As with all technology, new and better models are released every so often, it sometimes seems like a newer model is released every day, leaving you with “yesterdays model”.
We’re lucky, however, that the technology in dashcams is in quite a good place at the moment and nothing is majorly changing, so yesterdays model is often not much worse than today’s.
That said, 2016 is a new year and we’re now a few months in so we’ve decided to do a roundup of the latest and greatest car DVR models.
In at number 3 is our old favourite, the Transcend DrivePro 200.
This little dashcam, although lacking built in GPS functionality is an excellent all rounder, with wifi functionality to review your recordings and view realtime video there is no need to remove the camera from your car. The DrivePro 200 comes with a suction cup window mount which holds it nicely in place, and its small size means it fits nicely behind the rear view mirror without obstructing your view whatsoever.
Installation is simple, and although the camera does not have a battery, it does store the time and date as long as you use it every few days. When we ordered from Amazon our camera came with a 4 metre cable to power the unit, this made it simple to route the wire out of sight all the way from the camera to the 12v socket. The 16gb memory card which was provided in the box was more than adequate to record all of our journeys.
The only major feature we’d have liked to see with this one (other than GPS) was parking mode, which on this dashcam isn’t possible.
Coming in at number 2 is a new entry, the Asus Reco
The Asus Reco classic comes with a GPS reciever which is housed within the suction mount itself. The camera comes with a small USB cable to link the camera to the GPS unit, so it isn’t truly built in, but it’s as good as.
Whilst the camera didn’t come equipped with a micro SD card you can add your own fairly inexpensively. The camera itself is small and tucks in nicely behind the rear view mirror with the suction cup mount, or alternatively the sticky pad mount which is also included in case you can’t use the suction mount for whatever reason.
Asus have pushed the boat out with features, the camera comes with lane departure warning (although on a moderately busy motorway, this can be annoying – the alert went off when we were changing lanes to overtake). The camera also has a nifty little feature – forward collision detection, this notifies you if it thinks you’re too close/going to hit the car in front. This feature only activates at speeds of around 40mph or more, so it doesn’t annoy you when parking or in slow traffic.
The camera also features speed camera warnings, this is ran from a database rather than a radar detector, so will only alert you to known fixed cameras, temporary cameras or camera vans won’t be picked up. At present there’s no UK database but we believe Asus are working on it.
The Asus Reco classic allows you to set the recording quality to either it’s full HD 1080p @ 30FPS, or standard. You can also enable or disable audio recording and timestamps as and when you want.
The quality is great, day or night and whilst it’s not one of the cheapest on the market, the features are well worth the price.
At number 1 we have another new entry, the HP F800G
The HP F800G, made by Hewlett Packard is, as you can imagine a fantastic quality. With built in GPS and lane departure warnings, this is an excellent bit of kit. Let’s take a look at what this camera can do.
This isn’t your run of the mill dashcam which only records your journey, the features include;
Audible lane departure warning
This audible alarm will sound when you drift out of the current lane you are in on the road. The camera detects the white lane division lines and if you begin to drift over one of the lines, the camera will alert you – if you’ve ever started to feel sleepy at the wheel, this will alert you to any drifting and help you to reach a safe place to rest and wake yourself up.
Audible alarm for pre-defined speed limit
If, for example you will be making a long motorway journey and don’t want to risk a speeding fine, you can set the warning limit to 70mph (here in the UK – or any relevant limit in your country). Should you exceed this speed, you’ll get a notification alarm to tell you to slow down.
Driver fatigue detection
Whilst this is a bit of a gimick, we found it did work – if you’re getting tired and not moving around as much as you would on a normal journey, an audible alarm will sound to alert you to the fact – this can be a bit annoying though and we turned it off because our chilled out driving style alerted us that we were fatigued, which wasn’t the case.
Forward Collision Detection
Love it or hate it, forward collision detection has its place in the motoring world. If the camera decides you are too close to the car in front it will emit an audible warning to warn you of a potential collision – if you’re a serial tailgater then you may want to turn this feature off, although we’d recommend leaving it on and backing off!
With a 140 degree wide angle lense and F1.9 aperture the image quality is certainly one of the best we’ve seen. This is our top pick for 2016. Look out for our full review soon!