Best Dash Cam Under 100

by | Spy Gear, Cars

Last Updated on August 19, 2021

A dashcam serves a lot of purposes besides catching road rage or life moments. Having one can save you from irresponsible drivers that flee the scene when an accident unfolds or even when the other party wrongly accuses you of something you didn’t do. This way you will have hard-hitting evidence to prove your case in court all thanks to the dashcam.

We set out on a mission to find the best dashcams that won’t set you back hundreds of dollars. Luckily we found an overwhelming amount of dashcams that meet our criteria so we built a list of the top 10 best dash cams under $100.

Hopefully, by the end, you would have found the perfect model, and if not we also included a detailed buyer’s guide to help you do so!

You may want to check the best night vision dash cam here.

Quick Summary: 10 Best Dash Cam Under $100

Our editors go through and research, test and qualify our recommended products. We receive commissions on purchases from certain links.

  1. Best Overall 1. Xiaomi YI Smart Car Dash Cam
    The Xiaomi YI Smart dash cam is a mix of great value and amazing functionality. With top-of-the-line ADAS technology, this dashcam is able to capture smooth 1080p crystal clear videos.
  2. Best Quality-Built: 2. Xiaomi 1080p WIFI Dash Cam
    Xiaomi makes another appearance on our list, this time with a more wallet-friendly option. Easily operated 1080p dashcam with voice control. Equipped with various technologies it’s the perfect addition for safer driving.
  3. Best Design: 3. APEMAN 3 Inch LCD Screen Dash Cam
    A perfectly capable 1920 x 1080p dash cam with a built-in G-sensor, loop recording, and motion detection at a very attractive price point.
  4. Best Weather-Proof:  4. CHORTAU Dual Dash Cam 3 inch Dashboard
    An inexpensive option for 1080p both front and rear dash cams. Amazing functionality inside an unintrusive design.
  5. Best Capture:  5. Rexing V1 – 4K Ultra HD Car Dash Cam
    4K Ultra HD definition dash cam with 256GB of storage to save those extra clear and smooth videos.
  6. Best Technology:  6. Kingslim D4 4K Dual Dash Cam with Built-in Wi-Fi GPS
    Dual cameras, 256 GB SD card capability, WiFi, plus a smartphone app all under 100$.
  7. Best Rear Camera:  7. APEMAN 2K &1080P Dual Dash Cam
    Not just one, but two exceptionally well-built cameras with excellent quality in an overall inexpensive packet.
  8. Best G-Sensor:  8. TOGUARD Mini Dash Cam
    An unobtrusive compact dash camera packed with lots of features to ensure best possible recordings even in low light environments.
  9. Best Wide-Angle:  9. Podofo A2 Car Dashcam
    A true budget king! A great deal for such a powerful little dash camera.
  10. Best Camera:  10. Crosstour CR900 Front and Rear 1080P Dash Camera
    Really easy installation that will only take you 5 minutes for capturing amazing quality videos.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Storage: Class 10 MicroSD card up to 64GB
Touchscreen: No
Audio Enabled: Yes

Our Pick

Kicking off we have the Xiaomi Yi Smart dashcam. As you can guess by the name, this dashcam is equipped with smart features that help you capture everything important happening right in front of your car.

Highlights

Xiaomi did a great job designing this dashcam. It’s quite small and very modern-looking. With a size of just 74mm x 19.4mm x 52.4mm and weighing just 74 grams, it really is pocket-sized.

On the front of the unit, you will find a 2.7 Inch TFT LCD Screen. The screen isn’t as impressive as you might find in others but it serves its purpose. Behind the screen is a 240mAh battery which is used only for emergencies when power is not available.

The sensor itself is capable of recording 1920 x 1080p video at any time. You can decide to bump up the resolution to 2304 x 1296p but by doing so the smoothness of the video will decrease down to 30FPS.

This super wide-angle camera allows you to record 3 lanes easily. Every shot is captured with a 165-degree field of view, which is super convenient especially if you are regularly traveling on a highway with multiple lanes.

Like we previously mentioned, this dashcam is a smart one. It contains a few features that aren’t found in other regular dashcams.

Besides Wi Fi, it’s equipped with ADAS, which is a system that analyzes the speed, distance, and other relatable data. It also acts like a sensor, which means if the system detects hazards arising from the road, it will automatically warn the driver. There’s also a built-in  G sensor that starts recording once a sudden movement is made in the car.

