Updated on July 29, 2023
The Falcon Zero F170HD+ is a full HD dash cam with GPS recording capability for your vehicle. This small yet powerful device comes with a free 32 GB MicroSD card included plus all the cables, connectors and chargers. So all you need is to install this in your car, and you are ready to go. In the US this particular model is also supported by a five-year warranty. Does this make the F170HD+ a good buying decision? Let’s find out in the latest from our dash cam reviews below.
|Falcon Zero F170HD+
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Overall the Falcon Zero dash cam for cars and trucks is a cool-looking shiny piece of equipment. Hold it in your hands, and you would almost mistake it to be a slightly dated but effective point-and-shoot camera. You can use it as a point-and-shoot device too. All you need is to change the shooting mode to the camera and fire away.
Ergonomically, this is a small and compact device. On the top at the far right is the GPS input. To its left is the suction mount (provided, and pictured further below). To its left is the micro USB port. At the bottom is a small microphone and then the rubber flap that hides an HDMI out port and the slot for the SD card.
The only thing that I don’t like about this in-car camera is its low mounting point. The suction mount is a bit too long, and that kind of brings the whole setup to lower down towards the center of the windshield. This might become a bit of a problem when driving for some people. I would recommend attaching the suction mount as high as possible to prevent visibility issues while driving.
It comes with an f/2 six glass lens with night vision capability and 170 degrees of recording field of view. F/2 is a pretty wide aperture for any car dash cam system. As a general rule, the wider the opening of a lens, the more light it can garner.
Once the F170HD+ is installed in your car, turning the ignition on turns on the dash camera. It starts recording immediately. You will notice a blinking red dot on the screen that confirms that the device is actually recording. After a while, though, the screen turns off. At that point, a green blinking light on the upper right corner will tell you that it’s still functioning.
Dimensions And Weight
The Falcon Zero F170HD+ measures a tiny 4 x 1 x 2 inches and weighs just 8 ounces. It attaches to the back of your vehicle’s windshield using a suction cup, unlike its bigger brother, the F360 HD dual dash cam, which mounts to the vehicle rearview mirror.
In its motion detector mode, this device will record any movements that are happening outside of your vehicle. For this, a constant source of power is needed. If the ignition is switched off, it will draw power from the battery inside the device.
Memory Lock Gravity Sensing
Gravity sensing is a cool feature that is a must-have in this day and age. It has four different levels of sensitivity that you can choose from. When the device senses an impact, such as when your vehicle is involved in an accident, it will lock the file that’s being recorded at that moment. Start with medium sensitivity, especially if you are off-roading with your vehicle, as too sensitive means each bump and thud might lock up files.
Parking Monitor is another cool feature. This usually works when your car is parked in a parking lot or on the side of the road. If there’s a hit-and-run case, the Falcon Zero F170 will switch on and save a short video to memory.
Setting It Up
Setting up is rather easy. Here are the steps:
Video Setup & Settings
Under Menu, you get a bunch of settings to tweak the video recording. Select Resolution (use the up or down arrows and OK buttons to navigate and select an option), and you will get to choose between full HD, 720p, and a couple of VGA options. Ideally, it should be set to full HD. It records videos at a smooth 30 fps.
Then comes Loop recording, which is setting up the time frame for each video clip. So if you select 3 minutes, the dashcam will take videos of 3-minute clips. Once the storage is exhausted, it will start overwriting the older files beginning with the oldest. If there are important clips that you want not to be overwritten, marking them prevents them from getting wiped.
Then there is the HDR option. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and leaving this on ensures that a lot more tonal details will be captured in your videos and stills, which is a good thing.
Finally, there are the Exposure settings. Exposure increases or decreases the overall brightness of the image. Increasing the exposure, however, will bring in some noise into your imagery. Noise means digital noise, and this will show up as small white or black dots in your stills or video footage.
There are also a number of other options, including Motion Detection, Audio recording (which is not always necessary), Date Stamp, and Gravity Sensing. I have already explained the Gravity Sensing feature of the Falcon Zero F170HD+ above. Date Stamp enters the day and date of the video files, which is good because when you download the video files, you have a way to arrange them chronologically.
You could also enter your License Plate number and set up GPS. Setting up this feature requires a GPS input. This will document the speed of your vehicle as well as the direction while the video is being recorded. Enabling GPS data is recommended because a lot of times, drivers of the other vehicle involved in an accident with you will charge you for driving too fast. If you can prove using factual data that you were not speeding along with the video footage, your case becomes strong.
Video Sample and Hands-On Review
Here is a full video review covering features, menu, setting up and sample video footage.
Overall, this appears like an extremely versatile unit and is certainly one of the best dash cams around for the money paid. It is small, powerful and from a respected manufacturer which have plenty of experience in this field. The DashCamGurus team give this a 5 star rating; not much negative points came out of this review.
With more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, Ash possesses a deep understanding of the diverse needs and challenges faced by drivers on the road. His relentless commitment to road safety and ongoing research is fueled by a genuine desire to create safer environments for all drivers.