Nextbase 522GW Dash Cam Review

Our thoughts and review of the popular Nextbase 522GW Dash Cam, with Emergency SOS Response, Alexa Voice Control, 1440p HD recording and a built-in polarising lens
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What We Say

What is it?
The Nextbase 522GW dash camera has all of the features that you might look for in a 'top of the range' dashcam.
The best features are the fact that it can record at up to 'Quad HD' quality - that's 2560 pixels horizontal resolution and 1440 pixels vertical - and with its Bluetooth and wireless connections to your smartphone, you can view and download any footage without fiddling about with removing SD cards and the like. This uses the free MyNextbase Connect App on Android and iOS.
As with all of these later dashcams, you will need to use an SD card which is specifically marked as U3 compatible. This is because a faster storage rate is required to store the video files on the card. Older models of card - and those that aren't specifically marked as U3 - will not be able to cope with the transfer rate.
This one also has a 6G glass lens and a polarising lens, meaning that you should get sharper images and more detail in your recordings. Here are some more features which are increasingly common across the Nextbase range:
Emergency SOS system
In the event of an incident where the driver is unresponsive, Nextbase Emergency SOS can alert the emergency services to your location and other critical details. It even lets you store important information such as your blood type, allergies and any relevant medical history - which can be sent along with any alert. This can be especially useful for anyone fitted with a pacemaker or with certain hidden illnesses such as Diabetes, food or drug allergies or epilepsy etc.
This system does have an 'anti-false-positive' process which it runs through to try and avoid false alarms.
To use this service after the first three month's trial, you will have to pay a subscription via the MyNextbase Connect App, which is about £4 per month - although it does give you many features over and above the Emergency SOS service.
Intelligent Parking Mode
This model also features 'Intelligent Parking Mode', which is an option that means as soon as you park with the ignition turned off, the Dash Cam automatically switches into Parking Mode. It then shuts down everything except the G Force sensor (the sensitivity of which is then increased dramatically). Power consumption is very low with just the G Force sensor active, meaning the Dashcam can run off its own battery for up to a week or so.
The last thing worthy of note is that the Nextbase 322GW dashcam records more accurate speed and location data using 10Hz GPS and Google Maps.
We liked:
  • Feels really good quality
  • Video quality (at 2560px x 1440px) is excellent
  • The mounting bracket feels very secure when fitted to the windscreen
  • The option to add a rear-view or cabin-view camera
  • Has a 3" touch screen, rather than fiddly buttons
  • Can set the dashcam to show the speed instead of the road ahead
We didn't like:
  • If you record at full Quad HD quality, you only then get 30 frames-per-second instead of 60.
  • The Alexa features are of very little use
  • The magnet holding the camera to the mount is actually too strong (it's quite hard to remove it)

Hardwired or free-standing?

Most people just plug in and go with their dashcam, however it is possible to have all of the cables tucked behind the dashboard and to have it running from a proper power connection that is hidden from view. This is often called 'hardwiring', and Halfords will hardwire your dashcam into your vehicle for just £50 (or £70 if you also have the rear-facing camera) - but you must buy the unit from them.

The main advantages of having it hardwired are:

  • It's much neater, as you then don't have a cable hanging down from your windscreen.
  • It keeps your cigarette lighter or USB socket free for charging your phone or running other devices.
  • It's always on when you start your vehicle, so you won't forget to plug the lead in.

So, if this is important to you - remember that you must buy your dashcam from Halfords.

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