Tuesday 22 September 2015

Cobra CDR 840 E HD Dash Cam Review

When I was given the chance to review a shiny new HD dashcam from Cobra, how could I refuse? The HD picture is incredibly clear, even in low light, and it has night vision! It removes easily from your vehicle, is neat and small, and it looks good.

This is Manchester. To get just about anywhere you go on the M60, and heaven help you if you need to travel across the country, because then your option is the 'ever-slow-due-to-an-accident' M62. There's a fair bit of traffic, a lot of impatience, and you see a lot more accidents than you'd like.

After many years of living in Manchester and several of our own non-fault accidents where people couldn't spot a 3 ton van, or assumed we would (and could) casually move out of the way of their car when they drove into our lane, we invested in a dashcam.

Sadly this was too late to catch the man in comedy Hawaiian shorts who leapt out into the road to gesticulate wildly at us for no reason that we nor anyone around us could work out. Clearly I missed out on my £250 from You've Been Framed.

Our old dashcam would never have made us a fortune on You Tube though. The clarity was good enough for the reg plate of the car immediately ahead, and would be useful in the event of an accident but it was blurry and looked a bit like it was underwater. With our new Cobra HD dashcam however, the difference is huge...

The Cobra CDR 840 E has a full HD experience, recording in 1080P. As you can see from the co-ordinates on the footage we took this Summer, it has a built-in GPS to give an exact location, and it can even simulcast your precise location on Google maps along with the video. Time is also recorded, and coupled with the GPS this gives speed.

The Cobra Dash Cam also has a G Sensor, which will senses sudden acceleration and collisions to capture and protect that footage - so the Cobra Dash Cam footage is perfect for your insurance company and should give excellent evidence in the event of an accident. Such excellent evidence in fact that some insurers (including Adrian Flux) will give a discount to drivers who have this camera in their vehicle.

Included in the box are an In-Vehicle Charger, Mini USB to USB Cable and an 8GB MicroSD Card which will record over 2 hours footage. The CDR 840 E will support up to 32GB, which will give over 8 hours record time at 1080P. Recording is by continuous loop, so once the card is full it returns to the start and records over the previous footage from the beginning, always recording over the oldest footage.

The camera specification as given on the Cobra website are as follows:
  • Dimension - 60mm x 99mm x 38mm
  • Resolution - 1080p Full HD
  • Viewing Angle - 118°
  • Display Screen - 1.5″
  • 8GB Micro SD Card
You can also tell from the video that the Cobra CDR 840 E has a built-in microphone which captures sound very well. You can hear the radio and people within the vehicle talking, but also road noise and people outside the vehicle. We'd all like to think that everyone can be civil after an accident, but it's just not the case, and audio recordings can be just as valuable as visual.

The dash cam is very easy to install, although the cable only just reaches around the large windscreen in our van from our cigarette lighter socket, I'd have preferred it another 6 inches longer. The suction cup and plugged cable allow for rapid removal if you don't want to leave it in the vehicle, or need to access the video.

The software to view your videos on a PC is free to download, and saving clips is really simple. The Dash Cam itself is simplicity to set up and use,and just needs plugging in to switch it on. Reviewing footage directly on the Dash Cam screen itself is as easy as using any simple digital camera.

The Cobra CDR 840 E HD Dash Cam currently retails at £129.99 and for peace of mind it's brilliant. Every time someone cuts you up or pulls out, it's people you worry about first and not metal or a long insurance claim, which is the way it should be.

We've been using our dash cam for over 2 months now and it hasn't let us down at all. Even when we've accidentally left it on overnight it hasn't drained the battery, and as far as can be seen, it hasn't missed a beat. Thankfully we haven't yet had any accidents to have to use the camera to full effect - even though it would have made an incredibly interesting review!

We were sent the Cobra CDR 840 E HD Dash Cam for review.


  1. This actually looks like loads of fun, I've always wanted a dash cam and OBVIOUSLY the insurance type reasons are great to have one too! x

    1. Yeah - saving 15% on your car insurance is a big bonus!!! I just wished I'd caught the guy in the Hawaiian shorts! :D

  2. A very good review I'm thinking of getting one for hubby as he loves his gadgets and think he will like one of these but wasnt sure what one to get but this looks excellent thank you


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