In the market for a dash cam but don’t want to spend the money on an actual dash cam? Well, they make dash cam apps that work pretty well and below, I list the pros and cons of using your smartphone as a dash cam.
If you search any app store for dash cams, a whole plethora of different apps will come up in the results; the one dash cam app that I’ve been using is the Nexar App. I’ve tried a few others; but for me, Nexar has everything I need and more. I’m not saying it’s the best one on the market; I just think for me, it has the options that I need/want and I don’t have too many issues with it.
Whichever app you decide to use, there’s always going to be pros and cons associated with them and so, you’re going to have to see which app works the best for you and your needs and see if it’ll be a good substitute for an actual dash cam.
The Pros About Dash Cam Apps
- If you already have a smartphone, it’s a free dash cam!
- It’s portable and can be moved from car to car with ease
- It can be positioned in any angle and is more versatile for where you can place it in your car (dash, windshield, air vent…etc).
- Depending on the quality of your smartphone camera, you can capture great video footage
- Using your smartphone as a dash cam helps prevent you from using it while you’re driving; of course, you’re free to switch out of the app anytime you want; but if you’re really focused on driving safe, you don’t have to worry about switching to another app while driving!
- You’re able to take your smartphone with you and not have to leave it in the car and risk having it stolen. You can remove a portable dash cam (like the HaloCam) but it’s not always convenient to bring it with you everywhere you go.
- With the Nexar app, all videos are backed up to the cloud and so you don’t have to worry about losing your videos if your phone is erased, lost or stolen.
- You don’t need a main power source to allow the dash cam app to record. Yes, you want to make sure your phone has adequate battery and should use a charger when recording; but at the same time, if you’re battery is charged, you can just tap record and go and not have to worry about charging your phone. With most dash cams, you have to have a constant source of power, like the HaloCam.
- You can accessorize your smartphone and therefore, you’re dash cam app is just as stylish as you are and you’re not stuck with just a standard, generic color like everybody else!
- If a dash cam isn’t for you, all you have to do is delete it from your smartphone and poof, no more dash cam! With a regular one, you’d have to store it somewhere or try to sell it and you would probably end up losing money.
The Cons About Dash Cam Apps
- You’re unable to multitask with most dash cam apps and so, you won’t be able to record and use your map app at the same time.
- You have to remember to take your phone out of your pocket or purse and have it ready when you’re in your car.
- It takes a few extra seconds to set up your smartphone to record like a dash cam every time you go somewhere in your car.
- If you don’t have a good, sturdy mount for your smartphone, the video will be shaky and of poor quality and that can prevent you from identifying important information, if needed.
- If you don’t have a case on your phone, you’re limited in options when it comes to the different mounts you can use. A lot of the newer mounts are now magnetic and will need a metal surface to stick to – unless you want to stick the metal plate to your phone, you’re going to have to use a case to either stick the plate directly to it or put it between the phone and the case.
- The recordings can take up a lot of storage on your phone and will limit you on how many you’ll be able to retain. Some dash cam apps do offer cloud backups; but there are many that don’t.
- If your phone isn’t held tightly by your mount, it can go flying if you have a sudden hard break or if you’re involved in a collision. If it goes flying, it can prevent the smartphone from recording anymore evidence, if needed and there’s a chance that it can damage your phone.
Do the pros outweigh the cons? If so, head on over to your app store and download a couple of free dash cam apps and take them for a drive and see what you think. Before you spend any money on paid versions of the apps, download the free ones first and then, if you think a dash cam app will work for you, download the paid version (if they offer one).
If you think you’re better off with an actual dash cam, check out my review of the Nexar HaloCam and see if that will be a better alternative than a dash cam app.
Thanks for reading!