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Engwe P275 Pro review: A powerful city e-bike with automatic gear shifter
6:30 pm | May 6, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hybrid & Electric Vehicles Vehicle Tech | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Engwe P275 Pro: One minute review

It isn't immediately obvious that the P275 Pro is an Engwe bike, but I think that's a good thing. Right out of the box, it's clear that the design ethos of this bike is very different from what the Chinese manufacturer has produced so far. 

Historically, Engwe is well known for super chunky tires and oversized frames, but neither can be found here. The P275 Pro has a sleek and slim frame that not only makes the bike relatively light, but also look great. The tires are much thinner, but still quite thick in comparison to some of the best electric bikes out there right now. The Tenways CGO600 Pro has a better tire width.

The build quality is all-around excellent. The aluminum alloy frame is beautifully welded together, with cables tucked neatly away within the frame itself. A vast reduction in cable ties is another significant improvement over their other e-bikes.

One of the downsides of the frame is the minimum seat height of 91.5cm. This will be too high for a lot of riders so make sure you check your ideal seat height before purchasing this e-bike

Another divergence for Engwe is the choice of branded parts right across the e-bike. It all begins with a 36V, 19.2Ah Samsung Lithium-ion battery that provides up to 150 km range when using the highest level of assist. The Bafang 250W Brushless Mid-drive Motor is ideal for use in the UK and provides just enough power when navigating medium inclines. The automatic gear shifter also helps to keep the bike moving when handling more challenging hills.

All in all, the P275 Pro is a great bike and represents an excellent direction for the company as a whole. With a great design, good build quality, and a range of branded parts, there aren't many downsides to this e-bike.

Engwe P275 Pro: Price and availability

Engwe P275 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • £1,899 in the UK
  • Only available in the EU
  • Available from the manufacturer directly

The Engwe P275 Pro has been designed specifically for the EU market and is available for £1,899. It comes in two different color combos: straight black or a gorgeous black frame with a standout orange battery case. Engwe sent me the one with the orange highlight, and I can say it's quite the design statement.

Other than the e-bike, you'll also get a Samsung 36V, 19.2Ah Lithium-ion battery with a compatible charger. A rear light is provided, but it's not integrated, which is disappointing. The sad times were slightly overcome when I saw the cool horn-like bell design. It's a neat change that's also very functional.

If you're after a more complete package, including accessories, then you can buy two different types of rack bag or even an additional battery.

Engwe P275 Pro: Design

Engwe P275 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Sleek design with standout battery compartment
  • Branded parts, including battery and motor
  • Average weight for an e-bike

The P275 Pro not only looks great, but is also built well. This is a premium e-bike that is available in either black or as a black-and-orange combo. Personally, I prefer to blend into the background, but if you want to stand out, then the color combo will be a great way to do that.

The diamond-shaped aluminum alloy frame delicately blends sharp turns with smooth flows to give an attractive design. The main frame flows beautifully into the Bafang motor, and the carbon belt rather than a chain means this bike glides effortlessly, whether power-assisted or not.

At 27.5 x 2.4 cm, the tires are uncharacteristically thin for Engwe and look the part for an urban bike. They are slim enough to reduce traction and wide enough to provide the necessary grip. The slim frame also results in a more than manageable 25.3 kg (55.77 lbs).

Putting the e-bike together was a breeze with all the tools included in the box. Design-wise, the only thing I would have changed would have been the rear light. Engwe has opted to provide a battery-operated light that clips behind the seat. An integrated rear light would have made much more sense and helped to provide a complete package.

The e-bike ships with an integrated front light, sturdy mudguards, and reflective rims on the wheels. The last of these features is handy for visibility when traffic is approaching from the side. These circular reflectors also look great when lit up. 

I'm very impressed with the design of the P275 Pro, and if this is a sign of things to come for Engwe, then I'm very excited indeed.

  • Design Score: 4.5/5

Engwe P275 Pro: Performance

Engwe P275 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • Bafang 250W Brushless Mid-drive Motor
  • Automatic gear shifter
  • Hydraulic disc brakes

With a Bafang 250W Brushless Mid-drive Motor and 65 N.m of torque, the P275 Pro has all the power required for rapid acceleration and when navigating medium-sized inclines. Even though I rarely lacked the power I needed, this e-bike behaves more like a push-bike that provides battery power only if you need it. This is a positive in terms of battery performance, but if you're after an e-bike that does most of the work, then this won't be for you.

One of the standout features of the P275 Pro is the automatic gear shifter that provides three distinct levels. The e-bike moves seamlessly between them depending on the speed of travel and helps to provide a middle option between a single-speed bike and something with an abundance of gears, a little like the software-driven Cowboy 4. The automatic nature of the shifter takes all the guesswork out of gear-changing and instead aims to further help the pedal assist mode of the e-bike. 

The motor's pedal sensor ensures that power is delivered when needed, although there were times when it took a couple of seconds longer to kick in than I was expecting. That being said, the transition from standing still to moving was always smooth and never abrupt. I'm always wary of e-bikes that are too abrupt because they can lead to accidents, especially when navigating through traffic.

Speaking of safety, the 180mm front & rear Tektro hydraulic disc brakes provide all the necessary braking capacity at all speeds. They are responsive and reliable, and even though I'm not a fan of this brake type, they are a good match for this bike.

With a limit of 25 km per hour, the P275 Pro is perfect for the EU market. At this speed, the motor stops and it's all on you. I found it difficult to pedal beyond this speed, mainly due to the motor resistance, something that was particularly noticeable when traveling downhill.

  • Performance score: 4/5

Engwe P275 Pro: Battery life

Engwe P275 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
  • 260 km range (PAS 1 level)
  • 150 km range (PAS 5 level)
  • Removable battery

The P275 boasts a 36V, 19.2Ah SAMSUNG Lithium-ion battery, which Engwe claims provides up to 150 km when using the highest level of pedal assist. I almost always wanted the maximum level of boost and found that a range of around 100 km per charge was more realistic. Having five different assist modes is a little over the top, but it does enable users to manage their battery range if need be.

The range of an e-bike battery is always dependent on a range of factors, including rider weight, wind resistance, and the amount of surface friction. It's always worth taking the advertised ranges with a pinch of salt and assuming that these are the maximum achievable distances only if ideal riding conditions are met.

To charge the battery from empty to full, it will take around 5 hours, which will be fine for most people. This fits easily into an overnight charging schedule or even charging it at work before setting off again at the end of the day. 

The battery itself is mounted underneath the seat and stands out even more if you go for the black and orange colour combo. The battery can be easily removed from the frame for easy charging.

  • Battery life score: 4/5

Engwe P275 Pro: Scorecard

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested the Engwe P275 Pro electric bike

As soon as I got the Engwe P275 Pro, it was hard to put it down. Over several weeks of testing, I enjoyed riding it around the rural area that I live in as well as commuting into the nearest city. As a result, I was able to test the e-bike on a range of terrain and up and down a variety of hills.

I was pleasantly surprised at the bike's ability to handle wherever I took it, as well as through a range of weather conditions. The brakes were adequate during wet conditions, and the motor got me everywhere I needed to go without too much hassle.

First reviewed: May 2024

Rove R3 Dash Cam review: ticks all the boxes
1:30 pm | March 31, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Dash Cams Gadgets Vehicle Tech | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

If you’re looking for a dash cam that can do a little bit of everything, the Rove R3 Dash Cam is well worth investigating. Even some of the best dash cams on the market don’t always come with all the features and functionality needed for comprehensive protection. The  Rove R3 Dash Cam carries an impressive specification, with a 3-channel touchscreen dash cam being the core component.

However, armed with cabin and rear cameras too, it delivers a comprehensive range of video coverage, including 1440p video capture out the front, 1080p footage in the cabin, and 1080p out the back. There’s voice guidance, built-in GPS and 5GHz Wi-Fi, plus a very practical parking mode feature for keeping tabs on things when you’re not in your vehicle.

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Rove R3 dash cam

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Rove R3 dash cam

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Rove R3 dash cam

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Rove R3 dash cam

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Rove R3 dash cam

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Rove R3 dash cam

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Rove R3 Dash Cam

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Rove R3 dash cam

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Rove R3 dash cam

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Rove R3 dash cam

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Rove R3 Dash Cam Price and Availability

If you can put up with all the pop-ups on the official site, the Rove R3 Dash Cam is available direct. Your best bet is to head to Amazon, where the RRP of $399.99 is currently discounted to $199.99 – though this could obviously change at any time. The package comes with everything you need, including front and rear cameras and all the accessories for fitment and use. However, a hardwire kit and microSD cards are available as extras.

