Using an old phone as a dash camera

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 mounted in a carSource: Android Central

A dash cam is an awesome gadget to have in your car. You simply never know when you will see something on the highway that’s worth recording, or if you might need that dash cam video if you witness a traffic event or get into an accident yourself.

Dash cams are pretty cheap nowadays, but the cheaper they are, the more fundamental the features. Besides, you may curently have a great dash cam stowed aside in some drawer in your house: an old mobile phone.

Products used in this guide

How to setup an old Android phone as a splash cam

  1. Set up the phone attach in your car. The iOttie 1 Touch 4 we recommend could be mounted to your dashboard or windscreen, but be sure to look into any local laws and regulations that forbid installing anything to the particular windshield that might interfere with the driver’s view.
  2. Plug in the vehicle charger into your car’s 12V interface and make sure you’re USB wire is long enough to reach the phone attach (the cables we’ve recommended over should be plenty long enough for most vehicles).
  3. Download AutoBoy Dash Cam – BlackBox onto the device you intend to use as your dash camera.
  4. Get your phone placed in the mount and hit report on the Splash Cam app.

Be sure to dive into the Dash Cam app settings

Once might downloaded the AutoBoy Dash Camera app, and after accepting all the permissions, you’ll definitely want to take some time to look at the app settings to set some misconception in a way that makes the most sense to suit your needs.

AutoBoy Dash Cam app screenshotAutoBoy Dash Cam App settings screenshotAutoBoy Dash Cam App settings screenshotSource: Android Central

Some things to make particular note are the velocity units and date format within the General tab, along with whether you need the app to use your phone’s GPS NAVIGATION and shock sensors.

In the Recording tab, you’ll be able to choose to want the videos to be documented, which is especially handy if you’re utilizing a phone with a microSD slot. You can even extend the video recording time plus choose whether to record sound along with video and video high quality. The Advanced tab has some some other features that might come in handy, including choices to automatically start recording if you launch the app (so installed forget), and you can set it to prevent recording when you disconnect it from your charger. That way, you can simply unplug your own phone to end each recording.

PSA: Don’t leave your older phone mounted in your car

This should go without saying, but we’re going say it anyway: Never keep a phone in a mount directly on the windshield for passing robbers to see because that will lead to damaged windows and stolen stuff.

It can also just be an unsafe concept to leave a phone inside a hot car because lithium electric batteries tend to explode when overheated. Rather, always remember to take your dash camera phone with you when you’re done traveling, or stow it away securely in your glove box.

Most of all, be safe. Anytime a person mix a gadget with a vehicle, there is an urge to start messing along with stuff. Don’t do it! That’s the entire purpose of using a specialized app with this instead of just using your phone’s built-in digital camera app. While we hope you never have to document anything for your insurance company, we all especially don’t want it to happen since you couldn’t resist touching stuff. Be smart and have fun!

What you’ll need to get the job done

The base equipment needed for this task is an old phone running Google android, a means of mounting your telephone to your dashboard or windshield, along with a car charger and cable to provide constant power to the phone so it won’t die while recording.

You may already own everything you need to get going, but if not, we’ve got some products recommendations for you.

The best universal car mount


iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dash & Windshield Car Mount

Good to make use of with most phones.

This car mount can be installed to a dashboard or windshield and it is fully adjustable so that you can position your own phone just where you need it to find the best view for your dash camera.

This is the most important accessory you will have to set up a phone as a splash cam in your car. We’ve chosen the iOttie Easy One Contact 4 because it’s simple and easy to setup and use, and is designed to use phones of all sizes.

Cheap and reliable car charger


AmazonBasics Dual-Port USB Car Charger Adapter

Perfect for charging two phones in once

This AmazonBasics vehicle charger is simple and reliable. Along with two available USB ports, you can use keep your dash cam phone billed while also charging your personal telephone.

You can’t beat the significance of AmazonBasics products. This is a great purchase that’s available in a couple of different colour combinations to match your car’s interior and it is available with four ports in case you frequently drive with other people planning to charge their phones.

Additional Equipment

These are some extras which you may want to consider as well but usually are a requirement to set up a splash cam in your car.


15ft Micro USB Charging Cable
($8 at Amazon)

If you’re planning to use an older phone having a micro USB charging port, you could be sure you’ve got a cable that’s lengthy enough to power your phone through wherever you end up mounting it.


AmazonBasics USB-C Cable
($19 at Amazon)

This is a great charging wire option if you intend to use a phone that will uses USB-C. It’s 10ft lengthy and double braided for much better durability.


Blue Key World Cable Clips (6-pack)
($6 in Amazon)

If a person hate the idea of loose cables playing around your car cabin, these simple wire clips should do the trick. Plus, you may use the extras around your home or even at the office.

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