With summer just around the corner, you may be wondering which is the best dash cam of 2015 so far. While there’s no single answer to this question — different people have different needs, preferences, and budgets after all — let’s have a look at the dashboard cameras that are selling and performing best this year.
All of the cameras listed below perform at least moderately well for the following main criteria: video quality, reliability, usability, and customer satisfaction. We’ll have a look at dash cams from all price ranges, starting with the more expensive models and moving to the more affordable ones.
2016 UPDATE : This list was compiled in May 2015. We have a more recent selection available, called Best Dash Cams Of 2016. (Actually, some of last year’s favorites also made it to 2016’s list… check it out to see which dash cams keep coming out on top!)
BlackVue DR650GW-2CH ($360) – Best Front And Rear Dash Cam
The most popular dual channel dash cam in 2015 is without a doubt the BlackVue DR650GW-2CH. With its elegant cylinder form and all-black casing, this is a highly stealthy device that goes almost unnoticable behind your windshield.
Being a high-end dash cam, the DR650GW-2CH has an abundance of cutting-edge features like GPS tracking and Wi-Fi so you can connect it to your smart phone or computer. Memory cards can be up to 64GB in size, allowing for over 10 hours of video recording. While the DR650GW doesn’t have a screen for the sake of discreetness, it comes with a voice menu instead for easy operation. Of course, you can also configure it via Wi-Fi using a smart phone or tablet device.
Note that this is the only dual channel dash cam that made it into our best-of list, because dual channel dash cams that perform well still tend to be quite expensive (UPDATE: We now have an overview of the top 5 dual channel dash cams here). That said, with the DR650GW-2CH you will get what you pay for and it doesn’t leave much to be desired, especially in terms of usability and discreetness. Click here to see where you can order this decice.
DOD LS460W ($270) – Best Video Quality
If you’re looking for top-notch video quality day and night, check out the DOD LS460W. With its Sony Exmor sensor, large F/1.6 aperture, 15Mbps bit rate, and WDR technology for enhanced night vision, this camera records better video quality than any of its competitors.
If desired, you can mount a CPL filter (available separately) over the lens that reduces reflections on bright sunny days.
The LS460W supports GPS tracking, has a 2.7″ screen, and takes up to 64GB cards (although users report it works with 128GB cards also). A 64GB memory card is sufficient for over 8 hours of video recording.
The camera also has a time lapse mode which is especially useful when parked, or in case you’d like to shoot artistic videos. Also, it supports password protection, so only authorized users will be able to change the settings or tamper with video files.
While the video quality of the LS460W is as yet unrivaled, especially at night, it “only” supports up to 1080p resolution. Which is good, but in 2015 there are cameras that can do higher resolutions, like the Marcus 4 for example.
For a list of online vendors that have the LS460W in stock, click here.
Vicovation Marcus 4 ($260) – Great For Higher Resolutions
The Marcus 4 by Vicovation also records high-quality video, maybe not quite as well as the DOS LS460W (especially at night), but pretty close. What sets the Marcus 4 apart though is that it allows you to record at higher resolutions: Notably, 2304x1296p (4:3) and 2560x1080p wide screen (16:9).
Wide screen turns out to be particularly useful for use in dashboard cameras, as it cuts off some of the sky and of your vehicles hood that often dominate your standard 4:3 footage. This works in favor of additional details to the left and to the right of the screen, showing more of your surroundings. It also gives your videos a more “cinematic” feel.
Additionally, the Marcus 4 features a buffered parking mode, uses an internal capacitor instead of a battery for better heat resistance, and optionally supports a CPL filter, as well as GPS. It has a 2″ LCD screen. Unfortunately the camera is a bit bulky, but if you don’t mind the size and would like to record at resolutions higher than 1080p, this camera is an excellent choice.
You can order the Vico-Marcus 4 from one of the merchants listed here.
