Fraud Blocker BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE In-Depth Review — BlackboxMyCar
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BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE In-Depth Review

When we launched the BlackVue DR750X-2CH LTE in 2021, a lot of our customers were amazed about how this full HD dash cam is equipped with 4G LTE connectivity right inside the unit. Even we loved the idea that there were no external modules needed anymore - super convenient, and cost-effective.

However, there’s one question that all of us probably asked at that time: Will there be a 4K UHD version of this LTE dash cam?  

Fast forward to 2023, we got the news that BlackVue is finally granting our wish! Part of our Best Dash Cams this year, the 4K UHD version of the DR750X-2CH LTE is ready for takeoff, with the all-new BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE.

Reasons to get the BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE

✅ 4K UHD @ 30 frames per second
✅ 8MP Front and 2MP Rear Sony STARVIS™ sensors
✅ 155-degree front and 139-degree rear field of view
✅ Built-in 4G LTE connectivity with nano SIM card
✅ Intelligent Parking Mode with Built-in Voltage Monitor
✅ Normal to Extreme Recording Modes
✅ Built-in Dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi and GPS
✅ BlackVue Cloud Connectivity

What’s inside the box of the BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE?

  • Front camera
  • Rear camera
  • Rear camera connection cable
  • 12V Cigarette Lighter Power cable
  • 3-wire hardwiring cable
  • A 64GB microSD card
  • A USB card reader
  • Pry tool
  • Cable clips and adhesives to mount your dash cam
  • BlackVue SIM Card

BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE Design

When we opened the DR970X-2CH LTE, we noticed that the head unit almost has the same looks as the DR750X-2CH LTE Plus, but with the 4K UHD mark on it. It keeps its overall award-winning all-black tube shaped design simple and stealthy, allowing you to hide it right up behind your rear-view mirror. Since it’s screenless and discrete, you avoid attracting the attention of thieves, keep your vision undistracted, and ensure that the video recordings are properly angled.

Its proximity sensor have also been upgraded to a touch sensor to avoid unintentional triggers from dangling air fresheners and sunrays. Now, the dashcam’s proximity sensor can be triggered by pressing on the side of the unit, which will trigger manual recording.

We also discovered that the DR970X-2CH LTE does not have a format button, unlike the standard  DR770X and DR970X series. The DR770X-2CH LTE does not have this as well, so the LTE versions can’t automatically format the microSD card if it’s the wrong type.

We recommend the BlackVue tamper-proof case for the DR970X-2CH LTE, so you can prevent formatting, removal of the SD card, and unplugging of the power or coaxial cable. This also keeps your dash cam mounted securely. For the DR770X, and the DR970X series, you can use a BTC-3A tamper-proof case. With this, you ensure that no tampering will be done by both driver activity and other external actors.

BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE Image Quality and Recording Capabilities

Now, we go to the best part of this dash cam - aside from built-in LTE. Similar to the DR970X-2CH, this dash cam sports an 8MP Sony STARVIS sensor for the front that captures a 155-degree field of view. On the other hand, its rear camera is equipped with a 2MP Sony STARVIS sensor, recording at 139 degrees.

Upon checking the footage, we saw that the DR970X-2CH LTE model has enhanced white balance, dynamic range, and overall video exposure in both daytime and nighttime videos. Thanks to its significant upgrades, a new SigmaStarCPU with ISP tuning software. Moreover, as far as bitrate choices go, there are four: Highest/Extreme, Highest, High and Normal. Previous X Plus series restricts you to the Extreme mode and does not allow you to change it.

We are truly satisfied with the 4K UHD resolution of this BlackVue - clear and crisp. However, we acknowledge that glare and reflections can occur, especially when the sun’s too high or the headlights of the other cars are too bright. This is where the BlackVue CPL filter can help you. And if you want your footage to be glare-free, and also weather-proof from rain, dust and other external elements, the solution is the BlackboxMyCar Aqua Shield.

BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE Installation

Regardless of how big or small your commercial vehicle is, the BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE can be discreetly installed in two ways.

12V Charger Installation

The quickest option to install the DR970X-2CH LTE is to use the 12V power cable and the cigarette lighter socket. Aside from the plug-and-play installation, it’s also convenient and cost-free as the cable is already included in the package. This will ensure that the DR970X-2CH LTE is running whenever the vehicle is running.

Hardwire Installation

If you want to make the most of the DR970X-2CH LTE’s security features, we recommend a hardwire installation or a dash cam battery pack like a BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8 or a BlackVue Power Magic Ultra B-130X Battery. Hardwiring might require more effort in installing, but this can bring out the dash cam’s range of features - including advanced parking mode. Every package of the BlackVue includes a hardwiring kit, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing one separately.

To set up parking mode, you must connect the DR970X-2CH LTE to your vehicle's fuse box, connect the ACC cable to a fuse that turns on only when the engine is running, and connect the BATT+ cable to a fuse that stays powered even after the engine is off. Again, having a dedicated dash cam battery pack is another option, if you don't want to hardwire the dash cam to your car's fuse panel.

BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE Parking Mode

Parking mode is important, especially when you’re leaving your car unattended for a long time. Again, inside the box is a BlackVue hardwiring cable. If you have a BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8 or B-130X battery pack, the BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE is compatible with all of them as well. Once the dash cam is hardwired or hooked up to a battery pack, it will switch to parking mode automatically when the car’s ignition is turned off.  

