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The Best Dash Cam

Last updated on September 11, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Dashboard Cameras and dug through the reviews from 34 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, BestReviews, Lifewire, Tom's Guide, Digital Trends, PC World and more. The result is a ranking of the best Dashboard Cameras.

Best Dash Cam

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Our Picks For The Top Dashboard Cameras

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

X1 Dash Cam

Overall Take

Night Driving ProWith an extra-large screen, wide recording angle and fast aperture, this camera has safety features for night and day.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, PC World, Dash Cam Safety, Dash Cam Gurus, Dash Cam Geek. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Has superior night vision, high definition video, and a sensor that locks and protects video from being damaged in a car crash."
Cons
"My real issue with the X1 is that you must set the date and time manually."

PAPAGO

Dash Cam

Overall Take

High-Def VideoCrystal-clear footage and a large memory capacity will capture the images you need during long drives.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Dash Cam Portal. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" this model produced crisp images that made seeing details and license plates easy."
Cons
"Even though its Stop Sign Detection alerts me wrongly sometimes"

Garmin

Dash Cam

Overall Take

Small But MightyGPS Incident Detection, voice controls and wireless syncing are packed into this camera, and it's smaller than a deck of cards.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Tech Radar, Trusted Reviews, Digital Trends, PC World. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Target.
Pros
" It also comes with GPS, Wi-Fi, voice control, and a number of safety alerts, including forward-collision, lane-departure, and safety-camera warnings (the last only with a subscription)."
Cons
"Apps offer limited control and Small battery."
  The Best Value

Ausdom

Dash Cam

Overall Take

Affordable ProtectionWith Parking Lot Monitoring, night vision and a high shutter speed, this camera is a big bang for the buck.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Dash Cam Gurus and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Clear, HD video at a great price, with a very good auto sensor."
Cons
"It doesn’t have some of the stand out features like GPS or 2K resolution"
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the dashboard cameras available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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34

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Tech Radar, BestReviews, Lifewire, Tom's Guide, Digital Trends.

29,253

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Dashboard Cameras and also dug through the reviews from 34 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, BestReviews, Lifewire, Tom's Guide, Digital Trends, PC World and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Dashboard Cameras.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Our Expert Score
8.5
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
3,801 user reviews
Our Take

The X1's camera blows away the competition, but it's especially great for night driving. The large screen,  super wide 165-degree recording angle and ultra-fast F1.6 aperture capture every detail once the sun goes down. The unit's Emergency Lock Button protects your video in case a crash damages the camera too. Although this dash cam requires you to manually set the date and time and doesn't work as a motion detector, its other qualities still make this a great find.

What other experts liked
Has superior night vision, high definition video, and a sensor that locks and protects video from being damaged in a car crash.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
A strength of the X1 is that it uses a micro-USB port both for power and offloading video to PCs
- PC World
September 26, 2015 | Full review
The built-in GPS is extremely helpful for drivers to record their speed and where they have traveled to and from
- Dash Cam Safety
take crisp high definition quality videos in all lighting situations.
- Dash Cam Gurus
The GPS Suction Cup Mount means that all of your recorded footage will automatically link to the location that is recorded in, without the need to connect your device to a separate GPS device.
- Dash Cam Geek
January 2, 2018 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
8GB memory card that comes with unit is inadequate for high volumes of HD video.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
My real issue with the X1 is that you must set the date and time manually.
- PC World
September 26, 2015 | Full review
Includes only a one year warrant and sunction mount
- Dash Cam Safety
it does not work as a motion detector.
- Dash Cam Gurus
Time must be set manually; the GPS does not configure it.
- Dash Cam Geek
January 2, 2018 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Ausdom Dash Cam

Expert Summarized Score
9.3
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.4
204 user reviews
Our Take

Our affordable dash cam selection doesn't skimp on features. It has night vision and the fast shutter speed you need for stellar after dark recordings. The Ausdom also auto-locks your footage during an accident, and Parking Monitoring records any dents that happen when you're away. The resolution isn't quite as high as our other choices, but it's still impressive for a budget camera.

