TESTED: The Nextbase IQ Smart Dash Cam Adds Next-Level Car Security
We’re big fans of dash cams for monitoring your drives, but Nextbase is taking the game to the next level. The Nextbase IQ, which officially debuted last month, has all the modern and safety features you could want from a dash cam. It has a 180-degree field of view, an available rearview camera, and an intuitive phone app to control it all. However, IQ’s price could make it out of reach for some buyers. Let’s take a closer look.
There are three different Nextbase IQ models to choose from
Nextbase sent me an IQ 2K unit to test out, which has a 180-degree field of view (FOV) 1440p front camera and a 1440p rear camera facing the car’s interior. The IQ 2K is in the middle of the camera lineup, as there is a 1k version with 1080p/1080p resolution and a 4K model with 2160p/1440p resolution available as well.
The main difference between all three models is the image resolution and pricing. Pricing for the Nextbase IQ starts at $449 for the IQ 1K, $549 for the IQ 2K, and $649 for the IQ 4K model. Some accessories, like a rear window camera, a rearview camera, and a cabin view camera, can be purchased separately for $99 each.
What comes in the box?
The Nextbase IQ 2K came in one box and is easy to unpack. Inside the box was the IQ unit, the OBD power cable, a hardwire power cable with fuse tips, a fitting tool, and a Nextbase 64gb microSD card already inserted in the IQ unit.
The IQ unit itself is very sleek with a minimalist design. Considering we live in a world where Ring cameras are prevalent, the IQ’s design doesn’t look like anything out of the ordinary. I will say that it is a little heavy and takes up a decent amount of real estate on your windshield, though.
The Nextbase IQ is easy to install into any car
Installing the Nextbase IQ is a simple process. Since I drive different press cars every week, installing and uninstalling the dash cam was important for me. Fortunately, all I needed was the unit itself and the power cable. The trickiest part is finding the OBD port on the car you drive to power the unit, but it was an easy process in the 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLS I had.
After plugging the cable into the OBD port and plugging the other end into the IQ, the unit powered up. To make everything work, you’ll need to download the Nextbase app on your smartphone. Upon doing so, you’ll be able to set up the unit.
Setting up the IQ 2K
With the IQ 2K dash cam powered on, I went through the initial setup steps on the app and stuck the unit onto the windshield to test it. The IQ fired right up and started recording. I could position the camera to my liking using the app and saw that it was recording both the car’s interior and through the windshield.
The camera quality looked excellent during the daytime and great at nighttime. The screen colors look great, and the detail of my face and the surroundings is excellent despite it being 2K resolution. If you need more detail, I recommend springing for the 4K unit.
One of the coolest features of the IQ is that it’s always monitoring, so you can tap into the feed via the app at any time. Furthermore, the IQ sends instant alerts to your phone when it picks up something unusual happening in or around the car.
My only gripe with this feature is that it’s too sensitive. For example, the camera would alert me of a “parking situation” every time I opened the car door to get something out of the car. On one hand, it’s great to alert you of any intruders, but it can get annoying if you’re unloading stuff from your car like I was.
As for normal operation, the IQ works well, but it’s a little sensitive to what it regards as “impacts.” For example, I drove around town and pulled into a driveway with a large dip. Upon hitting the dip, the app alerted me of an impact and recorded the incident. Video playback on the app is excellent (even at nighttime), and I could see and hear the impact it was referring to. However, it was a false alarm.
The IQ dash cam has other nifty features
“A.I.” is widely used nowadays, and it’s safe to say the Nextbase IQ uses it – at least in one facet. Nextbase says the IQ series of dash cams will eventually be able to read the speed and location of vehicles and other objects around your car. It will also combine the integrated GPS, which will embed the info into the video for you.
Another slick feature is the Guardian mode, which allows you to track your new teenage driver when they’re driving around. It also works well for any thieves that speed off with your car.
There’s also a Smart Sense mode that notes the action around your car to access any potential threats to the vehicle. The camera will turn on, capture any incidents, and save the video automatically.
The IQ also has an S.O.S mode, which contacts emergency services if you are incapacitated after an accident. Lastly, the IQ’s “Witness mode” allows you to immediately save the most recent video capture and upload it to the cloud so your emergency contacts can view it as well.
Is there a monthly subscription?
A monthly subscription is needed to make the Nextbase IQ dashboard work to its full potential. Although you can get away with using the camera for free, you’ll only get real-time text notifications and some voice control features.
Stepping up to the “Protect” subscription at $10 per month will give you access to 4G data, real-time image notifications, the live view, Smart Sense parking, Witness mode, Guardian mode, Roadwatch A.I., and the remote alarm.
I recommend shelling out for the top-tier “Protect Plus” plan, which includes all of the features, including the S.O.S service, an automated incident backup, and the ability to have multiple accounts.
After all, if you’re going to shell out $500 for a dash cam, you might as well use everything it offers.
Is the Nextbase IQ dash cam worth considering?
Yes, if you want the Ferrari of dash cams, the Nextbase IQ is one of the best in the market. Other dashcams I have seen may have similar features at half the cost, but the video resolution may not be as good. Additionally, the Nextbase IQ is so easy to install that it’s hard not to recommend it to anyone looking for a camera that’s easy to use and set up.
That said, the main issue is the camera’s pricing, which can be out of range for some. But for those who can afford it, the Nextbase IQ is definitely worth some consideration.