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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!

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