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Thinkware U1000 4K Dash Cam Review

Our latest Thinkware U1000 In-Depth Review Follow-Up is now available. Click here to check out what we have to say.

Thinkware U1000 4K Dual Channel Dash Cam

The U1000 is Thinkware’s latest flagship dash cam. It is a 2-channel boasting all the features of its predecessor, the Q800PRO. But with a 4K UHD resolution for its front-facing unit and a 2K QHD resolution for its rear camera, the U1000 is currently the highest resolution 2-channel dash cams available on the market.

Key Features

  • 4K Ultra HD
  • 2K QHD Optional Rear Camera
  • 150° Wide-Angle Lens
  • 8.42MP Sony Exmor R Starvis IMX3343 (front)
  • 5.14MP Sony Exmor R Starvis IMX335 (rear)
  • Energy Saving Mode 2.0
  • Super Night Vision 2.0
  • Live View (Driving/Parking)
  • Geo Fencing
  • Locate Vehicle
  • Driving/Parking Impact Notification
  • Road Alert Systems
  • Safety Camera Alert
  • Built-in WiFi

Pros

  4K UHD front recording
  2K QHD rear recording
  Real-time vehicle tracking via Cloud
  Geo-fencing and alerts
  Driving & Parking Impact Notification
 Unobtrusive, modern design

Cons

Large 4K footage files requires larger capacity memory card

In-Depth Video Review

Design

With the U1000, Thinkware has gone with a completely different design from their previous cameras. Dimensions-wise, the U1000 is very similar to the Q800PRO. But instead of having the camera lens on the long side, it is now on the narrow-side of the unit. This way when you attach it on your windshield, the U1000 looks less bulky and more discreet.

Front Camera Video Quality

The front camera is excellent. The lens has an 8.42MP Sony Exmor R Starvis image sensor to deliver crystal clear 4K UHD video quality at 30FPS. Ultra high definition is twice more detailed than 2K quad high definition and 4x more vivid than 1080p Full HD.

The 150° wide-angle lens view minimizes blind spots so you can capture every little detail you may have missed before.

Advanced video enhancement technologies including Advanced Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), Intelligent Automatic Exposure and Super Night Vision 2.0 cover a good span between day and night, bright and dark environments to ensure videos are of pristine-quality during the day, and crisp and clear with good definition and minimal noise and blurring at night.

Rear Camera Video Quality

Unlike the Q800PRO which simply adopted the F800 Pro rear camera, Thinkware developed a new rear camera specifically for the U1000.

The U1000 rear camera is equipped with a 5.14MP Sony Exmor R Starvis image sensor. It is essentially the same image sensor that was used in the Q800PRO front camera, allowing the U1000 rear camera to record in 2K QHD. The rear camera also comes with a 150° wide-angle lens view and the advanced video enhancement technologies found in the front camera to deliver crystal-clear quality in all lighting situations.

Currently no other 4K or even 2K dash cams on the market offer such a powerful rear camera, making the U1000 the most powerful front-and-rear dash system you can purchase at this tim

Cloud Capabilities

The U1000 is Cloud-enabled so you can stay connected anytime, anywhere as long as you have the THINKWARE CLOUD app on your smartphone and an Internet hotspot in your car.

The mobile app for the U1000 is the same THINKWARE CLOUD app that the Q800PRO, and the F800 Pro use. The app is available for download on the Apple Apps Store and the Google Play Store. Both the THINKWARE CLOUD service and mobile app are free.

The U1000 brings to the table all of the premium CLOUD features that the Q800PRO, had on board, including Geo-Fence, Locate Vehicle and Driving Impact Notification.

Live View function allows you to watch what is happening in real-time. Monitor your vehicle with your smartphone, no matter where you are.

With Geo-Fencing, you can set up up to 20 different geographic zones, which will send a push notification through the CLOUD app if the vehicle enters or leaves a pre-configured zone.

The Locate Vehicle function will let you discover the current location of the vehicle using the THINKWARE CLOUD app.  

In the event of an impact, such as a collision, while driving, a Driving Impact push notification will be sent through the THINKWARE CLOUD as well.

