Nexar Beam GPS Dash Camera: Specifications
Field of view: 135 °
The Nexar Beam GPS Dash Cam is ideal if you are looking for a relatively compact dash cam capable of capturing Full HD 1080p images, has GPS functionality and offers unlimited clip storage in the cloud. This dash cam will definitely be interesting. .
However, it’s not without a few quirks, which include an awkward transition between recording clips on the camera and uploading them to your cloud space. Anyone who hates playing around with phone and app settings may find this a bit difficult. Although once mastered, the Nexar Beam GPS provides quality images.
Nexar Beam GPS dash camera review: price and availability
The Nexar Beam GPS Dash Camera is available on Amazon.com and the Nexar website for the current price of $ 119.95.
Nexar Beam GPS dash camera review: design and features
The Nexar Beam GPS Dash Camera comes in a compact box, which contains everything you need to get up and running. There is the camera itself, as well as the GPS mount which also includes a suction cup. You also get a generous 3 meter cable, with an adapter that plugs into a conventional 12V car power outlet.
Helpfully, there are two USB ports on the outside of the adapter, only one of which should be used to power the camera. Nexar also includes a trio of small manuals, numbered 1 to 3, illustrating the steps required to configure the device.
Considering its relatively low price, the Nexar Beam GPS Dash Cam comes with some pretty impressive specs, along with a decent design and solid build quality. The camera part of the package is quite sturdy and is able to withstand the rigors of mounting on a windshield or similar location for long periods of time. Nexar says it can record in Full HD 1080p, with a 135-degree field of view. Of course, there is also a built-in microphone.
An added bonus with this model is that Nexar offers free cloud storage, which is actually quite useful considering that many dash cams require you to pay a subscription for this sort of thing. Plus, as the name suggests, you also get a built-in GPS module, allowing you to record your vehicle’s location if further evidence is needed in the event of an accident. Trips are also recorded on graphics cards as part of this process.
The parking mode feature is also useful, which means the Nexar can offer 24/7 security surveillance. If your vehicle is pushed, bumped, or the camera disturbed, it will automatically record the incident, even if you are not inside at the time.
Nexar’s G-Sensor was designed to capture anything that’s wrong, which is always a bonus if you want the added reassurance that you can stay safe when you’re away. A companion app helps you manage all of this. The camera and software work hand in hand to make sure updates are sent directly to your smartphone.
A 32GB microSD card is included with the camera, but it can be upgraded to 256GB. Meanwhile, Nexar says cloud storage is unlimited, which we think is pretty generous. This feature includes a post-event hub, which allows users to view their videos that have been uploaded using Wi-Fi. This dashboard area also allows users to trim and compile any required video content. and consolidate it into a ready-to-use report in the event of an incident.
Nexar Beam GPS dash camera review: setup
The physical installation of the Nexar Beam GPS dash camera is actually quite straightforward. We chose the standard location, just below the rearview mirror so that the camera lens could have a good view of the road ahead. It comes with a handy plastic tool to conceal the cable if you don’t want it exposed or getting in the way.
The other end of the cable should go into your outlet, of course, and that’s about it. The suction cup works well and keeps the camera in place even if you are riding over rough terrain.
In terms of connectivity, the Nexar Beam GPS dash camera needs to talk to your phone, so you’ll need to pair it via Bluetooth. You will also need to enable Wi-Fi on your handset so that the camera can stream video directly to it.
Two lights at the back of the unit should be noted; green indicates the camera is working while blue means it is paired with your phone. After that, depending on how you’ve configured the settings in your app, you should be good to go. Overall, the setup and installation process was relatively straightforward.
Nexar Beam GPS dash camera review: software
To use the Nexar Beam GPS Dash Camera, you need to download the accompanying app, which is available for iOS and Android. We used this latest edition and despite a few negative reviews it installed without a hitch. After launching the software, you will need to create an account, which requires a username, a phone number for the confirmation setup code, and an email address. It all worked without any problems.
However, the instructions are a bit vague when it comes to learning how and why the app works. This is certainly the case for the images, which are divided into “Clips” and “Full Drives”. The interface layout of the app is, at first glance, simplicity itself. Using it in real life is a bit different though.
There are three options at the bottom of the screen: Activity, Drive, and More. The latter effectively lets you change all the basic settings including phone storage and how much space you want to allow on your phone for clips. This ranges from 20% then 50% (the default setting) and finally 80% of the storage space available on your handset. This menu also displays your unlimited cloud storage.
Camera settings can be fine-tuned through the app, such as enabling automatic start and stop, enable audio recording and, interestingly, activate a switch. informing the app that you are driving an electric car.
While the clips are saved to your phone, the camera also sends clips of any unusual traffic occurrences to your unlimited cloud space. However, there is also a great option to manually trim all clips, which is useful if you only want to showcase a particular part of a trip.
For added security, footage is also stored on the microSD card inside the camera, with older footage being overwritten with newer content once the media card is full. This is why it might make sense to increase the size of the standard card given the low price of microSD cards these days.
Your profile includes information, recorded by month and year, about your trips, the time they have taken and the number of movies that have been recorded. Again, there is no seamless connection with the cloud space, or even with the Nexar hub area. We eventually did this by using the help section of the website, strangely enough. The space itself is pretty good, but Nexar could make it easier to find.
Nexar Beam GPS dash camera review: video and audio quality
During our time with the Nexar Beam GPS Dash Camera, we recorded footage at different times of the day. Considering we were using it in the fall, with all of the lighting challenges that a camera presents, the results were overwhelmingly impressive.
The lens withstood the reflections of the early morning sun and clear sky admirably, while still providing impressive performance after dark. Images are crisp, clear and don’t suffer from camera shake or wobble thanks to the large piece included in the box.
Naturally, the fact that the video is in Full HD resolution means that the disk space is used up quite quickly, and we couldn’t find any obvious way to tweak the quality settings. However, given the need to have images as clear as possible, especially when trying to include things like license plates, having the best video quality enabled by default seems like the best thing to do. And, because Nexar so generously gives you the ability to store an unlimited amount of cloud, it’s even less of a concern.
The audio is also pretty impressive, capturing everything from insane in-car conversations to the radio and even the ticking of turn signals. The latter could even prove useful in the event of a dispute over where you turned on or not a turn signal. The settings let you tweak that a bit, but by default we kept the audio recording, despite capturing the aimless speech of the car occupants.
Nexar Beam GPS dash camera review: verdict
Overall, we are quite impressed with the Nexar Beam GPS Dash Cam. There are a few weaknesses outlined above that take away the benefit slightly, most notably the confusing disconnect between the camera, your phone, and that unlimited Nexar hub space. It might get easier with prolonged use.
We also couldn’t figure out how to change the basics, including going from KPH to MPH, which seems like an instant and obvious thing to do. Other than that, the camera records excellent images and very decent sound, which is really the main thing with a device like this.
We’re also fans of the GPS feature, which shows your route on the app. Considering the asking price for the Nexar Beam GPS Dash Cam, we would say it is one of the more budget models out there, especially given its generous range of features and functions. A few minor tweaks by Nexar and it’ll be the best in its class.