The FA200 is a budget-friendly, full HD dash cam from Korean manufacturer Thinkware.
Thinkware is a brand you might recognize if you’re looking for a new dash cam. The FA200 dash cam is perfect for anyone looking for Thinkware reliability without the Thinkware price-tag.
For a full HD 1080p dash cam, the FA200 is extremely affordable. At the time or writing, it’s selling on Amazon for $129.99, including a hard-wiring kit.
The FA200 Thinkware dash cam is missing some of the advanced features of the higher end Thinkware dash cams. But, for a very reasonable price, you’re getting a dual-channel (front + rear) dash cam that offers parking mode, time lapse recording and protection for your vehicle.
- Front camera video quality is full HD
- 140° diagonal wide viewing angle (both front+rear dash cams)
- Wide dynamic range for different lighting conditions
- MicroSD Card included – Up to two-hours of footage
- Anti-file corruption technology
- Built-in Wi Fi and mobile app for IOS and Android
- Advanced Parking Mode – Parking surveillance mode with time lapse
- Rear view camera video quality not full HD like front dash cam (720p – 30 fps – 1MP CMOS sensor)
- No motion detection
What’s in The Box?
- 1 x Front Full HD Dash Cam
- 1 x Rear HD Dash Cam
- 1 x Hardwiring Cable Kit
- 2 x 3M Adhesive Pads (for Mounting Dash Cams)
- 3 x 3M Adhesive Cable Holders (for Rear Cam Cables)
- 1 x MicroSD Card Adapter
- 1 x MicroSD Card (32GB)
- 1 x User Manual
How do I install the Thinkware FA200?
The Thinkware FA200 hardwire installation will require a set of fuse taps and a pair of small or needle-nosed pliers. Other tools you might want to consider are:
- A circuit tester – This lets you know which fuses are switched and which provide constant power (your car manual may be able to tell you this).
- A fuse-puller – This lets you remove fuses without damaging them (although this can be done carefully with pliers).
- A crimping tool – This will help safely attach bare cable to the fuse taps
- A plastic trim tool – Great for hiding cables within the vehicle, but can also be done by hand.
- A socket set – This lets you remove bolts so you can secure your grounding cable.
You’ll need to find your vehicle’s fuse board to install your Thinkware dash cams. On the fuse board, locate one free switched socket and one free constant power socket. This is where you’ll connect the power cable for your front camera. The rear camera takes its power from the front one.
You’ll need to get your Thinkware FA200 dash cam hardwiring cable harness and connect the wires to some fuse taps. You can do this with pliers or a crimping tool.
You’ll need to connect the black wire to a good grounding point. The yellow wire will need to be plugged into the free constant power socket. The red wire will need be plugged into the free switched power socket. Wiring in this way ensures your parking mode and energy saving mode will work properly.
You can now mount the front dash cam and run the power cable to it. From the front dash cam, you can run the cable back to the rear cam. If you have a plastic trim tool, you can use this to hide cables along the way. If not you can just use the adhesive cable holders.
This process is possible for a novice. More detailed guides and video tutorials are available online, such as this one. However, if you are not sure, a professional will be able to install your dash cams easily.
Design and Looks
The Thinkware FA200 full HD dash cam is well designed and surprisingly small at only 3.9 x 0.9 x 1.3 inches. The sleek, black outer-shell and slim profile means it’s difficult to see from outside your vehicle. Due to their cost, dash cams can be targeted for theft but with a Thinkware FA200 this is much less likely.
The on-board controls are fairly minimal, as most dash cam settings can be adjusted from the mobile app. The only buttons are the ‘REC’ button for starting a recording manually and the built in WiFi button for connecting your mobile device. The WiFi signal comes from the camera itself and you connect like a normal WiFi network.
There are sockets for connecting the power cable, rear view camera and optional GPS antenna. The GPS antenna enables additional features, like speed camera alerts and safety camera alerts. There is also a slot for the included memory card or a third-party SD card.
Image Quality – Full HD
The front + rear camera video quality is more than good enough to establish fault in the event of a road traffic incident. Although the front dash cam video quality is better, the rear camera is still good and has a wide viewing angle. All footage on the memory card is protected by Thinkware’s anti-file corruption technology.
Some situations might require that you identify a vehicle by its license plate. With the full HD front camera this is not a problem. The footage is clear and distortion-free. But in low-light conditions, the 720p rear camera will struggle to highlight all of the characters on a license plate.
Most of the time this isn’t necessary. Most road traffic incidents need only to establish fault, not the identity of the vehicle. But if you are interested in a dash cam that can offer more accuracy, you may want to consider a higher-end Thinkware dash cam.
Many examples of Thinkware dash cam footage can be found online.
We recommend you compare and contrast different examples before making a purchasing decision.
Difference between F200 and FA200
The F200 and FA200 Thinkware Dash cams are similar but not the same. The FA200 is the successor of the F200 and there’s been an important upgrade in between. This is the addition of the time lapse feature for the FA200 when in parking surveillance mode.
Parking mode protects your vehicle when you’re not driving it. A Thinkware dash cam will use its G-sensor to detect impacts (i.e. if someone hits your unattended vehicle). Normally, once an impact has been detected, a dash cam will begin recording.
However, with the advanced parking mode in the Thinkware FA200, the video will begin 50 seconds before the impact detection. The dash cam achieves this by constantly recording video when in power-saving mode. The video quality is still full HD but at a lower-frame rate (2fps). These individual frames are your time lapse video. The dash cam will only store these videos on its SD card after impact detection.
This difference between the recording modes in the Thinkware F200 and FA200 is great addition for the safety and security of your vehicle.
Who Should Buy the Thinkware FA200 Dash Cam?
The Thinkware FA200 dash cam is a safety camera for drivers who want to protect their vehicle. Thanks to the advanced parking modes, you can also protect your vehicle while it’s parked. In the event of a road traffic incident, establishing fault can be a difficult process. The wrong outcome could incur expenses or a rise in your insurance premium. With the Thinkware FA200 installed, it will be nearly impossible to miss exactly what’s happening on the road, both in front and behind you. The Thinkware FA200 is for anyone who values the safety and security of their vehicle and passengers. But it’s also for those who don’t want the pay the premium price-tag of a more expensive dash cam. All the features you need are right here in the Thinkware FA200.