A dashcam can be a really useful addition to your car, whether you want to capture footage of your latest road trip, or have a record in the event of a collision. And if you’re thinking of buying a dashcam, you probably already know that there’s a wide range on the market.
Next Base recently sent me their 312GW Dashcam to try out. At £99, it’s an affordable dashcam which gives high definition recording, GPS logging and Wifi connection. And in 2016, Which? Magazine gave it the thumbs up as the Best Buy in their selection of dashcams.
Keep reading to see my unboxing and review of the Next Base 312GW Dashcam on YouTube, including in-car footage.
Why use a Dashcam?
There are several reasons that you might want to buy a dashcam to fit in your car.
First of all, in the event of a traffic accident or parking incident, you will have footage available to send to your insurers. This can be very useful if there’s a dispute over blame.
In fact, some insurers will even give you a discount on your insurance premium, if you have a dashcam fitted in your car. It’s worth asking your current insurer about this, or bearing it in mind when you’re shopping around at renewal time.
You may also want to use a dashcam to get additional footage for a vlog, or to record a special roadtrip.
And finally, having a dashcam fitted can sometimes capture the unexpected. For instance, who can forget seeing the dashcam footage of a meteor streaking across the sky in Russia?
The Next Base 312GW Dashcam has a 140° wide angle lens, and records in full 1080p high definition. It also has a 2.7″ LCD colour screen on the reverse of the camera for watching the videos before downloading.
GPS and speed logging are both possible with this dashcam. It also has an internal microphone, which you can turn off if you prefer.
The camera comes with a 12-24v charger, which is compatible with all vehicles with a 12-24v outlet. The box also includes a powered mount which charges the camera as you drive. The camera has an internal battery which will allow the camera to continue running for up to 30 minutes if your car loses power.
The 312GW requires a MicroSD card, which isn’t supplied with the camera. Cards up to 64GB are supported.
The camera records video in files that are 3 minutes long. This so that each file is a manageable size for emailing to your insurance company, in the event of an accident. The camera automatically deletes the oldest file if it needs to make space for a new recording, and a 16GB card should cover 2 hours of driving footage.
Every so often, it’s a good idea to download the files and format the card to keep it working at its best.
The camera is supplied with video playback software and an instruction manual on disc. They can also be downloaded from the Next Base software if necessary.
Simple to Use Controls
The controls for the 312GW dashcam are on the reverse of the camera. On the left side, top to bottom, you can see:
- The power button
- Two buttons for onscreen navigation within the settings menu. The top one also turns off the microphone, and the bottom one turns off the screen.
- The red button will protect the current recording, so you can’t delete it by accident. It is also used to access the WiFI function.
And on the right side, top to bottom:
- The button to access the menu and general settings.
- A button to start the recording, which is also the OK button when you’re in the settings menu.
- The bottom button lets you change between video, photo or playback modes. And when you’re recording you can use it to take a screenshot.
Fitting the Next Base 312GW Dashcam
Fitting this dashcam to your car is very straightforward.
First you need to attached the powered mount to a suitable place on your windscreen. This should ideally be placed so that the camera’s lens is in the area covered by the windscreen wipers for a clear view. Placing the camera behind the rear view mirror will give the best view, and will make sure it’s not a distraction while you’re driving.
However UK law only allows a 40mm intrusion into the area covered by the wipers. You also should not place the camera on the area of the windscreen directly in front of the steering wheel. Full placement guidelines are included in the instruction manual.
The camera then slots easily onto the mount, which can be left in place when you’re not using the camera.
The power cable attaches to the mount, and should ideally be fixed in place behind the car’s trim. You should also make sure that the power cable is not going to interfere with any of the driver controls. The cable then fits into your car’s 12/14v outlet.
As you can see in the photo above, footage from the Next Base 312GW dashcam is clear and crisp.
The information at the bottom of the screen includes the date and time, the speed that the car is travelling, and the GPS co-ordinates. All of this will be very useful, should you need to send the footage to your insurers after a collision.
However, if you want to use the footage in a vlog or roadtrip video, the information and the Next Base logo can all be switched off in the camera’s settings.
To see in-car footage for yourself, why not watch my video review, which also includes a full unboxing of the Next Base 312GW
Where to Buy
Next Base 312GW Dashcam – The Verdict
The Next Base 312GW dashcam is a really good investment for anyone looking to add a dashcam to their car. It’s easy to fit, easy to use and takes good quality footage. Plus, in the event of a collision or incident, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll have on-car footage to send to your insurers.
It’s packed full of features and at just £99, the Next Base 312GW offers great value for money.