The Best Budget Dash Cams Under $100
Here is our Top 6 list of the highest rated affordable dash cameras of 2019/2020 that are priced under $100. There are many cheap Chinese dashcam knockoffs out there priced well under one hundred dollars, however they often lack reliable and quality hardware, software and sensors, providing poor video quality and sometimes not even capturing the video when you need it the most. Below we have picked the best performing dash cams that can be purchased for less than $100. UPDATED: November, 2019
The all black, wedge shaped V1 dash cam from Rexing features full 1080p at 30 frames per second HD video recording. It uses the highly praised Sony STARVIS image sensor to capture clear and crisp video, both day and night. The V1 uses a wide 170 degree lens angle to capture a large area of the road ahead, while similar dash cams are only using a 140 degree lens angle. Videos can be played back directly on its 2.4″ LCD screen, along with making camera setting changes.
With its capacitor, rather than an internal battery, it is able to withstand higher heats and colder temperatures. With an optional hardwire kit that powers the V1 directly off of your car battery, you are able to use the parking mode feature, which can keep a watch over your car when you’re not there. The Rexing V1 has an internal g-sensor which detects a major impact and locks the current video file and protects it from being overwritten.
With the V1’s built-in WiFi you are able to connect your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet directly to your dash cam using the Rexing mobile APP, allowing you to view and download videos directly onto your secondary device, making it easy to share videos on social media.
The V1 accepts up to a 256GB microSD card, making it one of the largest supported memory cards for any dash cam. This will you to record around 34 hours of video before the dash cam will start to overwrite the old files and start over.
- 1080p HD Video @ 30FPS
- Sony STARVIS image sensor
- 2.4″ LCD
- 170° Lens Angle
- Built-In Wifi
The N1 is a suction cup mounted dash cam from Vantrue that records at 1920x1080P @ 30 frames per second using the Sony IMX323 image sensor, which provides quality day and night video footage. It has a somewhat wide 160 degree lens angle. Videos can be viewed and deleted by using the back 1.5″ LCD screen. It has a large memory card capacitor, allowing you to use a 256GB microSD card, giving you more than 30+ hours of video footage. Once the memory card is full it will loop back around and start recording over the oldest video files. This can be used with the time lapse feature, if you wanted to record a long video for a lengthy road trip.
With an optional hard wire kit that plugs the N1 directly into your cars fuse box and taps into the cars battery you are able to use the parking mode option that can provide 24/7 protection of your car when you are away. This uses motion detection and impact detection of a hit and run collision using its internal g-sensor.
The N1 does not come with built-in GPS, but there is the option to buy a GPS module addon which costs around $20.
The Rexing V1 Mini Dash Cam comes with a full 18 month warranty and good customer support if you have any issues.
With its suction cup mount and small size, the V1 Mini could make a good secondary dash cam for traveling, if you wanted to use it in rental cars or different cars from time to time.
- 1080p HD Video @ 30FPS
- Sony IMX323 image sensor
- 1.5″ LCD Screen
- 160° Lens Angle
- Uses Battery Rather Than Capacitor
The Nightscape from YI is an all black full HD 1080p dash cam. YI has been making dash cams for a number of years now, but they are more known for their budget line of GoPro like action cams. They have merged many of their action cam features and video quality and put them into a small car dash camera package.
Using the Sony STARVIS imaging sensor it is able to capture crisp day and night video. It has a 140° degree lens angle, which is on the lower side, other dash cams have up to a 170° lens angle. However, a smaller lens angle typically has a better video appearance and less of a fish eye look to the video.
YI markets the Nightscape as a “smart dash cam” with its lane departure warnings and front end collision detection along with an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). While these features sound great, most dash cam owners don’t find these types of features very useful and choose not to use them.
With its built-in WiFi connectivity, the Nightscape can be used with the
YI Dash Camera App that connects your iOS or Android smartphone directly to the dash cam making it easy to download videos and share them online. If you don’t want to use your phone to connect to the Nightscape you can use the 2.4″ screen on the back to make changes to the settings and review previously recorded videos.
The YI Nightscape is square shaped and uses a hanging adhesive mount making it slightly more visible than other dash cams that are wedge shaped and mount directly up onto the windshield.
- 1080p HD Video
- SONY STARVIS Image Sensor
- 140° Lens Angle
- 2.4″ LCD Screen
- Built-In WiFi
ROAV, an ANKER company has been producing high quality dash cams for a number of years now. The S1 dash cam from ROAV records in full HD at 1080p at a high frame rate of 60 frames per second, meaning you capture more video at higher speeds, which can be good for capturing a cars license plate number while you are in motion. It uses the Sony Starvis image sensor, which is known for its clear and crisp video footage.
