Why is everyone looking for the best front and rear dash cam (or best dual dash cam if you like) these days for their vehicles? Well they are pioneering the dash cam marketplace in a big way, capturing a more comprehensive picture of drivers’ daily commutes and roadside events. While leading dash cam manufacturers have taken different approaches to the dual-channel unit, one thing is certain—drivers feel safer with twice the coverage, recording the road ahead as well as in-cabin activity or oncoming traffic from behind.
While this latest crop of dash cams varies greatly in specs, a major distinction comes with device design itself. Industry leaders offer dual-channel cameras as either a single unit, with front and rear cameras rotating within a central housing frame, or as two separate cameras that require individual mounting on the front windscreen and rear window with a cable connecting the two components.
Pricing for dual dash cameras tends to fare higher than your standard single-channel dashboard camera. Even still, within this niche, pricing ranges greatly, from just under £100 to nearly £300. This broad spectrum reflects integration of key in-demand features (i.e. GPS, Wi-Fi, Parking Mode), video imaging quality, combined with brand reliability and performance.
Here at Car Dash Cam Reviews, we understand that researching product details and scouring through customer reviews can be intimidating, confusing and time-consuming. So, we’ve compiled a short-list of our best 5 front and rear dash cams in the UK to take the hassle out of the shopping experience. Not sure what you’re looking for? Have a tight budget? Want some honest prosumer advice? No problem. Our expert team has you covered.
Top 5 Best Front and Rear Dash Cams 2015 – 2016 In The uk (2017 updated)
- Highlights: The iN-Car Cam Duo from Nextbase is a solid unit, integrating two cameras at either end of a wide 16:9 cinema aspect ratio screen. Each camera rotates 180° for custom placement according to driver preference—use it as a front and rear camera, a front and driver blind spot solution, you decide. The camera includes standard features, such as GPS, Photo Mode and Parking Mode with a user-friendly software platform to review and playback recorded footage.
- Red Flags: Both front and rear cameras offer HD quality images, or 720p, which is far lower than most single-channel dash cams out on today’s market. Low resolution means subpar image quality. Take into account the camera includes just the basics (no extras, such as Wi-Fi) and the Duo’s hefty price tag makes us wonder if we’re investing more in a thoughtful, quality-built product, or just performance reliability that has historically come along with the Nextbase name.
- Our Verdict: #1 Brand Among UK Insurers?
Trandscend DrivePro 520
- Highlights: Yes, yes, yes! Just about everything on your dash cam wish list can be checked off with the DrivePro GPS, Wi-Fi, front and rear Photo Mode, Parking Mode, included 32GB microSD card, software and your choice of suction or adhesive mount—this unit has it all. The front camera is static, while the rear camera rotates 180° for custom placement. Infrared LEDs located on the rear camera automatically activate when lighting is low, enhancing image clarity during low and nighttime recording (Note: Footage recorded when IR is activated will always appear in grayscale).
- Red Flags: While the 520 is a dual-channel camera, it is marketed towards taxi drivers and similar professionals whom benefit from recording in-cabin activity, safeguarding them against unfounded lawsuits while on the job. Average consumers may be disappointed by the lower resolution of the rear camera and struggle with positioning in order to record footage through the rear window.
- Our Verdict: DrivePro for the Driving Professional
- Highlights: Blackvue’s system combines front and rear dashboard cameras, each rotating a full 360° within their cradles for custom placement according to driver preference. The camera delivers a wealth of attractive features, including GPS, Wi-Fi and Parking Mode, but shines with its desktop software and innovative “Over the Cloud” app. With “Over the Cloud”, drivers have full access to all dash cam features through their mobiles—from viewing a live feed or receiving alerts when emergency events occur around parked vehicles to backing up recorded footage to the Cloud itself for playback or reference at a later point in time. The camera includes a 32GB microSD card and can support a whopping 128GB.
- Red Flags: The DR650GW’s sleek design and high emphasis on tech comes with a hefty price tag that may deter most consumers. Yes, the dash cam is delightfully feature rich, but you can get a dash cam (even a dual-channel one), with similar components for less (read on… you’ll see).
- Our Verdict: On Cloud Nine
Falcon Zero F-360
- Highlights: Falcon Zero introduces a design that stands apart from traditional dash cams with its all-in-one, rearview mirror, dual-channel camera unit. The F-360 mounts directly onto factory-installed rearview mirrors for near seamless integration with vehicle interiors. The larger mirror doubles as the display screen, producing a single image with footage from one camera, or a split-screen image with simultaneous feeds from both cameras as they record.
- Red Flags: Falcon Zero promotes the F-360 as a Full HD, 1080p resolution camera, which is technically true… when recording with a single camera. However, when drivers record with both cameras—the sole purpose of purchasing and using a dual-channel camera in the first place—video resolution drops to 720p with noticeably lower image quality, even during daytime driving. Moreover, the camera lacks many essential features, most notably Emergency/Event Recording.
- Our Verdict: Budget-Friendly
Thinkware F750 2CH
- Highlights: With a 140° viewing angle and both cameras recording in Full HD, the F750 delivers one of the widest field of views with the greatest image resolution capability in the dual-channel world. Superior imaging is paired with a full roster of desired features, such as GPS, Wi-Fi, Parking Mode and an included 32GB memory card (expandable up to 64GB). If that’s not enough, Thinkware even thought to integrate several novel features—those typical of high-end, single-channel dash cams that make us oooh… and ahh…—including lane departure, frontal collision and speed camera alerts to name a few.
