Nextbase Duo Dash Cam Review
- Front and rear cameras
- Exposure adjustments
- GPS and mic can be switched on/off
- Screen Saver
- Nextbase software
- Effortless setup
- Low resolution
- No Wi-Fi
- Short battery run time
- Rear camera positioning
- No microSD Card
Twin Cameras: The Nextbase Duo Dash Cam elevates dash cam safety with its seamless integration of dual cameras. The Duo houses two 180° rotating front and rear cameras, giving drivers ultimate protection and fuller coverage while on the road. Both cameras include Nextbase’s Multi-Element Sharp Lenses for impressive visual clarity. When paired with the dash cam’s powerful image processing sensor and integrated Night Vision, video quality is optimized regardless of day or low/nighttime driving conditions. The front and rear cameras record in HD (720p at 30fps) and are capable of capturing fine details, such as vehicle license plates and road signs during daytime driving. The front camera provides a wide 140° field of view with a slight fish-eye quality, capturing events beyond what is directly in front of drivers. Alternatively, the rear camera employs a fixed 50 metre zoom lens. Positioning the rear camera may take a little added effort, but once in place, the zoom presents a decent view through the rear window with minimal interference from the vehicle’s interior.
GPS Tracking: GPS functionality is built into Nextbase’s suction mount and easily connects to the Duo via the included cable. The highly responsive tracker readily locates drivers, recording travel routes, vehicle speeds as well as G-Force data in the event of an accident. Drivers can even toggle to a separate mode in which they only see a compass in the display. All recorded data is easily accessible for review during video playback through Nextbase’s proprietary software on a computer. GPS can be manually turned on/off according to user preference.
Impact/Event Recording: Exactly as “Emergency Recording” found on most dash cams, Impact/Event Recording is activated when the 3-axis G-sensor detects sudden bumps or severe impact. Footage recorded in this mode is saved employing Nextbase’s SOS data protection, safeguarding files from overwrites.
Parking Mode: Motion detection sensors record movement or impact without drivers present, especially worthwhile should a hit-and-run occur while the vehicle is left unattended. This mode requires a continuous power source, such as Nextbase’s Hard Wire Kit (sold separately).
Photo Mode: The included Lithium ion battery serves as a backup power source for recording should vehicles lose energy, such as in the unfortunate event of an accident. The battery also powers the Duo during Photo Mode, letting users remove the dash cam from its suction mount and take pictures of the scene as supplemental evidence for the police and insurers.
Loop Recording: Once memory cards are full, Loop Recording starts, recording over the oldest file first. This feature preserves valuable space on memory cards and ensures continuous recording. Drivers can rest assured that footage recorded from Impact/Event Recording will remain as locked files on memory cards, protected from overwrites thanks to Nextbase’s SOS data protection.
Auto Power On/Off: Smart technology permits the Duo to automatically activate when it detects the vehicle’s power source. The camera powers on and off when the ignition starts, saving drivers the time and hassle of remembering to power the device on/off.
Nextbase Software: The included software gives users the ability to sort through date/time stamped files and playback recorded footage. During playback, footage from both cameras play back side by side as one file, displaying a full picture of recorded roadside conditions. Travel speeds, distance, tracking alongside Google Maps™ as well as G-Force levels are all documented for review and analysis using the intuitive program. Users can freeze frames and even take screenshots from recorded video for use as evidence. As an added benefit, the disk includes an electronic version of the manual in case the hard copy is lost.
LED Screen: The Nextbase Duo Dash Cam features a 16:9 cinema aspect ratio screen, minimizing cropping of the peripheries. At 5.08 cm, the screen produces ample brightness and clarity for instant playback of recorded video without any eye strain.
Pros and Cons
- Front and rear cameras. Nextbase and a few others are paving the way for the next generation of dash cams with the introduction of front and rear recording capability. Twin cameras give drivers a better picture from their travels and complete coverage in the event of an accident that can be used as evidence for police and insurers alike. During playback, footage from both cameras can be viewed side by side as one file that captures the whole story.
- Exposure adjustments. While the Duo’s exposure is set at “0” by default, users can manually adjust recording exposure according to varied lighting conditions. Bright days may call for less exposure to prevent fine details from being washed out by excessive light; whereas, low or nighttime driving may require higher exposure levels to ensure the camera receives enough light to adequately record.
- GPS and mic can be switched on/off. Far from essential, but the Nextbase Duo Dash Cam supports on/off toggling of the GPS and audio recording functions. As always, disclose and receive full permission from passengers before recording any conversations.
- Screen Saver allows drivers to switch off the display screen to eliminate the distraction of added light, especially during nighttime driving. Located in the setting options, users can set the Screen Saver activation timer to black out after either 10, 20 or 30 seconds of inactivity.
- Nextbase software is compatible with both PC and Macs. Users can readily locate files by date and time stamps, or file type (video vs. still image) through the recording log. The user-friendly system plays back recorded footage from both cameras as one combined file and includes vital travel details, such as speed, distance, tracing on Google Maps™ and a G-Force graph to monitor the severity of impact. The software enables users to freeze frames during playback and even take screenshots for evidence.
