Top Mini Dashboard Cameras 2021 – Ranked and Reviewed
It is estimated that there are 6 million car accidents just in the United States every single year so sooner or later you will be involved in some kind of minor or major accident with the chances of this happening increasing depending on how much you drive.
The only real solution is to get yourself a mini dashboard camera which does not use up a lot of electricity and can thus run for a very long time without needing a recharge increasing the chances of the device having a battery when it is needed as well as more advanced features such as GPS and night mode.
There are hundreds of different options out there but in this article, we are going to be presenting you with the top mini dashboard cameras out there for all the different kinds of consumers.
Top Mini Dashboard Cameras – Comparison Chart[aawp table=”2550″]
AQP Dual Dash Cam
Manufactured by the AQP company that is based in the city of Shenzen in China, this dashboard camera has dual recording capabilities meaning that it can record with ease both front and back if you wish to, this is a very popular feature right now. The AQP Dual Dash Cam is priced at the higher end of the price scale but it is not the most expensive mini dashboard camera out there and it is also a dual dash camera which a lot of the most expensive alternatives out there don’t even have.
- Wifi Capabilities allow you to connect your mini dashboard camera to the official AQP mobile app allowing you to view the footage live from anywhere as long as you are connected to the internet.
- Motion detection settings that allow the camera to instantly focus on anything detected increasing the overall quality of the footage if accidents occur (thus being the dash cam with parking mode also).
- One year warranty that comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee as well as a customer support team that you can contact by email 24/7.
- The front camera can record at 170 degrees and the rear camera can record at 150 degrees ensuring that anything that appears in front of the camera will be recorded.
- Ability to record high-quality footage even when it is dark (night vision mode dash cam).
Although the AQP is more than twice the price of the majority of mini dashboard cameras on this list it comes with a lot of great features such as high-quality night time recording capabilities and also a one year warranty with the best feature being the dual dash camera capabilities which will give you extra peace of mind.
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Rove R2-4K Dash Cam
The Rove R2-4K Dash Cam is another high end priced dash camera on this top mini dashboard camera review list, unlike the other similarly priced competitor the AQP Dual Dash Cam it does not also have dual recording capabilities instead the main selling point of this camera is its high-quality video dash camera that is Ultra HD 2160P which significantly increases the overall quality and can be key if car accidents occur.
- It can record in 4K which offers a big improvement in the quality of the footage and makes sure that nothing will be blurred out or unclear.
- Dash cam with GPS features that can record your location as well as the speed you are traveling up which can be used as extra evidence.
- Different video settings such as slow-mo video and time-lapse video.
- 150 degrees plus wide-angle lenses that can record pretty much everything that appears in front of them.
- Warranty that includes an active customer support team that can be contacted by text or email.
Without a doubt, the Rove R2-4K is a high-quality camera however it is not the best out there considering its high price tag as it does not come with a rear camera and also you need to keep in mind that high-quality footage requires a larger amount of storage which runs the risk of your SD cards being constantly overwritten or not having enough space for when they are needed.
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GOODTS Full HD 1080P Mini Car Camera
This Full HD 1080P Mini Car Camera by the GOODTS company is the cheapest on this list, but it packs enough quality features to be an alternative to the rest of them. Even though it is small it comes with a max video quality of FHD 1080P which can be altered down if required to save memory storage.
- Very easy to install which lowers the chances of you experiencing any problems and also saves you a lot of time.
- Loop recording options that allow you to choose for your SD cards to be overwritten which means that you will always have free space although there is the risk of you overwriting and losing footage.
- WDR also known as ‘wide dynamic range’ is employed to improve the overall video resolution of everything that the camera records.
- Motion detection is able to sense any sudden movements in front of the camera allowing the camera to automatically focus towards them.
- It comes with a 12-month warranty.
This mini dashboard camera is a great option for drivers that are looking to be more economic with their funds, it may lack in areas such as overall video quality and also dual dash camera capabilities but it will still do a good job.
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APEMAN Mini Dash Cam 1080P Full HD Dash Camera
The APEMAN Mini Dash Cam 1080P Full HD Dash Camera is a high-quality mini dashboard camera for a competitive mid-range price manufactured by the well known APEMAN camera that specializes in the production of many different types of cameras. This mini dashboard camera is noted for its lightweight and simple design that allows people to quickly master it and get it to use.
- 1080P Full HD video quality ensures that the footage will be able to capture all of the important details when needed the most.
- Super night vision features allow the camera to record the same high-quality footage even at night.
- According to the APEMAN company, it takes new users on average 2 minutes to set up the camera.
- The APEMAN Mini Dash Cam 1080P Full HD Dash Camera a wide-angle lens that is able to record up to 170 degrees.
- G-Shock Lock settings that automatically prevents the overwriting of footage if turned on when a shock is detected.
A solid product from a well-respected company in the industry, however, it does come with a few disadvantages such as not being able to record the rear as well as not having the highest quality footage.
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ThiEYE Dash Cam With 170Wide-Recording-G-Sensor
What makes the ThiEYE Dash Cam stand out from the other mini dashcam cameras on this list is its F1.8 aperture which allows for the camera to zoom in when needed and increase the overall quality of the footage even at longer distances which is great considering that the camera is priced below $50 at the mid-range of the market.
- Ability to record both the front and the rear at the same time without any issues.
- A mount and suction cup is included with this product free of charge.
- After-sale service included with this product where you can get continued support from the team at ThiEYE.
- Parking monitor feature which helps you avoid collisions if your car does not come with such built-in features.
- F1.8 aperture that allows for the zooming in of the front camera.
