Display: 3″ HD IPS Touch Screen
Video Quality: 1440p HD at 30 FPS or 1080p HD 60 FPS
GPS: 10hz GPS (Google Maps Assisted)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 LE and Quicklink Wifi
Viewing Angle: 140°
Price: £139 for the Standalone Dash Cam
The Dash Cam Myths
When it comes to Dash Cam’s, for many it feels a bit of a complicated experience. First you have to order the camera itself. Then you need to think about memory cards. Then installation costs and how you fit it in such a way that it doesn’t feel like an eye sore. I mean there’s lots to considers, and for many drivers in the UK they are yet to take the plunge. The most recent study shows that nearly 1 in 4 drivers on UK roads have a Dash Cam fitted. Yet more that 30% suggested they would consider having one fitted in the next 12 months. If only there was a way to make the whole process a little more painless.
You’ll be pleased to hear that Nextbase already have these concerns front of mind with the 522GW Dash Cam. The review kit arrived as a complete bundle with the Rear Window Camera and a 64GB Memory Card as useful additions to the main attraction. The 522GW includes an array of really useful accessories as well as a fantastic guide that makes the install a simple step by step process.
I was really impressed by the Click & Go Pro Mount that comes with the 522GW. It uses powerful neodymium magnets to lock the Dash Cam into place when mounted. It pops straight off if you want to remove the Cam periodically to transfer footage or format the SD Card.
My first thought for this install was whether perhaps booking into the local Halfords to have them fit the 522GW would be the best option. I love the aesthetic of my car and really didn’t want any trailing cables or wonky mounts on my windscreen. As a preferred partner I figured Halfords could be a safe bet. After some deliberation and In the spirit of self installation and the confidence inspired by the 8 step process in the install guide I decided to give it a go myself.
Once I’d updated the Firmware on the Dash Cam I went and put it on charge for the recommended 2 hours using the included USB cable. I did however need to repurpose a USB 5W Power Adaptor I had in the house. Next step was working out how to feed the cables, so the Dash Cam can receive the constant power from the 9v charge cable. There’s a super useful fitting tool Included in the box which is designed to help you tuck the cables in the roof lining and avoid any nasty dangly bits of cable.
This tool also helped me to pry the casing around the rear view mirror, allowing me to feed the power cable neatly through.
The next step was to fix the mount in place, which came with a super sticky permanent 3M pad. On first try I mounted just a little too close to the mirror. When testing the footage later I found I was just catching the edge of the plastic rain sensor in any recorded footage. Luckily I removed it quite quickly before the adhesive could lock in place, and with even greater luck, Nextbase included a spare mounting pad in the box.
With the mount now in the optimum location and the cable neatly tucked in the roof lining and down the A pillar of my car, I was able to grab the Dash Cam from its charging slumber and finish off the installation.
Despite its incredible polarising lens, and the longer lens stem on the front, the dash cam is completely obscured from the drivers view and is almost forgotten every time I get into the car.
How Does It Work?
Nextbase incorporate some very clever tech into their software that makes the 522GW an absolutely seamless operator. Whenever I get into my car and press the power on button the 522GW starts recording immediately. Once 60 seconds of footage has been filmed it parses this video file and starts afresh for the next 60 seconds. This is clever from two perspectives. Firstly should you ever been in a road traffic collision the video file you may need to pass onto your insurer or the police has already been processed into a short clip. Secondly, from a data management perspective, each 60 second file size is around 120MB when recording at 1440p 30 FPS. If these files were longer and therefore much larger it could really take a toll on the memory card which would reflect in a much shorter shelf life for your Micro SD.
Once the Car has powered down (its Electric so doesn’t have an ignition to switch off), the 9v will continue to supply the dash cam for 10 mins of power. It will keep recording until it goes into hibernation shortly after. However even in this state the 522GW has a clever feature called Intelligent Parking Mode. It essentially uses an integrated accelerometer that detects any movement of the car whilst stationary (such as a supermarket car park bump or collision) and quickly starts recording again. A great deterrent but also hopefully can catch incidents in the act.
The Sweet Spot
The footage recorded is absolutely stunning, with a 1440p resolution and a steady 30 frames per seconds throughout. Its the sweet spot for me, crisp and sharp video every single time. Nextbase do offer a 4K option with the 622GW but I feel the extra cumbersome file sizes would outweigh the benefits. The integrated polarising lens does a wonderful job of minimising lens flare or light refractions affecting the integrity of the footage, something many other dash cams just don’t offer.
All of the footage captured is watermarked with time, date and full telemetry information, so you are able to pinpoint the exact location of any frame of footage anywhere in the world, and with a 10hz GPS integrated and assisted by Google Maps it will refresh your exact locations 10 times per second you can trust the accuracy of this data every time.
Talking about that clever software integration, I would never have thought a Dashcam could offer a feature that could potentially save your life. Yet with the 522GW it does just that. Should you be in a road traffic collision and are unresponsive immediately afterwards, the 522GW can use the integration with the Nextbase App to call the emergency services. This will share your pinpoint location as well as essential medical information too. I hope I’ll never need to use it, but its mightly impressive its there and offers some peace of mind should the worst happen out on the road.
The Nextbase 522GW was my first venture into the world of Dash Cams. Exploring its integration, footage and features over the last few weeks has made me an absolute convert. I feel safer on the road every day. The hardware and software integration is absolutely seamless and well thought out and every single step of the install has been meticulously designed. You can sense the experience Nextbase offer in this market, but also the ways in which they’ve embraced feedback and refined their products along the way. It is no surprise to me that the Nextbase 522GW is a multi award winning product, its absolutely superb and a solution I will wholeheartedly recommend to all.
Rapid Reviews Rating
5 out of 5