Z-Edge dash cams hands on: Good quality output from unobtrusive cameras

z-edge-z3-plus-and-z-edge-s3-dual-dashcam-eileen-brown-zdnet.png
  • Editors' rating
    7.6 Very good
  • $129.99

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Good quality videos
  • Parking surveillance mode

Cons

  • Unituitive video protect mode on S3 model
  • Complicated photo capture mode on both cameras

Z-Edge offers dashcams that are easy to install and will capture all the information you need -- just in case. I tested two models simultaneously to see which one I preferred.

Z-Edge Z3 Plus

Z-Edge dash cam hands on Good quality results from unobtrusive cameras ZDNet
Z-Edge

The Z-Edge Z3 Plus ($139.99) is a nice compact shape. The camera attaches with a suction mount and takes up minimal space on the windscreen.

It has a "Wide Quad" 3-inch HD LCD screen with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution and 155 degree viewing angle.

It has exposure adjustment which compensates for lower light conditions and night recording.

It records in .MOV format on a loop and will support an SD card -- up to 128GB. the camera will start to record when the ignition is started.

It has a crash detection feature, and the accelerometer will also stop recording if no motion is detected.

Top ZDNET Reviews

The Z3 Plus has a parking mode which can be enabled manually if you want to put your vehicle into surveillance mode.

At 1440 pixels with a 128GB SD card in the camera, the 16:9 ratio video recording time will be about 10 hours. The road trip setting allows you to set the loop recording to loop after one, three or five minutes.

The Z3 Plus has a 180mAh internal battery for surveillance recording when the ignition is off. If any motion is detected, the camera will switch on and start recording.

If you want to protect a part of the journey and prevent it from being overridden, press the "video protect" button on the Z3 plus. A warning icon will indicate that the video has been protected.

To capture a single image, press the "Mode Switch" button, then the OK button. Image resolution on the Z3 Plus can be set to capture images at 4, 8, 14, or 16 MP resolution.

Z-Edge S3

Z-Edge dash cam hands on Good quality results from unobtrusive cameras ZDNet
Z-Edge

The Z-Edge S3 ($159.99) has dual cameras. Both front and rear cameras have self-adhesive pads that stick unobtrusively onto the windscreens.

There is a 19.6-ft. cable to connect the rear camera to the front. This camera has a 2.4-inch scratch resistant super HD LCD screen with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and a 150-degree viewing angle on both cameras.

The front camera on the S3 also has Picture in Picture mode (PiP) -- but this is difficult to see both images clearly when driving.

However the display can be configured to display either the front screen or the rear screen across the whole display.

If the rear camera is disconnected then the front camera gives Wide Quad HD with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. Both cameras have a wide dynamic range to balance exposure and compensate for low light conditions.

The camera will record .MP4 videos on a loop, and supports an micro SD card with capacity of up to 128GB to record up to 12 hours with both cameras at 1080 pixels. It has a 470mAh battery for surveillance recording when the ignition is off and the camera detects motion.

The road trip setting allows you to set the loop recording to loop after one, two, three, or five minutes.

To protect a part of the journey and prevent it from being overridden, press the "Menu" button on the S3. A warning icon will show that the video has been protected.

A single image can also be captured by pressing the "Up" button, and then press the "Up" button again to capture the 12MP image.

Both models

Both cameras have a user guide, and quick start guide which are invaluable to configure the cameras in the car. The guide, written in German, Japanese, and English, enables you to configure different settings depending on your journey requirements.

free pdf

Special report: The future of Everything as a Service

SaaS has set off a revolution in the way companies consume services on-demand. We look at how it's spreading to other IT services and transforming IT jobs.

Read More

If you make regular commutes, you can set the motion detection to on, the accelerometer to normal or high, the loop recording to any, and the screen to switch off automatically.

Audio recording can also be enabled on both camera models.

I found both cameras easy to install -- and the rear camera cable was long enough to easily reach the back of the station wagon window -- although the cable did require adjusting to ensure that I could open the rear window without pulling the cable out of the rear camera.

The controls were fairly easy to navigate to set up the recording loops for my preferred journey. Recordings played back on my PC showed that the image quality was excellent on both cameras -- even in low light. I found that the headlights of approaching cars did not flare across the screen, and that trees and other roadside objects were easily visible in low light.

I found it much easier to press the "video protect" button on the side of the Z3 Plus, than to remember to push the "Menu" button on the S3.

The Z3 Plus seemed more intuitive. However, I was testing both cameras at the same time in the car, and had to learn two sets of menus at the same time. I do not think that this would not be an issue with only one installed camera in the car.

For ease of use, the Z-Edge Z3 Plus gets my vote. it is simple to attach to the car and easy to operate manually. Its image and video quality means it certainly does its job well.

But, if you want to record everything that happens behind you -- for total peace of mind -- pay the extra $20 and get yourself an S3.

Previous and Related Content

The best GPS locators, finders and trackers

We searched for the top GPS and Bluetooth item finders and trackers across crowdfunding sites Indiegogo and Kickstarter to help you locate your missing items.

Mgcool Band 3 hands on: Attractive hardware, awful software

If you want a nice looking ultra basic heart and step monitor that costs much less than $50, and looks good on your wrist -- then try the Mgcool Band 3.

DBPower 4K camera hands-on: An affordable waterproof HD Action Cam

Excellent quality in a low-cost camera, and the range of accessories in the box makes it a must-have for every situation.

Hands on with the Destek V4 VR Headset: Great quality for an affordable price

Immerse yourself in the best mobile VR experience you can download -- at a very low cost.

Top ZDNET Reviews

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Where To Buy

Z-Edge Z3 Plus Dash Cam

Part Number: Z3P

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All