The APEMAN C450A is very inexpensive, but otherwise just can't compete with the current field of dash cams available. In our testing, all of its footage had an odd hue that made colors look unnatural, and we often ran into significant clarity issues that made things like reading license plates quite difficult. Though the $45 price tag is certainly attractive, we would implore anyone looking for a budget dash cam to check out the $50 YI Dash instead. For just $5 more it offers significant improvement over the APEMAN C450A's video quality and overall usability.
APEMAN C450A Review
Cons: Odd blue hue on all footage, slightly larger visual footprint
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The inexpensive APEMAN C450A has too many drawbacks when compared to similarly priced dash cams to earn a recommendation from us.
The APEMAN C450A, while not a terrible camera, failed to impress us in any of our tests, relegating it towards the bottom of our overall scoreboard
All of the footage we captured with the APEMAN C450A in our testing had come significant issues, whether it be clarity, color, or saturation. Accordingly it earned one of the lowest scores in this metric.
During the day the APEMAN C450A lends an odd, orangish tint to most footage, making it somewhat reminiscent of old movies from the 1950's. Despite having a slightly narrower field of view than many of our top picks at 150˚, we noticed more fisheye distortion with the APEMAN C450A than with any other camera. In fact, watching footage of a car going around a bend can be a bit disorienting. Finally, despite sporting 1080p resolution, this cameras footage looks much more block and pixelated than any of the other cameras we tested. These things combined make it fairly difficult to do things like read other cars' license plates. You almost have to be stopped behind a car at a stoplight in order to get a readable shot of a license plate with the APEMAN C450A.
All of these problems are only exacerbated at night, with the resolution seeming to get worse and the camera having lots of issues with the contrast of dark skies and bright street lights. We often found times where the camera would allow the image to be completely washed out by a bright light for a full 10 seconds or more before it finally switched its camera settings to somewhat rectify the issue. This resulted in many instances where even when parked right behind a car at a stoplight we couldn't make out its license plate. For just $5 more the YI Dash offers a camera that is orders of magnitude better and mostly or completely rectifies all of these issues.
The APEMAN C450A offers a fairly basic video capture package. Like all of the models we selected for testing, it both automatically starts recording when you start your car, and has multiple user reviewers vouching for the fact that its G-sensor is effective in detecting crashes and other driving mishaps. Once the APEMAN C450A detects an event it protects the current clip from being overwritten. You can set those clip lengths to 3, 5, or 10 minutes. That's a nice suite of options, and is a bit better than the YI Dash, which only has a 3-minute setting. However, the APEMAN does not have any sort of built-in Wi-Fi network like the YI does, so you can't wirelessly send clips to your phone.
The APEMAN struggling to adjust to challenging lighting conditions.
The APEMAN has a very large 3-inch screen and 3 buttons on the side of the camera for navigating menus and changing settings. Overall this setup leads to a fairly pleasant user experience when it comes to managing and viewing footage and changing all of the camera's presets. However, we feel like the YI Dash's menus are a bit more intuitively designed, and the 2.7-inch screen doesn't really feel any smaller than APEMAN's.
The APEMAN's visual presence is definitely noticeable, but not aggressively so. Its design dictates that it be placed near the rearview mirror. This is more conspicuous than models that can hide in the corner of the dashboard, but we doubt most people would take issue with it. The rearview mirror also tends to block most of the rather large suction cup mount from view, which is a plus. Overall the APEMAN is unlikely to distract or annoy most drivers, but if you really can't stand any sort of visual impairment on your windshield, you may want to look at the super slim design of the AUKEY DR02.
While the APEMAN C450A is very inexpensive at just $45, it falls short of the mark in many areas. If you're shopping on a budget we think the $50 YI Dash is a much better product and much better use of your funds.
The APEMAN C450A is enticingly cheap, but in most respects you get what you pay for. There are certainly better budget dash cam options on the market.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata