The 5 Best Dash Cams 2020

So you’ve decided to buy a dash cam, and are wondering which one is the best?

We’ve compared the top 5 best-selling dashboard cameras of 2020, and while each of them is great in its own right, we have a clear winner: Viofo’s A129 Duo, a mid-price dash cam that combines easy of use with excellent reliability, and records good quality 1080p video front and rear.

If you don’t need rear video, you can save some money and get the Viofo A119 v3 instead.

Of course, different drivers will have different needs. Some of you will prefer a simpler device that costs less, while those with bigger budgets may have more exclusive needs.

So here’s our list of the 5 best dash cams, as of April 2020:

Our Top 5 Dash Cams Of 2020: Quick Overview Table

 Yi Smart dash camViofo A119 v3 car cameraViofo A129 front and rear dash camStreet Guardian SGGCX2PRO dash camBlackVue DR750S-2CH dual dash cam
ModelYi SmartA119 v3A129 DuoSGGCX2PRODR750S-2CH
Price$50$120$160$170$350
Resolution1080p1600p1080p1080p1080p
- rear--1080poptional1080p
VideoGoodVery GoodGoodExcellentGood
ReliabilityVery GoodVery GoodGoodExcellentVery Good
Wi-FiYes-Yes-Yes
Screen2.7"2"2"1.5"-
Parking Mode-Time-lapse, buffered, low bit rateTime-lapse, buffered, low bit rateTime-lapseTime-lapse, buffered

NEW TO DASH CAMS? If you’d like to learn more about terms like “loop recording” or “parking mode” before you decide what to buy, click here! →

How We Select The Best Dash Cams

At DashboardCameraReviews.com, we’ve been independently reviewing car cameras since 2013, so we have a pretty good idea what to watch out for when you decide to buy. The first and foremost quality criteria for any dash cam is reliability.

Imagine getting a shiny new dash cam that records awesome, high-resolution video — if you can’t rely on it to work continuously and without interruption whenever you’re driving, it’s not much good. You don’t want to be in a situation where you need the evidence from your dashboard camera, just to find out that it decided to take the day off!

Another important criteria is video quality. Over the years, we’ve analyzed hundreds of dash cams, in order to assess which devices record the best footage. There’s always some subjectivity when evaluating video quality, so apart from clarity and general color fidelity, we decided to base our evaluations on the readability of other cars’ license plates. While you may not actually need those very often (except in cases of road rage or a hit-and-run), it’s a good and objective way to compare the footage of many different cameras.

For dash cams, it’s harder to record good video at night than at day. To allow you to directly compare video qualities, we’re thus including a night video sample for each dash cam presented below.

More video samples are available in the full reviews.

Customer satisfaction is also high on our list. We get a lot of feedback from users telling us their experiences with all sorts of cameras. We also measure the return rates over extended periods of time (ideally, returns should be below 10%; 5% or less is excellent), and take into account each camera’s user ratings on various sales platforms such as Amazon. (Yes, these can be faked, which happens a lot especially with the cheaper cameras — however after over 5 years of reviewing dash cams, we can usually tell which reviews are dodgy, and which can be trusted.)

Another feature we value is discreetness. Many of the best cameras in 2019 are wedge-shaped, a growing trend this year that allows for clean and stealthy installation.

Other important factors include: Ease of use, good post-sales support, and any unique features the camera might have.

What’s New In 2020…

Several important changes have occurred in the dash cam world in the past 18 months. One of the most important ones is the consolidation of Viofo as a manufacturer that delivers a full spectrum of high-quality cameras now, for accessible prices.

Years ago, Viofo made a name for themselves with their extremely successful A118 and A119 camera series. In 2019, with the A129 models, they added a regular front and rear dash cam, a 4K dash cam, and a uber cam with infrared to their portfolio.

Side note: While out of the scope of this article, uber cams (also known as taxi cams) finally reached maturity with the release of the Viofo A129 Duo IR and Blueskysea B2W models. Just a year ago, it used to be quite difficult to find a decent dash camera designed specifically for ride-share drivers, but this is now no longer a problem.

BlackVue remain, in our opinion, the most reliable manufacturer of remote-view dash cams. They are no longer the only brand with cloud support, though: Thinkware now also allow live video streaming, with their U1000 and Q800 Pro cameras.

…And What Stays The Same (With Regards To 2019)

Street Guardian dash cams are still the ones that record the best overall video quality, maintaining top-notch quality standards and excellent customer support.

And last but not least, the Yi Smart is still our favorite low-cost model. Over the years, it  turned out to be by far the most trustworthy dash cam in the sub-$50 price range.

Video Samples

In this article, we only have room for one video sample per dash cam. We’ve decided to include night samples here, because night footage is where you’ll see the most difference in quality. At day, most cameras perform well.

