5 Of The Best Dash Cams For Your Car In 2023

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Europeans and people in other parts of the globe may have been quicker to adopt dash cams widely, but they've become increasingly more ubiquitous in North America over the last decade. Dash cams have proved incredibly useful and can be used to record accidents, document road trips, and even catch the occasional meteor strike

Some resourceful drivers looking to save money will turn old smartphones into makeshift dash cams, but plenty of affordable models are currently on the market. You'll still want to make sure you're spending wisely and purchasing a quality dash cam with all the properties you need.

Today's dash cam market has a surprisingly diverse range of products and features like video resolution, wi-fi connectivity, playback screens, memory, and app controls may factor into your decision when choosing the right dash cam for your car. Here's a breakdown of the best dash cams to help you decide.

Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

Several dash cam models are available to buy from Garmin, but the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2, despite its small size, is the overall best. The Mini 2 fits behind your rearview mirror and is barely noticeable, which is excellent if you want it to blend into the background. It's also straightforward to install, using a magnet and ball-and-socket joint to mount at the perfect angle, and just as easy to set up with Garmin's adequate smartphone app, a process that won't take more than a few minutes.

Once done, you'll have full HD video ready, with a 140-degree field-of-view. The 1080p video runs at 30 fps and includes HDR, capturing a clear picture even with poor lighting or bad weather. This is especially important if you need license plate numbers or other vital information in an accident. The Mini 2 is modestly priced at $129.99, making it the cheapest model Garmin offers. Something to keep in mind, however, is that the Dash Cam Mini 2 doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, like internal memory, a display, a battery, or GPS.

Nextbase 622GW

If video quality is a main priority for your dash cam, the Nextbase 622GW offers a very impressive image. Unlike many dash cams, it records in true 4K, though it's limited to a viewing angle of 140 degrees, which may not be as wide as you'd like. For what's in the frame, however, these extra pixels allow the dash cam to capture a perfectly crisp image, which can be crucial when reviewing the exact details of an accident or other event. 

This superior recording ability extends to low-light situations, and the camera even has a de-fogging feature and a built-in polarization filter to reduce windshield glare. Additionally, its digital image stabilization will smooth out all the regular shaking and uneven motion that comes with driving, something all dash cams should logically have, but the Nextbase is the first to include.

The Nextbase 622GW has a clear, functional 3-inch touchscreen on its rear, but you can also control it with your voice using Alexa. It also has what3words geolocation included and comes with a free one-year subscription to Nextbase's EmergencySOS. The Nextbase is not without its drawbacks, however, including its hefty $379.99 price tag (plus another $120 if you want a 1080p rear cam included). Also, all that 4K footage consumes a lot of memory, so you'll need a large-capacity SD card. You'll also need to deal with the dash cam's wonky Wi-Fi connectivity and lackluster app, which can be frustrating when transferring images to your phone.

Vantrue N4

The Vantrue N4 shares many great features with other premium dash cams on the market, but it's considerably more affordable, making it a natural choice for this list. Its best feature is that it covers almost every possible angle, thanks to an interior and rear camera in addition to its 4K/UHD front-facing lens. This includes 24-hour monitoring for your car, even when parked, to capture any hit-and-run damage you may find the next time you walk up to your vehicle. That's a lot of coverage for a relatively compact dash cam, but its small size still allows for a 3-inch screen and accessible, clearly marked buttons.

For $259.99, you're getting a solid dash cam, though it's not without its flaws. The Vantrue N4 lacks app connectivity, so you won't be able to view any video without connecting the microSD to your computer or card reader (or watching it from the camera's screen itself). Additionally, the dash cam doesn't have GPS. You'll also want to consider what part of the country you live in before purchasing the Vantrue N4, which runs smoothly in extremely hot temperatures but poorly in sub–freezing weather.

Nexar Pro

Many dash cams on the market have impressive hardware but suffer when it comes to the smartphone apps that control them (if they even include an app). However, the Nexar Pro doesn't have that issue — its app is useful and easy to maneuver. In addition to fine-tuning the cam's settings, you can use the app to generate incident reports, a nifty feature that comes in very handy after you've had an accident. The Nexar Pro also includes GPS logging and break-in alerts if you're away from your vehicle.

Its hardware doesn't quite match its app, however. The front camera only has a 135-degree viewing angle and isn't 4K, and the rear camera is only 720p. You can get the Nexar Pro dual camera system with 64 GB of internal memory for $224.95 or pay extra for additional memory. While its video resolution could be better, it will allow you to drive a long way before deleting any footage when combined with a storage upgrade.

Thinkware Q800 Pro

The Thinkware Q800 Pro has a sleek look, making it an attractive option for image-conscious car owners. Plus, it can be hardwired into your vehicle for a cleaner, more integrated look you can't get with most dash cams. This also makes the camera more discreet, which is good if you're not trying to advertise that you have a dash cam. Other perks to the Thinkware Q800 Pro include GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity, night vision, and a reasonable price of $169.99. It also has a neat advanced driver assistance system that will alert you of potential forward collisions and lane or front vehicle departures.

The accompanying smartphone app could be a lot better, though. While it allows you to receive geofencing and driving impact notifications, its design isn't the most intuitive or attractive. Another drawback to the Thinkware Q800 Pro is its lack of 4K resolution, topping at 2K QHD and a 140-degree field of view. You want your dash cam to capture the best image possible when needed, so you'll have to balance this limitation with all the features the Thinkware Q800 conveniently provides.