Thinkware F750 Full Review

Introduction

The Thinkware F750 is a high end 1 or 2-channel dashcam from Korean GPS giant iNavi/Thinkware. Until now, 1080P Full HD front and rear recording was restricted to larger devices such as the CR2000 series from FineVu or the Blackvue DR750LW-2CH. While these devices offer great video quality, the front unit is quite visible which might turn off some North American customers. Relatively speaking, while not quite as discreet as our BlackSys CH-100B or Blackvue DR650GW-2CH, the Thinkware with its low profile adhesive mount and screen-less design is one of the sleekest Full HD + Full HD parking mode dashcams available. Like the Blackvue DR650GW-2CH, the F750 manages to pack a lot of tech into a fairly small package such as internal GPS and a WiFi module. 

Thinkware F750 Front Camera

For those that want to go with a 2-channel setup or plan on upgrading from 1CH to 2CH down the road, the Thinkware solution is truly modular and the rear camera is independently packaged to be ordered either together or separately. The F750 can also be spec'ed with a direct hardwire cable similar to the BlackSys CH-100B and many other Korean dashcams, these hardwire cables are typically only compatible with interior front mounted fuse boxes and may not be compatible with vehicles that only have a fuse box in the trunk or under the hood. 

Design and Interface

As mentioned, the Thinkware is not as discreet as some of our other 2-channel dashcams, this is partially due to the fact that it has a silver and grey body as opposed to the entirely matte black designs of the Blackvue and BlackSys which blend in very nicely, particularly on vehicles with dark interiors. The F750 is also a bit larger due to the abundance of buttons on the back of the device. We have mixed feelings about these buttons as they add some user-friendliness but at the same time they're very small and lack much tactile feel so you can't really tell one button from the other. The writing is also small so some customers may have to get quite close to the device to find the correct button. In contrast, BlackSys offers a large four button interface that has clearly marked icons and are much easier to navigate. We also didn't like the rotating lens mechanism as it offers less than 90 degrees of adjustment and the click it makes does not feel as solid and reassuring as Blackvue's ring mount.

Thinkware F750 Buttons

We liked the dedicated formatting button because while other dashcams like the DR650GW-2CH offer easy on-device formatting, some customers may forget that they have to hold it for 10 seconds and let go, with the F750 it's much more straight forward. The power button is also neat, traditionally with direct hardwired dashcams if you don't want them to run when you're parked, in a closed garage per se, you'd have to unplug the power cable. That isn't the case with the F750, simply press the power button for a few seconds and it will turn off. This is nice because from the driver's seat it may be hard to find where to plug the power cable back into when you want to get going again

Video and Functions

A lot of customers are interested in the F750 because it has Sony sensors on both front and rear cameras and both support a bitrate up to 10 Mbps (for a combined 20 Mbps). When it comes to bitrate and resolution it's always an interesting discussion and it's important to factor in lens sharpness and firmware tuning which are hard to quantify on paper. In regards to the front camera the F750 even with its higher bitrate, subjectively speaking is not any better than the 8 Mbps Blackvue DR650 or the 6 Mbps BlackSys CH-100B. (We ran the cameras side by side in our Vimeo clip here). The wider angle lens of the F750 is not quite as sharp as the BlackSys although it does capture more in frame. The rear camera however is noticeably better thanks to the Sony sensor and higher bitrate. For reference, the Blackvue DR650GW-2CH's rear camera only records at 3 Mbps and even the DR750LW-2CH with 1080P records at just 4 Mbps. Overall the video quality is very good for a 2-Channel dashcam with true parking mode by motion detection.

Video quality isn't the only thing the F750 brings to the table there's also a suite of safety features that take advantage of the camera and GPS. Typically we write off features like lane departure warning and forward collision as there are a lot of false alarms when the camera isn't connected to the drive controls such as the turn signals and pedals so they can't tell the difference between a deliberate lane change and one where the driver is dozing off. However, one feature we really liked about the F750 was the safety camera alert system which surprisingly worked in Vancouver where we're based. This system alerts you if there's a red light camera or speed camera ahead and updates of the database are available on Thinkware's website so the alerts should stay fairly accurate as time goes on.

Conclusion

There's a lot to like with the Thinkware F750, particularly as a 2-channel setup. The design is attractive and it delivers with video performance and tech. WiFi is easy to connect and the app is well organized however to use it the camera can't be recording which is a little annoying compared to the Blackvue and Blacksys systems. Another issue we encountered (and expected) was the fact that it could only use parking mode with the direct hardwire kit and not through a cigarette cable meaning that those who want to pair the F750 with a Cellink B would need to splice the wires to use parking mode. Overall the Thinkware F750 is a neat device in the 2-Channel market that has a unique set of features and benefits. If you have any questions about the F750 or any of our other dashcams, feel free to email us at info@blackboxmycar.com