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High-End Dash Cams vs. Budget Dash Cams

Justifying the Price Tag of a Premium Dash Camera

Are high-end dash cams better?

A question that we are frequently asked is “Why are these particular dashboard cameras so much more expensive than ones on Amazon?” and “Are expensive dash cameras worth the price?”

There are a few reasons why the Thinkware, BlackVue, and VIOFO are priced higher than the budget dash cams on Amazon - and these reasons make a huge difference not just in image quality, but also performance and reliability.


Why premium dash cams are worth the investment

A sleeker design so you can hide it away from sight

Budget dash cams typically come with an LCD display screen. While the screen offers instantaneous playback and convenient camera configuration, having a screen does add to the size of the dash cam. If footprint is one of your concerns, or if you want to stay away from anything attention-grabbing, then not having a screen allows for a more compact design. The sleek and thin design of premium dash cams allows you to easily hide the dash cam behind the rear-view mirror away from sight, making it harder for potential wrong-doers to spot.

In addition, manufacturers of these premium dash cams utilize high-quality plastics that match the OEM parts and style, allowing the dash cam to blend in with the rest of the interior of your vehicle a stock in-cabin look.

Superior video quality you can depend on

Video quality is the sharpness and clarity of the recorded video. All dash cams record, what varies is the video quality - better quality gives you a better chance of capturing crucial details like license plates. While some may argue that daytime video quality is fairly similar across premium and budget cameras, 4K UHD does give you a larger distance of license plate readability, thus allow you to zoom in on details without compromising clarity.

The differences between cameras are much easier to notice at night. It cost more to create a dash cam that offers great nighttime video quality and that’s one area that the premium cameras outshine their budget counterparts. Premium cameras are equipped with better image sensors that are more sensitive to light and image processors that are capable of more post-processing effects to ensure clarity in all light situations. Results - more details can be seen and captured, even at nighttime.

Peace of mind when you leave your vehicle

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

Parking mode simply means any recording done while your engine is off and your car is parked. While parking mode is not a must-have, it does come in handy in situations like vandalism and hit-and-run. Parking mode requires a camera that is automatic, heat-resistant, energy-efficient, and reliable - which all cost money.

Most dash cams nowadays, even the lower-end ones, come with impact detection. In other words, the dash cam will start recording after an impact has been detected, but whoever triggered the impact might already be gone by the time recording kicks in. That is why premium dash cams give you more than just one parking mode option, including impact detection with buffered recording. With buffered recording, the dash cam includes the few seconds before and after the impact to give you a comprehensive account of what really happened.

And if you want the ultimate peace of mind, a Cloud-ready premium dash cam can offer you features like push notification, real-time video and Cloud backup so you can stay on top of incidents anytime and anywhere from your smartphone.  

Durability and reliability in all climates and temperatures

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.

Video playbacks and settings control right from your smartphone

Premium dash cams with built-in WIFI can connect directly to your smartphone using a mobile app, and from there you can playback videos, download footage to your phone (and share it to your favorite social networks), updated firmware, change camera settings, and more. This feature comes in handy in any situation where you can’t plug the SD card into your computer to get an in-depth playback.  

For instance, in the event of an accident, you might be asked to share the footage with the authorities on scene. In this case, you can use the mobile app to download a copy of the video to your phone and then transfer it via email, etc. Even if you’re asked to surrender the SD card, you can at least save a backup of it to your phone for your own safekeeping.

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 U1000

  • Resolution: Front 4K UHD @ 30FPS, Rear 2K QHD @ 30FPS
  • Video sensor: 8.24MP Sony STARVIS Sensor
  • GPS: Built-in
  • G-sensor: Built-in
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (Android and Apple compatible)
  • Viewing angle: Front 150°, Rear 150° Field of View
  • Maximum MicroSD card capacity: 128GB
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Speaker: Built-in
  • Thinkware Cloud: Cloud-Ready
  • Rear Camera: Optional
  • Parking Mode: Yes, with buffering and motion & impact detection, time-lapse, radar motion detection
  • Lane departure warnings: Built-in
  • Forward collision warning: Built-in
  • Red light camera warning: Built-in
  • Power Cable: Included
Thinkware Dash Cams [$70 OFF] Thinkware U1000 4K UHD Dual-Channel Cloud Dash Cam Thinkware U1000 4K UHD Front and Rear  Cloud Dash Cam | BlackboxMyCar

BlackVue DR900X-2CH 4K UHD

  • Resolution: Front 4K UHD @ 30FPS, Rear 1080p Full HD @ 30FPS
  • Video sensor: Front - 8MP CMOS sensor
  • GPS: Built-in
  • G-sensor: Built-in
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (Android and Apple compatible)
  • Viewing angle: Front 162°, Rear 139° Field of View
  • Maximum MicroSD card capacity: 256GB
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Speaker: Built-in
  • BlackVue Cloud: Cloud-Ready with external LTE module
  • Rear Camera: Optional
  • Parking Mode: Yes, with buffering and motion & impact detection
  • Power Cable: Included
  • Voice Control: None
BlackVue Dash Cams BlackVue DR900X-2CH 4K Dual-Channel Cloud Dash Cam BlackVue DR900X-2CH 4K Dash Cam | BlackboxMyCar

BlackVue DR750-2CH LTE

  • Resolution: Front Full HD @ 60FPS, Rear 1080p Full HD @ 30FPS
  • Video sensor: 2.1MP CMOS Sensor
  • GPS: Built-in
  • G-Sensor: Built-in
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (Android and Apple compatible)
  • Viewing angle: Front 139°, Rear 139° Field of View
  • Maximum MicroSD card capacity: 256GB
  • Microphone: Built-in
  • Speaker: Built-in
  • BlackVue Cloud: Cloud-Ready with built-in LTE module
  • Rear Camera: Included
  • Parking Mode: Yes with Buffered Parking Mode & Motion and Impact detection
  • Memory Card: Included
  • Voice Control: None
BlackVue Dash Cams BlackVue DR750-2CH LTE Cloud Dash Cam

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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