The Nextbase iQ is a Google Nest-style dash cam with clever AI smarts

The Nextbase iQ dash cam on a blue background
(Image credit: Nextbase)
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If you’ve been looking for a cloud-connected dash cam that combines 4K recording with Google Nest-style security features, the Nextbase iQ could be your next big car upgrade.

The iQ will be a triple-camera setup that can record both inside and outside your vehicle. The view in front will be recorded in 4K, while the rear and cabin views will be in 1440p. But this all-seeing eye’s special sauce will be its new AI-powered features, including ‘Spatial Awareness’ (for recording incidents when you’re away from the car) and ‘Roadwatch AI’, which will be able to monitor the speed and trajectories of other vehicles.

The only downside? The Nextbase iQ won’t be available until Autumn 2022, which for those in the southern hemisphere means somewhere between September and the end of November. That’s quite a long wait for the dash cam, but Nextbase thinks the iQ is going to be worth the wait.

The Nextbase 622GW currently tops the charts in our guide to the best dash cams, but the iQ is going to bring a host of new features that aren’t available on that flagship model. Alongside those AI-powered features, the iQ will also offer real-time cloud uploads (via both Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity) and a new dedicated app for real-time alerts and checking your vehicle’s video feed from afar.

This means the iQ will offer similar functionality to a home security camera like the Google Nest Cam, along with the real-time video analysis that can warn you of nearby threats and capture footage that could prove useful in the event of an accident.

Other features will include voice control, GPS tracking and a ‘Vehicle Aware’ system that will apparently warn you of dangers from other cars or pedestrians in front of your vehicle. These join existing features that we’ve seen in previous Nextbase dash cams, like the subscription-based ‘Emergency SOS’ feature for automatically alerting the emergency services with your location after an accident.

There’s no price for the Nextbase iQ yet, but given the range of features we can expect it to cost more than the Nextbase 622GW (£249 / $319.99 / AU$549.99) when it arrives in the third quarter of 2022.


Analysis: AI camera tech meets the humble dash cam

The sides of the Nextbase iQ dash cam

(Image credit: Nextbase)

With many modern cars from the likes of BMW, Tesla and Citreon now including built-in dash cameras, Nextbase is clearly keen to take the tech in its third-party options to the next level – and that’s what it appears to have done with the iQ.

This has been possible thanks to what Nextbase is calling a new AI-capable chipset, which should allow the iQ to receive updates via the cloud. The downside of this new chip, though, is that we’ll have to wait a while to see whether the iQ lives up to its claims. Hopefully that Autumn 2022 release date won’t get pushed back further by the global chip shortage.

Still, on paper, the iQ certainly sounds like a compelling combination of a Google Next-style security camera for your car and a smart assistant for capturing accident-based videos. We’ve previously been impressed by the quality of Nextbase’s low-light video quality, which can help you pick out number plates in challenging weather, and that’s again been promised on the iQ.

But it’s the iQ’s apparent ability to automatically anticipate incidents, whether you’re in the vehicle or away from it, that sounds like a particularly useful upgrade compared to simpler dash cams. Combine that with voice-activated recording and a ‘live view’ mode for tuning into its cameras and you have a potentially compelling accessory, particularly for older vehicles that may lack in-car smarts.

Whether or not these features all work as well as Nextbase claims is something we look forward to discovering when the iQ lands later this year.

Mark Wilson
Senior news editor

Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.