Updated on January 21, 2023
Even the most basic in-car camera system is an integral part of your kit when driving on the road. They are more relevant now than they used to be probably a few years ago, continually and silently providing the additional security that you need to safeguard your vehicle in the event of an accident or some kind of car crime. They wouldn’t stop an accident, but in the event of one, they provide the all-important video evidence that can help implicate an at-fault driver. Dashcams have many other fringe benefits, but more on those later.
As experts in this field we have conducted many unbiased dash cam reviews on this site, some devices performed well, and others are probably not worth the purchase. In our latest, the Black Box G1W review, we shall look at the most critical features and find out if it makes good sense to buy it or not.
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Let’s start with the lens. It’s a fair 140-degree coverage AR0330 lens with 4 x zoom. The 140-degree coverage is pretty wide for all practical purposes and is common among budget dash cams. You get an even wider field of view with other similar models on the market, (such as the Xiaomi Yi in the same price range offering 165 degrees) but 140 is more than enough. The zooming feature works very well when you need to zero in on an event that’s happening in front of you.
The G1W dash cam records at full HD 1920 x 1080p at a smooth 30 frames per second. One of the most significant advantages of a higher resolution capability is that in the event of a crime or an accident you have a vital piece of evidence right on your car DVR that can be used to implicate the perpetrator. At a reduced frame rate of 60 fps, you can shoot at 720p resolution. All videos are compressed in H.264 video compression technology.
The system is programmed to start shooting as soon as you turn on the ignition. With loop recording, you have a constant supply of memory to fill on the MicroSD card. However, loop recording comes at an expense. When the MicroSD card runs out of memory, it starts to overwrite the older videos starting from the oldest. Any video that has been locked by you or automatically by the DVR will, however, not be overwritten.
Thanks to a 2.7” high-resolution screen, you can watch the videos that have been taken directly from inside your car. Alternatively, you can remove the MicroSD card, plug it into a computer and download the videos. An AV output allows you to connect it to your TV. There is also a micro USB port and an HDMI port.
If ever required, it is a competent still shooter as well. You can take still images of 5-megapixel resolution.
Parking Monitor And Motion Detector
The automatic motion detection featured here is a serious help when you need to record movements around your vehicle when it is parked outside. If a car thief tries to pry open the doors or someone tries to damage the vehicle exterior by scratching it etc., the motion detection feature makes a quick recording of any such movement. With Infra-red night vision, the car camera recorder is able to shoot footage clearly even in extremely low light situations.
Memory Lock Gravity Sensing
A convenient feature of the G1W dash cam is something called a G-Sensor. A gravity sensor on any of the modern dash cameras is an excellent piece of technology. This feature senses rapid changes in gravity that usually happen when the vehicle has been in an accident. From high speed to rapid deceleration, or turning at high speeds are some of the events under which the gravity sensor activates. When this sensor enables, the DVR will automatically lock the video being recorded. This prevents the video from getting overwritten during normal loop recording. This is done in order to avoid vital pieces of information getting obscured.
Ergonomics And Technology
For one thing, this small power-packed feature-rich unit has the combination of the Novatek NT96650 Chipset +Aptina AR0330 lens. A 3 M CMOS sensor beats at the heart of the system. A large 2.7” screen allows you to view what has been recorded and set up the unit or tinker with the settings.
The design mimics the shape of a typical rear view mirror camera. This is a reason why a lot of vehicle owners prefer installing it just behind their rearview mirrors to prevent any visibility issues when driving. The innovative swivel-ball suction cup mount design of the mounting mechanism is exceptionally comfortable to set up and position.
Wide Dynamic Range
The G1W dash cam comes with WDR technology. Wide Dynamic Range as it is known as a technology that has been borrowed from digital cameras, where HDR or (High Dynamic Range) is used to capture a better dynamic range to achieve more details from shadow areas.
Setting It Up
This impressive little in-car camera comes pretty much set up already. All you need is a MicroSD card, and you are good to go. However, the menu system allows you to tweak a bunch of features including exposure compensation, loop recording time-frame, video resolution, language, and so on. The system supports up to 32 gigs of external storage. Audio is also captured via the built-in AAC microphone.
Day, Night and Rain Road Test
Overall this is a nice piece of technology to have and fairly priced for the number of features it has. However, just because it’s a fairly cheap dash cam doesn’t think this is a poorly made piece of kit or an afterthought of a buying decision. The G1W dash cam is a very capable in-car camera with state-of-the-art features. Most importantly, the sensor and lens combination, which is night-vision capable of giving you unparalleled performance in even low light situations.
Ash loves cars and gadgets. He is a Business IT graduate who loves spending time with his family and friends.