Blake James takes Uniden’s “black box” dashcam for a test drive…
The “iGO Cam 820” by Uniden serves as a “black box” that records everything a motorist points its high-definition dual cameras at.
On first impressions, the “accident cam” is excellent.
It records in high-definition, has two cameras that can swivel up to 180 degrees and can be directed to where a driver feels is appropriate for capturing a possible accident.
The camera has a tonne of features – infrared night vision capabilities, ultra-wide-angle cameras, anti-shaking technology, date and time tracker, brightness control, auto-locking so accident footage isn’t overwritten, LCD screen and motion detection.
The setup I recommend is one facing towards the road and the other facing the rear. With this setup, the most crucial parts of your car are recorded and monitored.
The device, much like an external GPS, can be stuck to the windscreen easily and securely, and easily removed without hassle.
The storage capability the cam requires is a micro high-capacity SD card with a minimum of 4GB of memory.
The device records in 25 second blocks and not one length of footage. This is so it can handle large video files, overwriting of unlocked footage and for locating accident footage with ease.
The battery life is pretty consistent but not convenient for trips longer than half an hour.
The cam was designed to be within the car at all times, ideally on charge, as the 800mAh battery will last you about 35 minutes on the default settings. The battery life will depend on what settings are being used.
I found that the footage was superbly clear and the audio surprisingly crisp. The footage wasn’t shaky at all on a bumpy rural highway. Both front and back recordings were clear and distinguishable.
The interface is clear and concise and doesn’t require much reading to understand. A manual is provided for further understanding. Settings cover exposure, colour, enabling of auto detection and auto protect and many others.
Motion detection does a good job of sensing cars or people that travel past while the car is parked. The device captures everything until there is no movement again.
During the night, the recordings were too dark to see anything that wasn’t within 30 or so metres of the car, even with infra-red night vision on dimly lit streets. This is a little bit of a letdown but the device would still be able to capture an accident involving your car – which, at the end of the day, is what it is designed for.
Another slightly annoying aspect is that the charging cord, because of its length, sometimes gets in the way, especially in manual cars. I would definitely recommend charging the device before using it on small trips.
Overall, I highly recommend this device. It should be considered a necessity for every car to have an accident cam installed and Uniden has released a fine device.
iGO Cam 820