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The best dash cam in 2022: security and protection for you and your vehicle

Nexar Beam
(Image credit: Nexar)

The best dash cams will record what's happening on the road ahead as you drive, but many will do so much more than that. Some offer driver aids to alert you to lane drift or when you get too close to a vehicle in front, and some can even contact emergency services with your location in the event of an accident. Here's a list of the best dash cams we've tried, tested and reviewed.

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Dash cams are evolving rapidly. A simple front-facing dash cam will provide a basic level of security, and is way better than no protection at all. But while basic dash cams just cover the front of a vehicle, showing the view through the windscreen, some come in pairs, either as an alternative kit or as an upgrade, with a second rear-facing camera to record what's going on behind as well. 

We've included a mixture of both types in this guide, but if you're positive you want front-and-back coverage, then we have a dedicated guide to the best front and rear dash cams (opens in new tab) that features this kind exclusively. Many dash cams can now be used individually or paired up as part of an all-around security system for your vehicle.

If you want a record of what happens inside the car as well as outside, then you might want to take a look at our guide to the best Uber dash cams (opens in new tab). And if you prefer to navigate the road on two wheels rather than four, our list of the best helmet cameras (opens in new tab) should prove useful to cyclists and motorcyclists.

And if you want to know more before you choose, you can jump to our explainer on what to look for in a dash cam at the end of this article. For now, though, let's get to our list of the best dash cams you can buy right now.

The best dash cam in 2022

(Image credit: Alistair Charlton)
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A compact, high-quality dash cam with magnetic mount and 180° field of view

Specifications

Video quality: 1440p with HDR at 60fps
Viewing angle: 180 degrees
Integrated GPS: Yes
Screen: 2.0-inch LCD, 320 x 240

Reasons to buy

+
Compact design
+
Useful voice control
+
HDR video quality
+
Magnetic mount

Reasons to avoid

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At the pricier end of the market
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MicroSD card not included
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Driver warnings can be annoying
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Lens is wide but can distort

This Garmin Dash Cam 67W is a refresh of the 66W, our previous favorite model, now including new features like Live View monitoring to check your car remotely and a Parking Guard feature to alert you to parking lot prangs. It looks like the 66W is still on sale for now, so it's a cheaper alternative that share's this dash cam's key specs. The Garmin Dash Cam 67W truly excellent dash cam that is compact and easy to use, with a good set of useful features, and records top-quality video. It's not the cheapest, but it is a top-notch dash cam that does everything without being needlessly complicated. Even the mounting system is super simple. It’s a must-buy and deserves the no. 1 spot in this guide.

Read more: Garmin Dash Cam 67W review (opens in new tab)

Recommended

(Image credit: Alistair Charlton)
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A tiny voice controlled dash cam but it doesn't have a screen

Specifications

Video quality: 1080p at 30fps
Viewing angle: 149 degrees
Integrated GPS: No
Screen: No

Reasons to buy

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Tiny design
+
1080p Full HD

Reasons to avoid

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No screen
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No battery

The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 might just be the smallest dash cam on the market today. Roughly the size of a car key fob, the camera records in 1080p Full HD resolution with HDR, is easy to set up, has an equally compact windscreen mount, and even features a voice control system – it's the perfect compact dash cam. If you want high-quality Full HD video with HDR from an incredibly compact design, you really should look no further. The voice controls are also very good, the mount is small and simple to use, and you can even pair up to four of these cameras together for synchronized recording right around your vehicle.

Read more: Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Alistair Charlton/Digital Camera World)
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Having used it, we'd happily pay the extra for the Q800's premium design, video quality and features

Specifications

Video quality: 2K QHD (2560 x 1440)
Viewing angle: 140 degrees
Integrated GPS: Yes
Screen: No

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek design
+
2K video quality
+
GPS and Wi-Fi

Reasons to avoid

-
May require professional installation
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Unattractive smartphone app

We’re big fans of the Thinkware Q800 Pro. It’s a well-designed dash cam with a premium feel, great video, and a broad set of features. Those who just want a simple dash cam should look elsewhere and save some money. But drivers who see value in the Q800 Pro’s safety and assistance systems will benefit from spending the extra cash. The software isn’t great, but that is broadly par for the dash cam course, and the Q800 Pro makes up for this shortfall with a neat design and top-notch video quality. It's not 4K, but the video quality is very good anyway, so that doesn't really matter in our book.

Read more: Thinkware Q800 Pro review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)
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This intuitive dash cam incorporates What3Words so you can always give a precise location

Specifications

Video quality: 4K at 30fps / 1080p at 120fps
Viewing angle: 140 degrees
Integrated GPS: Yes
Screen: 3-inch HD IPS touchscreen

Reasons to buy

+
4K video quality
+
Integrated GPS for location & speed data
+
Alexa voice assistant built in
+
Emergency SOS with What3Words location support

Reasons to avoid

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Bigger than some

This is the big brother of the Nextbase 522GW and is the best choice if you want a 4K dashcam without the need to have the dashboard device hardwired into your vehicle. The step up in video quality is noticeable – and there is the added feature of support for What3Words (opens in new tab) – the ingenious global system that you can use to give your precise location to first responders by just giving them three words (and is a proven lifesaver). With an easy-to-use app that connects your smartphone to the 622GW over its own wifi network, you can see all your clips with ease – and download those you want to save or review. 

