Best 4K Dash Cams of 2021

A cars dash camera system has many things in common with a traditional video camera like a GoPro, where video specs matter. But, you will probably only use the dash cam video footage once, in the time of an accident or major event, so it’s important that the video quality is there. Your dash cam video might help you in an insurance claim or with a police report. 4K video resolution will help get you a clearer picture, helping capture the license plates of cars around you, which could be needed in a hit and run accident captured in parking mode.

Why 4K Video is Important

While most people will not be using their dash cam to record and put together movies that they can share on Youtube and social media, they will usually only be using the video footage one time in the event of a car accident. Even though you might only need the video footage once, having high quality and detailed video is important. 4K video, which is 3840 x 2160P resolution provides far more detail than 1080p video.

Why the detail matters: if you do find yourself involved in an incident on the road, capturing the other cars license plate may be an important part of your video documentation. 4K video records higher resolution, increasing your chances of getting footage that clearly shows the license plate numbers. This can be critical evidence if you plan on using the video for an insurance.

Most important 4K dash cam features

Here are the 4 main features to consider when buying a real 4K dash cam:

  • Image sensor: This is the most important spec to check when verifying whether or not a dash cam is recording real 4K video. The image sensor needs to be at least 8MP (megapixels) to capture a true 4K video file.
  • Image sensor brand: We consider OmniVision and SONY to be the 2 best brands when it comes to the image sensor you will find in a dash cam.
  • Dual dash cams: If you’re planning on getting a front and rear dash cam, make sure you check the video specs of the rear camera as well, as the rear cam will often have lower video quality.
  • Video storage: 4K video will take up more file space on the dash cams microSD card so you will want to have a higher storage capacity. We recommend having a 64GB storage capacity or greater.

Watch out for fake 4K dash cams

There are currently hundreds of “fake” 4K dash cameras listed for sale on Amazon and eBay. 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.

The 6 Best 4K Dash Cams of 2021

How did we curate this list? We have personally tested many of the dash cameras on this list and have verified that they all record in real 4K. Our website has been online for more than 8 years, doing hands-on testing of over 100 dash cams. We’re not an Everything Tech type of website, we only specialize in dash cameras. Not only have we personally tested many dash cams, we’re also actively part of online dash cam communities and have read through the feedback of thousands of buyers over the years.

#6 Lifechaser Dual Dash Cam 4K

The LifeChaser 4K is a dual dash cam setup that records 4K video on the front camera and the rear camera shoots 1080p. The front camera has a wide lens angle of 170 degrees, which is wider than most dash cams, giving you more video coverage in front of your car.

LifeChaser 4K Dash Cam

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Features

  • Image Quality

As with all the dash cams on this list, the LifeChaser records video in real 4K using its OmniVision OS08A10 image sensor. This image sensor is know for capturing clear night time video footage.

  • GPS

The LifeChaser dash cam has GPS that’s built into the camera, so you won’t need to buy a separate GPS module. The GPS feature 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.

  • Built-in WiFi

With its built in Wifi you are able to remotely connect to the dash cam with your Android or iPhone using their APP. You can remotely download videos and make dash cam setting changes. If you don’t want use your phone you can use the 2.4″ IPS screen on the back to access the menu and settings.

  • Parking Mode

Basic parking mode features are included in the LifeChaser dash cam. The 2 main functions are motion detection, which will automatically record if movement is detected in font of the lens while you’re parked, and impact detection which records video if your car is involved in an accident, like a hit and run.

  • Dual Dash Cam

The included rear camera is not full 4K like the front. It records video in 1080p HD.

PROS

  • 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

CONS

  • 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

Lifechaser 4K Dash Cam Specs

  • 4K Video on Front Cam
  • 1080p HD Rear Cam
  • OmniVision OS08A10 Image Sensor
  • 170° lens angle
  • Parking mode features
  • Builit-In Wifi and GPS
  • 128GB microSD car capacity
  • Battery powered (rather than capacitor)

#5 Vantrue X4 UHD 4K

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.

Vantrue 4K Dash Cam

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Features

  • Image Quality & Storage

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.

  • Parking Mode

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.

  • Mounting

A hang down type suction cup mount is used on the X4. While some might like this mounting style, others will find it can be more visible than a wedge shaped type mount.

  • GPS

You are able to have a GPS feature with this dash cam, although you need to purchase a separate GPS module that plugs into the camera. If having a GPS is a priority for you, we would not recommend getting a dash cam that doesn’t have it built-in.

PROS

  • 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

CONS

  • 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.

Vantrue X4 Dash Cam Specs

  • 4K video (3840x2160P)
  • 8MP Sony IMX317 image sensor
  • Ambarella A12 Processor
  • 160° lens angle
  • Parking mode with motion & impact detection
  • GPS, with optional module
  • 128GB microSD car capacity
  • Capacitor powered

#4 Rove Stealth 4K Dash Cam

The Stealth dash cam from ROVE is a 4K camera
that uses a more traditional hang down type mount, coming with a suction cup, although you can purchase an aftermarket adhesive mount if you’re concerned about it falling off.

