The Best Dash Cams of 2019

What to Look For in a Dash Cam

Good video quality is the most basic feature - after all, what good is a dash cam if you can’t see details in the footage? Although many dash cams are 1080p, it’s the software and hardware that represent better video quality. Look for a dash cam that is at least 8Mbps in bitrate and with a video sensor that’s at least 1.8MP. Check out the BlackVue DR900S, which has a 4K resolution, 25Mbps, and an 8MP video sensor, for the best video quality dash cam.

Parking mode recording is found from the mid-tier to higher end dash cams, but there are only a few model that offer buffered recording with motion and impact detection. Only the best dash cams offer this very important feature, which allows the dash cam to record even when the vehicle is off, and recording is triggered by motion (when someone walks by) and impact (when the vehicle is hit). The buffering also captures the previous 5-10 seconds of footage that lead up to whatever triggered the recording so the entire event is saved. Check out the Thinkware F800 PRO, which has these features as well as excellent memory partitioning, for the best parking mode recording dash cam.

As dash cams are in the vehicle all year round, it’s important to avoid ones that are battery powered. Batteries can expand and even explode under high heat. The best dash cams use capacitors instead, which handle temperature extremes much more efficiently without issue. You’ll be happy to know that BlackboxMyCar only carries dash cams that have capacitors!

Navigation: Best Overall  | Best Front & Rear  | Best for Ridesharing  | Best for Truckers & Fleets  | Best Budget-Friendly | Best Alternatives to Garmin | Best Accessories

Best Overall Dash Cam

The best dash cams for 2019 are the BlackVue DR900S and Thinkware F800 Pro. The BlackVue DR900S represents the first 4K dash cam to enter the market while the Thinkware F800 Pro represents the best parking mode recording dash cam in the market. These dual cameras also have smartphone/Wifi integration, a high SD card capacity and built-in g-sensors.

BlackVue DR900S-2CH

  • Resolution: Front 4K @ 30FPS, Rear 1080p @ 30FPS
  • Bitrate: Front 25Mbps, Rear 10Mbps
  • Video sensor: 8MP Sony STARVIS CMOS Sensor
  • GPS: Built-in
  • G-sensor: Built-in
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (Android and Apple compatible)
  • Viewing angle: Front 162 degrees, Rear 139 degrees
  • Maximum SD card capacity: 128GB
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Speaker: Built-in
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Rear Camera: Included
  • Parking mode recording with buffering and motion and impact detection
  • BlackVue Cloud: Available
  • Memory card included

Thinkware F800 PRO

    • Resolution: Front 1080p @ 30FPS, Rear 1080p @ 30FPS
    • Bitrate: Front 10Mbps, Rear 10Mbps
    • Video sensor: 2.13MP Sony STARVIS CMOS Sensor
    • GPS: Built-in
    • G-sensor: Built-in
    • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (Android and Apple compatible)
    • Viewing angle: Front 140 degrees, Rear 140 degrees
    • Maximum SD card capacity: 128GB
    • Microphone: Built-in
    • Speaker: Built-in
    • Rear Camera: Optional
    • Parking mode recording with buffering and motion and impact detection
    • Lane departure warnings: Built-in
    • Forward collision warning: Built-in
    • Red light camera warning: Built-in

Best Front & Rear Dash Cams

Front-only dash cam setups offer a lot of protection by itself, and it’s common to assume that this would be enough to capture all kinds of incidents. For example, if your vehicle gets rear-ended, the front dash cam should be able to detect the impact and lunge-forward motion of the vehicle. However, front-only dash cams do not offer enough protection against rear-specific hit-and-runs, vandalism and numerous incidences where simply put, the front camera does not show what actually happened. We even have a specific article about this topic here. What’s more, the cost of adding on a rear camera is only a small increase to the overall price, if you’re already purchasing a high-end dash cam model.

Our recommendations for the best front and rear dash cams would be the IROAD X9, BlackVue DR900S-2CH, and Thinkware F800 PRO. We especially like the F800 PRO as the rear camera can be added on at any time in the future, unlike the X9 and DR900S. Enabling parking mode has been simplified with the introduction of the OBD Hardwiring Kits from IROAD and BlackVue. It will be as easy as plugging the OBD Hardwiring Kit to your vehicle's OBD port to power your dash cam!


BlackVue DR900S-2CH

Thinkware F800 PRO

Things to Know

  • All dual channel dash cams connect via a cable that runs from the front to the rear.
  • There are no specific requirements to mount a rear-facing dash cam! Even convertibles can have a rear camera added - check out our article here and here.

Best Dash Cams for Rideshare Drivers

Ridesharing, such as Uber and Lyft, is as popular as ever and it’s so important for these drivers to have video footage protection in their vehicles. Taxi companies understand this concept, which is why so many taxi cabs have interior-facing dash cams installed for both legal and safety reasons. The recommended dash cam setup here would be an interior-facing camera with infrared technology, as infrared lights offer night vision and provide recording ability even until total darkness. This feature is especially useful for the often dim and poorly lit conditions of the vehicle interior so that everything can be documented. Check out our article here to see our infrared cameras in action, and why they’re so useful.

Our recommendations for the best budget and high-end infrared dash cam setups would be the Thinkware FA200 IRC and the BlackVue DR750S-2CH IR.

Thinkware FA200 IRC

BlackVue DR750S-2CH IR

Things to Know

  • The interior-facing camera will record in shades of black and white under darkness, and record in shades of purple/pink under sunlight, due to the infrared lights - all details, however, will still be recorded without issue.

