Transcend is a well known company in the dashcam community thanks to their well-priced and excellent Micro SD cards. In fact, Transcend was one of the first companies in the memory card arena and to this day has maintained a good reputation. Priced at around $150 USD the DrivePro 220 is priced around mid-pack for a non-parking mode, single-channel device. It's more expensive than the generic products from China such as the G1W and A118 series cameras and it's easy to see why. The 220 is backed by a real warranty by a real manufacturer, very professionally packaged, and has a great build quality. The design is elegant and simple, we went with the adhesive mount version and felt it was fairly discreet in our vehicle, the shiny front is a bit of a fingerprint magnet though.
It's a 1080P Full HD dashcam that shoots at 30 frames per second and records at a 15 Mbps bitrate, this is pretty typical among the Chinese/Taiwanese dashcams in this price range. The DrivePro 220 however does pack a few bonus features such as GPS, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, and WiFi connectivity which is generally only seen with Korean manufacturers. The GPS logs quickly and speed is accurate while also offering stamped coordinates on the video, many of our customers ask for this feature but some cameras only log these separately making it hard to access.The Forward Collision Warning in our testing was very inaccurate and warned that we were going to crash even when there were no cars in front of us whatsoever. The LDWS did work but we found the chime to be rather gentle and ineffective.
We found the WiFi to be inconsistent in its performance, at times the download speed was very slow (taking 3 minutes to download 10MB) and at times it would be quite fast. The app was also quite slow to organize the files even with the supplied Transcend 16GB card. Korean dashcams like Blackvue, BlackSys, and Thinkware have much quicker and refined WiFi apps than this one used by the DrivePro. Even when compared to a lower end counterpart such as the XiaoYi Smart Dashcam has a much faster download speed than the DrivePro. Instead of using the WiFi, we found the red event button to be a great way to tag important clips. This button has a great tactile feel and gives a reassuring beep a few seconds after pressing it.
The video quality of the DrivePro 220 was good but struggled under harsh lighting as the camera had a tendency to overexpose the sky and had poor dynamic range in those conditions. Interestingly at night the dynamic range was great and the DrivePro could pick up dark objects on a sidewalk easily. The 130 degree lens is sharp but was a bit narrow for situations where you might be trying to tell which car got to a 4-way stop first. License plates were picked up reasonably well and this camera's performance is about mid-pack. Higher end cameras like the DOD LS470W will offer significantly better image quality but the Transcend should be good enough for the majority of customers.
Overall the DrivePro 220 is a well packaged device but with fairly average video and feature performance. Buyers will have to decide whether the warranty, manufacturer support, and build quality are worth the premium. In this price range we would recommend the XiaoYi for WiFi performance and the Koonlung C81 for video performance. Transcend's cheaper DrivePro 200 is also worth considering as it lacks the GPS and fairly pointless LDWS/FCWS safety systems. As a side note we found that the USB power cable was quite thick and the cigarette adapter portion to be quite bulky which is not ideal for wire tucking.