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Are OEM Dash Cams Worth the Extra Cost?

Are OEM Dash Cams Worth the Extra Cost?

The rise of the dash cam is inexorable. The dash cam market has expanded rapidly over the past few years is estimated to reach a worth of US$4.03 billion by the end of 2020. As more people are equipping their vehicles with a dash cam, we are also seeing more car manufacturers offering OEM-branded dash cams in their lineup of optional accessories. For instance, Citroen has cut out the middleman and fitted a dash cam into the C3. Lexus and Toyota have their Lexus/Toyota Genuine Dash Camera available on their Canadian models, Audi has its Universal Traffic Recorder and BMW has the Advanced Car Eye 2.0. A fan of the North American muscle cars? Well, you will find Chevolet’s Performance Data Recorder in the new Corvettes and Camaros, and we heard the camera is insanely powerful.

So, does this mean more car manufacturers will follow suit? We think so. But before you put off getting that 4K UHD dash cam of your dreams, we would like to share a simple fact with you: buying an OEM-branded dash cam is not a good investment, at least not for the time being and probably will not be in the near future either.

Not a Good Investment

For the price you pay for the OEM-branded dash cam, you can get a smarter, more powerful, more feature-packed dash cam from specialized dash cam retailers, like BlackboxMyCar.

Let’s use this flyer as an example,

We had the chance to play with a Lexus Genuine Dash Cam recently. The Lexus Genuine dash cam has the look and feel of a premium dash cam, but it was missing a lot of the essential features that we would expect from a $450 dash cam - which was why the customer came to us to get fitted with a secondary dash cam system, a dual-channel FA200 WiFi dash cam.

The Lexus Genuine Dash Cam is a front-only single-channel camera that records in 1080p Full HD. It comes with parking mode recording, but it's not buffered and there is no motion detection. Included in the price tag is also an 8GB microSD card (which we all know is not enough to record much); a free mobile and desktop viewer, but no cloud features.

Alternative options for a similar setup

If you’re in the market for a single-channel Full HD dash cam, you have a few options on BlackboxMyCar:

And how many of these dash cams are under $450? All of them!

Paying More ≠ Better Dash Cam

Just because you’re paying more at the dealership doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a better dash cam. To better illustrate that, let’s take a look at a couple of options available on BlackboxMyCar at the $450 price point: the Thinkware Q800PRO 2K QHD dash cam and the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4K 2-Channel Dash Cam.

Thinkware Q800PRO 2K QHD Dash Cam

VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4K 2-Channel Dash Cam

Lexus Genuine Dash Cam

Camera

1-Channel: Front

2 Channel: Front and Rear

1-Channel: Front

Resolution

2K QHD

4K UHD

1080p Full HD

Continuous Recording

Yes

Yes

Yes

Built-in GPS

Yes

Yes

Yes

Built-in WiFi

Yes

Yes

Yes

Parking Mode

Buffered parking recording, Impact & Motion detection, Time-Lapsed

Buffered parking recording, Impact & Motion detection, Time-Lapsed

Parking recording upon detected impact

Cloud-Ready

Yes

No

No

Advanced Driver Assistance System

Yes

No

No

MicroSD Card included

32GB

32GB

8GB

*2K QHD is twice as vivid and powerful as Full HD; 4K UHD is four times as powerful as Full HD.

Looking for a 2K QHD dash cam? The Thinkware Q800PRO 2K QHD and the VIOFO A119 V3 are excellent options.

Interested in a 4K UHD dash cam? In addition to the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4K 2-Channel Dash Cam, we also have the Thinkware U1000 4K UHD as well as the BlackVue DR900S-1CH.

Why you should buy your dash cam from BlackboxMyCar

Other reasons why it’s better to buy a dash cam from a specialized dash cam retailer, like BlackboxMyCar:

1. Dash cams are our forte

Everything we do here has to do with dash cams, from testing to review to installation. We have been in the dash cam industry for almost 8 years. We are huge on informed purchases and we do our best to ensure you get the most in-depth information available. Everyone on our team is trained to know dash cams inside and out, so that if you ever come to any one of us with questions, you won’t have to bounce from one department to another just to get the answers you need.

