Thinkware F770 Dual Channel Dash Camera Review

The Thinkware F770 (Amazon Link) is top recommendation for anyone looking for a premium front and back camera for parked recording. It contains a number of useful features not found in cheaper cameras including overheating protection, video file backups, energy efficiency and parking incident reports.It is expensive at $400 with diminishing returns on value. For many it’s not worth the money. For regular recording two separate cameras may be of better value but you may lose out on reliability and convenience.
Updates
June 30th, 2017: We no longer recommend the Lexar 633X due to increased reports of failures in dash cameras. Currently we do not have a 128GB recommendation with a warranty. We’re looking for a replacement now.
 

Video Review

Watch this video to learn the essentials about the Thinkware F770  
 

The Camera

  F750 in a New Body. The Thinkware F770 is a model specifically designed for the North American to be stealthy. It uses the same video hardware of the older F750 but changes the body to be slimmer and less noticeable. Some users have upgraded their F750 using the F770 firmware which shows Thinkware didn’t do too much to improve on the F770.M Video Hardware Thinkware uses the older Ambarella A7 image processor compared to the newer A12 chip. It uses the highest-end A7LA85 which is the only model allowing for 1080P recording for the front and back camera with WiFi.  

Video Quality & Raw Videos

f770_video_quality_header

Overview The video quality is one of the best I’ve seen for dual channel cameras under $600. The QVIA Z970 with the mechanical zooming lens could be better but the $575 USD price tag is a bit much. Still it doesn’t match even the $100 single lens dash cameras we reviewed. It’s going to be a while before dual channel cameras can approach that level of quality for a reasonable price. The technology isn’t here yet.

 

Front Camera – Daylight Videos

 
Quality vs $50 A118 To my eyes the F770 was just under our $50 recommendation during daytime hours in both dynamic range and sharpness   Download Raw Videos: A118F770  
Vs Blackvue DR650GW-2CH Against Blackvue using the newest 10mbps/5mbps bitrate firmware the quality is very similar to my eyes   Download Raw Videos: DR650F770  
 

Front Camera – Night Videos

 
Vs A118 and A119 At night the video quality improves over the $50 A118 but it’s clear it’s no match for the $100 A119 which delivers exceptional video quality and functionality.   Download Raw Videos: A118A119F770   Vs Blackvue Here we can see the dynamic range is much better on the F770 but the sharpness of license plates is about the same. This is filmed using the older firmware which limits the front bitrate to 6mbps.   Download Raw Videos: DR650F770  
 

Rear Camera

 
Daytime Quality Comparing it against Blackvue it’s very clear the F770 is far superior in sharpness and clarity due to the improved hardware and resolution. The DR650GW uses 720P while F770 is 1080p for the rear camera.   Download Raw Videos: DR650F770  
Nighttime Quality Again the quality is noticeably better on the F770. There’s less noise and everything is clearer.   Download Raw Videos: DR650F770  

Additional Testing Notes

Since I’m strapped for time, here’s additional notes from my tests. In the future this section will be expanded with photos. If you have a specific question leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!

Installation

• No option to flip the camera in the settings
• To correctly install the rear camera the written text as it faces you needs to be upside down
• Included wire clips were especially effective on curved surfaces as it used thick gel pads compared to the thin tape versions found in other cameras

Computer Program

• There’s a Mac and Windows program, both having the same functionality and layout. Hard to find a specific files as there’s no thumbnails. I’d use dash cam viewer instead.
• For the PC programs you can’t change lane departure/forward collision warnings, g-sensor sensitivity and a number of other features. Use the App instead.

Smartphone Apps

• On some cameras like the Yi Dash Cam you can browse files and record at the same time but not the F770. Once you connect over WiFi all recording stops
• Unfortunately you can’t update the firmware through the app as you can with other cameras such as Blackvue and Yi. You need to manually download a file, place it on a formatted card and insert it into the camera.
• There’s a number of alternative languages and when you change the setting it will change the spoken language.
• You can individually set the brightness which can be useful if the rear window is heavily tinted.
• Switching between parking modes (motion detection, time lapse) will show a prompt letting you know all parking mode files will be deleted first. I don’t know why it forces you to do this. I’m glad I backed up my files first.

Daily Use

• No speed alerts which gives you warnings if you exceed a set speed. I’ve found this useful in other cameras to prevent highway speeding tickets
• While the emergency record is hard to find at least you can’t easily turn off the camera as with other cameras.
• G-Sensor is useful. I would take the time to adjust it for the greatest sensitivity without having every bump trigger the sensor
• You can turn off the security LED in the settings so it doesn’t give away your camera
• Super Night Vision was effective to light up darker areas during parked recording

Video Quality

• Increased glass distortion on the edges as the camera is close to the glass. Not much you can do about that.
• WDR being turned on or off makes no noticeable difference to my eyes. It has the same amount of sharpness and dynamic range.  

Where to Buy It?

 

Viofo has a number of authorized retailers listed on their webpage. We’ll list them below and talk about the sellers. It’s worth paying the additional $10 for the GPS mount as it improves convenience but it’s not necessary.

 

Canada // United States

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Use coupon code “carcamcentral20” for $20 off your order of $400 or more

$400 from BlackboxMyCar See the Price on Amazon

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9 Comments on "Thinkware F770 Dual Channel Dash Camera Review"

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Tunguska
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Hi Andrew,
any idea why a 128 GB Lexar 633x microSDXC UHS1 doesn’t work together with my new F770?
I’ve tried the sd card without formatting, formatting as fat32 (with ext. tools because Win10 and MS doesn’t like me to do it) but i always got the same error message: read error.
There’s no information about the necessary format (fat32, extfat, ntfs etc) but i guess it’s fat32.
Using the sd card with Windows work perfectly well (and it’s bought at Amazon – no marketplace product).
Thanks

Neeraj
Guest

Hi I was hardwiring Thinkware F770. Could you please guide me how much ampere fuse 7.5, 10 etc I sue for ACC, battery connections? Thanks

Attila Biber
Guest
Attila Biber

Just received the F770 tonight browsing through the manual right now. Can you recommend me a – similar to “dash cam viewer” for android?

Dor
Guest

VICO Marcus5 is almost the same as this product, what do you prefer?

Geoff Southern
Guest
Geoff Southern

Great work, Andrew. Thanks for comparison videos. Looking forward to your final report.

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