The ROAV S1 is one of the few dash cams that not only have a built-in 2.4″ LCD display, it also has built-in WiFi connectivity. Most dash cams with WiFi do not have a built-in screen, which requires you to use a secondary device to access the dash cam. Using the ROAV iOS or Android APP, you can easily download videos directly onto your smartphone, making it easy to share video for insurance purposes or to post entertaining dash cam videos to social media sites.
With its built-in GPS, you can track your speed and location which can later be accessed through the ROAV APP. Your speed can be watermarked directly on to the video file, or you can completely disable the GPS feature and not have any speed or location data displayed or saved. The S1 also comes with a built-in g-sensor that detects major impacts and automatically saves video files from being overwritten.
One feature of the S1 that many would consider to be a negative is the built-in lithium battery. The battery in a dash cam is not meant to power the dash cam to run by itself, it is a small battery only meant to quickly save the last video file when you turn your car off and it loses power. Batteries can have reliability and overheating issues during the summer months. Most prefer a dash cam with a capacitor, which do not have these issues.
ROAV offers a 12 month warranty for the S1 Dash Cam.
- 1080p HD Video @ 60FPS
- Sony STARVIS Image Sensor
- 145° Lens Angle
- Built-In WiFi
- Built-In GPS
- Battery Powered
With it’s 1080p video resolution paired with the 2.19MP Sony Exmor Sensor it records high quality crisp videos that capture license plate numbers and give good image quality at night, what some might consider “night vision”. It has one of the widest lens angles among dash cams at 170°, giving you full coverage of everything in front of you. With its built-in g-sensor, it will automatically detect a crash and lock and save the video file. The DR02 does not have built-in GPS, but does offer a GPS antenna accessory that you can buy for less than $20. With its internal capacitor, it can withstand higher heats than other dash cams that use a battery and are less prone to reliability issues that come with an internal battery. The DR02 has a 1.5″ LCD screen on the back, making it easy to directly access video, change dash cam settings and see where the dash cam lens is pointing. With an optional hard wire kit that plugs into your cars fuse box, you are able to use the motion detection and parking mode feature of the DR02 to actively watch over your car when you’re not there. It has a time lapse feature that can be used on road trips to capture long stretches of video in a slideshow like video.
AUKEY is a reputable dash cam manufacturer offering a 24 month warranty on the DR02 dash camera.
- 1080p HD Video @ 30FPS
- 2.19MP Sony Exmor Sensor
- 170° Lens Angle
- Motion Detection
- Parking Mode (optional hardwire kit required)
The VIOFO line of dash cams have been popular over the last few years among various online communities. Known for their line of budget single and dual dash cam setups that feature a stealth wedge shape design and crisp day and night video quality, has made way for many positive reviews.
The A119 V2 is an updated version of their original A119 dash cam model, which has an improved GPS mount.
It features full HD video, recording 1440p at 30 frames per second. If you want to capture 60 frames per second, you need to drop the video quality down to 1080p, which is still plenty of resolution to capture license plates and crashes among other things. With the included GPS mount, you are able to overlay your coordinates and speed directly on to the video file (this can be disabled). The A119 V2 can take up to a 128GB microSD card, which gives you about 14 hours of total recording time. Once it reaches capacity, it will then start recording over the oldest 2 minute video clips. With its built-in g-sensor, it will automatically detect a collision or major impact, locking the video file, making sure it can’t be overwritten in the future, ensuring that you save your video file for insurance and other purposes. The option to use the parking mode feature on the A119 V2 can be used with an optional hard wire kit, that plugs directly into your cars fuse box, allowing the camera to use your cars battery power even when the car is not running. While there are many dash cams now that have no screen on them, the A119 V2 has a built-in 2.0″ LCD screen, which makes it easy to change settings, view the lens angle and play back videos directly on the dash camera.
- 1440P @ 30fps or 1080P @ 60fps
- Novatek NT96660 Chipset
- OV4689 Image Sensor
- Motion Detection
- Parking Mode (optional hardwire kit required)
Here are the top budget dash cameras previously on our list for 2017 and 2018:
Number 5 on our list is unlike other entries to the list, the G1W-C features a larger, less stealthy camera body that packs a lot more features and power. All major dash cam features come standard, but with beefed-up specs and a more affordable price tag. Starting with the display, the G1W-C features a 2.7 inch display that can play recorded video and act as an interface to change settings on the camera. This is especially useful for situations where you need to play back recordings without access to a computer, like during an interaction with a police officer who wants to view footage on the scene. The G1W-C also has a super capacitor as opposed to standard lithium batteries. As we know, this means no failed battery issues, more reliability and resistance to extreme temperatures.
G-Sensor Movement Detection technology is another feature that makes driving safer more enjoyable. The sensor is capable of measuring sudden braking or collision impact, which will automatically trigger the recording function of the camera and take a snapshot of the incident. With the wide angle lens being capable of 1080p video at 60fps, the camera does just that. Videos look great during the day and clear at night. While an SD card is not included, which is understandable at this price point, the G1W-C does support up to 64GB of storage. With loop recording and G-sensor functions, storage space is managed efficiently.
