Over recent years, dash cams have been increasing in popularity as a means of documenting every moment of your drive (or even while your car is parked) to provide video evidence in case something goes wrong. Recently, dual-camera models that can capture multiple angles at once have begun to proliferate on the marketplace. In order to help you sort through the options available and determine which dash cam is right for you, we've decided to take a closer look at the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam, a solid offering at a competitive price.
What Is The Vantrue N2 Dual Dash Cam?
The Vantrue N2 dual dash came provides up to 310 degrees of video coverage via its two high-def cameras. While its features and performance specs aren't the best we looked at, it is the lowest-priced model in our group, which may appeal to some buyers.
The Vantrue N2 dual dash cam features good but not great specs for its price range. Both of its cameras feature 6-element glass lenses capable of apertures up to F/2.0 (though these are surpassed by the Viofo, which offers 7-element lenses that can attain F/1.6, making for superior performance in low-light situations).
The Vantrue N2 dual dash cam's maximum storage capacity of 64 GB (via separate MicroSD card) is less than the 256 GB max of some other models, as well, making for shorter recording times, and its 32-degrees-Fahrenheit minimum operating temp also is surpassed by offerings from other manufacturers who offer better cold-temperature performance.
The Vantrue N2 dual dash cam can be found on Amazon and other online retailers for around $$, making it the least-expensive model we looked at; but not by much.
How It Compares
To see how the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam holds up against the competition, we've compared it against the following popular models:
The Vantrue N2 dual dash cam can be found on Amazon for around $$, making it the least expensive model in our group, but only by about $.
Ease Of Use
The Vantrue N2 dual dash cam loses some points on ease of use due to its relative lack of helpful features found on competing models, such as the larger, better-resolution screen, built-in wifi connectivity, and GPS module included on the Viofo A129.
The Vantrue N2 dual dash cam comes with 4 GB internal memory (which can be supplemented by removable memory cards up to 64GB in size), infrared mode, motion detection, audio recording, and dual sentry parking mode. The front camera manages a wide 170-degree viewing angle from a 6-layer glass lens capable of an aperture as large as F/2.0 for better image quality even under low-light situations.
When recording in single-camera mode, the front camera can capture 1920×1080 resolution at 30 frames per second, while the resolution is reduced to a still respectable 1440×1080 (also at 30 frames per second) when using dual camera mode. The rear camera features a 140-degree wide-angle lens that, like the front camera, also boasts a six-layer glass lens capable of F/2.0.
The shortcomings in the design of the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam become apparent when comparing it against other models available on the market, with offerings like Viofo's A129 Duo matching or surpassing it in pretty much every area, while adding additional features that aren't anywhere to be found on the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam.
The Vantrue N2 dual dash cam comes with a 1-year warranty. This warranty automatically extends to 18 months if the Vantrue N2 dual dash is registered through Vantrue's official site.
The Viofo A129 Duo gives the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam a solid run for its money, offering superior specs and additional features for only about $20 more.
The Viofo A129 Duo can be found on Amazon for around $$, making it about $ (or 13%) more than the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam. However, given the considerably better performance specs of the Viofo, we consider that a deal.
Ease Of Use
With a larger LCD screen than the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam (and in full HD) plus built-in wifi, the Viofo gets a slight edge over the Vantrue when it comes to ease of use. The external GPS module included with the Viofo also automatically time-stamps the time and location of footage.
For about $20 more than the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam (even less with available promotions), the Viofa A129 Duo packs in a number of improvements and added features. For example, the dual-camera Viofo is able to to record in full HD (1920×1080) at 30 frames per second on both cameras, even when recording in dual mode, while the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam reduces the resolution on both cameras to 1440×1080 during dual-cam operation.
Similarly, the Viofo A129's lenses include 7 elements to the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam's 6 layers, and the Viofo's lenses are capable of F/1.6 compared to the Vantrue's F/2. These seemingly subtle differences in resolution and aperture size can make all the difference in the world when you're trying to make out a license plate number in low-light conditions.
The Viofo A129 Duo also outdoes the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam when it comes to storage capacity (up to 256 GB), range of operating and storage temperatures (capable of handling both colder and hotter temperatures than the Vantrue, which cannot operate below freezing), and size and quality of the LCD display. with 2.0-inch full-HD LCD display on the Viofo compared to a 1.5-inch TFT LCD display on the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam. The Viofo also includes built-in 2.4GHz and 5Ghz WiFi and an external GPS module to automatically time-stamp the time and location of footage.
That Viofo has been able to pack so many extra features and high-end performance specs into a dual-cam dash cam that costs only about $20 more than the Vantrue N2 dash cam is a testament to the quality of its design. Another factor is the Viofo's much wider range of operating temperatures; unable to operate below freezing (0 degrees Celsius, 32 degrees Fahrenheit), the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam's parking feature won't help you much on those frozen winter days and nights.
