Having someone else look over your shoulder while you drive can keep you safe. With a dash cam, you can be even more careful, which gives you peace of mind while you’re driving. With time stamps and GPS locations, the best dash cams record high-resolution video of what’s going on around you while you’re driving. Even when your car is stopped, they can record. This lets you keep an eye on it while you’re not there.

You should first think about whether you want a front, front/interior, or front/rear dash cam when looking for the best one for your needs. You should also think about how wide of a looking angle you need. One more thing to think about is any unique features, like voice control or driving assist. We know that there isn’t a single type that works for everyone because there are many reasons to use a dash cam. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best dash cams of all shapes and sizes, with a range of features and costs.

Scroll down to our buyer’s guide, which is below our best picks, to learn even more about what to look for in a dash cam. You can also save time and stress after purchasing a dash cam by reading our guide on how to set it up.

As of November 19, 2023, the 70mai 4K A810 is now our top choice for the best midrange front and back dash cam. Read our summary below to learn more about this great front/rear camera that takes great 4K videos in all lighting situations.

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The Cobra SC 400D is the best high-end front and back dash cam.

The best high-end front and back dash cam is the Cobra SC 400D.


  • Day or night, front or back, it takes great videos.
  • 3-inch touchscreen show
  • Using your voice
  • Help with Alexa (if you care)
  • If you want it, you can get 2160p (4K UHD).


Really pricey

The rear camera can’t be taken off.

When we looked at the Cobra SC 400D, we fell in love with it. The price is high, but it takes beautiful pictures day or night (4K in the front and 1080p in the back). It also has all the features of a high-end product, like a strong magnetic mount with built-in GPS, a clear 3-inch tablet display, and support for Alexa so you can find places like businesses while you’re driving. It can also be made bigger by adding a 120-degree FOV camera for the inside.

Here is our full review of the Cobra SC 400D.

  • The Nextbase 622GW is the best luxury front and rear car.
  • The Nextbase 622GW is the best luxury front and rear car.


  • Beautiful pictures of day and night
  • Modular add-on 1080p cameras cover the front and back.
  • Alexa voice control and automatic alerts for emergencies


  • Quite pricey
  • Today’s best prices:
  • Nextbase charges $399.99

Before we looked at the Cobra SC 400D above, the 622GW front/rear system was our clear favourite. It really does have almost all the same great features as its competitor: a nice look and feel, great pictures day and night, drive mapping, a great 3-inch screen, emergency response for crashes, support for Alexa, and the ability to add a third camera for inside views. The price is very high, just like the 400D. Either type is fine in the end.

  • Check out our full review of the Nextbase 622GW dash cam.
  • 7Mia 4K A810: Best front and back dash cam in its price range
  • 70%mai 4K A810 is the best mid-range front and back dash cam.


  • Great pictures of the front
  • You can link via GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
  • App for phones


  • So-so processing of the rear grab
  • Not standard wire for the back camera
  • Today’s best prices:
  • $179 on 70mai

The market is full of 4K front cameras and 1080p rear cameras right now, but the 70mai 4K A810 jumps out. It’s packed full of great features, like GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth for connecting your phone. You can use either USB Type-A or Type-C cables to power the 3-inch IPS monitor, which shows images that are bright and clear. It also has more advanced features, such as alerts for lane departure and forward collisions.

The A810 also has a front camera that takes stunning 4K photos and a back camera that takes 1080p photos. The price of most of our competitors doesn’t come with nearly as many options or good picture quality. Because of these things, the 70mai 4K A810 is a great deal for a dual-channel dash cam in its price range.

Check out our full review of the 70mai 4K A810 dash cam.

  • Nextbase 222X: The best cheap front and back dash cam
  • The best cheap front and back dash cam is the Nextbase 222X.


  • Good day video from the front and back
  • Good night shots from the front and back
  • 48-hour parking mode with battery backup and record of incidents after they happen


  • Not as good of video quality as more expensive Nextbase models
  • Port that can be expanded, but no extra parts
  • Not GPS

This Walmart-only Nextbase 222X front-and-rear camera set is a great deal if you want to save a lot of money. It has a clear 2.5-inch screen, a nice magnetic mount, and a parking mode that works with batteries. The 1080p/720p video is a tradeoff, but the video quality is still good.

