Harry here. Recently at RSG, we looked at some reasons why you’d need a dashcam for rideshare driving. Suffice it to say, there are many – having video evidence available can be of crucial importance during any number of situations you’re likely to encounter as a driver, both in your car and on the road.
Today, brand new RSG contributor Jonathan Knope reviews the top three dashcams for rideshare drivers. For each camera, we did a thorough review along with an accompanying Youtube video that covers unboxing, installation, and live footage from the road. Make sure you head over to your Youtube channel to check these videos out or just view them on the blog.
Executive Summary: Our Top Picks
So you’ve decided it’s time to get a dashcam. But which one? First, let’s review the various types of dashcams – and what features you should look for to get the most out of your investment.
Most dashcams come with their own mounting hardware. Some attach to your windshield; others fit over your existing rear-view mirror. If you have a phone or GPS mount (or both) on your windshield already, a mirror camera may be preferable. However, a windshield mount has its advantages – they can usually be removed and stowed away more easily than a mirror system, making them preferable for situations where the device might be stolen: while making deliveries, street parking, etc.
For keeping power cables routed neatly around the frame of your car, I recommend Command strip decorating hooks (only $5 on Amazon) – these adhered to my car much better than some included cable hooks, and proved an invaluable companion to the models that didn’t come with any at all.
Front-facing vs. two-way
Another consideration is how many cameras you need. All dashcams look forward to capture any collisions, but not all of them record what’s happening inside the vehicle – a feature of particular importance for the safety and security of Uber drivers and passengers alike. If something starts to go down in your vehicle, you may not have time to spin a one-way camera around to capture the event. On the other hand, if you primarily transport food and packages, an interior camera is probably not necessary.
Other features to consider
Before purchasing any dashcam, you should make sure it has features that match your needs. Here’s a breakdown of some common dashcam features to look for:
- Memory card: Is it included? Do you have a compatible card already?
- Loop recording: Will the camera replace old footage as the card fills up, or will you run out of space after a few hours?
- Video/audio quality: Can the camera see at night? Can you read license plates, or will you need to note them in the event of an incident?
- Visibility: How obvious is the camera to passengers? Potential thieves?
In this review, we’ll look at all these features and more. Please note that the laws on dashcams may vary by location, so please check your local laws to make sure it is legal to record before doing so. In many cases, compliance can be as simple as posting a small disclaimer in your window.
And now, a quick disclaimer of our own: The Rideshare Guy blog makes a small commission off of Amazon purchases made using the links below (at no additional cost to you). However, we have worked to make sure only the best dashcams made it into our review, and we think you’ll love our top three dashcams for rideshare drivers. And remember, even if you don’t end up buying one of these cameras, we get a small commission from any purchase you make within 24 hours of clicking any of our Amazon links (Bookmark our Amazon homepage here!).
Can’t buy a dash cam right now but still want to protect yourself with audio and image recording? Check out Seam, an app for your phone that can record audio and images, plus keep you safe by connecting you to your emergency contacts. Read more about Seam here.
For the budget-conscious: Zero Edge dual-lens mirror camera
For under $100, the Zero Edge mirror camera offers great value. It’s actually two cameras – one built into the mirror, and another separate camera that plugs into the mirror via a long cable. The separate camera is designed as a backup camera, but its adhesive backing means it can be mounted just about anywhere inside your car to keep an eye on your passengers. The unit records footage from both cameras simultaneously, and places them in separate, time-stamped video files.
The interior camera is very discreet, if you can figure out a way to keep the long cables out of the way. If you’re handy, one option might be to cut the excess cable out and then splice the wires back together. From the outside, it’s somewhat obvious that the device is not an ordinary rear-view mirror. It’s more difficult to remove than any of the other models we tested, so if you plan on taking the camera in and out of your car every day to prevent theft, this might be an issue. Nonetheless, the camera’s low price and excellent feature set make it worthy of consideration.
