Vantrue X2 Dash Cam Review
Video - Day8/10
Video - Night8/10
What I Like
- Excellent daytime video quality
- Sharp and detailed 2k video
- 1080p @ 60 FPS option
- Above average audio quality
- Acceptable night video
What I Don\'t Like
- Battery based camera will not work reliably if kept in the car in sub-zero temperatures
- G-sensor is too sensitive
- Video shows every bump in the road
The VanTrue X2 is a 2K OV4689/Ambarella based camera with decent video quality in all conditions and good looks.
Build Quality & Appearance
In terms of appearance, the X2 is great in my opinion. The camera is dressed in all black which makes it look sleek and gorgeous. It is made of rigid plastic that does not have any flex. There is a big screen on the back of the camera and buttons on the top and the left side of the camera. It uses a suction cup mount that clips into place on the top and also provides the camera with power or GPS if you buy the separate module. With 2K file segments at a whopping 800 megabytes each expect to buy a big memory card with this camera. Expect to fill a 16 gig card in about 1.5 hours of driving. If you want to record a long road trip you’re going to need a 64 gig card.
Video Quality – Daylight
Speaking of video, daytime quality is very good. I’ve had the camera mounted in my car for over a month and looking back over sample clips there was rarely a time I felt I could do better with another of the cameras I own. Color is vibrant and exposure holds well. 2K mode is tack sharp with lots of detail in all lighting situations, from rain to sun to overcast. Oncoming license plates are generally readable on two lane roads. 1080p60 mode looks great too, with smooth video even as light starts to fade. The only criticism I have of the daytime video the camera produces comes from its mount and weight. The camera is susceptible to a little bit of wobble, and every bump that the road produces is visible as the camera jostling and causes a little bit blur. There’s also some chromatic fringing around the edges of the picture – as in visible purple lines. This is the worst I saw it. Take a look at the top right corner of the image and you can see that the trees and buildings have purple halos.
Video Quality – Night
Night video, in general, is bright but details do get a little smudgy. The camera picks up a lot of light, about as much as I do visually, just don’t expect to read any license plates except in lucky circumstances. 2K mode works best at night for resolution and colour, because 1080p60 seems to boost the cameras sensitivity in order to maintain 60 frames per second which results in a lot of noise. The video still looks smooth though and I prefer this implementation to other cameras which drop more and more frames as it gets dark – causing jittery and jarring video. This way the transition between day and night stays smooth.
This camera is battery based, which means it isn’t as reliable in extreme climates. Batteries don’t like heat or cold and extreme temperatures can cause them to misbehave. Here in Vancouver we’ve had a rare freeze over the last several weeks. I left the camera in the car to see how it would hold up to the cold and despite going down to -6 celcius, the camera still booted and recorded video fine. The last thing worth noting is that in its default setting the G-sensor is way too sensitive. That can thankfully be set lower because in my first drive with this cam almost half my files ended up locked.
The camera includes a time lapse parking mode which is activated by one button press. It also offers motion detection, but the recording doesn’t seem to be buffered.
This camera is going to stay in my car, at least until my A119S arrives and I’ll do some comparisons between the two cams then. Vantrue has produced a cam with a nice body and decent video quality. I just wish it came in a super capacitor model so that people in extreme climates wouldn’t have to worry about taking the camera out of their car at night and could permanently install it.