- Effortless setup. Simply plug the GPS suction mount cable into the Duo’s brushed metal body and mount it centrally on your vehicle’s windscreen. The dual cameras rotate a full 180° for optimal placement and recording through the front and rear windows. Proper framing of the rear camera may take slightly. The lengthy power cord easily hides along with the headliner and passenger side for wire and distraction-free view.
- Low resolution. Most dash cams on the UK market support Full 1080p HD recording as standard; however, the Nextbase in-car cam duo records in HD, or 720p. Imaging quality is noticeably lower, even when compared to other dash cams in the Nextbase family. While daytime driving delivers solid footage, capturing license plate and road sign details, at night footage is grainy and has a tendency to pick up halos from the headlights of oncoming vehicles, greatly reducing visibility.
- No Wi-Fi. Not an essential feature, but a convenient one that many dash cams (particularly at this price point) have incorporated as a response to consumer feedback. Wi-Fi proves practical should an event occur, enabling drivers to instantly upload and send footage from the accident directly to the police and insurers.
- Short battery run time. Despite serving as a backup power source, the built-in Lithium ion battery is quite limited. Generous user estimates claim battery life of the Duo is sufficient for 5-10 minutes at the most, allowing limited time for drivers to document evidence in Photo Mode if an accident occurs.
- Rear camera positioning for some users has been difficult. Ideal placement should offer full view through the rear window without capturing too much of the vehicle’s cabin or ceiling in the frame.
- No microSD Card. The Nextbase Duo Dash Cam does not include a microSD card for straight from-the-box use. Drivers will have to purchase memory cards up to 32GB capacity separately. A 32GB card should grant up to 500 minutes of recorded footage, while a 16GB memory provides approximately 250 minutes before Loop Recording kicks in. Note: It is always recommended to format memory cards prior to initial use.
The Nextbase iN-Car Cam™ Duo is a thoughtful piece of engineering combining front and rear recording capability for full visual coverage of vehicles while on the road. The Duo’s strengths lie in its no-frills design approach, simply serving the sole purpose of keeping drivers safe. Fitted numerous standard features—from GPS, Impact/Event Recording, Parking Mode and Photo Mode—the Duo guarantees reliable performance and lasting service life.
While the camera merges the power of Nextbase’s Multi-Element Sharp Lenses and strong image processing sensor, the 720p HD recording produces noticeably lower resolution. Generally, footage from daytime driving is satisfactory, with license plates and road sign details easily visible. However, low and nighttime driving is subpar, especially when compared to competing single camera dash cams within the Duo’s price bracket. At night, due to insufficient light, the Duo records a lot of grain that can sometimes obscure important details. Yet again, it appears the addition of a rear camera comes at the cost of overall video and resolution quality. however still makes it into our Best Front and Rear Dash Cam list.
Overall, Nextbase delivers a fine product with reliable performance. The main benefit of the Nextbase Duo Dash Cam is its innovative integration of 180° rotating front and rear cameras with acceptable daytime recording, which is why it makes it onto our Best Front and Rear Dash Cam list. Otherwise, purchasing a single camera dash cam with better imaging quality, regardless of lighting conditions (and, perhaps even one with Wi-Fi connectivity), would be a better investment. If you’re committed to the Nextbase brand, the product line features plenty of single cam dashboard cameras with higher imaging resolution and recording performance than the Duo at even a lower price point. As always, a clear advantage of owning a Nextbase dash cam over other brands is its wide acceptance by UK insurance providers.
Remember to see how you can receive a discount on car insurance premiums with the Nextbase iN-Car Cam Duo dashboard camera.
|Spec Name||Model Spec Details|
|Lens||140° wide angle (front) | 50 m zoom (rear)|
|Resolution/Frame Rate||720p at 30fps (both cameras)|
|Low Light Recording||Yes|
|Microphone/Speaker||Built-in (on/off capability)|
|GPS||Yes (on/off capability)|
|Video Output||HDMI, AV|
|Power Source||12 V car charger, 1x Lithium ion battery (built-in, approx. 10 min run time)|
|Memory||Up to 32GB microSD card, Class 6-10|
|Display Type/Size||LED/5.08 cm|
|Dimensions||13.5 x 2.4 x 5.2 cm|
- Nextbase Duo Dash Camera
- In-vehicle GPS suction mount
- 12 V power adapter (4 meter cable)
- HDMI cable
- USB cable
- Quick start guide
- Instruction manual
- Software disk
- “Protected by Nextbase” window sticker
- SanDisk Ultra Android 32 GB microSDHC Memory Card, Class 10
- Nextbase In-CarCam Carry Case
- Nextbase Car Camera Hard Wire Kit
Where To Buy The Nextbase Duo Dash Cam
Founded in 2005 and based in Surrey, Nextbase is the industry-leading brand for in-vehicle entertainment accessories. They are well-known for their high-quality DVD players, tablets and dashboard cameras. According to GFK data, their range of dash cams are the most popular in the UK, dominating 56% of the market share in March 2014!
Released in mid-2015, the Nextbase iN-Car Cam Duo dashboard camera received the “Best Buy” award in its category from Sunday Times Driving and the “2015 Editor’s Choice Award” from Auto Express.
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