Thinkware U3000

Thinkware U3000

The Thinkware U3000 is a Korean dual channel dash camera with 4K video up front and 2K video for the rear, released in Jun 2023. This is Thinkware’s latest flagship model and is loaded with features including a Sony STARVIS 2 sensor for the front camera.

The Thinkware U3000 is based on the Ambarella H22A77 processor. It uses a Sony STARVIS 2 IMX678 CMOS sensor for the front camera and a Sony STARVIS IMX335 CMOS sensor for the rear camera. This is the first time Thinkware is using a STARVIS 2 sensor.

While the U3000 is typically sold as a dual camera model, sometimes it is sold with the front camera only and you will need to purchase the rear camera, Model: BCQH-500, separately.

Video Quality

The front camera records 2160p (4K) video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 30 Mbps. Video quality for the front camera during the day is very good and night quality is good but not the greatest. One factor that impacts night recording quality on the U3000 is the lack of High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR, which helps in low light situations, is not available in the U3000 due to a limitation with the Ambarella processor and unfortunately night video suffers for this.

The rear camera records 1440p (Quad HD) video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 10 Mbps. Video quality is noticeably worse than the front camera but most users will find it acceptable. We find the video to be good during the day but below average at night. Overall if video quality is your main criteria for choosing a dash cam, there are more affordable options with better quality.

Features

The Thinkware U3000 front camera is a medium sized camera at 98 x 70 x 56mm, and is slightly bigger than Thinkware’s previous flagship, the U1000. That being said, the wedge shape, no LCD screen and all black design make it a discreet camera. Overall build quality of the U3000 is excellent and WiFi app works well.

Some other useful features include low voltage cutoff / battery protection and verbal notifications and error warnings to let you know if there are any issues while you are recording such as SD card errors.

The U3000 also comes with Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Front Collision Warning System (FCWS), Rear Collision Warning System (RCWS) and Front Vehicle Departure Warning (FVDW). Unfortunately these features are less robust to the equivalent ones built into some cars so many owners just turn them off.

The U3000 only records with H.265 compression (reduces large file sizes when compared with the standard H.264 compression). If you have older computer hardware, it may not support or struggle with 4K video using H.265 compression.

Parking Modes

One area where the U3000 excels is recording while parked (when hardwiring cable or OBD-II cable is connected.). The U3000 has 4 available parking modes: Radar, Motion Detection, Time Lapse and Energy Saving. Note that Thinkware is the only dash cam manufacturer utilizing radar for parking mode.

The Thinkware U3000 has a radar module for parking mode built in to both the front and rear camera. The primary advantage of radar-assisted parking mode is the very low power consumption. Previously on the U1000, you required a separate radar unit to take advantage of radar parking mode. Having this included is a nice feature.

Cloud Connectivity

The Thinkware U3000 uses the new Thinkware Connected app for cloud features. The cloud features supported include:

  • Strong Impact Notifications while Driving
  • Impact Notifications when Parked
  • Send Emergency Message
  • Remote Live View
  • Vehicle Status & Driving History
  • Captured Image of Most Recent Parking
  • Geo-Fencing

Another positive is that the Thinkware Cloud support is free.

Support

Thinkware appears to be responsive to questions and has adequate support. They also provide firmware updates which is a positive as well. Thinkware provides a 12 month warranty, which is standard for most dash cams.

Known Problems

Rear Camera Radar Not Working

The most common reason for the rear radar not working / not detecting movement in parking mode is the USB cable is not fully inserted. Note that even if the front camera announces the rear camera is connected, it may not be fully inserted. Note the notch in the rear cable connector in the photo below from our member rcg530.

Thinkware-U3000-Rear-Cable

You will need to push the cable firmly into the rear camera until you hear a click on insertion otherwise the radar will not work. Our member rcg530 discovered this problem and created this video on how to resolve.

U3000 Rear Camera Radar Parking Mode Fix

Internal Photos

Sample Videos

Comparison Video – Thinkware U3000 Top, VIOFO A119 Mini 2 Middle and VIOFO A139 Pro bottom

Comparison Video from DashCamTalk member rcg530

Should I Purchase

The Thinkware U3000 is a premium dual camera loaded with features. The camera is discreet and with the built in radar has one of the best parking modes available in any camera. Build quality is excellent, support is good, the app works well and the cloud features are a nice addition.

The biggest drawback is video quality. While the STARVIS 2 sensor gives the U3000 a slight video improvement over the U1000, the lack of HDR and lower bit rate cause the U3000 to perform good but not great which is a key consideration given the high price point. Cheaper cameras from VIOFO have better video quality for example.

Overall, if you are looking for a premium camera with excellent parking mode, cloud support and decent video quality, the Thinkware U3000 is a good choice.

You can read what other owners have to say about this camera in our Thinkware U3000 forum.

Where to purchase for lowest price

This camera is available on Amazon and eBay for approximately $500.

Note: Links to vendors are affiliate links that support our website. Read our affiliate disclosure here.

Firmware

Latest Firmware

The latest firmware can be downloaded from the Thinkware site.

User Manual

You can download the English User Manual from here.

Specifications

Detailed Specifications

Read Review readreview
Camera Type Dual Channel
Form Factor Wedge
Country China
Processor Ambarella H22A77
CMOS Front Sony STARVIS 2 IMX678
CMOS Rear Sony STARVIS IMX335
Channels 2
Screen No
Touchscreen No
GPS Yes
G-Sensor Yes
Wi-Fi Yes
Parking Mode Buffered
Lock Files Auto or Button
Max Resolution Front 3840×2160p (4K)
Front Frames Per Second 30
Max Bitrate Front (Mbps) 28
Max Resolution Rear 2560×1440p (Quad HD)
Rear Frames Per Second 30
Max Bitrate Rear (Mbps) 10
Video Format MP4
Compression H.265
Diagonal Viewing Angle Front 152°
Diagonal Viewing Angle Rear 128°
SD Card Type MicroSD
Max Size (Spec) 256GB
Max Size (User) 256GB
Size Front (mm) 98 x 70 x 56
Size Rear (mm) 79 x 37 x 32
Mount Adhesive
Power Supply 12V
Operating Temp -10°C to 60°C
Battery Capacitor
Error Notification Audio
Swivel (To Record Side Windows) No
Apps PC, OSX, Android, iOS
Cloud Connectivity Yes
Release Date Jun 2023
Warranty 12 months
Unique Features Radar assisted parking mode front and rear
Starvis 2 CMOS
Cloud Capabilities (Geo-fencing, locate vehicle, impact notification)
Advantages Great low power parking mode
Good build quality
Cloud capability
Good video quality
Disadvantages High price tag
Final Word Thinkware's flagship camera has an impressive set of features but is pricey and while video quality is good, it is not as great as some other cameras. Best for parking mode.

Published: December 20, 2023

Thinkware U3000 - DashCamTalk
Thinkware U3000

The Thinkware U3000 has impressive features, particularly parking mode and cloud. However it is pricey and video quality is not as great as some other cameras.

Product SKU: U3000

Product Brand: Thinkware

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 500

Price Valid Until: 2026-01-01

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
6.7