Driving your car can be the most rewarding and dangerous thing we do. So being safe in the car is very important. Having a dashcam allows us a little extra insurance as it records what is happening on the road and if you were in an accident it will record what happened if it was not your fault. Thinkware is a well-known dashcam brand and in this review, we get the chance to review the Thinkware Q800 Pro.
The Q800 Pro comes with the option of just the front camera or the front and back cameras. We asked for just the front camera for this review. The Q800 Pro offers QHD resolution video and also comes with a load of features to help you drive a little safer. The Camera can be powered by your cars 12V socket but can also be hardwired. I have recently just bought a brand new Volkswagen T-Cross and did not want cables to be seen so I got it hardwired.
Now the Q800 Pro front camera costs £229 via Amazon and if you wanted both the front and back camera it costs £299.87 via Amazon. Inside the box we have the following:
- Front camera
- Car Charger
- Adhesive cable holder
- USB Micro SD card reader & Micro SD memory card
- Quickstart Guide
You will need to invest in a hardwiring cable which I was lucky to buy it when I get the camera hardwired.
Moving on to the Video Quality of the Q800 Pro is where this camera stands apart from its rivals. You get 2K QHD with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 compared to the 1080P Full HD you get with rival dashcams. What this means is you get a higher quality video footage which shows things like number plates very clear. This is done via a 140-degree wide-angle lens which is less than others on the market but with the wider degree lens can cause the image to distort if an accident happened.
In testing the camera provided footage that was sharper and detailed than others on the market and that important. You do need to be careful where you mount the camera as some people have a small windscreen which you might find a challenge to mount. With my own car, this was not an issue I made sure the camera was mounted high and very central that allows excellent video recordings during the day. Unfortunately due to the current Covid-19 lockdown I have not been able to test this of an evening but am told the recordings would also be excellent due to the use of Thinkwave’s Super Night Vision 2.0 I will update this review once lockdown is lifted.
Design-wise the Q800 Pro is a larger camera compared to most dashcams on the market but its low profile means when fitted just to the side of the mirror on the windscreen. Using the adhesive pads that come in the box. Once the mounting plate is stuck on the windscreen you can remove the camera if you wish but with its subtle design, you will forget it’s even there. As I had it professionally installed it looks like it comes with the car.
More about the design of the camera it comes with premium well-made feel to it and uses a soft-touch plastic for the main body of the camera while the lens housing is made from a metal finish that also rotates so you can adjust the camera for the best viewpoint. On the main part of the dashcam does not have a display instead it has 5 buttons for functions such as muting the mic, wifi connection, power button.
On the back is where the microSD card slot that can hold a microSD card up to 128GB as well the DC power socked and port for the rear camera if you decide to buy the rear camera as well.
This camera as mentioned does not have a display and which is good as you won’t be distracted while driving. The camera does come with quite a few features such as super night vision 2.0 which brightens the footage at night without affecting the quality of the footage. The camera also has an integrated GPS that means your location and speed can appear on every video recorded by the camera as well as the normal time & date.
The Q800 Pro also comes with a safety camera alert that alerts you of red lights, Speed camera and average speed camera. You can also set it to alert you about the position on the road and distance between the car in front. Personally I chose not to have these alerts as my VW T-Cross comes with these functions when am driving already. You might be asking without a display how does it alert you?
It does this via 3 levels of warning sounds which can be a little confusing/annoying and can be switched off if you don’t want them but only via the Thinkwave Cloud app. Speaking of the app the Q800 Pro can be set to record 1 min segments continuously. If in the case of an accident you get 10 seconds of footage before the crash as well the 1-minute segment and this can be vital when proving who was at fault.
Last but not least it comes with an energy-saving parking mode which can be activated when you leave the car. It will record a 20-second clip within a second of a collision being detected which is useful in the aftermath of the accident. This feature only works if the camera been hardwired instead of these who go for the 12V socket set up.
As mentioned in the review this dashcam runs with the use of the Thinkware Cloud app which is an improvement on the viewer smartphone app on older models. This app is used to set up the camera by linking the Wifi to your phone and also gives you a useful live view with markers to help you correctly position the camera.
In the app, you can also adjust the camera settings such as the sensitivity of the G-sensor and also allow you to download saved files to your phone. This method does take time to download it may be quicker just to take the SD card out and download from that.
A unique feature of the app and dashcam is the cloud connectivity this can send an alert if your car involved in a crash or diven beyond a geo-fenced location which is ideal for fleet managers to keep an eye on the fleet.
Overall, the Thinkware Q800 Pro is a fantastic dashcam that is really a step above its rivals. It’s packed with features and the image quality is brilliant even at night. I found the app to work well when am in the car but it has a few issues when am not in the car but I think I just need to have a play with the settings.
A few issues I have with this camera is if you drive a small car you might have an issue when it comes to fitting the camera due to the lack of space. I also found the best way to have this camera set up is to pay for fitting by a professional car audio centre which did cost me an extra £60 but well worth the cost as all the cables are nowhere to be found.
Another issue you might have is the warning sounds as some sound like your own car warning sounds which can be confusing you can mute the sound if you want to just record without the alerts.
Apart from that, this dashcam is well worth the money as you get all the extra driver assistance and features allowing you to know when there is an issue with your car such as someone colliding with your car when parked this camera will record the vital footage you may need.
With everything you get in a dashcam like this, it has everything and is head and shoulders above its rivals and with excellent video quality, it’s worth the £299 or £299 if you decide you want the rear camera as well.
- Design- 4 Stars
- Features-5 Stars
- Video Quality- 5 Stars
- Performance- 4 Stars
- User friendly – 4 Stars
- Value for Money – 5 Stars
Overall rating: 4.5 Stars