Nextbase 612GW Dash Cam Review
The 612GW is a 4K dash cam being sold by Nextbase, a European company that is just starting to sell various dash camera models here in the US. Nextbase specializes in selling higher quality dash cams for a higher price point. With this comes more reliable cameras, better video quality and an overall better dash cam for this price range.
Real 4K Video
There are many cheap dash cams on the market right now that are marketing themselves as a 4K dash cam, although they do not capture true 4K video. This claim is based on the dash cam scaling up the video after into 4K, even though the true video is not 4K. The 612GW has a 8.57M Pixel image sensor, allowing it to record in full 4K, while the other “fake” 4K dash cams only have a 4MP image sensor, which does not allow it to truly record 4K video.
The Nextbase 612GW camera uses a 150 degree lens angle, which is standard for most dash cams and is wide enough to capture most of the road in front of your car. It has a Sony EXMOR R CMOS sensor to provide great image quality that’s clear and brightly colored. The polarizing lens the camera uses reduces wind screen glare to make sure the image is as clear as possible, even when recording against unfavorable weather. This feature is especially important in capturing license plates. Since they are shiny and sometimes glare makes it hard to read them, having a glare-free lens is very important. It has a Click and Go Magnetic GPS mount that uses magnets and touch points to provide easy installation without the extra wires. A suction cup windshield mount or a sticky adhesive windshield mount comes with the camera. It records speed and location, which are useful to have, especially if an accident occurs in an unfamiliar location. Built-in WiFi is also included to view recordings on the app to download and share on social media platforms. These features are built-in on the camera. Unlike other cameras, it does not require the additional purchase of a hardwire kit due to the easy installation, which is great for fans of GPS and WiFi service, who get to save money and time on installation. Parking mode is offered on this camera, although some buyers feel as though it is lacking some features of other high end dash cams that offer a dedicated parking mode.
It also features more advanced camera features like HDR (high dynamic range) and WDR (wide dynamic range). HDR keeps your images clear and improves contrast in the image by taking multiple images at different exposures for the best results. WDR makes sure your footage is clear in any light situation, whether it be intensely sunny or in the dark night. If you want to edit the footage you take, the Nextbase 612GW Elite provides Replay 3 software to edit and share videos on a computer, providing a whole package. This software allows for the user to cut and trim footage, join different clips together, and annotate footage for easy viewing and notation. After the video is edited, the user can also export the video into a resolution of their choice. If the user doesn’t want to edit the footage and just wanted to send it to a smartphone or tablet, the built-in WiFi can just send it to a mobile device without the use of a computer.
After looking at the products features and benefits, it’s time to look at the camera’s actual performance. This camera has gotten mixed reviews. While some report that the picture quality is great and that it’s easy to read license plates, others have complaints about low lighting situations. At night, the footage appears grainy and the license plates are almost impossible to read. Overall, the image quality isn’t the best in the world but it’s pretty good and it records in full HD.
Some customers really appreciate the easy installation and intuitive touch screen display. Dash cameras sometimes have a bad reputation for confusing instructions in broken English that describe a time consuming process. Some people that are new to the dash camera scene even choose to have their cameras professionally installed so that they get it right. Even if it’s the user’s first time setting up a camera, the setup is simple and the instructions are descriptive on the Nextbase 612GW. The setup also has a mount that’s very easy to attach, which is great for many different types of consumers. Those that want to spend very little time setting up a camera and want it to work well right out of the box will be pleased. They won’t have to go back and reposition the camera or change the settings if they don’t want to. On the other hand, those that detach the camera frequently so that it doesn’t get detected or stolen can easily remove and replace it onto the mount.
There are some potential drawbacks to this camera but none are detrimental. There are some complaints of the video quality. While the footage available still looks clear, it performs slightly worse in low light situations than other cameras on the market. To the average consumer, this will be fine, but those that are very interested in dash cameras and know a lot about image quality might find this camera to be somewhat lacking. One thing the camera seems to be missing is a parking mode that has more features of other higher priced dash cams.
Another thing worth noting is the camera’s color and size. Nextbase has some other variants of this model and the main outside difference between the 612GW and the other cameras is the size. Some of the other cameras have smaller LCD screen sizes on the camera, which result in an overall smaller and more inconspicuous camera. If you leave your car in a very public parking space most of the day, you may want to consider a smaller camera so it’s less noticeable. This also sacrifices some of the video quality though so each consumer needs to decide what parts of a dash camera are the most important to them before picking out a model. Additionally, the camera itself is silver. Most other dash cameras are black so they stick out a little less, especially in low light situations. A silver camera might be more conspicuous than most other cameras on the market. While this may not matter to some people, it is important to think about before buying a camera like this because it differs from other cameras in this regard.
- Real 4k video
- Good build quality
- WiFi for smartphone access
- Comes with adhesive mount along with a suction cup mount, giving you different mounting options
- Noisy low light video quality at times
- Silver in color, rather than black and it hangs down lower than a wedge shaped cam, making it less “stealthy” and easier to see
Even with these potential flaws, many agree that the Nextbase 612GW is a good camera for the money. While the image quality isn’t the best of the best, it’s still pretty good. The video is also augmented with great features like a GPS mount and built-in WiFi connection. Those that love a simple camera that records well and gets the job done will like the 612GW at this price point.
Nextbase 612GW Photos
Video: 4k 3840 x 2160 @ 30fps, 1440p @ 30fps and 1080p @ 60fps
Image Sensor: 8.57M Pixel
Lens Angle: 150°
Lens Aperture: F1.6
Display: 3.0” LCD, 960 (W) X 240 (H) pixels (RGB), 16:9 ratio
Video File: MP4
Photo File: JPG
Storage: microSD U3 Class 10 (up to 128GB)
Motion Detection: Yes
Parking Mode: Yes
Battery or Capacitor: Battery -- Lithium-ion 3.7V / 260mAh
Input Power Required: 5V / 1.5A
Audio Recording: Yes (on/off option)
APP: Yes (Android & iOS)
Dual Dashcam: No
Model Name: 612GW Elite
Model Number: NBDVR612GW
PDF user manual for Nextbase 612GW: Nextbase-612GW-Manual.pdf
What accessories are included?
- Nextbase 612GW Elite Dash Cam
- GPS module
- Suction cup windshield mount
- Adhesive sticky mount
- Car power adapter cable
- USB computer cable
- “Protected by Nextbase” window sticker
- User Guide
Sample Videos of the Nextbase 612GW
Daytime video sample on cloudy day
Night time video footage sample