Rove makes a big deal about this model being powered by a Super Capacitor, which is mentioned quite a lot in the promotional blurb. In other words, the dash cam opts to use one of these over a lithium-ion battery. 

It makes no difference in the grand scheme of things if you’ve got the camera connected by default anyway. Having said that, Rove reckons this makes it more useful to folks who might encounter extreme temperatures ranging from -4°F (-20°C) to +158°F (+70°C). Extreme adventurers take note.

Rove R3 Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)

Rove R3 Dash Cam: design

The Rove R3 Dash Cam arrives in a box that flips up to reveal just about everything you need from a complete solution dash cam package. The artwork looks like it was designed using a home desktop publishing package and is quite chaotic in places, but, looking past that, the initial impressions made me keen to get the Rove R3 Dash Cam set up.

Full marks should go to Rove for providing a comprehensive, full-color manual that outlines all the steps for getting set up and how to use video once it's been recorded. There’s a supplementary app for both iOS and Android too. it's possible to use everything without calling on it if you’re not fussed, but it does enhance the overall user experience if you do.

Also inside the box are the main camera, a smaller rear camera, a 4.8 AMP dual charger plug, a suction mount, a wire trim tool, a 2.5ft USB Type-C data cable, a lengthy rear camera cable, a 12ft USB Type-C power cable, cable hiding clips, electrostatic films, a wet cleaning pad, and spare 3M adhesive stickers.

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Rove R3 Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)
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Rove R3 Dash Cam

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Rove R3 Dash Cam

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Rove R3 Dash Cam

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Rove R3 Dash Cam

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Rove R3 Dash Cam

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Rove R3 Dash Cam

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Rove R3 Dash Cam

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The build quality of all the components feels as good as that found on any of the other best dash cams. I like the robust feel of the main camera and the 3-inch screen is big enough to touch even if you’ve got chunky fingers. The design is also nicely laid out: I quickly knew where all the cables needed to go as they’re marked up logically. All I needed to do was pop in a microSD card and start plumbing it all in.

Considering the Rove R3 Dash Cam is a complete solution package, there’s inevitably time to be spent sticking the cameras on the front and rear screens. I made use of the electrostatic sheets, which saves getting your screen covered in gum from the adhesive if I have to take it off again. The wiring, especially for the rear, takes further time to push in around the headliner, but I found the included tool made fairly light work of that. It all plugs in easily enough, though.

I especially like the way you can mount the main camera as it is, straight to your screen. Alternatively, there's the option to use the mount, which means it can be more easily positioned if any adjustment is needed. I got lucky the first time with my screen-mounted route, but either option works well depending on your requirements. Usefully, the lens in the main camera can also be twisted in a circular motion, so the view of the road can be adjusted easily.

Rove R3 Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)

Rove R3 Dash Cam: Performance

Setup took me about 30 minutes all told, which is reasonable. I then powered up, which happens automatically if you’re plugged in, and had to pick through a few options to configure the camera.

It involves common tasks, such as formatting the memory card (which was included in my test example but isn't normally), setting the date and time, choosing a time zone and carrying out any customization options. I plugged the dash cam into my 12V electrical socket, though you can buy a hardwire kit if you’re looking for a permanent installation. 

There’s a small button on the side of the camera to manually power up, but, once installation is complete and it has power, the Rove R3 Dash Cam engages its video recording mode automatically.

Conversely, the Rove R3 Dash Cam will stop recording if you power down your ignition (or unplug it) within 1 to 2 seconds. It will save the last video being recorded, so there’s no fear of losing any footage. I felt happy to use the camera in its default setup and settings arrangement, but dipping into the menus lets you easily tweak most aspects of the functionality.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the Rove R3 Dash Cam is the three-channel coverage thanks to having a front camera, a rear-facing one, and the lens built into the main unit that covers the cabin area. Adding to the appeal is the built-in GPS Geotagging (incorporated into the mounting point of the main camera), which means the footage always has live speed and location data as part of the capture process. Getting footage off the cameras was easy too, with dual-band Wi-Fi (5GHz and 2.4HGz) straight to the app proving handy.

I removed the card and reviewed the footage on the larger screen of my laptop, with crisp and clear results returned by all three cameras. The 150-degree view provided by the f1.4 front lens, which uses a 5-megapixel OmniVision OSO5A10 CMOS sensor is solid and more than usable for picking out the definition on number plates and the like. The cabin and rear cameras feature f1.8 a 140-degree field of view with 2-megapixel Sony Starvis IMX307 sensors on board.

Rove R3 Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)

Overall, after-dark footage was impressive, with, again, plenty of definition coming from all three cameras. The Rove R3 Dash Cam seems to react well to changes in light too, even inside the cabin as I moved past street lights, which can frequently make footage look less than brilliant. The G-Sensor tech, which works for the parking monitor, only engages if it’s hardwired, so I didn’t get the chance to try this. Aside from checking the sensitivity though, I see no reason to doubt the quality of the footage it captures.

The screen on the back of the camera is a little busy, with a host of function icons along the top and the different camera views under that, but, as with most dash cams, I find everything works best if I keep tabs on footage via the app or on my laptop. The screen is perfectly serviceable for carrying out tweaks to any of the settings, though.

Should you buy the Rove R3 Dash Cam?

Rove R3 Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Rove R3 Dash Cam

  • I used it every day over several weeks
  • I used it on a wide range of journeys
  • I recorded video for extended periods

After installing it in my car, I put the Rove R3 Dash Cam through its paces over the span of two weeks, leaving it in situ for the whole test period. During that time, I used my car for a variety of journeys, from shorter commutes to longer runs. As well as using all the features and functions found within the camera, I also experimented with the app and downloaded footage to my laptop for closer inspection. The only feature I didn’t experience was the motion-sensing option, which only works if the Rove R3 Dash Cam is hardwired into a vehicle.

  • First reviewed March 2024
Thinkware F70 Pro Dash Cam review: think small
12:00 pm | March 21, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Dash Cams Gadgets Vehicle Tech | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

With a range of more than ten dash cams, Thinkware is no stranger to the market. In 2018, it launched the F70, a product that remains its most basic offering. The lack of mobile connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi made it difficult for users to interact with it in ways that are now expected. Thinkware has addressed these issues in a newer 'pro' version with more features and better interactivity; the F70 Pro. 

Landing in 2023, the F70 Pro covers all the basics very well. In terms of the design, you'll be hard pushed to find a smaller dash cam. It sits neatly behind the rear view mirror. The downside of its size is that it doesn't have a screen for viewing the footage. To do that, you'll either have to connect it to your smartphone using the Thinkware app or put the microSD card into your computer.

Video can be recorded at 1080p and 30 fps, meaning there's little to no possibility of zooming in or slowing down the footage for closer inspection. Considering this is a budget dash cam, there is no reason to expect higher resolution or slow motion modes. If you're after a higher specification, then our best dash cams guide is worth a look.

Thinkware F70 Pro dash cam

(Image credit: Future)
Thinkware F70 Pro Dash Cam Price and Availability

The Thinkware F70 Pro Dash Cam is available on the Thinkware website for £119. The same package is available in the US, through outlets including B&H and Amazon, for $99.99.

Inside the box, you get the dash cam, a windscreen mount, a variety of electrostatic stickers, a hardwired power cable, and a sticker removal tool.

For those not wanting to hardwire the dash cam in, there is the option of purchasing a separate OBD power cable that connects to your vehicle's OBD II socket. This enables the parking mode feature and is sold at £29.99 / $44.99

There is no GPS functionality natively, but it can be added on with the optional GPS antenna. For £20.00 in the U.K. or $29.99 in the US, you can access GPS mapping and the speed camera database.

But don't write the F70 Pro off just yet – it's a dash cam with advanced features, including an Advanced Parking Surveillance Mode. When hardwired or using the OBD II connector, it is possible to record while your car is turned off. The device monitors and captures motion and impact with an extra 10 seconds of footage captured before and after the incident.

As well as a Parking Mode, the F70 Pro also boasts night vision, safety camera alerts and a high temperature protection system. For only £119.00 / $99.99 it's amazing the number of premium features that are included. If you're happy with HD resolution and a slightly lower video quality then the F70 Pro is an excellent choice.

Unlike the F70, the F70 Pro can connect to the Thinkware dash cam app. This is available on both iOS and Android and enables users to view a live stream of what the camera is seeing as well as review existing footage on the microSD card. The app itself is extremely easy to navigate and contains all the camera settings. 

