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Review: Nextbase 412GW dash camera

Published 15 November 2016

What is it?

Nextbase has refreshed its range of dash cameras with this mid-range 412GW, which replaces the 402G. Upgrades over the earlier model include higher resolution footage, a quick-release magnetic mount and WiFi connectivity, so footage can be accessed via a smart phone.

It’s priced at £129.99 – which is £30 more than our previous favourite dash camera, the Nextbase 312GW. That buys better image quality and a touch sensitive interface, but other than that the two cameras are quite similar. So is the 412GW worth the extra?

What’s it like?

Straight out of the box, the Nextbase 412GW comes with a powered, quick release mounting system that can be fitted to the windscreen via a suction cup or an adhesive pad, both included. There is also a long, 12V power cable, a USB data cable, a window sticker and a software disc, although the software can be downloaded from the Nextbase website for free.

Mounting is straightforward. The quick-release system means the camera can be set up in the ideal place and then, if it needs to be taken out of sight, the mount can be left in place and the camera removed. This also makes reinstallation easier when it comes to setting off again – just click and go.

The 4 metre cable is long enough to be trailed neatly through door seals and around the windscreen for a very tidy installation. The alternative is a hard wiring set up, which most motor factors can arrange at a cost of around £30, hooking the power mount into the ignition circuit and keeping the wires out of sight.

P1000027

Changing settings in the menu system is easy. Things like GPS tracking, speed stamping, car licence plate details and audio recording can be configured quickly. The 412GW has touch sensitive buttons, unlike other Nextbase cameras, but they are responsive and illuminate when in use.

The 412GW works like any other dash camera, switching on when it gets power and then automatically recording short clips until full. It then loops over old footage, so it’s always on. If the built-in G sensor detects something unusual, such as hard braking or a bump, it will mark the footage to be saved, so it won’t be recorded over.

This can be a bit sensitive when driving on a rough road, but the function can be disabled or its sensitivity reduced. There is also an emergency button for saving important clips, but it would be easier to use when driving if it clicked reassuringly. Sadly it’s just a touch sensitive button like the rest, which can be a bit of a fumble.

Image quality is excellent, even in low light conditions. The 412GW records in up to 1440P at 30 frames per second, but it’s perhaps at its best in 1080P at 60 frames per second, which provides extremely clear, crisp, fluid video.

Footage can be played back on a PC alongside location details and speed info, plotted on a map. Handy for insurance claims. The footage can also be saved to a smartphone over the 412GW’s built-in WiFi. It’s far quicker and easier to simply plug the dash camera or SD Card into a computer, rather than connecting via a smartphone.

Should I buy one?

At £130 the 412GW is a bit pricier than the almost as good 312GW. Obviously, it does have the advantage of higher resolution and higher frame rates – but if you just want to protect yourself against bad drivers the 312GW will do the job perfectly, for £30 less.

On the other hand, if you’re keen to record extremely high-quality, clear footage - for example if you live in a busy town and are prone to encountering hazardous situations - then an extra £30 isn’t much. It’ll get you clearer, more fluid footage, which for a lot of dash cam buyers matters more than value - and it's still much cheaper than a lot of inferior cameras too. Bravo, Nextbase.

Details

Price: £129.99 (Available for £114.95 on Amazon)

Maximum resolution: 1440p @ 30fps

Card type: MicroSD up to 32GB

Alternatives

Vantrue N2: £124.99 RRP

Mio MiVue 766: £139.99 RRP

P1000024

Quick-release mount is very handy

Comments

   on 26 November 2016

My Nextbase 412g lasted about 14 months and then just stopped working. Nextbase of course don't want to know so had to put it down to experience. Buying a Nextbase is a matter of luck it seems, at this price don't risk it. Have now bought a Mio which is in a different class.

Blazo    on 29 December 2016

I don't understand why the main unit takes 12V? Surely it could run on usb (<5V)? I only have one cigarette lighter socket and my sat nav needs usb power. If this also ran on usb I could simply get a neat splitter, but a 12V cigarette splitter is massive.

Trying to pursuade the wife to get a camera, but they are all MESSY and don't want a trip to an auto electrician to hardwire. Have a couple of bicycle cameras that have run off batteries for 3 years and are not much bigger.

Why do they all need "real time" power?

RickM67    on 6 January 2017

Actually, it does run on 5v/USB power. That's why it works when plugged into a PC. When installed in a vehicle you are using a 12v - 5v convertor. In theory, Nextbase could supply a 4m long USB lead as well as the 4m lead with cigarette socket adaptor but dash cams really do need to be hardwired so you don't have to remember to plug it in when you drive. (A lot of 12v power sockets remain live even with ignition turned off). And if you don't want to hard wire the dash cam a cigarette socket adapter maybe harder wearing than a USB plug. There may also be better electronics in Nextbase's power leads than some cheap USB power adapters.

Using an external power supply helps keeps costs down and is MUCH more practical than having to worry about charging built in batteries.

(I also have a Contour Roam 2 helmet/action camera which I used when working as a motorcycle courier. This had upto 3 hours battery life but obviously couldn't leave it switched on all day - which made it not very practical for all day riding).

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