Should You Get a Dashcam With a Screen?

Should You Get a Dashcam With a Screen?

Some users like to have a screen in their dashcam, thinking it makes for convenient operation. While BlackVue did offer a couple dashcams with screen over the years, we believe screenless—if possible with smartphone connectivity—is the way to go. There are multiple reasons for this.

First, let’s go over the reasons to choose a dashcam with a screen.

Pros:

  • Easy to install and angle correctly: you just have to look at the screen.
  • Easy to set up: undeniably, having a screen makes setup and changing configuration options straightforward.
  • Instant access to videos: with the screen, you can play back videos directly on the dashcam anytime without the need to connect to it with your smartphone.
Now let’s take a look at the problems that come with a screen.

Cons:

  • Compromised stealth: having a screen makes your dashcam bulkier and inevitably more eye-catching to you and to potential thieves. Not ideal if you plan to use Parking Mode. Not to mention that it probably won’t blend as well in your car’s interior. If you want your dashcam to stand out from outside, you can always leave the blinking security LED on.
  • Distracting: If you have a dashcam with a screen, you probably want to install it in a way that you can easily look at it. Doing so, you risk being distracted by it while driving. This goes against the idea that a dashcam should be out of the way, ideally be tucked away behind the rearview mirror.
  • Not used that often: it sure is nice to have a screen to easily set up your dashcam the first time. However, how many times do you usually change the settings of your dashcam? Chances are you won’t need to look at your dashcam’s screen every day. That means as time goes, what looked like an advantage at first becomes a drawback. Sometimes even if you would like to use the screen, the law might not allow you. Depending on your country and jurisdiction, the use of a device with a screen within the driver’s field of view may be restricted (usually limited to navigation systems). 
  • You don’t need a screen to know your BlackVue is recording: some users find that having a screen makes it easy to check that the dashcam is recording properly. However, BlackVue dashcams have ways of informing you that they are recording without the need for a screen. First, a voice announcement will inform you when the dashcam starts recording or exits Parking Mode. Second, a blinking LED on the back of the dashcam lets you know that it is recording at all times. Finally, recent top-of-the-line models incorporate a technology that continuously monitors that your dashcam is recording properly to the microSD card. In case of writing protection issue, in other words when the microSD card gets “bricked” for some reason, it warns you instantly by voice message.
  • You would probably need an app anyway: the advantage of a screen is to let you access the menus and view videos quickly. That said, if you are in a serious accident, you’ll want to save the footage to your mobile phone anyway. Once the video is safe on your phone, you can easily send it to your insurance company or law enforcement.