2-CH dashcam: Thinkware F800 Pro / Blackvue DR750S / Viofo A129 Pro Duo ?

air1

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Hello there!

I'm looking for a reliable dual-channel dashcam setup with good video quality and reliable parking mode (from the external battery).

Please help me to pick one.

I've built a shortlist with prices I'm likely to get here:
  • Thinkware F800 Pro (293 Euros for 32G hardwire option)
  • Blackvue DR750S-2CH (347 Euros for 16G option)
  • Blackvue DR900S-2CH (465 Euros for 16G version)
  • Viofo A129 Pro Duo (190 Euros)

Note: I put the cheapest available versions cause I'll buy an SD card separately - e.g. Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB is 60 Euros tops - it's cheaper than buying a 128GB version of the dashcam.

My thoughts and concerns so far:
  • Thinkware F800 Pro:
    • good video-quality for day and night
    • good parking features with reliable transition into parking mode and low power consumption when in it
    • in some youtube reviews I heard that Thinkware has some annoying chatty voice announcements when going out of the parking mode, which can't really adjust to your taste. Knowing myself this is gonna get old rather quickly. Did they fix it through FW or ...?
    • In general I like the design - it's not too ugly, materials seem alright, the look is discreet enough
    • Wi-Fi is only 2.4G, so I believe it's on older .11g standard and can be rather slow

  • Blackvue DR750S-2CH
    • looks to be same sensor as Thinkware (Sony Starvis)
    • The hardwiring kit has to be bought separately
    • Wi-Fi is only 2.4G, so I believe it's on older .11g standard and can be rather slow. Although, based on one review it's actually pretty fast for this model.
    • swithcing to parking is based on the g-sensor and GPS and not based on the connection to the car like Thinkware does, which is likely a less reliable approach

  • Viofo A129 Pro Duo
    • The hardwiring kit has to be bought separately
    • A bargain for 4k and all the features. Considering a price for the battery I can do the whole setup for < 500 Euros.
    • Great video quality
    • Higher max SD-card capacity than other options
    • Very new product so it's impossible to talk about reliability. Also, a bunch of child diseases like skipping frames b/w the files and intermittent beeps. Dunno if they were fixed in the latest FWs or not.
    • Reports from this forum that it's running hot in hot environment (up to 77C in 31C env), which is asking for overheat shutoff
    • Cheap-looking plastic

  • Blackvue DR900S-2CH
    • The hardwiring kit has to be bought separately
    • Read that it can overheat and shutdown in hot climate
    • 5G Wi-Fi is broadcasting on the channel 157 so some (most?) EU phones can't see it
    • I don't need 4K that much to pay that much extra for it, although video quality is impressive
    • This is the least favorable option so far (but maybe I'm wrong?)


A list of what I'm looking for in a dashcam:
- Dual-channel
- Good video-quality in both day and night conditions from both front and rear units
- Reliability: "set and forget" kind of setup, as installation of the rear one will require significant time and effort, and I also want to be sure if something happened I have it on video
- Operating in a wide temperature ranges: where I am the lows are down to -10C (14F ; although typically higher - this winter had -2/-3C as the lowest mark thus far) and the highs are up to +36C (97F)
- Parking mode: buffered and with motion detection (on top of the impact detection): most of the time I'm parked on the underground parking where not much is going on, so I think I'd rely on this approach.
I'm planning to hook it up to a battery (like Cellink Neo 6), and the car is parked more time than it's actually being driven, so the lower the power consumption figures - the better.
- GPS with coordinates and speed to be overlaid on the video
- Preferably stealthy: no need to attract unnecessary attention
- Wi-Fi and iOS app reliable enough to quickly download the file to the phone to send it somewhere else
For example, if the event was detected during parking mode, I want to be able to check the corresponding video via the phone right away
- Lack of unnecessary annoyances, like unreasonably chatty voice announcements etc. - I don't really wanna know the thing exists until something happens
- Adequate customer service
- Not too ugly (this one is quite subjective)

What I don't care about:
- Cloud (I'm not gonna pay for the subscription and I won't have an always-on Wi-Fi hotspot with the data plan in my car).
However, if right after it detected an event (that was enough to trigger the write-protect of the file) it could automagically push it to the cloud (with a free plan) through the hotspot on my iPhone, that would be nice to have.
- Built-in display
- Other additional features


Please help me to pick based on your knowledge and experiences.
 
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kamkar1

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10 years, many dashcams
Selling a dashcam with a 16 GB memory card are a joke or maybe even a insult, you can use such a small card for nothing but flashing new firmware.
I have no idea why some brands insist on selling a memory card with the camera, or at least that small useless memory cards.
I have a sneaky feeling it is so you at least have a card that work with the camera as they have gone to great length to make sure the camera do not like any memory card.
All the cameras you are looking at you need at least a 128 GB memory card, and the right one at that, as some of the cameras can be a bit fussy about what memory cards they operate best with.
 