There are a couple of new CLOUD features that are currently exclusive to the U1000: Remote Live View and Parking Impact Notification with Video. With Remote Live View, you can follow your vehicle and watch what is happening in real-time with your THINKWARE CLOUD app. With Parking Impact Notification, not only will you get a push notification of the incident, but you can also access the recorded incident footage through the THINKWARE CLOUD app.

Parking Surveillance

Just like the Q800PRO, the U1000 comes with all the advanced parking mode features with Energy Saving recording mode, Time Lapse, Motion and Impact detection.

  • Time Lapse - Records footage at a lower frame rate to cover surveillance and reduce power consumption and video file size
  • Impact Detection - Built-in G-Sensor to monitor any impact to the vehicle and will wake up the U1000 within a second to start recording
  • Motion Detection - Motion detector with customizable sensitivity level to monitor any motion around the vehicle

Optional RADAR Sensor Add-On

As an optional add-on, the RADAR Sensor gives you the option to extend the U1000's parking mode capabilities for a longer period of time. The RADAR Sensor detects moving objects within a 7m (23ft) range using a feature called Ultra-High Frequency Radar Motion Detection.

If an object is detected, it will trigger the U1000 to go from Energy Saving Parking Mode to a recording standby mode for 30 seconds. If an impact is detected within this 30 seconds period, the U1000 will save 20 seconds before and after footage. With the Parking Impact Notification feature enabled, the U1000 can send a push notification of the incident through the THINKWARE CLOUD app, along with the recorded incident footage. But if no impact or motion is detected within the 30-second standby mode, the U1000 will automatically switch back to Energy Saving Parking Mode.

As you can see, with this Ultra-High Frequency Radar Motion Detection, the U1000 can stay asleep longer, waking up only when an impact has actually been detected. Power consumption is greatly reduced, allowing the U1000 to remain in Parking Mode longer than before. Thinkware calls this Energy Saving Parking Mode 2.0 and is designed to extend parking mode runtime for a long period of time for peace of mind. Thinkware stated the duration in RADAR mode is around two weeks, but exact duration depends on the size and charge of your vehicle's battery as well as any external battery packs you have in place.

Radar motion detection requires the optional Thinkware U1000 Radar Sensor, which is purchased separately.

Alerts

In addition to the Driving and Parking Impact Notifications, the U1000 has several driver assistance systems that can deliver audible warning alerts through the front unit to prevent potential impediments in your journey. These alert systems rely on the U1000’s built-in GPS, which can track the vehicle’s location, speed, and direction of travel.

Safety Camera Alerts

  • Red Light Camera Warning - When approaching a fixed red light camera the U1000 will warn you "Red light camera in ### meters"
  • Fixed Speed Camera Warning - When approaching a fixed speed camera the U1000 will warn you "Speed camera in ### meters, speed limit is XX"
  • Mobile Speed Camera Zone Warning - When approaching an area where mobile speed traps are common the U1000 will warn you "Mobile speed camera zone"
  • Average Speed Zone Warning - When approaching an average speed zone (timed point to point) the U1000 will warn you "Average speed zone, speed limit is XX"

Road Safety Warning Systems

  • Lane Departure Warning System - Prevents accidents by alerting the driver when the vehicle departs unintentionally from its driving lane.
  • Front Vehicle Departure Warning - After stopping at an intersection, it alerts the driver when the vehicle in front has started advancing while your vehicle remains stationary.
  • Forward Collision Warning System - Warns the driver to reduce impact speed or avoid a potential collision with the vehicle in front.

Recommendations

As the dash cam industry embraces 4K and other high-resolution imaging formats with high bitrates, video file compression has become one of the main challenges for both the manufacturers and users. Luckily, the U1000 records in the newer H.265 compression format, so that a 4K footage file can be compressed to the size of a Full HD file.

However, please note that some older computers may lag when viewing H.265 files. To ensure a smooth viewing experience, we recommend updating your computer's video viewer to the H.265 codec. If you are using the Thinkware Desktop Viewer, you can visit the Thinkware website to download the suitable PC/MAC viewer.

Who Should Choose the Thinkware U1000

The Thinkware U1000 will make a lot of sense for a lot of different types of drivers.

