Transcend DrivePro 200 full review
The DrivePro 200 is a square dash cam that's a little bigger than you expect and is designed to record all your journeys in full HD. It's most similar to the Asus Reco Classic. It lacks GPS but has Wi-Fi so you can view the live feed on your phone, browse and watch recordings and download clips directly to your phone. Also see: How much is my car worth? How to get a free online valuation of your car.
Updated 1 February with sample videos.
Transcend DrivePro 200 review: UK price and availability
Transcend DrivePro 200 review: What you get
For some people that will be useful, but we'd rather ditch Wi-Fi and have a GPS receiver. The unit - like the Asus - needs to be powered by the car at all times as there's no battery. This isn't a big problem, as there's a tiny battery which stores the time and date. You get a 16GB microSD card in the box, so you have everything you need. Also see: CarPlay and Android Auto: only a stepping stone to a fully connected car.
Installing the DrivePro 200 is easy. You attach the mini suction cup (included if you buy the TS16GDP200M version) and route the long 4m power cable around your windscreen to your 12V socket. Transcend recommends checking if your socket provides power with the ignition turned off: if so, you should disconnect the camera to avoid it draining your battery. There's no parking mode for recording scrapes while in the supermarket carpark.
As it has a big chrome-effect ring around the over-size lens bezel, the camera is quite noticeable from outside the car, so it's best to remove it when you park up. The quick-release clip is helpful here, and it's easy to use once you get the knack.
As soon as you turn it on it will start recording, and create a new video file every minute (about 110MB). You can change this to 3 or 5 minutes in the menu. By default, the time stamp will be included on your video, but you can disable this along with audio recording. The screen turns off after a minute so as not to distract you while you're driving, but you can configure this in the menu.
There's a g-sensor which has low, medium or high sensitivity settings. If an impact is detected - such as a crash - the camera will automatically enable 'emergency' recording mode and lock the file so it isn't overwritten. There's a red button on the side of the camera for manually activating the emergency mode, too. Also see: Apple Car rumours.
As there's no GPS, so you won't be able to pinpoint where a video was recorded, or exactly where you were of how fast you were going when an incident occurred.
You can review recordings on the 2.4in screen, and there's a speaker too, although you can't adjust its volume. The screen has a fairly low resolution, but it's designed to be viewed from below so although viewing angles aren't great, it should look ok when mounted near your rear-view mirror. Also see: Smarter driving with intelligent cars.
Transcend DrivePro 200 review: Performance
The 1080p footage isn't all that sharp, but you can usually see number plates when the video is paused, as long as it's daytime. Audio is fairly low quality, with a narrow range of frequencies, especially lacking in treble.
At night, there's the expected lack of detail compared to daytime, and it's hard to read most registration plates. There's no HDR mode, but the DrivePro 200 over-exposes the footage more than other dash cams to provide a slightly better image.
We tested out the app on an iPhone. It's easy to use and set up. The Wi-Fi login details are provided on a sticker which protects the LCD screen in the box, so it's just a case of finding the camera's Wi-Fi network in your phone's settings. You can browse the videos stored on the memory card, although downloading one onto the phone does take a while. Also see: Tronsmart USB Rapid Car Charger review.
Transcend DrivePro 200 review: Day screenshot
Transcend DrivePro 200 review: Night screenshot
Transcend DrivePro 200: Specs
- Video resolution (max): 1080p, 30fps
- Field of view (horizontal degrees): 160
- Video format: MOV
- Screen size (in): 2.4
- Wi-Fi: Yes
- GPS: No
- G-sensor: Yes
- Speaker: Yes
- Memory card: 16GB
- Accessories: Suction mount, car power supply, composite video cable
- Connectors: mini USB, minijack video out, microSD slot
- Dimensions (without mount): 67x70x35mm
- App: iOS, Android