|Dash Cam Name||Weight||HD||Check Prices|
|Nextbase 412GW||422 Grams||1440P||Check Prices|
Nextbase 412GW car dash cam is on the border between a budget camera and a mid-range class camera. It certainly is affordable, but at first glance I was impressed by what it promised to deliver. It is the World’s first quad HD camera!
Some of the features and the general reputation this 412GW model already have really inspired my interest, so I took a thorough look.
- Quad HD Resolution
- Click & Go Mounting system
- Censor Buttons
- Large Display Screen
- WIFI compatible
- Motion Detection
- Memory Card not included
First of all, we know Nextbase is a manufacturer from the U.K. and that they have a pretty good reputation in the market. Most models I’ve encountered and reviewed were in this similar price range, which goes to show the company focuses on providing affordable gadgets that offer more than their worth.
Features noticed at first glance on this Nextbase 412GW model:
- Click & Go
- Powered Mount
- Quad HD 1440P
- 140 Degree viewing angle
- 6 Element glass lens
- Free software updates
- Censor buttons
- Holds up to a 32GB microSD card.
General overview of the features:
The package is pretty standard. It is a descriptive colour box, giving you a pretty precise info about the product inside.
The inside is pretty well organized and tidy. There is a quick start guide and additional instructions, the camera itself, a short USB cable, the powered mount, a very long main power cord for the cigarette lighter socket, another alternative stick mount, warranty card, and a software disc.
The software disc isn’t really all that important, because when you purchase your 412GW you are best to go online to the Nextbase official site and download the newest version of it.
The camera and all of the components are in black colour.
The camera has a small, compact design. It has a plain photo camera look, with some curvy edges, making it have a bit softer and more modern look than standard sharp edged cameras. It is very light and has a nice smooth feel in the hand. It doesn’t feel particularly strong, but it promises durability.
The front side holds the lens, the microphone/speaker, and has some silver decoration.
The rear side is completely taken by the 3’’ display screen and touch screen buttons. The lens and the screen are both protected by a sticker when you first un-box it, so remove those. One side of the camera has the HD OUT port, while the opposite holds the memory card slot. Additional ports and buttons are present on the top and bottom sides of the cam. The top side holds the slot for the mounting bracket, which transfers the power from it to the camera.
Once the cam is connected to the mounting bracket, they feel pretty tight and well connected.
Mounting bracket itself has a single free-motion joint right above the connector for the camera. It allows for versatile movement and positioning. You get two versions of it the main one uses a suction cup method, while the other is an adhesive one. The optimal place to mount your camera in your car is the middle top spot on your front wind shield, right behind the rear view mirror.
The main mounting bracket has the click & go method, which makes it so appealing for use.
The main power cord is 4 meters long. The fact that it plugs into your mounting bracket instead of your camera makes it that much easier to hide the power cable.
This is not something you simply want to leave lying freely. The best way to go about it is to run the cable from the camera above the sun blockers, sticking it with some adhesive pins maybe, than down the inside corner of your car until you are below the dashboard. From there you can stick it again under the dashboard and run it to the cigarette socket.
The 3’’ display screen has ultra clear playback. This is above average size, as most cameras have about 2 to 2.5 inches.
Button solution is something that demands more attention. Having these sensor buttons has factored out the constant worry about the button durability and quality. Also, accessibility of some buttons on models I’ve encountered can be an issue, especially if they are located on the bottom side.
Here, sensor buttons are on both sides of the display screen, and are pretty easily accessible and highly responsive.
These sensor buttons promise a long lasting life, at least as long as the camera itself will have.
The cam’s viewing angle is 140°, which is an average. Most cameras in this class have around 14-150, but there are a lot of models I reviewed that had 170. I must confess I am a bit disappointed they couldn’t follow up on that on this model, but I guess they focused on other things. The difference between a 170° and a 140° lens is not as important as is the difference between a camera that doesn’t have motion detection and the one that has, for instance.
Also, I guess the lower viewing angle is due to the high quad HD resolution this camera has.
