Thinkware X700 dash cam review – unreliable, expensive and best avoided
- 1080P video quality
- 140°Wide Angle Dashboard Camera Recorder
- Night vision
- Thermal protection
- Loop Recording
- Parking Mode (optional)
- GPS (optional)
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Design and set up
The Thinkware X700 is a unique dash cam which has plenty of optional “add-ons” which allow a user to expand its capabilities. It doesn’t come with all of the bells-and-whistles, for many, you can buy as an extra.
The X700 is pretty unique; it’s a touchscreen dash cam about the size of a typical smart phone – maybe a bit smaller. I personally find this on the large side for a dash cam. I don’t find it to be very discreet and hidden, which can be distracting to the driver.
The Thinkware X700 is available in two formats: either a single front-facing camera, or a twin-camera setup, with a smaller rear-facing unit connected by a wire to the main front-facing one which is ideal for ride-sharing drivers and taxis.
The Thinkware X700 dash cam comes with your choice of a hard-wiring kit or external power source. The cords on the hard-wired kit are incredibly bulky and difficult to place discreetly in smaller spaces, and though I did opt for this set-up, it still bothers me when I look at it from inside my car that it’s not well hidden.
Once you install the dash cam onto the mount provided, there is no moving or swiveling it to get the right angle – so do this with great care so your camera is correctly positioned.
Image and audio quality
Both cameras record in full-HD at 30 frames per second and the front camera in particular provides a good quality visual. Thanks to its 140 degree wide angle view, the Thinkware X700 also captures plenty in the frame from the sides of the road or across double lanes.
I found the camera to be pretty good at adjusting to changes in lighting, without showing too much glare. I don’t rate the quality of the footage in low-light vision though. I do expect a lesser quality of footage than daylight obviously, but for the price you pay, the Thinkware X700 dash cam doesn’t have the best night vision.
The audio quality in the Thinkware X700 was ineffective. There was a lot of static noise and constant sounds in the audio playback, making it quite difficult to make out the real audio.
You can opt to purchase the GPS as an extra add-on. This feature is not only incredibly expensive, but the dongle is large and makes fitting the already bulky unit even more awkward that I have found the camera to be already. The GPS tracks speed and location – it works well and has been pretty accurate so far.
One of the important safety features of the Thinkware X700, and many other dash cams is the G-Sensor. This recognises a possible collision and saves the footage separately as an ‘event’ so it is not overwritten in the loop recording. And what’s more, when you’re not in the car and it is parked, if your Thinkware X700 is hardwired, the G-sensor switches on and records an impact or incident. In my experience with past dash cameras, this feature works really well. The Thinkware X700 however, is hyper sensitive no matter what settings I change. It’s records an event and sets off false accident warnings as I go over every speed bump, pot hole or rail crossing – which is actually a lot!! It has also recorded footage of people walking too close to my car when it’s parked, so not exactly what I need surveillance of.
There is also a traffic enforcement warning feature which is completely useless and never ever works as it is supposed to. This feature is intended to work in conjunction with the GPS antenna and alert you to lane departure, front collision, urban collision, and a front vehicle departure warning. When other drivers are acting erratic, the camera can pick up on it and help you out. I feel as though either this feature was released too early before it was properly tested out, or that it needs a system update to make it far more accurate. Either way, it’s an unreliable feature.
I am not sold on the Thinkware X700. Yes it’s expandable and the quality of the video footage is reasonable, but it is such a big price to pay for not much else included. I do think it is critical for people to have GPS on your dash cam – it’s going to support your case to insurance or police should you be ever in a situation. This and all of the other ‘add-ons’ available then pushes this camera into another price bracket, which really doesn’t compete strongly in terms of quality and reliability compared to other high end products like Garmin. The Thinkware X700 has too many faults which need to be ironed out before Thinkware can effectively position themselves as a premium product.
I think you can get a better dash cam than the Thinkware X700 for much less, so have been recommending people avoid this product. If you are seeking something that is pioneering technology and innovation using traffic enforcement warnings that actually work, I would never look past the Garmin 65w. A product like the Garmin, while expensive, very effectively acts as a second pair of eyes for you on the road.