Last month, I took a look at the Nextbase 422GW Series 2 Dash Cam. While it’s a very good dash cam, it’s not the best Nextbase has to offer. That honor goes to the Nextbase 522GW Series 2 Dash Cam. While not that much different from the 422GW, the 522GW adds a very important feature that is well worth the extra cost and that’s the addition of the polarizing filter.
The Nextbase 522GW doesn’t look a whole lot different from the 422GW, but it is a larger dash cam with a slightly larger body and larger screen. It’s got the same layout though and uses the same exact magnetic Click&Go mount that all the Series 2 dash cams use. It also has a touchscreen which seems to be standard now on Series 2 Nextbase dash cams.
What the Nextbase 522GW has that the 422GW doesn’t is a rotating polarizing filter which I last saw on last year’s top of the line 612GW. This allows the 522GW to reduce glare while recording. Also like stated above, it has a 3-inch touchscreen instead of a 2.5-inch one. Both are HD IPS units.
Back to the similarities, the Nextbase 522GW allows for interchangeable modules. This is something that is also available on the 422GW but I didn’t have any of the modules at the time. I do now. The Series 2 dash cams make it easy to swap modules as they all plug into the HDMI port on the side of the dash cam. Modules include an inside cam, a rear view cam, and also a rear window cam. Some of the modules obviously make the dash cam much bigger after while the rear window cam requires a little bit more in terms of installation.
Because of the similarities between the Nextbase 422GW and 522GW, much of my experience with the flagship 522GW is mostly the same, aside from the additions of the interchangeable modules. It’s a set it and forget it device and the only time you’ll ever need to interact with it is if you want to pull a video off of it or if you want to manually save a video clip for emergencies.
You can pull video clips off in several ways. You can eject the card and plug it into your computer and get the files off that way. You can also remove your dash cam and plug it in directly to a computer and do it that way if you don’t have a card reader. Lastly you can download the MyNextbase Connect app on your mobile phone and connect to your dash cam via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. i do recommend also getting a larger capacity memory card as well as one that can read/write very quickly.
You will want to download the MyNextbase Connect app on your mobile phone regardless as it helps open up extra features on the 422GW you won’t have unless you do. You’ll need it to enable Alexa and the Emergency SOS feature.
And that’s what makes the new Series 2 Nextbase dash cams different from the previous generation and that’s Alexa. With Alexa enabled, you can talk to your dash cam like any other Alexa device. You do need to be connected to the MyNextbase Connect software to use it though as well as the Alexa app to pair the device. It’s a neat thing to have, being able to use Alexa while in your car especially if you’re a heavy Alexa user.
Like the 422GW, the Nextbase 522GW records at QuadHD quality. It’s much better video quality than the 1080p, but not quite as good as their range topping 4K video output on last year’s 612GW. Note however that if you are using any of the interchangeable modules, if you are going to record at 1440p on the main cam, the modules will only record at 720p resolution. Otherwise, to record at a higher resolution of 1080p for the rears, you’ll have to downgrade the main camera too 1080p as well. Also recording both front and rear will use up more memory on your card faster which is why I recommended a larger capacity card up above.
Let’s talk about the modules now. These aren’t required to get a great experience from the Nextbase 522GW but they do enhance it. There are three modules – inside cam, a rear view cam, and a rear window cam. The rear view cam and the rear window cam are almost the same except that the rear window cam is mounted to the rear window. This allows a much better view of the rear than the rear view cam offers. The rear window cam however requires that you run a cable through your headliner which isn’t too difficult but requires some elbow grease. The inside cam and rear view cam only require that you plug in the module into the 522GW. No extra cabling required.
If you’re a ride share driver, you might want to consider using the inside view module as it’ll record everything that happens inside the car. Otherwise, consider the rear window module if you’d like to keep an eye on what happens behind your vehicle.
In terms of dash cams and what I’ve looked at thus far, the Nextbase 522GW is a very good dash cam. Although it doesn’t have 4K recording like last year’s 612GW, it at least can record at 1440p (QuadHD) resolution which is a step up from 1080p. It does however record an HD file and a lower resolution file at the same time, I’m assuming so that it makes it easier to transfer files wirelessly to your phone in case you need to show the footage to someone or send it to someone.
The new SOS feature and Alexa also make the Nextbase 522GW a step up from others in its class. That also includes the addition of the interchangeable modules that can record footage of the cabin or the rear of your vehicle.
With that said, the Nextbase 522GW is the best dash cam they make right now. The 422GW isn’t far behind and if you don’t need the polarizing filter, you can probably make due with the 422GW as it also allows for the interchangeable modules. I however like the polarizing filter as it does seem to cut glare from my windshield so for me, I’d go with the 522GW all the way.
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