Our only gripe is the black power (4m) cable, and the rear camera cable hangs down from the camera. Professional installation would be the best option to hide this.
The optional rear camera uses a micro-USB video/power cable (6m) from the Video-in port on the main dashcam. Again, consider professional installation.
Types of recording
Files are named YYY_MM_DD_HH_MM_SS and F or R (front or rear). Separate folders store the images
- Continuous – 1-minute segments – always recording
- Continuous incident – 10 seconds before, 20 seconds during and 10 seconds
- Manual record – 10 seconds before and 50 seconds after transferred to this folder
- Motion detect – 10 seconds before and 10 seconds during
- Parking incident – 10 seconds before and 10 seconds during
Video stream is 10Mbps. Each continuous 60-second clip is about 82MB. Each 20-second motion detect is a 27MB slice. You cannot take a still shot, but you can screen clip from a video.
In an hour you would generate about 5GB (exclusive of incident slices), so a large microSD card is best. While Thinkware recommends its cards, mwave has 64/128GB at approx. $20/26 and they work well.
Thinkware Cloud app (iOS or Android) requires you to download and install it. With the Thinkware
We did not test geofencing, impact notifications and locate my car because of the need to use a companion smartphone. During the test, we had some minor issues with loss of Wi-Fi signal even though the companion phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note9 with one of the strongest reception strengths we have ever seen.
You can also download the PC/Mac viewer and view images from the microSD card or hook up to its Wi-Fi SSD for real-time images. It can overlay these on Google Maps.
The app and viewer have no editing function, so if you need this, you can purchase MP4 editor software. I suspect this is to stop tampering with footage or altering evidence.
Firmware and speed cam updates – manual
Place a firmware update on the root directory of the microSD card. Update time is 10-15 minutes.
Place a speed camera smartguidepoint.dx2 file into the ‘driveinfo’ folder.
First, an apology to Thinkware. Our tests were on a microSD that disappeared in transit – yes, they are very small. We will rerun these later, but for the moment we are using photos from its website.
We were impressed with the image clarity and low light capability as well as the sound from the integrated microphone – it is certainly able to pick up conversations in the car, and we disabled the mic.
Picture quality is due to the Sony Exmor R STAVIS IMX291LQR image sensor that captures quality images and is effective for low light and night video recordings.
It has ultra large 2.9um pixels (that’s over twice the 1.4um found on better smartphones). While big pixels make sense, they do induce a little more ‘noise’ into a video that you see as fine grain. Still, in a dashcam, I would rather have a wider dynamic range than perfect colour.