The Best 4K Dash Cams 2024 (Beware Of Fakes!)

Dashboard cameras with 4K resolution are becoming the norm in 2024. They can record great video during the day, and with newer image sensors like the Sony Starvis 2 series, they can also perform very well at night.

But did you know that there are many dishonest manufacturers and vendors that advertise their cameras as “4K”, but don’t live up to it? They use tricks like interpolation or reduced frame rates to simulate recording at a higher resolution than they actually do.

The problem: There’s no officially binding definition of what constitutes a 4K camera! The images just have to be “about 4,000 pixels” wide. Nothing said about video quality, or frame rate.

Below, we’ll show you which cameras actually record 3840×2160 pixels, at 30 frames per second (fps). Which is our definition of true 4K.

You will also learn how to spot fake 4K dash cams that you want to avoid.


What Is “True 4K” Resolution?

As per Wikipedia, 4K means “a horizontal display resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels”. This is anything but an exact definition. Sleazy marketers and manufacturers exploit the fact that the term “4K” isn’t actually clearly defined to sell cameras that record at sub-par video quality for a higher price.

On this web site, by 4K we mean a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, or 2160p. This resolution is technically also known as 4K UHD (for Ultra High Density).

Therefore, our definition of 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 2024

Listed below are our favorite true 4K dash cams, as of February 2024. All of these cameras are very reliable and record high quality video.

ModelThinkware U3000BlackVue DR970X PlusViofo A229 ProViofo A129 Pro70mai A800S
DescriptionBest parking modeBest cloudBest overall videoHigh bit rate, great front video at dayBest low-cost
Approx. PriceAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon
Front res.4K4K4K4K4K
Rear res.1440p1080p1440p1080p1080p

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Like most modern dash cams, they come with features like GPS, Wi-Fi, a capacitor instead of a battery, a lock file button, and several parking modes to choose from.

Rear cameras are optional, 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).

One of these (the A229 Pro) even comes with an optional third channel, so you can also record the passenger cabin if desired.

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

BlackVue DR970X Plus: Elegant Design, Great Cloud Features

BlackVue DR970X-2CH Plus 2 channel dash camPrice: Amazon US / CAmore countries & vendors (sponsored)

Forward video quality: Very good (3.5/5)

Rear video quality: Good (3.0/5)

Overall video: Good (3.25/5)

Reliability: Very good (4.0/5)

Memory capacity: 512GB

Parking modes: Buffered, time-lapse

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

Optional accessories: LTE module, B-124 battery pack

BlackVue makes high-end dash cams that come in a unique black cylinder casing, making them one of the most elegant brands on the market. Apart from being easy on the eye, the DR970X Plus also comes with a truckload of cutting-edge features. We will only describe the most important ones here.

First of all, video quality is good all around the board. The camera does use quite a bit of compression to make stream sizes manageable, so we’re not getting the highest bit rates here. But you should be able to read license plates on the BlackVue’s video footage in most situations.

BlackVue’s unique selling point is this: They offer better and more advanced cloud features than any other dash cam. With a free cloud account, you can check your dash cam’s video feed on your phone, over the internet.

Other free features include GPS-tracking your vehicle’s location, and receiving alerts if 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 $100). There is also a version of this camera that comes with an LTE module built-in, called DR970X-2CH LTE Plus.

The features of this camera are quite extensive, and we can’t cover them all here. For a full description and video samples, check out our review of the BlackVue DR970X-2CH Plus.

Thinkware U3000: Power Saving Radar-Assisted Parking Mode

Thinkware U3000 dual dash camPrice: Amazon US / CAmore countries & vendors (sponsored)

Forward video quality: Very good (3.5/5)

Rear video quality: Fair (2.0/5)

Overall video: Good (2.75/5)

Reliability: Good (3.0/5)

Memory capacity: 256GB

Parking modes: Radar, motion detection, time-lapse, impact-triggered

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

Optional accessories: Thinkware iVolt Xtra battery pack

Like the Blackvue DR970X Plus, the Thinkware U3000 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. For a comparison of BlackVue’s vs. Thinkware’s cloud options, see here.

You do need a Wi-Fi access point in your car for cloud connectivity to work.

An exciting feature of the U3000 is its radar-assisted parking mode. This is a form of buffered parking mode that uses very little power. Video will only be stored when another car passes by close. Unlike its predecessor (the Thinkware U1000), the U3000 has a radar module built-in.

The camera comes with an OBD-II power cable in the box, so you don’t need to worry about having to order an additional hard-wiring kit. However, if you power it with a battery pack, the U3000 can run for up to 40 days in radar parking mode. Battery pack aren’t cheap though; if you’d rather save the money, the OBD-II cable is completely sufficient for shorter parking times.

