Get A Dash Cam
Dash cams -- a video camera designed for use inside of a car -- are a recent phenomenon for vehicle recording. There was a time when trying to place a camera in your car was ridiculously complicated: the wiring was confusing and intense and the results didn’t seem much worth it. Or all that different from having a smartphone stuck on “video” in the hands of a passenger. And the features of these early dash cams weren’t so impressive either. But that’s all changed in the last few years, and especially now that NextBase has taken the lead in making a dash cam simple to use but, more importantly, with a feature set that makes having the camera there in the first place worthwhile. That pretty much is all you need to know about the NextBase 622 GW Dash Cam — because it takes now-expected features and not only adds to them, but makes them best in class.
So lets divide the 622 GW into 3 sections: the first being the features; the second being how those features work and the third being how to install the dash cam. Because it’s so simple, we’ll start with installing.
A Better Dash Cam
The 622 GW doesn’t have an internal battery but takes its power from the car’s battery. A hardware kit lets you do a permanent wiring, but for most (us, for sure), it’s easier to just plug in a “cigarette lighter” to a USB port. Now to make the dash cam safe from being ripped off, how about being able to remove it from its position where it’s aiming at the street through the windshield? That can be done because there’s a special mount that takes the car’s battery power — use an adhesive pad to keep it in place or a suction cup for a less secure fit. The 622 GW adheres to the mount through strong magnetic attraction that both secures it as well as providing it with power. And the mount goes onto the camera’s front which is a more secure way to do this. So that’s the extent of the installation with the exception of setting up the camera using the 3” touch screen. Unless, that is, you want to add more cameras.
You can add a camera to watch what’s behind you, or a camera to look at the inside of the vehicle or to look behind the driver towards the back. Two of these cameras can be attached to the 622 GW to become operational at the same time the forward looking one works — in the case of the rear widow it needs to be wire affixed at the back so as to function. We found the “cabin view” camera’s wide angle lens’ view completely covered the interior of our car effectively. These cameras are 1080p, btw.
Now to the second and first combined — the features. First off we’re not crashing the car to test the dash cam’s ability to have your smartphone (through the app) call out an SOS and add health details, or how the camera will lock the video file just after a crash and so then can send it to an insurer or emergency contact if desired Just good to know it’s there. But we could test the use of the Bluetooth 5 and the ability to send video to a smartphone using WiFi (2.4/5GHz). It works.
The Features, Continued
Being able to view a recording in extreme slow motion after the recording — that’s a great feature for reviewing an event as it lets you see details (providing the recording is being done in 1080p and not the default 4K high-resolution). This is being aided by the camera having digital image stabilization built in. Add the GPS module information that the camera has embedded into it and that’s what lawyers love. This is done through software created by and made available by NextBase and runs on PCs as well as Mac computers — it includes an updated Google Map feature, speed and G-sensor readings.
Using 4K with HDR (high dynamic range) the quality of the recordings is excellent in good lighting and better than decent when the night vision mode is active (embedded tech pushes better quality in foggy/bad weather as well). But don’t forget there’s audio too — stereo audio — and it’s split into 2 channels so that listening to each separately can be done.
The NextBase 622 GW has Alexa built in and so can be used to make calls and play music and get directions. But even better it allows the dash cam to be activated by your voice: tell it to start recording or transmit a video to a smartphone. Alexa is fully functional. As is parking mode that allows for recording when no one is in the car (we didn’t wait for the car to be dinged, but pushed down on the hood to see the camera do its thing). That’s a pretty impressive dash cam for sure. For more details, go to https://www.nextbase.com/en-us/