I am not a very ‘Technical’ savvy person and don’t like gadgets very much, but I did want a Dash-Cam and I wanted it to be easier than my TV planner to understand. Anything else? Yes, I want the picture quality to be good in all conditions and make my driving look really good, well, we can wish on that last point.
I think that’s a fairly normal requirement for most people, so, time to fit and test the NextBase 412GW iN-Car Cam on the Volvo windscreen. If however, you are ‘Technical’ minded and I’m sure also quite normal too, the details on the next picture are for you. This ‘Dash-Cam’ was awarded a ‘Best Buy’ from Which? magazine as recently as December 2016 so I am expecting good results.
In the box you get the iN-Car CAM, Powered GPS mount, Suction Cup or Permanent fixing, Car Power Cable, USB Cable, Manual/Software Disk, Quick Start Guide and a Window Sticker. You need to purchase a MicroSD card (not supplied) up to 32GB (also available through NextBase) and you are ready to start.
I hate the next part, just at the point of new-toy excitement you have to charge the unit for two hours before first use, oh well, I suppose I could download the manual off the supplied disc and install the NextBase programme to the Laptop.
OK, two hours have passed, quick eh?, I insert the MicroSD Card and start up, all seems to be working so everything is bundled together and introduced to the Volvo.
First I click the ‘iN-Car CAM’ to the powered suction mount and attach to the windscreen on the passenger side just behind the rearview mirror, from my driving position it is almost invisible to me however you would need to research legal requirements of items placed to car windscreens in relation to obscuring viewing area. Next, I run the Car Power Cable from the powered suction mount behind the roof trim, door post trim, floor carpet and under centre console to the 12v socket all without any tools or difficulty, for me that is a surprise. The cable is approx 13ft in length and was perfect for our ‘between seat’ console, therefore should be adequate for any car … and that’s it … installed.
As soon as you insert 12v socket and start vehicle the unit starts recording. You can switch the microphone on/off with one button if you don’t want people to hear your best singing voice and you can also switch the screen on/off with one button if you find the screen is a distraction, or set the screen saver to one minute to automatically do this task. It records (.MOV) files of 2,3 or 5 minutes (Menu choice) that are sequential up to 180 minutes on a 32GB Micro SD Card. The small files allow you to view or share specific moments, for example with your insurance company after an incident, without requiring ‘Technical’ editing skills. Also, after approx 180 minutes the oldest file is automatically deleted as newer files are recorded. In the event of an incident these files can be protected to avoid deletion, either by pressing the button on the front of the iN-Car Cam (a padlock appears on screen) or automatically via the inbuilt ‘G-sensor’ recognising excess G-Force from an unusual movement or impact.
Journey over, unclip the unit and stow safely until next journey, or, as it is new, I want to see the results, so it is back to the Laptop, insert the USB Cable and open the previously installed NextBase programme. Within a couple of minutes I have the recordings on screen plus some neat little dashboard extras, such as real time Map position, Actual Speed (on/off option), Time of Day and Compass Position.
To select and view the files you open the NextBase programme click the green ‘ADD FILES’ button (see screen below). It opens your file browser where you locate the USB Drive, select from Protected Files or Video Files (or even a still photo option available) then click the ‘Open’ button. You can even select all the files and watch your entire journey if that floats your boat!!
I noticed the picture wasn’t perfectly smooth when played back through the NextBase programme, not sure if this was a limitation on my Laptop or the software, but when I played the file direct from the Laptop File browser through my media player … WOW … the resulting playback was fantastic and super smooth … like I was back in the car.
Night time picture quality is also very impressive, to the point, I have to apologise for my dirty windscreen, as the muck is actually on the inside, note to self … cleaning job to do.
File Management at home. For me, any file to be kept was managed by locating the NextBase USB drive in the Laptop browser and simply right click ‘copy’ and right click ‘paste’ into the Videos folder on the main Laptop drive. That way it remains protected on the Laptop and protected files on the CAM can be deleted to free space.
I’ve not even mentioned the great Wifi feature, essentially, once App is downloaded to your iOS or Android phone/tablet you can connect to the CAM and perform file management and Live viewing from your car seat (not driving of course) … not sure how often I personally would use this, but could be helpful if I wanted to see how many Facebook ‘Likes’ I could get for beating the Stig around the Top Gear track.
In summary, this ticked all the requirement boxes in the first paragraph, even my driving looked really good. This will be a permanent feature in the car and is definitely worth the few seconds it takes to clip in place at start/end of each trip. The ability to record important moments before and during a driving incident gives reassurance for ‘You vs Them’ insurance claims, plus I am now able to share all the Hedgehogs, Rabbits, Foxes, Badgers, Owls, Stags and drunk Humans that join me each day on my night-time drive to work.
Want to see more? If you feel a written review doesn’t quite give you the visual evidence you need to assess the performance of the NextBase 412GW Professional iN-Car Cam you can follow this YouTube link to a review recently published by The Trudgians on the very same unit. https://youtu.be/ig3f5sO3-Ls
Media Pack PDF available on request via Contact Us