Nextbase Dash 320XR dash cam review

This front/rear combo delivers on that Nextbase style and usability, but falls short of even cheap cameras in capture detai.

Price when reviewed
US$149.99

Nextbase generally makes superior dash cams. The company’s familiar classy style and usability is present in the $150 dual-channel 320XR. Sadly, it lacks what we’ve come to expect from Nextbase in performance. Despite both the front and rear 140-degree field-of-view cameras capturing at 1080p/30 frames per second, there was a noticeable lack of detail in the resulting images—to the point where we could barely make out a license plate number at mid-day.

It’s a shame, as I love the colorful 2.5-inch display, and I especially love that both cameras couple magnetically to their semi-permanent mounts. Magnetic coupling means you can just pop off the cams and put them in your backpack—something I always do here in the city when I park my convertible on the street. Leave anything in a rag-top and it’s a short slash of the fabric to being stolen.

Below is a side view of the 320XR showing its SD card slot (the power button is a mistake in this rendering; it’s actually on the back). On top is the mini-USB connection for the auxiliary power adapter and on the right side (not shown) is the Type-C USB port for the rear camera. Why the USB mismatch, I can’t say, though I’d guess it has to do with parts on hand.

As you can see below, the main camera features six different buttons alongside the display. On the left are the power, menu, and mode buttons. The latter switches you between normal video capture mode, photo capture mode, and playback mode. On the right are the up, enter, and down buttons which are used for navigating the menus. The up button also toggles audio capture, the enter button stops/starts video recording, and the down button takes snapshots.

The 320XR has a 280mAh battery that will run the camera for about 15 minutes after power is removed. If the 12-volt is interrupted in an accident, it can be useful to capture subsequent events. There’s also a parking mode for surveillance while you’re absent from the vehicle.

That’s about it for features. You won’t find GPS (which can be useful for travelogues and confirming locations) nor bad driver tech such as lane departure warning. In truth, we generally find that a couple more driving lessons will more than compensate for that oversight.

Stylish and easy, but not up to snuff
Nobody was more surprised at the 320XR’s weak capture performance than I. Until now, everything that Nextbase has sent our way was top-notch. In fact, the 422GW was one of our Christmas buying recommendations.

MSRP: US$224.50 / AU$244
Best Prices Today: US$229.97 at Amazon / AU$244
While the 320XR’s style, display, and magnetic mounting are great.

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