The 8 Best Dash Cams of 2019

These must-have cameras will be your second set of eyes

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

  • Best Overall: Rexing V1 at Amazon, “Great HD video and lots of features for less than $100.”
  • Best Budget: Old Shark 1080p at Amazon, “Super easy to use as it turns on and records automatically when the engine starts.”
  • Best Front and Rear Camera: Pruveeo MX2 at Amazon, “A two-inch LCD screen on the back will display both camera feeds.”
  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: KDLINKS DX2 at Amazon, “The camera is powerful enough to clearly read a license plate at a reasonable distance.”
  • Runner-Up, Best Budget: APEMAN at Amazon, “Will keep you safe and secure but at a fraction of the price of other dash cams.”
  • Best Cloud Storage: Nexar Smart Dash Cam at Amazon, "The Nexar app will automatically save recordings to the cloud if it senses a dangerous event."
  • Best Video Quality: Z-Edge Z3 at Amazon, “No other dash cam offers a better picture.”
  • Best Features: Garmin Speak Plus with Alexa at Amazon, “Responds to voice commands the same way as Amazon's Echo devices."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Rexing V1

4.1

There are many budget dash cams out there, but not all are worth the money. The Rexing Wide Angle Dash Camera offers great HD video and lots of features for less than $100.

First off, the Rexing Wide Angle Dash Camera has clear 1080p HD video recording at 30 frames per second on a wide-angle 170-degree lens, so you’ll be able get every detail. It will automatically detect collisions and save those video files for later so you don’t lose them. You also have the option to record videos in loops of 3-, 5-, or 10-minute video files, which may vary depending on what you want to record. It can support for microSD cards up to 128 GB in size, which means you can record roughly 22 hours of 1080p video or 40 hours of 720p video if you use the maximum card size.

Best Budget: Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam

Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam
Courtesy of Amazon.com
3.3

Dash cams come in many different formats and some can be downright expensive. If you’re in need of a cheap dash cam that has plenty of good features, then the Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam might be for you.

The Old Shark dash cam is much more modern than the name implies with 1080p HD video recording at 30 frames per second, wide-angle recording to get the full view of the road and “night vision,” thanks to its built-in infrared light reader. This model is super easy to use, too, as it turns on and records automatically when the engine starts. It also offers video recording on a loop, so the oldest video is recorded over when it runs out of space. As for memory, it supports microSD memory cards up to 32GB, so you’ll want to buy one of those, too. Overall, this model has been praised for its excellent video quality and ability to take video during both day and night.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best dash cams under $100.

Best Front and Rear Camera: Pruveeo MX2

4

Dash cams can save a lot of headache when you need that objective view of an accident or driving incident. While most things that can go wrong often occur in front of the car, it’s nice to have your rear covered as well. Instead of two separate dash cams, a front/rear camera like the Pruveeo MX2 will give you both perspectives in a single device.

The dash cam features two independently swiveling cameras. One camera records 720P while the other records at 420p, making the resolution of each camera crisp enough to clearly see the video without needing a large amount of storage. Both also record at a standard 30 frames per second for a smooth video. Each camera can rotate 320 degrees with a wide 120-degree perspective. With this wide angle, you will be sure to catch all of the action that is happening in front or behind your car as you drive.

Using the dash cam is easy. You can plug the camera directly into the cigarette lighter for continuous operation. Recording automatically starts when the engine turns on and stops when cut off. Video records to a microSD card so you can select the storage capacity (up to 32 GB) you want in order to potentially extend how long videos are saved before they are recorded over. A two-inch LCD screen on the back will display both camera feeds (picture-in-picture) or one feed at a time. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: KDLINKS DX2 Full-HD 1080P Front + 720P Rear Dash Cam

The DX2 has a three-inch screen and the camera is excellent, powerful enough to allow the clear reading of a license plate at a reasonable distance. It has a super wide 165-degree (front) 125-degree (rear) viewing angle. The camera records at 1080p high-def resolution at 30 frames per second. It has a night-vision feature using f.16 six-glass lenses and comes with a useful 16 GB micro SD card for lengthy recording. Should you need more, this camera supports up to 32 gigabytes of extra recording space with the purchase of a larger Micro SD card.

An emergency lock button can be engaged in the case of an accident, and your recorded video will be protected from being overwritten. The accident auto-detection feature can kick in when a collision is detected.

It comes with a one-year warranty.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: APEMAN Dash Cam 1080P FHD DVR Car Driving Recorder

APEMAN's dash cam includes all of the features you're looking for in a dash cam that will keep you safe and secure but at a fraction of the price of other dash cams. Set up is straightforward so you can get to using this camera as soon as you receive it. Features include a 170-degree view that lets you see cross traffic, WDR and HDR for the ability to see in low-light, and a three-inch LCD screen. APEMAN's camera also auto-captures any car collisions you're involved in so you can view them later.

Reviewers say the camera gets the job done, but you may want to buy a separate SD card for more storage.

Best Cloud Storage: Nexar Smart Dash Cam

Harnessing the power of the smartphones most of us drive around with, the Nexar Smart Dash Cam saves footage on a free storage account in the cloud. The installation process is quick: mount the camera on your windshield with the included equipment and pair it with the free Nexar app on your phone. The app will automatically record while you drive and save recordings to the cloud if it senses a dangerous event, such as sudden braking or a collision. If you do get into an accident, a “1-Click Report” button generates a report with related video clips and relevant data like your location, timeline, and impact/speed analysis.

The camera has a 155-degree viewing angle and records 720p video at 30fps. A 32GB microSD card is included to store the latest four hours of footage, with some video saved on your phone depending on your available storage space. The cloud storage for uploaded events is unlimited, though, and you can access it at any time. 

