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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!

Explore Our eLearning Guides

Dash Cam Buyer's Guide

New to dash cams? Try out our dash cam buyer's guide to start your journey.

Dash Cam Accessories

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Our Best Dash Cams

Make great purchasing decisions with the right dash cam for you.

Installation Guides

Let us show you how to install your own dash cam & accessories.

Got More Questions?

Not to fret, our in-house product experts are here to help. We have spent years curating helpful content and video guides, helping customers with their dash cams, but we understand that we can always do better. Contact us using the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We love what we do, because we're here to help you make the most informed purchasing decision.

High-End Dash Cams vs. Budget Dash Cams

Based on 4146 reviews
Excellent! 2nd time installing any electronics in my car(s)

I bought the Essential Install Package to install my Thinkware 1000 2-channel in my Ford F-150. I had only one previous experience of trying to install electronic equipment in a vehicle. The Essential Install Package is perfect and easy to use. Having no experience in running wires and hard-wiring connections to OEM fuse panels the kit made it easy. I completed my entire install in less than 2 hours. With the experience now I could probably reduce that time by nearly 50%.

Initial review: A-OK.

I bought this after testing out a budget Rove R2-4k LCD dash cam that sent me running for a better quality high-end unit. By that comparison standard, this DR900S-2ch is mind blowing.

Setup was particularly easy -- well, wiring can be a work-out as with all models, especially a rear-camera going into a hatch back -- but the moment I plugged it in, it all started working. I especially like the audio prompts, and the indicator light on the rear window camera; one glance in the rear view mirror and I know it's working, and yet not distracting. (the rear camera is very small)

I also love how incredibly secure the mounting is. My cheaper Rove unit mount was quite flimsy.

The power cables were also impressive -- with plugs that small, I was afraid they'd dislodge easily, but the design of the plugs are quite secure.

More time will tell, but after about two weeks now I have no complaints. I will likely buy a second 2ch unit soon.

Blackboxmycar and Viofo a129 duo

Wanting a dash cam, I started my quest by googling and youtubing. Blackboxmycar seemed to be the most popular recommendation. Visiting the website, watching their videos, reading reviews and looking thru the FAQs, I was ready and narrowed my option down too two cameras. Bewtween Jordan and Katrina, they finished my education and answered questions that I had confusion with - and they made it clear and easy to understand. The process of ordering was simple and sweet. All the way from receiving the Viofo camera, setting it up and post-purchase questions - what a great experience. Thank you! Watching the install videos made it a breeze. Its unfortunate that I do not use facebook, twitter, googlesomethanrathernutter, or else I would use those review options too. So Im glad you reached out with a web option!
I love this cam!

Happy Customer

I’m happy with their service. Professional and helpful.

Hello Becky, thank you for your review!
Great but...

I ordered four Viofo A119 with four CPL. Unfortunately I was charged $25 each for the filters even though the cost on the website is $20.

Hi Mel, thank you for leaving a review. Unfortunately, the reason why you were charged $25 for each is that that is the price of the items when purchased separately. When they are purchased as a bundle, customers will receive bundle pricing, making the CPL filter $20. Thank you for leaving a review!
BBMC Experience

I began looking into dashcams about a month ago and came across a video interview between Alex and Vortex Radar. During my research it became evident that BBMC was the leading re-seller in Canada and maybe in the USA. Their pricing was competitive. I posed a few pre-purchase enquiries to BBMC. They responded quickly and in an understandable way. Ultimately, I made an on-line purchase that was delivered fast with great tracking. As it turned out, I made a mistake with my order and it was fixed without delay. Dashcam was self installed now with all wires hidden and looking good. Thanks, BBMC. You know how to provide a great on-line experience.

