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The VSTARCAM GPCV5168 dash cam is a dashboard camera designed to monitor your driving (and other cars) around your while driving.

In today’s review we’ll be showing you the pros, cons, as well as data from our road test, to see how the VSTARCAM camera performs in the real world.

VSTARCAM dash cam review
VSTARCAM dash cam

Additionally, we will take a look at the design, usability, and features of the VSTAR. So with that said, let’s get started.

VSTARCAM Camera Design

First and foremost, this dash cam is not a large unit. In fact, it is almost small enough to sit entirely behind the rear-view mirror in my car, going virtually unnoticed.

VSTARCAM dash camera mounted to the windshield
VSTARCAM dash camera mounted to the windshield

The VSTARCAM dash cam is mounted on the inside of your windshield, via the attached suction cup mount.

VSTARCAM dash camera from outside the car
VSTARCAM dash camera from outside the car

After it is mounted, users will see the 3″ IPS LCD screen, which will show what is being recorded.

VSTAR dash cam LCD IPS screen
IPS LCD 3″ screen on the dash cam

This dash cam is compact. The all black color scheme is a nice touch, but the biggest pro is the smaller size. After several weeks of testing I hardly noticed it anymore.

VSTARCAM dashboard camera
VSTARCAM cam in hand for scale

Camera Recording Specs

There is a 6 layer lens capable of recording at 1080p resolution. This lens has the ability to capture an angle of 170° outside of your vehicle.

VSTARCAM dash cam lens close up
Dash cam uses 6 layers of glass for the lens

The wider angle lens is ideal for ensuring you’re able to see cars, pedestrians, or other objects / obstacles that may be relevant to the driving situation.

VSTARCAM dash cam during the day time
Day time video footage from the dash cam

The VSTARCAM GPCV5168 can also be used to take still photographs with up to 12 megapixels of resolution.

Buttons & Controls

The camera is easy to use and control, with physical buttons buttons on both sides of the camera body.

VSTARCAM dash cam buttons
Buttons on the dash cam

These buttons include:

  • OK – Confirms video recording and picture taking
  • Mode – Switches between camera, snapshot, and playback
  • Hold – While recording this button can be pressed to save the video file
  • Power – Turns the camera on and off
  • Up & Down – These buttons can be used to scroll through the menu
  • Menu – Brings up the settings and other features

Using the VSTARCAM Camera

The VSTARCAM dash cam works by recording video footage while you are driving. This footage is recorded and stored on a micro SD card. To get the footage you can plug the entire unit into your PC or just insert the card into a card reader.

VSTARCAM dash cam during the day time
Another shot of footage from the day time

Setting up the cam is pretty easy.

  • Go through the interface and select the settings appropriate to your car (how you want to record, recording settings, motion / g-sensor, etc.)
  • Install your micro SD card (you do have to buy this separately)
  • Install the suction mount on your dash or glass
  • Slide camera into the mount
  • Plug the power cord into your cigarette lighter

That’s it!

Once it’s setup you can basically ignore it.

VSTARCAM dash cam suction cup mount
Suction cup mount for the dash cam

The camera will turn on / off as you turn the car on / off. This is INCREDIBLY nice, as you can basically plug it and then forget about it.

This dash cam also has a few nice extras, including:

  • loop recording
  • emergency g-sensor lock (in the event of an accident, automatically locks to secure the file)
  • wide angle lens, 170°
  • night vision
  • parking monitor (includes a motion detector to watch if someone starts messing with your car)

Features

Next, we’re going to walk through the features.

1. Loop Recording

First up, loop recording. This feature will automatically overwrite the oldest unlocked file stored on the memory card, when the memory card is full. By doing so, the camera is still able to record.

VSTARCAM dash cam during rainstorm
Camera footage during the rain

This is an ideal (and almost essential) feature for a dash cam. It would be incredibly annoying to have to constantly delete old footage.

This way, old stuff gets automatically deleted and your camera is always recording.

2. Emergency Lock

The emergency lock feature will lock footage when a sudden collision or shake of your car occurs. This ensures that footage from accidents is always saved.

The VSTARCAM camera uses a g-sensor to detect collisions.

3. Wide Angle Lens

Next up, the wide angle lens is a big plus.

By being able to see and record at 170°, the VSTARCAM has the ability to capture a wider field of view. This helps to make sure you can always see what you need to.

4. Night Vision

Being able to see and record clearly at night is a definite plus.

VSTAR dash cam night time
Night time footage of the VSTARCAM dash cam

The night time footage definitely wasn’t perfect, however, it’s not bad at all.

You can clearly see most of what you would need for an accident. However, making out license plates is more difficult (they need to be very close). That said, for a camera as inexpensive as this one is it’s really hard to ask for more.

5. Parking Monitor

Last but not least, the parking monitor.

The VSTARCAM can automatically start recording when people, cars, or other items come close to your car, even while parked.

While this is a great feature, it’s kind of moot, in my opinion. In order to work, you have to have a separate external battery or hardwired included to power the unit (neither of which are included).

I’m glad they added the parking monitor, but I think it’s sort of crazy they wouldn’t include a battery that can power this feature.

Should you buy the VSTARCAM dash camera?

While this isn’t bleeding edge tech, it’s not bad, and more than suitable for most car owners.

The VSTARCAM GPCV5168 dashboard camera is best if:

  • You want a basic dash cam – this has most of the essential features that you’d want in a camera. It’s attaches easily, is powered by a cigarette lighter, has loop recording, and records wide angle at 1080p. That checks all of my boxes.
  • You want an inexpensive camera – true, it’s not bleeding edge tech and it’s not smartphone compatible, but it’s cheap. More than that, it’s cheap, and it works.
  • You want good usability – the camera automatically turns on when you turn on the camera, turns off when you turn off the car, and deletes old files when it needs space for new stuff. It’s more or less self-maintaining. You can set it and forget it, and you only really need to look at it after an accident.

For more information or to buy the VSTARCAM dash camera please click here or ask us a question down below.

Cheap, Average Quality, Good Usability
  • 91%
    Design - 91%
  • 90%
    Performance - 90%
  • 85%
    Quality - 85%
  • 94%
    Usability - 94%
  • 91%
    Value - 91%
90%

Summary

The VSTARCAM dash cam is an inexpensive camera with most features you’d want. Easy to setup and mount, includes loop recording, and automatically turns on / off as you turn your car on or off. I wasn’t blown away with the overall quality, but hey, it’s cheap and it does what it’s designed to do. If you need something basic as a way to protect against insurance fraud or protect yourself in the event of an accident this is an inexpensive way to do it.