Budget dash cams with a chassis similar to the Apeman C450 are plentiful. However, the design of this one outperforms those in its class.
With good day recording and a solid display, the C450 may appear to be excellent for bargain hunters. However, one major fault is its nighttime recording, which is hampered by a sensor that is just not designed for low-light situations.
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Price and availability
The Apeman C450 is available on Amazon for $39.99.
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Design and features
The Apeman C450 has a familiar tiny camera design that has been imitated by hundreds of other dashcam competitors. With its jet black appearance and metallic textured grip on the lens cylinder, it’s a superb design effort.
On the back, there’s a good, wide 3-inch display, however, the bezel width isn’t entirely symmetrical, which may irritate some users. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly delighted by the onboard display, which had accurate color capture and a decent screen resolution.
Apart from the fundamentals, there isn’t much in the way of features.
Because of its integrated G-sensor, collision detection automatically saves and safeguards footage of a crash or incident. Around-the-clock parking mode is also available, which records any motion or occurrences detected by the unit. This function, like most dash cams, involves hardwiring the gadget into your vehicle’s power supply.
The low light warning sign is a feature I’ve never seen before in a dashcam. It alerts you audibly if the sensor does not detect enough light, encouraging you to turn on your headlights.
However, I found this to be far too sensitive to be useful at night, with the unit blaring at me if I wasn’t driving through regions with plenty of artificial light (and I swear I had my headlights on), so I turned it off in the settings.
There’s also no Bluetooth or WiFi, so you’ll have to remove the unit or microSD card to get the footage you need.
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Installation
The Apeman C450 comes with two mounting options: adhesive or suction mount, which I chose.
The unit slips into a bracket on the mount, providing a relatively secure hold, albeit it does put up a struggle when it comes time to remove it.
Due to a nearly nonexistent battery that requires connection to a power supply, setup was a bit of a headache. There’s also no GPS, so there are no automatic time and date updates. Furthermore, the buttons could have been more clearly labeled – it’s difficult to remember which one saves and protects your current recording if you need it.
However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that there are a plethora of settings to experiment with, notably in its photo mode, which includes ISO sensitivity, resolution, burst mode, white balance, anti-shake, and exposure changes. Some may consider this to be excessive for a dashcam, yet it is still useful to have.
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Video and audio quality
In daylight, the Apeman C450 holds its own. Colors are well-rendered, with sufficient clarity even at a distance. As with many low-cost models, light contrast can be an issue, especially when driving in direct sunshine, resulting in a gloomy image of the road.
Unfortunately, the horror show begins after sundown. Without a streetlight or headlight assist, there are large swaths of darkness that seep into areas of the footage. It frequently produces a tunnel vision effect, thus the C450 may lose out on essential information or events occurring at the periphery. I’ve never seen a dashcam image sensor perform so slowly at night.
When it comes to audio, the quality is adequate, albeit the unit picks up a fair amount of road noise, making it difficult to hear voices. It’s not great, but it’s also not horrible.
- Solid daytime recording
- Good display
- Decent design
- Awful nighttime recording
- Lacking features
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Conclusion
There’s a lot to admire about the Apeman C450. It provides adequate daytime recording, a robust display, and a powerful camera mode, all in a well-designed and reasonably priced package.
However, its night mode is a significant letdown, as it may lose vital details when recording in low light. As a result, it’s difficult to overlook such a glaring lack in what this dash cam has to offer.