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BlackVue X vs. S: What's the Difference?

BlackVue X vs. S: What's the Difference?

In 2020, BlackVue released the long-awaited BlackVue X-series, replacing the BlackVue S-Series; but what’s the difference? Which model should you invest in to protect yourself and your car, and most importantly, are the old S-series, like the DR750S-2CH that’s currently on Spring Clearance Sale, still worth buying?

Alex, our CEO, sat down with Vortex Radar a little while ago to talk about the differences between the BlackVue X-Series and S-Series. Check out what these two experts have to say:

There has been a lot of talk about the new BlackVue X-series models. However, with a lot of talks come a lot of questions. Video quality-wise, there isn’t a difference between the old S-series and the new X-series - the new X-Series cameras feature the same recording specifications as their S-Series predecessors.

Functionally, the difference is also minimal. There are new cool features on the X-series models, but if you think that the new DR900X has a better camera, clearer image, and brings a whole slew of new features, you’re going to be disappointed.

The main difference is the BlackVue CM100 LTE Connectivity module and the built-in Power Magic Pro.

BlackVue CM100 LTE Connectivity

The exciting “new” feature for the BlackVue X-Series is the introduction of the LTE Connectivity module. It’s essentially a WiFi router that attaches to the dash cam so that you can live-view your camera anytime and anywhere.

With the DR900X and the DR750X, you will use the 4G LTE Connectivity module (CM100LTE) to connect the dash cam to the BlackVue Over-the-Cloud service.

Why this is a great feature to have?

Previously, if you want to use any of the BlackVue Over-the-Cloud features, you will need to get either the DR900S or DR750S dash cam and you will need to make sure you have a WiFi router or hotspot close-by for it to connect to the Cloud.

The dash cam powers the BlackVue CM100 LTE and does not run out of power as other self-powered routers would.

The CM100 LTE is a add-on module that come separately from the dash cam and will require an active SIM card with a data plan and a BlackVue Over-the-Cloud account.

Is it worthwhile to upgrade to an X-Series dash cam just for this feature?

The ability to see what your dash cam is seeing from anywhere is pretty cool and does come in handy in a wide range of situations. But if you’re not a heavy Cloud user and all you need is a dash cam that allows you to capture your drive and let you playback the files on a laptop, then honestly, the old S-series dash cams would be sufficient.

But if you’re a heavy Cloud user and want to stay connected with your dash cam anytime, anywhere, then the LTE Connectivity modules will make life easier, so yes, an upgrade to the X-series is what you need.

Built-in Power Management

Traditionally, to enable Parking Mode for the BlackVue S-series dash cams, you would need the BlackVue Power Magic Pro as part of the installation process. With the new X-series, power management is built-in, so you no longer need any extra accessories to enable parking mode other than the BlackVue 3-Wire Hardwiring Kit included in the box.

Why this is a great feature to have?

The X-Series built-in power monitor and the 3-wire hardwiring kit address two of the S-Series’ pain points:

1. The S-Series also doesn’t have offer any protection against vehicle battery over-drainage.

The S-Series doesn’t have built-in voltage monitoring so if you were to hardwire the dash cam to your car battery for parking mode, you run the risk of drawing too much power and eventually depleting your vehicle battery. This is why you need the Power Magic Pro (PMP) - it allows you to set a threshold so that if your vehicle battery drops below the preset voltage, the dash cam will turn itself off to stop drawing power from your battery.

The beauty of the X-Series is the built-in voltage monitor - the smarter way to power your dash cam while preventing battery over drainage.

2. The BlackVue S-Series relies on the dash cam’s built-in G-sensor to switch between normal recording and parking mode.

G sensor-triggered parking mode, as the name suggests, is triggered when the G-sensor inside the dash cam detects that your car has been motionless for some time (typically 3-5 minutes). Under normal circumstances, this is a fool-proof setup: you park your car, the car is not going to go anywhere, parking mode enabled. But say you’re always in and about in heavy-traffic areas - you’re stuck in traffic and your car is not moving at all - parking mode enabled!

When using the X-Series’ 3-wire hardwiring kit, you will connect one wire to a switched power fuse and another to a constant power fuse - this allows the dash cam to detect when the ignition is off but also ensure a constant power supply to run parking mode. In other words, instead of G sensor-triggered parking mode, you get ignition-triggered parking mode and you will have to actually park your car and turn the ignition off.

Is it worthwhile to upgrade to a X-Series dash cam just for this feature?

Well, depends on if you’re happy with the G sensor-triggered parking mode or if you prefer ignition-triggered. At the end of the day, both g sensor-triggered and ignition-triggered will give you great parking mode coverage, just that how parking mode is switched on is different.

Another thing to consider is, do you need your vehicle’s OBD port for something else? The PMP uses the OBD port, so does some mobile WIFI hotspot module - and so does the OBD-II diagnostic tool that your mechanic uses for a quick car diagnostic scan to find out why the Check Engine light is on. You want to keep the dash cam on so you can remote Live-View to make sure your mechanic is not ripping you off. But 3 OBD devices, 1 OBD port - dilemma!

With the new X-Series, you can power parking mode and the LTE Connectivity module using the 3-wire hardwiring kit, and free up the OBD port for the OBD-II diagnostic tool (or your insurance provider’s telematics device).

Are the BlackVue S-Series dash cams still worth buying?

Yes, they are!

DR750X

DR750S

Recording Resolution

1080p Full HD @ 60FPS

1080p Full HD @ 60FPS

Available Variants

1-CH, 2-CH, 2CH IR, 2CH Truck

1-CH, 2-CH, 2CH IR, 2CH Truck

Parking Mode

Cloud Connectivity

via WiFi or CM100 LTE

via WiFi

BlackVue-Over-the-Cloud

Free

Free

Power Options

12V power cable, PMP, 3-Wire Hardwiring Kit, Battery Pack

12V power cable, PMP, Battery Pack

Why you the X-series would better suit you:

  • You want remote surveillance at times (ie. kid took the car on a Spring Break road trip, without you)
  • You need ignition-triggered parking mode (the X-Series is also compatible with the PMP so G sensor-triggered parking mode is still possible)

Why the S-series would better suit you:

  • You already have a mobile hotspot in your car and don’t need a dedicated one of your dash cam
  • You rarely use your Cloud features anyways
  • You don’t need the ignition-triggered hardwiring option
  • You want to have the option to turn On and Off parking mode with a switch (PMP lets you do that!)

And in case you’ve decided that the S-Series is sufficient for your needs, we’ve got great news for you - the BlackboxMyCar Spring Clearance is on this month and the DR750S-2CH, 2CH IR and 2CH Truck are all 10% off!

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