Best Video Quality: Z-Edge Z3

Z-Edge Z3
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The Z-Edge Z3 excels at a dash cam’s most important job – accurately capturing the scene with a high-quality video. No other dash cam offers a better picture. With its Super HD 2560 x 1080 resolution camera, your recorded videos are so detailed you’ll need a high-resolution monitor or TV to view them in all their glory! The camera’s 170-degree angle is also excellent, picking up everything that happens at the front and sides of your car.

The Z-Edge Z3 is also an economical choice, especially when you consider it comes with a 32 GB SD card and an extra-long USB cable bundled in. There’s no GPS or Wi-Fi connectivity, but a G-sensor allows for automatic crash detection and the Z3 can be set up to record continuously while the ignition is on. The three-inch screen is nice and clear, and the LCD can be set to automatically switch off after a set period to save energy.

A worthy contender for best overall dash cam, the Z-Edge Z3 is the choice for you if you want the best possible picture from your dash cam and don’t need GPS or Wi-Fi connectivity.

Best Features: Garmin Speak Plus with Amazon Alexa

This little device is capable of much more than just video recording. It's starring feature: integration of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. The Garmin Speak Plus responds to voice commands the same way the ever-popular Echo devices do — ask it to change the music in your car, add events to your calendar, update you on traffic conditions, or answer questions. On top of all that are the benefits of Garmin GPS turn-by-turn navigation, though it only gives you direction through voice commands (it does not have a visual map display).

And on top of all that is a built-in dash cam. It records good-quality video up to 1080p resolution at 30fps with a somewhat narrow 82-degree view. Footage is recorded on a default 60-second loop and detected accident footage is automatically saved. You can view recordings on Garmin’s VIRB app or on a microSD card if you choose to add one. While on the road, you’ll also benefit from alerts that warn you of lane departures and potential forward collisions.

The device itself is tiny, with a display that shows only basic symbols. It sticks firmly to your windshield, but the long power cable may take some maneuvering to get it out of the way. And since Alexa can’t function without your smartphone, the Speak Plus needs to be connected to it using cellular data, and the Garmin Speak app has to be running.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 51 hours testing three of the most popular dash cams on the market. They drove hundreds of miles through city streets and rural terrain to see how well these dash cams captured the drive. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these dash cams and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Dash Cam

Picture quality - Clear picture quality can be crucial in catching details of a journey. Go for one that captures video in 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second at the minimum. If you want to spring for something even fancier, you can find options that capture video in Super HD 2560 x 1080 resolution.

Viewing angle - A wide viewing angle is important for capturing the whole scene. Most dash cams have cameras that have at least a 120-degree viewing angle, though the better ones will capture up to 180 degrees.

Night vision - If you often drive after dark, get a dash cam with a night vision feature. These will have a built-in infrared light reader that will record all the action no matter the time of day.

Test Results: Rexing V1 (Best Overall)

4.1

What We Like

  • Great image quality

  • Has 170-degree wide-angle lens

  • Includes collision sensor

What We Don't Like

  • Memory card not included

Rexing V1
Rexing V1
Rexing V1
Rexing V1

The affordable price, great image quality, and customizable features of the Rexing V1 all won our testers over. Lifewire reviewers appreciated having several recording mode options — loop mode, continuous recording, and audio off — to choose from and highlighted the collision sensor as a key factor that would sway their purchase. “In my mind, the main reason to own a dash cam would be for insurance purposes, so you can capture an accurate sequence of events in an accident scenario,” one person said. “The HD video and license plate recognition are crucial for similar reasons.”

The only flaw with this dash camera is that you have to purchase your memory card separately.

Test Results: Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam (Best Budget)

3.3

What We Like

  • Motion detector initiates recording even when car is stopped

  • Has night-vision capabilities

  • Has 170-degree wide viewing angle

What We Don't Like

  • Written instructions are not clear

  • Power cable can get in the way

Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam
Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam
Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam
Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam
Old Shark 1080p Dash Cam

Our testers really appreciated the fact that this camera will start recording when outside objects get too close to the car, which would be helpful in capturing parking lot accidents. You can also choose to have it record continuously or only when the car is in motion, depending on when you think potential accidents may occur. The camera offers video recording on a loop, so the oldest video is recorded over when it runs out of space. Given all the options, you’ll need to set aside some time (only about 20 minutes) to enable or disable the available features. One of our testers said this model wasn’t as simple as just “plug and play” and that you should steer clear if you are “tech-phobic.”

Some of our at-home testers found the setup instructions a little hard to understand because they seemed to be written by a non-native English speaker. However, our reviewers eventually caught on and were able to suction the camera to their windshields.

Best Front and Rear Camera: Pruveeo MX2

4

What We Like

  • Good image quality

  • Cameras rotate 320 degrees

  • Automatically records when car is on

What We Don't Like

  • No night vision option

  • Setup instructions were very basic

  • Poor sound quality

Pruveeo MX2
Pruveeo MX2
Pruveeo MX2

One of our reviewers loved the Pruveeo MX2 so much that she said, “If you’re looking for an affordable dash camera that can get both the front and rear angles, this is a smart choice. The price is right, the size isn't too cumbersome, and it’s easy to adjust the cameras to the angle you need.” She mentioned that the image quality was good, but that the microphone wasn’t great. If audio is necessary for you — for example, if you’re a taxi driver that needs to record unruly passengers — then this model won’t work for you.

Some of our testers found that this dash cam was tricky to set up, because the included instructions are very basic. One person commented, “You need to use common sense to figure it out and it wasn't very user intuitive for a dash cam novice.” Everyone ultimately succeeded with the installation and the camera was easy to use once it was mounted onto the windshield.