After testing 80+ dash cameras over seven years, this page is a summary of what we think are the best cameras for drivers depending on their needs. All our recommendations have many hours of hands-on testing and only chosen after thinking deeply about what matters for drivers and comparing against other choices on the market.
A Video SummaryBesides reading, you can watch a video where I cover our cheap and budget dash recommendations.
The Best Value Dash Cams for Most Drivers
The following two cameras are our top choices for most drivers on the market unless you have specific needs. They have some of the best performance and reliability on the market for their price range.
While both cameras picked are from the same company, we only chose these cameras after extensive hands-on testing which included other competitive cameras and researching many more. Viofo has , and this is not a sponsored review. We have purchased all cameras at full retail price since 2017 to reduce bias.
Viofo A119V3 and Viofo A119V2
Top Value Picks – $80 to $110USD
Resolution: 1440P – 30FPS | Wifi: No | GPS: Optional $10 Mount | Circular Polarizer: Optional $15 | Lens: Glass F1.6 | Field of View: 140° | Processor: Novatek NT96670 | Sensor: Sony IMX335 | Parking Mode: Yes – Motion, Timelapse, Low-Bitrate
The Best Budget Dash Cam
Delivers the essentials with the best video quality under $150 I’ve seen so far.
Viofo’s new A119V3 is the first dash cam I would recommend to most drivers. Launched May 2019, it has all the features we think are essential: sharp video quality, stealthiness, ease of use and reliable build quality. The V3 has the best night quality I’ve seen and for those interested in parking mode – much better reliability.
Trusted Retailers for the A119:
Amazon is the best place right now to get the V3. The only authorized retailer on Amazon is OCD Tronic which has proved themselves to have fantastic customer service over the years.
Amazon USA – Amazon Canada
For More Information: Our A119V3 Article – YouTube A119V3 Review
Same body, older hardware. A budget friendlier option that still delivers excellent video quality and features for its price.
After two years on the market, the A119V2 is still a great camera. Just like the V3 it covers all the essentials, but it has slightly lower night video quality and a worse parking mode. If you want to save some money – say for a high endurance microSD card to improve reliability (read our guide).
While the A119 lacks WiFi, for $70 to $80 USD, it’s the most complete camera we could find at that price. It has a history of proven reliability. You’ll be happy with its performance if you’re looking to spend under $100 USD.
For More Information: Our A119 Article – YouTube A119V2 & V3 Review
Viofo A129 DUO
Front & Back Camera Upgrade – $170 USD
Resolution: 1080P + 1080P | Wifi: Yes 5ghz | GPS: Optional $10 Mount | Circular Polarizer: Optional $20 | Lens: Glass 7G f/1.6 | Field of View: 160° | Processor: Novatek NT96663 | Sensor: Sony Starvis | Parking Mode: Yes – Motion, Timelapse
Viofo A129 DUO
Two Lens Upgrade for Better Protection
The most complete dash cam under $200. Adds WiFi, rear-facing camera and better video quality.
Released in May 2018, Viofo’s A129 Duo is a significant upgrade to the A119. First, it adds a rear-facing camera which improves protection in hit and run accidents as it gives you an additional chance of capturing a license plate.
It also adds Wifi to change settings, stream and download saved videoes. The video quality is improved as it uses Sony’s Starvis sensors, which is a step up over the A119’s sensor at night.
Normally, you would be paying a premium ($300+) to get these features but Viofo knows how to design a good camera. We’ve been waiting a long time to find a good budget dual-lens camera. It’s been over a year since we reviewed the Mini 0906 (YouTube Review) and Aukey DR02D (YouTube) which had significant flaws or missing features.
You can buy the front camera separately if you want a WiFi equipped camera but don’t want the rear camera as it is harder to install. We think it’s not worth it, but you may feel differently.
See Our YouTube Review: Viofo A129 Duo
Trusted Retailers for the A129 DUO:
Amazon USA (OCD Tronic) – Amazon CAN (BlackBoxMyCar) – Amazon UK
Choose the Right Memory Card!
Picking the right microSD card greatly increases reliability and helps ensure you capture that accident or police footage. Endurance cards have better durability which matters as dash cameras put a lot of wear and tear on the memory card, eventually causing it to fail.