There is no shortage of alternative options for 1080p dash cams. For the same price, there is the Garmin Mini 2 or if you have a little bit more money to spare and want a rear camera too, then the Nexar Pro is a great choice.

Thinkware F70 Pro dash cam

(Image credit: Future)

Thinkware F70 Pro Dash Cam: design

The F70 Pro is extremely easy to set up. Everything that is required is included in a single small box – even a 32GB microSD card is included, so you don't have to buy one of those separately. The card clicks in and out and is easy to access. The windshield mount attaches to the windscreen with an adhesive panel that is strong and reliable.

The dash cam slides into the mount with no trouble at all, although sliding it back out is a bit more of a pain. I used a 12V power cable, and once I had connected that, I was ready to connect it to the app.

Thinkware F70 Pro dash cam

(Image credit: Future)

The build quality of the F70 Pro is as you'd expect for a budget device. The plastic construction is strong enough to withstand any knocks it'll encounter and is also very lightweight. The cylinder design with well-engineered buttons at both ends makes for a very attractive, compact case. Thinkware has made good use of the slim design, opting to put the power cable port at the top and the microSD port at the bottom.

The dash cam can rotate up and down to capture either more of the immediate road in front or into the distance. The hinge moves freely but is strong enough to stay where it is left.

The windshield mount is equally small, although the pad is strong enough to keep the dash cam exactly where it needs to be. The device can slide out of the mount, but I found this to be too stiff and put me at risk of damaging either the dash cam or the mount.

Thinkware F70 Pro dash cam

(Image credit: Future)

The additional hardware kit opens up a couple more features, including a Parking Surveillance Mode and a Time Lapse Parking Mode. I wasn't able to test either of these, as they require hardwiring the unit or using the OBD II Connector. The Parking Mode includes everything a user would need, including motion and impact detection. It records for 10 seconds before and after an incident to give you that extra bit of evidence should you need it.

The dash cam also comes with what it calls Night Vision, but sadly it's only available during the Parking Mode. It would be ideal to have this feature during all nighttime driving, but it's limited to this one mode. It helps to ensure license plates and road signs are appropriately visible.

The F70 Pro doesn't have GPS built in, but this can be activated when connected to your smartphone, or you can purchase and use the Thinkware GPS antenna.

Thinkware F70 Pro Dash Cam: performance

The F70 Pro boasts a 2.1 MP CMOS Image Sensor that is capable of capturing Full HD (1920 x 1080 px). The reduced quality of this sensor is very much in line with the budget price of the unit and only delivers great results in the best lighting conditions. 

Users who do a lot of daytime driving will be more than pleased with the output, with the camera able to capture all the important details, including the number plates of other drivers. 

The Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) mode captures more color and detail and is particularly helpful on those bright days when a small sensor such as the 2.1MP CMOS type employed here is in danger of blowing out highlights.

My results during nighttime recording were a lot more sketchy. The sensor really starts to struggle, something that would be improved with the Super Night Vision feature, but alas, this is only available during Parking Mode.

Footage is captured at 30 fps, which is perfect for real-time playback but lacks the frames to slow the footage down afterwards. There are situations where things happen too quickly for the camera to adequately record what happens, so a greater number of frames per second helps to capture more pictures during the course of any incident.

For better results, especially in more challenging light, go for a dash cam with a Sony Starvis 2 sensor or with 4K recording capabilities. This will help to increase detail and picture quality, an essential requirement when needing to provide evidence of a crash.

The inclusion of a 140 degree wide angle lens helps to capture a greater range of vision not only in front of the car but off to the sides as well. This comes into its own when incidents occur at the sides of the car and would simply not be visible with a dash cam that has a smaller field of view.

Unfortunately, there is no ability to capture footage beyond 140 degrees. With an increasing number of dash cams able to record around 360 degrees thanks to dual cameras (or in the case of the 70mai Omni – a single rotating camera), the lack of this really does show that this is a budget dash cam that id best for first-time buyers. 

Should you buy the Thinkware F70 Pro?

Thinkware F70 Pro Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Thinkware F70 Pro

  • I used it for my daily commute
  • I used it during different lighting conditions
  • I recorded video for extended periods

I used the Thinkware F70 Pro Dash Cam in my car and enjoyed testing out its range of features on a number of different journeys. I was able to test the picture quality in a variety of different lighting and weather conditions, including daytime and nighttime.

I connected the dash cam to my smartphone and tested out all of the Thinkware app's features, including the live view and the gallery of previously recorded footage. I didn't test the parking surveillance mode due to not hard-wiring this device with the additional hardware kit. 

After transferring the files onto my Mac I was able to properly inspect the quality of the video and see how it compared to other dash cams.

  • First reviewed March 2024
Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam review: a clever, compact solution
1:01 pm | March 7, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Dash Cams Gadgets Vehicle Tech | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

Owning a sports car with a small windscreen area means that some of the best dash cams are a little too intrusive for my needs. That’s why the arrival of the Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam is ideal; it’s one of the smaller models on the market. It offers a compact footprint using the sticky pad on your screen, and takes less space in the cabin thanks to its dinky dimensions. I’d say it’s about half the size of a comparable standard dash cam, making it perfect for smaller cars or those working with a limited glass area.

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Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

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Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

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Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

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Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam Price and Availability

The Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam is available to buy now and is on sale in the US directly from Viofo for $149, although this is currently discounted down to $119.99. It's also available in the UK, again from Viofo, for £119; a further discount brings that down to just £95. While the package contains everything you need to get up and running, there’s no hardwire kit included, so you’ll need to buy this is an add-on if you wish to have a more permanent installation in your vehicle.

Better still, there’s very little to figure out with the Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam, since it features a limited number of buttons and ports on its exterior. These include a one-touch button on the back of the unit for capturing and storing a chunk of footage manually, and a microphone button that can also be given a long press during setup to format the memory card. This model takes the usual microSD card, with a 32GB card supplied in the box; it slots into a port on the side, while the power cable does the same. After holding down the button, there's an audio notification that states the card has been formatted, while a red LED on the unit indicates that the dash cam is functioning correctly.

Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)

Getting the Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam into position proved easy enough, with the option to stick it onto your screen using a 3M self-adhesive pad. This can also be attached to a static sheet, also supplied in the box, removing the need to get gum from the glue directly onto your screen. A 12V connector, with a USB2 Type-C to Type-C data cable, a spare sticky mounting pad , plus a tool for pushing the wires behind interior trim are also included.

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Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

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Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

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Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

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Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

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I found the Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam very easy to position. The base is attached to the camera part with a moveable joint, which allows you to angle the lens to suit the different pitches found in vehicles. Get lucky, and you could get a good view of the road on your first attempt; however, you’ll need to check some test footage on the supporting app since there's no rear screen with this model. It’s not a major downside, however.

In terms of the specification, the Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam features Sony Starvis 2 technology, which means you’ll capture solid footage with help from the 5.12 megapixel, 1/2.8-type image sensor. At best, this delivers 2K 1440p video recording, but I’ve found the resulting footage of excellent quality – as you can see for yourself in the video clip included within this review. Considering I tested the dash cam during those dark and dreary winter months, the end results are very usable.

Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)

Image quality is further helped by the high dynamic range of the Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam, with the HDR doing a very credible job after dark. I found the voice control option on this model impressive, too, which allows you to turn on Wi-Fi functionality or start and stop recordings without you having to use your hands – an obvious boon when you’re driving. The dual 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi is handy for moving footage off the card, and also lets you check footage on the app if you have that installed on your phone.

Considering its relatively basic specification, this model does come with 24/7 parking monitoring functionality, although you'll need to hardwire it into your vehicle for this to work. If you’re after a permanent dash cam solution in your car then this would be worth doing. Thanks to the G-sensor, the camera can detect movement in car parks, any sudden impacts, and captures time-lapse footage for good measure.

Should you buy the Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam?

Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam

  • I used it daily over several weeks
  • I used it on a variety of journeys
  • I recorded video for extended periods

I spent time using the Viofo VS1 Tiny Dash Cam over a period of weeks in the winter months, which meant that it was frequently deployed in dark and damp conditions. The supplementary app was used to check footage and tweak features and functions, while the memory card was also removed and previewed on a laptop so that I could get a closer look at captured content, which also presented the opportunity to check over the audio quality. 

The unit was not hardwired into the test vehicle for the duration of the review period, but worked perfectly well being plugged into my car’s 12V socket.

