The Four Best 4K Dash Cams Of 2022, And A List Of Fakes

4K dash cams, or Ultra High Density (UHD) dash cams, are the latest hype in 2022. And yes, they can really produce some awesome video footage, especially during the day time!

But did you know that many of the dashboard cameras advertised as “4K” right now actually can’t do what they promise… in other words, they are fakes?

Read on to find out which 4K dash cams we recommend, and which ones you may rather want to avoid.

Contents

What Is “True 4K” Resolution?

4K designates a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, or 2160p. It is also known as UHD (Ultra High Density).

A true 4K camera is a camera that can record at 2160p resolution with a frame rate of 30 frames per second (fps). It must be able to do so without resorting to tricks such as upscaling or interlacing video. These tricks severely degrade video quality, and we do not consider them acceptable for a 4K dash cam.

The Best True 4K Dash Cams In 2022

So far, we have seen relatively few true 4K dash cameras on the market, and even less that we can actually recommend. At the time of this writing (October 2022), these are our favorites:

 
ModelBlackVue DR900X PlusThinkware U1000Viofo A129 ProBlueskysea B4K
Approx. Price$470$350$250$120
Front res.4K4K4K4K
Rear res.1080p1440p1080p(1080p)
CloudYesYes--
NotesBest overall video quality, best cloud featuresRadar-assisted parking modeHighest bit rate, best front video at dayRear cam not recommended

All of these come with GPS, Wi-Fi, a capacitor instead of a battery, a lock file button, and several parking modes to choose from.

All but the B4K have an optional rear camera, so you can either get the dual-channel version to protect the front and rear of your vehicle, or save some money and get the forward camera only (and potentially upgrade later).

The B4K has a rear camera also, but being a budget model, its processor isn’t powerful enough to record true 4K with the front camera when the rear camera is connected. So we’ll consider it a single-channel camera for the intents and purposes of this article.

Now, let’s have a closer look of each of the camera models:

BlackVue DR900X Plus: Best Overall Video, Excellent Cloud Features

Front and rear dash camPrice: Amazon US / CAeBay US / AUmore countries & vendors (affiliate links)

Forward video quality: Very good at day, good at night

Rear video quality: Good at day, good at night

Reliability: Very good

Memory capacity: 256GB

Parking modes: Buffered, time-lapse, simple

Other features: Cloud connectivity, integrated GPS, Wi-Fi, capacitor, lock file button, overheat protection

Optional accessories: LTE module

The BlackVue DR900X-2CH Plus is the most modern of the 4K dash cams featured here. It was released in November of 2021, and comes with some of the most advanced features on the dashboard camera market available today.

BlackVue’s trademark black cylinder cameras are stealthy and elegant, making for a setup that is barely visible from outside the car.

The front camera of the DR900X-2CH Plus records very good video during the day, and good quality video at night. The rear camera records good video quality, both at day and at night.

If you’d rather go without the rear camera, the single-channel version of this camera is called BlackVue DR900X-1CH Plus (as opposed to “-2CH” for the dual-channel version).

BlackVue’s cloud features are quite impressive, and second to none: With a free cloud account, they allow you to live-stream video from your car to anywhere on the internet, GPS-track your vehicle’s location, and receive alerts to your phone in case an event (e.g. an impact) is detected. Paid accounts are available for those who wish to manage a fleet of vehicles or unlock a multitude of other cloud options.

To connect to the cloud, you either need a Wi-Fi access point in your car, or you can use BlackVue’s optional LTE module (around $150).

For more information, including video samples, check out our full review of the BlackVue DR900X-2CH Plus.

Thinkware U1000: Radar-Assisted Parking Mode

Thinkware U1000 True 4K Dash CamPrice: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AUmore countries & vendors (affiliate links)

Forward video quality: Very good at day, good at night

Rear video quality: Fair (day and night)

Reliability: Good

Memory capacity: 128GB

Parking modes: Buffered (with radar module), time-lapse, simple

Other features: Cloud connectivity, integrated GPS, Wi-Fi, capacitor, lock file button, overheat protection, CPL filter (optional)

Like the Blackvue DR900X, the Thinkware U1000 allows remote video streaming over the cloud. Of course it also supports Thinkware’s other cloud functions, such as localizing your vehicle, geo-fencing, and impact alerts to your phone.

You do need a Wi-Fi access point in your car for cloud connectivity to work (more info here).

An exciting feature of the U1000 is its radar-assisted parking mode. This is a form of buffered parking mode that uses radar to detect nearby cars. Video will only be stored when another car passes by close. You do need Thinkware’s optional radar module (~$80 extra) though for this to work.

Simple and time-lapse parking modes work out-of-the-box, and don’t need the radar.

Video quality of the front camera is very good during the day, and good at night.

Its rear camera is a bit disappointing though: Even though it records at 1440p, its video quality is only fair, both at day and at night. So it’s a good thing that the rear camera is optional — you can save about $100 if you get the front unit only.

To see video samples and learn more about this camera, check out our full review of the Thinkware U1000.

