Vantrue Element 2 Review by mighty gadget

I haven’t reviewed a dashcam since 2019, so I have been a bit out of the loop with dashcam technology and the brands out there.  

Vantrue was formed back in 2015, and they have quickly established itself as one of the best dash cam brands on the market.

They have an extensive range of options, with around 14 models spread across five ranges. The Element 2 sits somewhere in the mid-to-high end of the ranges. The E3 sits above this and has three cameras, with the third recording in the cabin.

Unlike some of the Vantrue models and competing brands, this has built-in GPS (rather than an optional module), so by default, all the footage that is recorded is also plotted against a map, showing exactly where an event happens and at what speed.

[amazon box=”B0B68SW8FL”]

Specification

  • Smart Voice Controlled Front & Rear Dashcam with WiFi
  • 2.45-inch display with drop- and scratch-proof 2.5D glass screen.
  • Sony Starvis IMX335 5M recording at 2596@30 FPS for the front
  • Rear camera with Sony sensor records 1944P 30FPS
  • Front + rear dual recording mode: 1944P+1944P 24FPS Max
  • Single Front Recording Mode: 2592x1944P 30FPS Max
  • 160-degree field of view
  • Remote control for one-touch snapshot, emergency video even, audio on/off
  • Voice control
  • GPS with (latitude and longitude), driving speed, and route.
  • Collision detection
  • 24-hour parking mode with 4 modes (requires extra hardware)
  • Supercapacitor for extreme temperature protection
  • 5G WiFi for quick wireless video downloads
  • Loop recording
  • Optional CPL filter to reduce glare
  • Magnetic assist mount on the front
  • 3M adhesive mounting

Design

There is not much to say about the design that the photos don’t show. It feels like a well-made dashcam. The main dashcam has a mount that the power goes into, and it then slides on.

The navigation on the camera is done using the buttons on the bottom, and it is easy enough to work out, but you are better off connecting via WiFi and changing the settings via the app.

Vantrue Element 2 Review display3

Installation

Vantrue Element 2 Review by mighty gadget Instructions

I installed this myself, and it is safe to say that my DIY and practical skills are useless. It is not particularly difficult to do, but you need to work out the best way to route the cables neatly.

In my old and cold Vauxhall Corsa, I have always had a nightmare mounting things due to the cold, damp surfaces. The suction cup mounts always come loose, but this has 3M for both the front and rear cameras making the mounting much more secure (and semi-permanent).

Like most dual cameras, you have the power cable which runs into the cigarette lighter socket, then an extra-long (and thick) USB-C to USB-C cable which connects the front and rear camera.

The rear camera was the most fiddly, and the cable is very long, so you need to spend some time tidying it up and work out a way to route it from the front to the rear. I routed it above the windows, but in hindsight, the cable is so long I could run it back down to the floor and then up again.

The rear camera also dropped off with the first installation, I think the weight of the cable pulled it off, so I’d install the camera and leave it for a while to adhere properly.

App

You use the app to connect directly to the camera and download the footage. You need to stop the camera recording before you can connect.

With the app connected, you can change all the settings that are available. This includes setting the resolution, loop length, exposure, WDR, low light settings, and more.

You can also set your number plate to watermark the footage.

In the main display, you will see the camera view, and from here, you can also go into recorded events. These are categorised into automatic event recordings, the looped video footage and any stills you have taken.

The 3 minute loops are about 300MB each, while the events vary in length. Thanks to the 5GHz WiFi, transferring the files doesn’t take too long.

Video Quality

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I rarely drive at night, so don’t have much low-light footage, but the daytime performance is as good as you would expect. It is certainly better than any dashcam I have reviewed in the past.

I’d say the brightness is dialled up a bit much with the default settings, but if you dial this down within app. Dialling down the brightness a touch helped number plates become more readable.

Event Playback with GPS – Mobile and Windows App

Vantrue Player KWCMZFBa9l

The stand-out feature of this camera is the built-in GPS, which then adds location speed data to the MP4 file. Then when you use the Vantrue mobile or Windows app to view the footage, you are shown the footage with the route and position of the car also plotted against a good map. The Windows application also shows a large dial showing the current speed then data on average speed and max speed. The video itself also shows the current speed.

That potentially could backfire on you, but assuming you are driving sensibly, you get as much information as possible to prove your innocence in the event of a crash.

Price and Alternative Options

[amazon box=”B0B68SW8FL”]

The Vantrue Element 2 is listed on Amazon UK for £200, and at the time of writing, there was a £28 off voucher.

Vantrue also has the S1 that has 4K up front and 1080P on the rear for £160.

There is also the N4 3 Channel, which has three cameras. The front and rear have 1440P then there is an inside camera running at 1080P. Again, you have GPS, WiFi, and most of the other features the Vantrue cameras have.

Thinkware has the X1000 for £200, which uses the same Sony Starvis IMX335 Image Sensor and has 2K QHD 1440p for the front and rear. This seems to lack a built-in GPS or WiFi.

The Thinkware U1000 is £380, but this has 4K on the front and 2K on the rear with WiFi and GPS.

Miofive has the Dash Cam Dual for £250 with 4K / 2K front and rear, GPS, and WiFi.

Nextbase has the 522GW at £150 with an optional £70 rearview camera. This is 1440P and has GPS and WiFi.

Overall

I have been impressed with the Vantrue Element 2, it does everything I want from a dash cam. The front and rear camera is important to me. The recorded footage is good quality, it captures events automatically, it is easy to download the footage and I love the GPS mapping.

Pricing seems to be competitive. I don’t have much experience with recent dashcams, but this appears to offer a good specification for the price. There is nothing I found that specifically stands out better than this for a similar price point.

Vantrue Element 2 Dual Dashcam Review Rating
  • Overall - 90%
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Summary

I have been impressed with the Vantrue Element 2, it does everything I want from a dash cam. The front and rear camera is important to me. The recorded footage is good quality, it captures events automatically, it is easy to download the footage and I love the GPS mapping.

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