  • First reviewed February 2024
Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 review: Urban e-bike with mass appeal
5:07 pm | February 14, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hybrid & Electric Vehicles Vehicle Tech | Comments: Off

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0: One minute review

The Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 IGH is the latest incarnation of its commuter or urban e-bike, which I first tested when it was on version 4.0. We ranked it as the best overall electric bike for any rider on our best electric bikes list, os the 5.0 has big shoes to fill. 

Still, that was a couple of years ago, and there are currently a few variations on this one model theme. The 5.0 IGH edition I’ve been testing, which boasts a Cast Black/Silver Reflective finish in a range of frame sizes, features a dynamic powertrain. 

That gives you power delivery as you need it, while the bike itself offers an upright and relaxed ride that’s perfect for more casual cyclists. It’s built using a quality selection of components and has everything you need to get from one place to another, including full mudguards, lights, and a rear luggage rack. It isn’t the lightest bike you’ll ever ride, but that battery and motor combination plus a belt drive more than takes care of that.

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0: Price and availability

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0

(Image credit: Future)
  • $4,500 / £5,500 / around AU$6,896 for single battery 
  • Available from the manufacturer directly

The Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 IGH currently costs $5,500 US / £4,500 UK and is available via the Specialized website or from resellers. 

If you can’t stretch to this latest model then it is well worth investigating the earlier editions, in either the Turbo Vado 3.0 or Turbo Vado 4.0 variants, which will likely set you back less.

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0: Design

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0

(Image credit: Future)
  • Practical urban cruiser-style e-bike
  • Impressive array of quality components
  • Frame is aluminium alloy but it's a bulky bike

As you’d expect from Specialized and a bike with a premium price tag, the Specialized Turbo 5.0 IGH looks good and feels like it’s very well made. It’s quite a hefty thing, with no obvious weight stat shown on the Specialized website. Safe to say, you wouldn’t want to have to lug it up and down a flight of stairs too often. However, the frame is fashioned from E5 aluminum and some of the cables are worked through the frame to enhance the bike’s minimalist styling.

The component selection is largely excellent too, with Rockshox Recon forks, a Rivo Sport saddle, Ergon GA30 grips fitted to Specialized’s own allow handlebars with a compact Specialized computer as the centerpiece and SRAM brake discs front and rear being the main highlights. 

Meanwhile, the powertrain setup is a tried-and-tested Specialized 2.2 motor, which features 90Nm of torque powered by a Specialized 710Wh battery. The drive goes through a Gates cassette and belt arrangement, ensuring the same smooth power delivery that made the earlier bikes a success.

Getting the power down to the road is done via Specialized rims fitted with chunky Pathfinder Sport Reflect tires, which look good and give the bike a well-planted look too. Thankfully, Specialized does include most of the necessary accessories with this bike, using its super-comfortable pedals, Lezyne Ebike Power 310 Lumen headlight, and Spanninga Commuter Glow taillight to complete the package. A practical kickstand and nigh-on-essential mudguards round it out nicely.

  • Design Score: 4.5/5

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0: Performance

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0

(Image credit: Future)
  • Smooth power delivery thanks to belt drive
  • Powered assistance up to 15.5 miles per hour
  • Automatic gear changes make riding a breeze

If you’re after an easy ride around town, or anywhere else for that matter, the automatic Internal Gear Hub (or IGH) fitted to the Vado 5.0 is ideal. That dynamic gear change is perhaps what makes the e-bike so appealing as it’s a breeze to ride. All you need to do is set off and, as you apply pressure on those flat pedals, the bike works it all out for you (a little like the software in the Cowboy 4) and adjusts the powertrain setup to suit the terrain and your pedalling style. Hit a steep hill and the system will offer up to four times the regular power to get you up and over a peak.

This all works just as it should, which is a relief as riding the Vado 5.0 without any power assistance soon reveals just how hefty this bike is to move using pedal power alone. The compact MasterMind monitor in the middle of the handlebars shows you all of the ride information, including if you’re in a particular mode with Sport being the perkiest of them all. This is supplemented by plus and minus buttons over on the left-hand side, next to the hand grip, which can be used to manually change settings if you prefer.

Specialized also has its accompanying app, which can be used to work in tandem with the MasterMind to alter settings if you wish, although I’ve found everything can be done well enough on the bike itself. However, the app can also be used to deploy the Turbo System Lock, which means your bike can be secured if you’re out and about and don’t have a third-party lock with you. The Vado 5.0 is effectively disabled once you’ve engaged it, and there’s a motion sensor alarm too for added peace of mind.

I also rather like the integrated Garmin Radar on this bike, which can give you a nudge when traffic is approaching from behind up to a range of 140 meters. I got some good use from the rear luggage rack, which can handle loads of up to 27kg and it proved handy for shopping trips into town. Usefully, especially considering the family-friendly style of this bike, there’s the ability to hook up a through-axle trailer too.

The up-to-80mm of travel you get from those spongy RockShox front forks is really effective, even if you’re only using the bike in an urban environment. They allow you to flip the bike easily up over raised sidewalks and the like, while also absorbing most types of potholes without fuss. This is complemented by those chunky wheels and tires, which help soak up any lumps and lumps, especially at the rear where there’s no moving suspension. The accommodating saddle and hand grips along with the upright riding position make this a bike you can ride all day and not feel drained at the end of it.

  • Performance score: 4/5

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0: Battery life

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0

(Image credit: Future)
  • Around 62 miles/100km of range from a full battery
  • Easy to charge if plugged in overnight
  • Battery can be charged on or off the bike

As is the case with any electric bike, the battery life is very much dependent on how much you make use of the motor. In the case of the Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 IGH you’re unlikely to be riding it without power assistance as without it the two-wheeler is heavy going. 

Nevertheless, even when used for a full day out, I found the bike was fine for charge when I got back and was easily brought back up to full power with a plug-in wall charger, so it was good to go the next day. It’s everything you’d expect from a bike of this class and quality.

  • Battery life score: 4/5

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0

(Image credit: Future)

Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0: Scorecard

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested the Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 electric bike

I was loaned the Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 for a couple of weeks, during the winter period, which meant it was subjected to a wealth of mainly inclement conditions. However, despite it getting drenched regularly, the e-bike performed admirably and did really well when battling against strong winds thanks to the electric powertrain.

The e-bike was also charged a couple of times and subsequently tested on a variety of surfaces. Thanks to the thicker tyres the Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 proved more than capable on softer tracks and paths, but came into its own on cycle paths in and around town. 

First reviewed: February 2024

Engwe M20 review: A beautiful e-bike with incredible range
7:00 pm | January 14, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hybrid & Electric Vehicles Vehicle Tech | Comments: Off

Engwe M20: One minute review

The Engwe brand has been on the map for some time now, so I was excited to get my hands on their new M20 model. With a fish-inspired design reminiscent of the Super73, the M20 is a great-looking bike. Considering most electric bikes struggle to turn heads, Engwe has done a fantastic job of picking colors, materials, and shapes that make the overall look work.

With the dual battery option, riders will have no issues reaching their destination, and with a peak power of 1,000 W, the necessary assistance is there in abundance. 

Unfortunately, the M20 is limited to inclines of 10 degrees, which makes it more of an urban cruiser than a mountain biker. The weight, 35 kg, makes it difficult to move around but has the added benefit of ensuring a safe ride.

The build quality is nothing particularly special, something you'd expect at this price point, but it's fairly decent all the same. The lack of hydraulic brakes is disappointing, especially considering the top speed reaches 45 km per hour.

All in all, the M20 is a great-looking bike with a superb cycling range. The range you get for the price makes the M20 a very appealing package indeed.

Engwe M20: Price and availability

Engwe M20 E-Bike with dual battery

(Image credit: Future)
  • $1,299 / £1,049 / around AU$1,938 for single battery 
  • $1,599/£1,349 / around AU$2,385 for dual battery
  • Available from the manufacturer directly

The Engwe M20 is available to buy in the US and the UK, but it's important to note that it's not road-legal in the UK at the moment. With a great range but budget-friendly build quality, the M20 costs $999 / £999 for a single battery or $1,199 / £1,299 for the dual battery option.

For that budget price, it is quite remarkable what you get in the box. The package includes the option of two batteries and ships with dual front lights and a bright rear light, an LCD display, mudguards, horns, Shimano gears, disc brakes, and a sturdy stand.

Engwe also offers a range of accessories, including a rack bag, bike pump, lock, and additional taillights for an additional cost.

