I’ve been reviewing dash cams here for quite some time now and I always start off these posts telling you guys that you need to get one. It honestly doesn’t matter if you’re the safest driver on the road and you think you’ll never get into a fender bender, the fact is that you don’t know who’s out on the road with you. For every safe driver out there, there’s an equally unsafe driver that could plow into you at any time. On the plus side, I have noticed more people using dash cams now so that’s good. With that said, today I”m looking at something pretty special I think and it’s from Nextbase . It’s the Nextbase 612GW and it’s the first dash cam I’ve looked at that actually records in 4K. Not only that, it’s got several other unique features that help it stand apart from the rest.
For starters, the Nextbase 612GW isn’t built like other dash cams. While most dash cams you see are made of plastic, the Nextbase 612GW has a brushed aluminum front. The lens is center mounted with a 150-degree wide angle view, and this is the first dash cam I’ve seen with a polarizing filter that reduces glare and reflections. It also uses the latest Sony Exmor R CMOS Sensor. Another first for me is that 3.0” LCD color touch screen on the back. This thing has almost zero buttons aside from the power button and the emergency record button on the side. Everything else can be accessed with the touch screen. If that wasn’t enough, the Nextbase 612GW has a really interesting way of integrating a GPS Antenna into it. It’s not built into the main unit and it’s not a separate piece you need to really plug in. Instead, the GPS antenna is built into the mounting bracket which I find pretty neat.
In terms of features that I didn’t mention above, the Nextbase 612GW is feature packed. Again, it can record at 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 @30fps), High Dynamic Range (HDR), Time Lapse mode, voice alerts, built-in Wi-Fi and companion app, GPS logging, automatic recording, and a built-in backup battery for an extra 15 minutes of record time when the car is shut off. This last bit is important because it allows for Intelligent Parking Mode where the camera will automatically start recording when it senses motion or impacts while parked.
What the Nextbase 612GW doesn’t have that I see on other dash cams are safety warnings. This is a feature that seems useful at first, but doesn’t really see much realistic use, so I can see why Nextbase left it out. Plus a lot of new cars have all these safety warnings built in now so it’s kind of redundant.
First up is 4K recording at regular speed. Quality is quite good, probably the best I’ve seen from a dash cam and you can actually make out a lot of the details including license plate numbers. It also picks up sound really well. You might notice some slight bounciness or shake in the camera, but that’s because my car is lowered and picks up every single bump in the road so there’s lots of vibration. Second, notice that the video is stamped at the bottom with the GPS location data, time and date, and speed. You’ll also notice that there’s very little reflection or glare coming from my windshield and that’s because of the polarizing filter. That was a big problem I had with other dash cams, but not with this one.
Time lapse mode is really neat. What it does is it can compress a 30 minute trip into a much shorter video. It still retains a lot of the quality though if you’re recording in 4K. What’s also neat is that even though you’re in Time lapse mode, it can still auto save video in the event of an impact. Also notice that it also still stamps the video with the time and date, GPS coordinates, and your speed. There’s no sound however.
Overall, some great video the Nextbase 612GW captures.
Based on what I’ve seen in the dash cam category over the years, the Nextbase 612GW is like the Mercedes of dash cams. It’s one the the only dash cams I’ve used that has an aluminum body and the only one I’ve used that has a touch screen. I mean it’s got almost every feature you want in a dash cam built into it including 4K. The only thing it lacks is a rear view camera, but I’m sure Nextbase will come out with something like that in the future. Until then, the Nextbase 612GW is one of the best dash cams you can buy right now in my opinion. In fact, it’s my new daily.