Skip to content
6 Signs an Amazon Dash Cam Can’t Be Trusted

6 Signs an Amazon Dash Cam Can’t Be Trusted

Dashboard cameras or simply dashcams have been a prevalent vehicle accessory worldwide for years. While some may still consider possessing a dashcam extravagant, fortunately, due to its increased popularity in recent years, dashcams have become accessible and affordable. Today, you can buy an elementary dash cam for under $100 just about anywhere: Staples, Best Buy, Walmart, Home Depot, and of course, Amazon.

Speaking of Amazon, did you know that a recent Wall Street Journal investigation of over 4000 items found that what you see isn’t always what you get.

So, can you trust a dash cam on Amazon? Here are the 6 smart steps you can take to sort out the good from the bad and ultimately avoid wasting your money.

Video Specs that Doesn’t Make Sense

Everyone wants a 4K dash cam nowadays - and we don’t blame you! The video quality of a 4K dash cam is exceptional! Unfortunately, with advanced video quality comes a heftier price tag, and like everyone else, you go on to Amazon for under $150 options. And there are a few!

Tempting, indeed - you can get three of Amazon's best-selling 4K dash cams for the price of one Thinkware U1000 or one BlackVue DR900X. But, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

A dash cam needs to have an image sensor of at least 8MP To record in true 4K UHD. The VIOFO, Thinkware, and BlackVue 4K models are equipped with an 8MP image sensor. On the other hand, the Amazon bestsellers come with a 4MP and 5.1MP image sensor - 5MP is what Thinkware and VIOFO use on their 2K QHD dash cams.

In other words, these “4K” units on Amazon are not real 4K dash cams. Their lower-res image sensors are capable of 2K QHD recording at most. So, in reality, you will have a Full HD or 2K video resized to make it look like 4K UHD.

Thought you found a bargain? Nah, you’re just overpaying for a sub-par camera.

Discover the truth about 4K dash cams here.

Feature Limitations Of Low-Budget Dash Cam

Amazon deals with a variety of products ranging from cheap, budget-friendly to fancier and expensive dash cams. Of course, cheaper dash cameras tend to boast lesser features than that of any premium models.

But even those being offered are not perfect. Here's how Amazon descriptions for dashcams under $100 are misleading, and thus their products are incapable of meeting the quality standards required.

Here's how most under $100 or discount cameras usually lack in quality, no matter how they spin it in their descriptions:

  • Single-channel, front-only recording
  • Low video resolution
  • Lack of heat-sensitive input, motion detection, and parking mode
  • Lower storage capacity
  • No cloud feature
  • No built-in WiFi, no mobile app
  • Image quality for still images is questionable at best
  • Inadequate products in general, sturdiness wise
  • Battery operated
  • Unclear warranty policies or uncovered by the same

Limited Audio Recording

In addition to good quality footage, audio is also crucial as evidence if you ever get involved in an accident. A worthy dash cam capable of recording audio will noticeably capture in-car sounds, such as communication with the other driver, to help you ascertain your innocence while acquiring an insurance privilege.

However, most cheap knockoffs will fail here.

Absence Of Auto-On Function

Once your dashcam is plugged in, this function turns on spontaneously whenever your car ignition starts, so you don't have to worry about turning your dash cam on or off for each drive. So you'll always have a recording to support your claim.

Only get a camera if it offers this level of functionality which most under $100 Amazon products don't.

Batteries, Batteries, Batteries

Most dash cams are available with rechargeable properties as they include a built-in battery instead of a cable connection. Still, such cams are not as reliable as cable-operated ones because you'll have to replace the batteries often, which is just exhausting, and they tend to explore in high heat environments.

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure?

You may end with a cheap refurbished dash cam, so be careful.

Anyone can start a shop and sell their already consumed dashcam devices, and of course, these will come with even fewer guarantees than a brand new product.

Problems With The Warranty Policy

The warranty policies on cheap products are usually absent or completely vague. Without knowing what the whole deal is, you should never rush to invest. If only the warranty policy meets your satisfaction, which it won't for such suspiciously low-priced products, should you consider buying?

Check The Seller Reviews

While exploring various platforms to buy cheap dashboard cameras, it's imperative to reflect on some leading retailers. The degree of quality and services provided by a retailer can be identified by thorough research of customer reviews, and it helps validate whether a product is good or not. In most cases, it is usually the latter, and reading through these reviews will keep you from making a bad mistake. It is better to purchase from sellers with a genuine reputation in the market (i.e., only trusted retailers like BlackBoxMyCar).

Also, note that most store owners write or even purchase 'fake reviews' to boost their listings. So if it is too good to be true, trust your instincts. For instance, if almost all the positive reviews are within a few days or weeks of each other, that’s a red flag - often, these reviews are bought to flood the listing with positive feedback.

Also, look for a healthy amount of questions being asked and the helpful responses given - if there’s a ton of 5-star reviews about a dash cam, but barely one question asked - something fishy is going on for sure!

You Deserve Better Customer Service

Amazon is not the perfect solution for after-purchase customer service, i.e., if you're stuck and have no idea how to get things working. Unlike any other retailer, however, we at BlackBoxMyCar not only offer all-time rapid responses to queries but will also help you as much as you need to get started and more!

We offer meticulous after-sale support that includes tutorials (you can find them on our site) related to the usage and handling of the product. Plus, we also provide live chat support to have all possible information regarding the ordered product.

Call us, email us, chat with us, whatever – no obligations, we're here for you!

Can Amazon retailers say the same once they've sold their cheap garbage, knowing all too well that they lied about the features and whatnot?

Plus, brands are always coming and going on Amazon. If you have looked up dash cams on Amazon before, you would have seen top-selling brands like Aukey and VAVA. Well, good luck finding those listings now as Amazon did some housecleaning a few months back, and many of the top sellers were caught gaming the system with deceptive tactics.

Removing unscrupulous sellers is excellent news for potential consumers. But, if you have already purchased from them, we feel your confusion and frustration, especially when you need to contact them for any after-sale support.

Choose wisely, invest smartly.

Oh, If You Must

If you must buy a dash cam from Amazon, for instance, you have unused Amazon gift cards or need to make the most of your Prime membership; we strongly recommend you shop with reputable brands on Amazon. Many dash cam manufacturers, like Thinkware and VIOFO, are on Amazon. Did you know that BlackboxMyCar is also on Amazon? The prices are very similar to those on our website, but keep in mind that the promotional specials you see on our website and newsletters are web-exclusive - meaning you will not be able to use them on your BlackboxMyCar Amazon purchase.

Bottom Line

Considering all the gathered information, it is appropriate to say that Amazon deals with an astonishingly wide variety of products. But their cheaper deals are just that: cheap attempts at pushing undesirable products by sugar-coating their descriptions and perhaps even with planted reviews.

Consider the features above all! Even if you're on a limited budget, look for something with at least a realistic price tag that is sure to last you a while, like from our collection backed by assurances of high quality not only from us but from our numerous satisfied customers!

Previous article Is GPS important when buying a dash cam?
Next article On The Road With Kids - A Survival Guide