Hey it’s Andrew with Car Cam Central We review dash cameras and we’re back with our top cheap and budget recommendations for 2020. I spent hundreds of hours researching and testing cameras Some were made into full videos reviews Of those the best were picked based on price versus features and how they would be used. If you don’t know what a dash cam is or
why it’s useful here’s a quick summary that you can pause and read I split my recommendations into five distinct categories First is our top budget pick the $110 Viofo A119V3 It has the best combination of performance and features for most drivers Second, the $50 ROAV A1 is our top cheap pick You lose some video quality and heat-resistance but it has great build quality and features. Third, the $50 BlueSkySea B1W Our specialized choice if you want a compact
camera Fourth are a bunch Aukey cameras our picks for drivers in very hot environments Finally the $80 A119V2 is for drivers who want higher performance and want to spend less money We also talk briefly about some mid-range and premium options so you can better compare performance features, and looks when you spend more money Full disclosure I have purchased all cameras since 2017 to reduce bias No paid reviews here I put you, my audience first Let’s get into it [Intro Music] My first pick is Viofo’s A119V3 It has the best combination of performance and features which includes: great video quality, capacitors for reliability good customer service and useful error notifications Let me explain Starting with its body design the V3’s matte black plastic and wedge shape doesn’t look like a camera so it’s less obvious there’s a camera recording or something to steal. Still most people don’t need to worry about dash
cam theft it’s very rare as one manufacturer has said Just like our other camera recommendations the A119 loop records and auto starts when power is received. You’ll get everything you need in the box to install the camera which requires no tools and takes around 10 minutes to plug in the 12V car adapter run the cable and stick the camera to your
windshield Almost all dash cams are installed like this. The A119V3 records at a higher 1440P resolution which has better video quality over all 1080P dash cams I’ve seen You can pick up license plates and faces from further away That’s vital if you experience road rage or get into a hit and run accident as you’ll have a better chance to capture
evidence for police to prosecute or insurance to get your money back While a higher resolution doesn’t guarantee better video quality true 1440P resolution like the A119 has a noticeable difference in sharpness that’s worth paying more At night the V3 has the best video quality right now It’s especially clear as the dynamic range has been increased which means you can see a wider range of brightly lit and shadowed areas. If we compare the V3 to the 1080P ROAV A1 and the older A119V2 you can see the newer V3 is much clearer You can better capture people and animals on the side of the road in case they do something dumb. Still, for all these advancements no camera can capture fast moving license
plates at night It’s the last major innovation that’s
needed This sound is recorded on the A119V3’s microphone The quality like our other dash cam picks is not amazing but good enough to capture conversations and street noises which is all you need You aren’t shooting a movie Looking at the V3’s construction the A119 uses capacitors not lithium-ion batteries Both of these help shut down and save footage when your car turns off However in hot weather lithium-ion batteries tend
to swell and/or degrade a big reason a dash cam can fail Capacitors are much more heat-resistant and have a better lifespan In cold weather both types may need to be
warmed up but lithium-ion batteries are worse as they can be damaged if charged below freezing Let’s talk about customer service Viofo has only one office in China and they rely on their retailers like OCD
Tronic to handle warranty support OCD is the exclusive Amazon retailer for the
V3 in Canada and the United States and their service has been excellent for years The situation is less clear overseas Viofo handles the United Kingdom themselves but lacks a local office Other countries have in-country retailers but we don’t know how good they are The A119 has an important feature that no manufacturer tells you about which is useful error notifications When the V3 has problems recording you get a message telling you what’s wrong and more importantly it continuously beeps so you’ll check and fix the problem. That’s important because all memory cards are slowly damaged when saving videos and eventually fail causing your camera to stop working I’ve heard too many stories where a camera with no sound alerts stops
recording and the driver doesn’t find out until they get a driving ticket or into an accident Most cheap and budget cameras get error notifications wrong The V3 has good parked recording which is a special energy and space saving
setting to capture vandalism or hit and runs while your car is turned off The installation process is complicated and would take too much time to explain here What you should take away is that out of all our cheap and budget picks only the V3 does this properly Most have poor functionality We explain more in the full review The V3 has two optional accessories a $10 GPS mount and a $15 circular polarizer. The GPS mount lets you quick-release the camera without removing cables It also tracks your location and position but doesn’t give you navigation instructions I personally don’t think it’s worth the
money for most drivers but a lot of people buy it The polarizing filter is worth the money to
me It reduces the glare from your dashboard and greatly improves clarity In picking the V3 we did a lot of research and compared similar cameras like Rexing’s V1P, ROVE’s R2 and Aukey’s DR02J but the A119 has the best overall combination of performance and features We left out a lot of information on the V3 to make this summary see our full video review and article to learn