Best Dash Cams for Truckers & Fleets

Whether you’re a fleet manager for a transport company or simply a driver of a large truck, dash cams offer a lot of protection for your vehicle, cargo, and company. This is especially true for large trucks where the rear is impossible to see through a rear view mirror so that footage can offer protection on anything that happens in the back of the vehicle. What’s more, a dash cam can also prevent fraud, monitor the location of a vehicle via remote GPS, and improve driving habits. All of these lead to better bottom numbers, as well as improved efficiency and safety for everyone involved. Check out this clip of our customer, who saved thousands of dollars due to this dash cam footage. Also, check out our article here which goes into even more detail about the benefits of a dash cam for commercial vehicles.

BlackVue DR750S-2CH IR Truck

Our recommended dash cam for truckers would be the BlackVue DR750S-2CH IR Truck, which has an externally-mounted rear camera, which will be applicable for all trucks. The rear camera is weather-proof and has infrared lights so that protection during day and night time will be fully in effect.

Things to Know

  • The externally mounted rear camera is completely weather-proof (IP67 rating).
  • Cloud capable, allowing for remote footage access and GPS tracking.

Best Budget-Friendly Dash Cams

Dash cams come in all shapes, forms and price points. Although premium features, such as parking-mode recording with buffer and motion and impact detection, Cloud access and smartphone/Wifi integration are typically only found in more expensive dash cams, more basic and budget-friendly dash cams do exist and can be great at what they do. This was a top focus for Thinkware, who invested a lot of research and development funds into creating the Thinkware FA200 and Thinkware FA200 IRC. These units offer great video quality, recording at Full HD for the front and HD for the rear, parking-mode recording with buffer and motion and impacted detection, as well as smartphone/Wifi integration. You can also purchase just the front camera by itself and add the optional rear camera at any time in the future. The FA200 IRC version even has infrared lights on its rear camera, which is perfect for recording the vehicle interior!

Thinkware FA200

Thinkware FA200 IRC

Things to Know

  • Despite their lower price point, the Thinkware FA200 and FA200 IRC feature many premium functions and are great ways to enter the dash cam market!
  • The FA200 IRC option with infrared is excellent for vehicle's interior recording purposes.
  • The rear camera can be added on at any time!

Best Alternatives to Garmin Dash Cams

Garmin is one of the largest GPS companies in the world. They entered the dash cam market with 3 models - the Garmin 45, Garmin 55 and Garmin 65. These dash cams are great at what they do but are quite limited in features. Although priced at the mid-to-high tier market, their features are more in line with the low-end market. Garmin dash cams also only come as front-only at this time, so rear protection is not available.

Some alternatives at similar pricing but with more and better features (such as buffered parking mode recording with motion and impact detection, Cloud access and optional rear cameras) include the Thinkware FA200 IRC, BlackVue DR590W-2CH and BlackVue DR750S-2CH.

Thinkware FA200 IRC

BlackVue DR590W-2CH

BlackVue DR750S-2CH

Things to Know

  • Garmin dash cams lack buffered parking-mode recording, which can be an extremely crucial feature in protection.
  • Buffered recording is hugely important because it provides footage that leads up to whatever incident was detected (impact or motion), which can provide very critical information.

Best Accessories for Powering Your Dash Cam

There are 4 different ways a dash cam can be powered. All methods except the 12V Power Adapter will enable parking recording. As most of our dash cams do offer parking recording, it is highly recommended to take advantage of this feature to protect your vehicle while parked.

Acceptable: 12V Power Adapter

12V power adapters provide power to your dash cam through the cigarette socket within your vehicle.

Over the years, the 12V power adapter has become the least popular method to power a dash cam simply due to the fact that parking recording cannot be enabled. However, it is still an excellent option for customers looking into powering a dash cam only when the vehicle is on.

Good: Hardwiring Kit

Hardwiring kits provide power to your dash cam through an accessory fuse, constant fuse, and a grounding point within the vehicle's fuse box.

Hardwiring kits are available for most of our dash cams and has become widely popular over the years. It provides power to your dash cam at all times until a preset voltage is reached. This is known as voltage cut-off and is absolutely necessary to avoid the vehicle not starting. We recommend the Power Magic Pro for BlackVue dash cams and BlackboxMyCar Hardwiring Kit for Thinkware dash cams.

Better: OBD Hardwiring Kit

OBD hardwiring kits will plug into your vehicle's OBD port and will not require tapping into any fuses.

OBD hardwiring kits have recently been introduced by IROAD and BlackVue and customers have shown a significant amount of interest as this does not require any wiring. This will be an excellent option for customers who want an easy installation. We recommend the Power Magic EZ for BlackVue dash cams and the IROAD OBD Cable for IROAD dash cams.

Best: Battery Pack

Dash cam battery packs are designed to be used inside vehicles in varying weather conditions. It offers extended parking recording for customers who are away from their vehicle for extended periods of time.

Although a battery pack is the most expensive option to powering a dash cam, it offers the longest parking recording time (up to 45 hours on a 1 channel dash cam) as well as protecting the health of your vehicle's battery. We recommend the Cellink NEO to power all dash cams.

Buying Guide / Tips for Buyers

Still unsure what to buy, or simply want to do your own research to see which dash cam is the best fit for you? Check out our videos here and here! Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you want a front only, or front and rear dash cam?
  • Do you want parking-mode recording, with buffer and motion and impact detection?
  • What video resolution are you looking for?
  • What kind of form factor? With LCD screen, without?
  • Do you require GPS?
  • Do you require a smartphone / wi-fi feature?

One frequent question we receive from customers is how and/or where a dash cam can be installed. If you decide to tackle this yourself, a dash cam installation is not overly difficult for the vast majority of vehicles, and we have numerous written and video guides on our website (here and here). We also provide installation tips and advice if you contact us via email or by phone.