For those who demand the best recording quality: We're talking about 4K Ultra HD. The U1000 is currently the highest resolution dash cam system in the market. With a solid 4K Ultra HD front-view and 2K Quad HD rear-view recording capability, impressive night vision and exposure correction features, your drive will be captured in crystal-clear, movie-like quality.

For those who demand the best parking surveillance: The U1000 comes with all the advanced parking mode features with Energy Saving recording mode, Time Lapse, Motion and Impact detection. Pair it with the optional RADAR sensor and you can further extend parking mode runtime as well as record a longer pre- and post-incident footage.

For those who demand the most inclusive road safety systems: The U1000 comes with several driving assistance systems that can deliver audible warning alerts to prevent potential impediments in your journey, including red light and speed camera alerts as well as lane departure and front collision warning.

For those who demand 24/7 connectivity and control: The U1000 is Cloud-enabled so you can stay connected anytime. You can literally open the mobile app and take a look through the camera in real time, driving or parked.

Final Verdict

The Thinkware U1000 is the highest resolution 2-channel, as well as the most advanced parking surveillance dash cam system on the market and it is now available at BlackboxMyCar.

Apart from the video file compression, the U1000 is a really superb dash cam that delivers video footage in eye-popping 4K UHD quality. While it is a top-tier dash cam with a premium price tag, you are certainly getting a lot of value with the U1000. It is more expensive than the Q800PRO, but you get double the recording resolution and exclusive advanced parking mode capabilities. The U1000 is priced almost the same as the BlackVue 4K DR900S, but again, with much more advanced parking mode capabilities and 2x the recording resolution from the rear camera. With the U1000 onboard, you can sit back and relax knowing that your drive is well-captured and well-protected.

We do recommend getting the Thinkware U1000 2-Channel bundle kit as it comes with both the front and rear cameras, a 12V power cable, an adhesive windshield mount, cable clips, a 32GB microSD Card and a USB microSD card reader, as well as a Thinkware Hardwiring Kit and an Anti-Glare CPL Filter.

ABOUT THINKWARE

Thinkware is a world-leading Korean dash cam company. Since founded in 1997, Thinkware has established itself as the market leader in the realm of smart car technologies and dash cams. Today Thinkware is one of the most trusted names in the dash cam industry and its flagship products continue to raise the industry bar with strong, innovative and impressive features.


Experience the 4K Madness

Thinkware U1000 In-Depth Review

Thinkware U1000 4K Sample Footage

Thinkware U1000 vs. Q800PRO

Thinkware U1000 Review

Based on 4387 reviews
85%
(3738)
11%
(473)
3%
(144)
0%
(21)
0%
(11)
Easy to use. Plug and play

It was easy to install and the interface is pretty simple and easy to use. The video quality is fantastic. The only thing I do not like is it writes in an MP4 format which cannot be cast onto my TV.

Great product

Super easy to install and to setup

Perfect install kit

Came by just to grab 2 low profile mini add a fuses and got the kit for a very reasonable price. So nice to have the fuse circuit tester to make the install easier

Great battery pack

Easy to install/hide and is awesome with plug and play with dashcams. Took about 5 minutes to hardwire as it comes with whatever you needed granted that you select those options.

Crazy fast shipping

Ordered the wrong spliced wire kit when I ordered the neo cellink battery and quickly bought this. Thought it was going to come in next week and it showed up the next day in the morning of all times. Had plenty of time to install my dashcam

VIOFO A129 Duo

DIY install was straight forward with parking mode working nicely. Extra mounting adhesive is a plus in the event of windshield replacement. The only negative was my understanding a 32gb microSD came with every dash cam sold. My mistake. The front & rear camera video is quire good and the cost was reasonable for the system. Waiting to see how the Texas summer treats the camera.
Overall a good purchase.

Hi Jeff, thanks for purchasing from BlackboxMyCar. Sorry for the miscommunication - this was a limited time promotion and because of the demand for the cards, we ran out of them and had to put a pause on them. That said, we hope you love your dash cam, and do let us know in the future if you have any questions.
Great customer service!

Joseph gave a great recommendation on which dashcam was the best for my car. Jonathan was knowledgeable, friendly to talk to, and had the dashcam up and running in no time! Definitely recommend BlackboxMyCar for anyone looking for a dashcam.

