The DR900X-2CH is flagshap dual channel dash cam from the Korean manufacturer Blackvue. Released in Jul of 2020, this dash cam is nearly identical to the DR900S-2CH it replaces. While there have been some improvements, they are evolutionary changes rather than revolutionary.
Comparison with the DR900S-2CH
The DR900X-2CH is based on the same hardware as the older DR900S-2CH. It has a HiSilicon Hi3559-V100 processor, Omnivision OS08A10 CMOS sensor for the front camera and a Sony STARVIS IMX291 CMOS sensor for the rear camera.
The four key improvements the DR900X has over teh DR900S are as follows:
- USB Port for LTE module. This allows the optional LTE module (CM100LTE) to be plugged into the camera enabling cloud connectivity with the purchase of a SIM card and monthly data plan. The CM100LTE can be used with any of the new Blackvue X Series cameras
- Improved heat resistance. The DR900S had some complaints with overheating. The DR900X has more ventilation to prevent overheating
- Voltage monitoring is now built directly into the DR900X which helps when hardwiring your dash cam for parking mode
- Bluetooth capability has been added as well. While not being used at launch, there are plans to release some functionality with future firmware releases
As the flagship 4K camera for Blackvue, there is a high expectation for excellent video quality. While the front camera records 2160p (4K) video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 25 Mbps, video quality is not best in class. The front camera has very good video quality during the day but night quality is about average.
The rear camera records 1080p video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 10 Mbps. The rear camera has noticeably worse video quality than the front camera. The video is good during the day but average at night. One of the biggest complaints for the DR900X overall is that video quality is worse than some much more affordable dash cams.
While video quality may not be Blackvue’s forte, very few dash cams come with as many features as the DR900X-2CH. The camera comes with g-sensor and has built in GPS. It does not come with a screen so you will need to use the Android or iOS Smartphone apps to interact with the camera. The Android app has above average reviews but not great reviews and iOS reviews are worse. This could be a concern for some users since it is the primary way to interact with the camera. You could also use the PC, OSX apps but this is not very user friendly.
Like all Blackvues, the DR900X-2CH provides one of the best parking modes in the industry. It has buffered parking mode based on motion or impact. Alternatively you can use timelapse parking mode. You will need hardwire the dash cam to your vehicle (optional hardwire kit required) or connect it to a battery pack for this to work.
The cylindrical form factor of Blackvue cameras is very discreet and the size isn’t too large at 118 x 36mm. The DR900X is the same size and shape as the DR900S. The only notable difference are the additional ventilation holes on the camera.
The DR900X-2CH comes with an adhesive mount and cannot swivel to record interactions at the driver or passenger windows. The build quality is very good and initial reliability appears ok. Another positive is that the camera comes with audio error notifications.
Blackvue Cloud with LTE
Blackvue has one of the best cloud services available for dash cams today. The cloud feature provides:
- Alert Push Notifications (Immediate notification on your smartphone when an event happens, such as a bump in parking mode)
- Remote Live View (see your car in real time from the app)
- Video Backup / Auto-Upload (auto-upload event files to the cloud)
- Two-way Voice Communication (talk to people in the vehicle via the app)
- GPS Tracking (see the real time location and speed of your vehicle)
- Remote Video Playback (watch videos from the app)
You will need a WiFi hotspot or the optional CM100LTE module to have the cloud features enabled. A big drawback with the CM100LTE is that only one device (Smartphone, tablet, etc.) can connect to it at a time. While most dedicated car Wifi hotspots allow multiple devices to connect, the limit to 1 device is disappointing.
We prefer the external LTE module over the built in LTE in the DR750-2CH LTE since it allows the actual dash cam to be smaller. Also you could reuse the module on future Blackvue dash cams. Note that all LTE options require the purchase of a SIM card and a monthly data plan (tablet plans work well) for these features to work.
While Blackvue offers a Free Plan for their cloud services, you should check the table below to see if it meets your need. Moving to the Smart Plan adds another $10US per month.
While the cloud features are impressive, costs add up quickly. $400+ for the camera, $10+ per month for a data plan and $10 per month for Blackvue Smart Plan is not the most affordable. But could be worth it if you own an expensive vehicle or want to monitor your teenage kids driving.
Blackvue appears to be responsive to questions and has adequate support. They also provide firmware updates which is a positive as well.
As this was recently launched, there are no common problems reported with this camera.
Should I Purchase?
If you are looking for a full featured 4K cam with top of the line parking mode, cloud features and optional LTE connectivity, the Blackvue DR900X-2CH is a good choice. The use of capacitor, nice design and decent Android app are strong positives as well.
Just be aware of the drawbacks. The camera is pricey at over $400 and you will need to pay monthly for a data plan to use the Cloud Features. Video quality will be acceptable for most people but it is worse than some dual cams under $200. Also the fact that only one device can connect to the optional CM100LTE device at a time is not ideal if you wanted to use this as your car’s WiFi hotspot.
The DR900X-2CH should be a consideration if it meets your needs. See what other owners have to say about the BlackVue DR900X-2CH on our forum.
Published: Nov 1, 2020