The F100 is a budget friendly, front facing Dash Cam from Thinkware, featuring CMOS Image Sensors that aim to provide constant full 1080p HD resolution recording during both daytime and night time, utilising the FAT (File Allocation Table) system, meaning the proprietary Format Free Technology eliminates the need for periodical manual formatting of recorded video files on the microSD memory card. The first thing you may notice that might put you off is the lack of a screen, to view recorded video files you will need to put them on you PC. The pack contains the Dash Cam Unit, mount with 3M tape (1ea), Cigar Jack Adaptor, Adhesive Cable Holder, 8GB MicroSD memory card with adapter (it is compatible with up to 64GB) and Quick Start Guide/Warranty Card.
The F100 has various recording modes and automatic switches between modes, this includes Continuous Recording Mode which does as it sounds and uses one-minute segments with an auto-looping mechanism. The Event Recording Mode will automatically store video data ten seconds prior to and after a collision registered by the 3-axis G-Sensor (the triaxial acceleration sensor (3D, ±3G)). The Manual Recording Mode lets you manual recording events in front of your car even if you are stationary. Mounting was a simple process and the included adhesive cable holder helps to keep things tidy, however there is only an adhesive mount include no suction cup options. The simplicity of this camera might win people over, no complicated settings to play with or lengthy menus to trawl though, the downside is the lack of Wi-Fi makes it harder to ensure the camera is pointing in the right direction when first installing and prevents instant view (unless you have your laptop in the car).
On the computer you can playback and download recording as well as route history and speed record, you can also change the dash cam settings, format the memory card, or install updates. Other features include the built-in thermal sensor that protects the device and data from intense heat by automatically turning it off to prevent overheating, and if the power is disconnected, the fail-safe recording uses the Super Capacitor for backup power to ensure safe storage of any recording in progress but doesn’t continue recording. The GPS Tracking is an optional extra but well worth the extra pennies, yes, it is another unit to install but it will record your driving speed and will provide precise location and route identification on the map, you can assess the details of the surrounding area by providing you with the vehicle speed and the time of a collision, and the severity of impact. The F100 is compact and discrete at 78 x 34 x 31.5mm and just 42.4g (0.1lbs) but the 1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080) with footage being recorded in MP4 format at 30fps and 10Mbits/sec produces a mediocre image quality, the lack of stabilisation and added compression means signs and number plates are mostly possible but not easy to read. Best suited for people looking for a low budget, basic camera, possibly a technophobe you just want to plug in and forget about it, there are limited functions but tailoring your dash cam with the added GPS Tracker (plus rear-view camera and internal and external infrared cameras make it a kit you can personalise). RRP £149
3.2 out of 5
Easy to install
Small and discrete
Customisable with add-ons
Fail Safe recording storage
Poor image quality
No screen or Wi-Fi for instant reply
No image stabilising
Doesn’t have internal battery to record if power is disconnected