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Thinkware X700 Full HD Dash Cam Review

Thinkware X700 Full HD Dash Cam

The X700 is the latest addition to Thinkware’s X Series, a very popular line of LCD dash cams that includes the X550 and the X350. What makes the X700 different is that it is Thinkware's first touchscreen unit. Video quality-wise, the X700 is on par with the F800 Pro. In fact, the X700 is essentially an LCD-version of the F800 Pro. But, just like other Thinkware products, the X700 is well-constructed to Thinkware’s standards to deliver the performance you expect from a high-quality dash cam.

Key Features

  • 1080p Full HD @30FPS
  • 140° Wide-Angle Lens
  • 2.13MP Sony Exmor R Starvis (front)
  • 2.12MP Pixelplus CMOS (rear)
  • 2.7" LCD Touchscreen
  • Super Night Vision
  • Built-in Parking Mode
  • Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)
  • Safety Camera Alert
  • Integrated Thermal Protection

Pros

  Touchscreen display and control
  Built-in Parking Mode
  ADAS & Safety Camera Alert

Cons

External GPS Antenna
No WiFi Support

Key Features

  • 4K Ultra HD
  • 2K QHD Optional Rear Camera
  • 150° Wide-Angle Lens
  • 8.42MP Sony Exmor R Starvis IMX3343 (front)
  • 5.14MP Sony Exmor R Starvis IMX335 (rear)
  • Energy Saving Mode 2.0
  • Super Night Vision 2.0
  • Live View (Driving/Parking)
  • Geo Fencing
  • Locate Vehicle
  • Driving/Parking Impact Notification
  • Road Alert Systems
  • Safety Camera Alert
  • Built-in WiFi

Pros

  4K UHD front recording</span
  2K QHD rear recording
  Real-time vehicle tracking via Cloud
  Geo-fencing and alerts
  Driving & Parking Impact Notification
 Unobtrusive, modern design

Cons

Large 4K footage files requires larger capacity memory card

In-Depth Video Review

Design

The X700 comes in a slim and unobtrusive design. It measures about 4 x 2 x 1.1 inches, which is just a tad smaller than the typical smartphone. The relatively small size makes it great for placing in your windshield without obscuring your view of the road.

On the front side near the lens, you will find the front-facing speaker. On the backside, you will find a pair of status LEDs. And underneath, you’ll find inputs for the GPS module, V-in socket, and a DC power port. On the side of the unit, you’ll find the power button and the microSD card port.

All in all, the X700 sports a pretty minimalistic design that requires almost no experience or training to become accustomed to using. All the rest of the controls are packed into the display.

The X700 comes with an optional rear camera that you can install on your rear window for back-of-car coverage. The rear camera measurs 2.4 x 1.2 x 0.98 inches and comes with a 6m camera cable.

Front Camera Video Quality

For video recording, the X700 offers the standard array of options: Continuous (loop), Manual, Incident and Parking modes. The X700 uses the Ambarella A12 processor. The front camera is equipped with a Sony STARVIS 2.13MP image sensor, and is capable of recording at 1080p Full HD at 30 frames per second. The lens offers 140° field of vision, which is pretty close to what most people consider panoramic and is well within the recommended range of angle view.

In addition to Full HD, videos are also captured in wide dynamic range, which means your video footage is enhanced for colour, clarity, and brightness. That way, when you are heading into a tunnel or when a car traveling in the opposite direction has their high-beams on, your camera isn’t thrown off by the sudden change. This colour and light balance works to make your footage more functional.

The Sony STARVIS image sensor is also responsible for the Super Night Vision 2.0 in the X700. Super Night Vision 2.0 is a night-time video enhancing technology that reduces noise and enhances image quality in low-light conditions. Because of the advanced image sensor, processor, and video enhancing and night vision technologies, many users have found the quality of video in the X700 better than other LCD models, such as the Garmin and the Nextbase dash cams.

