The C420D is a dual channel dash cam released in Jun 2019 by the Chinese manufacturer APEMAN. The camera is one of the lowest priced dual cameras on the market and is very popular on Amazon.
APEMAN does not give specific details on what processor or CMOS sensors it uses. There is some mention of a Starvis sensor being used but this is hard to believe given the poor video quality at night. We haven’t been able to verify the hardware used in the C420D.
The front camera records 1080p video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 12 Mbps. Video quality for the front camera during the day is average and night quality is below average and grainy. The rear camera records 720p at 30fps with an average bitrate of 6 Mbps. The rear camera performs even worse than the front and is disappointing, particularly at night. In some cases the video appears choppy as well. The wide angle 170° lens also creates a fish-eye effect on the videos which is not ideal.
The C420D has a 2″ screen and g-sensor but does not have GPS. Unfortunately the camera does not come with WiFi or supporting smartphone apps. While you can hardwire the camera to your vehicle with an optional hardwire kit, the C420D only comes with non-buffered parking mode which is not ideal.
The front camera attaches to your windsheild with a suction mount that can swivel 360° to record interactions at your side windows (i.e. police traffic stops). The C420D is a small camera at 50 x 40 x 10mm. The build quality is average with numerous complaints regarding the quality of the mount.
The rear camera is waterproof and can be used externally. Depending on your vehicle, mounting this externally may not be the easiest. Many people opt for professional installation of this camera since it is more complex than mounting the more typical internal rear camera that most other dual dash cams come with. Note that some owners have complained about the build quality of the rear camera (an example in the photo below).
While the camera is small, the suction cup mount makes it a little bit less discreet than most wedge or cylindrical cameras.
APEMAN appears to be responsive to initial questions but beyond that, the camera has limited support. We have not seen any firmware updates for this camera since it has been launched.
Note that while the camera has a large number of very good reviews on Amazon, APEMAN does provide a free gift in exchange for 5-star reviews. This may influence the overall ratings and it is a common tactic that APEMAN uses for all its dash cams.
Numerous owners have complained of random shutdowns and restarts with this camera. There is no known solution for this problem.
Numerous owners have complained that the loop function does not work and older video files are not being overwritten. While not a widespread problem, if this occurs to you when purchasing, your best bet is to return the camera.
Should I Purchase?
The APEMAN C420D is one of the lowest priced dual dash cams on the market at only $60 and appears to be a bargain. Unfortunately video quality is disappointing and build quality is average at best. We suspect the free gift in exchange for positive reviews has influenced the Amazon rating for this camera (not an ethical practice).
While the low price tag and easy Amazon returns may lure you into purchasing this product, unless your expectations are low, you will likely be disappointed with the C420D.
See what other owners have to say about the APEMAN C420D on our forum.
The English user manual can be downloaded here. The quality of the user manual is on par with the quality of the camera.
Published: October 8, 2020