64GB Samsung Pro Endurance
The Best MicroSD Card for Dash Cams
Incredibly durable for better recording reliability. It’s designed for use in dash cams, improving video file retention. Backed by a 3-year warranty.
When dash cams overwrite older video files, that process permanently damages the memory card. The Pro Endurance is rated to last two times longer over our former top picks the Sandisk and Transcend High Endurance cards. We like the 64GB card over the 32GB option for its longer warranty (3 vs 2 years) and hours of 1080P videos recorded (26280 vs 12000 hours). If you need to save money get the 32GB card over a non-endurance card like the Sandisk Ultra A1.
Read Our Full Review: MicroSD Cards We Recommend for Dash Cameras
Our Top Premium Dash Cam Upgrades
Our premium picks are the best of what’s available in performance, features, and customer support. While you’ll spend more money versus the Viofo A129, there are a few benefits.
- Stylish: Important for many luxury vehicle owners who don’t want an industrial looking unit.
- Better Features & Performance: Cloud recording, reliable and efficient parking modes, spoken notifications
- Improved Reliability & Customer Service: In general, these companies will have better assembly and quality control. Their retailers are more knowledgeable and have better support if things go wrong.
See our YouTube video review for our latest premium dash cam picks. Please excuse us while we rewrite this section. For now, here’s a summary of our picks:
The Best Video Quality & Cloud Features – $480 USD
Resolution: 2160P + 1080P @ 30FPS | Wifi: Yes AC 5ghz | GPS: Yes | Circular Polarizer: Third Party – $35 | Lens: Unknown | Field of View: 162° & 139° | Processor: HiSilicon HI3559 | Sensor: Omnivision OS08A10 & Sony Starvis | Parking Mode: Yes – Motion, Timelapse
The Best Video Quality & Cloud Features
True 4K video captures more details during the day. Classy design and internet features enhance parking mode.
Use coupon code “CarCamCentral30” for $30 off
Blackvue’s DR900S is the first true 4K front camera and 1080P rear camera system from a major manufacturer. The 4K resolution significantly improves day sharpness; you can pick up license plates from much further away. Unfortunately, night quality about the same as other leading cameras on the market.
When connected to a WiFi hotspot (router or cellular modem) the DR900S’ cloud system can stream videos and push impact notifications to your phone. This feature is quite useful if you’re worried about vandalism or hit and runs while you’re parked.
Trusted Retailers for the Blackvue DR900S-2CH:
BlackBoxMyCar USA – BlackBoxMyCar Canada – Amazon
Thinkware F800 PRO
Best Parking Camera – $380 USD
Resolution: 1080P + 1080P @ 30FPS |Wifi: Yes | GPS: Yes | Circular Polarizer: Only On F800 D+ Model | Lens: 6G F/1.9 | Field of View: 140° & 140° | Processor: Ambarella A12A55 | Sensor: Sony Starvis | Parking Mode: Yes – Motion, Timelapse, Energy-Save
Thinkware F800 Pro
Best Parking Mode Features & Energy Efficiency
Lowest energy consumption for extended recording combined with Thinkware’s style and reputation for reliability. Has unique features like vocal impact reports and impact-only recording to improve parking mode usability.
Use coupon code “CarCamCentral30” for $30 off
Our pick for the best-parking dash cam. It’s much more energy efficient compared to Blackvue and Street Guardian, especially with its unique energy-saving impact only mode. When activated, it only records after sensing a collision with your vehicle. As well a vocal report after camera exits parking mode lets you know if your car has been hit.
Compared to the DR900S, it has worse video quality and a cloud mode that works but has fewer features including live video streaming and push notifications. You want to get the F800 Pro only for focused parking recording.
Get it from:
BlackBoxMyCar USA – BlackBoxMyCar Canada – Amazon
Street Guardian SG9663DC PRO
Best Heat Resistance, Value & Customer Support – $300
Resolution: 1080P + 1080P @ 30FPS |Wifi: Yes N | GPS: Yes | Circular Polarizer: Included | Lens: 6G F/1.9 | Field of View: 140° & 140° | Processor: Novatek NT96663 | Sensor: Sony Starvis Parking Mode: Yes – Motion, Timelapse, Energy-Save
Street Guardian SG9663DC
Premium Features with Heat-Resistance
Superior customer service, hot-weather engineering and 2-year warranty without paying a lot of money
The SG9663DC Pro brings exceptional value to the premium space. That’s not only because of the price but also the solid customer service and focus on reliability by the manufacturer. Their 2-year warranty is longest of all the premium cameras (normally 1-year) and a major reason we like this camera.