In the box:
- Two-port 12v to USB power adapter
- Mirror camera unit with microphone
- Separate mini camera
- 16 GB microSD card
- Spare mirror straps
- USB cables for power and data transfer
- Lens cleaning cloth
- Automatic loop recording from both camera angles
- Front-facing camera has good field-of-vision; can be aimed
- Interior camera is extremely discreet, with excellent field-of-vision
- Interior camera can’t be removed or adjusted once adhered
- Really long interior camera cord is difficult to hide
- Attaching and removing unit from existing mirror is somewhat tricky
ZeroEdge Dual Lens Dashcam Review on Youtube
For the delivery driver: iTRUE X3
The first thing you need to know about the iTrue X3 is that it only records video from the road, not the cabin. So if you don’t have passengers in your car, or you’re just not concerned about having an eye on them, the iTrue is a great choice. It offers the widest field of vision of any of the cameras on our list – 170 degrees – and the camera’s ability to cope with different lighting conditions is excellent. Headlights generated minimal glare at night, and far-off details can be seen clearly during the day.
This is a suction-cup mounted camera, which means it’s super easy to hide when parked. The automatic loop recording was smooth and didn’t drop any frames between clips. The video quality from this unit is definitely its strongest feature.
In the box:
- 12v power adapter
- Camera unit
- Suction cup mount
- 8 GB microSD card
- Data transfer cable
- Automatic loop recording
- Excellent field-of-vision
- True 1080p quality video with decent audio
- Only one lens
- Power adapter takes up a whole outlet, and doesn’t leave any extra USB ports
- Stiff mount makes camera difficult to spin around if you ever need to capture an incident inside your vehicle
iTrue X3 Dashcam Review on Youtube
Honorable mention: Tendak 2.7″ Car DVR
With specs very similar to the iTrue, the Tendak 2.7″ is also a good choice in the single-lens dashcam category. Though we weren’t able to give it a full review here, it seemed to perform adequately in our tests, and at a great price, which earned it a spot on our list.
Best overall: Falcon F360
The Falcon F360 is a clear winner for its ease of use and installation. Like the other cameras on our list, it will loop record automatically when your car is running – but the physical design of this unit is where it really shines. Both interior and front-facing cameras are built into the mirror attachment, and the whole unit is powered by a single USB cable, which gives it a clean look while installed. To remove or hide the camera while parked, simply unplug the power cable, and slide it off. The spring-loaded clamps hold firm while driving, but they also make this unit one of the easiest to take in and out of your vehicle.
Footage from both camera angles is combined into a single clip, which can be either a pro or a con depending on your point of view. Like the other dashcams on our list, this one performs adequately for night driving, and the 120-degree field of vision is enough to capture the whole scene. The invisible infrared lights around each lens are particularly helpful for illuminating footage from the interior.
In the box:
- Dual-camera mirror unit
- 32 GB microSD card with adapter to standard SD card
- Long USB power cable
- Shorter USB data cable
- Cable management hooks
- Automatic loop recording from both camera angles
- Included memory card has generous 32 gb capacity
- 5-second attachment and removal process (once cable hooks are already installed)
- 12v adapter includes two extra quick-charge USB ports
- Field of vision could be wider
- Color representation in footage could be improved
Falcon Zero F360 Review on YouTube
A dashcam is a great investment that could save you a lot of time and money if you’re ever involved in an incident. Although many of the dashcams available today could use improvement on the little things like button layout and cable management systems, they perform their essential functions reliably and effortlessly. Having one in my car has definitely improved my sense of security while driving.
Before you install your dashcam, make sure you’re following all applicable laws. Compliance is often as simple as posting a small warning (here are some stickers on Amazon) in your windows stating that the vehicle is equipped with video recording equipment – although in some states, even that may not be necessary. Especially with the recent debut of UberPool in many cities, the vast majority of your passengers will appreciate that you are being proactive about ensuring their security as well as your own; just ensure that you won’t be breaking any of your local laws by doing so.
Our Favorite Dashcams, Compared – YouTube
Drivers, what do you think about all of these dash cams and which one are you going to buy? Is there a dash cam we missed or another option that might be better suited for drivers?
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-Jon @ RSG
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