Nexar Beam dash cam review: Super simple dash cam with an easy-to-configure app

Nexar Beam dash cam review super simple dash cam with an easy-to-configure app zdnet
  • Editors' rating
    7.8 Very good

Pros

  • 32GB SD card included
  • Free cloud storage
  • Simple to set up and use

Cons

  • No recording light when you start driving

The Nexar Beam dash cam is a lovely little dash cam that has something that many other dash cams do not have. It has a 32GB SD card pre-installed in the camera.

There is no delay in your installation whilst you wait for your purchased SD card to arrive; just connect the Nexar Beam to the power and drive away.

The Nexar Beam dash cam is a compact dash cam. Inside the box is the camera, a suction cup windscreen mount and a USB charger to plug into the cigarette lighter socket.

There is also an 11.5ft USB power cable, and installation tool and cable clips to hide the cable behind the lining of your car. There is also a 32GB SD card included in the box.

The dash cam's external body dimensions are 60 x 48 x 34mm, so it's compact and light too at 55g.

The camera on the Nexar Beam is a 2MP 1/2.9 inch CMOS sensor with a 135 degree field of view. The camera records at 1080p. It has a built in G-Sensor which records events such as heavy braking or bumps or collisions. The Beam dash cam is powered by an AllWinner V3 chip with 256MB DDR3 RAM.

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To set up Nexar in your car, attach the camera to the mount, and place the mount on the windshield, preferably behind the rear-view mirror. Then, adjust the camera so that it faces the road for the optimum recording view.

Plug the mini USB cable into the power port and install the Nexar app from the app store. As soon as the car is started, the camera powers up and you will see a blinking blue light at the back of the camera.

The blue light indicates that the camera is ready to pair with the app. Enable Wi-Fi when prompted and follow the prompts in the app. As soon as pairing occurs the camera shows a steady blue light. The camera will work over 2.4 and 5GHz Wi-Fi.

The Nexar app will store 60s videos on your phone so you can manage the videos whenever you are connected to the camera. You can configure the app for how much storage (20/50/80% of phone capacity) the phone will use. Other settings are simple to configure through the app.

There is no way to configure the settings on the dash cam as there is no rear screen or settings capability on the body of the camera. This camera is simplicity itself.

Set it and forget it. You can store videos on the SD card, or connect to the camera through the app and store them on your phone.

All videos are stored on your phone until they are backed up to the free Nexar cloud account over Wi-Fi. The payment for the dash cam covers lifetime use of the Nexar app, and cloud storage account.

Your phone data plan is only used if you have a dangerous event such as a crash or hard brake when the footage is uploaded to the cloud.

You can even keep an eye on your car when it is parked through the app -- it has a battery that, when fully charged, will record for about one minute. 

If the car experiences an impact it will start recording and will notify you as soon as your phone is next connected to the camera. If an accident occurs, there is an option to send it directly to your insurer in the US. You can also set up alerts if an accident is detected.

I was concerned that the videos would not upload to the phone, or the camera would not start recording automatically -- but all seemed to work really well and I soon forgot that the camera was in the car.

The Nexar Beam beeps when it starts but stays silent throughout the journey, and everything is captured -- just as it should be.

All in all, the Nexar Beam dash cam is a simple-to-use dash cam that requires little configuring and has free cloud storage. For under $120, it is well worth the peace of mind that the dash cam is capturing everything as soon as you start to drive.