Cobra SC200 D Dash Cam Review

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Dual-camera setup offers a mix of image quality and features for its asking price

The Cobra SC 200D is a mid-range dash cam from the well-established transportation technology company. Thinkware F200 and high-end, more expensive speedboats like the Nextbase 622GW.

In the box, the £199.99 package includes front and rear cameras with built-in GPS, a sturdy magnetic mount for the main camera, a 12V USB power cable with additional USB port and a 16GB microSD card.

Design and assembly

The SC 200D’s main camera is a fairly bulky rectangular unit, slightly narrower and thinner than a deck of playing cards. The entire rear of the device is taken up by a three-inch screen with power, menu and emergency recording buttons mounted on the top, sides and bottom. The unit itself is small enough to fit behind most rear-view mirrors, but the large magnetic mount – which only adjusts vertically – makes it harder to properly mount the camera out of sight. The rear unit is a much smaller cylinder-style device with simple sticky pad support and plenty of adjustability for good coverage.

Features

Sitting closer to the top end of the Cobra range, the SC200 D offers more features than the SC100 and SC201 units. In addition to QHD/Full HD recording, it offers ADAS lane departure and forward collision warning, live traffic and speed camera information via the Drive Smarter app, motion-sensitive parking mode, an improved low-light function and voice control for key functions. . The camera can also be linked to the app to show navigation instructions – largely unnecessary since the device shouldn’t be visible when driving.

While voice control and night/parking modes are useful, ADAS systems have the same accuracy issue as all dash cam-based systems and, as in our testing of the SC100, the app s has proven to be unstable and unresponsive, limiting the use of community-based live information.

Image quality

The SC 200D offers QHD recording up to 1600p from its front camera at 30 fps when used in isolation, while the compact rear unit records at 1080p. When using the two together like we did, the front unit’s resolution is capped at 1080p but still delivers incredibly sharp and detailed images. Compared to some high-res rivals, you’d be hard pressed to spot the Cobra’s subpar quality and unlike some devices that occasionally suffer from frame rate drops, the SC 200D’s images are always smooth and clear. The enhanced night vision feature does a decent job of boosting brightness in low-light situations, but there’s a noticeable loss of detail.

Unfortunately, the quality of the rear camera falls far short of that of the front unit, despite having the same rated resolution. Images are darker and grainier, with much less definition and detail. Daylight images are acceptable, but they don’t perform so well in low-light situations, and the Nextbase GW622’s rear camera performance is noticeably better.

Verdict

The SC200 D is a solid mid-range dash cam with good build quality and decent specs. and solid recording performance. Images from the main unit are crisp and smooth and match similarly priced devices. However, the rear camera image is much weaker and the annoying app makes it difficult to use all camera features.

Advantages

  • Good build quality
  • High quality main camera image
  • Decent value

The inconvenients

  • Poor rear camera image
  • Poor quality smartphone app
  • Unnecessary ADAS gimmicks


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