Tech

Thinkware T700 review

The Thinkware T700 may look like other dash cams, but there’s one big difference – it’s a dash cam with a SIM card slot and LTE connectivity.

This means the T700 has 4G and can connect to the internet, sending notifications and even allowing you to watch a live feed of your car from your phone anywhere in the world. While the T700 isn’t without its flaws, this unique functionality means it made our list. The best dash cams you can buy.

Before we dive into the T700’s connectivity features, we’ll quickly go over the basics. It is a dash cam with a slim and quite subtle design. There’s no display, so it’s shaped to fit snugly with the windscreen, hidden behind the rear-view mirror and neatly out of the way.

The Thinkware T700 dash cam sits on the kitchen table.

(Image credit: Future)

The lens can be rotated to about 45 degrees, so should work with any vehicle, regardless of their windscreen rack. It connects to a simple mount that sticks to the screen with an adhesive pad. This means the mount will always stay on the screen, but the camera can be removed by sliding it to the side – handy if you want to swap it between vehicles, but realistically we’d probably hardwire the T700 into our car. and consider it a permanent installation.

The back of the device is home to a row of buttons. These are for turning power, Wi-Fi and microphones on or off, manually recording footage – when you witness an incident but the G-sensor doesn’t detect an impact – and making emergency calls after an accident. Took

The Thinkware T700 dash cam sits on the kitchen table.

(Image credit: Future)

Setting up the dash cam should be a simple process, and registering the included Vodafone SIM card should only take a few minutes (and will cost £3 a month on a rolling contract). However, when it came to the dash cam itself, we ran into issues when trying to create a Thinkware account, as the confirmation email never arrived. Without it, we were unable to log into the app and set up the camera.

While this issue was being investigated, we were at least able to use the T700 as a primary dash cam, as plugging it into a 12V lighter socket and starting the car is enough to start video recording. We solved the earlier problem by creating a new Thinkware account, and while it took a while for the dash cam and SIM card to communicate properly, the setup process eventually completed.

The camera uses a 2.1MP CMOS sensor that records 1080p Full HD footage at 30fps (frames per second) through a 140-degree lens. The results are good, but not jaw-dropping. Details like vehicle number plates and road signs can be read, but it’s not the sharpest dashcam footage we’ve seen, and makes us wish the T700’s 2K resolution was capped at Full HD instead. would have

The Thinkware T700 dash cam is mounted inside the car's windscreen.

(Image credit: Future)

As for storage, the T700 comes with a microSD card, but it only has a 16GB capacity, so fills up quickly, at which point the oldest footage is overwritten. We recommend investing in a larger card in the region of 64GB.

Although we’re only reviewing the front-facing camera here, Thinkware also sells the T700 with a rear-facing camera included in the box. Connected to the main unit via a long cable, the secondary camera records in Full HD at 30fps through a 140-degree lens.

A key feature that sets the T700 apart from almost all other dash cams is its SIM card slot, LTE connectivity and access to Thinkware Connected Services. It’s all enabled via a Vodafone SIM card included in the box, and costs £3 per month for 5GB of data on a rolling contract that can be canceled at any time. SIM provides national and international roaming in over 160 countries, so the dash cam will stay connected almost anywhere.

The Thinkware T700 dash cam sits on the kitchen table.

(Image credit: Future)

Giving the dash cam its own 4G connection enables a range of additional features, including the ability to view a live video feed from anywhere on your phone, receive real-time notifications when an impact is detected while parking, and Remote firmware updates.

There’s also an emergency messaging feature, where the dash cam uses its 4G signal to send a pre-written message to your emergency contact when a collision is detected and the driver doesn’t respond. The dash cam logs driver behavior analytics and travel history – when lending your car to someone else – and it also monitors the car’s battery voltage. Since hard-wired dash cams can cause extra drain on a vehicle’s battery, it can help prevent a flat battery if your vehicle is parked for long periods of time.

For some buyers, these features will be useful and worth the £3 monthly data fee. However, others may find that a less expensive dash cam without 4G makes more sense for their needs.

Personally, we like to set and forget our dash cams, leaving them to the task of silently recording video and saving it when a collision is detected. Hard-wired features like parking monitoring are also helpful. But, for us, the benefits of 4G connectivity do not outweigh the additional upfront and ongoing costs. We also encountered some issues when establishing an LTE connection, requiring multiple dash cam reboots to get everything working.

In addition to its LTE features, the Thinkware T700 has alerts for red light and speed cameras, including average speed zones, and GPS to add accurate location and speed data to video recordings. On top of all that, a suite of driver assistance systems includes forward collision and lane departure warnings, as well as an alert if you fail to sense that the car has drifted ahead.

Should I buy the Thinkware T700?

The Thinkware T700 dash cam is mounted inside the car's windscreen.

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

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