When IROAD first announced it’s latest in car dash cam last month, it looked promising. It’s just hit stores and I’ve been trying it out for the last week or two, to really get the measure of it. We’ve raved about IROAD’s Wi-Fi dash cam series lineup in the past and we even use them in-house for our company cars. The new IROAD Q9 is a sleek dash cam boasting an impressive set of specs.

Design & Packaging

The new and improved design of the Q9 is the number one thing I like about the product so far. IROAD have made some major changes to the Q9, creating a slimmer, more compact design for a discrete, minimalist installation. The main body of the camera measures just 19mm in height, that’s less then half the height seen in it’s predecessor which measured in at 45mm. The Q9 is by far the slimmest dual channel dash cam we’ve seen to date.

IROAD have also stepped up in the looks department, adding an aluminium design piece around the head of the camera to add to the overall premium design of the product. The Q9’s color scheme follows IROAD’s traditional approach using darker colors to add to the minimalist design. From outside the vehicle, the product is barely noticeable at first glance, adding to the discrete appeal. For people wanting to make the Q9 more visible to deter people away from their vehicle, white LED lights have been embedded on both the front & rear camera that flash when motion is detected.

The some-what high price tag of the Q9 is definitely reflected in the packaging and presentation of the product. The retail package carries a high-end, minimalist matte black design with a smaller internal package to hold the cameras accessories. The Q9 front & rear camera is supported by a foam padding to provide support.

Setup

The IROAD Q9 can be connected directly to the cigarette plug in the vehicle, however i would strongly recommend having the camera professionally hard-wired by an auto technician. Having the camera hard-wired will enable the use of parking mode, a great feature to keep your camera running when the car is off. Choosing to connect directly to the cigarette plug would force the camera to switch off with the ignition, loosing the ability to switch to parking mode and also leaves the cables visible making the setup look a little unprofessional.

Once your IROAD Q9 is installed, getting things up and running is actually rather simple. All the preset settings are suited for most markets and will not need to be adjusted. The only setting that will need initial adjustment will be selecting the correct time-zone. Once the power cable is connected, the camera is ready to go and will begin recording in superb Full HD quality.

Camera

IROAD camera’s are renowned for superior video quality, and the new Q9 doesn’t fall short. The superb Full HD 1080p recording on both the front and rear camera allows the Q9 to capture outstanding quality footage, with plenty of sharpness and color in daylight. Video recordings pick up key information such as licence plates with ease, giving you piece of mind that you have all the necessary information after an incident.

The Q9 incorporates a wide dynamic range to handle a range of lighting conditions, however I have noticed a slight delay to sudden changes in light exposure, for example leaving a tunnel into direct sunlight. The camera footage appears to struggle when hit with these challenging light conditions however does revert back to normal after 2-3 seconds.

Night recording has seen a major improvement following the integration of Night Vision mode which can be enabled through the IROAD app. After switching night recording on, there is a noticeable difference allowing the camera captures allot more information. Previous models recorded in low light environments would pose difficulties when trying to identify information from the image. IROAD Night Vision employs new ISP (Image Signal Processing) technology and real-time image processing function to brighten images that are recorded in low light.

Parking Mode

You do not need to purchase any extra accessories to enable Parking Mode with your IROAD, everything is built-in saving you time and money. Most other brands require optional hard-wire kits just to enable this feature.The Q9 parking feature incorporates state-of-the-art software to enable continuous recording when the ignition is off. This is a great feature offering surveillance when you are away from the vehicle e.g. in a car park at a shopping mall. The Q9 has incorporates a Battery Discharge Prevention System to monitor the charge on the car’s battery, switching off the camera if a set voltage is reached to prevent the car battery running flat.

Convenient features such as Impact & Motion Detection allow for efficient storage of video files. When enabled, only footage captured by the motion & impact sensor will be saved to the cameras internal storage, any other footage is discarded to save space. This feature is particularly effective for cars that are parked for long periods of time and prevents any important footage being overwritten.

Wi-Fi

The IROAD dedicated Smartphone application allows you to do everything from exporting footage, view live playback, to adjusting settings. Once downloaded from the Apple app store or the Google Play Store, you simply need to launch the app and follow the on-screen instructions which turns on Wi-Fi to seamlessly connect to the Q9.

Once you launch the app and connect to your device, you can seamlessly scroll through all recorded footage, allowing you to backup the front & rear camera files directly to your smartphone, all wirelessly through the Wi-Fi connectivity.

GPS

The included GPS module tracks location, date and time in the event of an accident. It also enables the user to collect more precise data and monitor driving trips via Google Maps on the dedicated IROAD PC Viewer. Moreover, speed data is also recorded that can help prove your side of the story in the case of an incident.

Many cameras have the GPS module built-in, which can block direct visibility with satellites and provide incorrect data. IROAD have decided to include the GPS module as an external piece that can be mounted in a more effective position on the windscreen, ensuring you are always obtaining correct data.

Verdict

The IROAD Q9 is the product I have been most impressed by this year – and it’s probably the most impressive dash cam I’ve come across to date. IROAD boasts an impressive set of specs that are hard to match in an ever-growing competitive market. The superb Full HD 1080p recording on both the front and rear camera allows the Q9 to capture outstanding quality footage during both day and night recording. If your in the market for a top of the range front and rear dash cam, look no further then the IROAD Q9.

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