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When dashcams were first created, they were expensive devices that you had to fork out a lot for. But dashcams are fast becoming available at amazingly cheap prices thanks to lots of budget Chinese brands on Amazon.
Are these cheap devices actually any good? We’ll find out as I review the Claoner dashcam, one of the most popular cams at the very low end of the market.
Claoner isn’t a household name, I’ve certainly never heard of the brand before and I’d be surprised if you recognised it, a quick scan of the internet will reveal their product portfolio consists of dash cams and LED solar lights, a very strange combination but they seem to have many happy customers.
It’s a fully functional dashcam that hits above its price level in terms of features with G-sensor, loop recording and all the other essentials, plus a rear view camera that also functions as a reverse parking sensor.
The camera records in 720 or 1080p and at 30 frames per second, this is the minimum you’d expect from any dashcam. I’m not going to big up the video quality because it’s not going to win an ascar any time soon, but as far as recording the road to prove who is at fault in any accident, this should do the job.
Don’t expect to be able to read number plates or see faces as the screen definition isn’t up to that, and at times there is a lot of glare on the video too.
The night time vision is acceptable, but again has a lot of glare. The lack of any infrared lighting means it’s almost impossible to work out what is going on in darker streets or parking areas so this renders the parking sensor useless unless you park in a well lit area.
If nighttime footage quality is important to you, a better option in the same price bracket is the Orskey S680 which has infrared lights.
It uses a standard system of loop recording to write over any old footage that is no longer required. However, if there is an essential clip it will be stored to a permanent storage area so it cannot be overwritten. A clip will be deemed essential if:
- It is detected by the parking motion sensor when the car is off
- The G-sensor detects an accident
- Using the manual button
Of all these options, the manual button is the only reliable option as the G-sensor and parking motion sensor aren’t wholly accurate as with more expensive models.
The only negative to the recording functionality is that the maximum micro SD that will fit in the camera is 32GB which is smaller than many of the other cameras, but with the low quality recordings it should still last a similar amount of time.
It also comes with a rear camera which you can wire in with the long cable included. This is waterproof so it can be attached to the rear bumper and records to the dash cam or can be used as a parking sensor. If you have an old vehicle, you can wire it up to detect when the reversing light comes on and the rear camera can automatically show on the screen when reversing.
The parking monitor allows around the clock protection of the vehicle with automatic recording when it detects any movement or shakes.
The camera is quick to boot and the 3 inch screen allows for immediate playback. It’ not a touch screen but once you get used to the buttons it’s reasonably easy to work.
Unfortunately, with no wireless connectivity or smartphone app, when you need to use the footage you’ll have to resort to a desktop computer in order to send it to your insurers which can sometimes be cumbersome.
As with everything else on this camera, the window fitting is no-frills but seems to work. The holder fits to the front window via a 3M adhesive mount or a suction cup an then the camera must be inserted each time and plugged in, this can be a little fiddly but it manages to do the job.
Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Auto Adviser. Kieren created the site to share his passion of cars that began long before he passed his driving test and is now a recognised contributor in the industry. Outside of cars, Kieren loves drinking coffee and travelling to far-off lands.