Engwe M20: Design

Engwe M20 E-Bike with substantial tyres

(Image credit: Future)
  • Beautiful café racer-style e-bike
  • Budget-friendly quality components
  • Lightweight aluminium alloy but still a heavy bike

The Engwe M20 delivers when it comes to design. Everything about the colors, materials, and overall design makes this a great-looking e-bike. After a fairly easy process of unboxing and building, I struggled to take my eyes off the bike. I managed to get my hands on the green frame with mustard seat and black accessories, and boy did it look good. The green frame can also be swapped out for a white or black option, with the latter looking particularly nice thanks to every part of the bike being black. 

The fish-inspired design looks very similar to the Super73 bike but comes in at a fraction of the price. The seat sits quite far back, which took a little bit of getting used to and offers no height adjustment, which is not ideal for taller riders. The sponge seat delivered all the comfort that could be hoped for and was large enough to sit on comfortably.

The frame is made of lightweight aluminium alloy rather than carbon steel, but it's still a really heavy bike. I had trouble shifting it during assembly, and lugging it around at the beginning and end of rides was not easy. The full 35 kg means it's not for the faint-hearted. 

The tyres might be the thing I noticed first about this bike. At 20 by 4.0 inches, these tyres are seriously fat and offer a sturdy ride no matter the weather conditions or the speed you are travelling. The three-layer design of rubber, carbon nano-braiding, and a butyl rubber inner tube makes these puncture-resistant while offering a great ride on any terrain. 

Everything that you need to get on the bike is included in the box. The front lights are added using two bolts, while the rear lights are pre-installed. The mudguards are easily attached with a bolt on either side, and the inclusion of a robust stand makes it easy to park the bike anywhere you want. 

  • Design Score: 4.5/5

Engwe M20: Performance

Engwe M20 E-Bike with digital display and pedal assist controls

(Image credit: Future)
  • Great power delivery and an abundance of torque
  • Top speed of 45km per hour
  • Struggles on steeper inclines

I was really impressed by the overall performance of the Engwe M20. The peak power of 1000W delivered an incredible level of torque, sometimes proving to be a little too much. It was fantastic to have so much power at my fingertips, but I did have to be careful to avoid lurching forward, especially from a standstill.

The five power assist modes are plenty for providing enough help under most circumstances, and I found myself utilizing modes 2 and 3 most of the time, which proved, in general, to be enough. The transition up and down the modes is easily achieved using the buttons on the bottom of the LCD display. They are accessible without needing to look at the buttons and are responsive enough to deliver immediate impact. 

Unfortunately, the power is lacking when it comes to hills and inclines steeper than 10 degrees. This level of incline isn't very much at all and would rule the bike out for some people surrounded by hills. At the higher end of its incline capabilities, the bike begins to struggle, so it's well worth planning your trips out ahead of time, especially if you're doing any unknown routes. You don't want to be pedaling this heavy beast up any steep hills.

The battery manages to deliver the advertised range, but only at the lower end of the power assist mode. This was significantly helped by the second battery, which not only increased the range from 75 km to 150 km but also made the bike feel more sturdy underneath me.

Due to the height of the seat and the design of the bike, I didn't find myself pedaling very much at all. I didn't particularly need to, due to the power of the bike, but it's always nice to have the option to get some exercise when out cycling. 

The disc brakes should have been hydraulic due to the fast available speeds and the heavy weight of the bike. They were a little too grabby for my liking and did rub a bit. In general, they performed fairly well so it was more a case of lacking confidence in the parts rather than having any real issues braking. 

Each battery takes around five hours to charge, but only one charging cable is included. This makes it very difficult to get both batteries charged up at all quickly and will require a lot of planning on the riders' part if they're using this bike regularly. 

  • Performance score: 4/5

Engwe M20: Battery life

Engwe M20 E-Bike with 150Km range

(Image credit: Future)
  • 75Km range for each battery
  • Five hour charge per battery
  • Batteries increase bike stability

The Engwe M20 boasts a range of 75km for a single battery but can be extended to 150 km with a second battery. The full range is only available when using assist mode 1 throughout the whole range, which is unlikely to be the case for most riders. The range of a single battery drops to 55 km in electric mode one.

The range, as is the case for all e-bikes, is completely dependent upon the way the bike is used and the terrain traveled. I used modes two and three most of the time, so I wasn't going to benefit from the top range, but I was still impressed by its efficient power usage. 

The fact that a single battery takes around five hours to charge means you'll want to be thoughtful about how you ride the bike. If you want to get from A to B as quickly as possible, then there will be more charges required and a higher electricity bill as a result. 

The batteries are nicely mounted to the frame and, as a result, stay very much out of the way. Their mounting position and weight give this bike a strong 'core' and keep it well routed to the ground—something that is essential for safe riding. 

  • Battery life score: 4/5

Engwe M20: Scorecard

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested the Engwe M20 electric bike

The wet, windy, and at times calm weather that was presented to me made for perfect conditions to test out the Engwe M20. Heavy rain meant I could properly test the brakes and the mud guards. Both performed adequately, considering their construction.

The variable weather also meant the tyres got a good run-out. Their significant size and tread depth surpassed all requirements I could throw at them. I wasn't able to test the incline limitations particularly thoroughly due to my area and its surrounding areas being quite flat.   

First reviewed: January 2024

Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam review: comprehensive cover inside and out
11:30 am | December 18, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Dash Cams Gadgets Vehicle Tech | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

Although there are plenty of options when it comes to the best dash cams, not all of these products offer a complete, one-stop solution. Enter the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam, which is just that: a collection of three cameras in one box. If you’re looking for a dash cam bundle that can film the view out of the front of your vehicle, as well as the back, and keep tabs on the interior, this could be it.

Viofo sees this as its current flagship model, and it has every reason to be pleased with the outcome. The Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam comes in a plush and well-presented box. The main 4K dash cam unit features 4K Sony Starvis 2 sensor technology and can capture 4K Ultra HD videos at 30fps with a 140-degree field of vision. This is supplemented by a pair of 2K Quad HD cameras, which are smaller but can still capture 30fps and feature a 160-degree viewing angle.

The all-important view out of the front of your vehicle is the star-turn here, with its 8-megapixel Sony Starvis 2, 1/1.8-inch IMX678 image sensor. However, the rear camera is no slouch either thanks to a 5-megapixel Sony Starvis 2 1/2.8-inch IMX675 image sensor, which Viofo reckons offers 2.5 times wider dynamic range in a single exposure than predecessors. 

What that means is much better-quality video in a wider variety of driving scenarios. The wider dynamic range and better sensitivity to light ensure the overall shooting quality works more efficiently across a raft of different situations.

One such situation is capturing video at night or in very low-light conditions as experienced during winter months. Both camera sensors in this package benefit from DOL-HDR technology, which helps to boost the quality of after-dark capture. This becomes even more useful when it comes to the likes of capturing license plates, as well as helping you get clearer video when there are sharp variations in light, such as going through tunnels or when heavy traffic produces an endless array of glaring headlights.

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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam Price and Availability

The Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam is available direct from Viofo as well as the usual online outlets. It has an RRP of £293.88 in the UK though at the time of writing is discounted down to £269.39. If you’re in the US, the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam has an RRP of $359.99, which is also discounted to $329.99 at the moment. 

Unlike the previously reviewed Nextbase iQ model, the package can be used without any type of subscription service to exploit all of its many and varied features and functions.

Bumping up the appeal of the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam still further is the voice-control feature, which lets you easily control the video and audio recording, Wi-Fi connectivity, and other basic commands with hands-free simplicity. Also handy on this front is the way the unit lets you know of any memory card errors without you needing to avert your eyes from the road to find out for yourself.

For everyday practicality, there's also 5GHz connectivity, which means the Wi-Fi setup is much more efficient than the included 2.4GHz band. It’s just a quicker way of moving video from the camera to other sources, such as cloud storage, web space, or your computer. If your laptop isn’t to hand, you can check over videos on your phone. The Viofo app is worth having for this purpose as it offers smoother and more convenient file handling.

As this is a pro-type solution, you get the bonus of an intelligent parking mode feature too, which requires you to hardwire the dash cam into your car. Once that's done, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefit of round-the-clock coverage, with the main point being it’ll capture video if someone damages your car while it’s parked up. 

Parking mode is engaged automatically when the car’s ignition is turned off and you can manage settings from the Viofo app. For peace of mind, there’s a low-voltage function built in so your car battery will never be run down by the camera unit.

Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Another plus with the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam is its G-sensor functionality, which is the brains of the unit. It can detect any movement to your vehicle and trigger the capture of a 45-second video before an event and a 30-second video after anything happens, so you’ve got a complete record of any notable events that need to be documented. A GPS logger function will also capture vital details, including location, speed, and time, meaning you’ve always got an overview of every scenario.