Viofo A129 Pro: Mid-Price Option With Great Day Time Video

VIofo A129 Pro front and rear dash cam

Price: Amazon US / CA / UKAliExpresseBay US / AUmore countries & vendors (affiliate links)

Forward video quality: Excellent at day, fair at night

Rear video quality: Good at day, fair at night

Reliability: Good

Memory capacity: 256GB

Parking modes: Buffered, time-lapse, low bit rate

Other features: 2″ screen, Wi-Fi, capacitor, lock file button, overheat protection

Optional accessories: GPS mount, CPL filter, Bluetooth remote lock file button

The Viofo A129 Pro Duo is a mid-price 4K dash cam. Its build quality is good though, and it might surprise you that during the day time, it can record better video than all the other cameras featured here!

The A129 Pro’s forward video quality at day time is nothing short of excellent. At night, it is only fair. The (optional) rear camera’s video is good at day, and fair at night.

The reason why the Viofo camera records the best day time video compared to the other cameras featured here is that it’s the only 4K dash cam that allows you to record at bit rates as high as 50 Mbps. The U1000 and DR900X Plus both operate at much lower bit rates, to save processor power, memory card space, and maybe most important of all, bandwidth when transmitting over the cloud.

Of course, the A129 Pro will also allow you to select lower bit rates, trading in video quality for more memory capacity. Play around with this setting to see which bit rate works best for you.

Unlike Thinkware and BlackVue, the Viofo comes with a 2″ screen, thus making it easier to set up and operate. Of course, it also supports Wi-Fi, should you prefer to operate your dash cam via the smart phone app.

Like the others, the A129 Pro comes with three different types of parking mode: Buffered, time-lapse, and low-bit rate recording. It doesn’t support any type of cloud connectivity though.

For video samples and more information about this camera, check out our full review of the Viofo A129 Pro.

Blueskysea B4K: True 4K Dash Cam For Around $100

Blueskysea B4K dash camPrice: Amazon US / CAAliExpresseBay US / AUmore countries & vendors (affiliate links)

Forward video quality: Good at day, fair at night

Rear video quality: n/a (see below)

Reliability: Good

Memory capacity: 256GB

Parking modes: Buffered, time-lapse, simple

Other features: GPS in mount, Wi-Fi, capacitor, lock file button, 3.16″ screen

Optional accessories: CPL filter

The Blueskysea B4K is a low-budget 4K dash cam of Chinese origin. It won’t give you the same results in terms of video quality as the other cameras listed above. Nevertheless, it does record acceptable 4K video, for little more than $100. It also seems to be quite reliable.

Like the other cameras presented here, it comes with GPS, Wi-Fi, capacitor, and a lock file button. It also sports a 3.16″ screen on the rear that makes it easy to operate even without connecting by Wi-Fi.

A CPL filter is available optionally to reduce windshield reflections when driving towards the sun.

Note that a 1080p rear camera is also available for the B4K, but when connected the forward camera’s frame rate drops to 24fps so we no longer consider it true 4K resolution.

For more information, including video samples, check out our full review of the Blueskysea B4K.

Fake 4K Dash Cams

Unfortunately, some less-than honorable manufacturers see fit to just stick a 4K label on a dash cam which can’t actually record true 4K. As stated above, a true 4K dash cam must be able to record 3840×2160 pixels at 30 frames per second (fps).

We’re compiling a list of fakes here that buyers may want to be aware of.

Technical Background

Many fake 4K dash cams come with a sensor that can’t actually record 4K resolution.

A 4K camera needs at least an 8 megapixel (MP) sensor. Let’s do the math: 4K means 3840×2160 pixels. My calculator says 3840 * 2160 is 8,294,400. That’s over 8 million, or 8MP in short.

A 1080p camera has 1920×1080 pixels. 1920 * 1080 is 2,073,600 pixels, or 2 megapixels.

A 1440p camera would have 2560 * 1440 = 3,686,400 pixels, so it needs a 4MP sensor.

Examples Of Fake 4K Dash Cams

Here’s a (probably incomplete) list of dash cams that claim to be 4K, but they use the Omnivison OV4689 sensor (not a bad sensor by any means, but it only has 4MP):

  • Acekool 4K: OV4689 sensor → fake 4K
  • Azdome GS63H: OV4689 sensor
  • Rexing V1 4K UHD: OV4689 sensor
  • Rove R2-4K: OV4689 sensor

Other fake 4K dash cams:

  • Aukey 4K dash cam DR02 J: Aptina AR0521 sensor with just 5MP
  • Redtiger F7N: Sony IMX335 sensor, also just 5MP
  • Rexing V5: Sony IMX335 sensor, 5MP
  • Toguard Dash Cam 4K: 4K video is interpolated. (Also the fact that it can’t handle memory cards over 32GB should alert you. 32GB is very little for a 4K camera)
  • Vantrue S1: Has 1080p sensors. 4K is interpolated

Additionally, our reader Mike from Canada has advised us that the following cameras are also fake 4K:

  • Campark DC30
  • Lifechaser 4K OLED
  • WonVon W4K

If you find out about other fake 4K dash cams, or have any dash cams claiming to be 4K that you are doubtful about, please let us know and we’ll be happy to update this list if necessary.