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Nexar Beam GPS dash cam review

The Nexar Beam GPS is a small, simple and fuss-free dash cam that connects to your smartphone

Nexar Beam GPS review
(Image: © Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)

Our Verdict

A simple and smart dash cam that is easy to set up, use and get going with. The compatible smartphone app is similarly straightforward to use, but it’s disappointing not to be able to use it conjunction with Apple CarPlay - while some Android models are also not compatible. Overall, this is a good mid-range value option that brings a decent number of specifications for the price you pay.

For

  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to mount to windscreen
  • Compatible smartphone app
  • Good value

Against

  • Not compatible with wireless CarPlay/Android Auto
  • No screen on device
  • Needs phone connectivity for best use

For those who are looking for a smart and fuss-free dash cam that is simple to set up and operate, then the Nexar Beam is an ideal choice. 

It’s small and compact, and records full HD video which you can easily access via the compatible smartphone app. You get a 135 degree field of view from the 2 megapixel 1/2.9” CMOS sensor. You can buy the Nexar Beam on its own, or with the GPS Mount included in the box to record location data independently of your phone if you need it. 

Nexar Beam: Specifications 

(Image credit: Nexar)

Sensor: 2 megapixel 1/2.9” CMOS 

Video resolution: 1080p

Field of View: 135 degrees 

Frame rate: 30fps

Digital zoom: No 

Inbuilt microphone: Yes

GPS included: Yes

Key features

(Image credit: Nexar)

One of the key selling points of the Nexar Beam GPS is its simplicity. It doesn’t feature a host of different settings and recording option, but rather it is designed to simply record the scene in front of you in a quick and convenient way. 

You can choose to use it on its own, but it’s primarily designed to be used in conjunction with the compatible smartphone app, which you can use to operate it, and view and extract video clips. The phone can be used with either iPhone or Android, but users should note that there are some models (such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra) which are incompatible with the Nexar Beam - make sure you check the website before purchasing to make sure yours is compatible. 

Supplied in the box is a suction mounting cup, which also includes the GPS unit, as well as the USB charger and USB power cable, and installation tools and clips for hiding the cables away inside your car for a neater look if you wish. A micro SD card comes in the box, too. 

Build and handling 

(Image credit: Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)

The Nexar Beam is extremely quick and simple to set up. Full instructions come in the box, which promises to have you set up and ready to go in under five minutes. 

In essence, all you need to do is plug the camera in to your car’s power supply, download the Nexar app, connect to the camera using your phone’s Wi-Fi and you are good to go. The suction cup which comes in the box can be tightened and loosened to allow for quick mounting and quick release - useful for removing the dash cam and hiding it out of sight when you’re not in the car.

If you want to, you can hide the wires for the camera inside the interior of your car, with the appropriate kit and instructions provided for you should you wish to have a more finessed approach.

Setting the camera up is all pretty self-explanatory, and there is guidance as you go along in the app. It’s worth noting however at this point that if (like me) you are using a car which features Apple CarPlay, you may encounter some difficulties. 

(Image credit: Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)

You can’t use both Apple CarPlay wirelessly and the Nexar smartphone app at the same time, which is disappointing. You can let the Nexar record independently by installing a MicroSD card, but you lose full control over the camera, which seems like a shame. You may also find that when you first set up the camera in the car, the conflict between the two different Wi-Fi networks confuses things - I found it best to disconnect CarPlay completely and start from scratch. 

Unlike many dash cams, there’s no screen included on the Nexar, but you can view your footage - as it’s recording - via your smartphone. This could be useful if you have a smartphone mount included in your car, at least at the start of the journey to check that the camera is recording and that it is positioned as you want it. 

The app allows you to start and stop recording at any time, as well as enable or disable sound recording. I prefer to disable sound recording, personally. Once you’ve completed a journey, full drives will be saved within the app for your reference whenever you need them. You can also extract shorter clips as and when you need them, which is handy if you need to present a particular incident, such as to an insurance company. 

Since you will likely be using the Nexar Beam in conjunction with your smartphone, it’s a good idea to keep your smartphone plugged in as well as the dash cam. To that end, the charger included in the box includes two USB ports so you can plug them both in together - a nice and handy touch.

Nexar Beam: Performance

Sample video recordings shot with the Nexar Beam GPS dash cam

The video created by the Nexar Beam GPS is very good, and perfectly functional for what you might need it for. 

Colours are nicely vibrant, while there’s a good degree of detail. Exposures are well-balanced enough to do the job which is needed here - making sure you can see everything that’s going on. 

It’s also nicely steady, with minimal jumping or jolting even when going over fairly rough surfaces. Overall, this is probably not a camera you’re going to want to use for making travel documentaries of your car journeys, but, if you're looking for something decent and reliable for every day use and potential insurance claims, it does a great job. 

Nexar Beam: Verdict

(Image credit: Nexar)

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.

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.

Overall, however, the Nexar Beam GPS is an excellent entry-level and good-value dash cam.

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