One of the slogans of this Chicago-based company is simply “Truth be told”.
This is a pretty good summary of exactly what every dash cam should be trying to accomplish, and in the case of the MyDash R2-4K, you can expect a high-fidelity record of any traffic incident. This dash cam includes GPS coordinates and route maps, compass heading, speed, audio recordings, and very high-quality video of everything that happens on the other side of the windshield.
Unusually for a dash cam at this price, it includes both an LCD screen and wi-fi connectivity for use with your cellphone.
More importantly as far as gathering high-quality evidence is concerned, its HDR (High Dynamic Range), almost-4K sensor is top of the line. There are few things more frustrating than having a dash cam record an accident and being unable to make out a license plate due to grainy images or dim lighting.
Eyes Like a Hawk
Ordinary human vision actually covers an arc of 210 degrees from left to right (though not very clearly except at the front). This camera offers a view of 150°: not quite as wide as some, but still plenty to see what’s going on, even in adjacent lanes.
Also, while the camera is equipped with a 4-megapixel sensor, it’s not true 4K in the television sense. Specifically, most cameras record in a 16:9 aspect ratio, while this Rove product uses 4:3.
In practical terms, however, this difference is minor; it’s still about four times as detailed as a 1080p view (that’s pretty good – the only cameras on our dash cam review page with comparable image quality are the Rexing V1-4K and Blackvue DR900S-2CH).
If you’re concerned about fast-moving objects blurring or want to utilize slow-motion playback, you can also record at up to 120 frames per second by dialing the resolution down to 720p.
Also, while the camera takes a few seconds to fully adjust to changes in light levels (like when entering or exiting a tunnel), images remain clear whether in bright sunlight or at night, as well as in scenes containing both intensely bright and dark areas. You will notice some lens glare when the car is heading directly into the sun.
In other words, you will be able to see what other cars are doing, but making out license plates on the video may be problematic. You can use a circular polarizing filter to correct for this.
A Camera with Connections
One of the interesting features of this camera is that you don’t have to set the date and time yourself: this information is automatically generated from the GPS signal. In the courtroom, trying to use video evidence showing the wrong time is often problematic, so this is a definite plus.
To put an end to any questions regarding when and where, Rove’s video player for Mac and Windows as well as its app for iOS and Android let you see map locations right next to the video. You may display geographic coordinates, a timestamp, and your current speed on the footage itself, too, if you prefer – fast drivers may choose not to, especially as GPS is less accurate at this than your speedometer.
Aside from that, the app makes it easy to export recorded video to your phone and then upload it to social media or cloud storage for safekeeping.
Unfortunately, accessing the camera through wi-fi stops all recording, even if this is only to access the settings menu. Downloading video is also a little slow, though this is to be expected with the high bitrates associated with 4K video. For the same reason, you’ll definitely want to get a proper Class 10, U3 speed microSD card. Up to 128 GB of storage is supported, translating to about 10 hours of recording.
In some circumstances you may choose to activate time-lapse recording, like when making a photo album of landscapes you drive through. This takes one image at a selectable interval of between ¼ and 2 seconds and uses significantly less storage space.
You can also place it in parking mode when you’re not around. When you do, a sensor will detect physical shocks and cause the camera to record a one-minute video after an impact is detected. The Rove will verbally inform you that an alarm was triggered when you turn the car on again so you can inspect the bodywork for dings.
This sensor also “locks” the recording, i.e. prevents it from being overwritten once the SD card is full. Alternatively, if you need to save footage of some incident while driving, you can hit the Emergency button to safeguard it, or take a still photo of up to 12 megapixels.
A Long Story Short
This particular dash cam is very much worth it considering the high resolution, built-in GPS, and wi-fi connectivity. Something that’s less easy to quantify but equally important is Rove’s customer service, which is stellar. Even if you’ve never used a dash cam before, their representatives will get you up and running within minutes.
Rove R2-4K dash cam footage – day time:
Rove R2-4K dash cam footage – night time:
- 1-Year warranty from U.S.-based company
- Excellent video quality even at night
- Plenty of features for the price
- No rear view
- Internal battery lasts only a few minutes in park mode (can be connected to vehicle power)
- Requires high-quality microSD card