Automotive News

The Best After-Market Dash Cams in 2019

Finding the best possible dash cam in 2019 can be challenging. There’s an overwhelming number of models on the market right now, thanks to the recent trends of incredible dash cam footage posted on YouTube and other video streaming sites.

The right dash cam could also be an actual lifesaver in the case of an unfortunate accident. So if finding the perfect dash cam for you and your car is important to you, read on for our guide to the best after-market dash cams available in 2019.

Garmin Dash Cam 55

Pretty much every tech website out there agrees, the Garmin Dash Cam 55 is the best of the bunch. The camera produces crisp, detailed video during the daytime and equally well at night. Plus, it’s one of the easiest cams to set up and use daily.

Our friends at The Wirecutter love that you can perform basic functions through voice command — a rare feature that is very helpful while on the road — and they commend its compact yet well-balanced design. “At only 2¼ by 1½ inches, the Garmin takes up less room on the windshield than most, and its small magnetic mount makes the camera easy to adjust, attach, or remove.”

Ringing up at just under $200 — some deals have it listed as costing just $170 — the Garmin Dash Cam 55 won’t cost you an entire arm-and-a-leg. However, it’s still pretty pricey for a not-entirely-necessary add-on feature for your vehicle. If you consider capturing footage while driving an essential tool in our modernized world, you can’t go wrong with this Garmin model. 

Mio MiVue 766

While the design is not as compact as the Garmin Dash Cam 55, the Mio MiVue 766 packs a punch with the amount and variety of features it offers.

Capture quality is very good as this dash cam is armed with the Sony IMX323 2-megapixel sensor, capable of full HD 1920x1080p recording at 30fps paired with a 140-degree wide-angle lens, giving the Mio MiVue an outstanding field of view. 

Another great component is the 2.7-inch touchscreen display that’s used during setup and for user feedback when the cam is in use. Built-in WiFi makes uploading film to your smartphone, tablet, or computer easy as can be. You can even live stream to Facebook while driving if that’s something that interests you. 

Because the Mio MiVue is manufactured in Europe, it’s more difficult to purchase than some of the other options. But, you can still find it on Amazon and many other online retailers.

The average price seems to be around $250 for a new model, less if it’s used, so it’s on the slightly more expensive side of the cams listed here. 

Owl Car Cam

Often touted as the best dash cam for safety, the Owl Car Cam is more expensive than any of the other offerings you’ll see here today. With a $350 price tag, you might wonder why someone would spend all that money on what’s essentially an add-on feature for a vehicle.

However, when you consider how much you paid for that vehicle — particularly if you live and park in areas that are less-than-safe on a regular basis — you might think again when deciding whether or not to purchase. 

The Owl Car Cam has some decidedly unique safety features and works great as a security system in a parked car. It has the usual front-facing camera as well as a second one that records the interior of your car, in case of an impact from an accident or to monitor any break-ins. 

If anything happens, the camera automatically sends you an alert on your phone and begins recording and uploading a video which you can view on the app or watch live. So, yes, the Owl Car Cam may cost a pretty penny, but when the alternative is the cost of your vehicle or even your life, it doesn’t seem like much to spend. 

Cobra CDR 840

This is another model that, like the Garmin, is easy to set up and get going. Its design is sleek and intuitive, with a rear touchscreen that’s easy to navigate thanks to a joypad-style switch interface with clearly labeled buttons for saving important video documentation.

There’s also built-in GPS and a G-Sensor that automatically saves film clips if the device detects impact from an accident or other such events. 

The big winner when it comes to the Cobra CDR 840 is its lightweight and good-looking aesthetics as well as its low price tag of just under $80. If you’re looking for a budget dash cam that still has all the required features and just so happens to look good while recording, well, the Cobra CDR 840 is likely the best model for you.