more You can find those links in the description below this video We’ll keep you updated if our recommendations change say from a new camera we reviewed You’ll also find links to good retailers some are affiliated which means we get a percentage of any purchases at no cost to you Again no paid reviews here we buy all the cameras ourselves and also pay for services like Adobe Premiere to edit this video and web hosting for our
website. Alright let’s look at the $50 American ROAV A1 It’s our top cheap pick for its features
and build quality. Compared to the V3 it does a few things better like customer support Wifi for file transfers and a nicer build quality Unfortunately with all cheap cameras you’ll give up something important The A1 is no different Besides lower quality 1080P video error notifications that lack audio alerts the A1 uses lithium-ion batteries so its not good in hot countries You can use the A1 versus the more expensive V3 as a comparison to figure out what’s important
to you Starting with the body the A1 is a rectangular camera with a 2.4” LCD on the back It feels quite solid when pressed and with its well-fitted curved surfaces the A1 looks and feels like a premium camera I found it simple to use and a pleasure to browse through the menus You also have WiFi which lets you change settings and more importantly download saved videos ROAV did a great job here the app was made well and easy to connect with your smartphone unlike other cameras ROAV got great reviews on Apple’s app and Android’s play store. WiFI is a nice to have feature but not essential Viofo’s A119V3 doesn’t have it but you can buy a smartphone card reader if you want to browse files on the go. Where the ROAV A1 does worse is its 1080P video quality There’s a noticeable drop in sharpness during the day versus the 1440P A119 If we pause you can see that details like license plates and faces are not as clear. At night there’s a similar drop in quality Details are less clear and objects in darker areas are obscured To us this is a big deal as a dash cam helps you get the evidence you need to get justice and a big reason to spend more on a real 1440P
camera. But I don’t want to trash the A1 as the video quality is quite good for the
$50 price tag In the last 2-3 years truly awful video quality has mostly gone
away One big reason is the Sony image sensor found in the A1 has gone down in price and many cheap cameras use it Looking at error notifications the A1 does an OK but not good job While it has a persistent warning message there’s no sound alerts when the A1 has
problems recording You have to look at the screen to take action and with many who hide the camera behind the
rearview mirror it’s easy to miss until you get into a car accident or police ticket. If you tell me in the comments you can always check the lcd screen maybe you will but most drivers won’t It should be idiot proof and most manufacturers get this wrong. The A1 also uses lithium-ion batteries which are susceptible to heat and in-general are more likely to fail than
capacitors. In fact with the ROAV C1 model we previously reviewed some users had a bulging battery that popped out the LCD screen Fortunately there’s good customer service if there’s
a problem ROAV is owned by Anker and they have offices around the world with a more streamlined service than Viofo We think local customer service is important Even good dash cams can break and you don’t want to send your camera overseas There is one upside: the A1 has a special battery powered parking
mode When the A1 shuts down it can leave the G-Sensor
active After detecting an impact it’ll turn on after 6 seconds and record
for 30 It won’t capture the impact but hopefully get a license plate or face. No installation required it only needs to be turned on in the menu and is a useful feature that few dash cams have The A1 replaces our Yi Dash Cam pick which had issues with blurry videos under warm weather a harder to use app and the video quality isn’t as good. We were excited to test the 2019 Yi Nightscape which has a capacitor but found the video quality to be really lacking both day and night not recommended unless something changes Overall consider the A1 if you need to save money or you don’t think the V3 is worth the money. It’s a nice experience for around $50USD but it could be more expensive depending on where you live. Don’t use it anywhere hot though as the battery inside may fail Again, we linked the full video review in
the description. As a sidenote your dash cam will eventually stop working as your SD card’s memory cells have a limited
lifespan You should get an endurance card which lasts longer than the usual consumer
cards. These endurance cards are constructed for
durability and better error correction which helps keeps your camera running when you need it most Samsung’s Pro Endurance is the best right
now but as a budget option Sandisk’s new Ultra A1 or Samsung’s EVO Plus are OK but not great There’s a lot of details we left out so as you guessed there’s a full review explaining more Next up is the $50 BlueSkySea B1W It’s a good choice for those who want a
small and heat-resistant camera. It used to be our top cheap pick but we downgraded it as users said the B1W can be hard to use The main reason is the clunky smartphone app that’s needed to change settings and format microSD cards as the camera has no LCD screen Connecting isn’t intuitive as you have to
disable data before joining the B1W’s WiFi network BlueSkySea did not or could not change the
app for how modern smartphones will disconnect
you from the network if no internet is detected As a result the B1W has many bad reviews from users having trouble connecting with
the phone But, if you can get past that the B1W is a fantastic camera It’s the only one under $60 to get the basics
right The B1W’s 1080P video quality is about the same as the ROAV A1 Nothing special to mention here The error notifications are good with an endless audio message letting you know what the problem is [Invalid file system, please format SD Card] [Invalid file system, please format SD Card] BlueSkySea’s customer service has gotten better since they first started They now have a Los Angeles office with a local phone number to call. For other countries you may have to ship your camera out but your costs may be covered depending on
the circumstances The B1W has an 18-month warranty but you have to register the camera to get
