Dash cams have come a long way in a relatively short time, progressing from bulky, low-resolution affairs to discreet, high-quality devices with HD recording, smartphone apps and even cloud connectivity.
But the Zenfox T3-3CH is still a new one on us, offering the first three-channel camera we’ve tested.
Dual channel dash cams are commonplace now, with a front-facing camera supplemented with a smaller rear-facing unit mounted on the back window. The Zenfox adds to this further with a third small camera designed to capture what’s happening inside the car.
It’s clearly designed for taxi drivers and minicabbers who could benefit from the reassurance and protection an internal camera can offer. Although, it’s also useful for settling family arguments about which child struck first in the latest round of back-seat battles.
As with most dash cams, the T3 features a G sensor which will automatically save and protect recordings if it detects and impact and a GPS logger to track the car’s location and speed on the recordings. There are also two parking modes to provide protection even when the car isn’t moving - time lapse and low bitrate - and wifi for connecting to a smartphone app.
The main camera is pretty bulky and could prove difficult to locate out of sight in some vehicles. That’s partly because there’s a two-inch display screen and physical controls and partly because it needs to accommodate the internal camera as well. Fitting is thankfully straightforward and the main lens is on a swivel mount, giving more adjustment than many other dash cams. The rear camera adjusts for height so you can get the whole interior in shot.
Like most dash cams, the T3 uses Sony Starvis sensors, with the front camera record in “quad HD”- that’s 1440p rather than the full-fat 4K - and the other two offering “full HD” at 1080p resolution. The interior camera uses four infrared LED lights which allow it to capture footage in even low-light conditions and works impressively to capture a detailing image of the inside of the car.
The main camera’s quality isn’t quite so impressive. Despite offering 1440p recording, the images from it don’t appear as sharp as the best regular HD cameras we’ve tested and quite some way behind the best 4K units. We were testing it in poor weather but even allowing for that the quality from both outward-facing cameras is acceptable rather than great.
At £239.95, the Zenfox T3’s appeal seems slightly limited. Similar money will net you a decent two-channel camera with better 4K recording and a neater package. However, for cab drivers and other professionals who want internal coverage for their vehicle it’s a relatively neat solution that integrates solid, if not outstanding, all-round protection into a reasonably priced package.