Nextbase 522GW

Paul Iddon

Active Member
Nextbase have now released the Series 2 of their acclaimed dashcams.

This review is for the 522GW model.

I have included an unboxing video for you, and I will list the tech info below.


An important and new feature is the use of Alexa to give you voice control over some of the actions.

Product Features

1440p Quad HD recording at 30 fps.

Inbuilt polarising filter to reduce windscreen reflection and glare.

HD Touch Panel Display Bright, with a 3" screen with IPS technology.

Click & Go Pro Powered Mount.

Adhesive and suction fittings.

G Sensor / File Protection (In the event of an impact the device will automatically 'protect' the recording, stopping the file from being over-written).

GPS to keep track of your journeys.

Automatic Start / Stop Technology

Intelligent Parking Mode

Built-in Microphone & Speaker.

Nextbase Cloud™ Service.

MyNextbase Connect™

Alexa Voice Control. (You will need the Alexa app installed).

Nextbase accessories to enhance your recordings, including Rear Facing Cameras.

Amberalla chipset & Sony Starvis sensor.

Installation into the car is as always, straight forward. The dashcam can be hardwired or powered by the 12v socket. The range now uses Lithium Polymer batteries (3.7V/320mAh) and intelligent battery charging with thermal cut out in the circuity – this ensures the batteries now charge at the correct rate depending on their temperature and dramatically prolongs their life. I chose to use the 3M sticky mount - I find this to be more secure in my old Ford Focus, though you can instead use the supplied suction mount. The camera connects directly onto the mount using a very strong neodymium magnetic attachment. You will see that in the video above. This is the all new Click&GO Pro mount, and is really clever how it works. Remove the small door/cover located on the front of the camera and the mount snaps into place when offered up to it.

The 522GW features an IPS LCD touchscreen, which makes accessing the menus very easy. In these menus you can set all the usual things - video length, resolution, GPS on/off, G Sensor, Intelligent Parking mode, etc. Its around 35% smaller than its precursor (the 512GW) which makes for a more discrete install.

There are various resolutions - the native one being 1440p (2K) but you can reduce this, though for me there is no reason to do so. That is unless you add one of the rear view camers via the unique modular system - you can add a rear facing lens (there are 2 versions) to allow you to look into the interior of your vehicle, or through the rear window (using a zoomed lens). If you want though, you can connect a rear cam onto the back window independently which then needs to connect to the front camera. Note however, if you add a modular camera, the resolution of the forward facing camera will record in lower resolutions - you can choose from the following:

Front Camera Rear Camera (if connected)

1440P @ 30FPS 720P @ 30FPS

1080P @ 60FPS 720P @ 30FPS

1080P @ 30FPS 1080P @ 30FPS

The 522GW also has an inbuilt polarizer, - on mine it was set to the almost perfect position out of the box, but you need to check and rotate it as needed to reduce as much reflection off your front windscreen as you can.

The new app is available on Google Play for Android {HERE} called "My Nextbase Connect". This allows you to connect your mobile phone to the camera, just follow the prompts and it should take no time at all. You will also need to download the "Alexa" app {HERE}.

With Alexa you can ask to play music, make calls, get directions, find somewhere to park, and of course, control your dashcam.

Both these apps worked fine on my brief test, so give it a go.

A brand new unique feature of the Series 2 is Nextbase Emergency SOS. If you are involved in accident, this can alert emergency services to your location. This alert sends crucial medical details (make sure you input the details of things like blood group, allergies etc). Hopefully, I will not have a need to test this out! Should this happen though the Emergency SOS system will go through a number of things to check you're okay. This would include ringing your phone. When (hopefully) you answer, the emergency alert will be cancelled. If you have the Incident Aware active, the dash cam will lock the video file and send it to your smartphone.

The GPS has been improved dramatically too - connecting now 10 times a second for faster and more accurate location finding.

