Thinkware H100 Review

We recently purchased one of these Thinkware dash cams to test out, this particular model, the H100 was priced at $149.99 and came with an 8GB Thinkware branded class 6 card which should be sufficient for a lower bitrate dashcam. Like other Korean dashcams it comes with some mounting clips and extra tape as well to help with the installation. There's also a card reader for those that don't have a built-in card reader on their computer. The packaging looks pretty good and it comes with everything for a simple install.

Inside the Box

There is no hardwiring kit included nor does Best Buy list one for this model, although one is available for the higher end F550/750. For this reason, we weren't able to test the parking mode for this dashcam but according to the Thinkware website it does have a parking surveillance mode which is to be expected on a Korean dash cam. The quick start guide included with the H100 didn't mention anything on parking mode and a YouTube search for "Thinkware Parking Mode" didn't show any clips of this feature in action. 

Design

The adhesive mount that is included with the H100 is a clear plastic one which we thought was a great idea at first, but when mounted it actually looks more like a bright white colour and drew a lot of attention to the dashcam. The picture above shows the H100 mounted next to our popular single channel FineVu CR500HD which is all black with a black mount making it considerably more discreet. The size of the unit was also larger than expected for a simple 720P camera with no screen, GPS, or WiFi. We also put the H100 next to the 1080P capable Blackvue DR3500 which is considerably smaller despite it's higher resolution recording.

Video

Our biggest disappointment however was the video quality, we've used 720P devices in the past such as the Blackvue DR380G from over 3 years ago which had considerably better video quality than the H100. The videos from the Thinkware H100 appeared pixelated even during the daytime and the glare was terrible. At night the video was comparably decent but overall the lens angle was also seemed narrow despite being a claimed 140˚. For not a lot more money you can get the FineVu T9 which comes with a hardwiring kit for parking mode, larger SD card, similar video quality and a rear camera to boot. Those that don't need the parking mode should look at more affordable options from China such as the Skyview G1 or Skyview G6 which offer considerably better video quality.

We're not sure if parking mode is a priority with the H100 as not many retailers carried their hardwiring kit. Thinkware's higher end products with WiFi/GPS seem much more desirable than this unit.

Nuances

There are a few other things that bug us about the H100, for starters the voice alerts are way too loud to the point where it's distorted when the camera's own mic picks it up. The only review for this dashcam on bestbuy.ca references this issue and that owner actually went to the effort of opening up the H100 to cut the speaker wire as this feature can't be disabled through the settings. Furthermore, on the back of the H100 there are two lights which don't make much sense unless you have the manual in front of you. There are 3 colours (red/blue/green) and one example of this confusing light show is that if the left light is green the mic is off and if it's blue the mic is on. Given the fact that this camera has a speaker capable of voice alerts, a simple "voice recording on/off" would suffice and be a lot more straight forward than green = off, blue = on coding.

Verdict 

Overall we were not impressed with this product and would not consider carrying it in our lineup. There is no reason to choose it other than the fact that it offers parking mode at a low price but the video quality, form factor, and annoying bugs just make it very unappealing to us. We understand that this is not a high end device but the fact that a discontinued Blackvue dashcam from 3 years ago is superior to this device is inexcusable.

User Submitted Sample Videos: