The Toguard Mini Full HD 1080p dash cam is currently the most popular budget cam on the market, and for good reason. Although the video quality isn't one of it's strengths, the Toguard has all the features you would need in a reliable dash cam, and a free 16GB Micro SD card to sweeten the deal. Even though it's only 2.5 inches wide, the Toguard Mini is very easy to use, with six decent sized buttons on the back and an easy to install suction mount. If you're looking for your first dash cam, or something to lower the ever increasing insurance costs, this Toguard dash cam is a safe pick. Your only concern may be the low quality video, but you're unlikely to find anything better for the price.
Check Price And Availability Here - Amazon Rating - (4.4 / 5) - 185 Reviews
Before You Begin
Most cameras are unable to store footage without a microSD card. Unlike other dash cam manufacturers, Toguard have supplied a free 16GB Micro SD card in the dash cam, so there is no need to purchase one.
Faulty or counterfeit microSD cards are becoming more common on sites such as Amazon and Ebay. For this reason, we recommend you always purchase from the manufacturer through Amazon, rather than a third party seller.
Toguard Mini Dash Cam Main Features
Full HD Recording - This camera is able to record at Full HD 1920 x 1080.
120 Degree Wide Angle Lens - The 120° wide angle lens covers the entire road, allowing this dash cam to pick up all the important information. Not only will this provide a clearer view of the surrounding area, but the footage can be relied on if a car hits you while drifting into your lane.
Suction Mount Included - The included suction mount allows you to use the Toguard Mini Full HD in multiple vehicles, as the setup will only be temporary. This also makes setting up and adjusting the dash cam quick and easy, and provides you with stable recordings.
Loop Recording - This Toguard Dash Cam records in loops of 1, 3, or 5 minutes. You can also turn loop recording off, to record one continuous video. If the microSD card reaches maximum capacity, the dash cam will begin overwriting the oldest footage that hasn't been protected.
G-Sensor - This built-in accelerometer detects any changes in gravity forces and automatically enters Emergency Recording Mode, protecting the important footage. The three sensitivity settings on this camera are 2G, 4G and 8G (you can also turn the G-Sensor off). If the footage locks when driving over potholes and speed bumps, you should reduce the sensitivity of the G-Sensor.
Motion Detection - After turning this on in the menu, the Toguard Mini Dash Cam will automatically begin recording as soon as motion is detected. This works best for short stops or when hardwired, as the internal battery lasts less than an hour. Make sure this feature is turned off while driving.
Free 16GB Micro SD Card Included - The Toguard Dashcam comes with a free 16GB Micro SD card already installed in the device, saving you time and money.
In The Box
- 1 x Toguard Dash Cam
- 1 x Suction Mount
- 1 x Car Charger (12V)
- 1 x USB to Mini USB Cable
- 1 x Toguard Dash Cam User Manual
- 1 x Sticker
- 1 x Free 16GB Micro SD Card (in the camera)
Buttons And Slots
Despite it's small size, the Togaurd Mini has six buttons on the back, three at either side of the screen. These buttons are nice and big, but this comes at the expense of screen size. The top and bottom left hand buttons are labelled up and down. These are used to zoom in and out during recording and photo mode, and make navigating the menus very easy. The middle left button is used for entering the menu. Press this once to enter the video menu, and again to enter the setup menu. A third push of this button takes you back to recording mode. It is also used to enter the photo menu while in photo mode, and gives you the option to delete a video file in the playback menu.
The top right button is labelled "OK" and will start and stop recording in "Recording Mode". In "Photo Mode" pushing this button will take a picture, and it is used to confirm a selection in any of the menus. The M/lock button protects the video file while recording, and when recording is stopped, pressing this button switches between Photo Mode, Playback Mode and Recording Mode. The final button is the power button. Holding this will turn the Toguard On/Off, and a short press will turn on/off the light on the front of the dash cam. When this is on you will see a yellow sun and moon icon appear at the top of the screen. This doesn't produce any visible light, but is picked up on the camera at a very short distance.
On one side of the Toguard Dash Cam you will see a USB slot. This is used to power the camera while in use, and can also be used to transfer video files to your computer. On the opposite side is a slot for the Micro SD card. Simply push this in to insert and remove (not while the camera is on). Finally there is a small reset button on the top, which should be used to reset the dash cam to default settings if there are any issues.
How To Set Up
The first thing you need to do is make sure the micro SD card is inserted into the dash cam. It is very important to insert the card before switching it on, to avoid damage to either the card, or the camera. For the Toguard, the Micro SD card should already be inserted when it arrives.
