Thinkware U1000 review: awesome footage all the way

If you’re after a dash cam that delivers crystal clear footage and comes packed with other features the Thinkware U1000 ticks all the right boxes.

Thinkware U1000
(Image credit: Thinkware)
T3 Verdict

If you’re serious about having on-the-go video the Thinkware U1000 delivers crisp and clear 4K footage with the added benefit of HDR. It’s supplemented by an optional 2K rear facing lens too. Lots of practical features and functions add to the appeal, with a parking mode and camera alerts offering a full-service dash cam solution. GPS and a dependable app complete the package though you’ll want to be wary of the challenges of hard-wiring it in.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    4K video and HDR

  • +

    Supports hard-wiring

  • +

    Very decent app

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Installation can be tricky

  • -

    Premium price tag

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Thinkware U1000 Dash Cam review in a sentence: Packing a 4K front-facing camera and optional 2K UHD rear-facing camera, plus cloud-based convenience for accessing your clips makes this premium dashcam hard to beat.

If you’re on the lookout for the best dash cams you’ve got plenty of options, especially when it comes to upgrading to a newer model, like the Thinkware U1000 dash cam. As with any digital technology, an older dash cam will probably lack some of the features and functionality found on the latest models. This one comes bristling with a top specification.

Alternatively, if you’re keen to get all the benefits of a dash cam for the first time a model like the Thinkware U1000 makes a lot of sense too. Granted, it’s not the cheapest dash cam you can buy, but it comes packed with really useful features. Thinkware is also a respected brand, which has been around for a while and has honed its range to work as expected, with little faff involved in the setup. It therefore makes a great starting point.

Thinkware U1000 Dash Cam: Price and availability

The Thinkware U1000 dash cam is available now from Amazon (opens in new tab), which has a recommended retail price tag of £399. This gets you a pair of 4K front and rear cameras, a host of cloud features and the benefit of continuous or parking modes so you don’t miss anything.

If you can’t quite stretch to a dash cam with a premium price, the Thinkware Q800 Pro model is worth a look and costs £299 from Amazon (opens in new tab). It still features a 1440p QHD front and 1080p FHD rear camera combination, has built-in Wi-Fi and Cloud functionality plus driver safety alerts. There’s also the beginner-friendly Thinkware F800 Pro, which has an affordable RRP of £239, which can also be bought from Amazon (opens in new tab).

Thinkware U1000 Dash Cam: Design

Right out of the box the Thinkware U1000 dash cam feels like a quality purchase, with a solid build and a design that is suited to most windscreen areas. The 65 x 110 x 36mm dimensions might feel a little intrusive on something like a small sports car however. The camera unit might be predominantly plastic but at 149 grams it’s weighty enough and gives the impression it’ll deliver a good few years service.

Around the edges you’ll find the various day-to-day running features such as a mic and speaker opening plus there’s a slot for the 64GB microSD card, which is included. The ports are also nicely housed along the edges of the unit and include DC-In, GPS, Radar and Ext. while the V-In port accepts the supplied connector cable.

Thinkware U1000


(Image credit: Thinkware)

The box also contains all of the bits and bobs needed to get the camera up and running and seated nicely in the position of your choice. There are adhesive stickers for fixing either camera in place, and both units are attached via a bracket once you’ve plumbed in the cabling. A simple but effective quick start guide gets you through all of the steps involved.

Thinkware U1000

The Thinkware U1000 comes with a supplementary camera

(Image credit: Thinkware)

Thinkware U1000 Dash Cam: Features

This is a premium dash camera and, as a result, it comes packed with plenty of neat features. Top of the pile in terms of video capture is the 4K video capability complete with HDR that makes it a versatile performer in all kinds of weather and lighting conditions. The field of view for the front facing camera is 150º while the supplementary rear facing unit delivers 156º.

You can also hard-wire this dash cam into your car too, with the supplied cabling, which makes sense for a higher-end bit of kit such as this. However, you may want to look at getting someone to do it for you, unless you’re a dab hand with in-car cabling. Alternatively, take the easy option of plugging it in using the 12V socket cable. Not as tidy, but it works.

Thinkware U1000

(Image credit: Thinkware)

As you’d also expect from a more expensive dash cam model, the Thinkware U1000 offers GPS capability and boasts Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This means that you’ve got more data at your disposal, should you need it and the ability to use the camera in tandem with the Thinkware app, which can be installed on your smartphone.

The Thinkware U1000 dash cam offers up Advance Video Clear Technology, Integrated Thermal Protection and Anti-File Corruption Technology plus there’s a parking mode, motion detection and geofencing, all of which offer up a complete in-car monitoring service. Thinkware has also packed in version 2 of its Super Night-Vision software that assists with covering any after-dark occurrences. Similarly, the anti-glare CPL polarizing filter helps combat filming on days with wall-to-wall sunshine.

Thinkware U1000 Dash Cam: Video quality

If you’ve been uninspired by the video quality delivered by cheaper dash cams the 4K results produced by the Thinkware U1000 model are impressive to say the least. Footage is crisp and clear, with great detail on finer details, which could prove especially beneficial in the event of a disputed accident. Road markings and signs as part of the bigger picture can all help give an insurer a much better idea of what happen and when.

The HDR aspect of the camera works to great effect too, allowing you to enjoy top quality video results from recordings captured at various times of the day or night. The U1000 also copes well with adverse weather conditions. The 2K rear-facing camera is, as you’d expect, of lower quality but it provides perfectly serviceable results that could be helpful in the even of a rear end shunt.

Thinkware U1000

(Image credit: Thinkware)

If you’re looking or a dash cam with the capacity to record high quality footage the Thinkware U1000 dash cam is a great option. Added to that is the flexibility of being able to choose frame rate over recording quality if you want. In addition, the Thinkware U1000 boasts road safety warnings and speed camera alerts, which are also useful. 

However, the pairing of the main camera with a rear-facing unit makes the package complete. It’s all topped off very nicely with a decent app and the ability to make use of Thinkware’s cloud storage options.

Thinkware U1000 Dash Cam: Software and app

Thinkware U1000

(Image credit: Thinkware)

Thinkware U1000 Dash Cam: Verdict

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.