The menu is very simple and well organized. You can choose such stuff as the resolution. As mentioned before, this model is the first car dash cam that has the quad HD 1440p resolution capability. You can also choose between 1080p with 60 or 30 fps, and 720p. These lower resolution options allow you more space as the recordings will take up less memory.
You can also set up your exposure, audio recording, number plate, video length, parking mode, rotate display, Time&Date stamp, speed stamp, GPS Location Stamp, Nextbase Stamp, G-sensor, etc…
The camera’s feature list is also pretty nice. Besides the basic stuff, you have some additional features that are again not that common in cameras of the same class, and so give this model the edge its predecessor, model 312GW had.
All the basic stuff is naturally here, as you would expect from a company like Nextbase.
Loop recording feature divides your recording into loops for easier review and sorting. After the camera’s memory is full, the system will simply start overwriting the oldest loop. You can set up the length of your video loops in the options menu. The loops recording feature also plays an important role in preserving your important videos, because other features automatically lock down the loop being recorded at the time of an emergency, thus preventing it from being overwritten and making it easy to review later.
The G-sensor feature is something no car dashboard camera can do without. What a gravity sensor does is it basically detects impacts, sudden shifts in your car’s gravity or positioning, or any tremor that is strong and dangerous enough. Once it detects that, the sensor will immediately mark the current loop being recorded and lock it against being overwritten. You can set up the sensitivity level of your G-sensor in the options menu.
GPS feature allows you to have your position and moving speed logged in as well in your recordings. SO, if for instance something happens that is picked up by a G-sensor and the loop is marked as locked, the information on your location, movement speed, and stuff will also be logged.
One bonus feature that is not seen all that often in this camera class at this price is the parking detector, or more popularly called motion detection.
This feature allows the sensor to pick up movement near your car. Now, this is also done even if your car is turned off and parked, which is why it is called a parking monitor. Once the sensor detects motion, the camera will turn on automatically and make a standard sized loop recording, video and audio. Now, in order for this to happen, the camera needs a constant power source, so it is best that you actually never unplug your camera while it is mounted in your car.
You can manually set up the sensitivity of your motion sensor as well. At its most sensitive level, it will pick up bushes moving, a few meters from your car.
The other bonus feature also rarely seen on cameras in this class is the Wi-Fi feature. You will get a smart phone app, which allows you to connect to your camera’s Wi-Fi network.
This way you can download your videos or photos instantly, without moving your camera from your car. This also allows you to check up on your car even when parked, and you are near, let’s say your home. You can use the app to turn on your camera from a distance and see what the camera sees. I haven’t tested the maximum distance for this but it is several dozen meters for sure.
How it did on the test:
The camera is very simply installed. Just remove the lid from the mounting bracket slot, connect it with the mount, stick the suction cup to your desired position (middle top spot on the windscreen), plug it in and go. We’ve talked about the cable hiding route, but one thing that is always useful to mention is that, no matter how easy a camera is to operate (such as this one) you should never do it while you are driving. You should always set up your preferred options and settings before you begin your drive, not during.
The sound recording on this Nextbase 412GW unit is decent. Nothing special, but it does the job. The video recording is however as expected incredibly impressive. As the first of its kind, this quad HD camera records incredibly clear and detailed videos. The recordings are a bit demanding when it comes to memory space, but I’ve never seen such a clear overview of the landscapes, street signs, car plates, etc… The high resolution is incredible. The video is highly realistic, colours and all.
With this kind of quality, one might consider using this dash camera for even other purposes, besides the main one. You can record your vacations with this impressive video quality.
The camera gives you a constant info of your speed, date and time, and other useful stuff. You can also switch off all those numbers and information from your screen, and have a completely clean footage, if you want to make beautiful landscape videos. This camera also performs nicely, as expected, at night.
Is this a recommended camera? Definitely yes! It passed all the tests with flying colours. It is a worthy successor of everyone’s favourite Nextbase 312GW, and it has pushed the envelope for all cameras out there. Not just because of the quad HD resolution capability, but for other features as well, the way buttons are organized, and everything. I don’t have any cons to think of here.