A widescreen camera with decent video quality, but the Nextbase 402G has a couple of irritating flaws that keep it from an award
1080p dashcam, 2.7in 960×240 display
The Nextbase 402G Professional is designed to be half-tucked behind a rear-view mirror, helping to keep it out of the driver’s field of vision. That’s all well and good, but there are features – such as the driver fatigue warnings – which require you to see the screen, so we’re not entirely convinced that it’s best placed to where the screen is obscured. You can choose to blank out the screen while driving, or have it display a speedometer and compass, which seems faintly pointless.
The 402G isn’t just a step up in screen size from its stablemate, the 101 Go; it’s also a step up in video resolution. The 402G captures Full HD video at 30 frames per second and the difference is immediately noticeable. There is a little distortion in fast-moving footage, but the overall picture quality is much cleaner: you can make out the number plates of cars travelling in the opposite direction while you’re driving at 50mph in daylight, if you use PC software such as VLC to play the footage back frame by frame.
Night-time footage is reasonably clear, too. You’ll have no problem identifying the cause of an accident, although car number plates tend to be a little over-exposed and hard to make out. The 402G doesn’t match the sparkling video quality of the Roadhawk DC-2 or Go Pro HERO4 Silver, but it’s plenty good enough for most purposes.
The 402G comes with a CD containing the company’s Driving Recorder Player software, which is also downloadable from the company’s website. This application uses the GPS data captured by the dashcam to plot your position on a Google Map as you play back the footage, and also reveals other crucial data, such as the speed at which you were travelling and the direction of impact (based on the camera’s built-in motion sensors), which could be extremely helpful in piecing together an accident investigation. You can even enter your number plate into the device and have that embedded in the video, which might be useful for business users installing these units into a fleet of cars.
The camera’s screen can be used for instant playback at the scene of an accident, helping police identify the guilty party on the spot. The display’s 960×240 resolution is just about good enough to make out the number plate of the car in front, and there’s an integrated speaker for audio evidence. There’s also a mini-HDMI port on the right of the camera and an HDMI cable in the box to help you play back footage on a TV straight from the camera.
The 402G’s menu system is reasonably simple to operate, although with three large buttons either side of the screen, it’s a little baffling why Next Base has chosen to put the OK button – which is used to confirm selections in the menu – awkwardly out of the way on the top of the device.
We’re also disappointed that a camera at the premium end of the market doesn’t come with a memory card supplied. You’ll need to add another £10 or so to your budget for a microSD card, if you don’t have one lying around. Overall, the 402G is a very competent device with a few nagging flaws, which just keep it from an award.
|Max video resolution
|Max fps (at max resolution)
|Field of view (degrees)
|Max photo resolution
|Memory card format
|Supplied memory card
|Speed camera alerts
|Stated battery life
|Mini USB, Mini HDMI, 2.5mm AV out
|Also in box
|Cigarette lighter charger, USB cable, HDMI cable
|Driving Recorder Player