Read more: Nextbase 622GW review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Alistair Charlton/Digital Camera World)
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We like this! This crowd-funded Miofive 4K dash cam, has 64GB storage and 5GHz Wi-Fi

Specifications

Video quality: 4K
Viewing angle: 140 degrees
Integrated GPS: Yes
Screen: 2.2in IPS

Reasons to buy

+
Premium feel
+
4K video recording
+
Rear display

Reasons to avoid

-
Large 4K video files
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Optional hardwiring kit needed for parking mode

We were pleasantly surprised by the Miofive. This 4K Dash Cam is well-designed with a premium feel, a good smartphone application, and 4K video recorded through a 140-degree lens. There’s 64GB of integrated storage and fast, 5GHz Wi-Fi for transferring footage to your phone. Add in a simple, discrete windscreen mount, plus parking mode with an optional hardwiring kit, and the Miofive is all the dash cam most drivers will ever need. For a new company to launch its first product through a Kickstarter campaign, and for that product to be this good, is no mean feat. Don’t be put off by Miofive’s lack of track record. This is a quality dash cam. 

Read more: Miofive 4K Dash Cam review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Alistair Charlton/Digital Camera World)
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A good entry-level dash cam, though it lacks a screen so you control it from your phone

Specifications

Video quality: 1080p at 30fps (front and rear)
Viewing angle: 140 degrees (front), 160 degrees (rear)
Integrated GPS: Yes
Screen: No

Reasons to buy

+
Slim profile
+
Good, well-integrated app

Reasons to avoid

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No screen – requires phone
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Full HD 30p only

In this phone-centric world, many dash cams are opting to get rid of the screen entirely. The Thinkware F200 Pro is one such camera, requiring you to hook up your phone via Wi-Fi and the app to monitor what's going on in real-time. If you think you'll miss an integrated display then this isn't one for you, but otherwise, the F200 Pro is decent value, taking nice-looking Full HD video with a wide color gamut. It also has some driver-assist features, such as lane-drift alerts and slow-speed front-collision warnings. An integrated supercapacitor also holds a little charge in order to keep the cam going for a few seconds in the event of sudden power interruption. It can be purchased solo, or with an optional rear unit.

Read more: Thinkware F200 Pro review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)
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Simple set-up dashcam that you control with your smartphone, though not Apple CarPlay / Android Auto

Specifications

Video quality: 1080p
Viewing angle: 135 degrees
Integrated GPS: Yes
Screen: None

Reasons to buy

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Good value
+
Easy to set up
+
Links up with your smartphone

Reasons to avoid

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No built-in screen

If you’re looking for a quick, easy-to-use, and simple dash cam, then the Nexar Beam GPS is a fantastic option. It’s super easy and intuitive to set up and works extremely well with the connected smartphone app. The ability to see your full drives, and create clips from them, within the easy-to-use app is also fantastic – and great for quickly finding exactly what you need. There is no built-in screen on the dash cam itself, but because of this, it is small and discrete on your windshield. For those who use Apple CarPlay / Android Auto wirelessly, however, it’s a shame that you can’t use them both together. You can still use the camera, but without the added functionality that the phone brings, so for that reason, it’s not recommended for that type of user.

Read more: Nexar Beam review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)
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Great value 4K dash cam that you can swap it between vehicles if you need to

Specifications

Video quality: 4K at 30fps / 1080p at 120fps
Viewing angle: 130 degrees
Integrated GPS: Yes
Screen: 3-inch HD IPS touchscreen

Reasons to buy

+
4K video quality
+
Magnetic screen mount

Reasons to avoid

-
Camera coverage not as wide as some

Kenwood is a popular choice if you buy your dashcam from a dealership – but you can buy its range of dashboard cameras online too. This 4K model is of great value, offering useful features such as built-in GPS, a bright f/1.8 wide-angle lens, and an integrated polarizing filter for cutting through windshield reflections. The magnetic mount makes this easier, and more between different vehicles than with some rivals. You get a 16GB SD memory card supplied, but you can use up to a capacity of 256GB if you want to keep footage for longer – or do lots of driving. A dual-camera kit is also available.

Read more: Kenwood DRV-A601W review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Alistair Charlton)
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It offers super high-quality 4K video but you'll have to get professionally installed

Specifications

Video quality: 4K UltraHD
Viewing angle: 150°
Integrated GPS: Yes
Screen: No

Reasons to buy

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Super-sharp 4K video
+
Huge range of features
+
Front & rear dashcam (opens in new tab) option

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive
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Must be hardwired
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No built-in screen
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4K video files can be massive

If you’re looking for an all-singing, all-dancing dash cam that does everything – but also lacks a screen to distract you while driving – this is it. The Thinkware U1000 shoots in sharp 4K video (albeit with the associated huge file sizes) through a wide, 150-degree lens. There’s built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, which are used to serve up speed camera alerts and add location and speed data to all of your recordings. An optional rear camera can also be purchased and plugged into the main unit, which shoots in 2K resolution at 30 frames per second for sharp footage of what’s going on behind you. Enhanced night vision and wide dynamic range help to produce high-quality video during the day and night. We admit this is an expensive option, and it has to be hardwired into your vehicle. But if it’s a feature-packed, high-quality dash cam you want, this is it!

