Project Description

A Dashing Dashcam
The Papago, fully loaded P3 Dashcam, is really something else. Even though there are many other dashcams on the market today, the P3 is leading the pack in the technology world. Sporting its advanced driver-assistance system, the P3 is like having a personal assistant while you’re driving. The high-definition driving camera gives everyday motorist insights into their driving habits and their overall driving experience.

The dashcam device promotes safe driving while capturing every moment on camera as it happens. Taking a peek inside of the Advanced Driver Assistance System, the P3 offers stop-and-go alerts, lane-departure warning, front-collision warning, and provides instant notifications when you need to turn on your headlights based on appropriate driving conditions.

The P3 also offers a driver-fatigue alarm, which can be set up for any motorist to take rest periods after long segments of driving. This dashcam is one of a kind with so many features I haven’t even mentioned all of the features just yet. One of my favorite features is that it begins filming the moment I start driving. While most people might not like the “Big Brother-like device,” I appreciate the idea of having an extra passenger keeping an eye on the road ahead watching for unexpected hazards.

First and foremost, it’s really easy to set up. All I had to do is arrange the dashcam camera at the right angle so the lane-departure warning system could recognize the street lines and alert me if I ever get too close, which I then thought: What happens if the camera accidently moves? So, being a little curious, I decided to move the camera just a little bit off while I was driving and not to my surprise, the P3 started beeping, telling me I was too close to the line. The message is try not to hit it too much or pull the lengthy power cord that it comes with. Another disclaimer, which is stated in the Quick Start Guide, “lane-departure warning system and front-collision warning system, and features need enough light to activate the system. Under night time or low-light environment, it will affect the detection, and while raining it will also affect the detection.”

Besides filming immediately, what makes this P3 so unique is it gives immediate feedback recording in HD-1080p quality at 30 frames per second and is coupled with a wide-angle lens that sees what’s in front of the vehicle. It also provides a continuous loop that overrides previous files if the memory fills up from an 8GB to 32GB-sized SD memory card anywhere from 90 to 360 minutes of footage. All of the footage is uploaded to the cloud. When my SD was full, the videos would repeat and write on the olds. I did make the mistake and forgot to save them the first time. I realized I needed to transfer it before it was written over. I would think there is a fix for that in the next firmware update.

The 1080p HD (high-definition) camera has a 130 degree angle view with wide dynamic range that will provide amazing quality even in low-light conditions—never missing a moment. The P3 automatically starts to record as soon as you turn your car on and stays on until the second you turn the car off. Recording five minute videos (default) the P3 continuously records until the SD card is full and then overwrites it when it reaches capacity. There is, however, an Emergency Backup Button that allows you to save footage that will not be overwritten.

In the unfortunate event of a car crash, the P3 has a built-in G-sensor that automatically backs up the video to the SD Card when the device detects sudden impact. With the 2.4-inch LCD (liquid-crystal display) screen, you have access to instant playback of the event. In addition, it also serves as a little extra protection. For instance, I like the idea of having a witness in case of an accident or a traffic dispute.

With the GoLife Mac and PC Software, you can download and view your footage. The P3 doesn’t just record plain video. With the embedded GPS (global positioning system) and built-in digital map, the P3 records the street name, district info, and coordinates that also appear on the video display. This allows motorists to view every aspect of an event at the time of the recording, which is a great way for truckers and drivers to record their miles driven.

What’s more, with the GPS, on the LCD screen, drivers are able to view exit names, toll booths, and service centers when traveling on highways. The GPS also reveals the current position and the upcoming crossroad names for normal roadways.

Two of my favorite features are the built-in speed camera alert and the speeding alert. For someone who has a lead foot more than they care to admit, these features really helped me maintain proper speed on the road, but also tipped me off to the traffic cams when I am going too fast.

The Papago P3 Dashcam really is the perfect travel companion when on the road.

Unique Features:

  • G-Sensor detects impact and saves footage

The Good:

  • The advanced driver assistance system
  • Built-in speed camera alert and speeding alert
  • Lane-departure and front-collision warning

The Bad:

  • Some features don’t work in the dark or bad weather conditions