What other experts liked
Clear, HD video at a great price, with a very good auto sensor.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
Automatic car accident detection feature (G-Sensor Tech) which locks video file to memory.
- Booms Beat
it is fully capable of taking crisp and clear video,
- Dash Cam Gurus
What other experts didn't like
User manual is a bit confusing and vague about setup.
- BestReviews
January 1, 2019 | Full review
It doesn’t have some of the stand out features like GPS or 2K resolution
- Dash Cam Gurus

Overall Product Rankings

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 7

2. PAPAGO Dash Cam

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 6

3. Garmin Dash Cam

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 8

4. Ausdom Dash Cam

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 4

5. ITrue X3 Dash Cam

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 6

6. Vantrue N2 Dash Cam

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 5

7. Rexing V1 Dash Cam

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 6

8. Z-EDGE Z3 Dash Cam

Overall Score: 7.4
Reviews Included: 5

Our Findings

KDLINKS X1 Dash Cam

What We Liked: The X1’s camera blows away the competition, but it’s especially great for night driving. The large screen,  super wide 165-degree recording angle and ultra-fast F1.6 aperture capture every detail once the sun goes down. The unit’s Emergency Lock Button protects your video in case a crash damages the camera too. Although this dash cam requires you to manually set the date and time and doesn’t work as a motion detector, its other qualities still make this a great find.

Ausdom Dash Cam

What We Liked: Our affordable dash cam selection doesn’t skimp on features. It has night vision and the fast shutter speed you need for stellar after dark recordings. The Ausdom also auto-locks your footage during an accident, and Parking Monitoring records any dents that happen when you’re away. The resolution isn’t quite as high as our other choices, but it’s still impressive for a budget camera.

PAPAGO Dash Cam

What We Liked: PAPAGO’s camera is very impressive with its Ultra HD video capabilities for crisp footage day or night. It records well in inclement weather, and the large memory capacity makes it great for long rides. Extra features like Stop Sign Recognition, Headlight Reminder and Driver Fatigue Alarm put it a cut above the competition. It’s an overall all-star in a compact design.

PAPAGO Dash Cam

What We Liked: PAPAGO’s camera is very impressive with its Ultra HD video capabilities for crisp footage day or night. It records well in inclement weather, and the large memory capacity makes it great for long rides. Extra features like Stop Sign Recognition, Headlight Reminder and Driver Fatigue Alarm put it a cut above the competition. It’s an overall all-star in a compact design.

Our Dashboard Camera Buying Guide

If you’ve ever walked to your car and discovered a fresh dent, you know the frustration of trying to figure out what happened and who’s responsible. Courteous drivers leave a note with their contact information, but not everyone has a heart of gold. In these situations, it’s helpful to have an extra set of eyes on your car. That’s where dash cams come into the picture.

A dash cam is a camera mounted to your windshield or dashboard that continuously records the view as you drive. They offer time-stamped photos and videos of traffic accidents, fender benders and hit-and-runs. Dash cams are incredibly useful for recording details about another driver’s car, weather conditions and anything else your insurance company might need to know when you submit a claim. They can also protect your car while it’s parked. The Ausdom Dash Cam flips on if it detects a vibration, capturing bumps from other vehicles.

The footage your camera takes is stored on memory cards, which range in storage space from 8GB to 64GB. Almost all models allow you to upgrade your memory card. After a driving incident, you can remove the memory card and move the video to your computer or smartphone. Some versions, like the Garmin Dash Cam, even have free apps that sync with your phone for instant uploads.

Most dash cams record in a loop to conserve space on the cam’s memory card. If your car records on a three-minute loop, every three minutes will be saved as an individual video until the card is full. Then the recording will start writing over the oldest three-minute clips. Ausdom’s Dash Cam lets you choose between one, three and five-minute loops, while KDLINKS X1 cam automatically records in a continuous loop.

