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Nextbase 612GW Dash Cam review: A touchscreen, stylish design, and features galore

Nextbase’s 612GW dash cam made quite the impression when I popped it out of the box. First off, it’s the only dedicated dash cam I’ve tried with a touch display. Touch makes using the camera super-easy. Eliminating the buttons lends a clean and uncluttered aspect to what is easily one of the more stylish dash cams to cross our portal.

The 612GW also has GPS integrated into the mount, takes very good day and night video (up to 4K UHD!), has a battery that allows it to run for a few minutes away from the 12-volt, and even offloads via a phone app. 

The only negative is the low-light captures, which are some of the weaker I’ve seen recently when it comes to peripheral detail. 

Design and features

When it comes to looks, the 612GW is the real deal. The brushed aluminum case, the 3-inch, wide-aspect color touch display with a polarized glare reductions filter, and mount with integrated GPS are all attractive and very functional.

new next base39052Nextbase

The 612GW is a cut above when it comes to appearance and styling. Though its lighter color will ward off heat, it also makes the camera more noticeable.

As I said up top, there aren’t the usual clusters of buttons, only power on/off on top and the protect video button on the right. There are three ports: the mini-USB power connector on top, the SD card slot on the left, and the mini-HDMI display output on the right side of the unit. As you can offload and watch video from the Nextbase phone app, that makes the 612GW one of the most versatile viewers around: direct USB connect, card reader, phone and direct output to displays.

Nextbase includes both suction and semi-permanent sticky mounts, which attach to the GPS unit via a variable-pressure (via a rotary nut) ball socket. Also bundled are auxiliary power to mini-USB, and mini-USB to Type A cables.

612gw 9Nextbase

All the goodies in the box: suction mount, semi-permanent mount, power/USB cable, data USB cable.

The on-board camera is capable of taking 4K UHD (3840 by 2160) and 1440p video at 30 frames per second, as well as 1080p at 60 fps or 30 fps. Fair warning: The file sizes for 2160p are rather large—the company and I both recommend at least a 64GB SD card for the 4K UHD. The docs talk about a 7-lens system with a 150-degree field of view. I’ll take Nextbase’s word for the lens count. Whatever is being used, it’s quite good—probably the best optics I’ve seen in a dash cam outside of Thinkware’s.

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Nextbase forgoes bad driver tech such as lane departure and collision warnings, sleep alerts, etc. What it does provide is audible feedback, or announcements such as recording, not recording, video mode, etc. There are several playback modes. One of my only complaints is that there’s no way to take a snapshot without switching to photo mode. You can always grab a screenshot later, but…

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