ROVE Stealth PRO 4K Dash Cam

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Features

  • Built-in GPS

The GPS feature can be used to display your speed and coordinates directly on to the saved video file or viewed live on the screen as you drive. This feature can easily be disabled if you don’t want to have this info saved.

  • Built-in WiFi & ROVE APP

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. 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.

  • Image Quality

Recording in true 4K (3840x2160P) it uses an OmniVision image sensor, which is consider one of the top sensors used in dash cams. It records crisp and clear video both day and night.

  • Parking Mode

The Stealth features basic parking mode features like motion detection which will automatically start recording video when it sees movement in front of the camera, similar to a trail cam. It also has impact detection which will begin recording video if a crash, like a hit and run is detected.

PROS

  • Built-in WiFi
  • Built-in GPS
  • Large 512GB microSD memory card capacity
  • Backed by a 1 Year Warranty

CONS

  • Uses suction cup mount, which can fall off and camera hangs down, making it more visible for theft
  • Battery rather than a capacitor, which can overheat in high temperatures
  • Has a watermark on videos “ROAV Stealth 4K Dash Cam”

ROAV Stealth 4K Dash Cam Specs

  • 4K video (3840x2160P)
  • OmniVision OS08A10 image sensor
  • 150° lens angle
  • 20MP Still pictures
  • Parking mode with motion & impact detection
  • WiFi, built-in
  • GPS, built-in
  • 512GB microSD card capacity

#3 VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4K Dash Cam

The A129 Pro Duo from VIOFO is a small all black wedged shaped dual dash cam setup. Over the last few years the VIOFO brand has become popular for its good video quality at a cheap price point.

Best 4K VIOFO A129 Duo

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Features

  • Parking Mode

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.

  • Built-in WiFi

Its WiFi will allow 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.

  • GPS

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.

  • Image Quality

The Duo offers crisp video and uses the desirable SONY image sensor which is considered the best image sensor brand for dash cams.

  • Dual Dash Cam setup

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.

PROS

  • 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)

CONS

  • Small field of view at 130 degrees, while other cams have 150+ degree viewing field
  • GPS is not built-in, although you can buy it with a GPS mount

A129 Duo Pro Dash Cam Specs

  • 4K Video Front Cam, 1080p Rear Cam
  • 130° lens angle
  • Sony Image Sensors
  • WiFi, built-in
  • Buffered Parking Mode with Motion Detection
  • 256GB microSD card capacity
  • GPS, built-in
  • Capacitor powered

#2 THINKWARE U1000 4K DashCam

The U1000 from THINKWARE is a discrete, all black wedge shaped dash camera. It records in 4K video and has a variety of high end parking mode options. There is the option for a 2nd rear camera, making this a dual dash cam setup.

THINKWARE 4K Dash Cam

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Features

  • Parking Mode

Motion detection can be enabled while you’re away from your car to capture video of any movement. Impact detection can be used in the event of a hit an run incident in a parking lot.

  • Image Quality

The U1000 shoots in full 4K video and uses Sony Exmor R STARVIS image sensor which is an 8MP sensor, meaning it captures real 4K video. If you lower the image quality to 2K you can go from 30 frames per second to 60 frames per second.

  • Cloud

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.

  • Dual Dash Cam option

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.

PROS

  • 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

CONS

  • Only supports up to a 128gb microSD card, while others support 256gb or 512gb
  • Priced higher than the lower end 4K dash cams

THINKWARE U1000 Dash Cam Specs

  • 4K HD Video (3840X2160) on front cam
  • Exmor R STARVIS 8MP Sony image sensor
  • 150° lens angle
  • Parking mode with motion & impact detection
  • Wifi, built-in
  • GPS, built-in
  • 128GB microSD capacity
  • Capacitor Powered

#1 Blackvue DR900S-2CH 4K

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.

Blackvue DR900S

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Features

  • Built-in WiFi

With its remote connectivity you’re able to sync your phone directly to the dash cam, download videos and get notifications of a major event

  • Small and discrete

Blackvue is one of the tope choices for a discrete dash cam install with its small tubular shape, keeping it hidden from potential thieves

  • GPS

While some dash cams use a separate GPS module, the DR900S has GPS built right into the camera. GPS will allow you to track your route and log your current speed.

  • Parking Mode

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.

  • Cloud

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.

PROS

  • Uses capacitor rather than a battery, which is better for high heat
  • Stealth design
  • Trusted brand with good customer service and support

CONS

  • Priced higher than the budget models

BlackVue DR900S Dash Cam Specs

  • Real 4K Video (3840×2160 @ 30FPS)
  • 8MP Image Sensor
  • 162° Lens Angle
  • 256GB microSD Capacity
  • WiFi, built-in
  • GPS, built-in
  • Parking mode with motion & impact detection
  • Capacitor powered