Inside the box, you’ll find a user manual, a micro-USB cable, a USB car charging adapter, and a mounting bracket.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Storage: Class 10 MicroSD card up to 64GB
Touchscreen: No
Audio Enabled: Yes

Best Quality-Built

Xiaomi makes another appearance on our list with the 70mai model. There’s a small price difference between these two models. Let’s see what this smart wifi dashcam has to offer.

Highlights

To begin with, it’s a little bulkier coming in at 10.0 x 5.5 x 3.2 cm and weighing at 70 grams. Although it’s made out of plastic and it’s quite lightweight, the build quality is excellent.

The 70mai’s main selling point comes from its connectivity features. It’s very convenient having a dashcam that is voice-activated, so you won’t have to take your hands off the wheel at any time.

Wi Fi connection comes in handy when you want to have quick access to your recordings for instant viewing or sharing through the mobile app “70mai Dash Cam”.

Video recordings are captured with a SONY IMX323 image sensor paired with a 130-degree wide-angle lens. This assures smooth 1920 x 1080p videos even in unpleasant conditions.

It’s packed with all the essential dash cam features. The built-in G-sensor has adjustable sensitivity. Alongside the G-sensor, there’s also a 3-axis gravity sensor that basically senses an incoming collision and automatically starts recording. The emergency video is stored separately so the loop recording feature doesn’t overwrite the footage of the collision.

The footage is stored only externally so you’d also have to buy a MicroSD card because it isn’t included in the box. We recommend getting the biggest supported capacity which is 64GB so you won’t have to frequently wipe out the memory.

Powering this inexpensive model is a 240mAh battery, which is only used for emergency recordings. The dashcam functions constantly through a car charger which is included in the box alongside a micro USB power cable.

Setting up the dash cam is very simple. While other dashcams usually use a suction method for mounting which is unreliable, Xiaomi solves this issue with a high-temperature resistant adhesive.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Storage:  Class 10 MicroSD card up to 32GB
Touchscreen No
Audio Enabled: No

Best Design

At almost half the price of our previous picks comes the Apeman C450 Series A dash cam, which is packed with all the essentials of any great dash cam.

Highlights

To begin with, Apeman have aimed to design a simple yet powerful camera. On the front of the unit is a large 3” LCD screen which is bright enough to view even on very sunny days. The dashcam’s functionality is regulated by three buttons on the side. There’s no complication, so navigating through the dashcams functions is very simple.

Images and videos are captured by an F1.8 large aperture lens, which translates to smooth 1080p recordings. The camera features a 170 degree super wide-angle lens, which is great because it can capture more than 3 lanes easily and even reduce blind spots. This dashcam has one of the largest viewing angles from the dashcams we are going to cover today.

It’s equipped with all the necessary features that any dashcam should have. Starting with a G-sensor, motion detection, super night vision, WDR and HDR technology, emergency accident lock, continuous recording, 24 hours parking monitor.

Upon first use, you will have to insert a Class 10 MicroSD card because Apeman didn’t include one in the box. It supports a maximum capacity of 32GB which is a little underwhelming. But considering what this dashcam brings to the table at that price point, we feel like Apeman did a great job with this one!

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Storage: Class 10 MicroSD card up to 32GB
Touchscreen:  No
Audio enabled: Yes

 Best Weather-Proof

All of our previous dashcams were just front view, but Chortau offers both front and rear dash cam for under $100.

Highlights

Beginning with the quality, the front dash cam is quite impressive. It captures recording on a 170-degree wide-angle lens camera which provides 1080p videos in any type of weather condition. The only downside to the front dash cam is that its quality drops significantly in the nighttime. It’s equipped with 6 pieces IR LED system. You can still capture important details like license plates, but the camera struggles with image distortion when there’s not much light.

Now, the rear dash cam quality. It’s not as impressive as the front, but it’s functional. The field of view drops down to 130 degrees, but it’s still wide enough to capture multiple lanes. It also acts as a backup camera, however, the recordings come out blurry due to glare from headlights in low light environments.

Like we mentioned, the rear camera is also used for parking reasons. This dash cam comes with a parking feature. Once an impact is detected, the dual dashcams will automatically start recording providing you with a video of the accident itself. Besides this parking feature, it’s also equipped with loop recording, night vision, emergency accident locks, G-sensor, motion detection.

