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Review: Dashcam Pro (As Seen On TV)

My wife bought me a Dashcam Pro from Bed, Bath and Beyond for Christmas. Obviously, this was not my main gift from her, I would be severely disappointed if it was. It was an after-thought as the Dashcam Pro was on display near the cash registers, so she grabbed it for $20 as she knew I wanted a dashcam.

I’m going to get it out of the way immediately, DO NOT BUY, especially at the full retail price of $39.99 + $9.99 shipping. The first thing to note is that the mount inside the box is not the same as the one pictured on the outside of the box; always a red flag. The actual mounting solution is reasonably solid; however, don’t expect it to hold firm if you hit any sudden bumps or heaven forbid get into a car wreck.

The box claims that it’s FULL HD; it’s not, it’s not even 720p according to the standard, it’s 1080 x 720 although it looks like it’s scaled up from 360p or 480p, not true 720p. Image sharpness is a joke, roadside signs are blurry and license plates are not readable until almost up on the bumper of the car in front. It does seem to offer the advertised 120° FOV and audio recording is adequate for the purpose.

Now for some of the Dashcam Pro’s good elements; it does offer motion detection, which will start recording if it detects any sudden motion. It has continuous recording functionality with auto-saves made every 1, 3, 5 or 10 minutes and it also has a switchable date/time stamp persistently displayed on the recording and an off timer for when the Dashcam Pro is not actively recording video.

It does have a feature listed as auto ignition recording on the box and in the manual; it’s supposed to power on and start recording when you start your car; however, for me, this did not work. I’m guessing it does not work for me as most modern cars have persistent power going to the 12v outputs (cigarette lighter, for the old school). So I guess that I cannot ding the Dashcam Pro for this feature not working.

The built-in SD card reader is suspect, it refused to read two of my 16GB SD cards; simply powering off when the cards were inserted, a third card of the same brand, speed and capacity worked fine, all cards work fine in my PC and DSLR cameras. It comes with a 12v power adapter which charges the included battery pack, however, the battery pack only offers about 30 minutes of usage when not charging.

Bottom line, it works, however, the quality of recordings is low, even at 720p HD settings, the mount would not stand up to much punishment and the menus are clunky and unintuitive. it will record an incident and could be used in court, but don’t expect pin sharp image quality to read license plates from distance. I would not recommend this device to anyone, pay a little more and get something much better.

Please see the video of a short drive that I took to my local store this morning at the top of the page for an example of video and audio quality if you have not already clicked the red play button.

UPDATE [Dec, 28 2016, 13:54]: A screenshot of a night time run and it’s even worse than daytime.

Dashcan Pro Night Time Run

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