Updated on January 21, 2023
Car dash cams are no longer just fancy little pieces of technology labelled as distractions for the driver. They can be very handy when driving, especially if your vehicle is caught in an accident and you are facing several thousand dollars’ worth of claims. In this review, we take an in-depth look at the Vantrue R2, evaluate its features and discuss whether you’d want this as your in-car camera or not.
The most significant advantage of the Vantrue R2 dash cam system is the twice-than-usual full-HD resolution of the footage that it can capture. 2K means the car cam can record at 2560 x 1080p. It can alternatively do 2304 x 1296p, both at a 30 fps frame rate. This ultra HD dash cam is built around an Ambarella A7L50 processor and an anOV4689 color CMOS sensor for fantastic video quality, even by dashcam standards.
At A Glance
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Like many of the best dash cameras around at the moment, the lens of the Vantrue R2 covers a field of view of 170 degrees. That’s almost at the borderline of being termed as a fish-eye lens. Surprisingly though, there are no major distortions like the ones that you would typically have when shooting with a true fish-eye lens.
The device can record videos in 2K resolution at 30 fps. 2K quality ensures a lot of detail. This is invaluable when refuting a false claim for insurance or establishing your side of the story when claiming an erring driver. Better quality means you can capture small details like a license plate, a location, and even a face quite clearly.
This car dash cam comes with the standard loop recording feature, which ensures that videos are shot continuously without any interval as long as there is a memory card inserted. On the positive side, this will ensure that your in-car camera will never miss a moment of the footage. On the flip side, however, older files risk getting overwritten if you forget to download and back them up.
The Vantrue R2 has an auto-start recording feature. That means each time you switch on the ignition, this dashboard camera will start shooting on its own. This takes the human element out of the equation, meaning you don’t have to remind yourself to press the REC button.
Motion Detector And Parking Mode
This is a useful feature to have in any dash cams. As it sounds, motion detectors are a type of sensor that can detect movements around a given vicinity. When the sensors are triggered by any movement in front of the vehicle, the DVR switches on and makes a short video of the event. This happens even when the ignition is switched off, and uses the built-in battery of the vehicle. To activate parking mode, just press the button. Parking sensors will get activated when things or people move into the frame, even when they are about 10 meters or 33 feet away, which is pretty awesome.
Memory Lock And Gravity Sensing
Motion lock and gravity sensing are two features that go hand in hand with dash cams. First is gravity sensing. This feature tracks sudden changes in gravity. That can usually happen when the vehicle is involved in an accident. This feature will automatically trigger the memory lock feature of the camera. This brings us to the next feature – memory lock. This feature locks a video that was being recorded at the moment of the event. Locking the video ensures that it is not overwritten during normal loop recording.
The rear side of the Vantrue R2 dash cam has a 2.7” TFT LCD screen. Unfortunately, it’s not a touch screen like the Falcon Zero Touch HD, meaning everything has to be set-up using the buttons. The average-sized 2.7” screen may be small for some, but for all conceivable reasons, this is good enough and is a fairly standard size. The bright LCD display shows you what is being shot via the live-view feature. Alternatively, you can also playback what has been saved previously. The LCD screen switches off to conserve battery after a while; there is a time-out feature which helps to minimize distractions when driving.
Wide Dynamic Range
Also featuring Wide Dynamic Range, this is an offshoot of traditional High Dynamic Range. This technology ensures that the dashboard camera can pick a higher degree of variance in terms of light stops between the brightest bright and the darkest dark in the image. You can see more details at the opposite ends of the spectrum. There are many cameras out there in the market which promise a greater dynamic range, but not many can match up to the capabilities of this impressive car dash cam.
Setting It Up
The Vantrue R2 is very easy to set-up. Most functions come pre-set, and all you need is to insert the MicroSD card into the card slot, attach the power cord into the power outlet of your vehicle, and you are ready to go. You can still configure some of the settings on the camera if you like. This would include features such as exposure, resolution, white balance and so on. You can even turn on loop recording (not recommended) if you want to. The other settings you can adjust include stamping day and date, time of the day and the vehicle’s license number being driven.
The Vantrue R2 can capture extremely impressive stills too. The compact size of the dashboard camera means you can effortlessly pick it up and take snapshots as well if you ever need to. The resolution of the stills are a healthy 16 megapixels.
Dimensions And Weight
Small and lightweight, the Vantrue R2 measures 4.33” x 1.26” x 1.97” and weighs a mere 2.88 ounces.
Hands-On Review And Road Test
Overall, this is a nice simple dash cam with night vision and GPS (optional) capability to have for your vehicle. It weighs very little and, with a suction mount, will hardly be a distraction when driving. The average-sized 2.7” LCD screen is easy to work with, review saved videos, compose stills and to view the video in live-view, as you may have seen from the video above, the clarity cannot be faulted at this price, even by the standards desired in 2023. As such, we would probably say this is one meant for the shortlist.
Ash loves cars and gadgets. He is a Business IT graduate who loves spending time with his family and friends.