Are you sure that dash cam is really 4K?
If you do a search on Amazon for “4K dash cam” you will get hundreds of results, showing you a long list of dash cams that claim to be 4K, but in actuality they are not. In order for a dash camera to record real 4K video (3840x2160p), they need to have at least an 8MP image sensor. Most of them only have 2MP or 4MP image sensors. They claim to be 4K because the video is resized into what appears to be a 4K video file, although it was not actually recorded at 3840 x 2160p.
There are currently only a handful of real 4K dash cams being sold today.
Our Reviews of the Top 6 Best REAL 4K Dash Cams
The LifeChaser 4K front car camera records real 4K videos in 3840 x 2160P @ 30fps, using the Hisilicon HI3559V200 Processor and the 8MP OmniVision OS08A10 image sensor. It uses a 170 degree lens angle, which is one of the widest used on a 4K dash cam. A wider angle lens can provide more coverage of the road, but can cause some distortion at times, although you should still be able to pick up license plate numbers among other things.
This dash cam comes with all the standard features you will find on most mid range cameras, like parking mode (requires separate hardwire kit), motion detection and a g-sensor to detect impacts so it can save and lock video files in the event of a crash.
Inside the dash cam is a GPS feature that can display your speed and coordinates on the video, along with built-in WiFi to connect to the dash cam with your smartphone or tablet.
On the back of the dash cam it has a 2.4″ IPS screen and buttons below to change settings and view saved videos.
LifeChaser does not have much of an online presence. If you do a basic Google search for “LifeChaser” you will not find a company website with customer service options or product user manuals or firmware updates.
- Real 4K video (3840x2160P) with 8MP image sensor
- Supports up to a 128gb microSD card
- 170° lens angle
- 8MP Still pictures
- Built-in WiFi and GPS
- Dual Dash Cam Package, low priced 4K dash cam that also includes a rear camera
- No company watermark on video files
- Uses a 250mAh lithium ion battery instead of a capacitor, which can lead to overheating and reliability issues
- Only supports up to a 128gb microSD card, while others support up to 256gb
- Not an established brand. Limited online presence which can lead to poor customer support and little to no future firmware updates
The X4 from Vantrue claims to be the Worlds first 4K 160° dash cam. Although it may not be the worlds first 4K dash cam, it might be the worlds first 4K car camera with a wide 160 degree lens angle. This is the widest lens angle currently being sold on the market today for 4K dash cams, giving you more coverage of the road in front of you.
Using the 8MP IMX317 image sensor from Sony, ensures a crisp video quality over the other generic and off brand image sensors used in other dash cams. Because it uses a 8MP image sensor, you know it records real 4K video and the X4 supports up to a 256gb microSD memory card (Vantrue recommends the Samsung Pro Endurance card), giving you more than 12 hours of video storage. When the memory card fills up it will loop back and record over the oldest video files automatically.
It has a rear 3.0 inch TFT LCD display screen, allowing you to make camera setting changes or view video footage directly on the unit itself, rather than having to use a USB cable or remotely connect to it through your smartphone.
The X4 has a built-in parking mode feature which can protect your car when parked, offering motion and impact detection, which records when either is recorded. This feature requires a hardwire kit that plugs into your cars fuse box, which is sold separately.
- 8MP Sony IMX317 Sensor
- Ambarella A12 chip
- Real 4K video (3840x2160P)
- Has a capacitor rather than battery, better for high heat and reliability
- Wide 160° lens angle
- Uses Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) to get better low light video
- Uses a suction cup mount, which can often fall off and hangs down low, making it less stealthy and prone to theft because it’s more visible.
- Does not come with built-in GPS, you need to purchase a separate GPS module that plugs into the mount.
The Stealth 4K uses ROVE’s dash cam app to connect to your Android or Apple iOS smartphone, giving you the ability to download dash cam videos or photos directly onto your phone or tablet via the built-in WiFi. With it’s included GPS feature, it allows you to overlay your speed as well as your cars location directly onto videos. If you don’t want to use the app or your smartphone to view videos or change camera settings, you can use the 2.35″ IPS display on the back of the camera.
With it’s camera feature, it takes 20MP still photos. Within the firmware, the Stealth 4K uses an algorithm to correct image distortion, to help with the curvature of the photo from the wide angle lens and output a clearer image.
