I really, really, really wanted to love Owl. I’ve owned upwards of 10 different dash cams over the years and the Owl Car Cam seemed to check all the boxes, unfortunately in practice the camera has a number of significant flaws.

1. You can only pair one phone to the Owl, meaning if you are a single car household, the interior driver-facing spotlights will turn on every time the person who’s phone isn’t paired with the owl gets in the car. These lights are INCREDIBLY bright and blinds the driver. This is a dangerous oversight by the folks over at Owlcam.

2. While the outward facing camera claims to be 1440p, over wifi the video is compressed and resolution cut down to 720p, which is sucks and is seemingly some attempt to keep you locked into their monthly cloud service.

3. I’ve had the audio recording function totally glitch out on me. I’ve been left shouting at it “Ok Presto!”, only to go back and check the video to see that there was no audio during a portion of a the clip.

4. Night video is very muddy, with plates hard or impossible to read.

5. When the camera starts to get hot, it turns on an internal fan which is relatively loud

At this price point I was expecting much, much more. My cheapo GoLuk dash cam produces roughly the same video quality for 1/3 of the price. It’ll also give me 1080p video over wifi. In the video I uploaded, the Owl camera video is on the top, with the GoLuk video on the bottom. As you can see, the GoLuk video gives you a better chance of seeing the plates.

If Owl does work the kinks out, I’d be very much in. I love, love, love the concept, and the company seems to be headed in the right direction, they are just not there yet.

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