Regular dash cams are pretty popular nowadays. However, what is really picking up steam lately are dual dash cams. You buy a dash cam, but instead you get two – one for the front, and the other for the rear of your vehicle. Or, you buy a dash cam that records your vehicle at the front, as well as the inside of your cabin, which is a favorite for taxi drivers, as well as drivers for other ride sharing services like Uber or Lyft.
And out of all the options that are available on today’s dual dash cam market, one name that keeps on popping up in a lot of lists for good cameras is the Vantrue N2 Pro. It’s a dual dash cam that does cost a pretty penny, but aims to give you the best possible performance and quality. And for many, it is more than worth it, especially when you get in an accident and have a way to prove that you aren’t at guilt.
So, considering it’s pretty pricey, who is it for, and how does it stack up in the sea of dash cams available today? Let’s find out.
Once you open the box, you’ll see that this isn’t the typical dual dash cam where you have one unit for the front, and another, separate one for the rear. Instead, this is a single unit that’s mounted at the front and has two lenses pointing in opposite directions. The dash cam is pretty small, which is excellent considering you can’t mount it behind the rearview mirror due to the rearwards facing lens. You can have it above or below the rearview mirror, and it won’t get in the way when you’re driving.
Aside from the unit itself, you’ll also find two cables. The first one is the power source cable. One end connects to the camera, and the other is meant to go in your vehicle’s power outlet socket. It’s 10 feet long, so you can easily guide it along the headliner and down the A-pillar, for clean cable management and not to have a cable hanging from your dash cam in the middle of your car. The other cable is a USB data cable, and is what you’ll use to transfer the recorded footage to your computer for review.
You also get a suction cup mount that’s fairly large so you’ll need to be careful where you place it. The camera attaches to it with a twist-to-lock mechanism, which does keep it securely in place and doesn’t wiggle when you drive. If you want smooth video, this is a pretty important factor. Last but not least, the mount has a micro USB port in which you’ll connect the power cable. This means that you won’t have to remove the cable from the dash cam every time you want to review footage, which is nice.
Let’s discuss the video quality
A dash cam is only usable if you can distinguish details when you’re reviewing the video from it. The N2 Pro comes with an excellent OV4689 sensor which records with a maximum resolution of 2560x1440p. However, this is only when you’re using the front dash cam. If you want to use both the front dash cam, and the one that points inside the cabin, you’re limited to 1920x1080p, which is in no way bad. Also, if you use the front facing camera, you can also record in 1920x1080p, but at 60 frames per second. The cabin-facing camera has a great sensor too – a Sony Exmor IMX323, and the video from it is also excellent.
While the front facing camera performs great even at night, the IMX323 sensor that records your interior is backed by four IR LEDs and an aperture of f/2.0. Considering that during the night, there is little to no light inside your cabin, this is a great addition that lets you have clear videos of your cabin regardless of what time of day it is. As far as the front facing camera goes, it’s a six-glass lens with f/1.8 and HDR recording that makes sure you can pick up details even in the darkest and brightest parts of a scene.
Another key thing when it comes to dash cams is the field of view. You’ll want a camera that has a wide field of view so it can capture as much information as possible. With the N2 Pro, you get 170 degrees at the front, which is impressive, as well as 140 degrees in the cabin which is more than enough. Both cameras allow you to capture everything that happens with ease.
Does the N2 Pro have any extra features?
This wouldn’t be a useful Vantrue N2 Pro dash cam review if we didn’t touch upon some of the extra functionalities that the dash cam comes with. For starters, you have loop recording, something that’s extremely useful when you forget to empty your memory card. Speaking of memory cards, you can fit one that’s up to 256GB in size. Something to note here is that the manufacturer recommends that one, you should get a memory card that’s class 10, and two, you should stay away from Sandisk memory cards as they have compatibility issues with the N2 Pro.
You will also get a G-sensor inside that automatically detects any sudden shakes or collisions. This is useful when you get in an accident of any kind, because it will lock the current footage so it doesn’t get deleted or overwritten by the aforementioned loop recording feature.
Even though it is not included with the N2 Pro when you buy it, there’s an additional GPS unit that you can buy to add GPS functionality to the dash cam. This can come in handy in case you need to show a location at any given time, or your moving speed for that matter.
At the back, on the side facing the driver, is a 1.5” display. Note that this isn’t meant to be used for footage review, but instead to set the camera up and go through the settings. The display turns off automatically once the camera starts recording so you don’t have a glowing rectangle on your windshield getting in the way. The display can also be rotated upside down in case you decide to mount the dash cam on your dashboard instead of the windshield.
It’s also worth mentioning that Vantrue have added a high-quality microphone to the N2 Pro, so any audio recorded will be clear and crisp. If you don’t want to record audio, though, you can switch the microphone off with the press of a button.
The last feature we’d like to mention is the motion detection sensor. When you park your car, the motion sensor is turned on by the parking monitor and the camera starts recording automatically as soon as there’s any kind of motion at the front. This is great in case someone hits or otherwise damages your car while it’s parked. However, note that this only works with a continuous power supply, such as having it hardwired to your car.
Wrapping things up
While many will shrug at the asking price, the Vantrue N2 Pro is actually an excellent dash cam. It manages to cover all the basics in terms of functionality, and give you all the additional features you may need. And with a cabin-facing camera with a great sensor, you can rest assured that you’ll have a silent witness both outside, and inside the car.