Most dash cams today excel in no more than two areas, sacrificing image and video resolution for enhanced controls or vice versa. Some charge a premium for superior design, while others are blocky, minimalist boxes with cheap plastic buttons and fragile, hard plastic housings. Low specs combined with a lesser-known brand name could relegate a dash cam to also-ran status very quickly.
The Thinkware Q800Pro dash cam falls into the “good camera/rough controls” category. It offers a high-definition QHD (2K) camera that offers excellent image and video at the expense of a touchscreen display.
For about $200 on Amazon (or about $300 with the rear-facing cam), this camera lives in the upper midrange of a segment with players of less than $50 and more than $300. At that price, we expect the Q800Pro to perform superbly.
Unboxing the Thinkware Q800Pro
The Thinkware Q800Pro dash cam comes in a simple package with a kind of laser-tag vibe—a black box with gray lettering and purple stripes. There’s also a sharply printed image of the dash cam on the front, so you know what you’re opening.
Included in the box is a 3M adhesive-backed mounting plate, 12-volt power cord, multilingual quick-start guide, warranty slip, cable clips, and micro SD card adapter for easy transfer of files to a desktop.
Opening the box was slightly annoying since each item was in its own small plastic bag. Luckily, the box is partitioned, keeping each item separate and easily labeled.
Unfortunately, the Q800Pro does not include a micro SD card, which is required to store photo and video footage. We were also disappointed that nowhere on the package or in the quick-start guide does it reference the size or type of memory card needed. Does it matter? Probably not much, as it’s self-evident. But for novice dash-cam users, an included card would be very helpful, and at this price point we’d expect one.
Getting After It With the Thinkware Q800Pro
- Good: Sharp 140-degree wide-angle view, dedicated smartphone app, compact size.
- Bad: No touchscreen display, button heavy.
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We used our Genesis G70 as the Q800Pro’s test vehicle and put it through its paces in the Miami suburbs. After unboxing, inserting a memory card, and mounting it to the windshield, we set about testing the dash cam’s mettle.
Off the bat, we noticed this dash cam is lightweight with tactile, soft-touch plastics that are a pleasure to grip. GPS, Record, and Wi-Fi LED strips are on one end of the dash cam along with the audio, power, Wi-Fi, lock, and formatting buttons. You’ll also find a rear-video input, power input, and a GPS antenna. You can run the camera by way of Thinkware’s app (iOS and Android) to adjust settings and manage files. It’s an excellent feature, given the lack of a touchscreen.
A wireless hotspot can even connect your camera to the cloud, activating an in-app map that allows you to track the location of your vehicle, log the speed/direction of travel, get impact notifications, and enable geofencing capabilities so that you receive notifications anytime your vehicle enters or leaves a particular zone.
What’s Good About the Thinkware Q800Pro
Our favorite feature with the Thinkware Q800Pro is its high-quality video. Its 2K QHD (2540 by 1440) resolution is above average, a step above a sea of 1080p dash cams. Kudos for its 140-degree wide-angle lens, which offers excellent coverage.
The video quality itself is solid. Daytime video appears sharp; it’s slightly pixelated in foggier weather, but that’s to be expected. License plates, street signs, and road markings are easily distinguishable, especially at slower speeds.
We also appreciate this dash cam’s soft plastic construction and smooth lens-housing rotation. It feels sturdy and well made.
What’s Not Great About the Thinkware Q800Pro
The Thinkware Q800Pro’s rear camera could be a lot better. It only offers 1080p resolution and requires a cable running through your vehicle to operate. Without professional installation, this will be a nonstarter for most people.
Another point of contention is the lack of a display, which may not bode well for folks who prefer a screen. Instead, you have five quick-function buttons for Wi-Fi connect, power on/off, muting, and more. Adjusting the camera setting and accessing image/video files are conducted only through the smartphone app, which some users might find cumbersome.
Our Verdict on the Thinkware Q800Pro
The Thinkware Q800Pro is a versatile camera that excels almost everywhere, as long as you don’t require a rear view. It’s most notable for its soft-touch plastic construction, low-profile design, excellent QHD (2K) camera, and cavernous 140-degree wide-angle lens.
If you don’t need a screen display, are comfortable with app-controlled settings, and expect to pay a little more for a dash cam with a great camera, the Thinkware Q800Pro is a solid choice. Just don’t expect the rear-cam setup to be as easy as the front.