As with most mid to top end dash cams these days, the Stealth 4K comes with a 24/7 parking mode feature that can detect motion and impact with its g-sensor while your car is parked and you’re away. This does require a separate hardwire kit that plugs into your cars fuse box, so it can power itself when your car is turned off.
Unlike some other dash cams that offer GPS, where you are required to purchase a separate addon GPS module that can take up more space on your cars windshield, the Stealth 4K comes with GPS built inside the unit. The GPS feature can be used to display your speed and coordinates directly on to the saved video file.
ROVE has a customer care center based in Chicago and is known for their good customer support, providing customers with the chance to get a full refund within 30 days if they’re not happy with the camera.
- Real 4K video (3840x2160P)
- Supports up to a 512gb microSD card
- 150° lens angle
- 20MP Still pictures
- Built-in WiFi
- Built-in GPS
- Backed by a 1 Year Warranty
- Uses suction cup mount, which can fall off and camera hangs down, making it more visible for theft
- Has a Lithium Ion battery rather than a capacitor, which can overheat in high temperatures
- Has a watermark on videos “ROAV Stealth 4K Dash Cam”
This dual channel dash camera features a full 4K front video camera with an HD 1080p rear camera. Both front and rear cams use a Sony image sensor, known for their crisp and clear image quality that can help capture license plates both day and night.
The A129 Pro Duo offers two different options for its rear camera. You can either go with the common rear camera that is meant to be mounted on your back window and recording outside, or an interior infrared camera that mounts facing inwards and records the interior of your car, often used by Uber, Lyft or taxi drivers.
Its Parking Mode uses an advanced buffered parking mode that will capture 15 seconds of video before an event happens, like an impact, and continues to record 30 seconds after the event and then saves and locks the video file. To fully utilize it’s parking mode features you will need a hard wire kit to tap into your cars battery, or use an external battery pack.
Bult-In WiFi allows you to connect your smartphone or tablet directly to the dash cam and view and download video files. However, if you don’t want to connect your phone you can view videos directly on its 2 inch LCD screen.
Most A129 Duo Pro’s are sold with a mount that has a built-in GPS module that can watermark your video with your location and speed along with displaying your real time speed on to the dash cams screen. This can all be disabled if you don’t want this shown in your video files.
With the A129 Pro Duo you have the option of getting a CPL (Circular Polarizing Lens) lens filter that helps reduce glare and lens reflection from the sun. You can also get a bluetooth remote that allows you to lock videos you want to save and take pictures with the push of a button.
Overall the A129 Duo Pro from VIOFO offers quality 4K video at an affordable price, sold by a reputable manufacturer.
- 4K Video Front Cam, 1080p Rear Cam
- Built-In WiFi
- Buffered Parking Mode with Motion Detection
- Sony Image Sensors
- Sony image sensors used on both front and back camera
- All black color and small wedge shape makes it more “stealthy”
- Uses capacitor rather than battery (better for high heat or cold temperatures)
- Small field of view at 130 degrees, while other cams have 150+ degree viewing field
- Rear camera is only 1080p, while other cams have higher resolution rear cams
- GPS is not built-in, although you can buy it with a GPS mount
The U1000 from THINKWARE is a full 4K dash cam, recording at 3840x2160p @ 30fps with its Sony Exmor R STARVIS 8MP image sensor. If the video quality is lowered to 2K, you are able to record @ 60fps. The front camera has a lens angle of 150 degrees, while the optional rear dash cam has a lens angle of 156 degrees.
Its small, wedge shaped design and dark colors make it one of the most discrete 4K dash cams currently sold. It’s adhesive pad sticks to your windshield up and behind your rear view mirror, making it difficult for potential thieves to spot.
An optional rear dash cam can be plugged into the main U1000 unit, giving you a dual dash cam setup that shares one memory card. The rear camera can record at (2560x1440p @ 30fps) while the front camera records in full 4K.
With the THINKWARE CLOUD, using your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet you are able to remotely check on your cars location, get automatic notification when your car leaves a certain GEO boundary or if the g-sensor detects a sudden impact from a crash.
THINKWARE is among one of the top dash cam brands, with good build quality backed by responsive customer service.
