The Nextbase IQ is More Than Just a Dash Cam
Dash cams are nothing new, but they are growing in popularity. Whether it be over concerns of in-car assault, car theft, road rage, or car collisions, a lot of people want the added security of having any incident caught on camera.
With a lucrative growing market, comes a lot of competition. Various companies are buying off the shelf parts, cobbling together dash cams as quick as possible to sell to consumers. Nextbase is out to prove it is not one of those companies.
What is Nextbase?
Nextbase is a quick to point out the brand is a dash cam company and not an electronics company that happens to make dash cams. Founded in the United Kingdom, Nextbase has been at the dash cam game for quite some time.
The company has a built-in test facility on-site to assist in every aspect of developing dash cams. Nextbase even crash test the cameras to ensure they still operate post collision and do not fall off the window.
During a sit-down information session, the brand also wanted to emphasise that the dash cams they sell do not contain a re-skinned off the shelf camera. Nextbase’s cameras are all in-house designed with self developed components.
Currently, Nextbase sells dashcams in North America, Europe, and Australia. The brand’s products are sold through various retailers, and even as approved, genuine accessories for many automotive manufacturers.
Depending on the region, people want a dash cam the most for vehicle safety, or to prove fault in a collision. In all, Nextbase sees dash cams used for three main purposes – driver safety, collision footage, and driver assistance.
The Nextbase iQ
With all of this in mind, Nextbase is launching the company’s latest dashcam, the iQ. Like earlier products, the new iQ focuses on image quality, capturing a sharp image allowing things like license plate numbers to be more visible. The iQ includes a front and interior camera on the main unit and can have a third camera added to the back window. This gives a total of 450-degree coverage between the three cameras.
Three levels of iQ will be available at launch, differing in front camera quality. The entry level unit is called 1K and captures at 1080p. The next step up is the 2K that captures at 1440 p. The top-of-the-line unit is the 4K that captures in full 4k. The interior camera on the 1K also captures at 1080 p while the 2K and 4K units both capture at 1440p. The optional rear-view camera can be added to any of these and captures at 1440p.
Nextbase has tested the iQ on over 100 vehicles to ensure it works with various windshield shapes and designs. The brand also states the software in the iQ is designed to be upgradable as technology improves.
The front camera plugs into either a vehicle’s OBD port or through the hardwire kit in the fuse box. The rear camera plugs into front camera by wire. Nextbase claims it is more stable to hardwire the rear camera and should provide no interruption in the power delivery or footage.
While on the topic of footage, everything the iQ records is stored on a 64 GB SD card. Of course, the system can take a larger card if desired. Drivers can get footage off of the SD card anytime. Expect the 1K iQ to record about 12 hours on the SD card before it loops back and starts recording over older footage. Having the more powerful 2K or 4K unit, and/or adding a rear camera, will decrease the amount of footage length stored on the card.
The new iQ is designed for dash cam footage and security. It features many modes, but we’ll highlight the three main ones. First, there is the Witness Mode. Using a voice prompt of “witness mode”, the iQ will send video footage from 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after the command to the cloud if subscribed (more on subscriptions later). It’s also possible to attach phone numbers to an account, so the dash cam will send notifications of when witness mode is activated.
Not all problems happen when driving a vehicle. Car theft/vandalism is a concern as well. To help when no one is around, the iQ has proximity sensors that will have the camera wake up from ultra-low power usage mode and start recording. It can send a notification to your phone in real-time. The iQ’s AI learns which proximity alerts are threats and which ones are not, to help reduce the number of false alarms. The camera also has built-in battery protection, so it shouldn't completely drain a vehicle’s battery.
The iQ can give older cars modern technology found on newer cars, such as connected telematics. It also can perform similarly to some driver assist technology found in new cars. The iQ has proximity sensing spatial awareness that can trigger different notifications to assist the driver.
The iQ is also capable of estimating within 2.5 mph the speed of cars around it. So, if there is an incident, the camera hasn’t just recorded what the driver's car was doing, but also has some data on what the cars around it were doing.
If a collision is serious enough that occupants inside the car are unresponsive, Emergency SOS can send an alert to authorities including the GPS location of the vehicle and direction of travel.
At launch, Nextbase will have three levels of subscription for the iQ app. The basic level is called Solo and is free of charge. It includes the iQ app, in-car voice control, and real time text notifications.
The next level up is the Protect package. It costs $9.99 ($13.99 CAD) a month. To the Solo package it adds live view, SmartSense Parking, Witness Mode, Remote Alarm, and 30 days of cloud storage. The top tier package is Protect Plus that costs $19.99 ($27.99 CAD) a month and includes everything in the Protect package as well as Emergency SOS, automated incident back-up, and an annual warranty.
At launch, the rear camera will not yet available but should be in stock during November of this year.
In December, the iQ will include a Guardian Mode that can send notifications and video to a preauthorized phone number. If the vehicle is being driven over the speed limit, undergone quick acceleration, hard cornering, hard braking, or driven outside of a geographical area, the phone number will be notified. A great feature for parents, and not so great for teenagers.
Also in December, Road Watch AI and Encrypted Incident Reports will become available.
The new Nextbase iQ 1K will cost $499.99 in the United States, or $699.99 in Canada. The mid-level iQ 2K unit will retail for $599.99 for Americans and $849.99 for Canadians. Finally, the top tier iQ 4K is priced at $699.99 in the USA and $999.99 in Canada. The stand alone iQ rear cam will be $199.99 ($249.99 CAD) once available.
Those interested in the new Nextbase iQ should be able to find them at Best Buy, Amazon, or the Nextbase.com website.
Look for an extensive review of the iQ 2K coming to AutoGuide in the weeks to follow.
A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.
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