It’s that time of year again. The holidays are around the corner and this is the time to start thinking about gift ideas for relatives, friends and co-workers on your list.
I’ll be writing 2 or 3 product reviews weekly. As always, for complete transparency, all products that I write about have been sent to me for review purposes. I only write about products I approve of and would purchase myself. They’re honest reviews and hopefully considered trusted reviews.
I receive many products that I don’t write about due to a variety of reasons. If they don’t pass my test, I don’t write about them, and I’m not obligated to write about them. I’m also NOT compensated for my reviews.
My first product review for this Christmas holiday season is the Cobra CDR 855 BT. I chose this product because the footage the camera provides may turn out invaluable in certain situations, such as reviewing a teenager’s driving skills, having a record of an accident and keeping an eye on an unattended vehicle.
For those of you who have never had a dash camera, the tiny, budget-priced Cobra CDR 855 BT allows continual video recording of the road ahead of you in Full HD video resolution.
At $149.95, (Amazon $122.50) it’s affordable, has a simple design, easy controls and a 160-degree viewing angle.
What is included? The 855 BT camera, windshield mount designed to dangle from the top of your windshield with a standard screw fitting, 8GB MicroSD card, USB to Micro USB cable, and 12-volt power cable.
The device sans a built-in GPS has a rounded style with four buttons under the display screen. It’s easy to access controls and capture photos. Above the screen, you’ll find a button to capture and save an “Emergency Recording” which can’t be overwritten.
The camera turns on and begins to record once it’s plugged into the vehicle’s power source. A small battery provides about 30 minutes of power.
The default setting records in the highest 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution at 30fps; this will fill a standard 8GB memory card in about two or so hours. The lower pixel resolution will fill the memory card between two and four hours.
Due to the lack of a built-in GPS, you’ll have to use Bluetooth to pair a smartphone running the iRadar application in order to keep track of the video location. The dash cam will then obtain its location from your smartphone’s GPS iRadar app is available for IOS and Android.
Via iRadar smartphone, the CDR 855 BT provides alerts for when you’re approaching speed traps and red-light cameras as well as areas of risk. This requires a subscription with a 30-day trial available to test out.
Every detail of the road ahead of you is captured with the 160-degree viewing angle. In low light, the camera adapts so that it’s easy to see surrounding cars, signs and numbers on license plates.
There’s a built-in G-Sensor that will record and store an accident. It also will auto-detect when the vehicle is stationary and automatically activate parking mode, which can be disabled for those of you who don’t want to use the camera while stationary.
If you wish to have a built-in GPS, for $30 more, the Cobra CDR 875 G has an internal GPS and Bluetooth Smart enabled iRadar alerts.
Overall, the CDR 855 BT is a standard dash cam which is decent in terms of price and quality.