-- Taxi cam
-- Max. resolution: front 1080p, rear 720p
-- Price: Amazon US / CA / UK – eBay US / AU – more countries & vendors
-- 2.4″ Screen
-- About 6 seconds bootup time
-- Video format: MOV
-- Small size: 96×65x44 mm
-- Weight: 108g
-- Operating temperature: from -20°C to 65°C (-4°F to 149°F)
-- Storage Temperature: from 25°C to 70°C (-13°F to 158°F)
-- Supports up to 32GB MicroSD cards
-- Free Transcend 32GB card included
-- Time and date stamp on video
-- Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor
-- Interfaces: Wi-Fi, USB 2.0
-- Lock file button
-- Free apps for iOS and Android
-- Internal microphone and speaker
-- Suction or adhesive mount versions available (labelled T32GDP520M and T32GDP520A, respectively)
-- Max. resolution: 1920x1080 @ 30fps
-- Aperture: F/1.8
-- Angle of view: 130° diagonal
-- Max. resolution: 1280x720 @ 30fps
-- Aperture: F/2.8
-- Angle of view: 110° diagonal
-- 4 infrared LEDs
Transcend Drive Pro 520 Review
For a while now, we have been on the lookout for a high quality taxi cam that records decent video and has infrared LEDs to illuminate the car’s interior. The purpose of a taxi cam is to record the interior of your car as well as the road ahead of you. As the car’s cabin will often be dark at night, LEDs for the interior camera are needed to be able to see what’s going on inside the car. This is especially useful for taxi drivers and other professionals working in passenger transportation.
In late 2015, Transcend released the Drive Pro 520, the latest model so far of their extremely successful Drive Pro series. Transcend is a renowned Taiwanese company, especially known for producing quality storage media such as SD memory cards.
The Drive Pro 520 features a 1080p front camera and a 720p rear camera equipped with 4 infrared LEDs. A promising setup, and as you can see in the sample videos below, Transcend does not fail to deliver on our expectations.
The front camera records good quality video, both at day and at night. The rear camera’s video quality is very good at day time, and fair at night even when the car’s interior is dark. Note that night video footage will obviously be black-and-white (or rather, black-and-green) due to the IR lighting.
The rear-facing lens can be turned around by up to 180 degrees, so it can record in any position between facing forward parallel to the front lens, and facing straight back into the car. This is ideal for those who wish to record interaction with law enforcement during traffic stops, as you can just turn the rear camera towards the driver’s side window when needed. Note that the rear cam is situated on the left-hand side of the dash cam, so this will work best if you’re in a country where the driver’s seat is also located on the left.
In addition to having a 2.4″ screen, the Drive Pro 520 supports Wi-Fi, so you can operate it wirelessly via a smart phone or tablet device. Apps for iOS and Android are available to download for free. It also has integrated GPS, and mandatory dash cam features like loop recording, auto on/off, and date/time/speed stamp are of course supported as well. You can set it up to keep recording for up to 30 seconds after power is cut off.
There is a red lock file (“emergency”) button underneath the unit, allowing you to mark any footage for keeping that you may want to watch later. Of course, the built-in G-sensor will also mark videos for keeping in case any kind of impact is detected, keeping your footage from being overwritten by the camera’s loop recording function. A parking mode is not supported.
Being one of the top manufacturers of SD memory cards, Transcend includes a free class 10 32GB memory card with this device, which is enough to store about 4 hours of front and rear video footage.
The Transcend Drive Pro 520 is by far the best taxi cam we have seen so far, with decent video quality both forward and back, day and night. While there are many cheaper taxi cams on the market, most of them record poor video at low resolutions, especially during the night. With its additional features like Wi-Fi, GPS, and its solid overall build quality, the Drive Pro 520 is definitely recommended for those who’d like to keep an eye on their passengers as well as on the road.
Transcend Drive Pro 520 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
Day time front video quality is good. Footage is sharp and colorful, and license plates of nearby vehicles are easily readable.
Day Time Rear Video Sample
Rear video quality is very good at day. The interior of the car is perfectly visible. Due to the bright sunlight though, it’s impossible most of the time to see through the windows.
Night Time Front Video Sample
At night, front video quality is good as well. Details are clearly visible and license plates are just as visible as at day time.
Night Time Rear Video Sample
Rear video quality is fair at night. While not perfectly sharp, you can easily see what’s going on inside the car, and passengers’ features are clearly visible as well.
Where To Buy
The Transcend Drive Pro 520 is available for sale from the following vendors:
For the latest in tech, check out our up-to-date list of the best dash cams of 2020.