Audio Reviews

Thinkware U1000 Unbox & Feature Review

In this article: We will unpack the Thinkware U1000 dashcam and give you a detailed overview of the most important features and functions. We give you the facts about this dual channel dash cam system and the hands-on impressions we get so you know what to expect.

The Thinkware U1000 is the manufacturer’s flagship dash cam. This is a two-channel system that includes a high-definition front-facing camera and a rear-facing camera. We’ll start by describing the camera design and then we’ll tell you about the features and functions included in this pack.


Unpacking the Thinkware U1000

Thinkware U1000 in box
Thinkware U1000 in box before opening
Thinkware U1000 opened box
A look at the packaging in the box with the U1000 above

One of the most enjoyable parts of any project is opening the box and seeing the product for the first time. We like to take our time when unpacking new products to really get a feel for the care and consideration that a manufacturer puts into how well the product is packaged. This is also a great opportunity to take a close look at what exactly is in the box.

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Outer packaging

The box feels good and clearly shows what the box contains. It includes large images of the cameras and side panel data listing the dash cam’s key features. The outer packaging looks good and is very informative.

What’s in the box?

Thinkware U1000 what's in the box
Image of all components that come with the U1000 dash cam

Once the factory seal is split, the lid of the box pops open to reveal the U1000’s front camera, embedded in a cardboard cutout. The camera is wrapped in a plastic bag and has a safety strap cover over the lens. The cardboard nest lifts out of the box to reveal another flap underneath. Opening the bottom flap gives access to the rest of the parts in the box. Each component is individually wrapped in plastic to ensure nothing is damaged during shipping.

  • 12V power cable
  • 32GB MicroSD card
  • USB MicroSD card reader
  • windshield mount
  • Replacement 3M mounting tape
  • Self-adhesive cable clips
  • Quick Start Guide
  • CPL filter
  • Hard Wire Cable (Length: 3m/10ft)
  • backup camera
  • Rear Camshaft Cable (Length: 7.5 m/24.5 ft)

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First Impressions

The packaging of the U1000 makes it look like a desirable product. The basic facts and features are clearly labeled and on paper this should be one of the best dashcam systems out there. We are particularly interested in how the integration of ADAS with a dashcam works in real time.

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The feel of the camera is quite nice. It’s lightweight but doesn’t feel cheap. The camera appears to be well built, with tight stitching and a uniform fit. The buttons feel good and look like they are in a good position. We look forward to installing this camera and seeing how it looks and feels in the car.

The included components are of good quality. The package includes a 32MB MicroSD card to get you started. However, if you intend to use this camera for serious driving or when parking mode is engaged, you’ll need a larger capacity card. The camera can handle up to a 128MB card and we recommend buying one.

Fast statistics

  • [email protected] resolution front, [email protected] rear
  • 150 degrees front, 156 degrees rear
  • Sony STARVIS Exmor R sensor
  • Super night vision 2.0
  • Geographic Positioning System
  • Wireless Internet access
  • FAS
  • parking mode
  • Includes 12V power cord and hardwire kit
  • Options:
  • Radar sensor for parking mode
  • Rechargeable battery pack

Front camera design

The front camera has a wedge-shaped design, with the camera placed centrally on the wider part of the body. The camera attaches to the windshield with a detachable mount that attaches with high-strength self-adhesive pads. The case is made of plastic with matte black sides, gunmetal gray trim and a brushed finish on the bottom of the device.

On the driver’s side of the body you will find the V-In connector that connects the reversing camera, the 12V DC-In input, an input for external devices and a connector for the optional radar module. The MicroSD card is inserted on the passenger side of the body.

The underside, which is visible when sitting in the driver’s seat, has a beautiful, high-quality brushed finish and a gunmetal gray colour. On one side are three small buttons for power on/off, Wi-Fi on/off, and voice on/off. There is a large manual record button in the middle of the interface. Speaker connections are also on the underside.


Specifications of the front camera

The front-facing camera offers 4K ultra-high definition video recording at 30 frames per second. The camera can also be set to record at 2K at 60 FPS for ultra-smooth video but slightly reduced image quality.

Sensors

The camera uses an advanced Sony STARVIS Exmor R sensor. The design of this particular sensor makes it an ideal choice for low light conditions and it is a perfect choice for use in a dashcam that cannot provide IR illumination.

