Review: Nexar Pro Dual Dashcam System’s Instant Streaming, Cloud Storage Make It A Reliable Bargain

More From Forbes

I’ve said it many times in dash camera reviews: A dashcam can easily pay for itself in an accident, especially if you’re not at fault and the other driver (or the other driver’s insurance company) claims otherwise. There’s really no substitute for an objective video recording of an incident. And the better the video and the more easily you can access it, the better your case will be.

For the past few months, I’ve been using the Nexar Pro Dual dashcam system in my daily driver, and it marks another step forward for dashcam technology in terms of simplicity, affordability, ease of use and the speed at which you can get your video in front of a police officer or insurance company. Key to the Nexar system: A robust app with automated streaming (and storage) to your phone and to a free cloud storage system included with the camera. These features, once set up in initial installation, make for a true set-and-forget capture of every drive your car goes on plus automatic highlighting of any clips that may include an incident.

And while there are a lot of 4K dashcams out there, I was perfectly happy with the Nexar’s 1080P HD footage – especially at night. Nexar claims to have superior night driving capture ability, and while it’s short of military-grade star-lit night vision tech, it was better than most of the dashcams I’ve reviewed over the past year or so. The Pro Dual system I used included a second “interior” facing 720P camera with ten infrared illumination LEDs to light the interior of my vehicle at night. As is typical, footage shot at night in IR mode is black and white, but was quite crisp. However, I installed it in the back of my car looking out the rear window to catch anything that might happen, giving me nearly 360-degree coverage while driving. The front primary HD camera has a 135-degree field of view, while the rear camera seems to be about as wide.

The main Nexar dash camera itself is an usual oblong oval shape, with a front-facing camera and no rear LCD screen as is typical on most dash cameras – there are just two simple status LEDs. While a video screen may seem like an important feature that’s been left off, I feel it’s a safe driving advantage as I never was tempted to look at a dash cam screen screen while driving. And besides, if you truly want that screen in your view, the Nexar streams video straight to your smartphone through the proprietary Nexar app and the camera’s built-in Wifi. Your phone is also saving the video while streaming it.

Nexar is an established tech company that is involved in autonomous driving research and much more, so not surprisingly, the app works very simply and reliably, which is more than I can say for some other dashcam apps out there. Like most dashcams, the Nexar pro will highlight videos (called “clips” as opposed to recording of your whole drive, called “rides”) that include unusual braking activity, collision detection or – if your camera is hard-wired to your vehicle as mine was – anything that happens while your car is parked. If you are involved in a collision or incident, the Nexar app can generate an exportable “accident report” with relevant drive data points, a GPS trace and more. Fortunately, I never had to use this feature, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Nexar’s direct-to-phone streaming ability – not so unusual these days but definitely a bonus at this price point – is secondary to the most impressive and useful Nexar Pro perk: cloud storage. While driving, the Nexar Pro system is actually saving video three ways: to an SD card in the camera itself, to your phone through wifi, and to the cloud either as you drive or when you are on wifi from your phone, options which can be set up in the app. The app lets drivers limit how much phone memory the app uses so you don’t clog up your phone with dashcam footage. As the memory limit is reached, old clips are automatically deleted to make room for new ones both on the SD card and your phone. A 32gb card was included with the camera, which will use cards as large as 256gb. Nexar says their cloud storage system is unlimited and free, and that was the experience I had. Deleting clips on your phone also deletes them from the cloud. Additionally, the Nexar app includes a full-screen GPS feature so you don’t have to hop around between apps to see the camera video and GPS. The app’s ease of use is excellent; Nexar has done a great job making it simple and intuitive.

If I had to make any changes to the Nexar Pro Dual system, I’d make the rear-facing camera a standard feature on the main camera body and allow the separate camera to be a “third’ eye in the system. That would likely boost the price of the system, but it’s already a solid bargain and I’b be happy to pay another $50 for that third view of coverage. But as it stands, the Nexar Pro Dual is an excellent choice for any driver, but especially so for those that drive a lot, such as truck drivers, rideshare drivers and delivery drivers. The video footage is crisp and clean, even at night, and the free unlimited cloud storage and excellent Nexar app make the Nexar Pro Dual a cut or two above most other offerings under the $200 dashcam tier. Highly recommended.