There aren’t many new designs for dash cams on the market, so most of them look pretty much the same. The 70mai X200 Dash Cam Omni has come along to fix that, though. The pill-shaped camera has a smart cover that hides a motorised 1080p, 60fps camera that can turn 360 degrees. It looks like something from Wall-E. Not only does this dash cam look good, but the camera can also take clear, colourful video and pictures at any time of day or night. It’s also simple to set up, comes with GPS, and has an app that lets you drive with the camera. The 70mai X200 isn’t exactly the norm when compared to a regular dash cam, but its unique form and good video quality make it more than just a novelty.

Check out our full review of the 70mai X200 dash cam.

What a car cam should have

There are many things to think about when shopping for a dash cam. Some of these are the video features, recording choices, power connections, and more.

Ability to play videos

This is what you’ll need if you want to run both front and back cameras or interior (cabin-view) cameras. The dash cam usually has cameras on the inside, but the cameras on the back are different and need extra wiring.
Wide enough of a field of view: Some cameras only have 90 degrees of field of view, but 120 to 140 degrees will let you see more of what’s around you. There are 160- to 180-degree views on some cameras. Keep in mind that the bigger the field of view, the more fish-eye distortion there is and the more work needs to be done to fix it.
Video capture during the day and at night (night quality varies a lot)
If you want to get good pictures of things that happen at night inside your car, you need infrared lights.
Your movie doesn’t have to have HDR (high dynamic range), but it does look better with it because it has more contrast. It also usually means that the colour is stronger.

Wide dynamic range, or WDR, is a lot like what was said above, but it only talks about colour and not contrast.
Do you need UHD 4K? It’s simple to get sucked into the specs of a higher-res picture. In our tests, 4K video (2160p) can give you more or less information, but it always takes a lot of space—four times as much as 1080p, or about 1GB for every three minutes of video. 1080p is the cheaper everyday pick for most things. Our best general picks have 4K UHD, so don’t stay away from it. But read the reviews first to see if the price is worth it.

Options for recording

Continuous repeat recording to keep storage needs as low as possible. When video is taken, it is erased right away after a certain amount of time if it is not saved. When an event is found, video is automatically saved and can’t be overwritten. When they run out of space, most dash cams will delete past recordings and make new ones.
Some car cams can store videos in the cloud. If the thief isn’t smart enough to turn off the dash cam right away, uploading to the cloud in real time is a good way to protect against damage and theft. It’s also useful for people who are in charge of large groups of cars, since videos of accidents can be stored safely online.
Recording on its own when the power goes out, so you can be sure to get all of what happened. For this, you’ll need a battery or a big supercapacitor (see “Power connections” below for more on this). There should be a setting on the camera that lets you choose how long it will run on 12 volts before it turns off.
Recording starts when impact (G) sensors are triggered or when the car is in stopping mode (see below) and motion is detected.
MicroSD cards can hold data. Dash cams that cost more come with a recording card. Some have bigger cards, while others are cheaper and don’t have any. Often, you can get deals with the card. This is what the Miofive 4K does with its hard-wired internal storage.

Connections for power

Most people don’t think about this before they buy, but dash cams need to be plugged into a power source in their car. You might be able to tuck that wire out of the way sometimes, but most of the time it will be hanging somewhere. This can sometimes be fixed by getting a longer or shorter cord or having a professional wire it for you. Remember this as you think about your power choices:

Extra 12-volt power (enough): Most sellers still use the extra 12-volt power socket (also called the cigarette lighter) and USB cables to power their dash cams. It can make the cable run look bad, and the power goes out when you turn off the car, but it works everywhere and is simple.

Power that is hard-wired to 12 volts is better. Most sellers sell kits that let you connect the dash cam straight to a 12 volt source in your engine bay wiring harness. This gives you power all the time, but it’s not very easy to set up.
Better: OBD-II 12-volt power: Some cameras, like the Owl and PureCam, use the OBD-II connection to get steady 12-volt power. As an alternative to hardwiring kits that get their power from the wiring harness, OBD-II to USB power cables can now be bought individually. Any dash cam will work with one that has a USB Type-A port, which is what I suggest. Most of the ones I’ve seen with built-in cords are mini-USB. In most cars, the OBD-II port is under the dashboard, next to the driver’s left knee. This means that the wire has to go a long way.

Rearview 12-volt power (better): Another choice with a very short cable run is to power your dash cam with your rearview mirror’s auto-dimming feature. Here are some adapters that you can get from Dongar Technologies. This is by far the best choice if your car fits.
Power from a battery or a supercapacitor: Many dash cams come with supercapacitors, which let the camera work for a short time after it loses power, like during an accident. But they don’t record for long, and sometimes they don’t record at all. If you lose 12-volt power, you have a better chance of being able to record the whole event if you have a battery. If the run time is long enough, you can also record for a while while the car is off.