Powering this parking mode feature is a 150 mAh battery, which lasts roughly 24 hours. But this can be a safety hazard if you live in a warmer environment, since the battery max a maximum temperature of 158 degrees, and the temperature in a car reaches well beyond that point if left in the sun.

The build quality is quite impressive. It’s not at all what you expect for the price. The camera doesn’t feel cheap by any means, it actually feels quite sturdy in the hand.

Considering that Chortau offers both front and rear dual dash cam for the exact same prices of some of the dashcams we already mentioned, it’s worth considering!

Resolution: 2160p video
Storage: Class 10 MicroSD card up to 256GB
Touchscreen: No
Audio Enabled: Yes

Best Capture

Just barely making our list of the best dash cam under $100 is the Rexing V1. This somewhat more expensive option is competing with the premium dashcams which are known to exceed well beyond the 100$ mark.

Highlights

Starting things off with the 4K resolution that captures exceptionally beautiful and smooth 2160p videos even when there’s alot of movement. It’s equipped with WDR technology, which allows the camera to open its sensor accordingly for adjusting the exposure and create natural-looking images or recordings. Nighttime recordings drop off some quality, but it’s safe to say that it still performs better than most dashcams in this price range.

The dash cam also features a wide dynamic range. There are 7 layers to the glass lens that adjusts automatically to capture the best possible shot of your surroundings. The viewing angle on the lens is on par with the top model dashcams which is around the 170-degree range.

Unlike other dashcams, this one features a supercapacitor. A supercapacitor can withstand extreme temperatures up to 176F, so you won’t have to worry if you leave your car in the sunlight.

Usability is a strong side for this unit since it’s quite simple and very intuitive. You also get the ability to mute/unmute the microphone with just a single press of a button.

Inside the package, you will also receive a 12ft car power cable, a 3M adhesive mount, a USB computer cable, and a user manual.

Overall, this is a great package to go for that just barely makes the cut to be considered under $100. It gives a premium experience for just a sliver of a price you’d pay for the high-end dashcams.

Resolution: 2160p @ 25fps
Storage: Class 10 MicroSD card up to 256GB
Touchscreen: Yes
Audio Enabled: Yes

Best Technology

If you do plan on getting a higher resolution dash cam, the Kingslim D4 is a great bang for the buck option. Considering the fact that most dual dash cams cost well beyond our budget for today, let’s see what the D4 model has to offer.

Highlights

Kingslim decided to include the industry-leading dashcam technology from the Sony IMX335 STARVIS sensor and Hisilicon Hi3559 processor. The main camera can capture recordings with a 4K resolution at 25 frames per second, while the rear camera’s maximum resolution is 1080p.

The F 1.8 aperture lens paired with WDR technology, you’ll be able to capture detailed recordings or images in low light environments. The field of view is plenty to capture everything in front of you. The front camera has a super-wide viewing lens with a 6layer glass fixed focus lens which results in a 170-degree front and 150-degree rear field of view.

With the built-in WiFi feature, you will have the pleasure of watching real-time through the mobile app. It just takes a single press in the app to download the videos to your smartphone.

It features a 3” touchscreen, that makes navigating through the camera’s menu and functions quite easy. It gets plenty bright, so it makes it quite visible even when the sun is blasting.

Installation can be a bit tricky since there’s a lot of wiring for a dual dash cam, but everything is carefully explained in the user manual which comes included in the box, alongside all the necessities for powering the dashcams.

Resolution: 2688 x 1520p
Storage: Class 10 MicroSD card up to 128GB
Touchscreen: No
Audio Enabled: Yes

Best Rear Camera

Taking the number 7 spot on our list is the Apeman High-End Dual Dash Cam C860.

Highlights

With WQHD or 2688 x 1520p at 30 fps maximum resolution, you surely won’t miss out on important moments of footage. Although it’s not as good as 4K it still beats out most of the competitors in this price range.

The rear camera isn’t as impressive, but it’s still capable of capturing a clear 1080p video at 30 frames per second, but you can opt to decrease quality in order to bump up to 60 frames per second. Both cameras have a 170-degree field of view which makes it easy to capture more than 2 lanes easily.

The camera is easy to use and it’s easily accessible through four buttons on the side of the unit. The menu is really easy to navigate through, and functionalities are just a click of a button away.

Setting up the camera is really simple, once you take it out of the box you will need to simply stick it on the dashboard, attach the power cable and you are good to go. Rear dashcams are usually harder to set up, but the dash cam comes with a really long cable that makes it easier to guide it through the cabin.

