Falcon Zero F170 – Brilliant… until it’s not

Key features:

  • Full-HD Video 1920*1080 at 30 frames per second 
  • 170 degree angle lens
  • Endless looping mode Auto ON/OFF
  • Superior Night-vision by world class f2.0 six-glass lenses
  • GPS 
  • Emergency Lock Button & Accident Auto Detection Feature (G-Sensor)
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The Falcon is a reputable, creative, sleek dash cam which is manufactured by one of the world’s leading digital video recorder producers. I was beyond excited to get my hand on this small, yet powerful device. Seven months later, I reflect back on what has stood up to this reputation and what’s swayed my decision – and advice to others – quite dramatically.

Design and set up

The Falcon Zero F170 is a modern dash cam which that features a large 2.7 inch LCD screen. When I pulled it out of the box, it immediately felt solid in its weight and quality but remained sleek and discreet in its shape and design. I was impressed.

It was incredibly simple to set up, with step-by-step instructions and intuitive menu items. The Falcon Zero F170 switches on and off automatically with your car ignition, in fact, I was surprised at how quickly it started to record – within seconds – even starting before my car stereo begins to play! 

However, after about five months this feature soon began to tire as the battery stopped holding its charge even though it was plugged in constantly. This means I have to manually reset the date and time over and over which is unbelievably frustrating. What’s more, a handful of times after my car has been turned off (which is supposed to switch the dash cam off too), the Falcon Zero F170 continues to turn on and off until eventually the battery becomes drained that it stops this cycle.  

The mount used to stick the Falcon Zero F170 to the windscreen is a strange length. It is long, which means your discreet camera isn’t tucked out of the way, it’s actually hanging down quite low. My advice to others is to make sure you position this as high as possible. 

Despite this, I was pleased to learn that I could move it around and adjust the direction it faced even after I had installed it, thanks to a swivel ball joint. This could be particularly useful if you ever needed to film suddenly out the side of your car. 

Overall, set up is easy, design is impressive, battery life and glitch is disappointing.

Video quality

The Falcon Zero F170 records at 1920 x 1080 resolution and 30 frames per second, capturing your footage in an amazing 170 degrees wide angle. It’s as clear as day – pristine quality. I am able to see the detail on license plates, street signs and pedestrians even when my car is in full motion which is important in a dash cam. 

The night vision is perfect – the best dash cam night vision I have come across in my time, thanks to the class f2.0 six-glass lenses which help to really improve low light conditions. It has a wide aperture and can therefore capture light easily even when there is darkness. A good feature for anyone who tends to drive a lot at nighttime. 

Albeit this good visual, the Falcon Zero F170 dash cam will sometimes lock up and stop recording. This has only happened a few times quite recently. It does leave me wondering whether this is also related to the battery issue or if it’s more generally related to the camera quality and reliability.

Additional features included

I was pleased to see that the Falcon Zero F170 dash cam came with a 32GB micro SD card for storing the recorded video and image files as this is an exclusion of many competing dash cams which you have to buy separately. This size card is enough to record up to about six hours straight. Once the micro SD card is full the camera will automatically replace the oldest files with the latest footage – this is known as loop recording. But it doesn’t erase critical data that was recorded immediately after an impact. Instead, it locks up those files and stores them separately. The micro SD card initially displayed a few error messages – it was not recognized and had some issues saving my video files. I ended up replacing the one that came in the box with the Falcon Zero F170 for a new one and it seems to have fixed these performance issues. 

The Falcon Zero F170 also features G-sensor, motion sensor and parking security. These are really great features that use unique gravity and motion sensors to detect sudden vibration, movement, jolts nearby. These all work incredibly well and accurately, letting you see if someone has tried to break in your car or has scratched your vehicle. The Falcon Zero F170 stores this important footage safely, ensuring it’s not overwritten by the continuous looping feature. 

The Falcon Zero F170 includes GPS, which displays your speed, the time and location on the LCD display. This type of information is incredibly important for insurance and police reports. Ironically, the playback software for your PC does not read this GPS data – meaning it’s lost once the video file is created. This is a huge issue for the F170 that is a deal breaker from my perspective – what use is the dash cam without this information to prove your claim in the event of an incident.

My verdict

The potential of this camera is brilliant, and if all of the features worked as they should, the Falcon Zero F170 would be an outstanding dash cam. But the reality is that it’s faulty and unreliable. It malfunctions often. I would not recommend the Falcon Zero F170 to my friends and family if they are after a quality dash cam – there are many others on the market which offer much the same but perform better and more consistently. Instead, I would recommend an alternative product like the SpyTec A119 which is reputable and high performing.