- Red Flags: No screen, but that’s where your mobile or mobile device steps to the plate. Through Thinkware’s downloadable mobile app, drivers can display real-time driving activity, replay past recording sessions and navigate through the camera settings.
- Our Verdict: The Full Monty
Front and Rear Dash Cam: Advantages and Disadvantages
Whether purchasing your first dual dash camera, or looking to upgrade an existing one, here are a few key advantages to investing in a two-camera setup.
- Reduced blind spots: Dash cam front and rear recording affords drivers and vehicles with greater coverage. A broader field of view lowers the driver’s risk of missing important events, preventing accidents.
- Assistance with reversing/parking: Dash cams with real-time playback screens can be utilized to view surroundings while driving in reverse or parking. From new drivers to not feeling entirely confident with your parallel parking technique, the addition of a rear-facing camera furnishes an extra pair of vigilant eyes while backing up.
- Surveillance for taxis: While dual dashboard camera systems are primarily marketed to the average consumer desiring front and oncoming/blind spot protection, they can also record in-cabin activity of passengers while on the job. This footage can serve as evidence, protecting driving professionals in the case of false passenger claims. *Note: Taxi drivers must comply with privacy requirements when using a dashboard camera. Always seek legal information before using one in your vehicle.
- Lower cost with greater practicality: In most instances, investing in a dual-camera system is more affordable than buying two single-channel dashboard cameras and trying to fit them into one in-vehicle power source. Additionally, recorded footage from a dual-channel system is automatically synched to replay the full story during playback. Playback options allow footage from one camera or both cameras to be viewed simultaneously.
- Greater discretion: At their best, any dashboard camera acts as a deterrent to theft or vandalism while vehicles are left unattended. Comprehensive coverage combined with the parking mode feature is particularly beneficial, recording footage from a wider radius and further safeguarding vehicles. Alternatively, these devices have the potential to draw unwanted attention when vehicles are parked in unknown areas. This is unfortunately magnified by the presence of two cameras, or a bulkier dual-cam unit displayed in the car.
Crash Captured With A Front and Rear Camera Setup:
***credit to Car Camera Shop Ltd. channel for this video***
Now, the other side of the front and rear car camera side. We would be omitting a critical element to the story if we bit and silenced our tongues here. Our team prides itself not only with extensive product knowledge, but also honesty; so, here are some items to be mindful of before making that final purchase decision of a dual-channel dash camera.
- Rear camera often offers poor image quality: As you may have noticed from our uk best front and rear dash cam reviews list, many of the rear cameras’ image resolution fell short when compared to their front camera counterpart. In most instances, the rear camera records in HD, or 720p; whereas, the front camera records in Full HD, or 1080p. The difference in image quality is noticeable, particularly with cameras that struggle with adapting to varying levels of light.
- Narrower field of view: Many single-channel dashboard cameras have wide viewing angles, some as wide as 170°. To contrast, dual dashboard cameras seem to average around a conservative 120°-140° viewing angle. While image distortion (that fish-eye look) will be less (as these viewing angles are more aligned to what the human eye perceives naturally), you are also limiting your overall viewing perspective, capturing less activity around vehicles while on the road or parked.
- Lack of a display screen: Some manufacturers have opted to streamline dual-channel cameras into only the cameras themselves. While this is not common practice, screen-less dash cams rely on mobile devices to serve as the camera’s display. Be sure to weigh how important a screen is to your purchase decision.
- Larger footprint: Logically, the addition of an extra camera creates an overall bulkier dashboard camera. However, manufacturer design teams have thought of innovative ways to reduce the footprint of their devices and create sleek product silhouettes (i.e. eliminating displays, integrating cameras into a rearview mirror).
- Installation: While more relevant to models with two separate cameras, installation and proper placement can be difficult. Two camera units require running a power cable through vehicle interiors, from the front camera or power source to the rear camera. These systems typically include adhesive clips to secure the cable.
- Price: Dual-camera systems typically cost more than a single-channel camera; however, as mentioned before, they tend to be more affordable than purchasing two separate single-channel cameras.
Best Front and Rear Dash Cam / Dual Camera Conclusion
We hope that our reviews have left you sure of whether you should buy one of these dual car cameras. If you have decided to go with two single units instead check out our other reviews that we offer, to make sure you spend your money wisely.
However if you have decided to go with a front and rear camera unit, then as can be seen above they have their advantages and letdowns, but overall their should be a camera to suit every need, whether it be personal or professional. Also they can be a little pricier than standard dashboard cameras in the uk however, you are esentially paying for two cameras with a superior viewing radius than your average one-end viewing camera.
At the end of the day more safety and piece of mind when it comes to the motoring world is always encouraged, especially in todays day and age in the uk where car insurance prices are on the rise again, there must be a reason why these cameras are so popular, just make sure you’ve got yourself the best front and rear dash cam with the help of our reviews for your needs. Also be sure to check out our other best of reviews with – The Best Budget Dash Cam For Your Car.
Also you can find our guide to The Top 5 Rated Best Dash Cam UK List