Dash cams are useful tools for drivers. They’re able to record potential dangers that happen in front of you while on the road, and in some cases, can save you from some pretty hefty insurance bills, if you can prove an accident isn’t your fault. I’ve never had one before, but since having the Nextbase 522GW in my car for a couple of weeks, I think I’m converted.
The unit itself only measures at 94 x 53 x 45mm. It weights 125g so it won’t be a problem when stuck to your windshield. On the rear is a 3-inch touchscreen that is large enough to read while sitting in your car seat and navigate menus easily.
The lens on the front is housed in what I could only describe as a telescopic housing, which ensures the lens sits as close to your windshield as possible. The camera also films in 1440p at 30 frames per second, which is the max quality. If you want to save storage space, you can drop this down to 1080p at 60fps. Video quality is pretty decent too. Everything looks nice and sharp, even in the dark. Number plates of cars can be easily read, and there’s enough detail in low-level lighting from your headlights to see a scene in front of you.
The actual housing of the Nextbase 522GW dash cam is made primarily from plastic, but feels very premium. Down the left is the power button and the microSD card slot, and on the left is a HD-Out port. The dash cam will turn on automatically when it detects your car start up and power is flowing to the device.
The mounting system was simple to install too. There’s small plastic housing on the front of the device which can be removed to reveal a charging plate. This magnetises to the actual windscreen mount, which has a ball socket joint for easy framing and a charging port. The connection between the dash cam and mount is a tight fit, but can be removed with a bit of force so you don’t have to keep it stored on display in your car. The lever on the base removes air from the suction pad to produce a vacuum for a solid stick. The charging cable is extremely long so you can feed it around the frame of your car to your power outlet.
There are some new features implimented on the Nextbase 522GW dash cam, and most notably, is the inclusion of Amazon Alexa. This means that you can control features of the dash cam with y our voice. These can include playing music, making phone calls and more importantly, recording an incident like a car crash.
Other features include Emergency SOS which will call the emergency services for you if an incident occurs and feed them your GPS location. It does this by sending a phone call to your mobile, as the Nextbase 522GW needs an app. If the driver doesn’t answer the phone, due to being knocked unconcious for example, that’s when the emergency services are pinged. This means that there are no false callouts, wasting emergency services time, if it was a small rear ending incident.
You can also preload the camera with things like a driver’s blood type, medical history and more, which could be lifesaving at the scene of a crash. Pretty impressive stuff I must admit.
The Nextbase 522GW is a pretty impressive bit of kit. Footage is nice and shap and can display incidents clearly, and the information you can feed the camera is plentiful, and features are now becoming modernised to keep you as safe as possible. The on-board menu looks a little dated, but is completely responsive and very clear to read if your camera is already attached to your car. Currently, the Nextbase 522GW is retailing for around £199.99 online and for more information, head over to the Nextbase website.