The sensor allows the U1000 to take advantage of Thinkware’s proprietary technology called Super Night Vision 2.0. This allows the camera to adjust contrast and depth to ensure accurate and detailed images even in the lowest light settings and allows the camera to capture images in parking mode.

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CPL function

The U1000 features a removable circular polarizing lens filter that reduces glare and unwanted effects from bright lights, such as headlights at night. The lens simply snaps over the front camera. Sometimes a CPL filter can produce images that are too dark at night, so it can be beneficial to be able to easily remove the filter if you find that the videos are too dark at night.

Viewing Angle & Technology

The front camera uses a 150 degree angle to record videos. The angle is a suitable choice for front cameras as it captures all the action in front of you, including the lanes of traffic next to you. Larger angles give you a better picture, but you lose image quality and introduce distortion. Smaller-angle lenses are better at producing clear images, but sacrifice impact at the periphery.

We like the 150 degree angle for a front camera. It’s usually an excellent compromise between quality and coverage. With the 4K resolution this camera offers, the edges of the image should be bright, clear and easy to enlarge.

To further improve image quality, Thinkware adds Wide Dynamic Range processing to the camera to ensure video is always at the right exposure level to capture colors accurately.

Advanced features

The U1000 is more than just a high-quality, high-resolution dash cam. It has built-in features that can make you a safer driver. The U1000 has a GPS antenna built into the design, saving you the money and hassle of installing a separate GPS module. The GPS module allows the U1000 to provide some useful features that you don’t often find on dash cams.

Advanced driver assistance system

The U1000 offers several driver assistance systems that offer additional safety. The camera offers two different front collision warnings, one for normal driving and one that reduces warnings when driving in parking lots and traffic.

The camera also enables lane departure warnings, so the camera will inform you and make sure you pay attention when the driver strays from the lane. It can also warn you if the car in front of you starts moving at a stop light and you aren’t, helping prevent one of the leading causes of minor rear-end collisions. This technology is called Front Lane Departure Warning.

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Super night vision 2.0

Super Night Vision 2.0 provides improved night vision. The camera uses a processor to improve image quality in low light, removing noise and graininess while ensuring fine details are visible. This technology is particularly useful in parking mode when the vehicle’s lights are not providing light for the camera.


Specifications of the reversing camera

One of the things we really like about this package, on paper at least, is the inclusion of a 1440p rear camera. A lot of packages out there have rear cameras with 720p or 1080p resolution, which severely degrades the picture quality. The higher resolution camera results in large file sizes, but it’s definitely worth the trade-off.

The rear camera is a small, cylindrical design with an integrated mount that uses the same 3M adhesive mounting pad as the front, but the camera cannot be removed once installed. The design is simple and has a V-out connector on one side for the camera cable.

The rear camera uses a slightly wider 156-degree angle that does an excellent job of capturing a wide-angle view. This is a fairly standard angle for rear cameras as it strikes an excellent balance of capture and quality.


Parking Mode

In parking mode, the dash cam can record videos even when the ignition is off. When the camera enters parking mode, it is in standby. With the built-in G-sensor, the camera is activated when an impact is detected. The camera then records a one-minute video clip and captures the details.

Energy saving mode 2.0

The U1000 uses the latest technology to save energy in parking mode. If you use the included cameras, you will see energy savings. In motion detection mode, the camera draws 274.2mA of power, draining a 4,500mAh battery in less than a day. The Power Saving Mode 1.0 used on the Thinkware Q800 Pro drops power consumption to 67.7mA, giving you 2.8 days of power. The latest Power Saving Mode 2.0 goes even further and allows you to set the parking mode and keep it powered for 4.1 days without charging the battery.


WLAN and the Thinkware app

The Thinkware U1000 includes Wi-Fi to connect your smartphone or tablet to allow viewing of video files and adjustment of settings wirelessly. You use the Thinkware app to access files over WiFi.

The Thinkware app is free to download but requires that you have your camera installed and turned on. Once we have this camera installed in a test vehicle, we will thoroughly investigate how the app works.

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Joshua Elliott
Bacon practitioner. Certified coffee fan. Lifelong food junkie. Web trailblazer. Typical internet fanatic.

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