The use of a dashcam or dashboard camera in a car or motorcycle is not a new thing anymore. Nowadays, you can easily find numerous brands of dashcam providing interesting benefits of each model.
Nextbase are known as the biggest dash cam brand in the United Kingdom, with an impressive 65% of market share. In May 2019, they released their Series 2 models: Five brand new dash cams, from the rather basic Nextbase 122 up to the top-selling Nextbase 522GW.
These cameras bring a number of previously unseen features to the car camera market, such as Alexa integration and the ability to automatically call emergency services in case of a serious accident (Emergency SOS). All of the Series 2 dash cams support a simple impact-triggered parking mode, and the more advanced models (from the 322GW upwards) allow you to add one of a variety of rear-view camera modules.
In this article, we will compare two of the models, they are Nextbase 222 and Nextbase 322.
- VIDEO QUALITY
Although undeniably cheap, we felt the entry-level Nextbase 112’s lack of 1080p HD video was a problem. This led to middling daytime footage and a real difficult seeing details like number plates once the sun had set. Read also: Viofo A129 vs A119 V3.
Nextbase has upped the resolution from 720p to 1080p for the 222, and this has made a huge difference. Footage video is now much sharper and perfectly usable. Besides, the 222 also shoots through an improved lens which is wider (140 degrees vs 120) and has a wider aperture (f/2.2 vs f/1.6) for letting in more light. For the small increase in cost, these improvements all make a big difference, taking the footage from mediocre to perfectly acceptable.
|Nextbase 222||Nextbase 322|
|Product Dimensions||3.31 x 2.17 x 1.57 inches||1.77 x 3.35 x 1.85 inches
|Shipping Weight||1.76 pounds||3.52 ounces
|Best offer||Check price||Check price|
Just like the cheaper 112, the 222’s software is considered simple and easy to use. The menus available are pretty simple and very few settings to adjust. This dashcam has 1080p and 720p for the video resolution, but given our experience with the 112, we’d urge buyers always pick the higher option; this also means ignoring the 720p option with a higher 60fps frame rate, as opposed to 30fps.
Exposure can be adjusted from -6 to +6, but leaving it at the default of zero works fine for us when driving during the day and night. You can also switch audio recording on and off, and adjust the length of video files the camera creates to one, two or three minutes.
On that point, remember this camera records constantly (in one, two or three-minute chunks) your memory card gets full, at which point the oldest footage is overwritten. Apart from, that is, footage recorded when an impact is felt by the G-sensor. This is saved separately to be viewed later and potential used as evidence.
Finally, you can choose to add a time and date stamp to your footage (although no location, as the camera does not have GPS or any way of using your phone’s), and adjust the sensitivity of the G sensor.
- VIDEO QUALITY
The Nextbase 322GW shines brightly, thanks to 1080p Full HD video resolution at 60 frames per second. This means you get enough pixels to produce a clear image, and a fast enough frame rate to make video smooth, and to help you see important details like vehicle registration plates. The camera measures 47 x 85 x 45mm, weighs 82g, and the LED display is 2.5 inches.
The 322GW shoots through a 140-degree lens. While some other dash cams offer a wider view, they often do so while causing the video to distort slightly at the edges, painting an inaccurate picture of the road ahead, and potentially your view at the time of an incident. You can lower the resolution to 720p (still at 60fps) but we reckon 1080p is what you want, as it produces high-quality video without the massive file sizes of 4K. As with many other dash cams, the 322GW can also record audio, but you might want to switch this off as not everyone wants their private conversations recorded while driving.
This camera can’t match the HDR-like footage of the more expensive Nextbase 522GW, but for under £100 it’s still impressive, either during the day and at night.
Speaking of connecting to your phone, the dash cam uses a combination of Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi to hook up to the free MyNextbase app, which is available for iOS and Android.
The app is quick and easy to use, helping you download footage from the 322GW to your phone, where you can then cut out the bit you need and send it onwards.
The menu system on the camera itself is also easy to use with the 2.5-inch touchscreen. Often dash cams are set-it-and-forget-it products, so once you have configured the 322GW the way you want it, you’ll rarely need to dive into the on-camera menu system.
Moreover, The 322GW includes Nextbase’s Emergency SOS feature, which uses a connection to your smartphone to call the emergency services and give them your precise location if an accident is detected and you don’t respond. There are also Built in Parking Mode and GPS.
Nextbase 222 vs 322
If your budget for a dash cam is just under £100, then you really can’t go wrong with the Nextbase 322GW. It’s easy to use, produces high-quality Full HD video at 60fps, and the Emergency SOS feature could be genuinely life-saving.
On the other hand, The Nextbase 222 is a well-priced and smartly designed dash cam which gets the basics right. It is small enough to fit neatly behind your rear view mirror, has a good-sized screen for adjusting settings and viewing recorded video, and comes with a smart magnetic mount.