If you’d like to see more videos, like day time videos and videos of the rear camera where applicable, check out the full review of the device you’re interested in.

Our Favorite

Viofo A129 Duo: The Best Dash Cam Of 2020

Viofo A129 Duo front and rear car camera

Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AUAliExpress (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920x1080 (front and rear)

Overall video quality: Good

Reliability: Very good

Memory capacity: 256GB (over 16 hours)

Max Operating Temp.: 65°C / 149°F

Pros: 2″ screen, Wi-Fi, capacitor, lock file button, GPS included in mount. Simple, time-lapse, and buffered parking modes. Optional additional remote lock file button. Optional CPL filter.

Cons: CPL filter costs extra

User manual (English): 26 pages, compact, well written (download)

The Viofo A129 Duo (full review) is a highly reliable dual-channel dash cam that records good-quality video. While it is one of the newest dual-channel dash cams out there, it has already become a top seller, and customer satisfaction tends to be excellent.

With a 256GB memory card, you can record over 16 hours of front and rear video. Memory cards are not included, so make sure to use high-endurance memory cards only for use in dash cams (here’s why).

Both the front and the rear cameras of the A129 Duo come in a stealthy wedge shape.

A GPS receiver is included in the mount. A CPL filter is not included, and will cost you $15 extra.

Night Video Sample

The Viofo A129 Duo’s forward video at night is of good quality. License plates are mostly readable, though sometimes washed out by our own headlights, or blurry when the viewing angle is inconvenient. Video courtesy of: LuxuryGoodsPL

The A129 has a lock file button (the round one marked in yellow), but if you’d like a button that’s easier to reach, you can get a remote lock file button ($20) that you can place on your steering wheel or wherever you find it most comortable. The remote button uses Bluetooth to connect to the camera, so it’s wireless.

This camera supports simple (impact-activated), time-lapse, and buffered parking modes. The corresponding hard-wire kit is priced at $15.

You can connect this camera to your smart phone via Wi-Fi to adjust the settings and play back video. Alternatively, you can just control the camera it using the buttons and its 2″ screen.

NOTE: If you’re a Uber or ride share driver, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s also a taxi cam version of the A129 Duo, called A129 Duo IR. The Duo IR comes with an infrared rear camera, to properly record the passenger cabin at night.

Runners-Up

BlackVue DR750S-2CH: Watch Live Video Remotely Over The Cloud

BlackVue DR750S front and rear car camera
Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AU (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920x1080 (front and rear)

Overall video quality: Good

Reliability: Very Good

Memory capacity: 128GB (over 12 hours)

Max Operating Temp.: 70°C / 158°F

Pros: Integrated GPS, Wi-Fi, buffered and time-lapse parking mode, cloud connectivity, capacitor, lock file button, elegant design. Battery discharge prevention device available separately (Power Magic Pro).

Cons: High price, no screen

User manual (English): 102 pages, very detailed and well written (download)

A long-time best seller, the BlackVue DR750S-2CH is an elegant, reliable high-end dash cam that comes with all the bells and whistles. Most notably, it allows you to watch live video from your car from anywhere on your phone or computer, using BlackVue’s cloud service.

You’ll need a portable Wi-Fi hotspot in your car to connect the camera to the BlackVue cloud. The hotspot is not included (available separately on Amazon).

This camera comes with plenty of extra features such as GPS, Wi-Fi, and buffered parking mode, to name but a few. Also, it comes in various flavors: There’s a single-channel version (front camera only), an infrared version for use as a taxi/uber cam, and a Truck version with a waterproof rear camera. If you’re interested, check out our full review of the BlackVue DR750S to find out more.

Night Video Sample

Forward video at night is good considering this is a rather dark road. However the license plates of nearby cars are unreadable. Video courtesy of Sergey Narijny

Street Guardian SGGCX2PRO: Best Video Quality

Street Guardian SGGCX2PRO front dash cam

Price: Amazon US / CAeBay US / AU (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920x1080 @60fps (30 fps with rear cam)

Overall video quality: Excellent

Reliability: Excellent

Memory capacity: 512GB (over 63 hours)

Max Operating Temp.: 70°C / 158°F

Pros: Best video quality, CPL filter & external GPS antenna included, fits vertical windows, great customer support, capacitor, 1.5″ screen. Optional rear camera, optional time-lapse parking mode

Cons: No Wi-Fi

User manual (English): 29 pages, compact but well written (download)

Street Guardian’s SGGCX2PRO (full review) is the single-channel dash cam with the best video quality currently, hands down. It can be upgraded to dual-channel by adding a rear camera (valued around $100). So if you’re looking for a high-end dual channel camera but can’t afford one right now, you can get the main unit now and order the rear camera at a later time, when your finances will allow it.

The hinge of the lens has been redesigned so you can now swing it a full 90 degrees up and down. This makes the SGGCX2PRO one of the few wedge-shaped dash cams that you can actually install on vertical windows, like in a bus or a truck.

Night Video Sample

The SGGCX2PRO’s night time video is of very good quality. As you can see, the footage is sharp, with all details clearly visible. Video courtesy of autodvr.by

When you order this camera, you will find an impressive amount of accessories in the package, including an external GPS antenna, a CPL filter, tools for mounting and removing the camera, and more. With other dash cams, GPS and a CPL will often cost you extra.

The SGGCX2PRO can record in time-lapse parking mode if you power it with Street Guardian’s hard-wiring kit SGDCHW (not included). The kit will cost you around $30 extra.

Finally, as we mentioned before, Street Guardian offer excellent customer support, and have been getting the highest user ratings of all dash cam vendors over several years now.

Viofo A119 v2 / v3: Best Value; Cheapest Buffered Parking Mode

Viofo A119 v3 dahs cam with GPS and CPL

Price (v3): Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AUAliExpress (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 2560x1600

Overall video quality: Very good

Reliability: Very good

Memory capacity: 256GB (over 18 hours)

Max Operating Temp.: 65°C / 149°F

Pros: 2″ screen, optional GPS in mount, optional CPL filter, very good video quality for the price, capacitor. Buffered, time-lapse, and low bit-rate parking modes.

Cons: GPS and CPL filter cost extra

User manual (English): 18 pages, compact, explains the basics well (download)

The A119 v3 (full review) is the latest model in Viofo’s extremely successful A119 series. It records excellent video quality for its price range. It’s available for less than $100 in its most basic configuration (without any extras) on AliExpress (see link above). If you prefer to order on Amazon, prices start around $120.

We haven’t found any dash cam that records better video for this price. Video quality is very good at day, and good at night (as you can see in the sample below).

A distinct feature of the A119 v3 that the previous A119 models didn’t have, is its support for parking mode. In fact, three different types of parking mode are supported: Buffered, time-lapse, and low bit-rate. Low bit-rate reduces image quality, but saves space on the memory card. Time-lapse is useful if you’d like to watch a quick resume of anything that happened while you were parked. Buffered parking mode is best though: The camera will be recording permanently, but only save the footage to the card if an impact is detected byt the G-sensor.

If you don’t need parking mode, you can save some money and go for the older A119 v2.

Night Video Sample

The Viofo A119 v3 records good video at night. All details are clearly visible, as well as most license plates of other cars. Video courtesy of: Jeremy Wong

Like the previous A119 cameras, the v3 is available with 2 different mounts. The mount is a thin plate that sticks directly to your windshield. One mount contains a GPS antenna, the other mount doesn’t. The GPS mount is a bit thicker than the non-GPS one, and costs about $10-$20 more.

A CPL filter for this device is available separately, and will set you back about $15.

The hard-wiring kit (necessary for parking mode to work) for the A119v3 costs about $10 extra.

CHEAPER OPTION: If you don’t need parking mode, save some money and get the previous model while supplies last. The Viofo A119 v2 records high-quality video similar to the v3, and was one of the most popular and best selling dashboard cameras in its time.

Yi Smart: Cheapest Reliable Dash Cam

Yi dash cam, cheap and reliable

Price: Amazon US / CAeBay US / AUAliExpress (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920x1080

Overall video quality: Good

Reliability: Very Good

Memory capacity: 64GB (over 7 hours)

Max Operating Temp.: 60°C / 140°F

Pros: 2.7″ screen, low price, simple menu structure, Wi-Fi

Cons: Form factor, color, internal battery

User manual (English): 18 pages, more of a quick start guide (download)

The Yi Smart (full review) is as cheap as it gets if you’re looking for something reliable. It used to be called just Yi Dash Cam, but recently got renamed to Yi Smart to differentiate it from other car cameras by Yi Technologies.

For below $50, you get a somewhat clunky device, that records good video nonetheless. It has a 2.7″ screen and its menu structure is simple, making it super easy to set up and use even though the user manual is rather basic.

The Yi Smart even supports Wi-Fi, so you can operate it through your smart phone if you feel so inclined. A downside is that it comes with an internal battery instead of a capacitor, making it more susceptible to heat failure.

Night Video Sample

The Yi Smart’s night video quality is fair. You can see what’s going on around you, but other cars’ license plates are only readable in favorable lighting conditions. Video courtesy of Taeng9389

PRO TIP: If you prefer your dash cam to be black, you can find a matte black version of the Yi on eBay. At this time, the black version is only available with Chinese menus. However the menus are simple enough to be usable even if you don’t understand the language. We think it definitely looks much cooler than the gray version.