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Updated: July, 2020.
You are probably interested in a budget-friendly but solid performing dashcam! All buyers have their limitations, so in this article, we are going to introduce you to the best performing devices costing under $100. But first of all, let us say a few words about the usage of dashcams.
These days it is becoming very common to see dashcams in all kinds of vehicles in the traffic. Their usage has become popular among people who are setting them up for all kinds of purposes. They become useful particularly for security purposes or in cases of a collision as they can serve as proof for security claims.
There are also other drivers using them recreationally, more specifically, some of them are technology lovers who share their videos on Youtube or Instagram and make use of these devices to capture a better image for their subscribers and followers.
We are lucky to live in a world in which such high-tech devices have become affordable without the need to spend a lot of money. In this article, we have made a list of the most affordable high-quality dashcams together with all the characteristics you have to know. So let us take a look at some of them.
Best Dash Cams Under $100
1. YI NIGHTSCAPE DASH CAM
This Nightscape model produced by YI is an HD 1080p dashcam thoroughly designed in black. This company has been a producer for this type of unit for a very long time, although it became popular for the production of budget-friendly live-action cameras.
For these purposes, they combined several action camera features and the image quality to set them in a package of a quite smaller dashcam.
This device, equipped with a Sony STARVIS photographic sensor, can provide excellent footage during both day and night. Its lens angle is 140 degrees wide which may be seen as a shortcoming because other dashcams have 170 degrees of lens coverage on average. Nevertheless, this means that the camera has a better video quality and a less significant fisheye effect on the recordings.
The company promotes the Nightscape model as a “smart dashcam” which contains departure warnings as well as collision detection together with an ADAS feature. Although these features sound excellent on first sight, many utilizers of dashcams generally don’t use these possibilities because they don’t find them particularly useful.
As it is equipped with an integrated WiFi connection, this feature also includes the YI Dash Camera App which links your smartphone (both iOS and Android) directly to the dashcam thus providing a quick transfer and sharing of videos.
In case you don’t prefer to use your smartphone when you want to connect to your main device, you can make use of the 2.4-inch screen at the back of the body to change the settings and watch the recorded video files.
This model is shaped like a square and utilizes a fastened adhesive mount which makes it a bit more visible in comparison to other wedge-shaped dashcams which can be fastened directly on the windshield of the vehicle.
- Equipped with a powerful Sony STARVIS imaging sensor
- Designed in a stealthy black shape
- WiFi connectivity for remote usage from your phone
- It uses a capacitor making it more suitable for hot climates
- It is a bit more visible in comparison to other wedge-shaped dashcams because it uses a hanging mount
- Micro SD card is not included in the package
- Its internal SONY STARVIS image sensor provides FULL HD vision during both day and night. The footage is colorful and clear, even when the light is particularly low.
- 100% CAPACITOR BASED – due to its usage of high-functioning capacitors, this solidly powered unit provides excellent capabilities surpassing the performance of conventional dashcams. The dashcam is capable of performing at temperatures ranging from -22°F to 185°F.
- INTEGRATED WI-FI – this model is particularly easy to install and contains an integrated Wi-Fi connection. It is also very user-friendly since it can be controlled via the 2.4” LCD.
- You can instantly download and begin using the app of your camera, as you can share or back-up the footage captured by your device using a safe internet platform.
- SMOOTH HIGH-TECH DESIGN – displaying a cutting-edge and high-quality design, the Nightscape dashcam model makes your dashboard more sophisticated.
- Clear and Crisp Optics – this exquisite model merges the performance of six lenses to bring detailed 1080p footage and vivid color contrasts over the 140 degrees field of view.
2. AUKEY DR02 DASH CAM
This model represents a high-performing HD dashcam with a 1080p resolution. It is designed in a wedge-shape and is colored in black, a characteristic giving a stealthy look making it more difficult for thieves to spot it.
It provides excellent quality video recording on which license plate numbers are clearly visible and which also brings solid footage quality during the night which may be considered as “night vision”. This is enabled by the Sony Exmor Sensor and the 1080p video resolution featured by the unit.
When compared to other products, it features one of the widest lens angles providing 170 degrees of view, so the user has total coverage of everything in front of the vehicle.
As it features an integrated G-sensor, it can easily detect collisions and protect the crash video file from being overwritten. Although the Aukey DR02 dashcam does not include an integrated GPS, it still may include an auxiliary GPS antenna which can be purchased for an additional $20.
Since this model is powered by a capacitor, it is certainly more reliable for use since it does not depend on a battery which may be vulnerable to extreme changes in temperature.
This model also features a 1.5 inch LCD on the back of the body, which makes it simpler to reach videos, as well as set the dashcam options while having control over the field of coverage of the device.
