28 December 2016

REVIEW: Thinkware Dash Cam F770

Staying aware.

Sure, you could buy that cheap dash cam you saw on a link of a link of a link on eBay, because come on... it doesn't really matter, right? If you do, you'll regret it when the footage you captured of an accident you were involved in that wasn't your fault is too low-res to make anything out. In which case, invest in a cam for your car that comes fully loaded with bells and whistles. Such as the Thinkware Dash Cam F770.

The Thinkware Dash Cam F770 is more of a dash camera system than just a simple point and shoot. The sleek main unit, which fits excellently against the windscreen itself, comes as either a single forward-facing camera, or as a pair. With the pair you can install one on your back window too, giving you full HD 1080p coverage around your vehicle.

And what HD coverage that is. The quality of the video that the Thinkware Dash Cam F770 can capture is stunning, and Thinkware have clearly placed a great emphasis on image quality with this thing. Not only is the 1080p image as crisp as you would hope, but thanks to their use of Super Night Vision and Advanced Video Clear Technology, the image is enhanced automatically depending on the lighting conditions. Not only is the video of night drives clear and watchable, but also in instances of quick lighting transitions, such as going into and out of tunnels. All this is captured within a 140 degree field of view, which is also good.

As you might expect for a dash cam of this price, there is a lot more going on inside there than simple video recoding. There is, of course, GPS, the data from which being automatically logged and linked to your footage, and also incident recording to grab – and secure on the Micro SD Card – anything that causes the car to jolt.

One thing to note is that the Thinkware Dash Cam F770 does not feature a screen of any kind. Although most high-end dash cams seem to have a small LCD screen on the rear, to check angle and rewatch footage at the scene of an accident, this particular cam relies purely no WiFi to connect to your phone. By way of the Thinkware app (iOS and Android) you can both get a live view of what the camera sees, and also download and view clips direct from the SD card. Here you can also set parameters of record mode, too; such as continuous and time-lapse for when you're parked.

The lack of a screen is not something to lament at all, because as well as being less distracting to the driver, it also allows the Thinkware Dash Cam F770 to be a fairly unique shape. When you first pull it from the box it seems like a great lump of black plastic and not much of a cam at all. However, the camera lens itself can be adjusted to point at the correct angle, while the entire rest of the device is affixed to the widescreen via a 3M sticky plate. So yes, no dangling arm to attach the camera too, and a far better fit to any shape of windscreen.

The Thinkware Dash Cam F770 does also feature very clever software based things like lane departure warnings, and speed camera alerts, but we were a little preoccupied by the camera itself. Yes, such other things are useful (although speed camera warnings will always be controversial), but when it boils down it all depends on the image quality. The F770 can clearly pick out a number plate from a pretty impressive distance, and when viewed either on your phone or downloaded to you PC or Mac, footage can be further enhanced for whatever purpose you need.

Small, compact, convenient and universally useful, this is a stellar dash cam indeed.

£199.99 (£249.99 for pair option)

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