Dashcams are never far from being in the press, even if it is by association. Just google “crash for cash” and you’ll see how depressing prevalent this new cottage industry is. I’ve even heard from a friend of an instance he was involved in where a car reversed into him in traffic and then claimed he drove in to the back of him. All in the name of a whiplash claim.
This is where dashcams generally and in this instance, specifically the Philips ADR810, come in handy. They plug in to the lighter for battery and fix on to the windscreen to record a wide angled (think GoPro style) record of whats going on in front of your car. Anyone trying anything unfair will be captured on camera. Philips kindly sent me one to review and keep afterwards. If you’ve read my view on reviews, you’ll know as a hobby blogger I tend to be very picky on what I choose to review as my time is finite, so anything that I do tend to review is usually pretty good as I will have done my homework before saying yes.
If you look on the internet for a dashcam, you can can spend as little as £30 and a much as well over £300. The choice is baffling, as are the features and the price. At the bottom end you’ll get 720P resolution (if you’re lucky) and under 30FPS, with a poor ISO range that means your camera won’t be much cop in the dark. At the top end, you’ll get 60FPS, full HD, GPS positioning data embedded into the video, collision detection and great night vision.
Priced at around £139, the Philips ADR810 is somewhere in the middle in terms of price and has a good feature set for the money:
- Full-HD 1080p at 30FPS
- Automatic collision detection
- Fatigue index and driver alert
- Emergency EasyCapture
The one thing it doesn’t have, which it perhaps should at this price, is either on-board storage or a bundled microSD card. If you don’t buy a microSD card (up to 32GB), you won’t be able to use the Philips ADR810 as anything other than a visual deterrent.
Installation is simple, you have the world’s most sticky sticky pad ever attached to a mount. You stick the pad to your windscreen where you want the camera to sit. In case you get it wrong, the box has a spare pad in it but be warned, getting the original off isn’t a trivial undertaking.
Since the Philips ADR810 doesn’t have a built in battery, the power adaptor has to be plugged in to a socket that is outputting power to work. The cable is 4m long, with the idea that you mount the camera just below the rear view mirror and run the cable something like this:
I haven’t got round to wiring the Philips ADR810 in properly yet. And no, I don’t have a left hand drive Tesla either but you get the idea. A 4m cable is a suitable length for doing this.
The power adaptor also has a button on the plug that does emergency recording. Lots of dashcams have this but by having it on the adaptor, the Philips ADR810 is very easy to operate- no lunging at the screen to make it record (if it isn’t already).
Of course the proof in the pudding is the quality of the recordings. I was pleased with what the Philips ADR810 outputted. Looking at it compared to a dashcam I gave my father in law a couple of years ago, what stood out was the low light recording. The ISO range for the ADR810 isn’t specified on their website but in practise, it works extremely well in twilight and night. Twilight is perhaps more challenging as you might not have your headlights on:
No, I haven’t time travelled back to 2015, I simply hadn’t set the clock at this point! You can see I mounted the camera a little low- I need to have some thought about a more permenant solution as my car is a lease car so I don’t want to do anything that might leave a mark on the trim or upholstery.
Overall I’m impressed, for the price the only improvement I could suggest would be bundling a 4/8GB microSD card in the box, otherwise it’s a competitively priced device from a big brand that you can trust.