Using an accessory hardwire kit which can be plugged in the fuse box of your vehicle, you can also make use of the movement detection and parking mode feature of this model which can provide you with active supervision of your car’s location. The Aukey also includes a time-lapse shooting feature that can be of use during journeys to compress large distance footage into a single video recording.
We are talking about a distinguished dashcam producer which offers a 2-year warranty for this product.
- It is particularly discrete due to the stealthy and dark design
- It utilizes the Sony Exmor sensor
- Solid night-time performance
- Collision & movement detection featured in the parking mode
- You need to purchase a separate module to use the GPS
- The excellently designed “stealth” dashcam will remain hidden behind the rear mirror of your car. It will always cover you in the case of an accident on the road. With the help of its 170 degrees field of view, the Sony Exmor Sensor can capture thorough and very clean vision with its 1080p resolution while maintaining solid quality on night-time recordings and low-light conditions.
- Sony Exmor Sensor captures everything in super-sharp full 1080p resolution with a super-wide 170° field of view and maintains strong performance in low-light conditions for night-time driving. Records videos (with optional internal audio) and still images.
- Featuring the EMERGENCY RECORDING MODE, which gets activated by an integrated g-sensor, capable of automatically detecting unexpected automobile accidents and keeping them safe from being overwritten by the loop recording option. The Time-Lapse Feature can make a fast-forward compressed file of your travel. In case you want to embed accurate location and the speed information to track the trip and greater protection, use its free software and connect it with the separately available AUKEY GM-32 GPS antenna.
- You can simply and safely position it on your windshield along the double-sided 3M pads which come together with the package. Their removal is even easier if you don’t want to leave them in the car after the ride. You can simply disconnect the power cable and dismount your dashcam.
- You can power the device through the 12/24V vehicle socket and the integrated dual-port USB vehicle charger (including a spare port to charge your phone) and a supercapacitor for internal usage.
- It gets powered automatically and begins recording when you turn your engine on and ends when the engine is turned off. The supercapacitor device is capable of working during extreme weather circumstances and is considerably better in comparison to battery technology providing a noticeably longer operational duration.
- The package of the AUKEY DR02 Dashboard Camera includes Dual-Port USB Vehicle Charger, 4 meters long Mini-B USB Power Cable, Attachable Mount, Two 3M Stickers, Six Cable Clips, and a User Guide.
3. G1W-C DASH CAM
This model which is included in the list is a bit different from the other ones. It is designed as a bigger, more noticeable device body integrating more power and features. The bigger part of dashcam models is packed with typical but a bit boosted specifications offering a more budget-friendly cost.
When it comes to design, this model is equipped with a 2,7-inch display capable of playing the recorded video files and a tool to control the camera settings. It is principally practical in situations in which you must play recordings back when a computer is not available.
An example of this is a possible interaction with a police officer in which you have to show the recorded footage on the very scene. This model is opposed to standard lithium batteries because it uses a supercapacitor. This feature brings no issues with depleted batteries, as well as better reliability and ability to operate on extreme temperatures.
Another feature making the drive safer and more enjoyable is the G-sensor motion-detection capability. This device can identify sudden impact or braking, thus automatically turning the recording function of the camera on, while a snapshot of the incident is captured immediately. Utilizing a wide-angle lens it can provide 1080p resolution at 60FPS providing you with excellent view quality during the day and solid footage during night-time.
Although the price is an adequate explanation of why an SD card is not included, the G1W-C can work with a memory card up to 64GB. The storage is managed quite economically with the loop recording and g-sensor functions.
- Perfectly suitable for high-temperature conditions because it is capacitor-powered
- More features in comparison to other models of its class
- A memory card is not included in the package
- The design is not stealthy looking
- Being powered by a capacitor, it includes no battery. It can endure extremely high temperatures and has longer life-time in comparison to other battery models.
- Able to capture HD 1080p resolution on @30 FPS with the front camera, and 720p at @60 FPS with its LED Night Vision and Motion Detection feature
- Packed with a G1W-CB Black Box: Utilizing Special Novatek NT96650 Chipset and AR0330 Aptina Lens – making lower consumption possible, as well as smooth footage processing along HD video compression
- Particularly simple to install and utilize: automatic initiation and instant playback feature displayed on a 2.7” HD broad LCD, as well as a wide dynamic range with a 140 degrees angle of coverage, quadruple zoom lens, and 5.0 MP Camera
- Automatic recording provided by the g-sensor is initiated in situations of unexpected braking, collision, speedy acceleration, or sharp turns – the original turning ball Suction Mount enables you to position the device on any flat area.
4. REXING V1 DASH CAM
The thoroughly black, special wedge-design V1 dashcam produced by Rexing includes a full HD 1080p resolution recording videos at @30FPS. It is powered by the OV4689 image sensor for the purpose of capturing crystal clear videos, during any time of the day and night.
