Dashcams continue to be an asset in your vehicle and in some circumstances, can provide clear evidence of any accidents that have taken place, hopefully on someone else’s part! Well, Thinkware got in touch and they’ve sent through one of their top of the range cams, the Q800 Pro. It’s a 2K QHD camera, starting from £249, with a rear camera option too, for an extra £79. I’ve got it here, I’ve been using it and I’m impressed.
- 2K Sony CMOS sensor (2560×1440)
- 140degree field of view
- 3-Axis accelerometer G sensor
- Continuous, Incident & Manual recording
- Speed camera alert
- Night vision
- Time lapse mode
- Built in A-GPS and WiFi
- 107 x 61 x 33mm + 108grams
In the box, you get the camera itself (plus rear if you get the bundle), plus instructions & installation guides, a couple 3M mounts, microSD card reader, 32GB microSD card, CPL filter (cool!) and associated power cables. That powercable is for a hardwired connection into the fuse box and there is no suction mount, 3M stickers only.
First impressions are good, it’s a very sleek and discrete camera, especially the rear which is tiny, but thats because the brains of the partnership is at the front. There is no display on this cam, so if you’re familiar with something from Nextbase with a screen, this may take some getting used to. Around the cam you have a variety of inputs/outputs, including power in, rear cam in and a microSD slot. There are five push buttons on the underside, power, record, mic, format and WiFi. Next to the buttons are three indicator lights, GPS, REC & WiFi, so you can see what’s happening. The cam sticks to the underside of your windscreen and once in place, you can rotate the camera sensor upto 45degrees for the best recording view. The rear cam is a very mini version of the front cam, with only a power input. The sensor on the rear cam can rotate 360degrees.
Installation guidance in the manual was limited and I wanted there to be more. Firstly, this cam comes with a hardwired power cable, which means you need to break into existing fuses within the car and also earth the cable, to power the cam. Thinkware recommend a professional install it and I’d agree. There are installation videos online, it didnt seem too difficult but it was alot of hassle. Alternatively, you can purchase one of those 12V cigirette power adapters to power the cam.
Next the wiring and fixing. You are provided with two large 3M stickers and a plastic mount for the front cam, plus several small 3M stickers for the rear. They are very sticky, so make sure you get the right position first time. Now if you got the big bundle, with the rear camera, you will get a 7.3m USB cable too. This plugs into both the front and rear cameras. You’re then left with the cable, which you can fix however you want and if it was me, i’d try and tuck it behind the ceiling trim.
Remember I said there was no screen? It somewhat worried me but I really didn’t need to. There is an app, which you can install and pair with the cam over WiFi, which can act as your cam screen. It’s very simple to do, just turn the engine/cam on, hit the WiFi button, and pair with the app. It’s a must, it lets you see what the view / area you will be recording, so you can position your cam is the right place, before committing with the 3M stickers. The app also allows you to adjust a number of different settings for the cam, visual and audio, turning certain features on or off etc. You wont always want to connect to the app via your phone, fear not, there are voice prompts too!
Image quality from both cameras is very good, noting the rear has a reduced resolution at 1080p. The front cam is crisp, the field of view is good and covered my entire view looking out of the windscreen, which I’d like to think would cover me fairly well if an accident was to happen to the front of my car. As for the rear, again, a very good field of view and offers very good coverage of the rear view. It does have an onboard microphone too, so it will record you singing your heart out to your favorite tunes. See below for some sample footage.
The default recording mode, known as continuous, will record footage in one-minute snippets but this can be turned off and just the accident mode activated (will record the accident and 10 seconds prior), or manual, where you have to press the button yourself to start recording. If you have both cams set up, files will be recorded with the date and time in the title, along with F or R, for front or rear.
The Q800 has a lot of features built into, such as the incident recording, which I wasn’t able to test, touch wood, but there are many others that worked well. The cam has built in GPS, so it knows you location while you drive. Some may not like this, an invasion of privacy and all that but it really can be an asset. It will warn you about red lights, speed cameras, including those annoying 50mph average speed cameras and it will also let you know if you drift out of lane or if you’re going to hit the car in front. Some of these features, especially the distance parameters between cars in front can be found on newer cars but for those like me, with a 10-year-old banger, it did help. The features can be turned on, off or adjusted within the app.
The Thinkware Q800 is an all-singing, all dancing dashcam, with a number of useful features and offers a very good image recording, capable of easily identifying people, cars, number plates etc. It doesn’t come with a screen, which means it takes a little longer to access content and settings via the app but it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me. Unless you know what you’re doing, get a professional to install the cam or purchase the cigarette power lead, don’t mess with your cars fuse board!
For more info and to purchase, head over the official Thinkware Q800 Pro webpage.