I recently got the chance to test and review a pair of new Cobra dash cameras. There was the Cobra SC200 2K QHD dash cam with 3″ LCD Screen & GPS and the Cobra SC201 Full HD 1080p dash cam with 2″ LCD Screen, Cabin View, & GPS. If you’ve been thinking of picking up a new dash cam for your vehicle, read on to learn all about these 2 fine models and to see if either of them might be suitable for you.
But before we get down to business, why not take a few minutes to check out my video review of this pair of dash cam models? In the video I show both cameras up close, I show footage taken with each, and I give a rundown of key features and specs along with my own general thoughts on each model:
Key features of the Cobra SC200 dash cam
The Cobra SC200 is a small, rectangular dash cam with a wide (140 degree) viewing angle, 1600p resolution, a 30fps frame rate, and a 3″ LCD display screen where you can see what your camera is recording.
Other features of this camera include an advanced parking mode that wakes the camera up if there’s an impact to your car, an integrated voice command mode whereby you can take photos and perform other commands hands-free, dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity for things like cloud access and wireless software updates, Bluetooth technology for synching with your phone and transferring video clips, and built-in GPS to inform you of things like red light cameras and other location services.
Its modular design also allows you to eventually add a rear-facing camera (sold separately) to your overall dash cam setup. You even get access to the special iRadar App, which provides a wealth of real-time information (like your speed and hazard alerts) to help you on your way.
Key features of the Cobra SC201 dash cam
The Cobra SC201 is a slightly more advanced (in some ways) dash cam model over its cousin the SC200. For example, it has 2 different cameras built in—one facing the road ahead and the other facing inside the cabin. It also has a 140 degree field of view, night vision for clear views after dark, a 2″ display screen, and most of the same features as its cousin the SC200 (including Bluetooth, GPS, dual-band Wi-Fi, the iRadar App, and more). One slight drawback of the SC201 versus the SC200 is that this model offers Full HD 1080p resolution whereas the SC200, if you recall, has a superior 1600p resolution.
Additional features of the SC201 include Cobra’s advanced parking mode, cloud features (provided you have Wi-Fi), a fleet management system for improved security and in-cab monitoring, and in-app notifications pertaining to real-time speed and traffic light information thanks to cooperation between the iRadar App and built-in GPS. Additional details and information about each of these dash cams can be found by viewing their Best Buy product pages, as well as in the commentary that follows below.
My experience testing both cameras
The first thing I want to mention about both of these cameras is just how easy they are to install, set up, and use. In fact, I couldn’t quite believe it was so easy. Setup took mere minutes to complete and included little more than taking the cameras out of their boxes, sticking them onto my windshield via the included sticky tape, and plugging everything in. A car cigarette lighter style plug is used to power the camera, and a nice, long wire is provided for this process.
Another detail I was happy with was the inclusion of a Micro-SD card with each camera. This has not been the case with other dash cams I have reviewed in the past, twice leading me to buy my own Micro-SD card (I misplaced the first one). This might not seem like a big deal, but Micro-SD cards are expensive for what they are, and it’s a pain to have to buy one to make something else you’ve already bought work properly. Note that the SC200 came with an 8GB Micro-SD card and the SC201 (due to having to save footage for both the front- and rear-facing cameras) had a 16GB card.
As for the quality of the images these cameras provided, again I could not have been happier. Though there’s a difference in image quality between the 2 Cobra cams, to my eye both produced images that were clear and easy to see. Had my car windshield been cleaner and the weather conditions better, the images from both cameras would have been pretty much perfect.
One thing I do have to mention is that the SC200 is so much easier to remove and reattach to the windshield than the SC201. While the SC200 just pulls off when you want to remove it and magnetically snaps right back into place when you want to replace it, the SC201 has a completely different way of attaching to its mount.
In fact, it does still come off, but it’s a bit more tricky to do as you have to slide the camera sideways to unlock and release its rotating clip. And while getting it off is one thing, it’s difficult to see where everything lines up when trying to re-attach it, so getting it back in place is my primary complaint about that. Of course, one benefit of this mounting system is that the SC201 can easily swivel to give you a slightly different viewing angle, so it’s not exactly a disadvantage (the SC200 can’t swivel side to side, but it can rock forward and backwards slightly).
Finally, I just want to mention how cool it is to receive notifications for things like red-light cameras and lane drift. In fact, the SC201 was doing this very well for me, letting me know when a red-light camera was coming up and playing a little tune any time I started to drift slightly from my lane. All up, this is just one more of the many reasons to love these cool Cobra dash cams.
Having now spent a couple of weeks getting to know these dash cams, I can easily and highly recommend them both. Of the two, I think I slightly prefer the SC201 (mostly due to the addition of an interior facing camera), but then again I do keep going back and forth on this due to the higher resolution and easier removal and replacement of the SC200. Either way, though, both cameras deliver a variety of excellent features and do a great job of performing their intended function. In all honesty, you really can’t go wrong with either one of these dash cams and should simply choose the one whose features best meets your needs.