2. We carry the latest products

Chances are Lexus and Toyota didn’t develop or manufactured their Genuine Dash Cam units themselves, so they must have sourced it from a dash cam manufacturer. Developing a supplier relationship with a major automotive manufacturer takes years. Then, after years of negotiation, there’s still the testing phase, installation phase, and the logistics of adding the dash cam to the lineup of offerings.

In other words, from the time the dash cam is developed and pitched to the car manufacturer to the time it’s available at the dealership, it could be years. Perhaps that’s why the dash cams offered by Lexus, Toyota, BMW, Audi, Chevolet are all still 1080p Full HD when the current standard is already 2K QHD and 4K UHD.

3. We have less overhead costs

Car dealerships have large showrooms with a dozen salespersons waiting to help you and a couple dozen more technicians servicing your car. They also hire professional actors for their prime time TV commercials – they have huge overhead costs and that typically translate to higher prices on everything, for everyone. We don’t have those costs to worry about.

Conclusion

We have been working directly with dash cam and battery pack manufacturers for years and we are proud to say that our partnership with them has allowed us to bring our customer the latest and hottest products sooner than many of our competitors - that way, not only can you be the first kid on the block with the coolest new toy but our dash cam experts also have the chance to thoroughly test and learn more about these products and have the most in-depth review and feedback ready before you come to us.

If you're looking for a dash cam for your vehicle, need help with installation, or if you want to inquire about the optional accessories and add-ons that will enhance the performance of your dash cam, come talk to us, we've got you!

Stay tune to our YouTube Channel, we have a video on the Thinkware FA200 installation process as well as a quick chat with the owner of the Lexus Genuine Dash Cam!

Previous article A Heartfelt Thank You from Alex
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Based on 4276 reviews
85%
(3645)
11%
(458)
3%
(143)
0%
(19)
0%
(11)
Easiest way

This plug is the easiest way to plug in your dash cam.
Shipped fast and was a good deal.

First Dash Cam purchase

After searching the internet for dash cam retailers, I settled on BlackBoxMyCar and I am very happy I chose them. I'm very pleased with my Viofo A129 Duo. I was able to have several questions answered on-line and that was a key factor in selecting my dash cam and BlackBoxMyCar. They will be my go to vendor for my next dash cam.

VIOFO A119 V3 QHD+ Dash Cam

Great item

Getting installed Monday 1/20/2020

Very Satisfied

I purchased the suction cup mount to allow me to transfer my Viofo A119V3 between vehicles.

The A119 V3 fits very securely onto the suction cup mount. This mount is superior to those I have used with other devices e.g. GPS in that it offers adjustment in both tilting and rotating, both of which can be locked in position, and when coupled with the titling lens it is very easy to get the best position for the Dashcam.

I found it very easy to secure the mount to my windshield.

Recommended if you intend to move the Dashcam between vehicles or to rental cars.

Right fit

I ordered a part for my new car , It all worked out thank you.

Hi Spencer, thanks for leaving a review. Glad to hear that it all worked out for you. Let us know if you have any questions!
Awesome Rideshare Setup!

First of all! Very nice and knowledgeable people at blackboxmycar! Second very nice setup with power magic pro wiring kit! Also very discrete design! Love the video quality! Especially at night with the Sony Starvis! Overall good setup! Can barely see the cams. Thanks again Blackboxmycar.com/BlackVue!!! 👍👍👍

Hi Eric, thanks for purchasing from BlackboxMyCar. Glad to hear that your dash cam worked out for you! Thanks for including pictures as well :) Looks great!
Very Good - not yet great. But getting there.

I purchased the BlackVue DR900S 2 channel with interior facing IR after an attempted theft of my 2019 F-150 Lariat. It was already a purchase I had been considering in order to add a layer of security during both active and passive vehicle usage and I didn't hesitate to go with BMC given the number of positive reviews.

After a fast and painless exchange via email, BMC matched a lower price point offer for the kit that I had found on the internet. BMC even included a slightly larger storage card. Shipping and receipt went smoothly.

If I can fault BMC it is in the install and "commissioning" of the dash cam. Though I had done a fair bit of research and certainly am not one to shy away from peeling off some trim or crimping some wires, there was no step-by-step guide to installation that would have given an illustrated and comprehensive explanation of the process; now, this information exists and I was able to access it, but it was still a bit of a patchwork construction and an installation that I thought might take one hour took 2 days.

