- Unique dual channel design
- Lots of safety features
- Solid video quality
- Cumbersome connection to rear camera
- More expensive than other dashcams
- No merged video option
I've reviewed a number of dashcams over the years and they all suffer from the same fatal flaw: they only point in one direction. This feels obvious enough, with the camera looking out onto the road in front of your car, but what if you get rear ended? What if something happens behind your car that you would like to document? Addressing this very specific shortcoming is the PAPAGO! GoSafe 760, a dual channel HD dashcam system.
What's in the Box?
PAPAGO! has progressively introduced a number of new features in its dashcams. We get more safety features, for example, and the GoSafe S30 has a Sony Exmor sensor for improved image quality. Most of what you've come to expect from this brand carries through with the GoSafe 760 with the noted addition of one very specific feature: two cameras.
There is still the main dashcam unit with a small on-board display that you will mount on your windshield, using your choice of the 3M sticker mount or the suction cup mount, but there is also a much smaller unit that you attach to your rear window. For the latter, you are provided only with a 3M sticker mount on a ball-and-socket joint. I would have liked to have the suction cup as an option here too.
In addition to the two camera units, you get a 12V-to-USB power adapter, a USB cable to run from the power adapter to the main unit, a mini-USB cable to run between the two camera units, extra 3M tape, a PAPAGO! branded 32GB microSD card with full-size SD card adapter, and supporting documentation.
GoSafe 760 Buttons, Ports and Connections
Even though the secondary unit in the rear is decidedly smaller than the main unit you'll mount on the front, both are capable of recording your video at a looping 1080p full HD resolution. There are three recording modes: loop (automatically overwriting old footage unless you mark it the clip as an "emergency" recording), monitor (one picture per second), or motion detection.
To get the whole system up and running, you insert the microSD card in the main unit, connect to power, and mount it to the windshield. An extra long mini-USB cable connects the front and rear units. This became a huge point of frustration, because it is very challenging to run a cable from the front to the rear of your car in any sort of elegant fashion. I was able to tuck the cable under some of the window trim along the way, but it's still not pretty.
Also on the main unit are a power button (that you'll never use because it powers on and off automatically with your car), a reset button, a port to connect GPS, and an AV-out port. As with all PAPAGO! dashcams, the GoSafe 760 consists of a four button interface. You cannot move the lens left or right (you have to swivel the whole unit to do that), but there is a lever on the right to adjust it up and down. Aside from the single mini-USB port on the rear camera, there are no other connections or buttons.
A Two-Part Recording Affair
Now, the GoSafe 760 is not the first time that we've seen a dual camera system in a dashcam. You might remember when I reviewed the Transcend DrivePro 520 a while back and how impressed I was with its overall performance, aside from its larger physical size. The key difference there is that both cameras were mounted on the same unit with the secondary camera meant to shoot the interior of the car.
This dashcam system is inherently different and meant to serve an entirely different kind of purpose. Depending on your specific needs, being able to record out the back of your car might be more or less useful that recording the inside of your car. If your car is not equipped with a backup camera, for instance, the secondary camera here might serve that purpose as a bonus feature.
In actual practice, you have a choice for how you want to monitor the actual footage on the tiny LCD screen. You can view the front camera alone, the rear camera alone, or both cameras using a PIP layout with the rear camera taking up the top-right corner. That final layout cannot be adjusted. As with the Transcend, the dual videos are saved as "A" and "B" clips on the microSD card regardless.
A Familiar User Interface
A number of driving safety features are also included, like stop sign recognition and a driver fatigue alarm. There is also integrated support for a tire pressure monitoring system, should you want to connect them together too. Naturally, one big difference is the addition of menu items for managing the dual cameras. I have it set to record 1080p in front and 720p in the rear, but you can record 1080p out back too if you prefer.
One minor frustration that I experienced with the UI is that what each of the four button does on the main screen (while recording) disappears from the screen after a short period of time. The third button (down arrow) accesses the settings menu and the fourth button (OK) switches the view layout. I suppose you'll remember these after some use, but I would have liked a "wake" function upon first press to display each button's functions before they actually do anything.
Video quality on the GoSafe 760 is comparable to that of just about every other recent PAPAGO! dashcam. Details are good, the slight fisheye effect gives you a wider angle of view, and the overall tones tend to be slightly on the muted side. I did find the videos to be clearer with the front camera than the rear.
Footage at night is reasonably clear, given the circumstances, but it will be difficult to make out license plates unless the car is directly in front of (or behind) you and with some level of light available. The rear camera becomes far less useful in quieter side streets and alleys where they may not be any light at all.
While you can optionally add or remote the time/date stamp from the video recordings, you cannot (by default) remove the PAPAGO! branding. There is a "hack" you can do that involves editing a text file saved on the microSD card though. Curiously, the PAPAGO! watermark is a different size on the front and rear camera footage too.
MEGATechie See Everything or MEGATechie Tied Behind My Back?
In theory, the PAPAGO! GoSafe 760 solves a very serious conundrum when it comes to most conventional dashcams. It lets you see out the back of your car, synchronizing footage with the front of your car too. That's good. Video quality is also quite good under most circumstances.
However, it also suffers from some notable issues. First, there is no option to "merge" the two video feeds together so that you record a single PIP video instead. The Transcend couldn't do that either and I think it could be a useful feature for saving space on the memory card. Second, running the cable from the front to the rear of the car is anything but elegant. There needs to be a cleaner solution.
And third is the price. The PAPAGO! GoSafe 760 has an MSRP of $239.99, effectively costing about as much as two more basic dashcams. It would almost be easier to do that, especially if you have a 12V power source toward the rear of your car. You wouldn't be able to see what you're recording out back, but you'll know that the footage is there if you need it.
The idea behind this dashcam is good. It's just the application may not be ideal for everyone.