You can record audio - and I have to say the microphone is exceptional. Voices, music, and with windows open, passing vehicles are loud and clear with no distortion.

Nextbase have a very comprehensive manual that you can download from their website {HERE}.

It is important that you update the firmware by downloading the latest version [HERE}.

You should also download the desktop viewer for looking at your video files - this player is only compatible with the Series 2 dashcams {HERE}. With this application, you can edit your videos - joining more than one together, annotating them, you can add titles, and change the output of the files. You can even share videos onto social media by clicking the "share video" button. I do think this software is due a tweak though, so check for updates.

My first impressions are very positive. I will soon add some road footage, both day and night, for you too see the levels of recording.

The bonus 25% discount for cheaper insurance is still available if you insure vehicle through Surething Insurance.

The details for the 522GW are available {HERE} on the Nextbase website.

One thing I asked about pre-production with Nextbase, was the colour of the GPS Speed Display. On the 612GW (and other Series 1 models which had it, the speed readout was a rather obvious yellow, so I asked about options of different colours). I'm pleased to say that the readout of the speed on the screensaver is a comfortable blue, so my thanks to the developers if my idea was taken up on this. This updated speed display is better because the satellite locks more frequently, using 2 separate systems simultaneously, so it recalculates 10 times per second (way better than at the moment on the Series 1 cams), so its updating almost immediately now.

There is so much more to get out of this camera, which I will let you discover for yourself. Half the fun is in playing around with new technology, and this dashcam is no exception. There are loads of options to change and set up in the menu pages, there is the connectivity via hi-speed wi-fi and Alexa, and of course, owning a dashcam that not only records your journeys and incidents, but a dashcam that could potentially save your life!

Paul.
 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
(Subject to editing as I find more to add!).

I have added some videos below showing daylight and night time driving.

My apologies for the dirty windscreen - it has been a while, and you can see that more at night with the flaring of lights.... oh, and maybe a hint of singing along, my bad...

I think a new windscreen would be good, or even a new car but that's a thing that won't happen, so I'll get around to cleaning the glass more often I think!

Overall, I'm happy with the quality which compares well with Viofo A119, however please bear in mind that Viofo 2K dashcam is running under a highly improved modification.

Nextbase will update the firmware I'm sure to tweak settings too for future improvements.




 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
More:



 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
A couple of examples of motorway video quality:



Paul.
 

anticlaus105

Well-known Member
I'm getting close to pulling the trigger on a dashcam. I had the viofo 129 lined up but still think it looks ugly. The Garmin 66w looks good but not much info atm. Nextbase have a big following but I've read about issues with batteries dying, so footage is lost. Has this issue been sorted with the new model?
 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
They have a new Lithium Polymer batteries (3.7V/320mAh) and intelligent battery charging with thermal cut out in the circuity so I would expect fewer issues.

Having said that, I had no issues at all with my 612GW and I have used that daily since October 2017.
 

Countjedi

Active Member
Thanks Paul, I found the review and videos very helpful and I have ordered the 522 plus the review add on.

Wardy257, what do you think of the add on? I was switching from this and a actual camera but went for the add on, but can still swap to a actual camera.

Thanks
 

Wardy257

Well-known Member
Thanks Paul, I found the review and videos very helpful and I have ordered the 522 plus the review add on.

Wardy257, what do you think of the add on? I was switching from this and a actual camera but went for the add on, but can still swap to a actual camera.

Thanks
The add on is good BUT it's on the wrong side for cars that driver on the correct side of the road.
I find the video download speed via WiFi is terrible too, max 2 m/s often in kb/s.
 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
My downloads are quite quick, certainly faster than 2m/s...
 

anticlaus105

Well-known Member
Thanks for the raw videos, it's interesting to compare. The viofo 129 duo popped up on an Amazon lightning deal and after a few near misses I decided to give it a try. Video looks similar to the 522GW footage. Sadly for every good review of a nexbase product I have read a bad review which put me off. The Viofo may not look great but I drive a volvo so it's hidden behind the intellisafe module anyway.
 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
Glad to have been some help, the A129 is a solid performer, albeit with a different feature set. I'm sure you'll do fine with it on board.

