Cobra Drive HD Dash Cam CDR900 Review

Cobra Drive HD Dash Cam CDR900 Review - Featured

The urge to record your surroundings while you drive safely from the confines of your car is understandable. Besides the obvious ‘cool’ factor, dash cams allow you to capture funny moments to relive later, or more importantly, a dash cam allows you to record the evidence in the unfortunate event you are involved in an accident.

But how do you go about choosing the right dash cam for your needs in what is already an overcrowded marketplace? Cobra has been a venerable presence in this market and their CDR 900 Drive HD Dash Cam promises a lot of nifty features.

Let’s take a detailed look at this product.

Technical specs

Capable of recording in 1296p Super HD resolution, the Cobra Drive HD Dash Cam is powered by Ambarella A7LA chipset. The device is WiFi enabled and comes equipped companion app for both Android and iOS devices. The device also features a 2 inch LCD screen with an HDMI output. As for the optics of CDR 900 Drive HD Dash Cam, it sports a 160 degrees viewing angle generating a fish eye effect.

What do you get in the box?

Apart from the camera, the CDR 900 Drive HD Dash Cam comes with a suction cup car mount, a lanyard mount, a 8 GB micro SD card, 12 inch USB power cable, USB sync cable, a 12 v power adapter and a user manual.

The first thing you will notice is the rather striking looks of the camera itself. It is sporty, small and compact and easily mountable on the car. At the back of the camera is the 2 inch LCD screen. The slot for micro SD card and the microphone is located on one side of the camera while the other sports micro USB and micro HDMI connector. The top side of the camera features a harness for the tripod mount.

Cobra Drive HD Dash Cam CDR900 Review - Front View

Overall, it is a fairly attractive piece of hardware to which also makes efficient use of space. The camera’s silver accent and imitation carbon fibre trim, along with the square shape with rounded edges, provide it an elegant appearance.

Sensors and storage

The Cobra CDR 900 Drive HD Dash Cam comes equipped with an accelerometer called G-sensor. This nifty sensor is activated upon impacts, abrupt acceleration, and emergency stops, triggering the device to record a small footage immediately preceding and after the device. Rather disappointingly, however, the Cobra CDR 900 Drive HD Dash Cam does not come with a GPS.

The storage capacity of the device is always going to be an issue if you are going on a long drive. The devices comes bundled with a 8 GB micro SD card which is sufficient for about 2 hours of footage recorded at 1080p HD resolution. However, the device is compatible with SD cards of up to 16 GB. This means you can record and store almost 17 hours long videos which is sufficient for most of us. The continuous loop recording feature on the cam automatically overwrites the oldest footage once your micro SD card tops out.

Cobra Drive HD Dash Cam CDR900 Review - In Car With Holder

Interface
As far as interfaces go, the Cobra CDR 900 is simple and straight forward to use. The LCD screen displays all the relevant information including shooting mode (action or dash cam mode), battery life, and time stamp. The menu option is easy to navigate and assists you in turning on WiFi, cloud connection, viewing and erasing footage, and tinker with user settings.

The micro USB cable not only allows you plug the device to your computer but also fits into a 12 v car charger. Additionally, if you wish to view footage on your TV then you can simply use an HDMI cable to connect the two devices. Do note, however, that this camera does not come bundled with an HDMI cable.

App for Android and iOS devices

The Cobra CDR 900 Drive HD Dash Cam comes features a WiFi facility which allows the device to be paired with any Android or iOS phone or tablet through its companion Drive HD app. This features allows you to live stream your videos on the connect Android or iOS device. In terms of performance, the live feed does witness a lag of few seconds. Further, the app allows you to remotely control the camera from your smart phone, adjust its settings, and view the footage from anywhere in the world through the cloud mode.

In practice, the transfer of video clips to the phone over WiFi is extremely slow. You’re far better to connect the camera directly to your TV via HDMI to review any footage, although this does mean removing the camera from your car.

Video performance

The camera comes with an ultra wide viewing angle allowing it to capture most of the action although the footage does tend to have a bit of a fish eye feel to it. Other than that, however, the Cobra CDR 900 Drive HD Dash Cam delivers excellent performance courtesy its high end Ambarella chip set. The image quality is impeccable, and the performance is consistently good even at night time, and at dynamic ranges.

Verdict

Available at £179.99, this device offers better than average performance and a few high end features like the companion app. The lack of a GPS is a definite negative and we expect that later iterations would come equipped with it. Overall, a value for money proposition.

>> Cobra UK CDR900 official site