Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual Review
Pros: Great video quality, second cab-facing camera
Cons: Expensive, relatively bulky
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Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual
$169.99 at Amazon
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|Pros||Great video quality, second cab-facing camera||Very good video quality, relatively inexpensive, very slim profile||Great video quality, very slim visual profile||User-friendly, inexpensive||Very good video quality, small visual footprint, built-in Wi-Fi|
|Cons||Expensive, relatively bulky||No built-in Wi-Fi, no rear or interior camera||Expensive, user interface can be a bit confusing||Average video quality||Somewhat frustrating interface|
|Bottom Line||A great camera for rideshare drivers that need in-cabin footage, but probably overkill for most other people||The best performance and value for those only want to record the road in front of them and don't need a second, rear-facing camera||A great camera that costs twice as much as other models that offer very similar performance||A decent camera with a nice user interface||Top notch video and built-in Wi-Fi at a reasonable price, but you can save a lot if you're willing to make a small sacrifice in either of those categories|
|Rating Categories||Vantrue N2 Pro...||AUKEY DR02||Garmin 55||Roav A1||Rexing V1|
|Video Quality (40%)|
|Video Capture (25%)|
|Visual Footprint (10%)|
|Specs||Vantrue N2 Pro...||AUKEY DR02||Garmin 55||Roav A1||Rexing V1|
|Field of View||170 degrees||170 degrees||106 degrees||140 degrees||170 degrees|
|Event Detection G Sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Camera Dimensions||3.8" x 1.5" x 1.5"||3" x 2" x 1.5"||2.2" x 1.6" x 1.4"||3.3" x 2.2" x 1.3"||6.6" x 5" x 3.4"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
If you make some or all of your income from driving people places, whether it be in a taxi or as part of a rideshare service, we think the Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual is the perfect dash cam to provide you with solid evidence should a lawsuit or complaint be thrown your way. If you're not a taxi or rideshare driver the N2 Pro is still a great camera, but is probably overkill.
The Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual led or was near the front of the pack in nearly all of our tests. Accordingly, it earned the highest overall score of all our dash cams.
Earning the top score in this metric, the Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual was able to impress us with its footage at almost every turn. It is also one of the few models around that offers a cab-facing camera to record the driver and passengers, as well as a road-facing camera. We highly doubt anybody is going to find the N2 Pro's video lacking.
The Road-Facing Camera
The N2 Pro's front-facing camera sports an incredible 2.5k (1440p) high definition resolution. This results in very clear footage that looks like it came from one of the latest smartphones. The colors are also quite vibrant, making the footage more than worthy of posting on social media if you happen to encounter something incredible on one of your drives.
In daytime conditions, we had almost no issues with being able to clearly read license plates. Even when a car was moving fast in relation to the camera, we were almost always able to grab a still frame that yielded a readable license plate. At nighttime, the image was still crisp and vivid with the camera's ability to display a wide dynamic range even more on display. However, the camera did tend to blur fast-moving license plates a bit more at night, especially if that plate was in the vicinity of a bright street light. The camera does offer the option of reducing the resolution to 1080p HD and increasing the frame rate from 30 frames per second to 60 fps, essentially doubling the number of screen grabs from which you could potentially find a readable license plate. This definitely helps alleviate the problem, but there were some isolated incidents where we still couldn't read the plate of a car speeding quickly by. You would have to be very unlucky to end up with no footage where you could read a car's license plate, but this is the only minor weakness of the front-facing camera.
Some cameras, namely the AUKEY DR02, actually did a slightly better job of reading license plates at night, but still couldn't match the daytime quality of the N2 Pro. In normal use we doubt these minor differences in night-time performance will be very noticeable, so we wouldn't count it as a huge strike against the N2 Pro.
The Cab-Facing Camera
The N2 Pro's unique cab-facing camera provides both video and audio of the car's driver and passengers. Outside of rideshare and taxi drivers this feature probably isn't useful, but for those that do often have paying passengers in their car it can be a lifesaver in the instance that you need to seek compensation for damage done by an unruly passenger.
This camera drops the maximum resolution to 1080p, but constantly records at 60 frames per second. We found the footage to be perfectly clear and never found any instance where camera quality was what would have limited the footage's usefulness. It also has a 140˚ field of view, which is wide enough to cover the entirety of pretty much any car cabin. To top it off the camera has infrared lights and sensors, so even in complete darkness you get a usable image. Sure, these nighttime images lose a bit of the detail of their daytime counterparts, but they're still more than adequate for seeing what you and your passengers are doing.