It’s also equipped with an IR sensor for night vision, a G-sensor for detecting a sudden collision, and a parking monitor for safety even when you are away from the car.

Inside the box Apeman also include a suction mount, a crowbar, cables for both cameras, a car charger, a 3M adhesive and a user manual.

Overall the Apeman C860 offers great value for dual dash cam support focusing on the basics of any great dash cam.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Storage: Class 10 MicroSD card up to 128GB
Touchscreen: No
Audio Enabled: Yes

Best G-Sensor

This small, but powerful dashcam is quite easily installed using a suction cup. Once you do set it up, it plugs in the cigarette lighter socket. It requires a constant power supply because the built-in battery is quite small and only designed for emergency situations.

Highlights

It also has a built-in G-sensor which saves and locks the current footage when it detects a collision and also has Seamless Loop Recording, which will automatically overwrite the oldest file to save the current one, so you never have to worry about storage. And don’t worry the loop recording won’t overwrite emergency videos, since they are stored separately.

It also features motion detection and works as a Parking Monitor, meaning it will automatically turn on and record a short 30-second video if anything happens to the car while it is parked.

Overall, this camera is not at all pricey and the video quality is not quite the best, but still okay for a camera of this price range. Most importantly, it is good enough to protect you on the road and will provide enough evidence to prove your claim in an accident.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Storage: Class 10 MicroSD card up to 32GB
Touchscreen: No
Audio Enabled: Yes

Best Wide-Angle

Podofo also enters the race to find the best dash cam with their A2 model. For just half of the budget for our list, the A2 certainly is a dash cam to be considered.

Highlights

It packs a punch with ti’s 140-degree ultra-wide angle lens that is capable of recording videos in a 1920 x 1080p full HD resolution. Around the lens, there are 6pcs of IR LEDs that help the camera take great pictures or videos even in darker situations.

The overall design is a bit underwhelming, but the usability of the dash cam doesn’t suffer due to its dated design. It’s quite simple to set up and use, so you won’t even have to read the user manual to get an understanding of how to operate the dash cam. Everything is labeled too!

But other features like real-time surveillance, a G-sensor, loop recording, motion detection are all available.

We ranked this dash cam quite lower due to lacking some features, but this camera does excel in low light environments and the overall quality of the recordings is good considering its price.

Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Storage: Class 10 MicroSD card up to 32GB
Touchscreen: No
Audio Enabled: Yes

Best Camera

Another great option on the best dash cam under $100 list is the Crosstour CR900. Thanks to its excellent performance in both daytime and nighttime conditions. It features a modern, sleek, wedge-shaped design and is not obtrusive at all.

Highlights

It packs a Novatek chip and the Sony IMX323 sensor, resulting in a clean video with a wide-angle of 170°, an aperture of F/1.8, and a 1080P FHD resolution. This is truly one of the best camera qualities on our list. There aren’t any headlight disruptions during the nighttime and it performs even better in the daylight even in high-speed situations.

On the front of the dash cam you will find a 3-inch IPS panel screen you are still able to review the footage on the go. It supports an external memory of up to 128GB and has the Loop Recording feature, which means that footage will be overwritten automatically.

Like all the other dashcams, this one also comes with a G-sensor which starts recoding once a sudden movement is noticed. These so-called emergency videos will not be allowed to be overwritten by the loop recording feature.

The Crosstour CR900 is a decent entry-level dash cam, it is fairly intuitive to use and has overall good video quality. After the purchase, an after-sales customer service team is available 24/7 and you also have a 12-month warranty if there is any non-human damage to the camera.

Xiaomi YI Smart Car Dash Cam

Our Pick Again

Kicking off we have the Xiaomi Yi Smart dashcam. As you can guess by the name, this dashcam is equipped with smart features that help you capture everything important happening right in front of your car.

Buyers’ Guide – Choosing the Perfect Dash Cam

A few key features to keep in mind when purchasing listed below.

Camera Performance

There are a lot of cheap knockoff models that claim to have a decent resolution camera but end up looking pixelated and their footage unusable. Keep in mind that a lot of times you will be in high-speed situations, where cheap dash cams do tend to underperform. To prevent such things you need to be wary of which image sensor and processor are inside the dash cam.

