Product review: Nextbase In-Car Cam 402-G Professional dashcam
20 January 2017
Author: Debbie Wood
The benefits of using a dashcam are clear to see: not only can fleets save on insurance premiums as they can quickly prove who was at fault during an accident and speed up the claim process, but they can also encourage safer driving behaviours.
Here we're testing the Nextbase 402-G Professional dashcam, one of the most popular in the UK. It comes with a raft of features including a 2.7-inch LED screen, a 6G lens, playback functionality, GPS tracking that records location and speed, plus sensors that automatically save the video files after an incident.
Fitting into the car
The dashcam should be placed behind the rear-view mirror and out of sight so as not to distract the driver. It's small, compact and comes with a suction mount to fit it to the windscreen.
This particular model has roughly a two-hour hour battery life; however, it's always advisable to keep it plugged in via the 12V socket. The cables provided are pretty long and can get in the way, although you could stick the wiring around the headlining to make it less messy.
If plugged in, the dashcam comes on straight away once you start the car and will begin recording. When the ignition is switched off it will automatically shut down again.
Our only criticism is that the unit feels a little on the delicate side - only a couple of drops will undoubtedly see it break.
Recording on the move
The 140° viewing angle is perhaps not the best in the business, but the quality and clarity of the footage is very good indeed, especially at night.
You can set how long you want each snippet of footage to last. The default setting is three minutes but we'd recommend extending this to six minutes when travelling on longer journeys. That way, if something does happen and you or the driver want to revisit the footage, it won't be such a pain to navigate through all the files.
You can also use the dashcam as an ordinary camera, which would be ideal if an accident was to occur as drivers can use it to capture useful information, like tread marks and damage, to support the insurance claim. It's not the best for quality - most smartphones will offer better resolution - but having all the information stored in one place makes it a useful feature to have nonetheless.
It records audio too, which some drivers may find too intrusive and it can be turned off via the settings menu. You can also adjust the sharpness and quality of the recordings and pictures.
This dashcam doesn't come with an SD card. An 8GB card will record around an hour of footage, while a 32GB card will store up to four hours and will cost £10-£15 on Amazon. Once the SD card is full, the dashcam will record over previous footage, the oldest first, unless it's flagged up to keep. To do that, you'll need to press a button on the dashcam at the time it's recording to keep those pieces of footage permanently.
Viewing the footage
You can view the footage by plugging the dashcam or SD card into a PC or laptop via the USB port, or by using the playback functions on the camera itself.
To gain access to the full GPS-captured information you'll need to install additional software via a disc that is included with the dashcam. On the screen you can see all the essential information, including a map of the car's location, the video footage itself and key metrics like speed and the direction of travel - it's all simple to understand and clearly presented.
The only real downside is that the SD card or the camera needs to be removed from the vehicle to be able to access the files. Some dashcams will send incident data automatically to the insurance company and fleet manager without any input needed from the driver, which would speed up the process even further. These dashcams usually cost more, however.
It's not the cheapest dashcam you can buy, but the resolution is excellent, especially at night, and it offers high-quality footage with time, date and speed data, which will prove vital for insurers and could potentially save fleets thousands of pounds in disputed claims.
BusinessCar rating: 4/5