The summer of 2016 is coming to an end and the team at BlackboxMyCar has been working hard to analyze, critique and handpick our top five best dash cams of 2016. With the introduction of a wide variety of dash cams that range from entry-level to top-tier, it is safe to say that the dash cam market is growing and competition between each manufacturer is becoming more and more comparative. This is great news for customers as, with the increase in the diverse supply of dash cam selections, the lower the prices will be driven down. Without further ado, we would like to present our picks for the best dash cams of 2016!
Thinkware F770 Dual Channel:
The Thinkware F770 Dual Channel was released in the middle of June 2016 and has quickly become our best dash cam in terms of video quality and reliability. This unit is a direct successor to the previous Thinkware F750, with specific upgrades thanks to its enhanced Sony CMOS video processor, improved night time/low light video quality and a complete overhaul in design. Furthermore, even with the F770's excellent day time video quality, where the unit really outshines other dual-channel dash cams is in its night time and rear video quality, which records Full HD at 1080p and has its own Sony CMOS sensor built in (compared to the 720p of most other dual channel dash cams)! Rest assured, the F770 includes advanced dash cam features such as parking-mode recording by motion and impact detection, as well as Wifi/smartphone integration.
The company behind Thinkware is actually a corporate giant in Korea, so their products are always top-notch. Indeed, the F770 comes with many useful features such as the safety camera alert system, which alerts drivers where red light and speed cameras are located. The dash cam also has a lane departure warning system and front collision warning system that, admittedly, is a little hit or miss due to some false alarms but are nice features regardless. These features are easily disabled through the settings or app, so it's really not a big deal. Lastly, what we really like about this camera is the fact that you can purchase the rear camera down the road if you only get the front in the beginning. This is very beneficial for customers who are on the fence of deciding whether to buy a one-channel or dual-channel setup. In the near future, Thinkware even has plans to release a secondary camera with infrared technology built in, so that customers have even more options to choose from.
The BlackVue DR650-2 Channel series has been a bestseller for us over the last two years when the first iteration came out. The DR650S is a direct replacement to the DR650GW, adding some very useful features that were lost when BlackVue Over the Cloud was first introduced. The new cameras can record at the highest bitrate BlackVue has ever introduced at 10 megabits per second in the front and 5 megabits per second rear; this translates directly to improved video quality during both day time and night time recording. There is also lower power consumption and the ability to turn off the rear camera while in parking-mode recording. These updates offer noticeable improvements from the older firmware and initial release of the DR650GW-2CH. BlackVue’s Over the Cloud is also unique to the DR650S and has been extremely useful for fleet managers who want to monitor and keep track of their drivers. Having said this, we’re also finding that more and more average customers are adapting to this technology. The Cloud feature allows for live streaming, remote video downloading, adjustments to setting options and has a notification function that sends alerts to a customer’s phone when the dash cam detects motion or impact. With these improvements for the DR650S and BlackVue’s overall reputation in the dash cam market, it is not a surprise that this product makes it in our list here.
BlackSys CH-100B Dual Channel:
The BlackSys CH-100B Dual Channel has always been and still is the best value for the money dual-channel dash cam made in Korea. Packed with features such as dedicated parking-mode recording and Wifi/smartphone app integration, the CH-100B is an excellent choice regardless of what it’s being compared against. With Full HD front video quality at 1080p, HD rear video quality at 720p and great night time video quality, the BlackSys does not fall substantially behind any of our other high-end dual channel dash cams. The best feature of the BlackSys CH-100B is its Wifi/smartphone app integration, which offers the most setting adjustments/options and ease of use. Downloading of video footage while using the smartphone app also takes the quickest time and the Wifi rarely drops due to a strong and stable connection. This unit is a close competitor to the higher end Thinkware F770 but set at a significantly lower price point, which adds a lot of incentive for customers who are unsure if they want to go all out for a dual-channel dash cam as their first purchase. In terms of reliability, the BlackSys CH-100B stands at the very top of our products as well alongside the Thinkware F770, with very little issues ever arising throughout its usage. Again, this dash cam has been trouble free for a lot of our customers and we absolutely recommend this device!
The Thinkware F50 is our most recently released entry-level one-channel dash cam. Since its introduction in July, we’ve seen huge success for this unit and the reasons for this are not surprising. With Full HD video quality at 1080p thanks to a Sony CMOS Sensor, Thinkware’s superb reliability, dedicated parking-mode recording and low price point, the Thinkware F50 is without a doubt our best one-channel value for the money dash cam. We have been in this industry for almost 5 years now and this device really surprises all of us. We simply can’t believe Thinkware can offer a device at this price range with a Sony video sensor and that is also manufactured in Korea. The form factor of the F50 also plays an important role for customers, since it is about half the size of a regular high-end dash cam (such as the Thinkware F770 and BlackSys CH-100B above); in fact, the F50 is only a little bit bigger than the rear cameras on those dual channel systems. Formatting the microSD card is quick and simple, and can be done by holding down the Rec button for a few seconds. Thinkware has truly hit the bullseye in their thought process of creating an affordable dash cam that is simple, easy to use, yet effective in recording with strong reliability in mind.
Street Guardian SG9665GC V2:
The Street Guardian SG9665GC V2 is a high-end one-channel dash cam that has excellent video quality, recording Full HD at 1080p. It uses a large Sony EXMOR IMX322 sensor and thus both daytime and night time video quality are superb. Although the unit lacks Wifi/smartphone app integration and parking-mode recording, it is nonetheless one of the most discreet and smallest dash cams that we offer. The Street Guardian has a very small form factor yet comes with an LCD screen, allowing customers to view footage and change settings while driving without the need to connect the microSD card to a computer. This camera offers impressive internal video components and build quality without sacrificing reliability. For users in hotter climates, the capacitor and metal lens housing of the Street Guardian make it an ideal choice. Street Guardian is actually an Australian dash cam company, and its line-up was designed to withstand humidity and heat, meaning that all of their products offer excellent protection against temperature fluctuations. Lastly, with our numerous years of experience dealing with dash cam manufacturers, we have to say that the team at Street Guardian really stands out; their support network is simply amazing with quick, timely and accurate replies. We can confidently say that Street Guardian really cares about customer’s inputs and they take their products seriously.
So there you have it! These are the top 5 dash cams that BlackboxMyCar strongly considers to be the best products of 2016. We’ve tested these devices in many different environments ourselves and, with our own customer’s feedback across all of North America, we are able to confidently recommend these products to our customers who are in the market for a dash cam. From the entry-level Thinkware F50 to the top of the line Thinkware F770, the choice for a dash cam is considerable so hopefully this list helps to offer some useful information to help everyone decide what best suits their needs!
As a special thank you for reading this post, please use the discount code “top5blackboxmycar” at checkout to take $10 off of your order over $125!
This article was written by Murphy L, BlackboxMyCar Sales Manager.