If you have ever watched a TV show like COPS, or seen news footage of a police chase, you have probably seen videos taken by a dash camera. These electronic devices, once used only by police departments, have found their way into the consumer market. They are now also widely used by bus drivers, taxi companies, driving instructors, and by regular everyday drivers. They can be used to record every detail inside the vehicle and on the road. BlackVue makes some of the world’s best dash cams and in this review we will compare the BlackVue DR900x Dash Cam vs BlackVue DR900s (>>> Check current price on Amazon).
BlackVue DR900x vs DR900s Dash Cam side by side:
|BlackVue DR900X||BlackVue DR900S|
|Resolution||3840×2160 30FPS||3840×2160 30FPS|
|Megapixel Front camera||8||8|
|Megapixel Rear camera||2.1||2.1|
|Maximum capacity||256 GB||256 GB|
|Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
Why You Should Own a Dash Cam
Reason #1 – It will provide first-hand evidence in the event of an accident. No more does it come down to “he said, she said”. The videotape is your indisputable evidence of what has occurred.
Reason #2 – It will document unsafe, disrespectful, or under the influence drivers that endanger our highways and byways.
Reason #3 – Worried parents now have a way of seeing how their children operate their car and who may be riding along with them.
Reason #4 – A dash cam will record that special road trip and preserve all of those spectacular views that occur as you drive. That footage can later be shared with family and friends, so others can be “with you” as you make that scenic drive.
Reason #5 – A dash cam will keep your car safe when it is unattended. Break-ins are frequent and can result in an expensive loss of property that is kept in your vehicle. BlackVue dash cams have motion detecting capability, so while you are in the mall shopping or running errands the camera will keep track of what is happening in and around your car.
Dash Cams Must Have Features
You will never be able to depend on your dash cam to save the day, but it’s nice to know that the possibility is there. Here are some of the necessary features that your dash cam should have:
Minimum Image Quality of 1080p – The better the resolution and the wider view that the camera can capture, the better. While we think 1080p is the minimum resolution, the higher the better. A sharp, distinct image will enable you to capture finer details like license plate numbers.
Looping Features – This enables the camera to record over older video footage that is no longer needed. That is much more convenient than having to manually delete obsolete recordings.
G-Force and Motion Sensors – An accident will be recorded, stored, and not looped over. A break-in will cause the camera to start recording and the video will be saved as evidence.
Infrared Capability and Field of View – Break-ins and vandalism activities usually take place after dark or in low-light situations. Your camera needs to be able to “see” in the dark and make the appropriate recordings. The field of view (FOV) capability of a good dash cam needs to be at least 140°-160°. This will produce a video recording covering not only the area directly in front off or behind your car, but also capture incidents across several lanes of traffic while still maintaining an appropriate sharpness of details.
BlackVue DR900x Dash Cam
The DR900x is a high end dash cam system and BlackVue is recognized as one of the industry leaders for automotive camera protection systems. The DR900x is their updated version and the front camera will record video clips at 8 megapixels in true 4K Ultra HD. The rear camera, using a Sony STARVIS 2.1 megapixels sensor, records in full HD. Both front and rear cameras shoot video at a rate of 30 frames per second and provide clear recording both in daylight and darker conditions.
While other dash cameras claim to shoot in 4K, they use a smaller sensor and the video is then upscaled to make it appear to be 4K. Not with the DR900x. Its front camera has a 162° wide angle lens, which will give you a full view of everything happening in front of your car. The rear camera’s field of view is slightly less, but it is still 139° wide, still wide enough to capture everything happening on the road behind your car.
BlackVue has made storing videos with the DR900x easy. There are two ways, the first is with a microSD memory card. Using the largest compatible 256GB microSD card, you will be able to store and save up to 21 hours of video. The second way is by using BlackVue’s subscription Cloud Service. This would require a Smartphone and a SIM card plan with a phone company. The Cloud service is free or there are also optional paid plans with more playback features.
Included with the camera system is a hardwiring kit. Once the system is hardwired into your car’s electrical system, you will be able to access the DR900x’s Parking Mode. The Parking Mode provides impact detection, motion detection, and buffered recording. With buffered recording, the cameras continuously record over and over to provide short, 15 second videos so that you have a record of things before any motion or impact is detected. It will also allow you to view what is happening in and around your car while you are away from it. Click here for a more detailed BlackVue DR900x Review.
- Front and rear dual channel coverage
- Impact and motion notifications while parked
- Cloud video storage
- LTE 4G USB port
- Bluetooth connectivity (supported but not yet available)
- Improved heat resistance
- Built-in voltage monitoring of the car’s battery level
- Not a significant upgrade from the DR900s
- Video quality only fair
- More expensive than most competitors
BlackVue DR900s Dash Cam
The BlackVue DR900s records in 4K Ultra-HD resolution for the front-facing camera and 1080p for the rear-facing camera. It will store the videos as if both were shot in 1080p, saving you storage space. It is a small, beautifully designed system that produces some of the highest quality video footage of any dash cams currently on the market.
Video quality is not that much better than other high-end 1080p cameras. Daylight video is good for both front and rear cameras, but night video is only fair. The issue is that higher resolution sensors perform worse in low-light settings due to their smaller pixel size. Field of view for the front camera is 162°, while the rear camera’s is 139°, which is quite wide.
Hardwiring the DR900s to the fuse box, or by using an external battery pack, will enable you to utilize BlackVue’s Intelligent Park Mode. Each of the cameras will record short burst of video, rewriting them over and over, until an impact or motion is detected, which will then be permanently stored for you to retrieve. That way you will have a record of things seconds prior to any event that may occur.
The DR900s can use the BlackVue Cloud storage system to save video. This enables you to view playback, receive notifications, or view your car in real time on your Smartphone via the BlackVue app.
- Front 4K and rear 1080p cameras
- Optional cloud video storage
- GPS tracker
- WiFi Connectivity
- Loop recording and auto on/off
- High temperature cutoff
- Video quality only fair
- WiFi connectivity can be glitchy
Should You Upgrade
The DR900x is not compatible with the wiring used for the DR900s. Since you cannot simply swap one camera system for the other and with only slight improvements in technology, upgrading from the DR900s to the DR900x may not make perfect sense. Both systems are top of the line and will provide you with great video footage and vehicle incident protection.