The N2 Pro also led the scoreboard in our video capture testing, earning an impressive 9 out of 10.
Like all of the cameras we tested, we were unable to find a record of any instance when the N2 Pro's G-sensor failed to detect a crash or other incident and protect the resulting footage from being overwritten. Also like all of the other cameras we tested, the N2 Pro automatically starts recording when you tun your car on.
The N2 offers multiple options for its loop recording clip setting, including 1, 3, and 5 minutes. When its G-sensor detects an event, it will protect the current clip from being overwritten. You can choose to either use 1-minute clips that won't take up as much space on the memory card, or longer 5-minute clips that reduce the chance that an accident will occur at the end of a clip and thus have most of the action happening the next un-protected clip. We feel like these options cover pretty much any preference. Some cameras do offer longer 10-minutes clips, like the AUKEY DR02, but most lack that shorter 1-minute clip option (the Garmin 55 and Roav A1 being notable exceptions).
The N2 Pro also has the ability to create time-lapses. When creating a timelapse you can select for a photo to be taken once every 1, 5, or 10 seconds. Those photos are then played backed at 30 frames per second to create a time-lapse. This is a nice feature if you're looking to record a memento of an entire road trip, just remember that in this mode normal recording is shut off. That means if you get into an accident you'll likely only end up with 1 or 2 photos of the incident, rather than actual video.
The N2 Pro's one downside in terms of video capture is the lack of built-in Wi-Fi, so there is no way to wirelessly send video from the camera to a mobile device. However, for the rideshare drivers this camera is aimed at that probably isn't a huge deal. Professional drivers likely aren't uploading lots of video to share on social media, they probably only save footage in the event of a driving mishap. In those rare instances having to upload video off of a memory card doesn't feel like too much extra effort.
The N2 Pro has an emergency button on its face that has multiple functions. When you're driving and recording video, pressing this button will take a snapshot of what the camera is seeing and protect that photo from being overwritten. This is a unique feature, and can be helpful if you know you're right behind a car whose license plate number you need to remember.
High resolution and 2 different cameras recording continuously sound like a recipe for quickly running out of storage space. Luckily the N2 Pro accepts microSD cards of up to 256GB. Also, if you're riding without passengers you can turn off the cab-facing camera to save some space.
Despite a thoughtful design, the relatively small screen of the N2 Pro's provides a less-than-ideal experience. This combination earned it a fairly average score of 6 out of 10 in our interface testing.
The N2 Pro has 2 buttons on its face: an emergency button that is mostly used for taking snapshots, and an "OK" button. There are also 4 buttons on the bottom of the device, right below the display screen, for navigating menus. We like this layout, as when scrolling through long menus it is a bit more comfortable to pinch the body of the camera and press buttons with your thumb than it is to stab at front-facing buttons with your outstretched finger like you're fencing.
Overall we like the design of both the N2 Pro's controls and its menus. Even with its huge bevy of features and settings we never felt anything was hard to navigate to or to adjust. That being said, such big menus do feel a bit cramped on a relatively small 1.5-inch screen. In the grand scheme of things we're actually glad the screen isn't larger as it would make an already big camera even bigger, but when scrolling through long menus we did miss the larger 2.5+ inch screens of the APEMAN C450A.
With 2 cameras and loads of extra features crammed in, the N2 pro is, by necessity, much larger than most cameras. This pushed it towards the bottom of the scoreboard in our visual footprint testing.
On top of being large (the camera itself is 3.5" x 1.5"), the rear-facing camera and mounting design dictate that the N2 Pro should be placed up high on your windshield, near the rearview mirror. This more conspicuous location makes it much more noticeable than cameras that can hide away in the corner of the windshield. To top if all off, the suction cup mount is also on the larger side, though this will likely be partially or completely obscured by your mirror.
That being said, we highly doubt anyone is going to find the N2 Pro's visual footprint overly obtrusive. You'll certainly be able to notice it in your peripheral vision, but that active recognition will likely fade away quickly. However, unless you really need a cab-facing camera, we would definitely opt for something smaller like the AUKEY DR02 or the Garmin 55.
The Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual is a much larger investment than most dash cams. If you're a rideshare or taxi driver that will make use of the cab-facing camera, then that high price is completely worthwhile. However, for most drivers that don't need a cab-facing camera the AUKEY DR02 is a much better option.
The Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual is a fantastic and fully featured dash cam for rideshare and taxi drivers, but is likely overkill, both in terms of function and performance, for most people.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata