Thinkware F200 and FA200: What’s The Difference?

Technical Specifications

– Dual channel dash cam
– Max. resolution: front 1080p, rear 720p
– Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / CA / UK / AUAliExpressmore vendors
– Optional GPS
– Wi-Fi
– Ambarella A12 processor
– Operating temperature: from -10°C to 60°C (14°F to 140°F)
– Supports up to 128GB MicroSD cards
– Time and date stamp on video
– Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor
– Simple and buffered parking modes
– Time-lapse parking mode (Thinkware FA200 only)
– Player software for Windows / Mac
– Free apps for Android and iPhone
– Internal capacitor
– Internal microphone and speaker
– Lock file button
– Adhesive mount

Front Camera:
– Max. resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
– Size: 99mm x 34mm x 22mm
– Weight: 54g
– 2.12M pixel Sony CMOS sensor
– Angle of view: 140° diagonal

Rear camera:
– Max. resolution: 1280×720 (720p)
– Angle of view: 140° diagonal
– Rotates 360°

Thinkware F200 & FA200 Review

Thinkware are a major Korean dash cam manufacturer. With their F800 Pro, they have a very successful high-end dash cam on the market that we’ve been recommending for over a year now. Today, we’re going to have a look at their F200 and FA200 models: entry-level dash cams, aimed at customers that would like to spend a bit less than what the F800 Pro would cost them.

So first of all, what’s the difference between the Thinkware F200 and the Thinkware FA200? According to a statement by a Thinkware representative, the two are exactly the same regarding features and specifications, except that the FA200 supports time-lapse parking mode while the F200 doesn’t. The F200 does support buffered and standard parking modes though.

We would add that the FA200 currently costs about $30 more than the F200. It comes with a hard-wiring kit instead of a power cable that plugs into the cigarette lighter, so you can set the camera up for parking mode right away. If for you opt for the F200 and wish to use its parking mode, you’ll need to acquire a hard-wire kit separately for about $30.

Just like the F800 Pro, the F200 and FA200 come without screens. Congiguration happens via Wi-Fi, and smart phone apps are available for Android and iOS. Downloading large files over Wi-Fi takes a while though, so if you need to review lots of video, it’s easier to pop the SD card into a computer.

The maximum supported SD card size is 128GB. A 16GB card is included with the cameras by default, which can hold about 2 hours worth of front and rear video.

If you want to track your car’s GPS location and speed, you’ll need to get an external GPS antenna, available for $33 approximately.

Both the F200 and FA200 support buffered and standard parking mode (the latter being branded energy-saving parking mode by Thinkware). In buffered mode, the cameras will record 10 seconds before and 10 seconds after an impact is detected. In standard mode, the camera wakes up when an impact occurs, and records for 20 second.

As mentioned above, the FA200 can also do time-lapse parking mode, so it supports all three of the parking modes that the F800 Pro has. Quite impressive for a dash camera of this price.

Our main issue with the Thinkware F200 and FA200 is their video quality. Their overall video quality is only mediocre. The forward camera records a slightly better video feed at 1080p than the rear camera, which supports only 720p.

However, for both cameras, it’s hard to read any license plates of other cars, even those recorded in bright daylight. At night, front video quality is such that it’s difficult to read the registration number of a car stopped directly ahead of us at a traffic light. The rear video feed at night is outright poor, with lots of glare from the headlights of the cars behind us.

What good is it to have lots of options for parking mode, if you can’t read the other cars’ license plates?

Taxi Cam Option

Note that there’s also a rear camera available with infrared lights, which is ideal for recording the passenger cabin at night (great for taxi/Uber drivers).

Summary

In our opinion, the F200 and FA200’s video quality is just not acceptable for a modern dash cam. At the time of this writing (2019), we don’t recommend you settle for any dash cam that doesn’t record at least 1080p both ways.

If you’re looking for an accessible dual channel dash cam, the Mini 0906 or the Viofo A129 Duo both record much better video, for a similar price. Or if you like the variety of Thinkware’s parking modes, spend a bit (okay… a lot) more, and go for the F800 Pro.

Thinkware F200/FA200 Video Samples

For full original video quality, make sure to watch on full screen and select maximum video resolution (use the cog icon in lower right corner). You may have to rewind the video after changing the resolution.

Video Samples (Front And Rear, Day And Night)

Day time front video quality is fair. While the overall image is of decent quality, sharpness leaves to be desired. License plates of other cars are barely readable, even when close.

Day time rear video (starts at 0:39) is only average. You can see what’s going on, but the image is blurry and it’s impossible to read any license plates of other cars.

Night time front video (starts at 2:43) is average, as well. It’s hard to read the license plate even of the car that’s stopped at a red light directly ahead of us.

Night time rear video (starts at 3:02) is downright poor. The video looks fuzzy, colors look washed-out, and large areas are blurred due to the headlights of trailing cars. No license plates are readable under these conditions.

Compare Prices & Buy Online

You can order the Thinkware F200 here:

Amazon US / CA / UK / DE / FR / ES / IT

eBay US / CA / UK / AU

AliExpress (global)

The Thinkware FA200 is available for sale from the following vendors:

Amazon US / CA / UK

eBay US / CA / UK / AU