The Viofo, by contrast, is capable of operating at temperatures down to minus-10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). And aren't those cold, icy winter months the time when it is most likely that another vehicle will slide into your car while it's parked?
The Viofo A129 comes with a 1-year limited warranty and lifetime technical support.
The Cobra CDR 895D dual view dash cam includes a 1080P front cam and a 720P rear cam, making it an inferior performer right out of the box. However, it does offer some other promising features, like a split-screen display that can show both cameras at once.
The Cobra CDR 895D dual view dash cam can be found on Amazon for around $160, putting it in roughly the same price range as the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam and the Viofo A129.
Ease Of Use
The rear camera on the Cobra CDR 895D is in a separate unit from the front-facing camera and the screen, which is attached via the included 20-foot extender cable. Whether this enhances or detracts from ease of use depends on whether you want the rear-facing camera to capture the cab (in which case an all-in-one unit may be preferable) or the view out the rear windshield (making the Cobra's setup better).
Still, the separate rear camera makes setup a bit more cumbersome than the all-in-one models, which we basically stuck onto the windshield and then plugged in. The Cobra also lacks other ease-of-use features contained on other models, like built-in WiFI connectivity.
In terms of features, the Cobra is one of the lower-ranked dual-cam models in our group. The front camera on the Cobra CDR 895D features 1080P resolution and a 160-degree viewing angle, while the rear camera has only 720P resolution and a 130-degree viewing angle (Compare that to the Viofo, which offers full HD on both cameras, even during dual-cam recording). However, the split-screen option on the Cobra, which allows the user to view both cameras simultaneously, is a nice bonus.
Our design quality score for the Cobra CDR 895D has been negatively impacted by the Cobra's lack of cutting edge features, such as full HD on both the front- and rear-facing cameras. Also, while we admit this involves some degree of personal preference, we are not a fan of having the rear-facing camera in a module separate from the rest of the dash cam.
While there is something to say for having the rear-facing cam pointed out a rear window to capture traffic in that direction, the last thing we need is a wire running through the length of our car to another device that is stuck on the rear window, creating a more cluttered feel and obstructing our view. Of course, one could run the wire through the car's paneling car-stereo style, but this would make installation a much more involved, cumbersome process, negatively impacting our opinion of the design quality either way.
While it may have been cost-prohibitive in this model, having a rear-facing camera that connected to the main module wirelessly would be a huge plus.
Cobra provides a 1-year certified warranty, which we've found to be about standard for the industry.
According to Nextbase, the 612GW is “the world's first 4k dash cam,” which it claims “boasts peerless picture quality that's even better than most household TVs.” While this may all be true, the Nextbase lacks the dual-camera functionality of the other models we looked at while coming in at a far higher price.
The Nextbase 612GW 4K dash cam can be found online for around $240, making it by far the most expensive model we looked at. Whether the Nextbase is worth this higher price depends on how much value you place on high-resolution 4K video and whether or not you desire a dual-cam model.
Ease Of Use
Lacking the separate modules for rear cameras or GPS that some other dash cams come with, the Nextbase 612GW is small, sleek, and easy to use. Of course some of that ease of use is reduced to a lack of functionality, such as the omission of a second camera.
While it features the only 4K camera among models we looked at, in our view, the chances that the improved resolution will capture an important detail lost to the 1080P cameras is about the same as the chances that the Nextbase will miss something due to its lack of a second camera, which effectively gives it about half the total coverage area.
For a dash cam costing about $$ more than the other models we looked at, we frankly expected more, especially since it already is at a disadvantage given its single-camera design. We did appreciate the sharp, 3.0-inch LCD screen on the Nextbase, which was the largest screen among the models in our group.
In our view, the fact that the Nextbase 612GW features the only 4K camera among the models we looked is basically offset by its lack of a rear-facing camera. While the compact design, brushed-aluminum appearance, and large 3.0-inch screen are nice features that add to the Nextbase's aesthetic appeal, we frankly would expect more bells and whistles from a dash cam costing about $100 more than the other models in our group.
Nextbase provides a 1-year warranty on its dash cams. However, its technical support center is in the UK, potentially making service inconvenient for customers outside that country.
Image Source : unsplash
After comparing it to the other models in our group, we decided to give the Vantrue N2 dual dash cam 3.5 stars for its balance of above-average features at a competitive price. However, for our money, the Viofo A129 Duo offered the best balance of performance and cost among the dash cams we looked at, while those who simply must have a 4K camera to the exclusion of all (including price considerations) will want to go with the Nextbase 612GW.