Enjoy your drive knowing there are extra eyes on the road.

One of my favorite quotes comes from True Romance 1993 “If there’s one thing this last week has taught me, it’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.” Similarly, I have found this to be the case with Home Alarm systems and Dashcams. I have witnessed two large accidents in my adult life and luckily had no damage to my own vehicle or body. Those in front of me, however, could not say the same at that moment. Each time, I stopped, waited for the authorities, and gave my account of the accident. After the second event, I knew that I wanted a recording system and I have had a dash cam in each of my vehicles.

UNBOXING/PACKAGING:
The 360 Dash Cam G300H arrived in a 5 15/16 inches square by 2 3/8 inches thick matte-black retail package.  The cover panel provided the lime green “+360” logo toward the top left and three icons along the left side: 1296 HD Video, time-lapse video, Built-in GPS, Google Maps driving record.  The lime-colored icons/title provided a visually appealing contrast, as did the generic 360 Dash Cam G300H name.  The main focus of the panel was the attractive, high-definition image of the dash-camera located in the middle of the panel.  The top panel provided “+360” in white and the bottom panel listed six white-colored icons: 1296P HD Video, 160 degrees super wide-angle, 2-inch IPS HD screen, time-lapse video, Built-in GPS, Google Maps driving record, parking monitor. The back panel listed the product name, J635 model, FCC-ID, micro USB DC 5V/1.5A power supply, Shenzhen manufacturing address, https://smart.360.com website, ZH.service@360.cn email address, a QR code, an SKU sticker, and product manufacturing labels.  I removed the outer slipcover and found the “+360” logo inked upon the top/front panels of the inner box. The main cover panel displayed the same generic product name found along the lower section of the main panel. 

To access the product, lift the front flap, and remove the two cardboard boxes. To your left, you will find a 4 1/4 inches by 5 1/2 inches tall by 1/4 inches thick box with 360 Dash Cam User manual.  To the right of the manual, you will find a 1 1/4 inches wide by 5 5/8 inches tall by 2 1/4 inches thick accessory box: 1. A 2 3/8 inches long by 1-inch thick USB-A car adapter. 2. A 4 1/8 inches long light-orange-colored power cord installation tool. 3. A 140 inches long USB-A to 90-degree Micro-USB connector. I reviewed the English instructions prior to installing the camera in my 2015 Nissan Leaf (also provided in Russian and Turkish).  I loved the first and second pages of the manual, specifically the labeled product overview on page 1, the packing list on page 2, and the QR code to download the app on page 2.  I reviewed the included packing list, confirmed the product was complete, downloaded the 4* 360 Dash Cam App from the iOS App Store, and then moved into the installation process (for Android instructions turn to page 03, and for iPhone instructions turn to page 04).  I removed the 3.98-ounce camera from the black plastic shell, plugged the power into my car adaptor, and then into the camera.  The instruction manual did a great job at detailing the next steps.  I pressed the power button along the left side of the camera, selected settings on my iPhone 12 Pro Max, selected WiFI, and then chose the camera name from the list.  I then opened the App, tapped Dash Cam, and “Added” the device.  The system automatically detected the camera and successfully paired it with my phone.  I did find it a bit odd that they chose to provide the power line installation and location selection as step 8 of the instruction manual (more on this below).  Other than that, the initial activation, pairing process, and camera usage were elementary.  The design seemed intuitive and easy to follow and the camera was easy to install. 

Camera:
The 3.98-ounce obtuse-angled camera had three buttons along the left side, a central 5/16 inches diameter power button and flanking 11/32 inches up/down arrows. The top half of the camera measured 2 3/4 inches long by 2 1/8 inches wide, while the lower half measured 2 inches long by 2 1/8 inches wide. At the end of the upper half of the camera, you will find the micro-USB power port and the microSD card slot. Along the top of the panel, you will find a 1 11/16 inches wide by 1 3/4 inches tall 5/16 inches thick sticker-attachment point. Turning the camera onto the side, you will notice a 1/2 inches wide by 3/32 inches tall speaker port. The bottom half of the camera had a 1 3/4 inches camera section with up/down swivel base and a 1 5/8 inches wide by 1 3/16 inches tall non-touch screen. When I plugged the 90-degree angle USB-C to USB-micro cable into the camera, the speaker produced a guitar-strumming sound followed by a female voice announcement “please insert a memory card.” Once I inserted the memory card, another guitar strumming sound was heard and then the camera instructed that I needed a class10 or 16GB card but all I had available was an 8GB Class 10 card. I can attest that this card did work with this setup. I pressed the top button to enter settings and found: Download mobile app, basic Wi-Fi information, Wi-FI (on-off toggle), Date/Time, voice, Video recording (on/off toggle), language, record length, Sensitivity/Emergency, Parking monitoring, auto turn-off screen, default screen, Built-in speed (toggle on/off), time-lapse, format TF card, Default Setting, GPS Information, and Version. You can select the next option by pressing the down option or return to the previous one by pressing the up button and then press the central button to enter.

