MEGATech Reviews: Geko E100 Dashcam
Can you get a decent full HD dashcam for under $100? The Geko E100 thinks it's up to the task, complete with night vision.
Pros
  • Full HD 1080p video
  • G-sensor crash detection recording
  • Memory card included
Cons
  • Grainy video quality
  • Problematic microSD slot
  • Really tiny LCD screen
6.5Overall Score

Update: An upgraded version with better video quality has been released. New video samples here.

Step into nearly any vehicle in countries like Taiwan and Russia and there’s a good chance that you’ll find a dashcam suctioned onto the windshield or attached to the rearview mirror. It’s a standard there and dashcams are quickly rising in mainstream popularity over on our side of the pond too.

What if you wanted a decent quality dashcam that could record in full HD 1080p, but you didn’t want to spend more than a hundred bucks on it? This is where the new GEKO E100 comes into frame, aiming to deliver all the most important features you want in a dashcam but at a more affordable price point.

A More Affordable Way to Dashcam

MEGATech Reviews: Geko E100 Dashcam

At its core, the Geko E100 does exactly what you’d want a proper dashcam to do. It’ll record everything happening in front of your car in full HD 1080p with a 120-degree wide angle field of vision. Even though it is relatively compact in size, I still wouldn’t say it’s terrible discreet. No one is going to mistake the forward-facing camera for anything else and the depth of the unit is more substantial than you might think too.

Even though it is half the price of the PAPAGO! GoSafe 260, the Geko E100 is a little more complete insofar that the retail package comes bundled with an 8GB microSD card, plus the card adapter. Most other dashcams don’t come with memory cards at all. The 8GB card is good for about an hour of looped full HD recording, automatically overwriting the oldest clips as the card fills up. You also get the windshield suction cup, miniUSB-to-12V power cable, and a USB cable.

The Robust Feature Set

MEGATech Reviews: Geko E100 Dashcam

The Geko E100 feels reasonably well built, especially considering the sub-$100 price point, with a slightly rubberized soft touch finish. There are some sacrifices and compromises to be made, of course. The display is positively tiny at just 1.5-inches, making it a little more difficult to navigate through the otherwise standard menu system. Of course, this is meant to be more of a “set it once and forget it” kind of scenarios, so you’ll only need to squint hard during the initial configuration.

MEGATech Reviews: Geko E100 Dashcam

Perhaps more surprisingly is how many of the more advanced features and functions that the Geko E100 is able to offer. In addition to full HD video, it can take still pictures if you want. There’s also G-Sensor Enabled Recording. What this means is that when the dashcam detects drastic movement, as would be the case in an accident, a sharp turn, or hard braking, the corresponding video clip is pushed into a separate folder and is write-protected.

They also say that the Geko E100 is “resilient and durable,” able to withstand harsh weather conditions. What this means is that you shouldn’t worry too much about leaving it in your car, even in the dead of winter. It should be just fine when you start driving again in the morning. Other features include the relatively small battery, parking monitor, and night vision capabilities.

Where Did My Memory Card Go?

MEGATech Reviews: Geko E100 Dashcam

I suppose there are a few other sacrifices and compromises that have to be made to achieve this price point. One problem that I encountered fairly early on in my testing process was that the slot where you insert the microSD card isn’t properly blocked off from the rest of the dashcam.

When I went to re-insert the memory card back into its slot, I somehow “missed” where it should have gone, angling the card toward the camera side of the dashcam, and the microSD card actually fell completely into the housing. It could not be retrieved and I could hear the card rattling around inside when I shook the dashcam.

That’s terribly disconcerting, though putting another microSD card into the actual slot still worked. Geko really needs to address this rather serious problem. All it takes is a little more plastic so that it’s simply not possible for a card to “fall” into the housing like that. I realize microSD cards are small and thin, but that’s all the more reason why the design needs to be more precise.

Geko E100 Video Quality Tests

MEGATech Reviews: Geko E100 Dashcam

None of these fancy features and included memory cards really mean anything if the resulting video isn’t all that useful. In my testing of the Geko E100, I found the videos to be generally grainier and less clear than the ones I got out of something like the GoSafe 520 under the same conditions.

Below are three video samples shot under three typical conditions: daytime (in the rain… it is Vancouver, after all), at dusk, and at night.

You definitely lose a lot of the detail at night, but that is to be expected. It’s also another reason why you’ll need to keep your windshield as clean as possible. The assumption is that the grain and noise are due to a higher default ISO setting in order to gain more brightness and clarity.

MEGATechie Super Sticky or MEGATechie Lazy Lizard?

MEGATech Reviews: Geko E100 Dashcam

If you’re in the market for a no nonsense dashcam that’s more affordable than most, the Geko E100 is worthy of your consideration. The G-Sensor function is infinitely useful and while the video can be grainy, it is full HD 1080p and can be supported with some level of night vision. Just be really careful when re-inserting the memory card. And don’t expect the world of the resulting video quality.

The Geko E100 is listed at $99.99 online, but the actual retail price can be a fair bit less. As of this writing, it’s being sold on Amazon for about $80 and it could go even lower for Black Friday.


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