All said, though, the system is now up and running, so far flawlessly, in my vehicle. There has been a lot of trial and error, but the dash cam community is helpful and all of the information is available. You just need to look for it.

I will post a video review of my installation shortly - including hardwired battery installation.

Hi Alexander, thank you for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that we were able to help you with your order. You brought up some great points, and we will definitely take your feedback to heart for the future. We hope that the dash cam works out for you. Please let us know if you have any questions in the future.

BlackboxMyCar Add-A-Fuse Kit

Hi Brian, thanks for leaving a review!
VIOFO A119 12V Auto Hardwire Kit

Quality hardwire kit with reasonable length to the A119 and to the 12V battery source. Voltage reducer is small enough to fit in small spaces with rounded corners for ease of fishing into place. Fuse holder streamlined but difficult to open at first, 2nd time ok.

Hi Chester, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that you were able to figure it out and install your VIOFO. Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!
the ONLY place I can find this replacement part online

Blackboxmycar is the only place I could find that sells the cigarette socket power output cable for the Cellink Neo.
Fast shipping. Item as described.

Hi J. Kim, we're glad to hear you were able to find what you were looking for at our store. Thanks for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
Great Kit- Everything you need

Our techs were able to install the dash camera and the Power Magic Pro with no problem by using this Essential Kit. We've bought 13 units so far. Very pleased.

Hi Jennifer, thanks for leaving a review. We're glad to hear that you have found everything you need in our Essential Installation Kits. Thanks!
Suction Cup add-on

I bought this suction cup mount to move and use quickly my A119 V3 from vehicle to vehicle.
After receiving I must say its smaller and lighter than expected compared to the picture but still functional and we will see how long the suction cup lasts over time.
I also saw a video of using this suction cup to turn the A119 around and take video of driver with commentary about area or something else which I plan to edit into my video at a later time.
So its a nice feature for the video I plan to make while on vacation.
Cool!

Hi John, thanks for your feedback. Let us know if the suction cup mount doesn't work well for you over time and we'll try our best to help. Thanks!
Blackbox My Car is the Best!

Sorry BB team for taking so long before writing a review, but the 2 Viofo a129 duo dashs were xmas gifts and I wanted to wait for your professional installations to be done first.
I have purchased dascams from BB before and have had nothing but a great experience for both service and products.

Both Viofo cams are working great and the installation service was the best. The team was awesome and answered all my questions without hesitation. Your waiting area and amenities are first class. Most car dealerships could learned a thing or 2 from how you operate!

Thank you again!

Hi Ken, appreciate your compliments and thank you for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that you enjoyed our facilities and that the installation and the dash cams worked out for you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out at any time in the future!
Very pleased with the A119V3 and with customer service

After researching a number affordable dash cams I settled on the Viofo A119V3 and Blackboxmycar as the vendor. I chose Blackboxmycar because of its customer service. This is my first Dashcam and I had a number of questions all of which were answered promptly and to my satisfaction by Katrina. Other vendors offered a slightly less expensive final cost but Katrina's service swayed my decision.

As to the camera itself I am very happy. In the last few days I have used it in temperatures of about -28ºC and it has performed flawlessly. The video quality is excellent with the CPL: clear, sharp and with good colours and contrast. Files are around 1.15 GB for 5 mins using 2560x1440 @30 fps H.264 or around 950 MB using H.265. The audio quality is quite acceptable.

Once you get the hang of using the Menu system it is quite easy to choose or change settings.

Also impressed with Viofo in that they seem to have thought of everything. The item included everything I could possibly need to mount and operate the camera even down to string to help remove the mounts in future if necessary.

Presently I am powering the camera via the cigarette lighter but am seriously considering hardwiring or using a portable power bank. I will then try the parking modes.

We have two cars and I had thought of moving the camera from one to the other so I purchased an additional GPS mount, that I have not yet tested. However I am now leaning towards buying 2nd A119V3 to avoid the hassle and to have a permanent neat installation in both cars.

