Do you want your cell phone to record the road when you drive? Technically easy, but you also need a more specialized application for this. See the 4 best dashcam apps for Android.
If you are interested in recording the road when you drive, in the event of an accident or because you are curious about your driving habits, then you can install a camera on the dashboard of your car, a dashcam as it is called.
You could buy such a specially designed car dashboard camera. Or to save money, if you have an Android mobile you could use your mobile and a free Android dashcam app. There are many great free dashcam apps available for Android, with a range of handy features.
Why install a dashcam application?
If you are wondering why you bother to install another photo app on your phone while you already have at least one, the answer will surprise you. Dashcam applications not only record their environment but offer a wide range of specialized tasks and settings for the specific job. Such as:
- Ability to select video resolution
- GPS location tracking
- Automatic registration
- Background registration
- Adjust video length
- Automatic file replacement
- Automatic collision detection
- Custom video settings such as exposure and white balance
- Automatic cloud upload
- Audio recording
- Emergency service call
- GPS speedometer
- Frame mitigation
As you can see, we are not talking about a simple film but about something very specific.
First you need to place your Android phone on your windshield or dashboard. You can place it anywhere, but the windshield mounts are usually better, as they can cover most of the road.
Then you need to provide him with a permanent charging current as dashcam applications use many functions that quickly drain the battery.
There is a possibility of overheating of your smartphone, both from the high use of the dashcam application and from the sunshine that the area behind the windshield of your car may have. We believe that the general internal temperature inside the car will be such that neither you nor your mobile phone should be impatient.
But because locally the temperature can rise dangerously, all you can do is not let the sun see your cell phone directly. A towel or a piece of cardboard on top, small enough not to cut off your visibility for security reasons, but which will shade the phone, may be the best solution.
Finally, make sure you have an installation where it will be easy to remove and install your mobile phone, even for 1 minute, that is, as long as it takes to buy something from the kiosk that you parked tentatively. A cell phone in a passenger car may be a challenge for some.
The best free Android Dashcam apps
Now that you know the basics look at the four best free dashcam apps you can use. Note that some of the following dashcam applications also offer a professional paid version of course.
Although these premium versions of applications offer a wider range of features, you can often find the same features for free in other alternative applications.
1. AutoBoy Dash Cam
AutoBoy Dash Cam is a free Android mobile application with easy-to-use features. It is simple to use and allows you to switch between different camera options, exposure levels, shooting orientation and much more, all without having to wander through complicated menus.
You can choose to add GPS tracking to the video capture. Additionally, GPS is updated as you drive, displaying your current location. If you have an accident, AutoBoy Dash Cam will lock the video recording to protect the data.
You can also set AutoBoy to start or end automatically. This works by using the mobile base, or the power supply, or a Bluetooth connection, to start recording (or losing the connection for interruption).
Other features include YouTube backups (automatically back up your files as off-list videos), background recording, limited video duration, screen grid lines (to help you calibrate and center), and automatically delete files to record continuously (as long as there is at least current).
However, AutoBoy also has some issues, according to user reports. The video lock function after collision detection is probably quite sensitive and a bit excessive, as if you tap on a curb the AutoBoy Dash Cam will take the acceleration as an accident and will protect the video. You can see a similar situation in a very large puddle, which the Greek roads admittedly have many.
Supports English, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Turkish, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai.
Download: AutoBoy Dash Cam (free)
2. AutoGuard Dash Cam
Autoguard Dash Cam provides many professional-level features for free (as well as offering a genuine Pro subscription). You'll find settings for maximum video storage size, automatic upload to your YouTube and Google account, bitrate encoding, white balance, and more.
In case of emergency registration, AutoGuard will automatically protect your registration in the event of a collision. You can set AutoGuard to delete all entries after completion, unless of course there is a collision or emergency.
This is a great feature because if you drive for a long time or several times a day, you can quickly create a huge amount of junk camera shots. You can also specify how long AutoGuard will resume recording after a collision event, which is another great option.
Additionally, AutoGuard can make an automatic call when it detects an accident. You can set the number to dial in the advanced settings.
Interestingly, the AutoGuard Dash Cam also includes a flash function, which activates the camera of the Android smartphone. The result is bright enough for AutoGuard to take a few extra shots in the dark, but since light is reflected on the windshield, the overall effect is likely to be limited.
Overall, AutoGuard Dash Cam is simple enough for anyone to download and start using.
Download: AutoGuard Dash Cam (Free and premium version)
3. Drive Recorder
Drive Recorder offers a basic but effective approach. It offers a decent range of configuration options, such as maximum video storage size, recording time limit, GPS update rate, and whether to record your car audio. It also offers background registration as a standard feature, while other applications lock background registration behind a subscription or upgrade.
One thing we really liked about Drive Recorder is the playback screen. It splits your screen in half, displaying the video at the top and a map of the route you followed.
However, the downside is that Drive Recorder does not include emergency features, such as direct contact with an emergency service, video lock, or GPS location sharing. Additionally, Unless otherwise specified, Drive Recorder will automatically replace older videos, which could be a problem.
Finally, the default storage location is not easily accessible and you can not change the path of the file. However, you can share the video using the in-app viewer.
There is one more caveat to using it: as Drive Recorder is a free application, it is supported by ads. While this is perfectly understandable, changing pop-up ads is a distraction, especially if your mobile phone is in your field of vision when you drive.
Download: Drive recorder (free)
4. Dash Cam Travel
The latest free dashcam app is Dash Cam Travel, which offers a free version and four separate paid levels (!). Each paid tier of Dash Cam Travel unlocks an additional set of options, targeting "Professional" or "Sports" etc. users.
The free version of Dash Cam Travel allows you to record in the background with or without information. If you choose to include the information, then the registration will also include your speed, recording time, date and a GPS map that is updated as you drive.
Disabling information overlay also changes the video resolution. Without overlay, Dash Cam Travel uses standard video resolutions for recording, such as 1920 × 1080 or 1280 × 720. When you add the overlay to the recording, the recording resolution changes slightly to make up for the difference in size, to 1920 × 936 or 1280 × 624 (or the much larger 2220 × 1080).
However, these small degradations in video resolution do not make much difference in quality. You will still be able to read a license plate from a video in the event of an accident.
Download: Dash Cam Travel for Android (Free, in-app purchases available)
What is the best Android Dashcam app?
The image quality in all dashcam applications is quite similar. After all, the recording quality of the camera is related to the camera of your smartphone and not to the application itself.
Of course, some applications use different encoders, so there is some variation in quality, but this is not significant.
It is clear, however, that free dashcam applications work just as well as premium ones. And since all the selected applications are free, you can try them all to decide what suits your smartphone and your car.
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