What is it?
One of a new range of own-brand dash cams from motoring retailer Halfords.
The HDC300 sits above the HDC100 and 200 and, astonishingly, below the HDC400.
The HDC300 features a wide 150-degree lens and records at full HD resolution and 30 frames per second â€“ like a proper video camera. Itâ€™s also got a three-inch viewing screen that can, vitally, be deactivated while youâ€™re driving.
All the models in the range feature auto start/stop recording on a loop, audio recording, shock sensor-activated protection that locks a file if an abrupt stop is detected, and wifi for connecting to a phone app. The 300 also features GPS, a eight megapixel still camera capability and parking mode that acts like a forward parking sensor. It can also be paired with the HCD-R, which is designed to work in tandem as a rear-facing camera.
Whatâ€™s it like?
The unit itself is very light but it and the mount are quite bulky compared with some other models. Depending on your car you might struggle to tuck it in behind the rear-view mirror.
Setting it up takes a minute or two but the menus are clear and easy to use and linking to the app is simply a matter of pairing with the cameraâ€™s in-built wifi.
The app is very handy, allowing you to configure camera settings (useful if the camera is tucked away behind the rear view mirror) view live footage and download video without having to remove the camera or SD card.
Operation is simple â€“ the camera starts recording when you start the ignition and stops again when you turn the engine off. Footage is recorded in three or five-minute clips for ease of navigation and once the memory card is full it starts to write over the oldest files first. A press of a button will take a still image at any time or you can extract stills later via the app.
The daytime image is sharp, bright and clear, vital if youâ€™re ever going to rely on the footage for insurance purposes. Thereâ€™s very little wobble from the suction-cup mount but the image on the cameraâ€™s 2.7-inch screen isnâ€™t great. Youâ€™re far better off reviewing the footage either on your connected phone or on a computer screen.
Low-light and nightime footage is equally impressive, although obviously not as sharp as that captured in daytime.
The ability to connect the rear-facing second camera is also a neat feature to give you complete coverage.
For an extra Â£30 the HDC400 has a higher 1440p resolution and a wider viewing angle -at 180 degrees – but the HDC300â€™s performance makes this seem slightly unnecessary.