Dash cameras are growing in popularity because they’re an excellent way to give yourself some insurance if you ever get into an accident. Wondering why you should get a dash camera or what dash cameras can do? Click here to read our article that answers those questions.
As part of our series on dash cameras, we’re checking out some of the top brands. Papago is one of them, and guest blogger Ron Leung had a chance to try one of their cameras for a month. This is his review. -Erin
Papago GoSafe 760 has two cameras
As a brand new dash cam user, it’s been exciting to learn what the technology can do. I’ve never used a standalone dash cam before so testing the camera was a bit of a challenge setting up. I’ll get to that soon, but to begin with, the Papago GoSafe 760 is what I’d call a “middle of the road” dash camera. I call it “middle of the road” because it’s not quite entry level nor is it the most advanced dash cam on the market. This particular unit comes with two cameras; one for mounting in front, and another to watch behind you.
The GoSafe 760 is better than entry level cameras since it features 1080p HD resolution, a 140° wide angle lens in front, and 1080p 120° wide angle lens in the rear. It’s also loaded with Papago’s exclusive Driver Assist Features like Stop Sign Recognition and Driver Fatigue Alarm. Another notable feature is the GoSafe’s built-in gravity sensor which automatically saves the file in the event of a collision.
The GoSafe 760 mounts in the car using a suction cup, but it’s got a handy button which allows you to slightly tilt the lens without having to fully remove the unit. This is actually a good feature because I found that the more you move the suction mount around, the more it becomes unstuck.
Setting up Papago GoSafe 760
Even though I fancy myself a handy guy who loves a good challenge, the physical setup of the Papago GoSafe was a bit of a pain. This isn’t a reflection on the makers of the GoSafe 760. I think my problems would have resulted from any dash cam installation.
My first mistake was attempting to use double sided tape for the cables. Although it seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time, I found that after a few days in the hot sun and then cool evenings, the tape would fail and you would have cables drooping down.
I luckily stumbled on 3M Self-Adhesive cable clips which give you a way to clip the cables in while running them along the windshield. They are easily found on sites like Amazon (about $8 for 20 clips). It’s a heck of a deal and will save you a huge headache. They are also easily removed in case you need to replace your windshield because of a flying rock… luckily you captured that on video right? (Here’s a link to the clips I used.)
The clips are also a must in my opinion, since the GoSafe runs both a front and rear camera which of course means you will have two sets of cables running around the edges of your windshield. If you’re reluctant to have your cables showing at all you could of course tuck them into the panels of your car but I recommend having an expert do this before you start taking apart your interior.
Once you have the camera setup and your ducks in a row, the GoSafe is fairly intuitive and simple to use. There aren’t many buttons on the unit which actually makes operation very simple.
Papago GoSafe 760 has no Wi-Fi
To be fair, the modest price of the camera does offset the absence of wireless file transfers. Upon testing the unit I did find having to transfer the card from the camera, into an included adapter then onto my laptop/desktop to be a bit of a nuisance. But that’s only because we’ve been conditioned to enjoy the wonders of wireless sharing.
A situation where this might be a problem is if you wanted to save an incident or send it to the authorities. With this unit, you’d have to remove the card, find a nearby computer and hopefully remember to replace the card with a backup (the unit does prompt you to insert a card if one is missing).
Another drawback of having to constantly remove the tiny micro SD card is the risk of damaging the card. If you had potentially irreplaceable footage that was captured – breaking or losing the card is a potential disaster. You know how delicate those little cards are especially when you insert the darn thing upside down which I did several times!
Papago GoSafe 760 has excellent video quality
These are all of course minor inconveniences and shouldn’t overshadow the GoSafe’s greatest strength which is solid video quality. Again there are other high end cameras which produce better pictures but if you’re just looking for a little insurance and to capture things like terrible drivers and nice sunsets, the GoSafe is more than sufficient.
But if you’re counting on getting fine details,like making out the license plate of offending vehicles or trying to prove that you saw Beyonce walking around your neighbourhood, I wouldn’t depend on the GoSafe. The GoSafe 760 will still provide a good image but details are hit and miss depending on lighting and time of day of course.
Night vision, parking alert limited in Papago GoSafe 760
Another slight drawback is the lack of night vision capability of the GoSafe. Although the camera does perform well in low light, if you are someone who frequently drives at night I would strongly consider a camera with actual night vision capabilities.
I also have to point out the GoSafe’s inability to record while your vehicle is parked and powered off. I was reluctant to note this as a flaw because it’s merely my personal preference. If you wish to have a camera that has this ability, you of course need a constant power source which involved a much more complicated setup. There are higher end cameras which have motion sensors and built in batteries, but they also cost about twice as much.
Papago GoSafe 760 reminds you, er nags you?
The GoSafe does have a few features that may or not be helpful depending on who you are. The camera will give you audible reminders for things like stop signs and turning your lights. While these may be helpful for some, I found them annoying and nagging.
GoSafe 760 performs OK in low light
Once on the road, the GoSafe performed well in dim lighting in an underground parkade. As mentioned earlier, there isn’t a night vision feature, however good street or LED lighting should suffice for most people and driving with your lights on at night really helps too.
Papago GoSafe 760 records files in universal format
As for the recordings, the nice thing about the GoSafe is the files are saved as mp4 files rather than a propriety format so they should be viewed easily with most common media players.
Micro SD card included
All files are saved to a microSD card which Papago does include. However since the average file is between 300 – 500mbs, the included 32GB card does fill up quickly. I noticed that the files started to overwrite themselves after about a week. My recommendation is spending $30 for a 128GB card from Amazon just to give you some breathing room. Don’t toss out that 32GB card though, since it’s a good idea to have a spare card for when you take out the card to load onto your computer.
Another piece of advice: don’t cheap out on that extra microSD card. I thought I’d be cleaver and buy a super cheap one that claimed to be class 10 but it wouldn’t format in the unit. I spent the few extra bucks on a more reputable SanDisk MicroSd and it worked fine.
Overall review of Papago GoSafe 760 dash camera
Overall I’ve been pleased with the GoSafe’s performance so far. The instruction manual is very basic, and I ran into an issue where the unit wasn’t powering off when the engine was disengaged, forcing me to manually kill the power via the power button. Customer service wasn’t able to troubleshoot it for us, and it’s still happening intermittently, so we’ll have to figure that one out.
What sets the GoSafe apart from other lower end cameras is the dual camera feature. There are many higher end cameras which do not offer dual cameras so this was a definite bonus.
I would recommend this camera for anyone looking for an affordable camera that falls in the “just in case” category. If you are looking to frequently post and review videos this might not be the camera for you. Also if you are concerned about somebody breaking into your car, a reminder that the unit only works when the car is running.
The GoSafe is available from Best Buy and Amazon for about $220-250CAD.
PAPAGO GoSafe 760 Dual Lens Dash Cameras, Black (GS76032G)