It takes a quick look on YouTube to realize the popularity of vehicle cameras these days. As much as this surging interest holds great entertainment value, mandating dash cams has been a hot topic in legislative discussions, as well as questioning how they can reduce costs of vehicle insurance. Simply put, a car camera can provide an accurate representation of events that cuts subsequent legal costs and court time significantly.
Today’s dash cam is so much more than that though, HD video being the norm and some even containing safety features that aren’t standard in many cars just yet. Our report of the Transcend DrivePro 220 vehicle camera demonstrates just this, defining what should be standard in today’s car cameras.
TRANSCEND DRIVEPRO 220
The Transcend Drive Pro 220 is an in-car camera with packaging that includes the HD camera, suction cup window mount, 3.5m cigarette socket power cord, as well as a color, multilingual instruction manual and 16GB Transcend SD Card. The camera is capable of 720p or 1080p 30fps video with a 130 degree wide-angle lens, a F1.8 aperture for better light resolution, and 3 megapixel CMOS for low light sensitivity.
It has built-in WiFi 802.1 b/g/n with free Android or IOS apps available for live monitoring and GPS tracking which logs vehicle location, speed and time. It has the ability to take still photographs, as well as a built-in 430maH battery for continuous recording when the vehicle is shut off, or during power failure. Our tests of this battery demonstrated that, fully charged, it lasted just short of ½ hour. The Transcend DrivePro 220 also comes with a 2 year limited warranty.
The DrivePro 220 starts automatically when the vehicle is started and records consecutive MP4 clips of either 3 or 5 minutes in length during vehicle operation. Its included Transcend Class 10 16GB SD card will get you XXX hours of video and Transcend recommends SD cards up to 64GB, although we have been successfully using a Samsung EVO 128GB SDXC Card with our DrivePro 220 for some time now. The key to larger cards (SDXC) is to ensure to format the card in FAT 32 and a free software utility to do this can be found here. Regardless of card size, always remember that this camera saves videos in a loop so, when the card is full, it will write over old files to save the new.
TRANSCEND DRIVEPRO 220 PRICING
Checking Amazon, we can see the DrivePro 220 listed at $144 at the time of this report and the camera has several reviews with an overall 4/5 rating. This is a great price for an in-car camera that, not only records what is happening outside the vehicle, but also contains safety features such as lane recognition and front collision avoidance.
VEHICLE SAFETY FEATURES
The Transcend DrivePro 200 contains some great vehicle safety features, all of which are enabled initially but can be disabled through the device settings. They can also be adjusted to work only between chosen speeds of 60km/h and 120km/h, at least for those countries based on the metric system. Not to worry though as the first thing that shows on the rear screen of the DrivePro 220 when you turn it on is country selection which enables language and measurement specific to your country.
LANE DEPARTURE WARNING SYSTEM (LDWS) – The DrivePro 220 is equipped with driving lane recognition and will recognize the lane edges rather quickly, displaying two green lane marker lines when monitoring.
Should your vehicle wander over to the left or right, you will be alerted by 3 beeps, the volume of which can be increased or decreased, as well as one of the green lane markings in the display turning red. In testing this feature, we found it to be more accurate than that same feature equipped in our 2016 Jeep Cherokee, the difference of course being that the Cherokee’s program has the ability to adjust steering to get you back in line.
FORWARD COLLISION WARNING SYSTEM (FCWS) – The DrivePro 220 has the ability to monitor the closing distance of objects to the front of your vehicle and alert you should it believe a collision may occur, during which the device will start beeping and a red square will display on the LCD display.
In testing, we found this feature to be very sensitive regardless of how much we tried to adjust, having it activate as vehicles passed or for stop signs on our approach of intersections.
SPEED ALARM – The DrivePro 220 can be set to alert you should you exceed your set speed between 60km/h and 120km/h (in Canada).
PARKING MODE – Parking Mode is ideal when you are away from your vehicle as it activates the camera should it sense motion of the vehicle, at times of a collision in a parking lot or someone stealing the car perhaps.
This is done through the DrivePro’s G-Sensor which can be activated through movement of the car in any of 3-axis.
EMERGENCY RECORDING – The DrivePro 220 is capable of recording an emergency with the touch of the red button on its left side, this video being saved to a separate protected folder that does not get erased as video is saved in the loop. This type of recording also occurs in Parking Mode above.