In-car dash cams that record road footage are exploding in popularity, and have become a part of the transport landscape. Many people are turning to dash cams to provide the evidence they need after an incident on the road. In 2018, there are thousands of products to choose from, making the purchase process quite daunting. Today we will look at one of the worlds most popular dash cams, the G1W by Black Box.
Before going any further, I would like to point out this review is based on entry level dash cams, priced $150 or less. If you are planning to spend over $150, I would suggest disregarding this review. I will attempt to cover what you will find in higher end products as compared to entry level cameras throughout the review.
The single most important factor in buying a dash cam is video quality. You want to ensure the camera will do it’s job, capturing the vital information that can be used as evidence.
The G1W features a Full HD 1080p front facing camera recording at 30 frames per second (FPS), with an optional adjustment to 720p recording at 60 FPS. The built-in Aptina AR0330 CMOS Image Sensor provides exceptional image quality with superior color accuracy. The AR0330 is renowned for great quality images in low light environments, making night time driving quality far superior to other competitors on the market. In optimal day time recording, the camera will pick up most vital information such as car licence plates with ease.
As you move to higher end products, video quality will become far superior, using better sensors and recording at much higher resolutions. You also get the benefit of improved software to handle different environments, including extreme light exposure correction, night recording quality correction and improved wide dynamic range.
In saying that, at the G1W’s price point, you simply can’t get better value for money when it comes to recording quality.
Having a reliable dash cam is just as important as video quality. With thousands of dash cams available in 2018, finding a reliable product can be quite a challenge. Quite often people do not realize they have a faulty dash cam until after an incident when they attempt to review the footage, only to find the camera hasn’t been recording.
The G1W is a very reliable dash cam that should last many years without any hiccups. The G1W is the most reviewed dash cam on Amazon, with over 2000 reviews, and almost 60% of the reviews being 4 or 5 star. We have been running the G1W for many months now with zero issues, and many reviews on Amazon state a 3+ year life span.
Through the duration of our testing, the G1W endured very warm temperatures which had no effect on the performance.
The G1W features a very basic design, including a plastic body, silver buttons, and a built-in touch screen. The camera is fairly compact, making for a discrete, minimalist installation. There are two buttons on either side of the touch screen, and a power button located on the top frame of the unit.
A suction cap mounting bracket is used to mount the camera to the desired position on the glass. We generally prefer mounting brackets that use adhesive tape instead of suction caps as they are more sturdy, and aren’t susceptible to falling off. Suction cap’s can easily unstick from the glass, especially in colder weather. As they are also less sturdy, driving on uneven surfaces will cause the camera to shake, potentially effecting the video quality.
The prime feature of the G1W is its 2.7″ LCD display with 16:9 ratio. Having the screen built-in allows for an easy setup, making it simple to find the optimum aiming position for the Full HD camera.
There are no extra features such as GPS, Wi-Fi or ADAS, this is common among products around this price point.
The G1W is a great entry level dash cam, probably the best in the market at it’s given price point. There are no advanced features or driving aids included, it is purely a reliable dash cam that will do one job very well, record quality footage. If you are looking for an entry level dash cam, priced under $150, I would strongly recommend the Black Box G1W.