Suction Cup Installation
The Toguard is very easy to set up, and requires little effort. To begin, slide the suction cup mount on top of the dash cam until it is in place. At this point you may want to peel off the lens cover, just in case you forget later. Take the dash cam to your car, and experiment with a few positions to see which you prefer. It is important to check the laws where you live, to find out where you are allowed to place the dash cam. As long as the camera is on the passenger side, or behind the rear view mirror (and not obstructing any of the drivers vision) you should be fine. The Toguard Mini certainly lives up to its name, so obstruction shouldn't be a problem.
When you are happy with the position, attach the suction mount to the windscreen by pushing it on and clicking the lever up, as shown in the slideshow below. This mount is very easy to take off by simply using the lever, so spend some time finding a good location. Once stuck on, simply twist the knob to adjust the angle of the camera.
The next step is to route the cables as shown in the slideshow below. You should route the cable on the passenger side, so any dangling or loose wires won't distract the driver. Your aim is to tuck away as much of the wire as you can. For a detailed guide on dash cam cable management, click here to read our Cable Management Guide.
For most cars the cable can easily be tucked above the windscreen, then down under the rubber. It is worth noting, there may be an airbag underneath this panel, so you may want to take the wire down the side of the windscreen instead, using tape or cable mounting clips. You can then bring the wires across the footwell. Use sellotape to stick the wire under the glove box, or tuck it under the mats to avoid tripping over. For a better looking finish, you can get some self-adhesive cable mounts. These will stick anywhere in the car, and allow you to manage the wires a lot easier.
The next step depends on how your vehicle delivers power to the cigarette lighter socket. Plug the 12V plug into the socket and look for a light on the camera, indicating it is receiving power. If the dash cam isn't being powered, your car requires the ignition to be on for the 12V socket to be active. In this case, switch the ignition on, and turn on the dash cam if it doesn't automatically power up.
Now the camera has switched on, you should see a red circle appear at the top left, indicating the camera has automatically started recording footage. If not, press the OK button to begin recording. If you are having trouble recording, or if you receive any sort of warning, you can visit the Product Questions Page to find assistance.
Important: With any first time set up, manufacturers recommend formatting the SD card (make sure any important footage has been copied to your PC as this will wipe all the current data). To do this, stop recording and press the middle button on the left twice to enter the setup menu. From here, you'll have to use the up and down buttons to navigate to the "Format" selection. Once highlighted, press "OK", select SD card, and finally select "OK".
Those who find it difficult to read small text may struggle navigating the menus due to the small screen size. If you are able to easily view the screen though, the menus are simple and intuitive.
Resolution - Allows you to select which resolution you would like to use. 1080FHD 1920 x 1080 will provide the best quality.
Loop Recording - Off /1 min / 2 min / 3 min - Changes the loop length.
EV - Allows you to adjust the exposure compensation. Changing this setting will make the images brighter or dimmer.
Motion Detection - While motion detection is turned on, the camera will automatically record when it senses movement. Make sure this feature is turned off while driving.
Audio - On / Off
Date Stamp - Off/On - Allows you to stamp the date at the bottom left of the video. This feature is handy for insurance purposes, less important for personal use.
Gsensor - Off / 2G/ 4G/ 8G- This accelerometer detects a change in gravity forces, and protects the important loops. If you find the footage is locked by potholes and speed bumps, consider reducing the sensitivity of the G-Sensor.
Buttons Sound - Turns On/Off the beep while pressing buttons
Set Date/Time - Set the current date and time.
Auto Power Off - Off / 1 min / 3 min - When the camera stops receiving power, you can let the camera automatically shut down after a short delay. Please note, the Off setting will cause the dash cam to immediately turn off when it stops receiving power, and doesn't turn off the auto power feature.
Light Frequency - 50Hz / 60Hz - Choose the correct frequency for the power line to avoid flickering.
Screen Saver - Off / 3 min / 5 min / 10 min - Sets the delay time before the screen turns off. The dash cam will remain recording.
Image Rotation - Flips the video upside down.
Format - Formats the microSD card (this will delete all current data).
Default Setting - Reverts the dash cam to the default settings.
Timer - Single(instant) / 2s / 5s / 10s - Sets the delay before taking a photo.
Resolution - The resolution of the still images taken by the camera.
Sequence - Off / On - When turned on, the dash cam take five images in a sequence after pressing OK.
Quality - Fine / Normal / Economy - This determines the quality of the still images taken by the camera; Fine is the best, while economy is the lowest quality.
Sharpness - Strong / Normal / Soft - Determines the sharpenss of the images
White Balance - Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten / Fluorescent
Color - Normal / Black & White / Sepia
ISO - Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 - Sensitivity of the image sensor. Use a higher setting in darker situations.
EV - Allows you to adjust the exposure compensation. Changing this setting will make the images brighter or dimmer.
