Review: TOGUARD Dash Cam with GPS, Wifi, and more
Dash cams as a category, while popular, have been a bit technologically stagnant of late. Sure, there are basic variations in specifications like size and image quality, but not a lot in the way of thoughtful new features. The TOGUARD Dash Cam tries to address that category deficiency by adding a built-in GPS module to the usual laundry list of product features.
The key features of the TOGUARD include:
- 1080p/30fps or 720p/60fps (and as low as 640×480/30fps) recording options with a 135 degree view using a 2 MP Sony IMX322 image sensor
- Video recording in loops of 3, 5, or 10 minute files
- GPS module that records and stamps location, speed, and route info
- Wifi module that interfaces with the FinalCam iOS or Android smartphone app to watch and download video
- Automatic on/off
- Automatic accident detection that locks the current video file
- miniHDMI port for an external display
- Standard microUSB power port
- Compact size (5.1 x 3.1 x 4 inches, weight of 15.2 ounces) with a built-in 1.5 inch display
- GoPro-compatible mounting option
The contents of the package include: CE25 Dash Camera, camera mounting bracket, mount, 5V 2A car charger with two USB charging ports, 3.5 meter/11 foot microUSB cable for in-car use, microUSB data cable, sticker pads for mounting, cable clips, lens cleaner, installation tool, and a user manual.
There are also CPL Filter (a polarizing filter that may help reduce reflections and oversaturation from direct sunlight) and Car Camera Hard Wire Kit (which is a do it yourself (DIY) way to permanently and more aesthetically wire your dash cam, as well as turn on the Parking Guard feature, which does low frame rate recording as an extra security measure when your vehicle is not in use) options available. As long as you agree to follow the instructions on the in-box coupon, you’ll have a free choice of one of those two options. For me, as usual, I’m just sticking with what’s in the standard package.
Note that a required microSD card for actually recording video onto is also not included, but they’re inexpensive enough to easily buy on your own (note that TOGUARD states that 64GB and higher microSD cards need to be pre-formatted as FAT32 before use). I just used a 32GB microSD card I had handy.
After unpacking and setting the dash cam up in my car per the manual, I inserted my microSD card and powered on my car. The device immediately started recording with its default settings and soon enough locked onto the GPS signal and automatically set the date and time. I then downloaded the FinalCam app to my Apple iPhone 7 Plus. This mobile app lets you connect to the dash cam’s wifi source. There’s a also a nifty PC software option available that syncs the recorded video to a moving map display and shows other interesting data, but it’s not something I bothered testing. Nevertheless, the fact that the GPS data is saved as text .log files in a GPS folder (as opposed to the video and photo DCIM folder) means that you can work with the data yourself if you were so motivated.
So, how did it perform? As you can see from the 720p/60fps mode video, overall recording quality is excellent. Combined with its wealth of features, versatility, and reasonable price, the TOGUARD Dash Cam makes for a fine in-vehicle recording option.
- GPS is built-in, along with all of the expected features for a dash cam
- Good recording quality
- Let’s you power over USB from either side of the windshield mount
- Default settings are logical, so it’s plug and play if you want it to be
- Good manual
- Does not include microSD card
- If you prefer a suction cup windshield mount, one must be purchased separately
The TOGUARD Dash Cam helps to raise the bar for a fairly stagnant product category.
Thanks to TOGUARD for the review unit.