Number 4 on the list, the A118-C is the A119’s little brother, featuring a more compact build while maintaining the flagship features of the latter mentioned dash cam. The A118-C focuses more on having a smaller build that can easily be hidden behind your rear-view mirror or dashboard and is often used as a secondary dash cam for the rear of your vehicle, although this dash cam is more than capable of being a full time front cam. The matte black body will perfectly blend in with your vehicle’s interior and the included adhesive makes installation a breeze. Just like the A119, the A118-C features a capacitor instead of a normal lithium battery. Not only does this prevent the camera from running flat when you need it most, but it also increases the long-term lifespan of the unit and is less prone to overheating.
The A118-C also features a built-in 1.5 inch HD display that is capable of displaying what is being recorded, as well as providing an interface to navigate to change settings. Camera wise, the A118-C features an Aptina lens with a 170 degree field of view that is capable of recording 1080p video at 60 fps. The camera also features night vision, WDR technology and automatic motion detection. The A118-C also features a motion sensor that will automatically record whenever it detects a sudden change in movement. It is compatible with micro-SD cards up to 32GB and to save space, you do have the option of changing the resolution, field of view and frame rate of your recordings. The A118-C is also heat resistant and is ideal for drivers who work in warm weather
The YI Dash Cam comes in at number 3. It’s another great compact dash cam that packs some unique features. The most noteworthy of which, is the built-in Advanced Driver Assistance System. With this, the camera will automatically provide real-time intelligent lane departure warnings, as well as the ability to detect how far you are from the car in front of you with Forward Collision Warnings. The YI Dash Cam features a small and stylish build that unlike the some cameras, prefers to be seen. It comes in either matte gray or gold color options.
The camera features a wide 165 degree lens that is capable of recording 1080p video at a smooth 60 fps. The system also features G-Sensor technology that will have the camera automatically record footage prior to a collision and immediately afterwards, which will be useful for insurance disputes and accidents. The YI Dash Cam features H.264 video encoding, which is more efficient and guarantees quality recordings while optimizing storage space. With an F1.8 aperture, the YI Dash Cam works great in low-light conditions and can be used for night driving. The 6G all-glass professional lens features an infrared filter which will reduce glare and effectively create a more clear image. On the other side of the unit, you will find a large 2.7 inch LCD widescreen display with a great interface and the ability to display an overlay with information on the road in front of you.
The F50 is one of the most compact full HD dash cams you can buy for under $100 and it can easily fit behind your rear-view mirror or car dashboard. The small, brushed black cylindrical body looks great and feels solid. One of the unique features of the F50 is the Anti-File Corruption Technology, which guarantees that all footage will be saved on the memory card instantly, preventing the possibility of data loss or corruption. This is an important feature to have as dash cams may get damaged when they are sitting on the windshield of a vehicle during an accident.
There are a multitude of other features that the F50 has that most other dash cams at this price point and size simply don’t have. Things like accessory support, Parking Surveillance Mode and GPS tracking come standard. The external GPS antenna is capable of speed, time and location tracking, which is useful for insurance disputes and accidents. Moving on to the camera, the THINKWARE F50 features a 2.12 megapixel Sony Exmor Sensor that is capable of 1080p video at 60 fps. The lens provides viewing angles of up to 130 degrees, which is enough to record both lanes on most roads.
The F50 also features a super capacitor as opposed to a lithium battery and is resistant to extreme temperatures. Micro SD support up to 64GB comes standard and there are a multitude of accessories available for the F50. A one-year warranty is included, indicating that the compact dash cam is built to last.
And coming in at number 1 is the A119 dash cam, which has been one of the highest rated dash cameras on the market in 2016 and will continue into 2017. The A119 is a full HD dash cam that packs a multitude of features into a small, stealthy build. Starting with the camera, the A119 features a powerful censor that is able to record 1140p video at 60 fps. The camera also features a 160-degree-wide-angle lens that’s capable of seeing both sides of the road on wider highways, which is especially useful for situations where you need to record oncoming traffic. The lens is also moveable up and down, as well left to right and allows you to change the angle without having to move the unit itself. Low-light recording comes standard and the A119 works great at night.
The dash cam also has built-in motion and proximity sensors, which allows the camera to automatically start recording whenever an accident occurs or your vehicle takes damage. The small, matte-black polycarbonate body is only 6 inches long and can easily be hidden inside your car. An adhesive mount is included in the box, which allows you to attach the A119 to your windshield. The unit also has an optional GPS logger that is capable of tracking not only your location, but also your speed, which is useful if you want to prove that you were driving below the speed limit. The compact dash cam uses a capacitor as opposed to a battery, which lets you plug it into your car and use it for hours on end in high heat conditions. It’s built to last through extreme conditions and is freeze and heat resistant. If you’re planning on buying a dash camera in the $100 price range, we highly recommend the A119 dash camera.