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High-End Dash Cams vs. Budget Dash Cams

Justifying the Price Tag of a Premium Dash Camera

Why Consider a High-End Dash Cam

A question that we are frequently asked is: “Why are these particular cameras so much more expensive than ones on Amazon that are priced around $100 or lower?” There are a few reasons as to why this is the case, and these reasons make a huge difference.

To start, the premium brands that we work with, Thinkware, Blackvue and IROAD, are the largest dash camera manufacturers in South Korea; a country that also produces the best dash cams in the world. As a result of this, they have large R&D departments dedicated to developing the best dash cams available - incorporating the best in cutting-edge technology, recording capability and teams actively working to improve their existing products in frequent firmware update releases.  


Features to Consider

The sleekness of the Thinkware Q800PRO makes it almost unnoticed from the exterior of your vehicle, able to avoid attracting unwanted attention.

Premium Designs

The first thing that you will notice about cameras in this premium category are their designs.

These are sleek, thin and go almost-unnoticed from the exterior of your vehicle; as they should be to avoid attracting unwanted attention. They utilize high-quality plastics that match the OEM equipment suited to a regular vehicle. For notable accolades, the Thinkware F800 Pro was the winner of CES’ Innovation Award in 2017, one of the largest electronics show in the world.

When compared to their unbranded competitors, it is very easy to notice this contrast right away.

Another issue here is that most of the cheap dash cams you find elsewhere have LCD screens. Although we carry a limited number of LCD screen dash cams, the vast majority of customers do not prefer one due to the bulky and attention-grabbing design of an LCD screen. One of our sleekest and more discreet unit would be the BlackVue DR900S-2CH.

4K UHD / 1080P FHD Recording

As technology advances, so do the capabilities of these devices. The new BlackVue DR900S-2CH features 4K Ultra HD recording to provide the sharpest imagery of any dash-cam available. There is not only an improvement in the hues of the surrounding colors, but the visibility of license plates and road-signs as well.

It's important to understand that the clearer and better your video resolution is, the more protected you will be in the event of hit-and-runs, accidents, theft and more.

While the Thinkware Q800PRO may not record in as high a resolution compared to the BlackVue DR900S-2CH, it makes up for its lack of pixels with its ability to record in low-light conditions. The Sony STARVIS imaging sensor it is armed with in the front and rear effectively gets the job done while on the road or parked while its top-in-class Ambarella A12 processor packs a punch.  

While most budget dash cams that you find on Amazon will advertise that it is 1080P/1440P, that similar to point-and-shoot cameras, it's not just about the resolution. It is about the hardware, its sensors, and software within the dash cameras that translate to better video quality - all of these features that only a higher-end dash cam would have perfected.

Watch the 4K UHD sample footage of the BlackVue DR900S-2CH. We would recommend changing the quality to '2160p 4K'.

The premium dash cams that we carry are fitted with super capacitors instead of batteries. Those fitted with batteries can explode under high heat.

High Heat Battery Durability

Fitted with super capacitors instead of batteries, higher end dash cams are able to tolerate high temperatures much more effectively than the less expensive dash cameras. Especially when almost all the ones on Amazon are battery-based, which are prone to explode under high heat.

Opposed to a battery and can only withstand a certain amount of heat, supercapacitor-based cameras are able to withstand 60-70 degrees Celsius or 140 -158 degrees Fahrenheit.

More expensive dash cams also utilize better manufacturing, for better fitment as well as stronger materials. All of these things contribute to a much longer longevity for the dash cam.

Parking Mode

Last but not least, premium dash cams have the ability to offer parking mode recording. This is a highly important feature reserved only for the best dash cams. This allows for the dash cam to record and offer protection even when the vehicle is turned off and the driver is away from the vehicle.

With more bad drivers on the road and insurance premiums on the rise, parking-mode recording has become a feature that is more actively sought out. With the premium price tag of these systems, these cameras have a heightened ability to record in parking mode as a result.

The Thinkware Q800PRO has the ability to record in a variety of modes tuned to the preference of the end-user, providing options to increase the amount of time the dash camera is able to record for in parking mode. The Blackvue DR900S-2CH comes shipped with hardware to support Over-the-Cloud features when combined with a wireless hotspot, such that the dash cam owner is able to receive push notifications and tap into their footage live.

Learn more about parking mode and how it keeps you protected, especially when you're away from your vehicle.

Learn More

So what are the differences between a high-end vs. budget dash cam? See our feature comparison infographic to understand the differences in features.


Recommended Dash Cams with Parking Mode

Take a look below, our top selling dash cams with parking mode.

Thinkware F800 Pro

  • Resolution: Front 1080p @ 30FPS, Rear 1080p Full HD @ 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°, Rear 140° Field of View
  • Maximum MicroSD card capacity: 128GB
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Speaker: Built-in
  • Rear Camera: Optional
  • Parking Mode: Yes, with buffering and motion & impact detection
  • Lane departure warnings: Built-in
  • Forward collision warning: Built-in
  • Red light camera warning: Built-in
  • Power Cable: Included
  • Voice Control: None

Thinkware Q800PRO

  • Resolution: Front 2K 1440p @ 30FPS, Rear 1080p Full HD @ 30FPS
  • Bitrate: Front 10Mbps, Rear 10Mbps
  • Video sensor: Front - 5.14MP Sony STARVIS | Rear - 2.13MP Sony STARVIS
  • GPS: Built-in
  • G-sensor: Built-in
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (Android and Apple compatible)
  • Viewing angle: Front 140°, Rear 140° Field of View
  • Maximum MicroSD card capacity: 128GB
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Speaker: Built-in
  • Rear Camera: Optional
  • Parking Mode: Yes, with buffering and motion & impact detection
  • Lane departure warnings: Built-in
  • Forward collision warning: Built-in
  • Red light camera warning: Built-in
  • Power Cable: Included
  • Voice Control: None

BlackVue DR900S-2CH

  • Resolution: Front 4K @ 30FPS, Rear 1080p Full HD @ 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° Wide Angle, Rear 139° Field of View
  • Maximum MicroSD card capacity: 128GB
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Speaker: Built-in
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Rear Camera: Included
  • Parking Mode: Yes with Buffered Parking Mode & Motion and Impact detection
  • BlackVue Cloud: Available
  • Memory Card: Included
  • Voice Control: None

Parking Mode is Important

Let’s be honest - a lot of times door dings on our new car or even acts of vandalism are the absolute worst to deal with. Without any witnesses, these claims are not only hard to resolve with insurance companies but could cost thousands of dollars in damages.

A dash cam in your vehicle will help you in whatever situation you're in. So what are you waiting for? Explore our collection of dash cams today. If you have any further questions, comments or suggestions, then don't hesitate to reach out to our product experts today!

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