Field of view: 170°
Display: 3” LCD
Budget dash cams with a similar chassis to the Apeman C450 can be found by the bucketload. However, the design of this one pips others in its class.
With decent day recording and a solid display, the C450 might seem ideal for bargain hunters. However, one fatal flaw is its night time recording, with a sensor that’s just not cut out for low light conditions.
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Price and availability
You can buy the Apeman C450 on Amazon for $39.99
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Design & features
The Apeman C450 features a familiar compact camera design, aped by what feels like hundreds of other dash cam rivals. It’s a solid design effort with its jet black looks and metallic textured grip on the lens cylinder.
On the back, you’ve got a nice, wide 3-inch display, although the bezel width isn’t quite symmetrical, which might vex some. Even so, I was pleasantly surprised by the onboard display, with colors captured correctly and in a decent screen resolution.
In the features department, there isn’t much apart from the basics.
Collision detection automatically saves and protects footage of a crash or incident thanks to its onboard G-sensor. Also included is a round-the-clock parking mode, which records any motion or incidents the unit detects. Like most dash cams, though, this feature requires hardwiring the unit into your vehicle’s power supply
One function that I’ve not come across before in a dash cam is its low light warning indicator. It audibly warns you when the sensor doesn’t register enough light, prompting you to turn on your headlights.
However, I found this was way too sensitive to be useful at nighttime, with the unit incessantly beeping at me anytime I wasn’t driving through areas with bountiful artificial light (and I promise I had my headlights on) — making it one to turn off in the settings.
There’s also no Bluetooth and WiFi, meaning you’ll need to remove the unit or microSD card to extract any footage you need.
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Setup
The Apeman C450 gives you two options for mounting the device: sticky or suction mount, of which I used the latter.
The unit slides into a bracket on the mount, offering a reasonably robust hold, although it does put up a bit of a fight when you come to remove it.
Setup was a bit of a chore, thanks to a near nonexistent battery that needs connecting to a power supply. And there’s no GPS, meaning no automatic time and date updates. Additionally, the buttons could have been labeled more clearly — it’s a struggle to remember which one saves and protects your current recording if you need it.
However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention there’s a host of settings to play with, particularly with its photo mode, which includes adjustments for ISO sensitivity, resolution, burst mode, white balance, anti-shake, and exposure. Some might regard this as overkill for a dash cam, but it’s handy to have all the same.
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Video and audio quality
The Apeman C450 holds its own in daylight settings. Colors come out well, with sufficient clarity even at distance. As with many budget models, light contrast can be an issue, particularly when driving against sunlight, creating a dark picture of the road.
Unfortunately, after sundown comes the horror show. There are vast swathes of darkness that creep into sections of the footage without a streetlight or headlight assist. It often creates a tunnel vision effect, so it’s possible the C450 could miss out on important details or events occurring at the periphery. I honestly haven’t seen a dash cam image sensor work so lazily at night before.
When it comes to audio, quality is passable, though the unit does pick up a reasonable amount of road noise, meaning you often need to fight to hear voices. Not good, but not bad, either.
Apeman C450 dash cam review: Verdict
There’s a fair bit to like with the Apeman C450. It offers decent daytime recording, solid display, and a powerful camera mode, all bundled into a nicely designed and affordable unit.
However, its night mode is a major letdown, which could crucially miss important details during low-light recording. As such, it’s tough to overlook such a glaring gap in what this dash cam can offer.