Back again after a long road trip. This trip I was using the Z-Edge Z3 Pro dual lens car camera to record my vehicle’s activity and protect us from any unwanted problems on the road from other drivers. It’s got a lot of features, including GPS tracking, let’s take a closer look!
In the Box
Looking into the retail box one will find the Z-Edge Z3 Pro dash camera with dual 1080p 150-degree wide angle lenses. There is a suction cup mount with built-in GPS. A dual USB port charger which goes into any cigarette lighter power supply. 2 – Micro USB charging cables, one approximately 4 ft long and the second is 11 ft long. The longer cable is what I used in my vehicle for the testing, along with 6 nicely provided 3M sticky clips for cable management. There is a multi-language instruction manual, and a thank you card which invites one to register the Z3 Pro Car Camera to extend the warranty to 18 months. The Z-Edge Car Camera can support a TF/Micro SD card up to 128 GB. A 32 GB is included with the camera and other bits. Finally, there is an orange plastic cable tool. Unlike other manufacturers, the Z3 Pro uses a supercapacitor instead of a battery. This is intended to improve the life of the product, especially under harsh and high-temperature conditions like we get in Las Vegas, Nevada. This also means your Dash Cam is unable to protect your vehicle while parked. The folks at Z-Edge understand that is a concern, so they also sell a Dash Cam Hardwire Kit which has all the bits, fuses, and cables needed to hard wire the device into your car’s power system so the camera continues to work when parked. This is not included with the Z3 Pro Kit. Realizing that such a system can drain a car’s battery, that optional system has a low voltage protection circuit which will power down the camera if your car battery voltage drops significantly. Personally, I’d put a USB power bank battery between the two cables included with the Z-Edge Z3 Pro Car Camera. No professional installation needed and it should operate just like any other car cam at that point.
Smile You’re On Candid Camera
The Z-Edge Z3 Pro Car Camera mount is the suction cup type. It’s also got the GPS receiver which allows the Z3 Pro Car Camera to log certain data while you go about your daily tasks. Z-Edge provides software to view the videos you’ve made when driving around, which also displays the telemetry created while driving. Speed, direction, and route are all recorded and your position during the video is displayed on an inset window using Google Maps. This software is available for Windows or Mac and can be downloaded here along with the pdf user manuals for this and other Z-Edge devices. To get the best out of their Z3 Pro Car Camera the engineers at Z-Edge utilized the NTK96663 processor with dual Sony IMX323 image sensors. Both front and rear cameras have a set F1.8 aperture, and the rear-facing camera includes 4 infrared LEDs to ensure the video is great day or night regardless of ambient light in the vehicle. I powered up the unit in my office to set the time, date, and other necessary features. Then I took it outside and set it up in my jeep. The suction cup mount requires a very clean windshield or it will fall off. Over, and over. Especially on warm days. The menu is easy to operate and the buttons are from top to bottom: Power/menu, Up, Down, and Ok. Obviously, the first one does the most and the other three are used to curse around the menus and select features to adjust. The Z-Edge Z3 Pro allows you to adjust such features as Resolution, Display format, Loop duration from 1 min, 3 minutes, or 5 minutes. Voice recording for the interior camera, Language, Time, Set Driver ID and others. The Z3 Pro Car Camera can even give you periodic alarms to keep the driver alert, remind you to turn on your headlights and adjust the G sensitivity so the Camera isn’t recording an incident every time you bump the cable. Although you can easily change the angle of the interior camera once mounted, take the time to get the front camera properly situation before using the GPS to turn the suction cup mount into a fixed position. Once the suction cup is attached the main camera is not easy to adjust. DO NOT attempt to adjust the camera while driving for your own safety. Do it in your driveway or parking lot.