Thanks Matthew for leaving a review. We will be sure to let Joseph know that he's awesome :) and Jonathan too! Come back anytime.
Awesome 😎

The shipping was fairly Quick. The package was as expected.
I would STRONGLY recommended it to everyone, and especially if you bought a new car or fairly recent. You won’t be disappointed!!

Hi there, thanks for leaving a review. We're glad you enjoyed our rocket-fast 1-3 day shipping so that you could get your package so quickly. Come back anytime!
Dash cam

You guys exchange my viofo129 4k for the thinkware u1000 and am happier the service perfect blackboxmycar to the world just give them a try you won't regret it there right on point a head of the game 💯💯💪💪

Hi Junior, we do everything we can to make our customers happy! Thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar :)
VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4k

VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4K cam was easy to install. It provides a clear front and back view.

Hi Ernest, you're awesome - thanks for leaving a review!
So far looks GREAT

Have not connected the rear camera yet but the front camera shoots wonderful, clear video, even in the evening with low light. I like a lot of the features on this unit and for the price seems a great deal. I do wish there was an option to just record with no time limit for road trip videos, but it does it's job VERY well and I'm satisfied. Shipping was FAST and product arrived well packed.

Hi Mark, thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. Let us know if you need any help connecting the rear camera, but we're glad to hear that you had a great experience with us!
2 Ch THINKWARE Q800 Pro Install

Booked online, seamless process. Install done within promised timeframe. Clean install, courteous and informative staff. Will be bringing in my other car for another camera install.

Hi Dan, thanks for leaving a review. We're here to help - hope to see you back soon with your other car!
Viofo a119 v3

Was debating for a while on a dashcam and settled on a Viofo a119v3. This cam was within my budjet, and after reading reviews I decided on this one.
I also read great reviews about blackboxmy car customer service and purchased from them. The camera itself seems to have great options and video quality is bar none...….only had for a week but very satisfied...Thanks Black box!

Hi Yves, thanks for leaving a review. We're glad to hear that our team was able to help you out, and you had such a great time with our support team :) Hope you continue to love your VIOFO - ask us at anytime if you have any questions.
Great for my needs; minor software friction

First let me say that BlackboxMyCar has been fantastic throughout the process of choosing and installing my dash cams. The people behind that chat bubble know what they’re talking about, something I don’t usually expect from first-tier customer support.

Second: Overall I’m very happy with the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo. Video quality is sharp and clear, and it was easy to set up. The front camera is slightly smaller than I’d pictured it, which is nice. I’ve only had it a few weeks, but so far it’s working perfectly. Reliably fires up and starts recording when I get in the car and goes into parking mode when the car is off.

This is my first-ever dash cam and routing the cable through the headliner, A-pillar, etc., was tedious but not particularly difficult. Wiring the cameras into the car’s fusebox was also relatively straightforward, but get the circuit tester if you don’t already have one. It makes identifying always-on vs. ignition-switched a snap.

My only complaints—and these are minor nits—are mostly software issues.

The hardwire kit cable has a cylindrical ferrite bead near the connector, which makes it impossible (in my case) to hide that part of the cable—the bead won’t fit in the seam where I would otherwise stuff it.

Connecting to the camera from the iOS app requires enabling WiFi on the dash cam each time, and stopping the current recording. I’d love to be able to launch the iOS app and have it connect to the camera without having to jump through these extra hoops.

The other oddity that I haven’t really tracked down yet is that recordings using the H.265 codec play fine on my phone, but won’t play correctly when transferred to a computer. On the computer various apps appear to be playing around 1fps (maybe just showing keyframes?). I have yet to find an app that will interpret these files correctly—Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder, QuickTime player—apps that otherwise understand and support H.265. The only way I’ve found to get usable H.265 files from the phone to the computer is to import them into iMovie on the phone and re-export them. (All of this could probably be avoided by setting the camera to use H.264 instead.)

Again, these are minor nits and overall I’m happy with the VIOFO.

