The Uniden iGO Cam 80 offers a lot more than a typical dashcam. For starters, it has 4K video resolution, HDMI, PC and Wi-Fi output, Wide Dynamic Range and a smartphone app as well.
GadgetGuy has covered many dashcams over the years but found it hard to get enthused. Not that they were bad (well, some had a woeful resolution) but they were at the beginning of the product cycle, and we felt they needed to do so much more.
The latest Uniden iGO series may just have changed our minds.
First, let’s look at some of the latest iGO Cam technology
It has come a long way from those early 480/720p, barely readable videos to include (not all models have all features):
Dual camera support – one for the front and one for the rear. No one has yet managed to get rid of the cable that needs to join these two up
Speed camera warnings (reliant on GPS data)
Advanced driver assistance (ADAS)
Lane departure warning
Headlight lux warning (detects low light and if you have left headlights off)
Geotagging (GPS location and time stamps on the video)
3-Axis sensor. Earlier dashcams found it hard to capture G-force in more than 2-axis. Now you have up/down, left, right and sideways (and all possible 360° variations).
Parking mode (Even when ‘off’ sensors detect any slightest movement and start recording)
Wide-view angles. Early models were limited to 100-120°. That is now up to 150° which means it effectively captures all you can see through the windscreen
Large speedo display (courtesy of the GPS)
From 1080p (FHD) to 2160p (4K) video
microSD card storage
Footage lock to prevent over-write
Wide Dynamic Range for clearer images
OK the more you pay, the more you get.
Uniden’s new iGO range includes (low to high order of cost/features as at JB Hi-Fi)
The Uniden iGO Cam 80 is the top-of-the-range, yet it probably comes in one of the smallest enclosures. No knocking that, but you kind of expect something bigger!
The 2.4” LCD colour screen is very clear, not so much because of its resolution (I suspect its only FHD) but because the 4K camera gathers so much more detail and light. But here is the low-down. You don’t want a big screen to distract you as you drive. All you need the screen for is to access the menu and display speed.
Affix the mount to the windscreen (take care as it has 3M permanent adhesive), slide the camera onto the mount, power it up and that is it.
Uniden iGO Cam 80 camera tech
The sensor is 1/2.7” or about 21.7mm square. To put that in perspective an iPhone 6 has 17.3mm, and a Google Pixel has 28.5mm. I am guessing that it has a f/2.2, fixed focus lens.
The 150° FOV lens is great to see almost the entire windscreen.
It will do video at 2880 x 2160@24fps, 6.2MP (4:3 ratio). It will also do 1920 x 1080@30/60, 1280 x 720p@30/60/120fps video. The rear camera (if purchased) is 640 x 480 and limits the front camera to 1080p@30fps.
Pixel size (not stated) but to capture low light shots I suspect it is oversized at 1.62 µm. Probably a Sony IMX326 sensor with Digital overlap HDR or WDR designed for security cameras. WDR improves details in dark or overbright area.
Video/audio is MP4, H.264/AAC. It can play on a Window, Mac, iOS or Android device. Still, images are frame grabbed from the video stream in JPEG format (options are 12, 10, 8, 5, and 3MP images). Why grabbed? It does not have a shutter.
Storage is up to 64GB on a microSD card Class 10 or higher. It only records if there is an incident. Press the emergency lock button to ensure a recording is not overwritten.
The battery is 250mAh – sufficient for in-car use and to keep it passively on for several days. It will charge from 0-100% using a 5V/.5A USB in about two hours. Higher amperage chargers don’t appear to speed this up.
When it receives power, it will automatically turn on and vice versa.
Connect to a PC via USB-A to mini-USB cable
The microSD card shows up as a USB drive, e.g. mass storage. You can read (or write) to it, open and view .MP4 files etc.
Uniden Player (Windows only)
Uniden Player allows you to view the recordings on the iGO CAM 80 and trace them on a map. It overlays GPS coordinates on a Google Map.
You can either use the USB cable or transfer the microSD card to the PC.
Uniden iGO app for iOS and Android
It sets itself up as a Wi-Fi SSID using a single 2.4Ghz band good for up to 10 metres. It is purely for app update and data transfer. The smartphone or PC must join the iGO network.
The app can change most settings, take photos and view videos.
Uniden is a Japanese company founded in 1966. It is most famous for its range of cordless phones but before that for its CBs and as a prime OEM supplier to the Realistic and Radio Shack brands.
Uniden sells via major retailers, hardware stores and online. It has a reputation for quality products and support.
GadgetGuy’s take. At last a decent video from a Uniden iGO Cam 80
As I said earlier, it was hard to get enthused when the output from dashcams (in general) was so poor. Sure, it recorded an event but try to use the video or still to get a number plate was near impossible.
The iGO 80 fixed that and a lot more. A large red speedo is great as both the driver and passenger can see it – slow down honey!
Uniden Player shows a lot of potential for grey nomads to map their trip. The Android app (tested) still needs work, but it’s a start.
I would recommend this to anyone looking for the best dashcam. If the price is an issue look at the iGO 60 with 2K recording.
4K video resolution helps pick out details like number plates
Good low-light video
Small, yet has a large speedo display
Uniden Player is interesting
Supports rear camera if needed albeit at lower res
Uniden support and reputation
Very short battery life when off the charger
No Uniden Player for Mac
App needs work
Overall: 4.2 out of 5
Features: 4.5 out of 5 – It has just about everything
Value for money: 4 out of 5 – It’s expensive, but it is the best Uniden make
Performance: 4.5 out of 5 – The 4K video and frame grabs, at last, give the ability to read number plates clearly
Ease of Use: 4 out of 5 – It is easy to set up, but you need to have a little tech knowledge to use Wi-Fi and Uniden Player
Design: 4 out of 5 – great design and looks. I shaved a point off for mini-USB port.
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Value for money
Ease of Use
Everything you expect from a top-of-the-line dashcam