ThiEYE is a good value for money mini dual dashboard camera however it is important to keep in mind that the video quality of the front and rear cameras greatly differs with the front camera being able to record at 1080P while the rear camera is able to record at only 720P
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THINKWARE Q800PRO Dual Dash Cam Front and Rear Camera for Cars
The most expensive mini dashboard camera on this list, the THINKWARE Q800PRO comes with the ability to record a maximum quality of 2K QHD 1440P allowing of ultra-crisp and clear footage that will maximize the effectiveness of the evidence from your mini dashcam camera if you happen to get involved in a crash.
- Advanced parking mode that comes with a lot of features such as impact and also motion detection as well as lane departure mode.
- Driver assistance mode that is able to alert the driver if turned on if there is a risk of collision from the front in order to help them avoid it if possible.
- Ability to connect your dashboard camera to the cloud where it can store the data which increases the amount of storage you have without needing to overwrite any footage.
- Good quality night vision mode that is able to record in a variety of formats based on your personal preference.
- The THINKWARE Q800PRO comes with extra free of charge accessories such as a Micro Sd card, a hardwiring cable and USB Micro SD reader for computers.
Unsurprisingly the THINKWARE Q800PRO comes with a lot of features that in most cases are significantly better than from the other mini dashboard cameras on this list. The question if this is a good camera relies on if those improvements really make such a big difference and whether they offer value for money.
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Top Mini Dashboard Cameras Buyers Guide
The battery life is an important aspect that you need to consider, all mini dashboard cameras come with a battery that is charged generally using a 12V Power Cable rather than using external alkaline batteries. Generally all mini dashboard cameras, even the cheapest ones have a battery life that can last a few hours per charge however it depends on your needs because if you are going to be driving all day you will need a long-lasting battery. Alternatively, you can look for the mini dashboard cameras that have hardwiring capabilities which means that they can be connected to the car and charged from there constantly ensuring that they never run out of battery (see our capacitor dash cam pick for better battery life).
The more expensive a mini dashboard camera or any type of camera generally the higher the video quality will be, but as with everything it all depends on your needs and whether it offers you value for money. Generally 1080P camera quality is good enough for the majority of people, but if you, for example, are constantly driving due to your job or drive an expensive vehicle then the higher camera qualities may serve you well.
Single or Dual Lense
You should always opt for mini dashboard cameras that come with dual camera capabilities which means that they can record both the front view and the rear view of the car. But keep in mind that with most cameras out there especially the cheaper dash cams the rearview camera will have lower video quality.
Nightime/Low Light Performance
It is essential to make sure that your mini dashboard camera comes with nighttime or low light recording capabilities as sooner or later you will find yourself driving at night. If your mini dash cam does not have such a feature you are putting yourself at risk of not having video footage that can clearly show what happened if you get in a car accident.
Ease of installation
Furthermore, the ease of installation is something you should check by looking at the reviews left by other buyers of the product, as you do not want to be spending hours trying to figure out or get the product you have just spent money on to work.
The accessories that come free of charge with the mini dashboard cameras is often an overlooked feature but it can end up saving you a lot of time and money. Generally, the more expensive mini dash cams out there will come with more accessories that can include SD cards, different types of charging cables and other accessories for accessing the recorded footage.
GPS & Speed Tracker
The GPS & Speed Tracker is key to showing the location where the crash happened as well as the speed your own vehicle was moving at, in a lot of cases it can be the difference between you getting that insurance payout or not.
What Brand of Mini Dashboard Cameras Do Professional Drivers Use?
There is not a set brand of mini dashboard cameras that professional drivers such as lorry drives or taxi drivers use, instead, they look out for certain features such as decent video footage of around 1080P as well as shock sensors that can detect movement in front of the camera and instantly save the footage at the time so it is not lost from overwriting and finally an important feature is the ability to charge the mini dashboard camera in your car using a hardwire (consider checking our Uber dash cam and Lyft dash cam review).
What Is the Best Mini Dashboard Camera?
There is no best mini dashboard camera, it all depends on your preferences and needs, when shopping around for a mini dashboard camera it is best to go out and choose one that has the best features that you are looking for or require (maybe a hidden dash camera).
Do Mini Dashboard Cameras Come With an SD Card?
Not all mini dashboard cameras come with an SD card, the cheaper models are less likely to have an SD card included while the higher up you go up the price the higher the chance of an SD card is included. It is important to check the product description to see what accessories are included or get in contact with the seller.
Do Third-Party Charging Cables Work With These Mini Dashboard Cameras?
Yes, third-party charging cables will work with your mini dashboard cameras without any problems, as mini dashboard cameras, all use the same agreed types of chargers with many of the camera manufacturers buying the chargers they include with the mini dash cams from third parties.
How Do I Access the Footage on My Mini Dashboard Cameras?
How you access the footage on your mini dashboard cameras depends on how it is being stored, if it is being stored on an SD card then you need to take the SD card out of the camera and then connect it to a computer. If the video footage is being sent to cloud storage, then all you have to do is log into your account on the particular cloud provider’s website and access your video files.
To conclude, mini dashboard cameras are an inexpensive way to insure yourself against car accidents that may not be your fault and also deliberate acts of vandalism. All the mini dashboard cameras on this list are similar and can do the job, it really depends on what you are looking for. It is without a doubt that the THINKWARE Q800PRO is the mini dashboard camera with the best features and the highest quality footage capabilities however it is very expensive and it is not suitable for all customers as 2K QHD 1440P does not offer many benefits when compared with HD 1080P video quality.
Overall, the mini dashboard camera that offers the most value for money is the AQP Dual Dash Cam which comes with everything that both professional and average drivers (check our Truckers dash cam review for example) will need such as front and rearview cameras, nighttime filming mode and also Wifi capabilities for watching the footage live from your official AQP app.
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