leave phone in the car as a dashcam? - android the best option?

rajanm1

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#1
Has/does anyone leave an old/small android phone in the car as a dashcam?
I was thinking a small android phone with an app which records 15min clips which then automatically gets uploaded.
You could build a custom surround to hide it at the top of your windscreen.


Just been thinking about it and it seems like a great idea for what I am after!
Would like to auto upload videos, have it as a tracker and also have a battery for permanent recording. The price is also about the same as a good dashcam.

I know the field of view won't be as wide but that's a compromise I'm willing to make and most phones have decent 1080P video cameras now too!
Quite a lot of new stereo systems in cars are android now as well so i think this will be the way forward for dashcams in the very near future for whichever maker takes on the challenge to gain the rewards!
 
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#2
It might be fun to toy around with but it won't be reliable long term is the most common feedback. It's also the target for a smash and grab if you don't put it away every time you get in/out of the car. A real DashCam "appliance" is better the better way to go if you want to be confident you have video recording no questions/doubts..
 

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#3
I don't think any of these phones have auto start record when you start your car engine, and auto-stop record when you switch off the car engine, like most of the dedicated car dash cams can do. So if you have to manually press buttons on the phone to record every time you get in your car, then press to switch off recording before you leave your car, believe me it won't be long before you get sick and tired of doing it, and you won't bother using it as car dash cam anymore.
 
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rajanm1

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#4
, and auto-stop record when you switch off the car engine, like most of the dedicated car dash cams can do. So if you have to manually press buttons on the phone to record every time you get in your car, then press to switch off recording before you leave your car, believe me it won't be long before you get sick and tired of doing it, and you won't bother using it as car dash cam anymore.
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/dash-cam-android-comparison/
I use an app called "CAM ON ROAD" or "COR" and that is now able to auto start and stop recording with power to the phone.

Also if you put it in a custom enclosure/hide it well (like you would a dashcam anyway) then it is no more likely to be a target for a smash and grab than a dashcam would anyway.

Plus most phones have more regulations than dashcams so they would also be more reliable.
 

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#6
I used an iphone for a number of months and recorded some interesting footage.

But as mentioned above, I couldn't leave it in the car for fear of smash and grab, it would go into thermal shutdown on warm (not hot, just warm) days, the field of view was too narrow, and I had to start and stop it manually.

The best part was that when I was driving, no one paid any attention to it all. People are so used to seeing phones stuck to a windscreen that it was invisible while in motion.
 
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rajanm1

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#7
Before the G1W I used my S4 for over 2 hours of continuous video each day and it's fine with no overheating or anything like that yet.

I was thinking of taking the back cover off and using some heatsinks just incase.
 

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#8
It will work for a day or two max and then the battery will bulge like a pregnant woman Or explode.
I had to buy extra battery for S2 after using couple of days.
Also the fov isn't wide enough as the dashcam.
 
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rajanm1

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#9
What is the typical FOV on a mobile? Is there any way to find out what it is?

I've actually used the "Cam on road" app on my S4 for over a year like this and not had any problems yet, but I don't leave it in the car (only power and record when driving).
I drive for 2 or 3 hours/day so that should be enough to keep the phone battery topped up and I will exit recording over night as it is parked in a drive/garage.
This will mean it is only charging whilst I am driving and most people charge their phone overnight anyway so it shouldn't explode :-s
I have an old android phone that I would like to dedicate to being a dashcam (HTC EVO3D) and so leave this in the car recording during the day rather than take it with me and then autoupload via wifi when I get home and stop the recording.
 

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#10
Battery death is not due to charging but due to heat.
Summer is coming so use your phone now while you can as its life is very short as a dashcam.

Fov is not wide so you have to angle it further down to see anything around the hood.
 
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rajanm1

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#11
Like I said I used my s4 as a dashcam almost every day for over a year with no battery issues. Maybe your S2 battery was on it's way out anyway as it's an old phone.
yes FOV was not as wide but was good enough TBH. It was the same as what I could actually see when driving.

I'll be using a spare phone so I'll try it out and then see how it goes.
 

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#14
One thing is good about this idea.
Video Quality of even a cheap cellphone is hard to beat by much expensive dashcams.
 

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