Look out for the time-lapse recording mode, which captures condensed chunks of footage at 1/2/3/5/10fps minus any audio. This is handy if you’re keen to document an important or interesting journey without having mountains of footage to sift through at the end of it. Naturally, the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam will capture video in a loop-based setup with the added benefit of the G-sensor tech locking any video that it deems important, such as when a bang or jolt occurs in your vehicle.

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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
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Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to installing and setting up the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam, the process is thankfully very straightforward. You can, of course, get the unit hardwired into your car if you prefer a more permanent arrangement, but this model can simply be plugged into a 12V power socket in your vehicle and works from the off.

I was really pleased with just how easy this model was to configure. Viofo also includes a microSD card, which just needs to be formatted before use, but the camera does all of that for you during setup. Granted, there’s quite a lot of wiring to tuck away if you’re hooking up the internal and rear-facing cameras, but there’s an included plastic tool for helping you get it under trim panels and such. Once all that is done, this is very much a plug-and-play dash cam package, with the 2.4-inch HD screen offering up a great view of controls and the road ahead.

Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The design of the camera units is clever too, with a neat pivoting motion on both the main unit and the supplementary cams allowing you to get their viewing angle just right. This even worked on a sports car I was driving with a very angled windshield, which means the Viofo A229 Pro dash should work in most vehicles. Everyday use is just as impressive, which, as you’ll see from the footage displayed on this page, works well even if you’re driving in mid-winter conditions that are sub-optimal, to say the least.

Should you buy the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam?

Viofo A229 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam

  • I used it frequently over the course of one week
  • I used it on a variety of journeys
  • I recorded video for extended periods

The great thing about the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam is that it can be used by anyone without any installation skills. I chose to plug it into the 12V socket in my car, using the supplied cable while evaluating the on-screen controls and the app options.

Video footage was recorded on a variety of journeys from short commutes to longer treks. Road conditions and surfaces were also used to compare footage for things like clarity, resolution, and overall quality. Testing in the latter half of the year also means the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam was evaluated for the way it handled different light conditions, including dark mornings and inclement weather.

Performance was also evaluated over longer periods of recording time, to ensure the Viofo A229 Pro Dash Cam was happy with being on for protracted periods without overheating or malfunctioning.

  • First reviewed December 2023
70mai A810 Dash Cam review: incredible bang for buck
1:00 pm | December 15, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Dash Cams Gadgets Vehicle Tech | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

70mai is one of the leading manufacturers of dash cams and their newly launched A810 is a credit to their already impressive lineup. The 4K front-facing camera can deliver excellent results in all lighting conditions and the added HDR technology gives it a great boost when shooting in intense light or at night.  

The secondary camera is only 1080p resolution and comes as a separate piece of hardware in the set. As great as it is to have a second camera for recording the vehicle cab, the quality of that video is inferior to its front-facing big brother. Colors aren't as vibrant and it struggles in tricky lighting conditions. The additional camera also means an increase in trailing cables as the unit has to be connected to the main device. 

The A810 contains a range of extra surveillance features including night vision, parking mode, and GPS tracking. All of these make it a great option for security-minded drivers. 

The dash cam market includes a range of similar 4K options, as well as other cameras that offer additional features. Check out our best dash cams guide if you're looking for other possibilities.

70mai 4K A810 Dash Cam with screen

(Image credit: Future)
70mai A810 Dash Cam Price and Availability

The 70mai 4K A810 HDR Dash Cam is only currently available in the United States with a planned launch in the UK in March 2024. 

Dash Cam only: $149.99
Dash Cam and Hardwire Kit: $169.98
Dash Cam and RC11 Rear Camera: $165.99
Dash Cam and RC11 Rear Camera with Hardwire Kit: $185.98
Dash Cam and RC12 Rear Camera: $179.99
Dash Cam and RC12 Rear Camera with Hardwire Kit: $199.98

Inside the box, you get the dash cam, a windscreen mount, an electrostatic sticker, a power cable, a car charger, and a seal twister tool. 

The USB-C-to-USB-A and car-charger adapter will keep the dash cam powered when driving. If you want the dash cam to work when the engine is off, you’ll have to purchase the 70mai UP03 Hardwire Kit. This is essential for making use of the parking surveillance feature. 

The app makes it easy to control the dash cam via your phone, as well as view and download your media. However, it’s a shame that when you connect the app, you instantly lose the ability to control the dash cam from the device itself. 

The Nextbase 622GW and the Vantrue E1 are both great 4K dash cam alternatives, but if you don't need that level of resolution or want something a bit more minimal and trendy, 70mai’s Omni dash cam is a cracking option. This smaller device has all the features of the A810, minus 4K resolution and dual video recording. 

The A810 includes a microSD solution for storage

(Image credit: Future)

The A810 build quality is pretty modest, with all the body parts being plastic. This results in a noticeably lightweight unit but, at the same time, doesn’t feel particularly robust.

The device is also not particularly attractive or modern in terms of design. However, all the ports are contained on one side of the device, which is a good implementation for ensuring a tidy setup.

The 3-inch screen has a resolution of 640 x 360. This display is flush with the outer casing, which made me a little nervous about damaging it during installation and moving it in and out of my car. A small lip around the screen would more adequately protect the screen from an unexpected drop or impact. 

The camera can be rotated 90 degrees around the vertical orientation but this is manually operated. Rotating it felt a little like forcing the camera in ways that it didn’t feel natural to be moved. I was concerned about how the hinge would cope with the regular movement, but it held up under all my tests. 

The A810 includes a camera that can rotate 90 degrees vertically

(Image credit: Future)

One of the most important features of any dash cam is video quality. There's no use having all the additional surveillance features in the device if what it captures isn’t of a high enough quality to ‘see’ what's happening in the shot.

The video quality of the front-facing camera is excellent across its two resolutions, 3840 x 2160 and 1920 x 1080, with the latter available at both 30fps and 60fps. The picture is crisp, with bold and vibrant colors throughout. The quality of the 4K is particularly helpful for enabling users to zoom in on the footage - something that's essential for identifying number plates. 

The backup camera doesn’t, in any way, match the quality of the primary camera. That's to be expected, but I think the 1080p rear-facing camera struggles to replicate colors accurately and produces a pretty average picture. The HDR capability rescues it in some regard, as it's still able to adequately cope with the light and dark ends of the color spectrum. 

The standout feature of the A810 is its 4K video resolution at 30fps. This video quality is down to the built-in Sony Starvis 2 IMX678 Core Chip. The resolution puts it squarely alongside Nextbase 622GW and the Vantrue E1 – 4K recording is by no means universal across dash cams, making the A810 one of a limited set of options if 4K is essential to you.

The Sony chip benefits from the technology around it that captures the light. The lens is wide angle, boasting a 150-degree field of view – perfect for capturing a broad view in front of the car – and has seven layers for capturing the light being transmitted in ultra-high definition. Alongside IR functionality and a large f1.8 aperture, it can deliver great results even at night. 

The lens can be manually rotated around 90 degrees in a vertical orientation but by no means boasts the abilities of the 70mai Omni, which allows 360° horizontal rotation and can even be controlled via the app.

As well as the 4K front-facing camera, this dash cam set comes with a backup camera, making it possible to record the road and the vehicle cab for an almost 360-degree surveillance setup. This second camera, capable of recording at 1080p, is a separate piece of kit and can be installed or removed as you see fit.

The HDR capabilities and night vision technology enable the A810 to deliver great results in low-light conditions, such as driving at dusk or night. This is made possible by the highly sensitive image sensor and wide dynamic range. This comes at a cost with visible noise in darker areas, but that is rarely a problem for security-sensitive drivers.  

The built-in GPS means that every route can be logged and tracked. This is ideal for providing evidence of your vehicle’s location for legal or insurance purposes. 

The additional hardware kit opens up a couple more features, including time-lapse recording and smart parking guardian mode. The time-lapse feature is pretty self-explanatory but, in essence, makes it possible to capture long periods in smaller files. This has the downside that periods between the capture start and end times might not be captured and, therefore, important events might get missed.

The smart parking guardian mode tracks impact and motion around your vehicle. This requires the hardware kit because it needs a constant power supply to function. The additional snapshot functionality helps to capture specific incidents when you’re not with your car.  

