the camera a while to start up after my engine is on. The blue LED light (lets you know it's recording) on the "!" button next to the LCD screen is hard to see during the day, but at night I notice that sometimes it just doesn't turn on until after I drive a bit. The LCD screen eventually turns on for a while to show you what's being recorded but then goes black to not distract you.
You'll also need to purchase your own microSD card separately since the T2 does not come with a card or any onboard storage.
A pretty good dash cam for anyone
Vantrue T2 Dash Cam: Bottom Line
Overall, the Vantrue T2 Dash Cam is a great dash cam that gets the job done, and it's fairly affordable at only $150. I would highly recommend checking to see if your car works with (maybe the issue is hybrid batteries) the OBD cable for this dash cam. Otherwise, the USB cable should be just fine if you don't mind not having 24/7 surveillance.
Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.
When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.