Street Guardian has always designed their cameras conservatively using technology that is proven to work under adverse conditions. Besides the camera’s high-temperature rating and excellent video quality, they included many useful accessories including a circular polarizer, extra cables, and a cable hider.
In January, the SG9663DC was upgraded to the Pro version which changed the rear sensor from Sony’s Exmor to Starvis. This improves low-light night vision. As well, cable shrouds were included to hide and improve the cleanliness of your installation.
Versus the Viofo A129 DUO
While the SG9 looks and has similar specs to the A129 DUO, the main difference is the 2-year warranty, customer support, and accessories. Understandably that’s not worth it to everyone but for many especially in harsh climates, the SG9 is a solid buy.
Sold Directly By Street Guardian At:
Amazon USA – Amazon Canada – Amazon UK (Sold by Niko)
The Cheap Picks
These are good options if you need to save money. We found cameras that had good functionality and customer service but unfortunately each camera has a drawback you should consider.
Anker ROAV A1 – $50
Best Build & Features – For Cooler Environments
Resolution: 1080P – 30FPS | Wifi: Yes | GPS: No | Circular Polarizer: No Lens: Glass F1.8 | Field of View: 150° | Processor: Novatek NT96658 | Sensor: Sony IMX323 | Parking Mode: Yes – Impact Only
Aukey’s A1 delivers value. It combines good video quality, useful functionality like WIFI along with a worldwide 12-month warranty. It has a great build quality as it looks great and feel sturdy.
The main downside (or upside depending on your perspective) is the A1’s use of lithium-ion batteries. While they are used for its easy, built-in parking mode, it’s less good for hot climates. Batteries can swell and damage the camera. For those users, take a look at our other cheap picks that use capacitors.
Get the Anker ROAV A1:
Amazon USA – Amazon CAN – Amazon UK
Blueskysea B1W – $50
Small & Stealthy
Resolution: 1080P – 30FPS | Wifi: Yes | GPS: No | Circular Polarizer: No Lens: Glass 6G F1.8 | Field of View: 150° | Processor: Novatek GM8135S | Sensor: Sony IMX323 | Parking Mode: Yes – Motion, Timelapse
The BlueSkySea receives a thumbs up for its compact build and reliability. It’s the only cylindrical style camera that has good video quality, capacitors for hotter environments, and decent customer service under $50.
The big downside is that connecting to the camera can be difficult for some users (turn off data first!. Unfortunately, the only way to change the settings is through your smartphone so that can be frustrating for some people.
While BlueSkySea gives an 18-month warranty, you may have to ship it overseas, although they sometimes cover shipping.
Get the BlueSkySea B1W:
Amazon USA – Amazon CAN – Amazon UK
I’m looking for a heat Resistant dash cam, I do live in Southern California. It get about 116* on a good day, and it would be nice if the cámara would turn 360 degrees, what would be your Suggestion?
Hey Alex, for heat resistance I like suggesting Aukey and Street Guardian – both have great 2-year warranties. Aukey has the DR01 but it’s at the lowest end of the market. I like the Street Guardian SG9663 models but they don’t rotate 360 degrees. There’s not a great option anymore. Vicovation used to be my go-to but they exited the market.
Hey Andrew not sure where a good place to ask this is but why no love for the Aukey DR02? Its one of the most well known cams but seems completely ignored here.
Looking on youtube videos it has video quality somewhere between the roav A1 and viofo a119 and its constantly on sale for a few bucks than the Roav A1.
Hey, so I bought the DR02 before and while the video quality isn’t bad – it has very poor error notifications. If your microSD card stops working, there’s a good chance you won’t notice there’s a problem. It flashes a message then turns off after a second. I think that’s a huge flaw in an otherwise good camera. Unfortunately, there’s nothing good in between the ROAV A1 and the DR02. I was hoping the Yi Nightscape would fill that role but the video quality is bad.