Read more: Thinkware U1000 review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Alistair Charlton/Digital Camera World)
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Specifications

Video quality: 4K & 1080 at 30fps
Integrated GPS: No
Screen: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Low price
+
Three cameras in one
+
Simple setup

Reasons to avoid

-
Feels cheap
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Interior and rear cameras only 720p
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Rear camera installation could be tricky

The Orskey S960 is a three-channel dash cam that simultaneously captures footage of the front and rear of your car, plus a view of the interior too. It lacks the high resolution, smartphone connectivity, GPS, and driver assistance systems of more expensive rivals. But for just $90/£70 the S960 still has plenty going for it and will appeal greatly to taxi drivers and other professionals who need to record the interior of their car.

Read more: Orskey S960 review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)
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The Vantrue N4 is a three-channel easy to use dash cam ideal for professional users

Specifications

Video quality: 4K & 1080 at 30fps
Integrated GPS: No
Screen: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
3 different cameras, including cabin view
+
Integrated screen

Reasons to avoid

-
No built-in GPS or Wi-Fi
-
High price

This easy-to-use and well-performing dash cam offer three different channels to give a fantastic all-round view of the scene. It produces good footage from all three cameras and setting it up is straightforward. We would however have liked to have seen built-in GPS or the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity to fully justify the fairly high price tag the N4 commands. Overall, though, the VanTrue N4 is a decent performer which is well-suited to those who want the flexibility of three different angles of view and comes recommended.

Read more: Vantrue N4 review (opens in new tab)

How we test dash cams

There are a huge number of dash cams on the market today, and some of them are very cheap indeed. But the best dash cams go further, with better quality, better connectivity, more driver aids or more safety features. 

We have reviewed (opens in new tab)every dash cam in our list. That means we have installed them and tested them for real-world driving. You'll see our verdicts in the entries above, but here's a run-down of what to look for:

• Angle of view: Dash cams typically have wide-angle lenses. The wider the angle of view, the more likely it is to take in what’s happening in junctions and side roads, but objects up ahead will be smaller.

• Resolution: 4K capture is great, and high resolution means clearer, sharper images with more detail, but it also means the files are bigger and you need more storage. 

• Battery powered dash cams: Some dash cams have batteries and can easily be installed without wires, but the batteries won’t last long – typically around 30 minutes. Some dash cams can plug into a USB socket or 12V supply and keep running indefinitely, though the cables may look messy. 

• Professional installation: The other alternative is to get your dash cam installed professionally with hidden wiring. It will cost more, and you can’t move the camera from one vehicle to another, but it looks better.

• Protection while parked: The advantage of a wired in dash cam is that it can keep running while your car is parked, and record suspicious activity, attempted theft or parking bumps.

• Front and rear dash cams: Sometimes, the hazard is from behind, so a rear-facing dash cam can be very useful. We have a separate buying guide to the best front and rear dash cams (opens in new tab). Some front facing dash cams come with an optional rear camera upgrade.

Interior cameras: Some drivers, and particularly those who make a living carrying passengers, will want a dashcam that also records the vehicle's interior. Our best Uber dashcam (opens in new tab) guide recommends the best options for this.

• High dynamic range: It sounds like a feature for a high-end digital camera, but HDR capture can be an advantage in very bright, high-contrast lighting.

• Night vision: We don’t just drive in the daytime. A dash cam with night vision can offer protection and security at night, too.

• Wi-Fi: Dash cams with Wi-Fi can communicate with a smartphone app for controlling settings or checking video.

• Cloud subscription: An optional extra with some dash cams which could be useful for fleet owners keeping track of a number of vehicles or for people who want to see what's happening (or what happened) remotely.

• Driver assist safety aids: Some dash cams can sound alerts if you cross lane markings or warn you that a vehicle ahead has stopped in traffic.

• Voice control: You need to keep your hands on the wheel while you’re driving, so voice control is a safety feature, not just a convenience.

• GPS and emergency services: It’s the last item on our list but perhaps the most important. If you are involved in an accident, you may not be able to ask for help, and some of the best dash cams can detect a collision and automatically notify the emergency services. And if they have GPS, they can send your exact location to the emergency services too.

Read more guides:

Best front and rear dash cams (opens in new tab) 
Best Uber dash cams (opens in new tab)
The Best camera phones (opens in new tab) today
Best indoor security cameras (opens in new tab)
Best outdoor security cameras (opens in new tab)
The 10 best action cameras (opens in new tab)
The best helmet cameras (opens in new tab)
Best backup camera (opens in new tab)
The best baby camera monitors  (opens in new tab)

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 


His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.


He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.