Dash cams are a must. While a majority of you think you may never get into an accident, there’s always that small percentage that it could happen. If you don’t have a dash cam, you’re pretty much screwed and it can be quite difficult sorting out the truth. With a dash cam, you don’t really have that problem as the truth is on video and the only right side, is yours. With that said, dash cam manufacturers are stepping up their game this year with better video quality and additional features. That’s the case with Thinkware’s top of the line Thinkware Q800 Pro. While it may look the same as the previous gen, they’ve improved it quite a bit.
The Thinkware Q800 Pro doesn’t look much different from the previous F800 Pro. In fact, they are very much near identical. The only way to tell them apart are mainly just little visual clues such as the Q800 Pro says QHD on it in little type and on the back, there’s a sticker that has the model number on it.
So like the F800 Pro, the Thinkware Q800 Pro does not have a built in screen. It’s a streamlined package that sits flatter on your windshield and is more out of the way. That means it is hidden more behind my rear view mirror and isn’t visible in my normal line of sight while driving.
The Q800 Pro is mounted to your windshield via a mount with 3M double sided tape and the camera unit snaps into place on the mount. The camera angle is adjust by turning the camera lens to line up with the horizon, but you will need to use the Thinkware Cloud app as a companion on your smartphone to connect to the camera in order to properly align it.
Aside from that, installation is very straight forward and there’s nothing really special you need to do to get up and running quickly. All you really need to do is pop in the included memory card, power up the dash cam, and then use the app to set everything up. Once that’s done, you pretty much let the Q800 Pro do its thing on its own.
Like any good dash cam, the Thinkware Q800 Pro is basically a set it and forget it device. Turn on your car and the dash cam turns on to begin automatically recording. Recordings are in 1 minute chunks and when the memory card fills up, it will overwrite older videos and loop back around. The only videos that don’t get overwritten are those that are saved.
When the device senses a bump or some kind of collision, it’ll save whatever video it is currently recording to a separate folder that will not be overwritten like the regular files are. You can then later transfer those files via the companion app or pop the memory card out and view it on your computer.
Videos recorded from the Q800 Pro are generally larger than the previous gen mainly because this now records in QHD (2560x1440p) resolution. That means better video quality with more visible detail. The Q800 Pro still uses a Sony Exmor R STARVIS Image Sensor, allowing for rich colors and effortless low-light recording.
Other extras included with the Thinkware Q800 Pro are Advanced Driver Assistance Systems such as lane departure warnings, front collision warning, and safety camera alerts. It even has built in GPS that can tag your photos with location as well as speed. There’s even a parking mode where it’ll record video while you’re away from your vehicle.
While recording through the front camera is pretty good, the Q800 Pro can also record rear cam footage with an optional second camera attachment. I don’t have access to the optional second camera, but it is an option you can buy if you also want to record what’s going on behind your vehicle or in the cabin.
The Thinkware Q800 Pro is very good, but there is one con and it is also what makes it a much stealthier device. Because it doesn’t have a screen, you’ll need to use the companion app quite a bit. To change settings or playback video, you have to rely on the companion app on either your phone or PC. It can be a bit tedious as you have to connect to the dash cam via WiFi or set up a hotspot. Most dash cams with a screen can do it all in device.
The Thinkware Q800 Pro has a lot of promise and is a solid choice for those who want a dash cam that can sit out of the way and continuously record without you ever really noticing it’s there.
I like the fact that it has built in GPS that geotags your videos and can also tag the speed you were going at the time. Basically the more information you have on your videos, the better position you are to protect yourself from false information. The app is also very easy to use and makes it simple to transfer videos to your smartphone so that you can view and upload when needed.
With that said, I still think everyone should get a dash cam installed in their vehicle. It’s the best form of proof you have if anything ever comes up seeing as video never lies, but people can.
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