Papago GoSafe S810 dash cam review: It nails video, but lacks battery and integrated GPS

The Papago GoSafe S810 camera duo has more “safety” features than you can shake a stick at, including one I’d never even considered—stop sign recognition. Yup. It recognizes stop signs and pops the digital equivalent up on its display. Kind of fun, but as I’m wont to say: If you need this stuff, call a cab or wait for self-driving vehicles.

Admonishment aside, the $170 S810 is more than just fancy features. It takes very, very good day and night video, and the rear camera, unlike some we’ve seen recently, actually captures enough detail to be useful.

Alas, there’s no battery, and the supercapacitor runs the camera only long enough to save a file, not to take a few more seconds of video. If your 12-volt is disrupted in the initial impact of an accident, this means you won’t capture the entire incident.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best dash cams. Go there for our top picks and how-to-buy advice.

Design and features

Like a number of other cameras out there, the S810 looks like a slightly small “happy-snap” consumer digital camera, from the era before cell phones usurped that role. A nicely streamlined one, but that’s the shape, as you can see below.

The unit features a nice, bright 2.4-inch display. The usual four buttons to control it (return, up, down, okay) are atypically placed on the bottom of the unit. The function of the buttons at any given time is hinted at by icons on the display immediately above them. On the whole, the camera is easy to use, though there are a lot of options that might take some time to absorb.

On the right side of the camera is the SD card slot, while on the left are the mini-USB power port and a mini-DisplayPort for direct video output to various display devices. On top is the port for the optional external GPS unit (available on AmazonRemove non-product link). While I prefer the GPS integrated to cut down on cable clutter (there are three cables sprouting from the unit when GPS is in play), at least this one fires up immediately. With some dash cams I’ve seen recently, you have to wait a few minutes for GPS data to appear. 

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6215351cv15d Papago

Notice that there are no wires in this photo. When the GoSafe 810 is fully rigged with rear camera and optional GPS, there are three wires blossoming from the unit. 

The S810’s front camera has a 140-degree field of view and takes images at resolutions up to 1080p. The rear, 720p camera has a 120-degree field of view. Unlike the exceedingly low-res 480p rear camera on the Apeman c550, the S810’s rear camera is actually crisp enough to capture a license plate number. 

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