MEGATech Reviews: Papago! GoSafe S780 Dual Channel Dashcam
There are plenty of dashcam options on the market today, but not very many feature a camera to go in the back too. Too bad it'll cost ya for the luxury.
  • Dual channel recording to single microSD card
  • Convenient, compact design
  • Sony Exmor image sensor
  • Relatively expensive
  • Have to run a cable to the back
  • Nothing new to see here
6.5Overall Score

Remember when dashcams were really only a thing in China and Russia? The popularity of these products has really exploded in Canada and the United States these last few years, because more and more consumers are recognizing just how invaluable these little cameras can be. Part of it has to do with recording incidents for insurance purposes, part of it has to do with YouTube hilarity. And if you’re looking for a double-sided perspective on your drive, the Papago! GoSafe S780 dashcam might deserve to be on your short list for consideration.

Front and Rear 1080p Video Recording

When you look at most of the dashcams on the market today, they all function in fundamentally the same way. You’ve got this little camera that you mount to your windshield and it automatically records what happens in front of your car. Most people default to loop recording where newer footage automatically overwrites the older footage.

The GoSafe S780 from Papago! is essentially the same kind of thing, except it’s got two cameras. This is just like the GoSafe 760 we reviewed a couple years ago, except in a smaller, more elegant-looking package. And the “S” in its name signifies the Sony Exmor sensor for better image quality too, just like with the GoSafe S30.

Both the front and the rear camera are capable of recording in full HD 1080p. The front camera boasts a 150-degree field of view, whereas the rear camera goes ultra wide with a 180 degree field of view. The rear camera is also IPX7 waterproof, so you could theoretically mount this outside if you’d like. A 16GB card is included and the system supports microSD cards up to 128GB if you’d like. As before, you’ll need to run a provided cable from the front to the back, as all video is recorded onto a single microSD card.

Driving Safety and Settings

In many ways, Papago! isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel here. They’re doing what they’ve been doing for years with small changes and incremental improvements. The main unit in the front is decidedly smaller than similar products in the past, and it looks better than what we got with the GoSafe 388. But really, this is the same old song and dance.

In addition to the video recording — which offers three different modes including automatic loop recording, monitor mode (one picture per second to save storage space), and motion detection — you also get the same suite of safety features as we’ve seen on previous Papago! cameras. There’s stop sign detection, stop and go detection, and so on. They’re all enabled by default and you can disable them through the settings as before.

The UI has remained much the same too. There are four buttons across the bottom for navigating through the menu: home, up, down and OK. Some of these pull double duty on a contextual basis and you can see this through the on-screen indicators.

Curiously, you cannot change the default video clip length like how you can with other dashcams. There also does not appear to be a default way to get rid of the branded stamp in the bottom-right corner of the videos. You can choose if you want the date/time stamp though.

GoSafe S780 Sample Videos

Of course, far and away the most important aspect of any dashcam is the video quality. The front-facing camera in the daytime is understandably quite clear with a very wide field of view. Your mileage may vary with trying to catch license plates of moving vehicles, of course, as you’re only working with FHD footage. You’ll also notice the aggressive sharpening of the image, which suits the stated purpose of a dashcam in the first place.

The rear camera, as you might figure, can be a little odd. It has this ultra-wide 180-degree field of view, so everything is going to look a little fisheye-style distorted. I have this mounted on my compact SUV, so the brake light at the top is also clearly visible. The defog lines across the rear window can be a little distracting too, so you really might benefit from mounting this outside the car if you’re willing to go through the trouble.

Video footage at night with the GoSafe S780 is perfectly serviceable if hardly exceptional. You can tell that the ISO had to be cranked up to make for usable video, but that makes for a naturally grainier image. And like other Papago! dashcams I’ve reviewed in the past, green lights almost appear blue here. I’m not sure what’s going on with the white balance.

All of this pulls together when you look at the rear camera footage shot at night. You get the same kind of graininess as with the front nighttime footage, but the high mount brake light on my SUV becomes somewhat distracting as an illuminated arc across the top of the video. Clarity isn’t great either and the glare is pronounced.

The footage that you’ll get out of the two cameras on the GoSafe S780 will generally accomplish what you need it to accomplish in the case of insurance claims and other incidents. This isn’t the stuff of Hollywood, of course, so you will need to temper your expectations.

MEGATechie Go Safer or MEGATechie Looking Backwards?

And that’s really how I feel about the GoSafe S780 at the end of the day. It does the job, but it’s hardly breaking any sort of new ground. This is essentially the same thing that Papago! has already been doing for years and it’s really hard to say why you’d choose this over an older, less expensive model.

I liked the more seamless appearance of the GoSafe 268 rearview camera, for example, and this dashcam is nowhere near as “throwaway cheap” as the Geko E100. Yes, it’s got better video quality and a second camera, but it’s really up to you if it’s worth that much of a premium over the alternatives. At this point, I want to see something innovative and new to breathe new life into this segment.

The Papago! GoSafe S780 dual channel dashcam sells for $280 on Amazon and is available now.

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