Rear Camera Video Quality

X700's rear camera is equipped with a Pixelplus CMOS 2.12MP image sensor and is capable of recording at 1080p Full HD at 30 frames per second. The rear camera lens offers a 125° field of vision.

LCD Touchscreen

The X700 comes with a 2.7 inch LCD screen. It’s a touch screen. Having a responsive touch screen makes a big difference in usability, especially at night when it can be difficult to see the buttons that most LCD dash cams use.

From the touchscreen display, you can:

  • Video Playback - instant video playback right from the device
  • Live View - adjust the camera using Live View feature
  • Road Safety Warnings - receive visual and audio warnings about Road Safety Alerts
  • Settings - change your dash cam settings on-the-fly

In addition to English, the X700 touch screen also comes with multiple language options, including Korean, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Italian. That makes the X700 the perfect dash cam for people who don't own a smartphone and/or prefers a dash cam that “speaks” their language.

External GPS Antenna

The X700 has no built-in GPS and instead, you will need to use an external GPS antenna. The GPS antenna is designed to be installed on your vehicle’s windshield with the included adhesive mount. Simply plug the built-in connecting cable (1 ft) into the main front unit.

The GPS antenna keeps track of your vehicle’s physical location as well as driving speed while it is on the road. During playback of the videos, Google Maps appear on the PC viewer screen along with the GPS information to help you trace your route and speed.

The GPS antenna is also required if you use X700’s built-in road safety warning systems.

The external GPS antenna comes standard with the front-and-rear 2-Channel system and is not included in the front camera-only option.

Parking Surveillance

The X700 has basically all of the big features that people expect from Thinkware products, including exceptional parking surveillance capabilities.

Just like all other dash cams on the market, you will need to hardwire installation if you want to use parking surveillance mode recording. The X700 is compatible with the Thinkware Hardwiring Kit and you can easily throw that into your order at checkout. Alternatively, you can fit an external battery pack into your dash cam setup. For instance, the Cellink NEO or the Thinkware iVOLT BAB50 is capable of supplying power to the X700 for recording when the ignition is off. The average vehicle can only provide about 6-8 hours of recording time in parking-mode but a dash cam battery pack such as the Cellink Neo or Thinkware iVolt can extend this up to 30 hours.

Once hardwired or fitted with an external battery pack, the X700 can record in parking-mode, and can be set up to record in specific parking modes. By default, this mode is buffered and has motion and impact detection. This means that when motion or impact is detected, the X700 will automatically record and save the incident footage. The footage file is also buffered, meaning that the X700 will also save the 10 seconds leading up to the impact, giving you a much more comprehensive protection feature. These features are what defines a true parking-mode feature and only the top-end dash cams have these functions.

Impact and motion sensitivities are both configurable, and settings can be changed using the touch screen display.

Alerts

Thinkware is big on safe driving and has included its road safety warning system in many of its premium dash cams, including the X700. But, in order to access the built-in road safety features, you will need the optional GPS antenna. Once you’ve got the antenna connected the X700 can allow you to access the road safety warning system.

Safety Camera Alerts

  • Red Light Camera Warning - When approaching a fixed red light camera the X700 will warn you "Red light camera in ### meters"
  • Fixed Speed Camera Warning - When approaching a fixed speed camera the X700 will warn you "Speed camera in ### meters, speed limit is XX"
  • Mobile Speed Camera Zone Warning - When approaching an area where mobile speed traps are common the X700 will warn you "Mobile speed camera zone"
  • Average Speed Zone Warning - When approaching an average speed zone (timed point to point) the X700 will warn you "Average speed zone, speed limit is XX"

Road Safety Warning Systems

  • Lane Departure Warning System - Prevents accidents by alerting the driver when the vehicle departs unintentionally from its driving lane.
  • Front Vehicle Departure Warning - After stopping at an intersection, it alerts the driver when the vehicle in front has started advancing while your vehicle remains stationary.
  • Forward Collision Warning System - Warns the driver to reduce impact speed or avoid a potential collision with the vehicle in front.