This device utilizes a 170 degrees angle lens in order to cover a broad area in front of the vehicle, while other dashcams of this type generally use a smaller, 140 degrees angle lens. Video recordings can be displayed immediately on the 2.4 inch LCD, as the screen will also provide the possibility to make camera changes on it.
It can endure working on more extreme heats and colder weather conditions since it is powered by a capacitor. As it may be packed with an optional hardwire kit which provides direct power to the V1 through the battery of your vehicle, you will also have the possibility to use the parking mode feature, which will make your car safer when you are not inside it or in its vicinity.
This device is also equipped with an internal g-sensor that can identify major impacts and will immediately save the crucial video file and protect it from being overwritten by the loop recording feature.
With the help of the integrated WiFi feature of your V1, you will be provided the possibility to make connections with your smartphone (iOs or Android) or tablet. You may link them directly to the dashcam with the Rexing mobile software, making an opportunity to download and watch videos on a different device, thus simplifying the way to share such recordings on social media.
The V1 can support a microSD card up to 256GB, which makes it one of the dashcam memory cards with the largest storage capacity. The feature will provide you the ability to store more than 34 hours of recorded material before the loop recording option begins overwriting the oldest video files.
- Designed in a specific stealthy wedge-shaped manner
- 170 angle wide coverage
- Integrated WiFi connection
- Supports up to 256GB microSD
- Requiring a separate module for GPS usage
- HD RESOLUTION STEALTH DESIGN DASHCAM: it can capture 2160p videos while traveling fast with the usage of a TOP OV4689 image sensor. Its recognizable discreet design enables this model to be well-positioned in case anything happens on the road. It can work with high-quality microSD memory cards up to 256GB in memory space.
- WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE & WIDE COVERAGE LENS OF 170 DEGREES: its cutting-edge glass lens will activate and capture an extensive view of everything around. The exquisite WDR components will enable the camera to work perfectly in any type of lighting by adapting the brightness to create fine images and recordings.
- PARKING VIEWING & SUPERCAPACITOR: the unit is powered by a supercapacitor that can work at extreme weather conditions ranging from -20 to hot weather of approximately 176 degrees Fahrenheit without the risk of overheating, thus prolonging the life-span and the good performance of the camera. The parking monitor feature will enable the camera to automatically begin recording a 20-second video file at the moment when the vehicle camera identifies vibration or the dashcam may begin capturing a timelapse video that may record 24/7. In order to activate the parking mode, you should connect the smart hardwire kit.
- WIFI CONNECTION: watch, store, and show dashcam recordings only through your cellular phone device by the means of a software interface.
- G-SENSOR AND LOOP RECORDING: Video files can last for 1, 2, or 3-minute intervals. When the limit of the storage on the memory card is exceeded, the oldest recordings are automatically overwritten by new recordings. When the integrated g-sensor identifies an impact, the recorded video file is immediately locked, making sure the crash footage remains stored.
5. NEXTBASE 312GW DASH CAM
This is a product by Nextbase that proves to be one of the best and represents the company in the area of high-end dashcams being a superb solution for drivers who want to maintain constant access to their mobile devices, social media accounts, or maybe even their insurance company. Now we are going to examine what brings this model to our list:
The 312GW has an integrated Wi-Fi connection, providing you with the ability to download footage to a tablet/smartphone and share it with friends or some relevant institutions. Its cutting-edge technology and futuristic layout are improved by the innovative Powered Magnetic Click&Go mounting system.
The pioneering system empowers the user by taking down and reapplying the unit with the mount powered by a magnet which eliminates the complicity brought by wired devices.
The dashcam is equipped with the user-friendly Nextbase application meaning after the installation of the integrated Wi-Fi which connects it to an Android or iOS device, you may store footage that you want to share with someone. The high-definition footage provides you with the capability of not missing any license plate or something related to a possible accident.
This camera provides you with exquisite GPS, allowing you to follow your journey efficiently, knowing the exact geographic location as well as the speed at which a possible accident occurs, so sometimes may be a deal-breaker for a possible insurance claim.
- Very popular price
- Simply great picture
- Easy to mount
- Not using a capacitor but an ion battery
- Exquisite brand
- Sleek and stealthy black design
- Perfectly sized (1.97 x 1.97 x 1.97)
- 80 grams of weight
This product with its integrated camcorder and pure quality is a definite leader on the market. With its very popular price, it would be very difficult to find a shortcoming among these extraordinary features and the neat layout. Every user will find this product extremely useful, no matter if he is a beginner or an experienced driver.
6.HP SUPER HD 1296p DASH CAM
This dash cam model is dominant with its design and features. Its concise and simple layout brings you quite satisfactory night vision and is useful for all kinds of drivers. Below, we will try to give you more details regarding this dashcam with which you will hardly face any problems.
