Dash cams have been popular in Eastern Europe for years because they help reduce corruption in automotive cases and provide evidence for insurance claims; but they really came to fame among Americans when footage from a Russian meteor shower surfaced on YouTube in 2013. The CDR 900 Drive HD Dash Cam by Cobra is a prime way for drivers in the States to start capturing their own wild experiences on the road.
Charged directly out of the box, the camera mounts to your dashboard with the provided suction cup, and an AC adapter keeps power flowing, though the device can run without the adapter for about an hour. The dash cam mode continuously records and saves content in multiple three-minute files. Once the memory card begins to fill up, the camera automatically records over the oldest files. As soon as you hit a bump in the road, get into an accident, or even brake dramatically, the device saves footage 30 seconds prior to and after the event in a secure file that won’t be overwritten, which you can access and share via the Drive HD app, available in the App Store and in Google Play.
We put it to the test in a BMW750i with an M Sport package. It didn’t record upon aggressive acceleration, but it did save footage in the emergency file when we hit a pothole. The 1269p Super HD video quality was crystal clear, and the 160-degree viewing angle revealed a wide swath of road, including our peripherals. Now we’re just waiting to catch the next viral video. [$250; www.cobra.com]