The Scosche 720p HD DVR dash cam offers an entry level option to those on a budget, or those just looking to dip their toes into the dash cam market. While it is a single camera system, it still boasts some of the features you can expect to find from beefier dash cams, like a 2.2 inch LCD screen, continuous and customizable loop recording, and G-Sensor tech. It records in 720p but offers an interpolated 1080p. I’ll show you pictures and video throughout this review. Let’s get started.
Setting up your new Scosche 720p dash cam
There are going to be a couple of extra steps to set up your Scosche 720p HD dash cam. The first, and most important is formatting the 16GB memory card that comes with the unit, inside the camera. I’d recommend plugging your dash cam into a computer and formatting it there rather than doing the first format through the camera. The memory card should be FAT32 partitioned, which is consistent with all other dash cams I’ve reviewed. While it has a fairly simple plug-in power source (into a 12V port / “cigarette lighter” hookup,) the camera isn’t a straight plug and play and you might have operating issues if you don’t format the card properly. The camera kit comes with a proper USB cable, so you should be able to plug in and take care of things pretty quickly. Since MicroSD card comes plugged in the camera and does not come with an adapter, you’ll have to plug the whole thing into your PC or use a card reader to format it.
I would also recommend charging the dash cam fully prior to operating it. Just plug it in and turn it off the first time you make a short drive. This should only take about 10-15 minutes and then you’ll be in good shape going forward. If you’ve formatted your card, the camera will automatically write the directories required and automatically save drive time footage.
Mounting the dash cam is done through a fairly straight forward suction cup. I’ve always been a bit wary of straight suction cup mounts (for good measure too, which you’ll find out later in this review) and wish this was a combination suction/adhesive at the very least, but the camera is really light, so it’s not a burden on the suction. You’re now road ready.
Operating your Scosche dash cam
Operating the dash cam is pretty straight forward. Like most dash cams, it’ll turn itself on and turn itself off as the vehicle does. The camera records automatically in 3 minute continuous loops to begin with, but this can be cut to 1 or 2 minutes through settings. Most of the features on the camera are turned off by default, so you’ll have to turn them on. The camera will also begin recording automatically in its interpolated 1080p, but you can set it to full 720p if you want. In the review video, I’ll show you a little bit of both ends of footage so that you can see the difference.
Footage can be recorded with the sound on or off, and with or without timestamps. There is also a G-Sensor for parking and motion detection too, which are really impressive features to have on an entry level dash cam like this. Footage is filmed at a 100 degree wide angle, and you can either watch your footage back through the camera itself or by dismounting and viewing through your PC/removing the MicroSD card and looking at it through a card reader.
There is one thing that you need to be aware of, however, and it is that the continuous loop does not overwrite itself. Once the card is full, it’s full and you’ll see a message advising that this is the case. This really caught me off guard, since literally every other dash cam I’ve reviewed so far just overwrites its own footage. This card will also fill up rather fast for a single camera system, which I’ll touch on in the section below.
Things you should know about the Scosche 720p HD dash cam
I admit that my time reviewing the Scosche dash cam wasn’t all rosy. I had a lot of trouble with the suction cup mount staying put at first. It fell off numerous times the first few days, but it finally stuck after a while. I might chalk that up to the cold weather and cold windshield not playing ball with helping mold the suction plastic as well as it would have in warmer weather.
However, that wasn’t the only strange thing. One night while driving home, the camera started operating erratically, shutting on and off until it finally crashed. I ended up having to pull off to the side of the road to unplug the camera and shut it off altogether (since it was engaged in the backup battery after unplugging it,) and all my footage was corrupted. The memory card seemed to be the culprit as taking it back to my PC and reformatting the card again fixed the issue.
A final note on recording is that because this camera records in AVI format, expect your memory card to fill fast. In its interpolated 1080p form with sound on, recordings are done at approximately 4 MB per second. That means that the included 16GB MicroSD card fills in just over an hour. You can upgrade to a 32GB card per Scosche, so that should give you more breathing room. I live in a city where a lot of people spend over an hour a day commuting to the office, so getting a bigger memory card and keeping the included one as backup is what I’d recommend to commuters looking at this camera.
Is the Scosche 720p dash cam worth the price?
This Scosche DVR Dash Cam is a really entry level product for an entry level price, so for that alone, I guess the value for the price point is undeniable. That said, I’d really only recommend this camera for the budget conscious, or those who really want a temporary camera to get them onboard with dash cams until they get something more robust. I may be spoiled by having reviewed much higher-end dash cams in the past, but I thought there was too much hands on time for me with this one. I like a dash cam that’s pretty self-sufficient and can manage its own footage without much intervention, and the fact that you have to either re-format the camera or delete videos one by one means I’m not the target market for this camera.
I will say that I do like the backup battery and the fact that the camera does not shut off right away. For you to be able to dismount the camera to take pictures of damage (if you don’t have a smartphone handy or at all) is a nice added touch. It is also nice to see customizable motion detection and G-Sensor capabilities on a dash cam this budget friendly. However, some of those savings will probably be eaten up by the fact that you’ll need to invest in a bigger memory card almost off the hop, and the added effort required to keep deleting footage to make the camera operational might be too much for some buyers.
There are better options if you aren’t budget conscious. However, if you just want something really basic that can get the job done, the Scosche 720p HD DVR Dash Cam does just that and adds a couple nice little features in its tidy price tag. If you’re in the market for something introductory, have a look at this one, since it might be what you need.
The Scosche 720p HD dash cam is now available at Best Buy and online at bestbuy.ca