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review! We're glad to hear that Katrina was able to help you out, and that the VIOFO A119 V3 was exactly what you were looking for. If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to let us know!
Easy install/ plug and play

Great product, works as it should so far. Easy installation

Hi Louie, thanks for leaving a review! Glad to hear that the Power Magic EZ worked for you :)
Cellink Neo 6

i got this battery pack recently and everything run smoothly. now i have peace of mind leaving my car on parking lot and this battery charge faster if you're using cigarette socket for charging if you chooses not to hardwired it. overall customer service was great and they will go extra mile to make sure you are getting the right product you wanted to and give you detail...

Hi whatme, thanks for the review on your Cellink NEO. We're glad to hear that it works well for you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let us know.
Great Product

Fast shipping, easy installation, works good. Used chat feature for recommendation to make sure it met expectations and was spot on with what I was looking for. Thanks

Hi Robert, thanks for chatting with us and leaving a review. I'm glad to hear that our team was able to help you out with what you're looking for :) If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Dope service!!!

Could not be happier dealing w Blackboxmycar!! Do yourself a favor and just buy from them!!

Hi Lorenzo, dope review! Thanks for leaving a review and purchasing from BlackboxMyCar :)
IROAD Power ODB-ll

Just what I was looking for,very easy to install
Just plug and play,very good product
A bit expensive though.

Hi Luis, thank you for leaving a review! We hear you - we try our best to keep our prices as competitive as possible, so we will pass your feedback to our vendors for you. Thank you for shopping at BlackboxMyCar!
My Thoughts

Good so far. Hope all works out in the future. Thank you

Hi David, thanks for leaving a review!
Best Site for the Best Dashcams Around

My 2nd purchase from Alex and 2nd Blackvue camera purchased. Blackvue is my favourite dashcam because of its sleek and unobtrusive design and extremely high quality recordings. Easy to download recordings with the app now, will continue to recommend Blackvue's to everyone.

As for blackboxmycar.ca, great selection of the best Dashcams out on the market. Extremely informative website with an abundance of information and comparisons to make the right choice. Fast shipping and great customer service, this is the way to go to buy a dashcam over the cheaper but inferior choices on Amazon or anywhere else.

Hi Wesley, thanks for your review. We're glad to hear that you're loving your BlackVue dash cam as much as we do! Hope the DR590W-1CH treats you well :) If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team.
Power output cable spliced for Thinkware

These cables were well made and of great quality. Shipping was fast and customer support went above and beyond to help me understand how to DIY my first dash cam. Very much value added support!

Hi Jye, thanks for leaving a review! I'm glad that this and our team was able to help you out. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our team in the future.
Viofo A119 V3 Dash Cam

Excellent sharp video. Easy install and set up.
Used internet to find best suggested settings.

Hi John, thank you for leaving a review! Don't hesitate to reach out to our Support Team if you have any other questions.
1st time buyer from BlackBoxMyCar.com

Review Title
I have done a lot of research on finding my second dash cam and decided on a VIOFO A119 V3.
I have seen some video of reviews of the camera and compared to my 1st Dash Cam A119S V2 and figured that VIOFO was a good choice again. I have seen Alex the CEO of BlackBoxMyCar do a review video on the A119 V3 in 2019 and went to his website and decided it was very professionally designed and easy to use. Not only did I buy the camera I found some accessories.
I ordered then noticed they offered first responders and military a discount and sent an email if I could get this discount. Quick email reply from Paul who I sent documentation on proof and he who forwarded my request to get a refund on my purchase. Thank you.
Now I did order my camera knowing it was back ordered as well as this was Christmas and New Years week so I wasn’t expecting to see the camera until Jan 2020.
It did arrive in a box and was properly packed. I had numerous email from FedEx where my package was and when it would arrive and someone must be home to signature for it.
Between the initial purchase and receiving my dash cam BBMC has been above and beyond what I expected and under the leadership of Alex I see why this company is so successful.
Thank you everyone for a great purchase and plan on additional future purchase from me.
John I
Surprise, Arizona

Hi John, thank you for the kind words and the detailed review. We're glad to hear that we were able to help you find what you're looking for. We will pass on your compliments to Alex who will absolutely be delighted to read this. Thanks again, and do let us know if you have any questions.