Nextbase 522GW video recorder – review, opinions

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Nextbase 522GW is the newest car video recorder, which I have the opportunity to test in practice. In addition to the mounting method, it is also distinguished by the built-in polarization filter and the possibility of adding an additional camera recording the interior of our vehicle. Is it worth buying? 

Nextbase 522GW – first impressions

The video recorder records the image in 1440p resolution, it also has a dedicated MyNextBase Connect application, which can be configured with some additional functions. The device has a large, easy-to-read and touchscreen display (3 inches HD IPS) with an orange button for securing recordings. This is a big plus, because some of the car cameras I have tested lack the option of quick and easy protection of the recording. When something worth saving for later happened on the road – I never saw what to press. Nothing annoyed me as much as, for example, a sudden switch to photo mode. There is no such thing here and the webcam is practically maintenance-free, which is a big plus.

The camera has a fairly large lens ending with a polarizing filter. For people who are not familiar with filters, I will add that the polarizing filter is my must-have in photography and filming. It allows you to erase light covers from various surfaces, such as water, clouds or, for example, car windows. It works great, for example, in automotive photography, allowing you to emphasize the color of the paintwork and photograph what is happening behind the glass.

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However, it takes some of the light reaching the sensor, which may be slightly felt after dark. This filter should be set in the same way as in the camera or camcorder – simply point it at e.g. a piece of paper or a dashboard and twist the tip of the lens until the glare visible in the preview is removed.

Nextbase 522GW also has a built-in GPS module that allows you to use additional functions. Apart from the obvious thing like recording the speed of the vehicle, after connecting the camera with the application (via BT), we gain access to the SOS call to the last GPS location recorded by the camera. In the application, we also have the option of configuring and updating the video recorder. It also supports Alexa.

Muszę także przyznać, że pozytywnie zaskoczyłem się prostotą obsługi kamerki oraz jakością nagrania dźwięku. Bardzo często trafiam na wideorejestratory, które nagrywają buczenia i trzaski. Tutaj normalnie słychać to, co dzieje się w kabinie bez żadnych przesterów i zniekształceń. 

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Mounting in Nextbase 522GW

I really liked the mounting of this video recorder. For me, this is the optimal solution that I would like to see in other devices available on the market in this segment. Here we have a suction cup equipped with a special movable foot.

It is finished with a magnetic quick coupler that transfers power to the device. Thanks to this, we can take the video recorder home with us at any time, and after returning – we attach it in a few seconds in exactly the same position as before and we do not have to touch the power cables.

The magnet is so strong that we feel it attracts the webcam casing, holds it firmly, but also does not cause problems with the photo. However, the mount transfers some vibrations to the camera and you can see it in the recordings – there is a slight shaking. At least a bit of image stabilization would be useful here.

Battery and parking mode in Nextbase 522GW

The video recorder lasts quite a long time without power and is undoubtedly a device that boasts the longest battery life among those that I have tested so far. After disconnecting it, I managed to get back from the car to the apartment on the 4th floor, change my clothes, and the camera was still recording all the time at home.

What is also a big plus also has a downside. It is about the parking mode in this device. Out of over 40 video recorders I have tested, this is the first webcam that has such a well-functioning parking mode. In combination with a capacious battery – you can safely leave the car in the parking lot, being sure that if someone hits your vehicle, the device will turn on and start recording for a few minutes.

It works so well that sometimes even closing the door more tightly during a stop starts the recording and secures the recording. Why is there a downside to this story? Each closing of the tailgate, closing the door while stationary, etc. starts the emergency recording of the camera. These recordings are deletion protected, so the ability to loop record (when the camera records until the card memory is full, then overwrites the oldest recordings and continues recording) shrinks greatly. This requires periodic cleaning of the memory card from such protected recordings.

When I took the camera home to take a few photos – it kept turning on and making emergency recording. And so she was triggered by typing for a few hours.

The solution to the problem is to reduce the sensitivity of GSENSOR in the menu options, because by default the overload sensor is set to the position: medium. When writing about the car park, we can connect an additional device to the webcam using an HDMI cable. In this way, we can also turn the Nextbase 522GW into a reversing camera.

Nextbase 522GW – The quality of the recording

Here I must admit that I was a bit disappointed. After a bright lens with a polarizing filter and the ability to record at 1440px, I expected much more. The image during the day, with good lighting, is the number of four. You can see here a lot of compression and distortions at the edges of the screen. The tonal range is also quite small, which can be seen when driving against the light or in cloudy weather. The contrast is then quite high, which affects the darker parts of the image. At night it is not bad and the device is doing decently.

The classic problem is the visibility of license plates in the light source – they reflect light so strongly that they are one big spot on the recording. Here it is the same as with most DVRs on the market. However, I can specify that the night recordings are fine for the city. Outside the city and in very dark places, we will see nothing but what our lights illuminate. Adding to this a slightly shaky image – it’s hard for the webcam to catch the focus.

You can also buy an additional camera module for the webcam. It is used to record the interior of the vehicle. It will work, for example, for people transporting people or to driving schools. Connecting it does not affect the speed of the entire set and its quality. The picture quality is pretty good. We can also adjust the angle of the lens a bit – you can gently move it in both axes.

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Summary

The Nextbase 522GW video recorder is a device after which I have quite mixed feelings. It is a piece of good equipment with many interesting elements: it records great sound, has a very good mount, polarizing filter, bright lens, looks great, the screen is very good and has a touch. At the same time, however, oversensitive parking mode, average image quality, or powering an archaic mini-usb. If the tonal range on the recording was a bit larger, if the image were sharper - it would be my favorite without a doubt. Yes, I'm still looking for the perfect one :)

final verdict

Price
7
Functionality
9
Ease of use
9
Build quality
9
Image quality
7
Would I buy again
7
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Jakub Markiewicz
Jakub Markiewiczhttps://jotem.in
Hi, I am the author of the Jotem.in blog and series of thematic portals since 2013. I have nearly 15 years of experience in working in the media, marketing, public relations and IT. If you are interested in cooperation, you would like me to write about something or test a product - let me know.
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The Nextbase 522GW video recorder is a device after which I have quite mixed feelings. It is a piece of good equipment with many interesting elements: it records great sound, has a very good mount, polarizing filter, bright lens, looks great, the screen is very good and has a touch. At the same time, however, oversensitive parking mode, average image quality, or powering an archaic mini-usb. If the tonal range on the recording was a bit larger, if the image were sharper - it would be my favorite without a doubt. Yes, I'm still looking for the perfect one :)Nextbase 522GW video recorder - review, opinions