Hi Ray, thanks for leaving a review - behind those chat bubbles is a great team who's happy to help :) We're glad you love your VIOFO, and we will pass your feedback over to VIOFO to see what they can do. As for the H.265, unfortunately, that's the downside of the file format. It's great for file sizes, but hard for the computer to encode and play smoothly without some adjustments. That said, we did write a blog recently about it where you can learn more: https://www.blackboxmycar.com/blogs/news/h265-the-good-the-catch-and-the-how Let us know if you have any questions!
Satisfied customer

Good dashcam for the price. I am happy with my purchase! Customer support was good. They answered all my stupid questions.

Hi MH, there's no such thing as stupid questions :) Thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
Great cam kit, fast delivery

I had a great experience with BlackBoxMyCar and would happily order electronics from them again! I guess I'll briefly document my journey:
1. Trying to decide which cameras to get, I contacted a support person on the chat. He was very courteous and helpful and did not try to up-sell me.
2. Fast delivery, got everything in perfect condition, tested it out using the lighter power cables, yay!
3. [mostly unrelated to the seller] I decided I am not competent enough to do a good install, so I hired a professional. Post-installation everything works great and no wires are exposed. It is a spiffy setup!

Note: I am not using the cloud features at all.

Hi Snowslider, I'm so glad that our team was able to help you out with everything that you needed. Please don't hesitate to reach out at anytime if you have any further questions regarding your dash cam.
Good camera

I wish it had a button to capture incidents and commit them to a file

Hi Niska, thanks for leaving a review. Our support team has reached out to you directly to help you with this. We will also direct your feedback over to BlackVue to see if they have anything to add.
Peace of Mind

I wouldn't recommend spending a thousand bucks on a dual-channel dashcam, but I do recommend spending within your budget on a solid dashcam. That's what I did, with the Thinkware U1000. It is a phenomenal piece of equipment and the customer service I received from Johnathan/Katrina was great. The installation team managed to get the dashcam installed on my Kona in less than 2.5 hours! If you are unsure of what to get and where to get a dashcam, I would 100% recommend going to BlackboxMyCar! :)

Hi Kevin, thank you for shopping at BlackboxMyCar. We're so glad to hear that our team was able to help you out. We hope you love your Thinkware U1000 - don't hesitate to ask us if you need further help in the future :)
Escort Max 360C Radar Detector

Excellent customer service. Ordered and received
with no issues.

Thanks for leaving a review, J. O.!
Done Right!

I booked appointment online. Got a reminder a couple of days ahead of appointment. Quickly processed at appointment check in. Installation was completed in less time than I expected. Installation has a professional look and I would recommend this business due to the service I received.

Hi Doug, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear your installation was smooth for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Doing the job

The first Dash cam I used had parking mode and although it had a setting to cut off automatically at 11.9 V after a time of about nine months it took it’s toll on my battery. This time around I’ve got a new dash cam also with parking mode but now I have the Cellink Neo battery in between my battery and dash cam and it’s working flawlessly I love the fact that my vehicles battery is not being taxed. Fully charged the Cellink Neo will last for 22 hours and that’s while running a 4K front camera and a 2k rear

Hi Edward, thank you for writing a detailed review for your Cellink NEO battery :) Glad to hear that it's working out well for you!
more then expected

After installation didn’t expect an explanation of the camera function. Made it easy to understand the features.

Hi Robert, glad to hear that the features were easy enough to understand. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
Works good

Works good

Thanks for leaving a review, Donald!
Great dash cash well worth the investment!

Have you ever been wrongly cited in an auto accident because of the lack of witnesses or the other party says you were at fault? I purchased The VIOFO A129 Pro 4K dash w/ GPS for both of my vehicles. Now when I'm driving, I feel a sense of comfort and security knowing if something happens I have footage. I highly recommend this product. The company is great and there customer service is excellent! Don't wait until it's too late...

HI Brannan, thanks for leaving a review! We're glad to see that you're seeing the value of a dash cam, and we can't wait to see what you capture with it. Feel free to join our Monthly Video Contest if you capture anything awesome! See here to learn more: https://www.blackboxmycar.com/pages/monthly-video-contest
Awesome!

Awesome , super friendly and helpful staff. Will go there for all my dashcam needs.

Hi Steven, thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!