Night vision is also a really important feature that is commonly claimed on dashcams. But if the camera has a small lens, it could have problems with glare from streetlights or headlights. Be on the lookout for at least an F1.8 aperture lens. Some dash cams also have dedicated night-vision hardware, that usually performs quite better rather than just image processing. (1)

Features & Connectivity

Features like G-sensor, motion detection, audio recording, night vision are essential to any dash cam whether it’s front or dual dash cam.

WiFi isn’t necessary but it does help with fast exporting if you need footage instantly. You can also get real-time access or retrieve data like speed, acceleration, or location through the dash cam or your smartphone.

Parking monitor is quite useful if you don’t have a private parking space. Public parking spaces are quite small and narrow and accidents aren’t uncommon. It’s not uncommon for drivers to flee for minor damages, but even so, it’s good to pinpoint what caused that damage.

Ease of use

Installation can be quite tricky. If you do go for a front dash cam installation usually takes just a couple of minutes. There are a few methods we’ve seen that are used in dash cams, but we usually recommend going for an adhesive mount instead of a suction method. The plastic suction cup is exposed frequently at high temperatures and as we know things expand in heat, so after a certain time or at high temperatures suction cups usually don’t work.  On the other hand, adhesives also have a temperature limit, but it’s usually higher than a car temperature can ever exceed.

Be on the lookout for voice-activated dash cams, since it’s always better to have your hands on the wheel instead of reaching for buttons to command the dashcam. (2)

Frequently Asked Questions About Dash Cams

What resolution is enough?

1920 x 1080

The answer here is quite simple. The bigger the better. But as the resolution rises so does the cost. We feel like a 1920 x 1080p is the sweet spot. Even a 720p camera will probably solve a bigger portion of the court cases, but the recordings can be quite pixelated especially in high-speed situations. 4K cameras are great but we feel like they are a bit overkill for this purpose.

By all means, if you don’t mind spending a little bit more, go for the 4k dashcams!

What is a G-sensor and is it important?

A  gravity sensor is a feature commonly found in dash cams that measure the movement of your vehicle through 3 axis. Up and down, left to right, and forward and backward. The G-sensor is triggered once it detects significant or sudden movement. Then the dash cam will automatically start recording a video file, which is separately stored from regular footage. But at certain times it can be also triggered by potholes, speedbumps so don’t be surprised if you find a lot of emergency videos stored on your MicroSD card. (3)

This feature is considered to be one of the main ones because without it you could potentially lose really important footage, which is contradictory to the dashcam’s purpose.

Are there dash cams without wires?

Yes and no.

Although you can find dash cams that run on battery, there’s no point in getting one. It simply isn’t convenient to swap out the battery every time you leave your car. Some models feature a small built-in battery which is used for emergency scenarios.

Some dash cams feature WiFi capabilities so, don’t get it confused for it being wireless.

Are dash cams legal?

Depends.

While dash cams are legal to have in your car on the road, there are certain restrictions on the installation and placement of the dashcam which may cause legal issues. We recommend you get informed on your states’ laws as to whether or not a dashboard camera is legal.

Using a dashcams’ audio is also a controversial topic, since if you do own a dashcam every time a passenger travels with you you’d have to inform them that the conversation will be recorded.

This isn’t a big issue most of the time, but it’s something to keep in mind since it can cause you to harm in the eyes of the law.

Will a dash camera work if the car is off?

Usually Yes.

Like we previously mentioned, many models we came across had a backup battery which is anywhere between 150mAh to 300mAh. If your camera is equipped with a battery it means, it’s capable of recording even when the car is off.

That battery is usually used when dash cams have a parking monitoring feature. That feature ensures that footage will be captured if the sensors detect a movement while it’s parked. It automatically starts recording on the backup battery and will be stored separately. This is a great feature to have since you can see if someone bumped into your car while it was parked.

Conclusion

A dashcam is a great addition for you and your car’s safety. The models we featured here are the most inexpensive models that we think we’re worth covering. Hopefully, after concluding this review we’ve left you with a perfect option for the best dash cam under 100$.

References

(1) aperture lens – https://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/a/tips-and-techniques/understanding-maximum-aperture.html
(2) voice-activated – https://www.verizon.com/articles/speech-recognition-technology/
(3) 3 axis – https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1231195/FULLTEXT01.pdf

About Gadgets Spy

Hi, I’m Michael, a security and surveillance expert. I co-founded and write for GadetsSpy and help teach people about new tech and Gadgets.

Xiaomi YI Smart Car Dash Cam