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Nextbase iQ Cloud vs. BlackVue Cloud

Cloud Comparison Review

Welcome to the Cloud Clash

If you are the type of driver who values user convenience, advanced technology, and enhanced connectivity, Cloud Dash Cams are the systems for you. More than just recording your drives, the devices’ Cloud capabilities enable you to be notified, manage files, and share data, even when you’re away from the vehicle, providing a true remote connection, and letting you check in on your vehicle and Dash Cam at any time.

Currently, two of the top dash cam cloud services are Nextbase and BlackVue, particularly the Nextbase iQ Cloud and the BlackVue Cloud. In this article, we’ll take a look at what these Clouds services are capable of, and the advantages and disadvantages of each system.

Setting up the Cloud

Now, since the cloud is rather advanced, setup can be a bit complicated, and this is where we’ll already see the differences begin between these models. To connect to a dash-cam remotely, it’ll need a connection to the internet.

Nextbase iQ:

There’s a built-in SIM card, providing an internet connection through T-mobile(in the US/Canada). This SIM card cannot be taken out and swapped for another option, and locks you into Nextbase’s subscription plans, paying monthly(more info on that later). There is no option to pair to any outside wifi source, and you are locked into the fees if you want the cloud.

BlackVue Cloud:

BlackVue has models that also take a SIM card directly with a built-in SIM slot, this would be their LTE models. Plus, with any cloud-ready camera, you can add-on a CM100 LTE module at any point at a later date, also taking a SIM card. While BlackVue also supplies SIM cards with their own monthly subscriptions, these can be easily removed, and are compatible with various third-party cell service providers, such as Rogers, Telus, T-Mobile and AT&T. Furthermore, BlackVue has the versatility to connect to an outside wifi network, such as a hotspot in the vehicle, another BlackVue camera(for a multi-camera setup) or even your home wifi when you park in-range.

For us, this versatility does give BlackVue an edge here, even in the early stages. But let’s see what these services are really capable of.

Nextbase iQ Cloud - What Can It Do?

To kick off this comparison, let’s start with Nextbase. The Nextbase iQ, which highlights AI capabilities, is anticipated to feature a ton of technology within, advertised as the most advanced camera out there, stating on their product page it’s “The world’s first truly Smart Dash Cam”. How do these claims hold up?

Witness Mode

The Nextbase iQ offers a Witness Mode allowing for manually activated cloud video storage of a 30-minute block, sending all recorded footage to remote storage. When this is enabled, you can set it up to send notifications to an emergency contact.

Emergency SOS

Sometimes, you won’t be able to activate anything manually. In the case of a severe accident, the Emergency SOS feature automatically activates, awaiting a response from the driver. If the driver is unresponsive, it will alert emergency services, providing crucial location and life-saving information, including location and vital medical details.

Smart Sense Parking

Now, what if you’re away from the vehicle, and still want to stay in the know? Thankfully, there’s Smart Sense Parking. This will allow the camera to record motion and impact around the vehicle while parked, recording when movement is detected, and sending a notification with a video file when an impact is detected. It’s worth noting that the camera will be asleep before motion is detected, so there won’t be a buffer on motion footage, giving a full picture of an event.

There are more features here for the Nextbase iQ’s cloud, such as Live View, which are more standard, and considered the essential features of a cloud camera. While many advanced features have been announced and advertised with the Nextbase iQ, including two-way communication, actively monitoring the speeds of other vehicles through Roadwatch AI, and Geofencing, as of writing this, these features have yet to be implemented.

Overall, the Nextbase iQs features are no joke, though it’s disappointing to see that some of the advanced features that were advertised are yet to be properly implemented.

BlackVue Cloud - What Can It Do?

BlackVue Cloud has a long history of being the best Cloud service in the Dash-Cam industry, refined over many years of production. This history has given them ample time to ensure it’s reliable and resourceful, implementing different connection options and features.

Remote Live-View

The first step to any cloud connection is Remote Live-View to check up on the camera at any time. While Nextbase has this staple feature, they’ve yet to implement two-way voice communication, allowing you to talk through the camera, and listen to anything going on in the vehicle, which BlackVue offers.