Paul.
 

Countjedi

Active Member
Just had mine installed and just setting up wifi etc, in the end I went for the actual camera to the rear window, fitted at Halfords all in £190 after discounts etc and the fact they fitted the rear for free due to a number of miss appointments. I will hopefully post some photos this week. So far very happy.
 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
Top news m8. To be fair, 2k dashcams should all perform similarly, but some do have the edge on others. Be sure to rotate the CP to relive dashboard reflections.

Paul.
 

Countjedi

Active Member
Well what started off great...

Updated the software and fitted the dash cam back in the car and it would not pick up the rear camera and it would not turn off and had frozen. Followed some advice on the net and still not right or working and it was getting very very hot (very hot to touch and hold).

Rang my local Halfords and mentioned the above an also stated it did not seem to be fitted correctly in regards to how the rear wire was run. (it was fitted at an out of town Halfords due to appointment times etc). I took it down and the fitter at my local Halfords was not happy with the standard of fitting also and he is going to rewire and refit the rear camera. The connections come loose due to the wire being tightly fitted and coming apart from the connection when I opened the boot just once thus why it would not work.

So all booked in for Tuesday evening 2nd for it to be rewired in the correct way.

I will post pics before and after so you can see how poorly it was fitted to the rear window.

It is working again which is good news
 
Last edited:

Paul Iddon

Active Member
I fitted mine myself, but the person who has done yours should certainly have done better.

Sadly some people rush jobs, this may have happened and as consequence the result soon became obvious...

Good to know they are promising to do it better for you.
 

Countjedi

Active Member
Thanks, I'm glad it went wrong within a few hours of it being installed rather than in 6 months time.

That aside I would off requested it was fitted in the correct manner once I spotted how it was installed when I opened the boot when I arrived home.
 

Countjedi

Active Member
*UPDATE *

This is how the rear camera was fitted on Sunday, which I was not that happy about.

GetAttachmentThumbnail


After a visit to the local Halfords this is what I expected
GetAttachmentThumbnail


From the front of the car
GetAttachmentThumbnail

Inside
GetAttachmentThumbnail
 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
That looks far better. Once you are happy that all works as it should, you could consider using the sticky pad to place the front cam higher up and just left of the dark area, which will hide it more.

But looking good. The video will be great from them.
 

Countjedi

Active Member
Thanks Paul,

Good idea I will play about with it over the weekend to hide it a little better.
 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
You'll have the lower res at the back, but the important one is the front. Be sure to tweak the CPL.
 

Deak

Novice Member
Thanks to Paul for the video's and advise. I have bought the 522GW and look forward to installing it on Saturday. The Nextbase App is fine. Alexa won't play ball but early days.
One thing though - on charging it up it gets so hot I nearly dropped it when I picked it up.
Then I ran it on Batteries to see how long they would last. - again it got really warm in the few minutes that it stayed on for.
Prey tell - Is this normal?
 

Paul Iddon

Active Member
Battery dashcams can run hotter than capacitor dashcams.

However, too much heat is not good if it affects the cam. Give Nextbase Support a call on 02920 866 429 where they can help.
 

Deak

Novice Member
522GW Running HOT:
Phoned support as it runs quite hot to the touch - support said a powerful system will get hot. Quite normal. Nothing to worry about and it is thermally protected.

I found it draws:
0.2 amps charging when off, at 5 volts is 1 watt
0.8 amps charging when on, at 5 volts is 4 watts
Therefor it must dissipate 3 watts in normal use so I guess that would keep it warm.
Strangely it did not seem to draw any more linked to a phone with livelink.
Helpdesk response time was about 5 minutes on a Wednesday lunch time so full marks there.
 

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