- Real 4K (3840x2160p)
- 150° Lens Angle
- Exmor R STARVIS 8MP Sony image sensor
- Stealth design
- Uses a Capacitor rather than a battery, making it more heat resistance and improves reliability
- Discrete tube/wedge shape that mounts up behind rear view mirror, making it more stealthy
- Established brand with good customer service and 24 month warranty
- Only supports up to a 128gb microSD card, while others support up to 256gb
- Priced higher than the lower end 4K dash cams
Blackvue is known in the dash cam community as the top of the line brand of car cameras. When people ask online about what the “best dash cam” is, people will often point them towards a Blackvue dash cam.
While many brands have come out with flashy colors and fancy looking cameras, Blackvue has stuck with their discrete, all black tube shaped design, giving car owners a stealthy and somewhat hidden dash cam.
Blackvues DR900S-2CH has a 162 degree lens angle on the front camera, recording in real 4K (3840x2160p @ 30fps) using an 8MP image sensor, while the rear camera has a 139 degree lens angle and records full HD (1920x1080p @ 30fps) using a 2MP Sony STARVISTM CMOS image sensor.
The parking mode feature will keep the dash cam in standby, waiting for an impact to be detected or the motion of someone walking up to your car. This will trigger the camera to begin recording and capture an event while you are away from your car. To use this feature, you will need to buy an optional hardwire kit or their external battery, the Power Magic Battery Pack.
Because of its small size, the DR900S does not have an LCD screen on it, so to view videos or change the dash cam settings you need to use the Blackvue APP on your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet.
For an added fee, there is the Blackvue Cloud service, which offers remote viewing of video and push notifications to your phone in the event of a crash. You may also remotely backup important video files to the cloud.
- Real 4K (3840x2160p @ 30fps) video recording
- Dual dash cam setup with front and rear camera included
- Able to remotely connect to dash cam through the Blackvue Cloud service
- Uses capacitor rather than a battery, which is better for high heat
- Stealth design
- Trusted brand with good customer service and support
- Priced higher than the budget models
List of Fake 4K Dash Cams
Here are some of the more popular dash cams that are marketing themselves as 4K on sites like Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
FYI – You need an 8MP image sensor to record real 4K, 3840 x 2160 pixels or 4096 x 2160 pixels.
The AUKEY DR02 J dash cam claims to be 4K and having a resolution of 2880 x 2160. While this might be true for the final video file that is saved, the camera is not capturing video in true 4K. With its 5.1MP AR0521 image sensor and without resizing after the video, the camera would normal capture video at 1440p, while true 4K is 3840p. While the AUKEY DR02 J does have good video quality and comes at a cheap price, it is not real 4K.
While the Rove R2 has some nice features like built-in WiFi and built-in GPS to track your cars location on Google Maps and your current speed. While this dash cam from Rove claims “4K ULTRA HD RECORDING”, it does not record in real native 4K. It uses the OmniVision OV4689 4-megapixel image sensor, which does not record in actual 4K resolution.
Like many of the other fake 4K dashcams, Rexing makes it hard to find what image sensor they use in this camera. Only after emailing customer support were we able to find out that it uses “The OV4689 is a high performance 4-megapixel CameraChip™ sensor in a native 16:9 format”. The V1 3rd Gen is recroding at 1080p and increasing the video to a 4K resolution.
The M06 dash cam from AZDOME that claims to be 4K uses a OV4689 4-megapixel CameraChip™ sensor from OmniVision. This sensor is not capable of 4K video. AZDOME is interpolating or upscaling the video into what appears to be a 2880 x 2160p 4K resolution video file.
The GS63H from AZDOME comes with many features like built-in WiFi, GPS and its own smartphone APP, it does not come with true 4K video recording.
On the Amazon listing page it claims to have a “6-megapixel OV4689 pro 1/3inch CMOS sensor”, while on its official website page for the GS63H is says it has a “OV4689 Sensor, 4.0 Megapixels, Max 4k Resolution, 2880*2160p/24fps”. Even though the 2 differ from each other, both image sensors are not big enough to record real 4K dash cam video.
The first thing you’ll notice about this dash cam that is odd is that it only takes a 32GB microSD card. This is on the low end, something you don’t see in any modern dash cam, especially not a 4K, not even a 1080p camera. We’re still waiting to hear an officially response from TOGUARD on what image sensor they use, but we’re almost certain this is a fake 4k dash cam.