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Review: Nextbase 512GW dash cam

Published 31 May 2017

What is it?

The 512GW is the latest and supposedly best dash camera from Nextbase. It replaces the 512G, but has the benefit of a lower RRP of £149.99, plus higher resolution video quality and a built-in WiFi system for easily accessing video clips on a smartphone.

It has a new Sony image sensor that promises more clarity, stronger colours and better night time image quality plus it has the benefit of a polarizing filter and six-layer glass lens, for reduced glare and sharper video. Maximum resolution is 1440p at 30fps, but it will also shoot in 1080p at a faster 60fps. It also comes with the convenient Click & Go magnetic mount.

What’s it like?

Inside the box is the unit itself, an in-car power connector with a 12/24V accessory plug, the Click & Go mount, a software CD, a window sticker and some paperwork. Nextbase doesn’t include memory cards, so you’ll need to buy one. The 512GW supports MicroSD cards up to 64GB capacity.

The dash camera itself is really well constructed, with a hefty and durable feel. The buttons for the interface are clearly labelled, but they are touch sensitive rather than the physical, clicky type. That might put some off, but they do glow when being pressed and are responsive. On the left side of the camera is a memory card slot, with a HDMI video port on the right.

Navigating through the various settings menus is simple, since everything on-screen is clearly labelled. There are plenty of things to adjust, including settings for the frame rate and resolution, as well as switching audio recording on and off or setting a number plate for the camera car.

P1010067

The smartphone app is now simple and fast

Things like parking mode, which records for a predetermined period of time when the car is parked, can be switched on and off too. Setting up the camera is easy – the Click and Go mount hooks up to the power, so the dash camera can be removed from the car without moving the wiring and mount or messing up that perfect camera angle.

We’d recommend hard wiring since it hides away the wires and leaves the 12V socket free for charging phones. It costs very little from retailers like Halfords and is certainly worth considering, particularly since the Click and Go system means it’s so easy to hide the camera away from prying eyes – just unclip it and put it in the glovebox.

Footage is even clearer than depicted - YouTube compression reduces quality

The image quality of the 512GW is excellent in all kinds of different conditions including bright sunlight, rain and darkness. It’s easy to make out details like signs, the makes and models of cars, along with number plates. The field of view is 140 degrees, which is wide enough to capture a broad area ahead of the car.

Accessing footage when on the move is very easy, thanks to the updated Nextbase app. It’s slick and intuitive, showing all the footage that’s in the camera on your Android or Apple smartphone. Once you’ve found the clip you want it can be downloaded in high definition, then uploaded to the web or sent to an insurer.

A GPS sensor is built-in, so information about location and speed is saved alongside the footage. This then allows the PC software to plot the location of the car on a map, which is a useful extra feature for proving where you were driving and at what speed to an insurer, should an accident happen.

Should I buy one? 

In terms of design the 512GW is basically the same as the 412GW. It shoots in the same resolution and frame rates and has the same design and interface, as well as the same Click and Go mount. But the 512GW has the advantage of a better image sensor and more advanced night time shooting, along with a supplied polarising filter.

So if you want the absolute best dash camera Nextbase has to offer it’s great. There’s no arguing with the crispness of the video footage it produces - it's fantastic. But we’d still recommend the cheaper 412GW for most drivers, since its image quality is still very good, it has similar features and it costs less, with some very big savings versus the 512GW if you shop around.

Details

Price: £149

Maximum resolution: 1440p

Card type: MicroSD

Alternatives

Nextbase 412GW: £110.00

Mio MiVue 688: £159.99

P1010070

The interface is straightforward to use

Comments

Jeff Pelham    on 29 July 2017

How long does the internal battery last and is it easy to replace ?

MrGumby    on 31 July 2017

Another important difference vs 412GW, if I understand correctly, is that the 512GW supports SDXC cards up to 128GB where the 412GW is limited to standard SD cards of up to 32GB. At maximum resolution, my 412GW has capacity for only about 3 hours recording. I did a 4-hour journey yesterday, wanted to check something near the start but couldn't. I could have saved it with the red button but didn't know at the time that I'd want it. I'll be upgrading to a 512GW (anyone want to buy a new-condition 412GW?!).

John Slavin    on 31 July 2017

The internal battery can't be replaced and is designed, really, just to keep things going for a very short while once the power lead has been disconnected. Effectively it needs to be plugged in all the time, though this is typical of almost all dash cameras.

Gary Hopper    on 4 September 2017

I will never buy another Next Base item again. I purchased the 512g from Halfords, and literally within a few weeks of the 1 year warranty expiring, so did the battery. I had purchased the optional hard wire kit for a tidier and hassle free install.
I aired my feeling in the form of a letter to Next Base, who sent me a replacement internal battery and fitting instructions for me to follow. I installed the new battery and within a fortnight I was getting the 'Low Battery' message. I then sourced my own battery of the same spec and fitted that.........guess what!
These cameras are pure garbage. Should have 'made in taiwan' stamped on them. £150 for what is an extremely poor item. Spend slightly more and get a Blackvue. Far superior

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