EXAM – Even though my teenager has been asking for a dash cam for months, I never really saw the value in it…until I was recently boned by a driver who blew through a stop sign . Now I’m much more open to the idea, seeing firsthand how helpful this footage could have been for my insurance claim. We’ve been reviewing the Nexar Beam GPS Dash Cam for four weeks now, and I’ve realized that these little devices can be a big help when you need them (but hopefully you never will).
What is that?
The Nexar Beam GPS Dash Cam is an HD front-facing camera that vacuum mounts to your windshield. We reviewed the 2022 model, which includes a 32GB SD card, unlimited cloud storage and parking mode.
What’s in the box?
- Nexar Beam GPS dash cam with internal SD card
- windshield bracket
- Dual USB cigarette lighter adapter
- USB power cable
- Installation tool and cable ties
- Brand: Nexar
- Connectivity technology: Wi-Fi
- Video resolution: 1080p
- Mounting: Suction cup
- The black color
- Control method: touch
- Product Dimensions: 3.74″D x 6.26″W x 3.31″H
- Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Actual viewing angle: 135 degrees
- Operating temperature: -4 to 158 degrees F
- ASIN: B07ZPGSKLS
- Batteries: 1 lithium-ion battery required
Design and features
The information packet in the box gave step-by-step instructions, as well as a link to a video, showing how to install this dash cam.
You slide the Nexar Beam GPS dash cam into the rotating head of the mount. Then you plug the mini USB cable from the mount into the power port of the camera. For the long charging cable, you plug one end into the port at the top of the stand and the other into the USB charger, then the USB charger into your power outlet.
You remove the stickers from the camera lens and mount.
Once you find the perfect spot for your camera (they suggest behind the rearview mirror), you adjust the angle of the camera and adjust the screw on the side to lock it in place.
You can use an installation tool to push the cable behind your ceiling fabric and even tuck it into your passenger side door seal. It comes with cable ties for those who opt for a simpler and more straightforward installation with visible but spread cords.
You will also need to download the Nexar app. Once you have done this, the app will help you pair the camera with your phone. The dash cam will flash blue while waiting to be paired.
The Nexar Beam GPS dash cam is compatible with iPhone 7 and above; Samsung Galaxy/S/Note 8 and above; Google Pixel 3 and below (Pixel 4 and 4a are incompatible); OnePlus 6 and above; Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Redmi 5 Pro, Mi 6, Mi A2; LG G6 and above.
The dash cam automatically turns on or off every time you start or turn off your vehicle.
Lights are solid green when on/active; flashing red when an upgrade is in progress; solid red when there is a problem/camera faulty; flashing blue waiting for pairing; solid blue when paired with the app.
Our light was never solid red, we had no issues with the Nexar Beam GPS dash cam itself.
Don’t forget to leave the Bluetooth paired on your phone to the dash cam in order to have access to the images. It makes sense, sure, but it’s easy to forget.
When you complete a ride, you’ll get a notification on the app that lets you watch your ride and save it (or part of the ride) if you want. We like that it saves to the included SD card, so it doesn’t take up storage on our devices or charge monthly service fees. We have the 32GB model. There are also options for 64GB ($148.95), 128GB ($174.95), and 256GB ($209.95).
In the image above, it was dark and rainy, so you can compare the quality with the much brighter, drier daytime photo posted earlier. The video resolution is 1080 pixels, so that’s not bad, but naturally weather and conditions can affect the sharpness of the image.
Here are two examples of video quality in clear weather and at night.
The app also displays routes and timetables, which could replace a tracking app.
What’s really cool is that if you stop or turn quickly, it will automatically flag your driving as an “event”. It automatically records and saves events to your Nexar cloud account. It will even detect that your car is moving when not started, so if you are hit while parked and the car isn’t even on, it will automatically record.
Hopefully that’s never necessary, but Nexar can create post-crash reports with key crash information, including video footage, driving speed, G-force impact, and location. (That would have been very helpful with my pending claim!)
Our issue with the Nexar Beam GPS Dash Cam was that the app sometimes failed to upload videos. This didn’t happen all the time, but sometimes recent players were listed, but no videos were showing.
Our workaround was to open the app before starting a player, and that seemed to fix it.
What I like
- “Event” signaling and post-collision reports
- SD card; no service charge
What I would change
If you have a teenage driver (or even if you don’t), the Nexar Beam GPS dash cam can save you a lot of stress for a little money.
Or buy: Nexar and Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Nexar.