The Blackvue DR970X-2CH is the flagship dual channel dash cam from the Korean manufacturer Blackvue. Released in Mar 2023, this dash cam is an improvement over the previous flagship, the DR900X-2CH. While there have been some improvements, these are evolutionary changes rather than revolutionary changes.
The DR970X-2CH is based on a Sigmastar processor, Omnivision OS08A10 CMOS sensor for the front camera and a Sony STARVIS IMX291 CMOS sensor for the rear camera. The components are respectable but dated for 2023.
There are 4 variants of the DR970X:
- DR970X-2CH – Most common model
- DR970X-2CH LTE – LTE module built-in
- DR970X-1CH – Single-channel model, no rear camera
- DR970X-2CH IR – Rear camera has infrared LEDs to record inside the cabin
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 DR970X-2CH 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 DR970X-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.
Like previous Blackvues, the DR970X-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 to hardwire the dash cam to your vehicle (optional hardwire kit required) or connect it to a battery pack for this to work.
The DR970X-2CH uses the familiar Blackvue cylindrical form factor which is very discreet and the size isn’t too large at 118 x 36mm. The dash cam comes with an adhesive mount and cannot swivel to record interactions at the driver or passenger windows. The build quality is very good. 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 solution 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)
To utilize the BlackVue cloud service there are several options:
- Purchase the DR970X-2CH LTE version as it has the LTE module built-in
- Purchase the optional BlackVue CM100LTE
- Purchase a dedicated car Wifi hotspot
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 the free plan meets your need. BlackVue recently launched a more affordable Lite Plan as well.
|Max. Dashcams / Account
|Users per Account
|Live view / Day
|Remote Video Playback and Download / Month
|5GB per dashcam
|10GB per dashcam
|Two-way Voice Communication / Voice Call
|Live Event upload
|Event Live Auto upload
|Video On Map
While the cloud features are impressive, costs can add up quickly. That being said, if you own an expensive vehicle or want to monitor your teenage kids driving BlackVue Cloud can be a worthwhile investment.
Blackvue appears to be responsive to questions and has adequate support. They also provide firmware updates which is a positive as well.
Some owners have complained of overheating issues with this camera. While the camera does run a bit hot, this does not appear to be a common problem. Below are thermal pictures of the DR970X-2CH from our member rcg530.
There are a lot of videos on Youtube for this camera. While not a bad performing camera, rear video is not the best and capturing details can be a problem. You can see a review from our member rcg530 here.
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 DR970X-2CH is a good choice. The use of capacitor, nice design and decent Android app are strong positives as well.
However the high price and not the greatest video quality are drawbacks. We recommend waiting for the DR970X Plus Series which will should have significant improvements over this current version.
See what other owners have to say about the BlackVue DR970X-2CH on our forum.
Published: Dec 24, 2023