If you are wondering, these warning systems are not designed to be annoying or to provide unnecessary warnings. These systems will only initiate when you’re moving faster than a certain speed. That’s why these features need a GPS in order to function. The X700 has no way of knowing how fast you’re driving without the help of GPS. When adjoined with the optional GPS antenna, the X700 can also alert you of upcoming speed and red-light cameras.

Reliability and Heat Protection

Integrated thermal protection is something that has been pretty standard inside Thinkware products and is present in the X700. The X700 has an optimal operating temperature range of minus-10-degrees-Celsius to 60-degrees-Celcius. With that said, you can confidently keep the camera in hot vehicles without having to worry about them being damaged or malfunctioning. Plus, the use of a super capacitor keeps the X700 powered for a few seconds after you’ve shut down your engine or in case of power cutoff in the event of a serious collision, giving the X700 enough power to save any important footage before powering down.

Accessing Footage Files

In addition to accessing your footage files on the touch screen display, you can also download a free viewer software that allows you to review or delete your recording. The viewer comes in both Windows and Mac OS and can be downloaded from Thinkware’s website.

There is no built-in WiFi with the X700, which means you will not be able to connect to your dash cam using a mobile viewer app on the smartphone, and to view footage files, you must use the touch screen display. If you have the optional GPS antenna set up, your footage files will be stamped with speed, time and location.

Alternative, you can access your footage files with the free PC/MAC Viewer. Simply remove the microSD card from the X700 and insert it into your computer using the included microSD card reader. But once you have your footage files on your computer, you can share your footage files with essentially any device, including Android, Windows, Apple and so forth.

Recommendations

Unlike other Thinkware models, the X700 does not have a built-in GPS. Users will have to use an external GPS antenna if they want speed, location and time data on their footage files.

There is also no built-in WiFi, which means you will not be able to connect to your dash cam using a mobile viewer app on the smartphone, and to view footage files, you must use the touch screen display on the unit itself or take the microSD card to your computer.

Thinkware is well-known for its advanced parking surveillance features and many of those features are included in the X700. In addition to hardwiring the camera to your vehicle battery, there is also the option to use an external power source, such as the Cellink NEO Battery Pack or the Thinkware iVOLT BAB-50 battery. Either way will give you reliable coverage and protection while parked.

Who Should Choose the Thinkware X700

The X700 is exceptionally easy to use out of the box. It is a well-rounded, reliable dash cam, delivering straightforward yet comprehensive features at an affordable price. Just like other Thinkware products, the X700 is well-constructed to Thinkware’s standards to deliver the performance you expect from a Thinkware dash cam.

The X700 is our top recommendation for people who want the reliability of a trusted brand, the top-of-the-line performance of a quality dash cam and the convenience of a touchscreen.  

Final Verdict

Thinkware makes a lot of quality dash cams. From the award-winning 1080p Full HD F800 Pro to the 2K QHD Q800PRO and the 4K UHD U1000. All of these cameras are rated top-quality premium dash cams. Video quality-wise, the X700 is on par with the F800 Pro. In fact, the X700 is essentially an LCD-version of the F800 Pro.

As Thinkware’s top of the line LCD dash cam, the X700 does not disappoint. It is without doubt an excellent LCD dash cam with buffered parking mode recording with motion and impact detection. The X700 is also our top recommendation for people who prefer dash cams with screens, as well as first-time users searching for the perfect entry-level unit and the seasoned users looking for straightforward yet comprehensive features.

ABOUT THINKWARE

Thinkware is a world-leading Korean dash cam company. Since founded in 1997, Thinkware has established itself as the market leader in the realm of smart car technologies and dash cams. Today Thinkware is one of the most trusted names in the dash cam industry and its flagship products continue to raise the industry bar with strong, innovative and impressive features.

Thinkware X700 Full HD Dash Cam Review

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