The Nextbase IQ is our favorite dashcam, and it just got even better thanks to a free update that adds voice control and more

Nextbase iQ
(Image credit: Future)

We think the Nextbase iQ is the best dash cam you can buy 2024 and it just got better thanks to a major firmware update, available to Nextbase 'Protect' and 'Protect Plus' subscribers. 

The 'smart' dash cam was launched in late 2023 with new, never-before-seen features. Unfortunately, many of those features, including Guardian Mode and Pico Voice, would only be added later down the line – that time has finally come.

Labelled a 'smart' dash cam, the Nextbase iQ is one of the priciest dash cams on the market, but its appeal is clear – unlike most dash cams it has a 4G connection and can be updated with new features, thus future-proofing the device and further extending its capabilities. 

In addition to the three new features below, Nextbase has also launched a new Rear Camera specifically for the iQ, equipped with 2.7K video (1440p) and a 140-degree field of view, complete with iQ-matching design. At the time of writing, we only have the UK launch price of the iQ's Rear Camera, which is £149 (around $190 / AU$290).

At launch, the iQ felt like a revolutionary product in what has otherwise recently been a fairly stagnant dash cam market. However, its hardware, though impressive, was nothing to write home about, and there was no guarantee that its exciting future features would ever materialize.

Now Nextbase has come good on its word by adding three new features, as well as a new Rear Camera to round off what is a now-complete hardware package: a Nextbase iQ with new Rear Camera can cover a total of 450-degrees when you take into account the cabin camera built into the iQ.

Nextbase iQ

(Image credit: Future)

Those new iQ features are Guardian Mode, Pico Voice and Enhanced Smart Sense Parking.

Users can remotely set personalized restrictions and get updates using Guardian Mode. For example, should your vehicle be used by a friend or family member, or left with a mechanic or valet, Guardian Mode can monitor speed and heavy braking, plus set location boundaries. 

Pico Voice – previously Push to Talk – is a smart assistant feature, allowing you to ask the Nextbase iQ to get directions, find parking, play music, place calls, check the weather and so on, as well as control smart home devices, all while you keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Voice commands are processed locally on the device, while video is stored encrypted on the cloud.

Finally, Enhanced Smart Sense Parking enables users to toggle on or off remote alerts initiated by Nextbase’s proprietary radar-based Spatial-awareness technology. These notifications, which alert the user to threats breaching a certain radius around the vehicle, are especially helpful as they allow the user to monitor, engage and even take proactive measures to deal with an incident before it happens.

Nextbase iQ app

(Image credit: Future)

As one of the only dash cams to include a 4G connection, the Nextbase iQ can offer remote features such as auto uploads to the cloud should you suffer an incident, plus the new Guardian Mode feature.

The downside is that to make the most of the iQ you'll need a monthly subscription plan – indeed, the new features are only available to ‘Protect’ and ‘Protect Plus’ subscribers.

However, you're rarely thinking clearly in the aftermath of an incident, and a smart dash cam like the iQ that does the hard work for you with remote uploads and control, could prove invaluable. The fact that new features are being added only strengthens its appeal, if you can get past the ongoing costs.

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Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.