Its 1296p ultra HD cam provides you with exquisite 2K resolution footage which can show you the picture of license plates and road signs regardless of the part of the day, so you will surely have reliable evidence in case of an unwanted event.
Its design is very sleek and minimalist, so you may install it easily on every type of vehicle without blocking the view of anyone sitting in the vehicle.
Having in mind that the dashcam automatically records its videos, when the memory capacity gets full it will continue writing new recordings over the oldest ones to keep the device running. In an unlikely event of a crash, your crucial file will be protected from overwriting.
Having an added sucker bracket, the installation of this device is pretty simple. The stable 3M adhesive bracket will make sure that the device doesn’t fall from the windshield during extreme temperatures.
Its lens gives you excellent video quality during both day and night and is another proof that you won’t have to invest large amounts of money to get a reliable device that is going to keep evidence and support your claims in judicial or insurance cases.
- Excellent picture during both day and night
- Very easy to mount on the dashboard
- Pretty affordable price
- Built-in microphone
- Powered by a battery
- You will have excellent, sharp, clean, and detailed video image due to the exceptional Ambarella A7LA50 processor and the OV4689 image sensor and will be sure during possible insurance claims, disputes and keep interesting visual recordings. The 1296P image is 44% better than the 1080P
- Equipped with F 1.8 six-layers glass lens & HDR video system which adjusts to exposure and captures an excellent image at any time. Its 150 degrees of coverage provides a good vision of 4 lanes of traffic.
- As the engine is turned on and off, the dashcam will switch automatically so the user doesn’t have to worry about the capturing of every situation
- Saving and locking important videos in emergency cases; Activation of Parking Monitoring when vibration is detected; Latest videos are always available with Loop Recording
- Excellent customer service & 12 months of warranty
7. VANTRUE N1 PRO DASH CAM
Vantrue N1 is a suction cup dashcam with the ability to capture recordings at 1920x1080P and @30 FPS along with its Sony IMX323 sensor, as it brings excellent day and night video recordings. Its 160-degree angle lens is pretty wide. The 1.5” LCD screen gives you the possibility to view and delete videos.
It has a big memory capacity that allows you to use a 256GB microSD card, meaning you can record more than 30 hours of video material. The loop recording feature is going to delete the oldest recordings and overwrite them when the storage is full. When you want to record a long road, you may also utilize the time-lapse feature.
You will be able to use the parking mode option which provides you with non-stop protection while you are not in the car by simply connecting your N1 with the fusebox through a hardwire. This also enables the integrated G-sensor which helps you with motion detection and impacts.
This model doesn’t feature an integrated GPS, but you still have the option to purchase this add-on which is priced around $20. This unit comes with an 18-month warranty and excellent customer support in case you face some issues.
The camera can be mounted and dismounted very easily so you can also use it as a secondary dashcam for traveling or in rental cars/cars which you occasionally use.
- Good night vision
- Superior Sony IMX323 sensor
- Movement and impact detection during parking
- Memory card capacity of 256GB
- Equipped with a suction cup mount which is easy to remove, although not good for a lasting mount. You have to purchase an adhesive mount additionally
- Using a battery rather than a capacitor
- Recording with 1080p HD resolution at @30FPS
- 1.5 inches LCD
- 160° coverage
Conclusion: How To Choose The Best Under $100 Camera?
Keeping in mind that our list consists of so many good budget-friendly dashcams, one may find it confusing to decide which one will be the best to purchase. It is worth mentioning that each of these products contains a special characteristic putting it in the advantage of another one but it doesn’t mean that the other one is not worth considering either.
Nonetheless, we should consider this decision taking into account what kind of vehicle you drive and what are the purposes of your driving which are summarized in our list of recommendations made independent to the necessities of various drivers and vehicle users.
In the case of a heavy social media user or a Youtuber whose elementary reason for investing in a budget-friendly Chinese dashcam would be recording and subsequently posting on social media, the best choice would be any economical dual dash cam model. Besides, this type of user will also need a WiFi connection to instantly share videos and images.
An office type driver who is always dependent on the work location has his car spending time in the parking lot and sometimes maybe the last one leaving the job meaning that parking mode will be necessary for this user to get 24-hours surveillance over the vehicle. We already mentioned three cameras of this type.
Photo taken from unsplash.com
The driver who is always on the road and wants to record memories for the future could buy a budget-friendly dashcam with a broad recording angle and an integrated GPS. Nevertheless, for the users of our website, we would certainly recommend the Rexing V1 model dashcam as it has the best possible features and the least serious shortcomings.
It is sure that all the units on this list are of excellent quality and will also help you record what you want on the road. All in all, the only thing that matters is being safe on the road. Surely, the dashcam will satisfy that need with detecting and recording crashes, as well as pretentious hit and run drivers.