Tech review: Nextbase's dash cam gives driver a clear picture

Tech review: Nextbase's dash cam gives driver a clear picture
Nextbase 422GW

Dash Cams are one of those things you don’t think you need until you don’t have one and something happens. I’ve been testing the Nextbase 422GW for the last few weeks and can say it certainly feels like an upgrade from the previous models with features such as a touch screen, Alexa support, Nextbase Emergency SOS services and a new pro mount.

The 422GW features 1440p recording, which provides excellent video quality for general viewing. It will record 1440p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps or 1080p at 30fps. While in use, it will record video clips at either one, two or three-minute lengths depending on which you choose in the settings. You can include overlays or stamps on the video including time, speed, GPS info, and car model.

You can playback video clips directly on the 422GW or on your mobile phone or PC. On mobile devices, you have to download the MyNextbase Connect app and on PC the Nextbase Replay software. Both are free and easy to use. You can also see a live view of the dash cam video on your phone, but only in portrait mode and not in landscape orientation for some reason. It does this using WiFi direct and there isn’t much latency.

The software is easy to use, but I did find it didn’t always work as well as it should. For example, the live view can be slow to establish a connection and then at times, it will refuse to connect altogether. Also, if you have a rear view camera connected to the 422GW, and I did, you can’t view the video from that in live view, which would be even more useful for reversing because you have the bigger screen. To be fair, these are small niggles and not deal breakers.

From the app, you can also enable Incident Aware. With this feature, you provide your email address, the email address of your insurer or another person, your insurance policy number and your number plate. Simply tap on the incident aware during AutoSync and a link of the video will be uploaded to the MyNextbase Cloud service and sent to the email addresses entered. This is of course optional. The Autosync feature uses Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi technology to automatically send video files to the owner’s smartphone.

One of the key features during my time using the 422GW is the touch screen. This is a game changer over the previous models and other dash cams out there. I loved using the 512GW up to now, but it was difficult to use the buttons to navigate my way around the system and menus. Thanks to the touchscreen on the 422GW, everything is a thousand times easier and it’s fast to respond to inputs.

Simple things like changing the main camera view to the rear camera view when you want it for reversing is a quick tap of the screen. No messing or fuss just quick and direct. If you want to take a photo while driving, tap anywhere on the screen and it will take a snap. There are two physical buttons, the power on/off and a big long button on the base of the screen that when pressed, will protect the current video clip being recorded.

Parking assist is also a great feature for those who park regularly in urban streets. When active, the 422GW goes into low power mode with only the G Force sensor. If they detect a bump, it will immediately begin recording for three minutes and protect the file. The only issue I had with this feature is that I would turn it on before parking but as soon as I close the doors, it would activate the recording.

The new Click&Go mount is a nice new feature that makes it quick and easy to remove the 422GW from its mount. It’s a simple, but effective mount that uses strong magnets, which is especially convenient for those who don’t want to leave the dash cam always in their car.

The 422GW comes with Alexa compatibility, but this is optional. For it to work you have to have the MyNextbase Connect app and Alexa apps running on your phone. Functionality with the 422GW is very limited to only a couple of command like start recording or protect a file. I found it wasn’t worth the effort and the touch screen functionality is far more useful. You can do other things like asking Alexa for a traffic update or what’s the weather like, but you don’t need the 422GW connected to Alexa for that.

The Nextbase Emergency SOS service is something you have to enable and is totally optional. This is an excellent addition and will provide some peace of mind for those who choose to use it. For it to work, you have to provide medical details, enable permissions on your phone like location services, phone dialer and allow the app to run in the background. The first twelve months are free but it’s a paid for service after that. I couldn’t find a price on the website not even after trawling through the 10,000-word terms and conditions on the Nextbase website. In the event of a serious crash, it will alert the emergency services to your exact location in the event that you are unresponsive. Once an incident is detected, the system will follow a series of failsafe protocols, to ensure there are no false callouts, before ringing the owner’s phone. If the driver remains unresponsive, the emergency services will be alerted, and the vehicle’s GPS position uploaded.

Overall, the Nextbase 422GW is a fantastic dash cam that I can recommend. From here on I would consider a touch-screen on a dash cam a must-have feature along with the ability to add either a cabin camera or rearview camera.

The Nextbase series 2 lineup consists of the 122: €59.99, 222: €89.99, 322GW: €124.99, 422GW: €159.99 and 522GW: €189.99. All modular, plug-in cameras are priced at €59.99 and are available at Harvey Norman, DID Electrical, Power City, Expert Ireland and Euronics Ireland stores along with other leading retailers.

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