Thinkware X550

Product photo of the Thinkware X550 dash cam, as seen from the front (lens side)

Technical Details

– Dual channel dash cam (rear camera optional)
– Max. resolution: front 1080p, rear 1080p
– Price: Amazon -- eBay US / CA / UK / AU (for more countries & vendors, check below)
– GPS / GLONASS
– WDR Super Night Vision
– 2.7″ Screen
– Ambarella A7 processor
– Operating temperature: from -10°C to 60°C (14°F to 140°F)
– Video format: MP4
– Supports up to 64 GB MicroSD cards
– Time and date stamp on video
– Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor, motion detection
– Buffered parking mode
– Time lapse parking mode (1fps)
– Low voltage cutoff
– Interface: USB
– Lock file button
– Player software for PC and Mac
– Internal capacitor instead of battery
– Internal microphone and speaker
– Adhesive mount
– Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
– Front Collision Warning System (FCWS)
– Front Vehicle Departure (FVDW)
– Dual Save
– Speed Camera Alert

Front Camera:
– Max. resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p), 30fps
– Size: 104mm x 51mm x 29mm
– Weight: 111g
– 2.4 MP Sony Exmor sensor
– Angle of view: 140°

Rear camera:
– Max. resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p), 30fps
– Size: 56mm x 23mm x 28 mm
– Cable length: 6.4m (21ft)
– 2.4 MP Sony Exmor sensor
– Angle of view: 140°

Thinkware X550 Review

The Thinkware X550 dash cam, as seen from the rear (screen side)The X550 is an upgraded version of the X500 dash cam, made by the well-known Korean company, Thinkware. Hardware inside of the X550 is the same as in the X500, however its casing is much darker, making this camera quite a bit more elegant and stealthier than its predecessor.

High-quality materials and textures give the X550 a premium look and feel. The buttons on the rear and the camera’s 2.7″ LCD screen are elegantly implemented, resulting in a device that’s straightforward and easy to use, even for dashboard camera newbies.

As the X550’s hardware is the same as the X500’s, the only difference apart from the color of the casing lies in the firmware. A couple of functions have been added, namely Super Night Vision (can be toggled on and off in the camera menu), and time lapse parking mode (records continuously at 1fps while parked). Buffered parking mode is also still available, and records from 10 seconds before to 50 seconds after an event is detected by the G-sensor.

All other features are similar to the Thinkware X500 which we’ve already reviewed elsewhere, so for the sake of brevity we’ll just give you a quick summary here:

The rear camera is optional, so you can acquire the X550 either as a single or as a dual channel dash cam. Video quality is good for the front camera, both at day and at night. Rear video quality is fair at day, and average at night. It can sometimes be difficult to make out license plates in the rear camera’s footage.

Thinkware have developed a dual save technology that saves a couple of seconds of video to the camera’s internal flash memory when an incident is detected (via the G-sensor). This gives you an extra backup copy in case the SD card is lost or damaged.

Supported SD cards can be up to 64GB in size, and hold up to 4 hours of front and rear footage, or 8 hours of single channel video.

Other features include time/date stamp on video, auto on/off, road safety systems (ADAS) such as LDWS, FCWS, FVDW, a super capacitor instead of an internal battery, and integrated GPS.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a single channel camera, we recommend you look elsewhere, as other single channel cameras like the Vico-Opia2  or the DOD LS460W record far better video quality, for a similar or lower price.

As a dual channel dash cam, the X550 is actually quite a decent device. In direct comparison to its predecessor, the X500D, we prefer the X550’s darker casing, and time-lapse parking mode is a nice feature to have. However, at the time of this writing, the price difference between the two models is quite steep. So for the time being, we feel that the X500D is better value for money.

You may also want to check out the Thinkware F770, which doesn’t have a screen but connects to your smart phone via Wi-Fi.

Thinkware X550 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.

Day Time Front Video Sample

Front video quality at day is good. While the footage seems slightly blurry, other cars’ license plates are well readable at close and medium distance.

Day Time Rear Video Sample

Rear video is fair during the day time, however it is not possible to read the license numbers of other cars while driving.

Night Time Front Video Sample

At night, front video quality is fair. License plates are readable when close.

Night Time Rear Video Sample

Rear video quality at night is only average. The only license plate that is easy to read is the one of a car that’s waiting right behind us at a traffic light.

Where To Buy

The Thinkware X550 is available for sale from the following vendors:

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

eBay US / CA / UK / AU

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