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air1

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All the cameras you are looking at you need at least a 128 GB memory card, and the right one at that, as some of the cameras can be a bit fussy about what memory cards they operate best with.
Yep, right below the list of them I've mentioned the Samsung Samsung PRO Endurance 128GB.
 
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air1

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I have a sneaky feeling it is so you at least have a card that work with the camera as they have gone to great length to make sure the camera do not like any memory card.
Indeed, this is what was tested by their QA and is known to withstand the continuous writes, which prolly allows them to lower the number of requests to their customer service from ppl with clearly unsupported configs.
As always, this is also a marketing decision - lets source the parts from the OEM supplier for wholesale price and sell it with 300% markup, stating that anything else is unsupported...

Do you have anything to comment on the list itself?:)
 
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air1

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My thoughts and concerns so far:
  • Thinkware F800 Pro:
    • in some youtube reviews I heard that Thinkware has some annoying chatty voice announcements when going out of the parking mode, which can't really adjust to your taste. Knowing myself this is gonna get old rather quickly. Did they fix it through FW or ...?
Answering my own question, it's "no and will never be":
2018:

2019:


Looks like DR750S-2CH is a way to go?

How its parking mode compares to Thinkware's?
 

Dashcammad

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I have a DR750S 2ch, it will take a 256gb card and says this on the box. The endurance cards by Scandisc, Transcend and Samsung all have good reports. Jokiin has previously mentioned WD Surveillance, purple cards and this range seems to be on a par or slightly better than Delkin, others may comment on them in time. With the DR750, all the nice lady voice prompts can be turned off and the video quality is very good. I don't think the 750 will lock an event file, but some on this item have said that it is possible. I have the download instruction manual from when I bought the camera and it is not a listed feature. I am very happy with the the camera from taking it out of the box and have never updated the firmware, so file locking may now be an option. The separate power magic pro hardware kit has time and voltage settings, the time can be set to infinity, always on, but is wise to select a voltage cut off to shut it down if your battery gets low. I think the cellink batteries promoted by Blackvue are quite expensive but a dedicated battery would be the best option for any camera for long term parked recording.
 

Butterfly

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A list of what I'm looking for in a dashcam:
- Dual-channel
- Good video-quality in both day and night conditions from both front and rear units
- Reliability: "set and forget" kind of setup, as installation of the rear one will require significant time and effort, and I also want to be sure if something happened I have it on video
- Operating in a wide temperature ranges: where I am the lows are down to -10C (14F ; although typically higher - this winter had -2/-3C as the lowest mark thus far) and the highs are up to +36C (97F)
- Parking mode: buffered and with motion detection (on top of the impact detection): most of the time I'm parked on the underground parking where not much is going on, so I think I'd rely on this approach.
I'm planning to hook it up to a battery (like Cellink Neo 6), and the car is parked more time than it's actually being driven, so the lower the power consumption figures - the better.
- GPS with coordinates and speed to be overlaid on the video
- Preferably stealthy: no need to attract unnecessary attention
- Wi-Fi and iOS app reliable enough to quickly download the file to the phone to send it somewhere else
For example, if the event was detected during parking mode, I want to be able to check the corresponding video via the phone right away
- Lack of unnecessary annoyances, like unreasonably chatty voice announcements etc. - I don't really wanna know the thing exists until something happens
- Adequate customer service
- Not too ugly (this one is quite subjective)
The Blackvue would be ideal for the needs you describe. Thinkware does have better buffered parking mode and day and night time vision though, but maybe not very less chatty. I just turn off voice notifications on my Thinkware. For my taste, I like a dash cam that never talks.

For the current new dash cam I have, I can only speak to the current -20C weather, my dash cam has no problem booting up. My other vehicle has a F800 PRO. I can speak to the +36C and -30C. It works for me (booting up and not shutting down) parked outside for a long time in both extreme weather conditions. It always depends on your country and vehicle though.

Screenshot_20200112_151927.jpg

The only problem I see is the part where you say "underground parking". That is usually saying, "no signal reception" at all. If that's the case, then I don't see a way for you to upload the video via internet when an impact happens. If somehow you have a device or that underground parking lot has internet, then yeah there shouldn't be a problem using the cloud functions from the Blackvue.
 

charliefd

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Hi guys, I'm a total newbie when it comes to dashcams (just decided it might be a good idea to install in both cars). The list of requirements the OP proposes is surprisingly close to my own. I might emphasize more the ability to function in wifi client mode as I'm parking in close proximity to my home within my home network coverage. Would be cool to download to the home NAS the footage over wifi.
 
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