Thinkware X550 Dashcam Review

Product Overview


Thinkware X550 Dashcam Image

A 1080p Front Full HD, 2.7inch LCD and the Sony CMOS Image Sensor has an additional features now available, the Safety Camera Alert. In partnership with award winning camera alert specialist, Cyclops, it provides drivers regularly updated information on verified speed/red–light camera locations and known mobile speed traps.

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Our Score

9.4/10

Readers Score

6/10

What We Say

What is it?

The Thinkware X550 is a High Definition, stylish dashcam boasting a range of features – Thinkware describe it as "a 1080 Front Full HD, 2.7inch LCD and the Sony CMOS Image Sensor has an additional feature now available, the Safety Camera Alert. In partnership with award winning camera alert specialist, Cyclops, it provides drivers regularly updated information on verified speed/red–light camera locations and known mobile speed traps". The X550 was only introduced into the UK in May 2016 and comes in a brushed nickel effect which is a great look, however it is slightly larger than most dashcams we’ve tested.

The dashcam X500 attaches to the windscreen with a 3M adhesive mount near the rearview mirror, unfortunately it doesn't come with a suction mount, so make sure you get it right first time! The power cable supplied plugs into your cigarette lighter socket and is plenty long enough to route around the dashboard and up to the camera, then recording automatically begins whenever you start the car.

The X500 records in 1080p Full HD and using a 2.4M Pixel Sony Exmor CMOS image sensor and has a 140 degree wide angle to record as much of the road as possible. It also features ‘Super Night Vision’ - The ‘Super Night Vision’, which is optimised for dark parking environment, delivers up to 10 times more brightness due to new image signal processing (ISP) technology and real-time video processing function. Whilst recording the onboard GPS is also recording your location and can be viewed when using the software provided by Thinkware.

The dashcam comes with the following built in features:

  • Front Collision (FCWS) – An audible alert when you are approaching queuing traffic too quickly
  • Lane Departure Warning System – An audible alert when you come out of your lane
  • Front Vehicle Departure (FVDW) – An audible alert when traffic has started moving in front of you.
  • Speed Camera Alerts – An audible alert specifying the type of speed camera (eg. Mobile Speed Camera Zone). We visited a number of well know and not so well know speed camera areas and it picked them all up without issues or mistakes.

One exciting feature is the Dual Save technology, which comes into play when an accident is detected where a copy of the video is saved to the dashcam and to the SD Card – this, as the name suggests, means that the video is saved in 2 places, meaning that if there was an issue with the SD card then it is available on the dashcam’s memory. You never know in an accident!

The settings can be changed using either the software or on the 2.7” LCD screen – we used the LCD screen to change our options which was a fairly straight forward task.

Another great feature is that you are able to connect up a rear camera so you can record both front and rear views at the same time – this is done using the Support V-IN port however the rear camera is sold separately.

This was one of the high-range dashcams we tested that has a RRP of £169 or bundled with the rear camera for around £219.


How we tested it?

We tested the dashcam individually over a period of time which allows us to see what it would be like to live with on a day to day basis. We followed the manufacturer’s recommendations when setting up the dashcam. We tested it in both daytime and nighttime.


We Liked:

  • It was easy to setup, you can get away with just plugging it, putting in the SD card and sticking it to your windscreen.
  • Although slightly on the bigger size it is a good looking dashcam.
  • Video quality is very good you can comfortably make out number plates. Night/low light quality is also good.
  • Software was easy to install and use and provides a map of the journey form the GPS data.


We didn’t Like:

  • We initially setup all the safety features but on an average journey it is just too many beeps for us, especially when traveling on a motorway where you are constantly changing lanes. We ended up just leaving the speed camera alerts on which was sufficient for us, however the safety features were working as expected and may be useful to some people.
  • The default impact sensor was a little sensitive and triggered on some potholes (plenty of them here in the UK!) or speed bumps, we reduced the level via the menus.
  • A removable mounting system would be a great idea as suction mounts are often proved by other dashcam manufacturers.


Video Example

Overall:

With a range of excellent features and it’s recording quality the X550 is no doubt a very good dashcam – if it’s within your budget then there is no reason not to go for it however it may be out of budget for a lot of people at £169, setting you back even further if you want the rear camera too.


Specifications:

Camera

2.4M Pixels, 1/2.9" (SONY CMOS Image sensor)

Display Panel

2.7" Clear Display (320x240)

Viewing Angle

Approximately 140° (diagonally)

Video

ALL Full HD (1920X1080) for front & rear view camera when connected

Capacity

Micro SD Card 16GB / 32GB / 64GB UHS-I

Recording Modes

Super Night Vision / Time Lapse / Continuous Recording Mode, Incident Recording Mode, Manual Recording Mode, Parking Surveillance Recording Mode, Capturing Still Image, Audio Recording

Acceleration Sensor

3-Axis Acceleration G-Sensor (3D, ±4G)

GPS

Built-in GPS (Glonass supported)

Power

Input Voltage: DC 12/24V (Max 35V), Power Cable Port x 1 (3.5pi) / Power Consumption: 5.3W (mean) - 2ch,30fp , 3.5W (mean) - 1ch,30fp / Super Capacitor

Interface

1 x Video-IN (micro USB), DC-IN, Micro SD slot

ETC

Front Security LED

Size/Weight

104.3 x51.4 x 29.3mm / 109g

4.1 x 2.02 x 1.15 inches / 0.24lbs


by Peter Jun 2016

A Closer Look

Design
9
Ease of Use
9
Features
9
Performance
9
Value for Money
8

What You Say

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Our Score

9.4/10

Readers Score

6/10