I love to watch Russian dashcam videos for the sheer stupidity and block headedness of the drivers and then I look out the window of my office in Noida and wonder why no one uses these devices in India where driver shun rules as if it’s a plague. This is why I jumped on the opportunity of reviewing the Transcend DrivePro 220, one of the first dashcams to be commercially marketed in India by a big brand.
What are dashcams?
Dashcams are small video cameras that record everything that the driver views in front of him. They record the video on micro-SD cards and are usually switched on then the car is powered on. Some have additional features like GPS coordinates, speed alerts and app-based controls.
Transcend DrivePro 220
Specs: Dimensions: 70.2mm × 63.1mm × 34.5mm (2.76 x 2.48 x 1.36 inches) | Weight 90g | 2.4″ color LCD | Low-light sensitivity CMOS, 3 mega-pixel | F/1.8, 130° wide angle lens | 3-axis G-Sensor | microphone and speaker | GPS Coordinates | Full HD (1920×1080) 30FPS; HD (1280×720) 30FPS
Watch our video review of Transcend DrivePro 220 (App users click here)
Price: Rs 11,990 (with 16Gb micro-SD card)
The Transcend DrivePro 220 is very compact and easy to setup. In fact, it is pretty much plug and play as soon as you get it hooked to the power source in the car. The SD card goes on the sides and the controls are managed using four buttons under the LCD. The camera can be fixed to your windshield using suction cups provided in the box.
The Transcend DrivePro 220 works on its own and you don’t really have to bother about anything. It switches on with the car and starts recording. Clips are saved to the SD card every three minutes to ensure you don’t lose footage. Since this model comes with Wi-Fi connectivity you can link it to your smartphone and adjust settings. You can even watch the footage on the phone and browse through records very easily. My only issue here is that since the video is saved as small clips, a system to bunch videos from one trip together would have been easier to handle.
While over a week on my windshield thankfully did not result in any interesting footage, I was really impressed by the video quality. The F/1.8 aperture gives this camera excellent results in low light and in the dark. This comes in handy if something untoward happens as you will for sure capture the number plate in front of you. Also, the camera adjusts well to changes in light and there are no issues with white balance.
I am more tempted to buy this gadget for its safety features. The lane departure warning, for instance, is a good way to keep Indian drivers like me in line since we seem determined to make extract maximum value from the steerings by veering our vehicles all over the place. Plus, there is collision warning that too and comes into effect when there is a car in front and you are moving at a particular speed that warrants concern. The good thing here is that the camera can recognise when you are stuck in a jam or slow moving traffic. Also, this gave me warnings in case of sharp turns ahead. There is a parking mode where the camera switches on if someone comes too close to your locked car. Well, it might not be able to prevent a theft, but in case another car rams into yours in the parking lot, you would at least know what happened.
The Transcend DrivePro 220 is a good gadget to buy for those who spend a considerable amount of time on the road. The video could come in handy in case of something untoward, while the safety features in the camera will prevent something like that happening. A lot of these features come preloaded in some high end cars now, but for others this could be a worthy investment.
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