Apart from radar, the U3000 also supports normal (motion-activated) buffered parking mode, as well as time-lapse and impact-triggered parking modes.

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. If you don’t care about the rear camera, you can grab the front unit only and save some money.

To see video samples and learn more about this camera, check out our full review of the Thinkware U3000.

Viofo A229 Pro 2CH / 3CH: Best Video Quality Overall

Viofo A229 Pro 3-channel dash cam

Price (3CH): Amazon US / CA / UKAliExpressmore countries & vendors (sponsored)

Forward video quality: Very Good (4.0/5)

Rear video quality: Good (3.0/5)

Interior video quality (3CH only): Very Good (4.0/5)

Overall video (3CH): Very Good (3.7/5)

Reliability: Very Good (4.0/5)

Memory capacity: 512GB

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

Other features: Wi-Fi, GPS, capacitor, lock file button, CPL filter

Optional accessories: Bluetooth remote lock file button

The Viofo A229 Pro was released in late 2023. It is available in 2-channel (2CH) and 3-channel (3CH) configurations. The 3CH version costs about $30 more than the 2CH one.

This dash cam record at a high bit rate both front and rear. It also supports HDR on both channels, and comes with a CPL filter by default. As a result, it is capable of recording noticeably better video than the BlackVue and Thinkware devices.

The A229 Pro’s video quality is very good in most situations. The only exception is the rear channel at night, which leaves a bit to be desired on very dark roads.

Due to this camera’s high bit rates, it’s a good idea to get a memory card of sufficient size. We recommend using at least a 256GB SD card. The maximum supported card size is 512GB, which is enough to hold over 12 hours of front and rear video.

It’s important to point out that this camera is very picky with which SD card brand it accepts. The manufacturer recommends to either use their own brand (Viofo), or SanDisk Max Endurance. Other cards can cause stability issues.

When used with a compatible memory card, the A229 Pro is highly reliable.

For video samples and more information about this camera, check out our full review of the Viofo A229 Pro.

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

VIofo A129 Pro front and rear dash cam

Price: Amazon US / CA / UKAliExpressmore countries & vendors (sponsored)

Forward video quality: Very Good (3.5/5)

Rear video quality: Good (2.5/5)

Overall video: Good (3.0/5)

Reliability: Good (3.0/5)

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 an older 4K dash cam, but it also costs a lot less than the A229 Pro. With the forward channel, it can record very good video during the day as well. However, at night, forward video is fair only. The rear camera’s video is good at day, and fair at night.

Like the A229 Pro, the A129 Pro comes with a screen and buttons, making it easy 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.

This camera has three different types of parking mode: Buffered, time-lapse, and low-bit rate. It doesn’t support connecting to the cloud though.

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

70mai A800S: Most Affordable True 4K Dash Cam

70mai A800S dual dash camPrice: Amazon US / CAAliExpress70maimore countries & vendors (sponsored)

Forward video quality: Good (3.0/5)

Rear video quality: Fair (1.5/5)

Overall video: Fair (2.25/5)

Reliability: Good (3.0/5)

Memory capacity: 256GB

Parking mode: Non-buffered only

Other features: GPS, Wi-Fi, lock file button, 3″ screen

Optional accessories: CPL filter, hard-wiring kit

The 70mai A800S is the most affordable true 4K dash cam available. While there are many dash cams labelled “4K” that cost even less, they are most likely fakes. If you find any true 4K dash cams below $100, please let us know.

70mai is the dash cam brand of the well-known Chinese company, Xiaomi (think mobile phones). They have been producing low-cost dash cams for many years now, and have gained a reputation of being one of the most reliable low-cost brands.

While the A800S won’t give you the same video quality as the more higher-end products listed above, its video quality is nevertheless acceptable for its price of around $100 (without the extras).

Available extras include a CPL filter (~$10) and hard-wiring kit (~$15). When hard-wired to the car’s fuse box, the camera can run in impact-triggered parking mode when the engine is off. It does not support buffered parking mode.

The A800S comes with GPS, Wi-Fi, and a lock file button. It also has a 3″ screen on the rear.

A downside of this camera is that it uses a battery instead of a capacitor, making it less heat resistant than its competitors. 

For more information, including video samples, check out our full review of the 70mai A800S.

Fake 4K Dash Cams

Unfortunately, some 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 for your convenience.

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 an (incomplete) list of dash cams that claim to be 4K, but that 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 ridiculously small 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.