We also discovered that the DR970X-2CH LTE now comes with a built-in voltage monitor to protect your vehicle battery, and voltage cutoff can be set in the BlackVue app. This is actually a new feature for this model that the DR750X Plus LTE models did not have, as they still relied on the PMP, and S series cabling.

The DR970X-2CH LTE has standard BlackVue parking mode features, including built-in motion and impact detection. It also has Time Lapse mode.

Now, ow long can a dash cam last in parking mode? For the DR970X-2CH LTE, it uses about 340mA/12V of power during parking mode when the Cloud and GPS is off. When the GPS is on and the Cloud is off, it uses 400mA/12V. And if you’re hardwiring the dash cam directly to your car’s fuse panel, parking mode runtime also depends on the health of your car battery and the voltage cutoff settings.

In terms of operating temperature, the DR970X-2CH LTE has less tolerance from the non-LTE models. While standard BlackVues have an operating temperature of -20 °C to 80°C or -4°F to 176°F, the DR970X-2CH LTE has -20 °C to 70°C or -4°F to 158°. Still better than other dash cams like VIOFO and FineVu.

BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE Cloud Connectivity

In our opinion, compared to the X Series that come with an external LTE module, the DR970X-2CH LTE keeps things simpler because it is a dash cam plus mobile WiFi device all in one. Just insert an active SIM card into the built-in nano-SIM card tray and your dash cam is connected to the Cloud! As a bonus, the DR970X-2CH LTE comes with a BlackVue SIM Card and a 1GB free month trial with 1GB, 3GB and 5GB plans available. You can pay monthly, and have the freedom to cancel anytime.

Talking about the Cloud features, the Remote Live View feature allows you to check on your car from anywhere. This is useful if you leave your car unattended, or when someone else drives your vehicle, or when you’re managing a fleet for your business. Any time of day, as long as the camera is connected to the Cloud, you can also review videos stored on your devices through the Video Playback feature.

Moreover, even if you’re miles, a state, or even a country away from your fleet vehicle, the camera can still notify you of the crucial events your vehicle is encountering. This feature works best with Parking Mode. The moment an impact is detected, your BlackVue will automatically send a notification to your phone or your web browser, accompanied by a snapshot for reference.

The latest addition to the BlackVue Cloud features, which the DR970X-2CH LTE is equipped with is the Event Map. Designed particularly for the BlackVue community, the Event Map feature combines data from the dash cam with a crowd-sourced map to display events such as impacts, hard brake incidents, and even playback videos - making it ideal for both fleet management and personal driving.

BlackVue doesn’t let you lose your precious 4K footage. Thankfully, accessing footage and making sure it is secured is not a problem with the BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE, especially with its Live-Event Auto Upload feature. This feature allows the dash cam to automatically upload live streams or recording files in low resolution to BlackVue Cloud. You can also use the Video Backup feature to directly upload files from your BlackVue dash cam to the Cloud.

Using the newly redesigned BlackVue App on your smartphone or tablet, you see in real-time where your vehicle is located and detailed tracking of the vehicle’s route. The DR970X-2CH LTE also supports Seamless Pairing, so pretty much one tap from the BlackVue app on your phone and you’re connected to the dash cam.

Earlier, we mentioned about not having to get an external CM100G LTE module. This means that through the head unit itself, the DR970X-2CH LTE can transform to a mobile hotspot router instantly. So if there’s anyone inside your car that needs to connect to the internet, the DR970X-2CH LTE will serve its purpose.

BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE Accessory Compatibility

If you are looking to upgrade to the DR970X from the DR900X Plus from an older BlackVue model, here’s what you need to know in terms of cables and accessories compatibility:

  1. DR970X/X-Plus Power cables - compatible with the DR970X, so if you already have them all set up you can simply leave them in place and just swap out the dash cams.

  2. DR970X/X-Plus Rear/Coaxial cables - compatible with the DR970X. Again, you can use what you already have set up and just swap out the dash cams.

  3. DR970X-Plus Rear camera - yes, the DR970X uses the same rear camera as the DR900X Plus, so if your old rear camera is stuck on the vehicle, you could leave it there and just connect it to the new DR970X.  

  4. Battery pack - yes, the DR970X is compatible with the BlackVue B-124X and B-130X, as well as the BlackboxMyCar PowerCell 8.

  5. DR970X/X-Plus LTE Tamper-proof mount - the DR970X is compatible with the BTC-3A Tamper-Proof mount

  6. DR970X/X-Plus LTE mount - the DR970X LTE is compatible with the mount of previous LTE versions and models

Specs

BlackVue DR970X-2CH LTE

Video Resolution (Front + Rear)

4K UHD @ 30 FPS | 1080p Full HD @30FPS

Image Sensor

8MP Front + 2MP Rear Sony STARVIS Sensors

Field of View

155° | 139°

GPS

Built-in

Parking Mode

Yes

G-Sensor

Yes

Operating Temperature

-20°C - 70°C (-4°F - 158°F)

Loop Recording

Yes

Max SD Card

256GB

LCD Screen

None

Wi-Fi

Yes

Cloud Connectivity

Yes

4G LTE

Built-in

Microphone

Built-in

Speaker

Built-in

Country of Origin

South Korea

Manufacturer Warranty

1-Year Manufacturer Warranty