Black Box (G1W-CB) Dashcam with Samples 1080P
I’ve been doing a lot of car related content lately, mostly because that’s what has been in my backlog for several months, but I wanted to finally review my budget dash cam, which is aptly called the “Black Box”. The Black Box is a $60 1080P Dash Cam that has found its way onto so many deal websites and budget friendly guides, that I figured I’d give one of the models a go.
If you’re looking at this review, you probably already know why you want a dash cam and know the benefits of having one, such as video evidence of a car accident. Or maybe you’ve just seen some crazy videos online from Russia, where dash cams are required in all vehicles. Mine was a bit of both – but it was mostly due to me driving upwards of 20 hours per week earlier this year.
Product Link | http://amzn.to/2atyyEG
The Black Box dash cam has two nearly identical models. One with a battery, model G1W, and one with a capacitor, model G1W-C. The model I have is the G1W-C. The G1W-C is intended for hot climates and does not include the internal battery. Instead, it uses a capacitor with just enough charge to save the video file and shut the dash cam off when it stops receiving power. The G1W will only stay on a few minutes anyways, but if your car is out in the heat, that battery is likely to pop while sitting in the sun.
The Black Box mounts easily to your windshield. I’ve had mine installed in the same spot for close to 10 months, so I’ve given this the full run-through to cover any concerns you might have with buying one.
First thing’s first, the video quality from the dashcam is excellent for the price. It records at 1080p at 30 frames per second, and around 12 Megabits per second – or 1.5 Megabytes per second. The files are H264 and are stored in a .MOV files. Like all good dash cams, it constantly records video, overwriting the oldest files as the memory fills up. It has a G-force sensor which will mark files where there’s a shock to not be deleted. By default, the dashcam records files in 3 minute slightly overlapping segments. The files will be right around 280 Megabytes, or .28 Gigabytes, so figure a 16 Gigabyte memory card will keep just under 3 hours of video and a 32 Gigabyte memory card will keep just over 5 hours of video.
With this being a $60 dashcam, there is no GPS and no speed indicator included. To me, this was a requirement so I wouldn’t incriminate myself should an accident occur.
Now that I’ve got some of the technicals out of the way, I want to cover some of the annoying things with this dash cam.
First, is memory card compatibility. This box will not work properly with good quality microSD cards. What I mean by this is the class 10 high-speed micro SD cards will give you issues…eventually. I had a 32 Gigabyte Class 10 Sandisk MicroSD card installed in mine for a month without any issues, but I noticed it would shut off and stop recording sometimes while I was driving. But when I pop my crappy old 16 Gigabyte Class 4 microSD card that came with the Galaxy S4G from 2011, it works flawlessly. So find the shittiest, large capacity 16 or 32 Gigabyte card to pair with your Dash Cam.
The next issue is if you buy the capacitor model and don’t drive for a few days, the dashcam will reset the date and time, which is why a bunch of my clips say 2014. To change the time, you have to use this annoying interface which you will accidentally close several times while trying to put in the info.
One thing I will tell you that the mount clip that connects the mount to the Black Box is an enormous pain the ass to remove, so should you want to remove the Black Box from the mounting clip, you’re probably better off just unscrewing the mount from the ball joint it’s connected to.
Despite these minor flaws, the video quality and overall reliability of the Black Box far outweighs the negatives, especially at the sub-$60 price point.
One thing I will note is there are a lot of knock-offs of the original Black Box, so you will want to verify that you are purchasing yours from a reputable company, which is why I purchased mine from a verified Amazon seller. I have included an affiliate link to this below, so if you want to help out the website, you can buy it through that link.