ABEO HDVR-180 G3 ($175) – Rear-View Mirror Integrated
The ABEO HDVR-180 is unique because it camouflages as a rear-view mirror. Just clip it onto your existing rear-view mirror (it’s compatible with any type), tuck away the cable around the windshield, and you’re good to go. This is arguably the least noticeable dash cam design available.
It does have a 2.4″ screen that appears on the mirror’s surface when you’re operating the camera, but disappears when driving so as to avoid distraction. The HDVR-180 G3 supports WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) for better night vision, and it has a parking mode that can also be set to record at specified intervals. It doesn’t have GPS.
The video quality it records it very good at day time, and fair during the night. Customer support from the vendor is known to be excellent. That said, their cameras are fairly reliable, so you probably won’t need them at all.
If you want to know where to buy this camera, click here.
KDLINKS X1 ($170) – Great Ratings, Excellent Support
The KDLINKS X1 is consistently getting great user ratings, mainly due to the outstanding customer support that the vendor offers. Drop them an email and they will make sure you receive a helpful reply within 24 hours, no matter whether its a weekday, weekend, or bank holiday.
Note that this dash cam is currently only available from Amazon in the US and Canada, unless you are lucky enough to grab a rare eBay offer. Features include GPS, WDR Enhanced Night Vision and a large viewing angle of 165 degrees.
While the X1’s video quality is slightly inferior to other cameras of this price range, it does the job and is sufficient to keep you protected in the case of an incident. Its main advantage over other dash cams are its ease of use and the extremely helpful KDLINKS pre and post sales support.
For a list of vendors that have the X1 on offer, click here.
Mini 0805 ($80) – Best Low-Cost Camera
A successor of the highly popular Mini 0801, the tiny Mini 0805 delivers video resolutions up to 2304x1296p, or 2560x1080p wide screen. Video quality is very good, both at day and at night time, and can compete even with many more expensive cameras.
The Mini 0805, like its predecessors, has a 1.5″ screen. GPS is available optionally. The camera will take SD cards up to 128GB in size, letting you record up to 19 hours of video footage, or even more if you choose a lower resolution.
With a price below $80 if you order from GearBest, the Mini 0805 is excellent value for money and is one of the best selling dash cams of 2015 so far.
G1W-CB ($50) – Cheap & Does The Job
If you’re just looking for a car DVR that works, without lots of bells and whistles, go for the G1W-CB. It records very good 1080p video at day time, and fair video at night.
While the G1W family doesn’t have GPS or any other fancy extras, these cameras are highly successful and do a good job of recording your driving at an affordable price.
We recommend you get the G1W-CB version. This is one of the latest G1W models out there and has two distinct advantages over the original: First of all, it uses a capacitor instead of an internal battery, making it more heat resistant and increasing the camera’s reliability. Second, it doesn’t have the silver ring around the lens (like the camera shown in the picture): Instead, it is all black, making it a lot less noticable.
Currently, the G1W-CB is cheapest at GearBest for just over $50.
We’ve had a look at the most successful dashboard cameras of 2015 so far, all of which have a good track record with regards to video quality, reliability, usability and user satisfaction.
So which of these is the right dashboard camera for you? Depends on your priorities:
- Want a quality dual channel cam that records front and rear video, with Wi-Fi, GPS and lots of other features? Then go for the BlackVue DR650GW if you have the cash.
- Looking for the best video quality? Get the DOD LS460W if you’re happy with 1080p, or the Vico-Marcus 4 if you want higher resolutions and are okay for the camera to be a bit larger.
- On a budget? Get the G1W-CB for below $50, or if you can afford to pay a bit more, go for the Mini 0805 for a significant increase in video quality.
- If good customer support is your #1 criteria and you’re in North America, consider the KDLINKS X1.
- Want your camera to be almost unnoticeable? Try the ABEO HDVR-180 G3 which neatly camouflages as a rear-view mirror.
As new models are released, this selection may obviously be subject to change. For a constantly updated list, check out https://dashboardcamerareviews.com/category/favorites/.