it You might notice the translations are rough the overall experience unpolished The b1w is solid but it might not be the right camera for everyone. I do want to mention two popular competitors The 70Mai has great video hardware but due to its lithium-ion batteries we feel you might as well get the Anker ROAV
A1 Other companies like DDPai with their Mini
model have a decently-made capacitor camera but their products are poorly supported outside of Asia. Moving on we have several Aukey cameras as specialized picks for drivers in very hot desert or tropical
environments They are the only choice under $100 with capacitors and a 2-year warranty double the standard 12 months Aukey has offices around the world with a reputation for fast customer service. So these cameras aren’t technically built for
super hot environments but I chose them because your dash cam is
more likely to fail and a longer warranty period is helpful. Let’s look at our hot temperature picks starting with the $35 DRA1 which is also the cheapest camera we can recommend Unfortunately the video quality is just barely acceptable as it uses a junk sensor but good enough for its ridiculously low price The DR01 and DR02 have much better 1080P video
quality that’s similar to the ROAV A1 as they share the same sensor The DR01 is the better buy for $10 less You can tell there’s a big difference between the cheaper DRA1 and these two cameras which use the better Sony image sensor Besides the price point the only other difference is the body shape the DR01 has a larger 2” screen but is a bit more visible than the DR02. Finally the $80 DR02J It says 4K video quality but that’s a half
truth Due to the sensor used it’s closer to 1440P Get this camera if you want the benefits of a higher resolution like the Viofo A119 and a 2-year warranty So with their excellent warranty and Aukey’s customer service why not get them over our other picks? First off, these cameras are plain They have no WiFI, GPS, or parking modes Their build quality and packaging are fine but nothing special The ROAV A1 and Viofo A119V3 offer a lot more overall More importantly all Aukey cameras we’ve
tested have terrible error notifications If it can’t record, a message will flash, then disappear and there’s no audible alert making it very hard to detect an issue as it just shows the usual recording screen. For me that’s enough to reject Aukey but they are the only decent choice for hot
environments To others error notifications don’t matter and Aukey might be the better buy great get it I’m here to help you make a more informed
decision For a value minded user who wants 1440P performance we recommend the older Viofo A119V2 You get all the essentials for $80 to $90 The difference versus the newer V3 is the night video quality and parking mode
aren’t as good Other than that the V2 has the same features and functionality for $20 to $30 less This is a good camera for users who want to step up to 1440P quality but have to save a bit of money If you search online the A119 has mixed reviews That’s because the original V1 mount caused power issues and people complained In 2017 the V2 version was released to fix the mount and improve functionality Since then the V2 has been fantastically reliable If you get this camera on Amazon check the retailer as some like OCD Tronic or Capture Your Action have much better customer service than others Here’s a summary of the five dash cams and microSD cards we recommend that you can pause and read We wanted to give you the details to help you make a better purchase but if you feel overwhelmed spend the money and get the Viofo A119V3 and 64GB Samsung Pro Endurance It’s a great pick for most drivers out there If you’re wondering what’s better than
the V3 we have our Mid-Range and Premium picks. But before that if you found this video useful it would be
awesome if you shared it with your friends and family who you think should get a dash cam If they don’t know what they are send them the article in the description If they already have one it could be old You’ll be doing them a favor Alright lets look at our midrange pick the $170 Viofo A129 DUO which is like the
A119V3 but adds WiFi a remote control to lock video files and most importantly a rear camera for significantly better protection. It’s a nice upgrade to the Viofo A119V3 but it comes at a cost of lower video quality as it records in 1080P for the front and back
cameras. To us a rear camera is worth that sacrifice as it gives you significantly more protection We talk about why in the full review but you can pause here to read more I know what you are thinking this video is sponsored by Viofo No and again not by any other dash cam maker or retailer Our choices come from our extensive research
and testing We previously recommended Aukey’s DR02D
and the Mini 0906 It’s just right now Viofo delivers more value than their competitors. There’s also premium-level cameras They cost over $250 and have better style unique features and solid customer service but you might not feel the value is as good
as our cheaper picks Starting with Blackvue and Thinkware these cameras are favored by luxury vehicle
owners as they want something that looks more stylish than our budget picks. The $450 Blackvue’s DR900S has true 4K video quality and an extensive cloud system that allows
you to livestream and receive impact notifications when your camera is connected to a WiFi hotspot. Thinkware’s F800 Pro has the best parking mode we tested as it has unique features with low energy usage. But you may want to hold off on buying it
though as Thinkware has a new 4K camera which I plan on testing The $260 Street Guardian SG9663DC Pro is much more pedestrian looking What you’re paying for is reliability, customer service and giving you all the useful accessories you might not know you’ll need Out of all the manufacturers I think Street Guardian has gotten the formula
right They focus on making a product that work for
the long term and backed by a 2-year warranty. Alright we covered a lot of information Again be sure to see the info box below for any updates and links to retailers we trust We post updates on Facebook and if you liked it be sure to share this
video If you made it this far I wanted to thank you for enjoying this review Drive safe and talk to you in the comments