Nextbase 522GW review

Nextbase 522GW review

At the moment, dash cams are one of the fastest-growing technology sectors because they offer peace of mind and can save people a lot of money.

As well as being an in-car sentinel recording the road ahead, Nextbase’s 522GW Dash Cam also brings Amazon Alexa into your car and provides a potentially lifesaving feature.

There has never been a dash cam as exciting as this!

NEXTBASE 522GW REVIEW: VIDEO QUALITY

dash cam

As a dash cam, image quality is still paramount. Thankfully, the 522GW does well in this area.

With new software that delivers optimal lighting and color throughout the day regardless of the time of day or weather conditions, footage can be captured in either 1440p at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps.

The video quality is incredible and maybe the best we have ever seen from a dash cam. Thanks to the new HDR-like software, it is better than the Nextbase 612GW, which can record in 4K (and has massive file sizes). We recommend that buyers keep the resolution at 1440p for maximum detail.

If you wish, you can also switch off the recording of audio in the settings menu.

NEXTBASE 522GW REVIEW: DESIGN

netbase dash cam

Physically, the design has been refreshed. The new 522GW is about 35% smaller than its predecessor, and the Click&Go Pro mounting system is a much neater solution, taking up less space on your windscreen.

Although the design still lags behind the more attractive Garmin 66W, we are glad to see this has been addressed.

The 522GW is 94mm x 53mm x 45mm, weighs 125g, and has a 3-inch touchscreen on the back. In spite of the lens protruding quite a distance from the body, it can easily fit behind the rearview mirror.

As we mentioned previously, the new mounting mechanism is brilliantly compact. Both a suction cup and a 3M adhesive sticker are provided for attachment to the screen. The dash cam is then magnetically connected to it.

Rather than plugging the dash cam into the mount, you plug the power cable into it. Taking the dash cam out of one car and installing it in another is extremely simple.

The mounting arm attached to the camera itself is equipped with a ball-and-socket joint that allows you to adjust the camera’s position so that you have a clear view of the road.

As an option for those who would like to record what’s behind them, Nextbase is also releasing a simple plug-in and play rear camera, as part of a series of ‘Modules’ that can be added to the 522GW.

NEXTBASE 522GW REVIEW: FEATURES

Nextbase 522GW review

What makes this dash cam really interesting, though, is that it’s the first in Europe to feature Alexa. The app allows you to control certain functions of the dash cam, such as recording an incident; as well as asking Alexa for directions, listening to music, and making calls. You can keep your eyes on the road with this device.

Furthermore, the 522GW has a new feature called Emergency SOS, which can alert the emergency services to your vehicle’s exact location if it detects a serious collision and the driver is unresponsive.

Before ringing the owner’s phone, the system follows a series of failsafe protocols, ensuring no false callouts are made. The emergency services will be alerted and the vehicle’s GPS position uploaded if the driver does not respond.

Thankfully, we haven’t had a chance to test this feature, but we think it’s great (even though we haven’t had a chance to test it).

Additionally, the system can be pre-loaded with a medical history, blood type, and next-of-kin information. Although we did not test this, it’s reassuring to know that your dash cam comes with this potentially lifesaving feature.

SOFTWARE

Besides these new features, Nextbase has also improved its basics. Thanks to Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi, connecting to your phone is now super fast.

Likewise, MyNextbase’s companion app (iOS and Android) has been greatly improved over the prior version, which was slow and unresponsive.

In our opinion, Nextbase has the best system currently available for downloading footage using the app.

This camera’s menu system was easy to understand and clear. The touchscreen also made it easy to navigate. Although the menus look a little basic, this is only a minor issue.

Pros Cons
Amazon Alexa is useful Menu graphics look dated
Emergency SOS is potentially lifesaving Design still lags behind the competition
Great wireless performance
Class-leading video quality

VERDICT

When it comes to finding the perfect dash cam, we think the Nextbase 522GW is a great choice. Several of its features are class-leading, including video quality, smartphone compatibility, and safety features.

Although the menu system looks a little dated and the design isn’t quite as slick as the Garmin, we recommend the Nextbase 522GW as one of the best dash cameras.