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When you’re driving for Uber, Lyft, or just driving yourself around town, you need a dash cam.
It’s as essential as a good phone mount, a clean car, and excellent customer service.
A dash cam helps keep you and your passengers safe in case there’s ever any question about what occurred during a ride you gave. Whether it’s a traffic accident or misconduct on the part of a passenger, a dash cam makes sure that there’s a clear record.
So when choosing a dash cam, you want to make sure you pick the absolute best you can afford. We completely understand that you’re on a budget, and you have enough expenses to worry about without purchasing an extra piece of tech. To make sure you get the best camera for your money, we’ve been reviewing popular dash cams.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at the Falcon Zero F360 HD DVR Dual Dash Cam. It’s a popular dash cam, and you’ll see lots of rideshare websites and YouTube channels recommend it as the best choice for rideshare drivers.
Is this really true, however? We have our doubts. Read on to find out why.
- Falcon Zero F360 Features
- Falcon Zero F360 Price
- Falcon Zero F360 Pros
- Falcon Zero F360 Cons
- Falcon Zero F360 FAQ
Falcon Zero F360 Features
To start, let’s take a look at this camera’s features. What exactly do you get with this camera out of the box?
Here are the notable features of this camera:
- 180-degree rotating 120-degree viewing angle high-resolution wide-angle lens
- 3.5-inch LCD screen (with available preview of what you’re recording)
- Night vision for interior clips and shots (essential for rideshare drivers who ever do any driving at night)
- Built-in microphone and speaker function
- 1 year manufacturer warranty included
- Included SD card
- Supports up to 32GB high-capacity SD cards
- TV and HDMI mini HD output
- Loop recording automatically replaces old files with new ones (to save space on your SD cards)
- Dual cameras
- Power cord management clips to keep the wires out of your way
Here’s what each purchase includes:
- Falcon Zero F360HD Mirror DVR
- Power Cord (10 feet)
- USB Cord
- Dual USB Car Charger
- 32GB Class 10 SD Card
- Cord Management Clips
- Instruction Manual
- Retail Box
The camera works by mounting it on your rearview mirror. You do this with the included clips, which means there’s no need to worry about attaching the camera to your dashboard or windshield with suction cups. It includes a mirror, so you’ll still be able to see out of your back windshield.
Falcon Zero F360 Price
How much will you have to shell out to get the Falcon Zero F360? Since we first reviewed it in our guide to the best dash cams for Uber and Lyft, the price has gone up. It now retails for $254.66 on Amazon. This is a steep price, but consider that a potential lawsuit involving Lyft or a passenger could cost you a lot more.
Is it worth the price? Let’s find out.
Falcon Zero F360 Pros
There are a lot of things to like about this camera.
To start, its two cameras record both the outside and inside of your car. This is a key feature for any rideshare dash cam.
Many dash cams only record what happens outside the car. While this can be helpful in some situations, it’s more useful in most situations to record what happens inside the vehicle.
Interior recording helps you document the actions of passengers, which is usually the most important information if any problems arise. And because both cameras are built into the rear view mirror car dash cam, it’s an easy unit to install. You don’t have to fool with placing both cameras in different positions.
Another thing we like about this camera is that it records audio. Having a video without sounds is better than no record at all, but audio recording makes your dash cam so much more helpful. If a passenger threatens you, for instance, then having an audio record will help your case immensely. Without it, they could claim that they said something else.
Finally, we like how this camera automatically starts recording when you power your vehicle on and automatically stops when you turn it off. Sure, some drivers who are concerned about security might want to have a camera that records even when their car is off. But for most rideshare drivers, it’s only useful to record what happens when the car is on.
Falcon Zero F360 Cons
While this car dash cam has some good qualities, its cons unfortunately outweigh them. Here are the ways this camera falls short.
To begin, the infrared night mode capability of this camera is not very powerful. It will show you something at night, but not much. So it’s essentially useless for night time recording. Along with this, the video quality is also poor — ignore any reviews that brag about the “excellent 1080p resolution camera.” The reality is that the camera easily loses focus when it’s bright outside, making it impossible to see smaller details inside and outside the car.
The next drawback has to do with the audio. While recording some audio is better than none, the audio quality on this camera is poor. Not only that, but it doesn’t sync with the video. This is a serious flaw if you need to use the video as evidence.
Another problem with this camera is that it records both the front and rear videos to the same file. There is no easy way to split them, which can be frustrating if you only need to use the interior or exterior video. It isn’t the worst problem with this camera, but it’s something to watch for when buying a dual dash camera.
There are other video problems to discuss as well. Though the camera may have a super wide screen to show you video playback, the viewing angle from the camera appears to be narrower than the 120 degrees that the description claims. Our experience shows that it’s more like 90 degrees, meaning the wide angle lens isn’t so wide angle after all. This means you could miss critical details of what’s happening in the vehicle.
Finally, the camera lacks GPS capability. This may not seem like a big deal, but being able to have your location and speed displayed along with the video can be crucial evidence in cases to do with insurance claims or criminal investigations. Sure, your phone can still track this information, but having it built into the video is a helpful feature that other dash cams have.
Falcon Zero F360 FAQ
To close this article, let’s answer some common questions about the Falcon Zero F360.
1. Can I deduct the expense of this camera on my taxes?
Yes, you can. A dash cam is considered a business expense for rideshare drivers (though you should always talk to an accountant to verify such matters).
2. What are some alternatives to this dash cam?
We recommend the Vantrue N2 Pro (with GPS). At $222, it not only costs less than the Falcon Zero F360, but it delivers much higher quality in all the areas where the Falcon Zero F360 is lacking. You can learn more about it in our dash cam guide.
3. Is this dash cam legal in my state?
More than likely, yes. You may be required to display a sign informing passengers that you’re recording them, and there may be restrictions on where you can place the camera (as many states have laws about obstructing your windshield).
The Falcon Zero F360: Should I Buy It?
Overall, we do not recommend buying the Falcon Zero F360. It simply has too many issues for its high price tag. We recommend the Vantrue N2 Pro (with GPS) instead.
Capturing what happens in a short time span can mean the difference between keeping your rideshare gig or getting deactivated. In extreme cases, it could even save you from legal troubles. It’s too crucial a task to trust to a poor quality dash cam, so don’t do it.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.