Thinkware X800 dash cam review in a sentence: A beefy specification, great video quality and ease of use makes this model universally appealing.
When it comes to choosing one of the best dash cams on the market, the Thinkware brand is always somewhere in the running. That’s because the company produces a wide range of models and all come with a decent specification, along with a price point that’s tailored to suit different needs. After all, not everyone needs a dash cam model with all the bells and whistles. Sometimes a more basic model will fit the bill.
However, some of us prefer to pack in as many features as possible. This is mainly because a dash cam armed with more features and functions offers that little bit more piece of mind on the roads. If you do a lot of miles or regularly encounter tricky driving situations then having a dash cam that can cover all bases is a sound investment.
A model like the Thinkware X800 is a perfect middle ground compromise and makes a lot of sense, although you’ll pay a little more to get the most from its charms.
Thinkware X800 Dash Cam: Price and availability
The Thinkware X800 dash cam is out now and available from Amazon for £169 in the UK. This gets you the bog-standard edition, although it is possible to order extras for the X800, including a hard wiring kit and also the GPS option. This obviously boosts the performance potential of the X800, although might be surplus to some needs, especially if you’re just looking for a straightforward, plug and play dash cam.
Thinkware X800 Dash Cam: Design and features
The Thinkware design team have done a very respectable job with the X800 and it’s a distinct improvement over its predecessor, the X700. While you’ll notice some similarities with the externals, it’s the improvements on the inside that make the X800 a much better buy, even though it’s quite an expensive dash cam option with rivals in the Garmin camp that might seem like a more cost-effective proposition. Central to the appeal is its simplicity though, with a touchscreen that lets you tackle core tasks leaving not much else to worry about.
Oddly enough, despite its premium price tag, the Thinkware X800 doesn’t have all the features you might be expecting for a mid-range dash cam either. You don’t get a GPS antenna – it’s a £24.99 extra, there’s no rear-facing camera (though adding one is an option) and if you’re keen to hardwire this model into your car you’ll find there’s none of that stuff in the box either. You can order a ODBII installation cable if required though, or a free ‘plug and play’ cable for the cigarette lighter socket will have to suffice.
Nevertheless, this dash cam looks the part, with a compact design that will happily sit near a rear view mirror without proving intrusive. You can fix the unit to the glass with a self-adhesive pad and adjustable mount, with a hinge that allows for a decent amount of adjustment to suit most windscreens.
There’s a supplied 32GB microSD card, which slots into one side of the unit, next to a power switch. It’s also possible to plumb in a GPS antenna and rear-facing camera using ports on the top of the camera.
Thinkware X800 Dash Cam: Video Quality
Alongside the ease of use, the Thinkware X800 dash cam offers more than capable performance and some solid video. This is largely down to the Sony Starvis sensor, which seems able to tackle all sorts of lighting scenarios. This is a definite boon, especially if you live in an area that is prone to getting four seasons in one day. Video quality is 2K, or 2560 x 1440, so you’ll definitely get usable results during everyday recording duties.
The Thinkware X800 dash cam is also able to function after dark and while the results aren’t quite as hot as the daytime usage we recorded, there’s still a decent level of clarity on offer. What’s very appealing with the X800 is the touchscreen at the back too, which lets you check over recordings or fine-tune settings without too much hassle. Some dash cams make basic chores like this a hardship, so full marks to Thinkware for making the X800 one of the easiest to use models out there.
Thinkware X800 Dash Cam: Software and app
This particular Thinkware model comes with home computer or laptop users firmly in mind. There’s viewer software included that will work on a PC or Apple Mac, and once installed this can be used to change settings, format a new memory card if you wish to replace the original and install updates in order to keep the X800 bang up to date.
The benefit of this, over a smartphone app, is that you’ll obviously have more desktop space to view videos too, which might prove beneficial if you’ve got footage that needs to be presented, say for insurance purposes.
Thinkware X800 Dash Cam: Verdict
If you don't have any time to fiddle around with a new dash cam the Thinkware X800 makes a good bet. There’s very little to do in order to get the unit up and running, installation and setup is simple but effective, and the visual results are excellent.
Any recorded videos are automatically saved in one-minute segments on an autoloop setup, so you’re always covered - even after dark, thanks to the neat Sony sensor packed inside. If you’ve got a two-car household, the Thinkware X800 therefore makes a lot of sense as it is so easy to switch between vehicles.