Push Notifications

But how will you know when to check in on the vehicle? Well, with Push Notifications, of course! This feature works in the same way as Nextbase’s, providing a notification to your phone, and sending a snapshot rather than a video. The difference-maker here is that notifications won’t only be sent in case of an impact, but can be sent when motion, Harsh Acceleration or Harsh Braking is detected, depending on your preference.

Live-GPS

But what if you want to access basic footage remotely through the cloud, even if it wasn’t uploaded? Well, BlackVue still has you covered here, and when the camera is connected to the internet, all footage can be remotely streamed as needed, then manually uploaded to the cloud if necessary.

When it comes to being in the know about your vehicle, BlackVue comes out on top. BlackVue Cloud boasts Live-GPS, instantly visualizing on a map your car’s location and speed. This is paired nicely with its Driving Reports, showing the vehicle’s history.

Event Map

Looking to figure out the dangers of a road before you take it? 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 uploaded by other users, ideal for staying aware of where to be cautious.

It’s also worth noting that you can use the cloud feature for BlackVue both over the smartphone app, and also on your computer with the BlackVue Cloud Web Viewer. Nextbase does not have a desktop viewer.

Pricing

Given that Nextbase and BlackVue are high-end and advanced dash cams, their prices should come as no surprise.

BlackVue Cloud

For BlackVue Cloud, the base plan is free, including a wide variety of core features like Remote Live View, Remote Playback and Push Notifications. This free plan is plenty for the large majority of users, but even the paid options are affordable, mainly offering the option to add on additional BlackVue camera systems to the same account, extending storage and viewing limits, or making it ideal for fleets. These plans are called Lite and Smart, ranging from only $3.99 to $7.99 monthly.

It’s worth noting that this only covers the cloud service itself, and not the wifi source too. It’s tough to provide exact numbers for this, as there are a wide range of internet provider options, and you can “shop around” with your local cell-service providers to see which plan is ideal. You can read more about BackVue Cloud Plans here.

Nextbase IQ

For the Nextbase IQ, the base free plan only includes the bare minimum features of a dashcam. This includes voice controls, and text notifications. If you’re looking to use the standard cloud features, that’s locked behind their $9.99 USD monthly plan, and even then, some of the advanced cloud features touched on here, including emergency SOS and incident backup, are further locked behind their 19.99 USD monthly plan. The silver lining of the iQ is that these paid plans do include the 4G data needed for the internet connection, so no additional internet connection or SIM card subscription is required.

However, these subscriptions don’t cover the base price of these units themselves. Thankfully, both brands have a variety of cloud-compatible models to choose from. Nextbase iQ’s base dash cam full HD costs $499.99 USD, increasing by 100$ for the 2k version, and another 100$ for the 4k version. That’s only the front and interior unit, if you want to add the rear camera, it is available for $199.99 USD. Including the monthly subscription, which almost amounts to a $1,000 first-year expenditure!

As for BlackVue, all of their DR970X Plus and DR770X models are cloud-capable. The base model of the DR770X-1CH Full HD front camera would only be $269.99 USD, almost half the price of the full-HD iQ. Upgrading to the 2-channel is also much cheaper, as the DR770X-2CH has a price of $379.99 USD. Even taking the most expensive BlackVue, for example, the DR970X-2CH Plus 4k, that would be $469.99 USD, less than the starting level of the Nextbase iQ.

Who wins?

The Nextbase iQ is undoubtedly a very remarkable dash cam, especially with the new cloud capabilities! It appears that Nextbase worked very hard to create the smartest AI dash cam a motorist could own with the Nextbase iQ. Of course, there is a cost associated with it. BlackVue Cloud comes with everything you require for complete security, included with no subscription. On the other hand, the Nextbase iQ can easily cost close to a thousand dollars in the first year when you include the additional expenses for its Protect Plus Plan. Both products are totally functional, however when it comes to affordability, image quality, a long history of cloud services and customizability, we can only suggest BlackVue.

Our Recommendations