Some other useful features

Connecting a phone isn’t necessary, but it can make it easy to upload videos and set up the dash cam. We’ve only recently (12/15/2020) noticed that some phone apps need later versions of Android. For those of you who rock anything older than 8, remember that.
GPS: If you use the video you took to settle a dispute, this function could be the deciding factor. It is common to add a watermark to a video, but adding GPS data to the movie is also a great way to plan your trip. In better cameras, GPS will also set the time for you.
This phrase can mean two different things. The dash cam can be left in low frame-rate mode all the time to save battery life and card space, or it can be set to standby mode and only wake up when motion or g-forces are sensed. We’ve looked at cameras with batteries that are big enough to keep an eye on the car for days without the 12-volt power being turned off, but most cameras need a steady 12-volt source.

How we check dash cams

Not many people are in a better place than me to test car cams. Within two blocks, there are major four- and six-lane roads, lots of bike paths, joggers, dog walkers, pedestrians with earplugs in their ears, and a major bus hub with both public and private coaches. There are a lot of chances for close calls.

I put each dash cam in my car based on how easy and convenient it is to do so. Tip: Sticky tape is used to attach many dash cams to your windscreen. When it’s hot, it can be almost impossible to take off the film that covers the glue. Before putting the film back on, take it off in a cool place or put it in the fridge for a minute or two.

After driving each dash cam for several days and nights, I watched the videos and judged the quality of the pictures. The dash cams I’ve looked at in the past few years all record good video during the day. But shadows and headlight flare are often a problem with night film. Still, quality is getting better quickly as new sensors are added. Look very carefully at the pictures taken at night in each review.

I use every part: the buttons, the settings for the screen, and the apps. The main changes between the products are the interface controls and extra features, like lane departure and collision warnings that come with some models. All of them have GPS and rearview cameras. I give them a try and then turn them off. In real life, they generally tell me I’m changing lanes, there’s a lot of traffic, or I was just cut off. That’s true. Also, the collision alarms usually come too late to do anything but distract you at the worst possible time.

Keep in mind that the one thing I can’t tell you about is how long any dash cam will last because I only test them for a short time. Kindly read reviews from other users on different websites and pay attention to the guarantee.


Should I get a car cam?

For a long time, people have been driving just fine without dash cams. Adding them to personal cars is a fairly new trend. Having a dash cam in your car might not be necessary, but there are real reasons to do so.

Dash cams are often bought and used as a form of insurance for people who do things or see things happen on the road. There are several ways that dash cams can keep you safe from other cars. In case of an accident, they can help you show that you are not guilty. In addition, they might keep cars from being rude. And some dash cams have motion-sensor parking modes that can record any hit-and-runs or thefts that happen while you’re not outside of your car.

When it comes down to it, only you can decide if the possible benefits of getting and using a dash cam are worth the money.

Should you have a car cam?

Yes, dash cams are allowed in every state in the U.S. But the best way to find out what kind of dash cam you should use is to look at the traffic rules in your state. You should find out about things like whether or not it’s legal to put a dash cam on your windscreen in your state before you buy.

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Does a dash cam drain my car’s battery?

Most likely not. That means that it’s very unlikely that will happen. A normal dash cam that records from the front and back, detects motion, and connects to Wi-Fi will only use 0.25 to 0.45 amps per hour when the car is stopped. The capacity of a small or medium-sized car battery is 45 amp hours. This means that your dash cam will use up a lot of power while your car is off for a few days.

A low-voltage shutdown is another feature that’s showing up on more and more dash cams. This is meant to protect against dead batteries. When this function detects that the power level drops below a certain level, it turns off your dash cam automatically. That way you can be sure that your dash cam won’t drain your car’s battery.

What size hard drive should my dash cam have?

Dash cams keep footage on SD or microSD cards that can be taken out and used again. You can’t add more photos or videos to your phone or other mobile device once the memory is full. But with a dash cam, you can just record over old data using the erase function. So, you shouldn’t have to worry about the memory card getting full and turning off your dash cam.

However, if you don’t want to lose important old data, make sure you get a memory card that’s the right size and think about the quality at which the camera records video. It takes up a lot more room to store 4K videos than 1080p videos.

We think that a flash card should have about 128GB of space. This will let you record nonstop for about five hours in 4K or twenty hours in 1080p. Memory cards, on the other hand, aren’t too expensive, so if you want even more space, you won’t have to break the bank.

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