Hello Jeffrey, thank you for taking the time to send us a review! Enjoy your new DR900S-2CH and if you ever do need anything, don't be shy! We're always here on Live Chat as well as email ( Also, don't forget to check out our YouTube channel ( - we have tons of tutorials, guides and just-for-fun videos!
Thinkware q800pro

I am very happy with the q800pro I installed the hardwire myself in my Infiniti Q50 with the help of a few member in forum camera quality is what I was expecting I just watched my first video yesterday night I was able to see a lot in clear crisp quality have not seen night mode yet but I for sure know it’ll do great.

Thank you. Blackboxmycar watching your videos help me get my dash cam

Hello Jan, thank you for your review and thanks for watching our videos! Be sure to check our YouTube channels often - we have new videos all the time!

FREE Power Magic Pro + 32GB Memory Card

BlackVue DR900S-2CH 4K Dash Cam

great customer service ,i will be soon installed my new dash cam

Hi Ricardo, thank you for leaving a review! Hope everything works out with your install. Do let us know if you have any questions at
(BlackVue DR900S-2CH) Amazing Product & magnificent Service !

I recently purchased a Blackvue 2ch DR-900s from BlackBoxMyCar and I am very happy with this camera so far. I spoke with a representative from the live chat named Paul and he was very helpful in setting me up with everything i needed to hard wire this unit. I received my full setup in less than a week and it was packaged very nicely. I realized when i went to wire it into my vehicle the fuse taps i received were the wrong one's. So i contact BlackBoxMyCar support and spoke to Paul who i believe was the same person i spoke to the first time and he and the team @BlackBoxMyCar was very helpful and fast at responding to my messages and ensured me they would send out the correct fuse taps which i received 2 days after they were shipped out. I Would highly recommend BlackBoxMyCar for anything you need !

Hello Joseph, thank you for taking the time to send us a review and we will definitely pass it on to Paul.
Great for first timers


Hello Steven, thank you for leaving us a review!
Phenomenal Video Quality and Overall Capabilities

I finally got around to installing the Thinkware U1000 2-channel cameras and radar. Truly couldn’t be more satisfied with the result and the many options that this camera and software has to offer. Amazing video quality and great user interface. Couldn’t ask for more.

Hello EVOLVNG, thank you for sending us a review! Yes, the U1000 is a great dash cam, couldn't agree more! Enjoy and do send us some footage - we have monthly dash cam video contests:

Good kit to have for anyone new.

Hello Ley, thanks for the review!
World class

World class service!!! Professional and knowledge staffs!
Johnathan, u r da man! :)

Hello Johnson, thank you for the review! We passed the kind words on to Jonathan and we think you just made his day! If you ever do have any questions, you can always get a hold of Jon or any of our other dashcam experts at, or better yet, Live Chat us right on our website - we're always ready to help!
Nice job

Very approachable personnel and professionally done job.

Thank you Dragan for the kind words. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at or live chat with us directly on our website.
Overall great dash cam

I was waiting for a 4k dash cam for a while and almost convinced myself to wait for later next year. What made me pull the trigger on the U1000 was the 2K rear cam resolution. It's an upgrade from my F800PRO. I have it with the cellink neo battery for parking mode. Overall it's a great dash cam to have for my needs (mostly time lapse parking mode).

Just have 1 very small inconvenience. Sometimes I can't find the dash cam in the wifi network when I'm surrounded by a lot of houses with a lot of wifi networks. It suggests to turn off wifi direct but I never had it on. The first time I tried to set it up consisted on me turning off and on the dash cam until it appears at the top of the list of wifi networks. Now if I wanted to change a setting, I just do it at a public parking lot.

Night quality needs improvement (this is why not 5 stars). I hope they have an update to improve it.

