Many people want a dash cam that’s somewhat low-profile or camouflaged, to deter theft among other things.
The Vava VA-VD002, which also features a rear-facing camera, is a strong contender in this regard. Considering that the two products cost about the same, it’s also worth mentioning that the Vava is wi-fi capable and includes a GPS logger, which this Z-Edge does not.
The Z-Edge, however, is designed for a different kind of user.
The Vava needs to be paired with a smartphone to be of much use at all. The Z-Edge goes the opposite way: everything you need to do, from configuring it when it first goes onto your windshield to viewing footage of an accident, can be done using the large touchscreen. The menu is pictorial and exceptionally easy to figure out, making this a good choice for the older generation.
Makes Life Easier
You can probably count at least a dozen gadgets you use at work, at home, and everywhere in between. Each has its own quirks and intricacies; figuring these out is sometimes all the reason you need to not upgrade to a more capable model. The user-friendly Z-Edge T4, at the very least, will not add to this burden.
You interact with it by tapping the screen rather than pressing physical buttons that change their meaning depending on which menu you’re in. The microphone icon toggles whether it’s recording sound or not, the padlock icon “locks” the current recording so that it won’t automatically be overwritten, the camera symbol takes a snapshot and so on.
The only function that may need some explanation is the wide dynamic range toggle, represented on screen by a moon.
WDR is best used to capture detail in a scene that contains both very dark and very bright areas, like an unlit highway with approaching headlights or a bright, sunny day where shadows appear almost black. Even without this, however, images are crisp and license plates legible even at night.
Normally, both cameras record at 1080p full-HD resolution at 30 frames per second, though you can turn off the rear camera and store the front feed at 1440p.
Pretty Simple and Somewhat Pretty
The large screen is convenient in another way: it’s big enough to discern important details at the scene of an incident without having to use a computer or zooming in on your phone. It could be brighter, though.
You can choose to display front or rear views, or both simultaneously in a picture-in-picture format. As with everything in this camera, this is very intuitive.
Note that the rear camera is attached to the inside of a rear-facing window and doesn’t show an inverted, mirrored view like the Toguard CE60, making it less useful as a reversing aid.
The front camera is a little more versatile. It’s easy to rotate from side to side as well as up and down, which may come in handy when the vehicle is at rest.
This mount is very reliable unless exposed to large temperature swings – just twist the front’s suction cup for a more powerful vacuum seal.
Parking mode is set manually and will record a short video clip whenever your vehicle is bumped or jostled. To use it, it’s definitely better to spend $15 or so on a power cable connected to your vehicle’s wiring. The internal 180 mAh battery is only intended to let the camera shut down gracefully and store settings when the vehicle is turned off. It also struggles to charge fully during short drives.
Assuming that a large screen and very nearly the ultimate in user-friendliness are qualities that appeal to you, we can certainly recommend this dash cam.
The one major caveat is with exporting video. Since you’re unable to link your cellphone or tablet wirelessly, you’ll have to remove the camera and plug it into your computer (or take out the microSD card) and transfer any files you want to save permanently.
As another nice touch, this is one of the few dash cams that comes with a microSD memory card included. This provides you with only 32GB of storage (i.e., about 3 hours when recording both front and back in 1080p) rather than the 256 GB maximum. Still, it’s nice to be able to use your purchase right out of the box without having to order such a minor item.
As the cherry on top, Z-Edge provides a 18-month warranty.
Z-EDGE T4 dual lens footage (day/night):
- Very simple operation
- Good performance in all lighting conditions
- Decent price considering rear camera and large screen
- No wi-fi or GPS functionality
- 155° Front viewing angle is a little narrow
- Somewhat large and potentially distracting