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70mai 4K A810 Dash Cam

(Image credit: Future)
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70mai 4K,A810 Dash Cam

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70mai 4K A810 Dash Cam

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70mai 4K A810 Dash Cam

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The device is easy to set up right out of the box. The box includes the windscreen mount, as well as the cables required for power and the secondary camera. I plugged this into my car's USB-A port, so I didn't check the setup process for the hardware kit. 

The mount has a well-engineered, sticky backing strip that's easily removed and placed on the windscreen. This mount locks securely into the dash cam and provides a very satisfying click when it’s in place. 

The dash cam takes MicroSD for its storage capacity, but you won’t find one of those in the box. Make sure you purchase this alongside the dash cam, otherwise, you’ll be disappointed that you can’t get your camera up and running straight away. 

All of 70mai’s previous dash cams had app functionality, and the A810 is no different. The 70mai app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for wide-ranging accessibility.

The app was straightforward to download, and connecting it to the dash cam was no trouble at all. The app lets you control the dash cam, as well as view and download recordings. 

I did find it frustrating that when the app is connected it automatically locks the functionality of the dash cam buttons. A two-way setup would make for a far superior experience. I see no need to limit user interaction to either the app or the device. 

Should you buy the 70mai A810?

An optional secondary camera can be purchased

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the 70mai A810

  • I used it regularly across a number of journeys
  • I used it during the daytime and at night
  • I recorded video for extended periods

I used the 70mai 4K A810 HDR Dash Cam during the winter and so was able to test almost every type of weather condition that the British climate can offer. I also recorded footage during a variety of different lighting conditions, including the most extreme light and dark scenarios.

I made good use of both the device and the associated app, controlling its features through both avenues. 

I was unable to test the parking surveillance mode or the time-lapse feature due to not hard-wiring this device with the additional hardware kit. 

  • First reviewed December 2023
70mai Omni Dash Cam review: a smart, rotating 360-degree dash cam
1:00 pm | December 4, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Dash Cams Gadgets Vehicle Tech | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

The 70mai is an excellent dash cam at a great price point – its 360-degree coverage and AI-powered features are real highlights, and you'll be hard-pushed to find anything better at this price.

The 360-degree coverage is by far its biggest selling point. You can get better video resolution, such as 4K, on other dash cams, but there aren't many on the market that enable a full rotation for filming any angle of the car. This feature will be particularly appealing for vloggers who want car surveillance while also being able to capture vlogs while driving. It also has the added benefit of being able to capture security threats that are to the side of or behind the windscreen.

The dash cam also benefits from a number of AI-powered features, such as motion detection. The Omni will automatically rotate to track any potential threats, including someone trying to break into the car through one of the doors. The AI hardware is great at assessing incidents, and deciding whether they pose a threat to the safety of your vehicle. 

The design has a lot to commend it too. It's well engineered, and designed to have a human-feel. The human-like display graphics means it's a bit like having a Tamagotchi sitting in front of you while you're driving – it smiles and waves, which I personally thought was a nice touch.  

There are, however, other dash cams that can record better video, at a higher resolution, and contain some better features – check out our best dash cams guide if you're looking for other options.

70mai Omni Dash Cam with rotating camera

(Image credit: Future)
70mai Omni Dash Cam Price and Availability

The 70mai Omni dash cam costs $199 / £158/ AU$399 for the 128GB, $184.99 / £147 / AU$349 for the 64GB model, and $169.99 / £135 for 32GB of storage. 

If you want to take advantage of the parking surveillance mode then you'll need the additional UP03 Hardwire Kit which will set you back $19.99 / £16 / AU$49.95.

For those who are concerned about longevity, 70mai sell a pair of replacement stickers, adhesives and mounts in an accessory pack. This cost $5.99 / £4.77 / AU$6.16.

70mai are currently only shipping this dash cam to the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

So, what do you actually get alongside the Omni? As you'd expect, it ships with everything you need to mount it to your windscreen, which is done using an electrostatic sticker, of which there are two in the box. There's also a spare adhesive sticker, and if you manage to damage these you can buy replacement ones through the 70mai website. 

To help keep you powered on the go you get a USB-C power cord and a car charger adapter. It's also possible to purchase a separate UP03 Hardwire Kit that lets you connect the device directly into the car battery. This is required to enable the camera to work even when you're not in the car, which is essential for making use of the parking surveillance feature. 

The user manual is written in clear English, making it easy to follow the setup process and troubleshooting tips.

70mai Omni Dash Cam with buttons to one side

(Image credit: Future)

The device itself is really nice to look at and touch. It's well engineered, with a sturdy hinge that lets you mount the unit at any angle you want. The hinge feels slightly stiff, but this has the added benefit of ensuring that it stays at exactly the angle you set it at.

The camera head is distinguished from the main body by the use of two different materials. The shiny black top houses the camera, which protrudes only ever so slightly from its housing. This top 'head' rotates really nicely around 360 degrees with no sense of sharp or jerky movements. It is possible to rotate this part when the device is powered off, though, which could result in you accidentally damaging the gimbal.

The main body is also plastic, but has a slightly softer touch to it. This houses the power cable port and the set of buttons. The buttons are red, which makes them stand out and ensures you'll never miss them. There's an on/off button, which also acts as a 'select' button when navigating the menus, while the up and down button lets you move through the menus. When the camera is mounted, these buttons are on the left-hand side of the unit which is great if your car is left-hand drive, but not ideal if it's right-hand drive.

The compact design means that if you choose to tuck it behind the rear view mirror  it'll largely be out of sight while offering good visibility.

70mai Omni Dash Cam secures to the windscreen with an electrostatic sticker

(Image credit: Future)

One of the most important elements of a dash cam is the video quality. If you're going to the expense of buying one of these cameras and installing it in your car, then you want to make sure it's going to give you the visual information you need. These cameras are primarily used for surveillance, which means a certain resolution and definition is required. 

There's only one video resolution, which is Full HD 1920 x 1080px, with the option to capture footage at either 30fps or 60fps; if high resolution is important to you then you may want to pick up a 4K dash cam like the Nextbase 622GW. The resolution can only be adjusted through the app, which somewhat hampers its usability.

The lens is f/1.8 which allows plenty of light to hit the sensor and enables excellent low-light performance. Don't expect incredible detail in the shadows, though, as you would need a much better sensor to achieve this.

That said, the camera has a HDR feature which, when enabled, helps to reduce noise and detail loss in the highlights and shadows.

The lens has a field of view of 140 degrees, and can rotate through 360 degrees, which allows for a significant amount of the road in front of the vehicle to be captured.

The biggest selling point of this dash cam is its 360-degree functionality, although this isn't a true 360-degree camera; as mentioned it has a field of view of 140 degrees, and the 360-degree coverage is made possible by the rotation capabilities of the camera head. The ability to film out of the front windscreen as well as back towards yourself driving is a great feature. There are a range of benefits to this, including being able to film someone trying to break into your car when you're not present, while content creators will appreciate the ability to record vlog-style videos inside the car.

The night vision mode ensures that the 1080p footage is captured no matter what time of day it is; this works surprisingly well, and is aided by the HDR feature.

As well as video capture, the Omni contains a number of other features that help take car video surveillance to a whole new level.

First up is the 24-hour parking surveillance. This is only possible with the additional hardware cable, but once installed will ensure that any potential threat to your car when you're not present is captured.

AI motion detection further helps to ensure that the camera picks up any threat, no matter where it is around the car's exterior. If you walk near the car or are acting suspiciously then the AI hardware will determine how suspicious the movement is and if deemed a threat will begin recording.

You can connect the dash cam to the 70mai app for a greater level of control, including more settings. It's through the app that video clips and photos are viewable. I was a little disappointed to find that there isn't an SD or microSD card slot, which would mean you wouldn't have to rely on the app to view footage. 

You aren't reliant upon the device, or even the app, to control this dash cam. Through a number of voice commands the user can record video or rotate the camera head, enabling you to safely operate the camera when driving. 

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70mai Omni dash cam with 360 degree viewing angle

(Image credit: Future)
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70mai Omni dash cam with 360 degree viewing angle

(Image credit: Future)
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70mai Omni dash cam with 360 degree viewing angle

(Image credit: Future)
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70mai Omni dash cam with 360 degree viewing angle

(Image credit: Future)
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70mai Omni dash cam with 360 degree viewing angle

(Image credit: Future)

The Omni dash cam is remarkably easy to set up. The whole process of setting up the camera, connecting it to the app and then installing the device in my car took no more than 10 minutes, and the electrostatic sticker was strong enough to hold the unit firmly in place.

