The Akaso Trace 1 Pro is the premium version of Akaso’s affordable Trace 1, which I already liked for its great front/interior day/night video, even though it lacked GPS. The Pro version of the Trace 1 reviewed here adds the missing GPS and doubles down with Wi-Fi phone connectivity.
The kicker is, that at $130, the Trace 1 Pro is still in the financial ballpark for most users. For ride-givers that don’t want to fork over for Nextbase’s mighty modular 422GW (or 322GW), this is likely the best thing going.
This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best dash cams. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.
Design and features
The Akaso Trace 1 Pro is a nice-looking black box that’s roughly the size of a medium bar of soap. The 170-degree field of view front and interior cameras capture at 1080p when used in tandem, but you can capture at 1440p with the front camera if you run it solo. Just above the rear/interior camera is the infrared lighting module. It protrudes just a bit past the camera, so emissions aren’t partially blocked, as with some dash cams.
Four buttons on the bottom of the unit are used to traverse the settings menus displayed on the two-inch color screen, as well turning various features on and off. The unit features GPS, which is both watermarked and embedded for playback with a mapping video player or Google Maps, but the sticky-mount module is external and located about a foot down the mini-USB power cable.
As the Trace 1 Pro ships with a suction mount, the semi-permanently attached GPS module could leave the cable hanging in mid-air when you remove the camera. Give that some thought when you place the GPS.
On-board features include parking mode, wide dynamic range (a larger color gamut), the aforementioned GPS, and a 300mAh battery that will keep the camera running post-impact to capture action you might miss with a super-capacitor. Or under less dire circumstances, to take video if you’re stuck with a lost, dead, or full cell phone.The battery also enables parking mode, where the Trace 1 Pro’s g-sensor will power on the camera to capture up to twenty 30-second videos without any hard-wiring.
There’s also a fatigue alert. Do us all a favor: Pull over and cat nap for 20 minutes if you’re feeling tired, and you won’t need the nanny technology.
A shout-out to Akaso for thinking to put a large digital clock readout on the display when the live camera view times out. You can turn this feature off if you want, but I found it a lot easier to read than the one on my radio, and left it on. That’s just one of the flourishes in a very thoughtful design.
The Akaso Car…