I am going to be reviewing the BlackVue DR900S-2CH (4K) vehicle dash camera. I have been using this camera for a few weeks now and I love it. Note–I’ve been using their DR750S-2CH for a year now, and I’ve got to say I love their dash cams. I’ve used a wide variety of dash cams, and the BlackVue are the best on the market in my opinion.
With that being said, there are some aspects they could improve on to make it actually worth the price tag.
For example, to add more then one camera you must subscribe to their cloud service. The service costs $20 month and includes unlimited live view, 600 replays or downloads per month, 15GB of Cloud Storage, and GPS tracking. These are some great features and all, but to be able to use them you will also need to get a WiFi Hotspot in your car, which you’ll need to get from your cell provider at an additional charge of $40+ per month for unlimited data–which is what you will want. So then you’re looking at $60+ per month just for a dash cam.
I would be more willing to pay the $20 per month for the BlackVue cloud service if the dash cam had built in 4G LTE and the service included this.
Even if your car has built-in wi-fi hotspot capabilities, it typically only functions when the car is turned on. If you get a wi-fi hotspot adaptor that plugs into your diagnostics port, again it generally only functions when the car is on.
Which brings me to my next product–the BlackVue Power Magic Ultra Battery. I love this. Your car charges the battery while you’re driving, but when you leave your car the battery powers the dash cam so it will continue to record. As someone who has previously had someone break into my car overnight, this may have lead to their capture if I would have had the BlackVue dash cam at the time. That being said, the battery lacks USB Ports, which would have been great for powering a wi-fi hotspot.
In my opinion, the battery pack is a must if you get the Blackvue dash cam. Also, I would suggest hard wiring them to the vehicle. The battery charges 3 times faster hardwired vs using the 12V port inside the vehicle. You can connect multiple battery extensions to add more capacity which is a great idea. And I will be getting a few.
On a scale of 1 to 5–with 1 being easy and 5 being extremely difficult–the level of install is a 2.5. The hardest part was the back/rear camera, and trying to get it through the grommet on the hatch lift with all the other wires. But, as long as you have an old wire hanger you can bend it and pull the wire through. It took me a total of 25 minutes to install the front camera, back camera, and battery pack in my car. For comparison, my wife’s 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee took me over an hour just to install new headlights as they had to make that so difficult.
I like how compact the dash cam unit is. It hides up behind the rear view mirror so you don’t even know it’s there. Compared to a lot of these other dash cameras on the market that are big or have their own dedicated screen that you have to place on the dashboard somewhere where you can see the screen.
The lack of screen brings me to another thing I would like to see. I would like to see a dedicated optional video output that could connect the camera to a vehicle’s built-in display. Then, if you wanted to, you could see the video on your vehicle’s built-in display. Since there is a rear camera why not have a backup camera function also where–when put the car in reverse–the rear camera automatically appears on your vehicle’s display?
These are just a few of the features I would personally love to see in the next version of the BlackVue dash cam.
Overall, though, this is a great product with the best video quality I’ve seen in a dash cam. Even the older DR750S at 1080P was the best I’d seen, and this one raises the bar to 4K. It has several great notifications you can setup or disable based on your preferences such as motion detection in parked mode. I would definitely recommend the BlackVue DR900S-2CH if you’re in the market for a vehicle dash cam.
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9 thoughts on “Review: BlackVue DR900S-2CH Vehicle Dash Cam”
Thank you for the review. Does the user have to use AT&T 4G Lite or can I use Verizon? I have an extra hotspot I can use but I still have to pay $20 per month for the 2 camera cloud service or they have done away with that?
The dash cam does not have any built in cellular data so you have to provide yourself so can use AT&T, Verizon I use T-Mobile…. Either way you look at it you have to pay $20 per month for Blackvue cloud service and then whatever you pay your cellular carrier for the hotspot coverage.
2nd Question: I am most interested in the driver / passenger views (concerned about door dings) but the videos shown do not really show the sides but rather the front and back. Is this an issue that I address when installing the dash camera or a camera limitation?
Well they are technically front and rear cameras, so going to show the front and back. But if you want you could buy another camera and mount it so points out your side windows.
So, if I buy this and want to view my files by removing the SD card and putting it into my computer, do I have to pay for that as well?
And is it impossible to view via my phone without paying?
No you can take out the SD Card and put into computer and use their Mac/Windows app to review it without paying anything.
You can review the footage on the phone. The only issue is if you have multiple cameras you wont be able to add them to your account. So then would not be able to view the footage of the second camera.
Could always just have two seperate accounts..not sure if that is against their Terms of Service though.
Good review. I am only interested in the 1 channel front view version of the 900 and all I want to do is record, then watch my drives on a PC and occasionally download the best ones to my PC or PC’s cloud. I would like to be able to turn on the parked motion detection when not in the garage. Don’t really care about watching anything on my phone and my phone has GPS which also allows Google to provide me with daily maps of everywhere my phone and I went (for free so far).
So if I understood you correctly, in my case, it wouldn’t be necessary for me to subscribe to Blackvue’s monthly service nor would I need a WiFi Hotspot for my car. Do I have that right or is there still a compelling reason to add the monthly service? The battery pack sounds like a good addition but you didn’t mention how much it costs or a price range for the camera itself. Thank you.
Yes you would not need it then. Really the paid subscription is only good if you want to add more then 1 camera to your account. If you want live view. Otherwise you can connect your cell phone, pc to the wifi your camera itself gives off and download the videos or can always pop out the SD Card also and download the video that way all without having a subscription.
I did not mention the cost of the camera itself because they are I believe located in South Korea and therefore sell all over the world, and different costs all over the world, plus sure could buy from different vendors such as Amazon. So the price range would probably be all over the place. But if you were to purchase directly from blackvue.com the price range in US Currency is $499-$610 and this based on the memory card size as $499 includes 16GB and the $610 price includes 128GB Memory card.
I want my D.C to be as discrete as poss to keep thieving scumbags away from it, that put a rose gold ring round the camera FFS what was they thinking, is there no “is this a good idea” office at HQ
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