You’ll need to subscribe for all the bells and whistles, though
- NextBase’s iQ line of dashcams brings the tech into your auto.
- They’re fairly easy to install and get working.
- You’ll need to pay between $10 and $20 per month to get all the good stuff.
The reasons you might want a dashcam are many, from protection from theft, recording accidents or traffic stops, or adding cameras to your older car. The Nextbase iQ line of dashcams has all that and more but requires a subscription for the flashier stuff.
I was interested in seeing what a dashcam could do for my older Ford Escape, and I wasn’t disappointed. Installing the dashcam was fairly easy; there’s a mount that sticks to your window on either side of your mirror and a long cable that you attach to your car’s OBD port (and hide under your car’s interior padding while you’re at it). And that’s it. You can also add a rear camera to your setup, though it’s also wired, so you’ll need to figure out how to route the cable back to your rear window.
Subscribe for All The Things
The Nextbase iQ dashcam comes in three resolutions, 1K ($499.99), 2K ($599.99), and 4K ($699.99), all in black. Each one provides the same technical features—the only difference is in the resolution of the video it can capture.
If you want to use the Nextbase dashcam in free mode, you’ll be able to connect to the camera with the iQ app, use voice control to start recording or turn off the camera, and get real-time text notifications for things like someone approaching your car or an accident (handy when it’s not you driving your car).
The $9.99 monthly Protect subscription gives you a 4G connection to your dashcam so you can see video of your front cabin in real time and talk to the people in the car (if they’re not you). You’ll get the same iQ app and voice control as the free mode but also have access to cool stuff like Witness mode, cloud storage of video, and a remote alarm (pretty handy to scare away someone who might be eyeing your car for stealing. Roadwatch AI (a way to track the cars around you on the road) and Guardian mode (which lets you set limits on and keep a watch on your kids driving your car) are set to come soon.
The $19.99 Protect Plus plan adds multiple user accounts, emergency SOS features, and automated incident backup, all of which seem pretty useful to me. It would be nice to get a year or so of this service when buying one of the dashcams, though. Otherwise, you’re paying an extra $120-$240 for the most useful features.
The voice control is fairly useful, too. Simply say, “Hey, dashcam, start witness mode,” your cam will begin recording what’s happening around you and your car. Say, “Turn the cabin camera off,” and it will stop recording. Just want to turn off the sound? Say “microphone off.” All hands-free and easy to activate and deactivate.
Is NextBase iQ Dashcam Worth a Purchase?
All in all, my experience with the Nextbase iQ 2K unit the company sent me to try out has been a good one. The camera beeps when I turn on the car, reminding me it’s ready to keep me and my passengers safe. I get a text notification when my partner is out on the road, parking in various lots (you can turn this off, of course, but it’s fun), and I can pop into the app at any time to see a live view of what’s happening in the car and through the front window. It also gives me location information on the car in case I want to see where my kid might be at any given time (sorry, kiddo!).
The great thing, though, is that it just works. I have peace of mind knowing that if I get into an accident, I’ll have a recording of what happened. If I get pulled over, I can start Witness mode to record what an officer might say or do during the traffic stop. It’s all pretty useful without being distracting.
If you’re looking for a dashcam to update your car with some great smart security features, the NextBase iQ series should be on your list.