Thank you J C for the kind words. We're glad to hear that you've decided to make the upgrade from the F800PRO to the U1000 - it's a great time to do so! We do have regular communication with Thinkware on these issues, and we will definitely bring it up with them. They constantly release new firmware for their dash cams and the app, so we're confident this issue will be squashed very quickly. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at or live chat with us directly on our website.
Review of THINKWARE F800 PRO

After a extended period of research I decided on the THINKWARE F800 PRO Dash CAM. Purchased both a front and rear camera with a CPL Filter for the front camera. My car has a very sloped windshield so the glare off the dash causes distortion and blurry footage; the CPL FILTER solves this problem. Would also recommend a Samsung PRO ENDURANCE 128GB Micro SDXC memory card; more money but worth it. These cameras are expensive but the quality of the footage and cameras speak for themselves. I purchased from BLACKBOXMYCAR because Alex Jang and his company stand behind and take care of the products they sell. I hope this review will help others find a great quality product and company as I was able to find in BLACKBOXMYCAR ( and no I did not know Alex or his company before I started my research. )

Thank you Duncan for the kind words. We're glad to hear that you found everything you needed at BlackboxMyCar. Your feedback is crucial in helping us become better, so we really appreciate that you've decided to leave a review :) If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at or live chat with us directly on our website.
Great service

BlackboxMyCar provided great service and a walk through of the dash cam I got installed.

The cameras were installed very cleanly and work great, and the receptionist gave me a few tips for the app and storage options in the future.



Thank you J-P for the kind words. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at or live chat with us directly on our website.

Great job. Richmond location was very convenient. The dash cam was neatly installed. Katrina was very friendly and very helpful. Will recommend blackboxmycar to everyone I know.

Hello Mario, thanks for the review! We will definitely pass the kind note to Katrina! Do come and visit us again as we often have special deals and promos going on. We appreciate the word-of-mouth!
Reliable, small and powerful / Fiable, petit et puissant

So small and compact that you can hide it anywhere in the car. Easy to install with included accessories. Very satisfied with my purchase.
Si petit et peu encombrant que vous pouvez la cacher n'importe où dans la voiture. Facile à installer avec les accessoires inclus. Très satisfait de mon achat.

Hi Alain, thanks for the review/merci de nous donner votre avis! The iVOLT is a very popular model for that reason and we are glad it's working out great for you!
Installation of dash cam

Installation was completed on schedule. Dash cam was neatly installed and professionally done.

Hello Neil, thank you for choosing BlackboxMyCar for your installation!
Mounting Tape

Great store to find what accessories you need for your dash cam

Hello Neil, thank you for leaving us a review and we are glad to hear that you found what you need at BlackboxMyCar. Do sign up for our newsletters or follow us on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, we have amazing deals and offers on our dash cams and accessories all the time!
Installation kit

Good kit!I like the sticker♥️

Hello Ronesser, thank you for the review! By the way, we love the stickers, too!
Great company

Excellent customer service. Friendly staff

Hello Nelson, thank you for the review! We're always here for our customers!
Thinkware U1000 4K UHD Dual-Channel Cloud Dash Cam

This is the fourth dash cam I have tried and am FINALLY satisfied with the results!

The first dash cam was a single front 4K cam. This worked really well, but didn't come with the option of adding a rear dash cam (still have this).

The second one was a front camera with an inside view rear dash cam by Soliom that did a 380 degree recording view. This dash cam had decent recorded footage for the price, but would constantly freeze on me and then wouldn't record when driving. It kept on having to be reset in the middle of driving for the footage to start recording again.

The third was owlcam. This camera was convenient, but didn't work the best. It always had problems connecting and had HORRIBLE footage at night!

Lastly, I decided to spend a little more and get exactly what I wanted. I wanted a separate rear view camera because I was involved in a hit and run incident at my college which led to me trying these different dash cams. Well, I believe I have finally found the product I was looking for from a company that worked with me really well!

Jordan was very helpful in assisting me and price matching. The camera was expected to show up December 2, 2019 and I actually received it November 29, 2019. This was a pleasant surprise!

Thanks BlackboxMycar!

Hello Shawn, thanks for the review! You made a great choice with the Thinkware U1000 4K Dual-Channel - it's currently one of the best, and highest resolution dash cam systems on the market! We are glad that you were able to take advantage of our promotions and offers. Check out our website often as we will be posting a follow-up review on the U1000 as well as more articles and guides to show users how to unleash the full potential of the dash cam - it's a great dash cam!