If you select the Download App option or the Basic Wi-Fi information options, the camera will give you a QR code link. You can adjust the date and time, you can adjust the voice volume from the default medium setting to quiet, low, or high, and you can adjust the language. The camera will allow you to adjust the recording time from the default 3 minutes down to 1 minute or up to 5 minutes. You can also adjust the Emergency Sensitivity from the default high down to medium, low, or disable the feature entirely. Similarly, you can adjust the parking monitoring from default disabled to low or high. You can choose to auto-dim the screen or to disable the feature. You can adjust the default screen from front to clock or vice-versa. You can adjust the time-lapse from the default 16-h to 24-h, 8-h, or you can choose to disable the feature. Lastly, you can learn about the GPS/version of the software. When ready, press the up button until the return option is selected and press the enter button. Once you have an idea of the button layout and user interface, the camera can be installed onto the windshield. There were many times throughout the testing process that I wanted this device to have a touchscreen. Honestly, a touch screen would have drastically enhanced the overall feel of the device.

Installation Process:
To install the camera, start by cleaning the internal surfaces of your windshield.  I used Windex with newspaper to reduce the streaking, and then allowed the surface to dry. I removed the anti-static film from the instruction manual and applied this to my windshield just beneath the third visor frit, the black ceramic dots baked into every windshield just behind the rearview mirror. If you apply either the camera sticker or the anti-static piece to the third visor frit region, you will see black dots in your recording. I made this mistake but was able to remove the camera/anti-static lens to replace the pair just beneath and to the right of the frit. I would encourage you to make sure the microSD card and power cable are plugged into your camera prior to sticking the device to your windshield. Once installed, the angle to access the ports was a bit steep. When ready, align the sticky section of the camera with the anti-static film and press it into the film. As an aside, I was able to securely stick the camera to my windshield sans anti-static film.  Using the included installation tool, I was able to press the cable into the fabric headrest of my vehicle. I was able to run this along the top headspace, down the side panel, through the glove compartment, and then out to the car accessory port.  They provided more than an adequate amount of cable and I was able to hide the unneeded cable within the glove compartment. I have tested this camera over the last two weeks in the fall season and have not yet had the pleasure of summer/winter temperature extremes to contend with. With the stickiness of the camera and the anti-static layer, I would assume that the camera would fare well during the season’s thanks to the heat dissipation features of the frit. Until summer arrives, I will not know for sure. The installation process proved to be quite intuitive and required very little effort. I was pleased with this step as it did not take much effort.

The App:
Despite the positive aspects of the camera, the App left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. The App’s main screen showed the 360 Dash Cam name across the top and a plus icon along the top right. Tap “Connect to device,” navigate to Settings, then WiFi on your phone, and select the 360 Dashcam device name. Once connected, the app directed me to the main panel with a centralized 2 3/4 inches wide by 1 5/8 inches tall viewing screen. If I tapped settings along the top right of the screen, I found that I was able to toggle on-off audio recording and video vehicle speed. Beneath the on-off toggles, the app provided dash cam function adjustments. I was able to adjust speaker volume (low/medium/high), activate parking surveillance, adjust the sensitivity of emergency video (low, medium, high, disable), adjust the time-lapse video length (off, 8h, 16h, 24h). change the WiFi Password, System Update, Format the TF card, or Restore to Factory Default. Back on the main screen, I was able to tap album, Driving Track, Record Video, and Take Photo. Just at the bottom right of the main image, I found a speedometer icon and a full-screen icon that moved the image to the full horizontal screen of my iPhone 12 Pro Max.

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Here is where my excitement for the camera/app began to wane a little. I loved the wide-angle camera and the easy installation process. The App/camera combination promised greatness, but many App features did not work as intended. First, the app’s speed icon did not actually capture/record speed, and the icon did not change throughout the testing process. As a second example, when I tapped the driving track (GPS feature), the app moved to a white panel, the camera voiced “stop recording,” and a refreshing wheel spun until the app crashed. The record video feature and take photo feature worked flawlessly, and the album was easily accessed. I didn’t particularly appreciate that I had to repeatedly move to settings, select the Wi-Fi each time I powered on the camera, that the device did not record speed, or that the driving track record crashed the app. Before reviewing the product, I ensured that the app/camera was fully updated (version G300H-1.0.7-E). Additionally, I ensured that the memory card was a class 10 and at least 16GB in size.

Summary:
The 360 Dashcam had a plethora of exciting features but several detracting ones as well. I loved the shape, the design, the button layout, and the basic App setup/design. A few bugs within the App caused a stellar product to tarnish. I look forward to future updates and enhancements. The 360 camera had a nice 160-degree camera angle and rather nice night vision. Until then, the camera will do the basics; it will record, capture video/photos, and capture events. I believe a few App updates and tweaks could turn this setup into a must-have automotive upgrade.

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