On The Road Again
Like pretty much every Dash Cam I’ve reviewed in the last year the Z-Edge Z3 Pro is meant to be a “Set it and forget it” device. This Car Camera is meant to be mounted slightly behind the rearview mirror, so it’s not a distraction, while still allowing the interior camera a clear view of your cabin, passengers, and gear. The very clear video screen lights up when you start your car and begins loop recording. The loops will be discarded in order of time as you eat up the 32 GB or even 128 GB SD card as installed. The loops will be the length you choose in the menu from 1 minute, 3 minute, or 5 minute loops. Any G-Force created videos will be autosaved in the card whether it’s from a shortstop braking incident with no impact or an actual incident which creates the potential for property damage and physical harm to the driver and/or passengers. That’s the reason you bought a dashcam, that’s why you set it and forget it. My major complaint about the Z-Edge Z3 Pro Car Camera is that the only way your vehicle will be protected while parked is by purchasing and then installing a hard-wired kit between the device and your vehicle’s battery. That’s not an easy task for most people and some might incur even higher costs by requiring a professional to do that installation. Personally, I’d put a USB power bank battery between the two cables included with the Z-Edge Z3 Pro Car Camera. No professional installation needed and it should operate just like any other car cam at that point. Let’s look at the software package!
Why does the Z-Edge Z3 Pro Car Camera have a GPS receiver and what good does it do the operator of the vehicle? When coupled with the previously mentioned GPS Multimedia software package one can easily review the videos your Z3 Pro has recorded on your PC or Mac along with some really useful metadata: The GPS Multimedia player has an easy to read and understand graphic interface. Once a file is opened in the utility one can observe the video along with: The time of the video, Latitude, and longitude of the vehicle’s location, top speed, average speed, maximum speed, and total distance. You can also watch the path of your vehicle on an insert panel showing Google Maps. Beneath that is a Real-time (Time of video) speedometer. All of this information can come in handy when and if your vehicle equipped with the Z-Edge Car Camera is involved in an incident, accident, or even when pulled over for speeding. The tale of the tape may exonerate you if the police officer was working from erroneous data or an improperly utilized Radar gun. When using the GPS multimedia player you can also take screenshots of any specific moment of the video or watch the videos in full-screen mode. The Screenshots are saved as PNG files in your pictures folder by default in the Windows version and do not contain the metadata. Also note that the interior videos do not contain the metadata for location or speed, just the video, and audio components if your microphone is switched on.
The video and still photos produced by the Z-Edge Z3 Pro Car Camera using factory settings are clear with very few video artifacts whether day or night, inside or outside your vehicle. Although I am disappointed with the use of a supercapacitor for a power supply instead of a Li-on battery I understand the logic behind that decision. However: the $14.99 for the hardwire kit, plus the effort required to either install in one’s self or pay a professional to install is really detracts from the usability of the unit as it comes in the box. The Downloadable GPS Multimedia player is essential to get the most out of your Z3 Pro Car Camera and should be the second thing you do, after installing the device in your vehicle. This Dash Cam is a useful product with a lot of well thought out utility with some of the components. I particularly liked and enjoyed using the GPS Multimedia player to view the videos which were recorded and track our paths with google maps. I thought including a 32 GB SD card was a great time-saver while Z-Edge completely missed the boat in my mind with the super capacitance power or at an optional cost, a direct to your car power system hard wired power supply. For the gig workers who drive for Uber or Lyft, the Z-Edge Z3 Pro Car Camera is in my mind an absolute necessity for your own safety and legal needs in case of anything: incidents, accidents, or random crazy people in your back seat. 8 out of ten for a new interesting product from Zero Edge Technology. Thanks and I hope to see more from Z- Edge in the near future!!
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*Average price is based on the time this article was published
Image Sensor Sony sensor
Effective Pixels 1920x1080P
Storage Media Supports Micro SDXC, up to 128GB
LCD Display 2.0” LCD color TFT
Lens 150 degrees wide angle
Focus Range 1.5m~Infinity
Movie Clip Front camera: 1920×1080 30fps
Rear camera: 1920×1080 30fps MP4
Still Image (Photo Mode)Resolution: 12M (4032×3024) JPEG
Interface Micro USB
Battery Super Capacitor
Operating Temperature -10 to 60°C / 14 to 140°F
Storage Temperature -20 to 70°C / -4 to 158°F
Dimensions 3.74 inch x 2.05 inch x 1.24 inch
(95mm x 52mm x 31.5mm) (LxWxH)
Weight 2.65 oz/ 75g
Car Charger INPUT: DC 12-24V, OUTPUT: DC 5V
GPS Logger Built-in
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