The F800 and F800 Pro are the latest pair of cameras from Thinkware competing among the best of the best 2 channel parking mode dash cam systems. They offer the latest Ambarella A12 chipset and powerful Sony STARVIS sensors. In our opinion, these cameras offer the best night time video quality than its competitors like the DR750S-2CH. Despite having the same sensor and recording at a similar bitrate, the BlackVue rear camera produces a much grainier image. In comparison, The F800 and F800 Pro in offer a clearer and sharper image overall.
At this price point, video quality alone is not going to be enough to justify spending the money for one of these flagship systems though. They need to deliver excellent convenience features, good design, and a great user experience as well. In terms of design we love the F800 and F800 Pro. The camera body is smaller than the F770 and the button layout is easier to use. Between the two, the all black body of the F800 Pro is definitely more discreet but the small frontal area on both devices means the F800 is not all that visible either.
As the world’s leading dash cam manufacturer, Thinkware has a long history of producing high quality dash cams. With the F800 and F800 Pro, we can see that they’ve applied changes based on some of the feedback and recommendations of customers and distributors like ourselves. For example, the rear camera can now be flipped through the settings and the LED light can be disabled completely. The parking motion and event notifications can also be disabled with the newer firmware versions.
Both dash cams use the updated F800 Cloud WiFi app which allows connection through either a traditional direct WiFi signal or through a hotspot connection. The latter method offers excellent network stability and WiFi transfer speeds without interrupting your phone’s data connection. The app itself is well laid out with clear English menu items that are fairly self explanatory. Our only complaint with the WiFi interface is that the camera stops recording when settings are accessed or while videos are downloading.
Of course, one of the best features on these dash cams is the parking mode. Both the Thinkware F800 and F800 Pro offer pre-buffered parking recording through motion and impact detection. They also have a revised 2 frame per second timelapse mode that is nice to use in busier areas. We still prefer using the motion detection mode as we think it’s important to record audio in parking mode. Impacts detected while the camera is in motion detection mode are stored in their own folder so the risk of overwriting important clips is low even in high traffic areas.
Both the F800 and F800 Pro have very low power consumption ratings and will typically last 20-30% longer than other 2 channel parking mode dash cams. The F800 Pro differs by offering an additional “Energy Saving Parking Mode” which reduces power consumption by a third and only triggers based on G-sensor impacts. This special parking mode doesn’t offer pre-buffered recording however. Other extras found on the Pro would be the 128GB memory card support and Thinkware Cloud compatibility.
Overall, these two systems represent the best of what’s available right now in the 2 channel marketplace. Video quality, parking mode, and WiFi apps are all top notch and justify the higher price tag of the F800 and F800 Pro. That being said, if you are looking for something with a sophisticated parking mode and nearly as good video quality, the BlackSys CH-200 may be a good alternative at a much lower price.