I was pretty surprised when I watched samples from the nightscape. They didn’t even fix the issue with heat blur.
I think I’ll just get the dr02 since it’s $50 and pay attention to it. I like the viofo a119 but just can’t bring myself to spend $30 over the dr02. $30 more for better optics but half the warranty, and idk about their support but I know aukey is solid. If it had WiFi or something it would be an easy decision. The video quality of the dr02 seemed good enough from all the reviews I have read, it will get plates from cars close enough to hit you.
I did see the thread where you tried to bring it up for them to fix in the firmware. He said they would fabricate some warning windows and voices, did that not happen?
Am I missing something else the a119 offers? Just 1440p for better video? I dont really want GPS.
If you’re set on the DR02, get it. It does fine, I would set the format reminder to 15 or 30 days so you can catch if there’s an issue with your microSD card. I have not seen any fixes to the firmware, still the same.
>A119. Yeah, mainly it’s 1440P for better video quality. It’s a noticeable jump in sharpness both day and night. You’ll read a lot more license plates from further away. Maybe consider the Aukey DR02J which is similar to the A119 for video quality. GPS on the A119 is optional. If you care about parking mode the A119 does that way better than Aukey which is manually-activated and basically useless.
Thanks for your professional and comprehensive recommendations.
As long as I can’t find and obviously purchase “Dash Cam ROAV A1” in Romania, at least for the time being, I guess the best choice even now in 2019 should be “XIAOMI YI Dash Camera (International Version)”.
Please, I need your expert advice because soon I have to drive a long way abroad and can’t wait for the eventually autumn arrival of “Dash Cam ROAV A1” on the Romanian market.
On the other hand, I found different specs of video format (.avi and .mp4) of “XIAOMI YI Dash Camera (International Version)”. If the real one is .avi, should that be a great problem of video quality and the recording is really much bigger?
Thanks in advance for your answer!
Hey, I would look at the new Yi Nightscape camera. It’s an upgrade to the original with a better Sony sensor, capacitors and I would assume no focus drift in warmer weather.
Dear Andrew, hello again!
Thank you very much for your prompt reply.
However, it would be very helpful for me to clarify the video format recording, AVI or MP4, of “XIAOMI YI Dash Camera (International Version)”. If this one is AVI should it be a problem of video quality and too large video file or not so…? If the video format is not AVI but MP4, all it’s OK. At this moment, I can not find in ROMANIA many budget car cameras that record Full HD video at 60 FPS. Maybe you think, that this dvr auto camera could be too old as long as it is compatible with Android 4.1…!?!
And as I told you, very soon I will have to drive on a long journey abroad by car. So, I have no time to wait for the arrival in ROMANIA of any other DVR car camera, including that suggested by you (the new “YI Nightscape”).
Thank you very much for your professional and also prompt reply.
It uses MP4. I don’t know if it’s compatible with Android 4.1. Perhaps you can download the app and see if it installs on your phone?
Thanks for all the great effort and work on this website, it has been very helpful.
YI just recently released its Nightscape Capacitor dash cam (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CW4BUPK), will you be doing a review on it?
Hey, AY. You’re welcome! I saw that camera too. I’ve been thinking about that camera for about a week. I probably will do a review on it. It’s basically the original Yi Dash Cam with a different sensor, capacitors and a different body. Maybe a capacitor upgrade to the ROAV A1? I don’t know yet or possibly just an alternative to what exists already.
Hi Andrew. I want to know if the viofo a119 v3 worth the extra 20 dollars than the a119 v2
That’s a good question. I’ve been doing research, looking at videos. I’m leaning towards yes if you don’t mind paying more money. I think there’s definitely increased sharpness during the day which translates into better protection for hit and run accidents.
Theres a video on youtube comparing the v3 with v2 the pro and 119S. Seems to be a pretty significant upgrade.
Great videos Andrew. What is your recommendation for best suction cup mounted dash cam for travel in rental cars?
Good question – I’m looking at the Aukey DRA1 closely right now. It’s being shipped in and I think for $40 it’ll be a great travel camera. Does everything you need and if it goes missing you’re not going to worry.