One of the joys about reviewing cars is the fact that I get behind the wheel of a new and different vehicle more or less every week. One of the downsides (for which there are very few) is that every time I take to the road in a car, ute or truck there’s someone there that annoys me by driving badly. Well now, thanks to Nextbase dash cams, I can record them.
Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit by saying EVERY time, but as I’ve matured in age, I have become less tolerant of other road users’ bad habits and I will, over time, be publishing them for time immemorial.
Just yesterday, I watched in the dark as a car cut across the road markings and entered the highway crossing two lanes (they did indicate though), I was cut up by another, saw a laden truck pass at over 100km/h and watched a number of tailgaters in the rain. It’s hard, maybe impossible to change a poor driver’s modus but at least I can now get their hideous exploits on camera – hopefully with nothing too serious.
My new Nextbase 322GW dash cam packs a lot of great features into a surprisingly small unit (it’s about the size of Swan matchbox (does anyone still remember those?) 46mm x 86mm x 48mm.
Firstly, it has a 140-degree lens in front, which is much better than some drivers in my opinion. It has an easy to navigate around 64mm touch screen which allows a simple and rather intuitive set up – but it did require me using my glasses.
My model came with all I needed too, a power cable that extends virtually as far as the backseat. A permanent window mount or suction cup option for easy fixing to the window (needed in my case), a fitting tool to shove the chord into the trim, (again for permanent fitting) a pouch for holding the unit when not on the window and a 32G memory card for recording. For those needing more coverage of their vehicle, there is an option to purchase a camera for the rear of the vehicle and link it to the dash cam in front.
You’d think that with all the pieces it would be a struggle to get up and running but in all honesty, even for this ‘salad day’ guy, it’s simple. Infact, downloading the app for my phone took about the same amount of time.
There’s a small paper menu to guide you through the process, but even without that, it’s pretty logical. The memory card goes in the memory card slot, the camera magnetically attaches to the mount and the suction cup mount sticks firmly to the windscreen – and easily adjusts to the right view.
As it turns out, the Nextbase guys have taken the time to ensure that the default settings are essentially configured for optimal recording speed and quality (1080p at 60fps) but should you need to personalise them, just head to ‘video settings’ and fill ya boots.
The menu also includes Time, GPS, Speed, and Model Stamp settings (that all appear on the video) and the GForce Sensor settings which are set at Medium for default.
Audio is on by default but can be switched off to save on recording space or to ensure that your (my) stupid comments or out of tune singing is omitted.
Should you live in a rough neighbourhood, the Parking Mode (which is off by default) can be switched on and will record issues such as being hit or damaged overnight – although I assume not much good if stolen.
Another point of interest about this tiny box of recording geniusness is that the Nextbase 322GW dash cam has an SOS feature. This feature allows remote monitoring of the dash cam and if the unit detects an accident, Nextbase will attempt to contact you. If they have no joy then they will dispatch emergency services to your exact location – you do have to have the MyNextbase Connect App on your Smartphone and I need to find out if it is available in NZ (my asking and not requiring).
On the road the camera is so easy to use and capturing moments is a doddle. Tap the touch screen and it will take a picture or push the red button on the bottom of the camera and it will lock the video so as not to be overwritten.
Video quality both day and night is crystal clear and although I’m sure downloading is easy enough, I opted to just transfer the memory card to my computer and use the files from there – old dog and all that.
Recording the defective drivers on the road is one thing and I’m sure there will be heaps of footage to upload in due course, but there’s something about being armed with the new Nextbase 322GW dash cam that offers an extra sense of protection – it feels good to have that extra set of eyes – great value too!