App connectivity was reliable, and connected seamlessly every single time. The app doesn't have the best reviews on the Apple App store, but I had very few problems with it. My only issue with the app was that it did seem to disconnect from the device far too quickly after ceasing recording. The connection process is quick and easy, so it wasn't necessarily a big problem, but it did become a bit of an annoyance. 

The 70mai app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Should you buy the 70mai Omni?

70mai Omni Dash Cam for 360 degree viewing

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the 70mai Omni

  • I used it regularly across a number of journeys
  • I used it during the daytime and at night
  • I recorded video for extended periods

The 70mai Omni was a pleasure to test, providing a satisfying overall experience. After installing the device and setting up the app I proceeded to use the dash cam like any other security-conscious driver would.

I wasn't able to test the parking surveillance feature as I didn't hardwire the device into the battery, but I did record footage during multiple journeys, in different lighting conditions and with a range of potential security issues.

  • First reviewed November 2023
Nextbase iQ Smart Dash Cam review: the best add-on car security solution yet
5:00 pm | November 3, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Dash Cams Gadgets Vehicle Tech | Comments: Off

Two-minute review

If you’re a fan of being constantly connected, the arrival of the long-awaited Nextbase iQ Dash Cam is going to be of interest. British-based Nextbase is one of the leading lights in this field, and regularly features in our best dash cams guide, and for good reason too. Now though, with the iQ, it's released its first smart connected dash cam model, which aims to tackle security and safety like nothing before.

Nextbase claims that it's offering a trio of world-first features with the iQ Dash Cam, including Smart Sense Parking, which is designed to assist you with parking maneuvers. There's a voice-activated Witness Mode that captures recorded evidence in the event of an incident and saves it to the cloud, all while notifying an emergency contact. Plus, there’s Live View, which allows connected checks of your car and its surroundings via the Nextbase iQ app.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg on the features front though. The Nextbase iQ, on paper at least, appears to cover all bases when it comes to monitoring your car, the road ahead, and your own driving habits to boot, in 1K, 2K or 4K video quality depending on the model. In fact, anyone harboring any type of phobia about surveillance might find the Nextbase iQ almost a little too efficient due to its cabin-facing secondary lens.

This dash cam works best if you sign up for a subscription-based plan, which can be paid monthly or annually. There’s also a basic free edition, which still works in tandem with the iQ app. However, to get the best from this model you really need one of the paid-for packages, which offer a more extensive range of features.

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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
Nextbase iQ Dash Cam Price and Availability

There are three model variants of the Nextbase iQ Dash Cam available now from the likes of Amazon. The 1K resolution model costs $499.99 / £349, the 2K resolution model is priced at $599.99 / £399 and the 4K resolution model costs $699.99 / £449. You can also buy direct from Nextbase.co.uk. Currently there's no iQ availability in Australia.

Nextbase also sells a supplementary rear camera for $199.99 / £149. In order to get the best from the Nextbase iQ app you’ll also want to consider their 4G connected subscription packages, with the Protect package costing $9.99 / £6.99 monthly and the Protect Plus package costing $19.99 / £9.99 per month. The entry-level Solo edition is free of subscription costs.

Here’s a breakdown of what you get with each version of the three: Solo – the non-paid for edition comes with the Nextbase iQ app, voice control and real-time text notifications. The Protect version features the Nextbase iQ app, voice control, real-time image notifications, Live View (up to 60 minutes), Smart Sense Parking, Witness mode, RoadWatch AI, Guardian Mode, Remote Alarm, and Cloud Storage for 30 days.

The top-of-the-pile Protect Plus subscription comes with the Nextbase iQ app, Voice Control, real-time image notifications, Live View (up to 120 minutes), Live View Look Back, Smart Sense Parking, Witness mode, RoadWatch AI, Guardian Mode, Remote Alarm, and Cloud Storage for 180 days.

You also get the benefit of Multiple User Accounts, Emergency SOS and Automated incident back-up. It’s worth noting, however, that Nextbase advises that the RoadWatch AI and Guardian Mode features are coming soon, as is a Push to Talk option and those Multiple User Accounts. Nextbase also says these features will be made available irrespective of the purchase date of your product, which is reassuring if you’re keen to buy a dash cam sooner rather than later.

Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)

So far, then, the Nextbase iQ Dash Cam sounds impressive. It’s also a good-looking piece of kit that isn’t too bulky and feels well made in the hand, and, as with all Nextbase products, the emphasis is on usability; it's easy to setup and configure, and inside the box there’s everything you need to begin monitoring your car and where it goes. 

Full marks go to Nextbase for keeping up the continuity on the quality front then. It does look the part too, with a screen mount and the main camera unit housed underneath in a kind of ‘stretched oval’ design that’s slender enough not to be obtrusive.

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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)
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Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)

What about the all-important camera itself though? The 1K version records at 1080 x 1920p, or Full HD, while the mid-range iQ is called the 2K, and records at 2560 x 1440p. If you want the best video quality then the flagship 4K version of the iQ shoots at a resolution of 3840 x 2160p. 

All three feature the same 140-degree field of view and have the same interior-facing camera. It records the interior of your vehicle at Full HD through a neat 180-degree lens, which features infrared night vision. Nextbase also offers a rear-facing camera which attaches to the main unit via a cable and records at 2K resolution through a 140-degree lens, priced at $199.99 / £149.

As outlined above, the Nextbase iQ Dash Cam isn’t just any old gadget for capturing video from your car. In fact, it’s more akin to a smart device fitted in your home, like the Google Nest Cam for example. It's not just a camera; it’s got the added benefit of AI-powered features that take surveillance to the next level.

There’s more; alongside GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the Nextbase iQ also boasts its own 4G connection through Vodafone in the UK and Europe and T-Mobile in the US. This connects the dashcam to its app, as well as the Nextbase cloud storage service to provide a live stream from the dash cam to your smartphone no matter where you happen to be located. This connection also allows footage to be automatically uploaded to the cloud if a collision is detected.

On a practical note, these features also work when the car is switched off, because the Nextbase iQ is powered by your vehicle’s OBD II socket. This is slightly different to running the dash cam from your 12-volt lighter socket, as it delivers power directly from your car’s battery. The upside is that the system remains active at all times; the downside for anyone nervous about the condition of their battery is the fear that it might sap power. To counter this, Nextbase has enabled the iQ to monitor battery health and shuts itself down if power runs low.

Getting set up is a thankfully simple process and, once you’ve installed the Nextbase iQ app, it pretty much guides you through process step by step. All you need to do is unbox the product, plug the cable in to the ODB port, and follow the setup steps in the app. If you’ve got an existing Nextbase account you can log in during the process, and if not you can create an account.

One of the steps involves using your smartphone to scan a QR code that appears on the back screen of the dash cam. Once you've done this your phone is effectively paired and synced with the camera. Inside the app is where the real good stuff is located, with a raft of features and functions that allow you to get the best from the Nextbase iQ, although as mentioned you'll need a subscription to access the full suite of features.

Getting up and running took me about 10 minutes in total, and that included downloading a firmware update after plugging in and powering up. Our review unit was the 4K model, which as you'd expect provides excellent footage, while the audio is good quality too.

Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)

With an increasing number of cars from the likes of Tesla and BMW having their own in-car camera solutions, Nextbase is being prudent in producing a product that offers the same security and monitoring features customers are increasingly looking for. Rather like with satellite navigation products though, you have to wonder how much mileage is left for third-party products like this.

Then again, think how many cars out there still don’t have all the modern kit fitted and the question answers itself. There are plenty of potential customers for the Nextbase iQ Dash Cam and, if you’re looking for a comprehensive, one-stop solution, this, for now at least, is the one to buy.

Should you buy the Nextbase iQ Dash Cam?

Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Nextbase iQ Dash Cam

  • I used it frequently over the course of one week
  • I used it on a variety of journeys
  • I recorded video for extended periods

It's early days for the Nextbase iQ Dash Cam, but based on the short time it's been on sale this model looks like it lives up to the hype. It's easy to install, although you should bear in mind this unit needs to be plugged into an OBD port in your car, or be hardwired in; the former is simple, if you know where the port is, while the latter is best done by a professional.

I captured video footage on a variety of journeys, mainly shorter commutes and shopping runs. I used the camera on different road surfaces and in different conditions to compare footage for things like clarity, resolution and overall quality. Testing in autumn months in the UK also meant I was able to evaluate how the Nextbase iQ Dash Cam handled the more challenging conditions of darker early mornings and inclement weather.

I've yet to evaluate its performance over longer periods of recording time to check for overheating or other issues.

  • First reviewed October 2023
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