This Christmas season, why not get an affordable and decent dash cam for your loved one? A good quality dash cam, like Nextbase, not only offers you peace of mind when out and about on our ever increasingly busy roads, it can also provide you independent evidence if you ever have an accident, help lower insurance premiums and speed up claims!
I am so pleased to review this Nextbase 512GW which is their mid-range dash cam. The 512GW dash cam boasts stronger colours for enhanced images in all conditions and it comes resplendent with Quad HD 1440p recording and the latest sensor technology from Sony – exclusive to Nextbase.
This 512GW dash cam comes with a car camcorder, car charger, mount holder on suction, self-adhesive mount holder, replacement self-adhesive mount holder sticker, mini USB cable, Nextbase easy peel sticker and Quick Start Guide.
Setting up is very straightforward and I only adjusted a few settings like turning audio recording off and livescreen off and as I don’t like the distractions. The date and time and are auto set.
You do need to download their free Cam Viewer app if you want your video to be sent directly to your smartphone or tablet, and you can even edit video yourself using the Nextbase Replay 3 software, which is available to download from the website (for Windows & Mac). If you like to share your video and do not want others to listen to your conversation in the car, it is best to turn off the voice recording in the settings/screen. Also, you can have your video files record in 2 minute, 3 minute or 5 minute clips.
Before you install this dash cam, please do remember to buy a micro SD card (supports up to 128GB) to record the video. We have the 32GB SD card which provides about 2 hours of footage. If you are wondering how big the size of your micro SD card needs to be, it all depends on your own needs. The bigger the size, the longer it can record without wiping off the old data and it also depends on the video resolution you would like.
There are four video resolutions to choose from: 720P/30FPS, 1080P/30FPS, 1080P/60FPS and 1440P/30FPS. If you want detailed images in limited visibility or high-contrast environments like dark tunnels or bright sunlight, you would probably need 1440P/30FPS or the 1080P/60FPS. We’ve set it to the latter as all our current display devices are 1080P only. The dash cam has a 140-degree wide-angle lens to capture views of the sides of the vehicle and the road ahead.
Unboxing the 512GW, I can see that it has a built-in 3” LED 960 x 240 screen so you can see what you’re recording and it also allows playback (using the MODE). This is a really nice feature if we wanted to see a live feed and make any physical adjustments (not while driving). You can turn off the screen and have a speedometer instead. I do find the speedometer a bit distracting as the numbers are quite big and yellow in colour. I already have a speedometer on my dashboard, so it is not necessary for my needs. It may be useful for others.
To set up, insert the micro SD card and car charger lead into the device. Plug the other end of your car charger to the 12v power outlet. The lead measures about 4 metres long which is a very good length for you to position the device in the middle or right-hand side of your windscreen. Installing is pretty straightforward by sliding the device onto the bracket. The mounting bracket attaches very securely onto the windscreen. For first time use, the instructions advise charging the device for at least 2 hours which I did using a mini USB cable via my laptop.
The screen is not a touchscreen and I keep thinking that it is! However, the dashcam buttons are very responsive and easy to handle. In the MENU, you can select your resolution, exposure, audio recording (on/off), parking mode, video length, format the SD card, turn on the WIFI connections and many more.
You can turn on/off your GPS location stamp. Besides providing you with the location, it is useful as evidence for the Police and Courts when reviewing dashcam footage in identifying insurance scams, such as ‘crash for cash’ by identifying who was at fault through picking up any unusual movements via the G-Sensor data. The GPS feature on dashcams is worldwide so it does not need to be altered when driving outside of the UK as it will still pick up the same information with the aid of Google Maps.
However, despite the inclusion of GPS, there’s no option to provide you the safety camera locations. It also lacking forward collision detection, lane departure warnings and taking still pictures.
One great feature I love about this dash cam is the Intelligent Parking Mode! It can be turned on via the menu settings and it will put the cam into standby mode after five minutes of inactivity. The dash cam will then power on and record a two-minute protected file when the physical movement of the vehicle is detected. This can result from the car being bumped into or a door being shut. If no further physical movement is detected it will then enter standby mode, or continue to record another two-minute file if the cam has been activated. This is designed to work on the dashcam inbuilt battery, therefore meaning a hardwire installation or a connection to a live source is not required!
Reviewing the footage, I found that both daytime and nighttime are fairly good. You can make out the car models and number plates. It comes with a polarising filter to reduce glare and reflections and I can definitely see the benefit in the night footage, it is quite clear on a normal night.
This dashcam includes a rear camera usb socket to allow you to expand your camera footage in future by including an optional rear dashcam.
Overall this is very easy to set up with its magnetic Click & Go mount and to review the videos on your app. The quality of the day and night footage is good. As well as recording the video content, it also records the audio too though this is a setting which can be turned off (one of the buttons on the screen).
For more information, check out Nextbase website. You can buy it from Halfords, Currys, Argos, John Lewis, Very, Amazon and other stores.
Check out my video review here:
Disclosure: We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. We have included Amazon affiliate link to the product. If you click on this and buy, we may earn a small commission.