How to Use Your Old Smartphone as a Dashcam

Dashcams are essential for each motorist. Nonetheless, they could additionally price a reasonably penny. However what’s a dashcam, in any case, however only a digital camera plugged into your automobile’s charging socket?

So, if that is what a dashcam is, why not use an outdated, unused smartphone as a substitute? That approach, it can save you a couple of dollars whereas extending the lifetime of your outdated tech. It additionally helps scale back the e-waste littered in our drawers.

So, here is how you utilize an outdated smartphone as a dashcam.

Execs and Cons of a Smartphone Dashcam


smartphone turning into a street illusion

Now, earlier than we dive into the issues it’s essential convert your outdated cellphone right into a dashcam, you need to first know its professionals and cons. The most important benefit of a smartphone dashcam is that you’re going to get monetary savings on a brand new digital camera.

Because you’re utilizing a smartphone, you may make it mechanically hook up with any of your Wi-Fi entry factors or hotspots to backup the recordings within the cloud. Moreover, if you wish to view the captured movies, all you want is to drag it off its mounting and use it like another smartphone.

Nonetheless, since it is a smartphone, it’s a tempting goal amongst automobile thieves. That is very true when you depart it in plain sight like most dashcams. An alternative choice is to take it off its mounting. You are able to do this, however mounting it again each time you drive could be a trouble.

Associated: The Greatest Android Anti-Theft Apps to Shield Your Cellphone

You must also think about your native legal guidelines. Some jurisdictions are strict about having a cellphone in your driving line of sight, so a smartphone dashcam might get you in hassle.

MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY

Nonetheless, if that is authorized within the locations you frequent and you reside in a reasonably secure space, then a smartphone dashcam is likely to be a sensible choice for you. So, right here are some things to contemplate when establishing an outdated cellphone for a dashcam.

Digital camera High quality and Smartphone High quality


rear smartphone camera lens

The purpose of getting a dashcam is so that you can have a transparent report of the streets you are driving. In case your outdated smartphone has a poor digital camera high quality—one thing lower than 1080p Full HD decision—and it would not alter properly to regularly altering lighting situations, you are setting your self up for failure.

Think about additionally the sector of view of your cellphone’s digital camera. You do not wish to use a smartphone that solely exhibits a small portion of your hood; you need one thing that can report the whole vantage level of the motive force. That is why it is supreme in case your cellphone has an ultra-wide digital camera for recording.

You do not have to have a brand new cellphone within the automobile, however one thing that is three to 5 years outdated would possibly do properly as a dashcam. Something older, and you must think about that its digital camera is not as much as par or its internals would possibly already be failing from put on and tear.

Associated: Which Cellphone Has the Greatest Digital camera?

Keep in mind, when you’re utilizing it as a dashcam, it will be uncovered beneath various temperatures—from extraordinarily sizzling beneath the summer time solar to violently chilly through the winter months. Which may dent its anticipated life span as smartphones aren’t sometimes meant for use in such temperatures. That is why it is best to make use of an outdated cellphone with no bodily harm. Its situation ought to let it last more.


Cellphone Storage Capability


phone storage expansion

Most aged telephones include restricted storage. In case your outdated cellphone solely has 32GB or 64GB of house, you must reformat it earlier than utilizing it. Additionally, be certain that it comprises nothing however important apps and the dashcam app. That approach, you’ve a whole lot of storage on your movies.

In case your cellphone can broaden its reminiscence through a microSD card, then think about putting in a 128GB detachable card. That approach, you may report your dashcam movies on the highest potential setting and hold quite a few them in your cellphone earlier than they get written over.

Mounting Your Cellphone


smartphone dashcam mounted on a windshield

If in case you have a fairly sound cellphone out there with you, the next step is to mount it in your car. Are you planning to mount it in your windshield or your sprint? You may mount it in both place, however windshield mounts are sometimes higher as they will seize extra of the highway.


You may additionally desire a mount that is straightforward to take away. That is as a result of when you do not intend to depart your smartphone dashcam within the automobile, a minimum of you will not have problem placing it on and taking it off each time you drive.

Keep in mind, all the time rigorously think about the place you place your dashcam (whether or not it is a dashcam or a smartphone)! You do not wish to place any gadget that can impede your automobile’s sensors or place it on the airbag. Doing so is harmful because it might trigger your car to behave erratically, or it might turn into a projectile if the airbags inflate in an accident.

Energy Supply


long usb charging cable

Whereas most telephones have an honest battery life, older gadgets sometimes have decreased battery well being. Moreover, recording movies consumes a whole lot of energy. That is why you desire a quick charging cable and adapter in your automobile to cost the smartphone dashcam.

Do not buy the most affordable automobile charger and cable you’ll find—you must be certain that they supply sufficient juice in order that your cellphone would not drain itself whereas performing as a dashcam. You must also discover one thing lengthy sufficient so you do not have cables dangling in entrance of you. That constitutes a driving hazard, and you must keep away from it.

What to Look For in a Dashcam App

Whether or not you are an Android or iPhone person, there are a number of dashcam apps you may select from. However no matter app you select, you must have a look at the next settings:

  • Means to pick the video decision
  • GPS location monitoring
  • Automated recording
  • Background recording
  • Video size adjustment
  • Automated file overwrite

Different settings that you simply would possibly wish to think about are:

  • Automated collision detection
  • Customized video settings like publicity and white stability
  • Automated cloud uploads
  • Audio recording
  • Emergency service calling
  • GPS Speedometer

These options assist provide you with as a lot data as potential in case of an accident, permitting investigators and your insurance coverage firm to find out what actually occurred.

Save Cash Whereas Extending Your Previous Cellphone’s Life

So long as you do not get in hassle and your smartphone nonetheless has a whole lot of life left in it, utilizing it as a dashcam is an effective resolution. That can allow you to avoid wasting cash and, on the similar time, scale back pointless e-waste. And when you’re in a jam, you should use your smartphone dashcam to contact emergency companies.


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