Having a dashcam in my windshield gives me peace of mind, as the footage it captures can be used for proof to insurance companies as well as in court. All it takes is one wrong move by another driver and your life can change drastically. Having a quality dashcam is important as you want the footage to actually be usable.
This review is on the Papago GoSafe 388 Dashcam. The Papago GoSafe 388 is much smaller in size than any other dashcam I have used. It’s small size makes it easier to mount, and it is easier to conceal thanks to it’s matte black finish. Included in the package was a sticky windshield mount, which although can’t be moved once mounted, it can be stuck to uneven surfaces unlike a suction cup.
At the side of the unit is a power button, which doesn’t need to be used as the dashcam turns on automatically when the car powers on. On the back of the unit, there are four buttons under the screen to control the dashcam, REC, UP, DOWN, and OK. On the top of the dashcam is the charging port as well as the Micro SD slot, a GPS input and an A/V out port.
Setting up the device for the first time was as simple as setting the date and time. I was then able to go into the settings menu to adjust other parameters to my liking. For example, I turned off the startup sound, because I found it a little annoying to hear it every time I turned it on. There were also other features that can be turned on or off in the menu, such as a screensaver which will make the screen turn off after 30 seconds which is great for night driving, there was a motion detection feature, and an incident detection feature which can be set to automatically write-protect a video file when the camera senses sudden movement such as an accident. There are several driver assistance features like one that you can set to remind you to rest on long trips, or one that will remind you that the traffic light has turned green.
As for video quality, this camera produces nice clear picture during the day and at night with readable license plates. There is also an option for audio recording, which is clear too. The way the camera records is, it records until the memory card fills up, and once it is full it starts to overwrite the video starting from the oldest video on the card. The package included an 8GB Micro USB card, which although is suitable to get you started, I upgraded to a larger card so I can capture more video before it gets over-written.
Wiring the dashcam wasn’t hard as it included a long USB cable, so I was able to route the cable all the way to my fuse box while concealing it along the top of the window and down the drivers side window pillar. I hard wired it to my fuse box using a fuse tap in order to keep the place looking clean. The only problem i had with the power cable was that the port was located on the top of the unit and it was hard to keep the camera in the proper angle because the cable was in the way. I figured out a quick fix to this by using a utility knife to peel away some of the rubber on the wire near the jack, which made it more flexible and allowed me to achieve the proper angle I wanted.
Another cool feature this dashcam has is it’s capability to track my cars GPS coordinates and incorporate them in the time stamp in the video. This provides more information in case one needs to use the video in court etc. The GPS adapter, which is sold separately, also records the cars speed in MPH which is great proof to have in speeding ticket incidents.
All in all, I am very impressed with this dashcams features and performance, and although I received this product in exchange for my unbiased review, I honestly think this is reliable dashcam.
This dashcam can be found over here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1SluO8M