The Nextbase 222 Dash Cam is impressive because it packs in a generous feature set and good-quality video results, all for a budget price. It’s easy to install, thanks to the combination of a self-adhesive pad and magical magnetic mount for quick removal, and even easier to use. It can be powered by simply plugging it into your car’s 12V socket or hardwired in using an optional kit. If you need a quick dash cam fix or simply want to try one before upgrading to something more substantial, the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam gets the job done.
1080p Full HD
Intelligent parking mode
No rear camera option
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There’s no shortage of options when it comes to buying one of the best dash cams on the market, and you can get one to suit any budget. However, it’s always worth spending a little bit more to get a dash cam with a beefy set of features and functions as standard. The Nextbase 222 Dash Cam is the latest in a long line of products from this leading dash cam innovator, and it’s definitely not light on highlights, which is even more impressive given this model comes with a budget price tag.
There’s 1080p Full HD video at 30fps, a high-definition 6.4cm/2.5-inch screen with 732 x 240 pixels resolution, and Nextbase’s natty Click&Go Pro magnetic mount. It’s easy to use and delivers top results. Overall, then, the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam looks like a good bet, though, one potential downside is the lack of GPS, so you don’t get a location stamp should an incident occur. Nextbase already scores highly with the TechRadar dash cam team – its Nextbase 622GW is still one of the best dash cam models you can buy. So how does the budget-friendly 222 model fare?
As it turns out, this forward-facing model is ideally suited to anyone who wants a quick dash cam solution and doesn’t want to spend any amount of time setting it up. Out of the box, the design is reasonably conventional with a compact body (8.18 x 4,6 x 4.6cm) finished in black plastic, a screen at the back, some function buttons on either side, and ports for the power cable and a microSD card – ours came with a 32GB Nextbase one in the box. The screen doesn’t have touch functionality, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem as you configure it for first-time use.
The Nextbase 222 Dash Cam is a relatively recent addition to the Nextbase product portfolio but it sits in the line-up very snugly. It’s available now from Amazon and currently costs $89 / £62. As always, it’s worth keeping an eye out for dash cam deals or voucher offers, where you might find the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam discounted a little.
There’s also a Nextbase 222X Front and Rear wireless cam model too, if you need all bases covered. While this model works perfectly fine plugged into a 12V socket, you might also want to get a hardwire kit, which can be purchased separately from Amazon.
One of the other notable features of the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam is its lens, which protrudes from the front of the unit, providing a 140-degree field of view. Admittedly, there’s a sensor that captures 1920 x 1080, but, like most middle-of-the-road models, this is more than enough to meet most everyday needs from a dash cam.
Another bonus with this model is its Click&Go Pro mount. You still need to stick the mount to the windscreen using the ubiquitous 3M self-adhesive pad, but the magnetic Click&Go mount, which is surprisingly powerful, then lets you unclip the camera if you want to remove it. Removing the camera makes it easier to get the card in and out if you wish to review footage on a separate device or laptop. Plugging the power cable in before docking it also makes sense.
There are some notable compromises from this entry-level dash cam, though. No GPS functionality means there’s no great detail on recorded videos, which can sometimes be crucial if you’re unlucky enough to be involved in an incident. There's no rear-facing option for this setup and no port on this unit to add one from the Nextbase range, so if you don't want to do without you'll need to spend a little more to get a model with both forward and rear-facing functionality.
Aside from that, though, the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam is perfectly serviceable. Setting it up is very quick – all you really need to do is check that the date and time details are correct. You can edit settings using the buttons around the screen edge, and the quick start guide settings are handy for getting the gist of things.
The red button at the base of the screen is a one-touch option should you want to quickly preserve something on video as a standalone clip. There’s even a parking mode that can capture any unwanted bumps in a car park, thanks to an integrated g-sensor.
With the camera plugged in and powered up, embarking on our first journey revealed that the Nextbase 222 is a fuss-free unit that requires little in the way of assistance – it just gets on with the job. A pulsing red light on the screen shows the camera is recording, and the footage displayed in the screen window looks fine and dandy. There are time and date details shown in yellow at the foot of the view and while these aren’t the smoothest graphics you’ll ever see they do the job.
Of course, the main thing with any dash cam is the quality of the results should you need them following an incident. We tried the Nextbase 222 over a period of time where the great British weather supplied a cocktail of conditions. That made it perfect for testing and, overall, this dash cam performs as well as you’d expect from a trusted brand like Nextbase.
The lens and sensor combination is very capable and fares well in a variety of scenarios – dawn and dusk footage looks well-rounded even when the light is reasonably poor. After dark results are pleasing too. Even in harsh sunlight with cloudless skies, the Nextbase 222 dash cam is more than acceptable. For the money, it is hard to fault on the performance front.
Should you buy the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam?
Buy it if...
You want a low-budget dash cam
The Nextbase 222 Dash Cam might have a budget price but at the same time, it's got most of the things you'll need to be covered. The video recording and quality are efficient and of good quality, plus installation is a cinch.
You want fairly basic features
Not all of us want or need all of the bells and whistles, such as GPS and rear-facing lenses. In that respect, the no-frills functionality of the Nextbase 222 makes it perfect for people who, say, switch cars regularly and need quick dash cam cover.
You need a single camera
You'll have to spend a little more to get a front and rear-facing dash cam model. However, if you're adamant front-facing is all you'll need the Nextbase 222 makes a lot of sense. It does a perfect job of capturing the road ahead.
Don't buy it if...
You want a top specification
The Nextbase 222 sports a 140-degree field of view and has a few tricks up its sleeve, like the Click& Go Pro magnetic mount and smart parking sensor. However, it has some shortcomings, like no GPS, meaning less information is available to support an incident. Spend more to get more.
You're in need of complexity
Some of us love the features and functions of more complex tech, which is usually more expensive too. The Nextbase 222 is just the opposite as it's so simple to set up and use. If you're looking for a dash cam bristling with additional options, the Nextbase 222 isn't going to be for you.
How I tested the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam
- One-week of daily use
- A variety of journeys
- Extended recording
The great thing about the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam is that it can be used by anyone, with no installation skills. I chose to plug it into the 12V socket in my car using the supplied cable while evaluating the on-screen controls and app options.
Video footage was recorded on a variety of journeys, from short commutes to longer trips. Road conditions and surfaces were also used to compare footage for things like clarity, resolution, and overall quality. Testing in the latter half of the year means the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam could be evaluated for the way it handled different light conditions, including dark early mornings and inclement weather.
Performance was also evaluated over long periods of recording time, to ensure the Nextbase 222 Dash Cam was happy with being on for protracted periods without overheating or malfunctioning.
- First reviewed October 2023
Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.