Night vision, collision alerts and GPS are other perks you’ll find in high-end dash cameras. Depending on the camera quality, extra features and memory storage, you’ll pay varying prices for your dash cam. Here are some things to consider before you pick your dash cam.

DWYM Fun Fact

If you search online for dash cams, it won’t be long before you come across some Russian dash cam footage. The vast majority of Russian drivers use dash cams to fight back against a legal system that rarely takes firsthand accident accounts seriously. The country’s large size and poorly designed roads also make dash cams a must-have.

As a result, Russian dash cam videos have become an online phenomenon. A Google search for “Russian dash cam footage” yields over two million results, with thousands of videos from everyday motorists. Highlight reels featuring shocking crashes and intense weather are especially popular.

Dash cams in Russia catch more than just traffic accidents. Since there are so many cameras running simultaneously, they’ll occasionally capture something remarkable. A 2015 video went viral for catching a gorgeous meteor shooting over Russia’s horizon.

The Dashboard Camera Tips and Advice

  • How often do you use your car? If you drive to work along a busy city route every day or go on frequent road trips, you’ll want a dash cam with plenty of memory, like Garmin’s Dash Cam 65.
  • How much are you willing to spend? Dash cams range in price, depending on the included features.
  • How much space do you want your dash cam to cover? Previous generations only focused on recording images in your direct sight line, but modern options have a broader field of view. The KDLINKS X1 offers a wide 165-degree angle, while models like the Garmin Dash Cam 65 go for a full 180 degrees of viewing.
  • How often do you drive at night? Dash cams have varied nighttime capabilities, and you’ll want to look at each camera’s options before picking one up. The KDLINKS X1 has an F1.6 aperture (meaning it snaps photos and video clips at fast intervals) and a high-resolution lens for easier nighttime filming.
  • How much memory do you need? If you don’t drive frequently, a smaller memory card with 8-16GB of space should be just fine. PAPAGO’s GoSafe Dash Cam comes with a free 8GB card, while Garmin’s Dash Cam has a memory card slot that can upgrade to a whopping 64GB.
  • How many additional bells and whistles do you need? New cars are coming to the market with features like built-in motion sensors and GPS. If your car already has those features, you may not need certain dash cam features like KDLINKS X1’s GPS  module.
  • Do you want a dash cam with smartphone compatibility? The PAPAGO GoSafe Car Dash Cam has a smartphone app that allows you to instantly download and share videos. Other models require you to stop and download footage from your memory card onto your computer or smartphone.
  • Are you an Android fan or an Apple aficionado? PAPAGO’s smartphone app is only available on Android devices, while Garmin’s Dash Cam 65 has an app that’s accessible for iOS and Android.
  • Make sure your car is locked when you have your dash cam out. If it’s a model with a vibration sensor, like the KDLINKS X1, you’ll need to have it up and in view to capture parking lot damages. However, an obvious dash cam on your windshield or dashboard could prove tempting for car thieves. You may want to consider covering your camera up with a sweater or putting some junk mail on top of it (make sure you leave the lens uncovered, though).
  • Check with your insurance company to make sure they accept dash cam footage before you buy one. Even if your insurance company doesn’t accept personal footage from a crash, a dash cam may still be a worthy investment. Minor accidents or drivers who want to avoid hiking their insurance rates might be willing to settle on out-of-pocket expenses if you’ve got dash cam footage of the accident.
  • Check out your state’s laws about driver visibility and car accessories. Some states don’t allow any type of navigation system or camera to be mounted to the windshield, while others have strict regulations on how many inches the camera can be from the side of your car. Check your state’s laws and consider investing in a different type of mount.

About The Author

Abby Stassen
Abby Stassen 

Abby Stassen has a bachelor's degree in English language & literature from the University of Michigan. She's been writing professionally for over a decade, and she's been covering electronics for three years. Electronics can save you a lot of time and add some fun to your day. Abby is a gadget-head who scours endless online reviews and product specs to recommend the best electronics you can buy. She also loves testing her own purchases at home (especially video games). If a set of headphones or a new tablet makes its way into her heart, you'll also see it in one of her online pieces.