Nextbase 412GW full review
Nextbase's 512G, reviewed, is a great dashcam, but the new 412GW has a higher resolution (2560x1400) and a couple of features that make it a better buy. Here's why.
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Nextbase 412GW review: Price
This is still at the upper end of the price range for a dash cam and you can get a GPS-equipped model for under £80 if you want to (see our list of the best dash cams to buy). However, read on and you'll see why you might be tempted to buy the 412GW.
Next base 412GW review: Design
The 412GW looks a lot like the 312GW, and has the same magnetic 'click-and-go' mount. It means you can quickly remove the dash cam from its mount without having to unplug any cables. The magnet is quite strong, so you have to hold the mount to prevent the ball joint moving around as you pull the camera backwards.
One change is that the buttons are now touch-sensitive. Despite our reservations about this, they work pretty well and LEDs light up when you touch them to help you know where you press.
In the box you get two mounts, one suction cup and one adhesive. The latter proved the best as it meant the dash cam could sit higher on the windscreen, and there were no worries of the suction cup falling off.
You can use the bundled power cable to attach it to your car's accessory socket, but as our Ford Focus doesn't cut power to this when you turn off the ignition, we installed the Nextbase hardwire kit. This costs £14.95 from Amazon and includes adaptors to attach directly to the fusebox in most cars. You just have to pick a suitable fuse to piggy-back - one that only has power when the ignition is on.
As with all Nextbase dash cams, all the options are preset to optimal settings, and the time and date are found automatically via GPS.
You can choose whether you want video clips to be 2, 3 or 5 minutes long and you can lower the resolution if for some reason you don't want to record at the highest 2560x1440 pixels. There's a parking mode (which won't work if the camera doesn't have power with the ignition off), and the expected file-lock feature which write-protects a video recording on the microSD card if there's a significant impact.
No SD card is included, so budget for a decent quality one, such as those in our best microSD cards roundup. Cards up to 32GB are supported - it's a shame there's no microSDXC slot for larger-capacity cards. However, 32GB is enough for four hours of recording at the top quality. And as with all dash cams, the oldest files will be overwritten when the card is full, so you always have the most recent four hours of driving.
Nextbase 412GW review: Performance
We were impressed with the quality of videos in various conditions. Although it doesn't record video at 60 frames per second at the full 2560x1440, you can lower the resolution to 1920x1080 where you can select 60fps.
Overall the 412GW captures lots of detail and you should have no trouble reading number plates in daylight. The image is very sharp. But one thing the 412GW doesn't benefit from is the 512G's circular polariser which cuts down on reflections from the windscreen.
The latest firmware update adds the ability to change exposure compensation, so if you find that the image is too dark or bright, you can manually adjust it with this setting.
Here's a screengrab from a daytime clip: (tap or click to enlarge)
At night, the HDR mode helps to retain some shadow detail and overall, this is one of the better dash cams for night-time recording. There's still a noticeable drop in quality of course, and there's every chance you won't be able to read number plates because of light reflections, but this is true of every dash cam.
One area yet to be improved is downloading videos via Wi-Fi. As with the 312GW, it's painfully slow to copy even a single clip from the camera to an iPhone or Android phone. Nextbase has promised to address this over the next few months and make significant improvements to the app. Right now, it's much more convenient to remove the camera and connect it to your laptop or PC to transfer the files.
It is possible to review the footage on the camera itself using the 3in screen, and with its small battery, the 412GW can be removed and used to take photos outside the car if you need to record any extra evidence after a collision.
Nextbase 412GW: Specs
- Display Size: 3.0in
- 140° wide-angle lens
- GPS Logging: Yes
- Speed Camera Alert: No
- Micro SD Included: No
- 32GB SD card recording time - 4.3 hours
- 109 x 56 x 37 mm
- Accessories: 4m car charger, suction mount, adhesive mount, mini USB cable