Anti-Shaking - Helps stabilize the image
Quick Review - Off / 2s / 5s - Displays the image after it's been taken
Date Stamp - Off / Date - Stamp the current date onto the image
We have added examples of Toguard dash cam footage below. For this test, we have included both day and night. These videos are linked from Youtube, so clicking on the screen icon in the bottom right of the video will allow you to view the video in full screen mode. Unfortunately Youtube compresses the videos, so the quality you see here might not reflect what you end up with. However, in this instance it seems to be a fair representation of what the Toguard mini can offer.
Toguard Mini Full HD Daytime Footage
Toguard Mini Full HD Night Footage
This is the main downside to the Togaurd dash cam, the recording quality isn't very good. These videos are set on the highest resolution setting at 24fps. The overall quality is quite blurry and the lack of frame rate results in choppy video. It is possible to pick up number plates at a close distance. In the dark however the footage suffers greatly, and is unlikely to provide accurate evidence in the event of a collision. In well lit areas such as towns and cities there is a big improvement, but the Toguard can't rely on only your headlights to provide light. There is a "flashlight" feature on the dash cam but this doesn't produce any visible light, and is only noticeable from about a foot away. I turned this on during the night time test and it didn't make the slightest bit of difference, leading me to believe there must be an alternative use for this feature. You can turn this on by tapping the power button, just make sure not to accidentally turn the dash cam off.
Playing Back Files On The Dash Cam
To play back files on the Toguard Mini dash cam, you will first need to go into "Playback Mode" by pressing the M/lock button twice. From here you can use the up/down buttons to navigate through the videos, and press "OK" to play the highlighted one. Pushing the middle left button gives you the option to delete or protect the files.
Transferring Files To The Computer
There are two ways of getting the recorded footage on to the computer. The first method is to connect the dash cam to your computer with the supplied USB cable. When you plug the camera in, you will be given the option of Mass Storage or PC Camera. PC Camera allows you to use the dash cam as a webcam for your computer, while Mass Storage gives you access to the video files. After selecting Mass Storage, the folder should be accessible from your computer. It will be labelled as a Removable Disk.
Access the folder titled DCIM, and simply copy the files you want, then paste them over to a folder on your computer. DCIM may contains various folders, with the protected videos being stored in a folder called "101CRASH", or something similar. It can be a good idea to reformat the microSD card after transferring files over, to prevent file corruption, and free up space for more emergency recordings. If you are going to do this, make sure to copy over every file you need, as they will be deleted when the microSD card is reformatted.
An alternative method is to make sure the dash cam is switched off, then remove the microSD card. This card can be inserted into your laptop or computer, with the use of an SD card adapter. When the SD card is plugged in, your computer should notify you. Open up the folder and simply copy and paste the files over, the same way as the previous method.
The Good And The Bad
- Good value for money dash cam
- Easy to set up and use
- Impressive motion detection
- Very small so causes no obstruction
- Free Micro SD Card Included
- Crackly Audio
- The footage is fairly low quality
- Very poor video quality in low light
For a dash cam of this price you will struggle to find impressive video quality, and the Toguard certainly doesn't break the rule in this regard. All around footage is poor and choppy, but it is good enough to protect you on the road, and will provide sufficient evidence to prove an accident wasn't your fault. If most of your driving takes place at night, you may want to increase your budget and try something like the Maisi Smart, the difference in quality is very noticeable. The field of view of the Toguard camera is decent and should cover a few lanes of the motorway, but may still leave you exposed from the side. If you do a lot of motorway driving, the Maisi Ultra has an incredible viewing angle to cover you from the front-sides. Finally, the Toguard audio is poor and produces crackling sounds throughout, but this isn't very important for most users.
On a positive note, the Toguard feels like a well made piece of kit, and has plenty of useful features. This model is particularly small (around 2.5 inches) so shouldn't obstruct your view and is easy to set up, especially with the free 16GB Micro SD card. Motion detection is very accurate, but requires a constant power source if you're using the feature for a long time (the battery lasts around an hour with full charge). If you are using this feature with battery power only remember to turn the dash cam on, as it will switch off when unplugged. The Toguard dash cam instructions are badly translated from Chinese, and aren't of great use if you're new to dash cams. However, you don't really need the Toguard manual as the dash cam is easy to set up and use. At this price it's hard to be critical of the camera, as the value for money is excellent. The Toguard Mini is possibly the best dash cam we've found for those on a very tight budget.
Check Price And Availability Here - Amazon Rating - (4.4 / 5) - 190 Reviews
With The Toguard Mini Full HD Dash Cam We Recommend
Cigarette Lighter Splitter - This cigarette lighter splitter will turn your single socket into two sockets, with an additional USB slot for charging phones. This is a must buy for drivers using both a dash cam and a sat nav.
Similar Dash Cams
|Features||HD Camera, HD Video Recording|
|LCD Screen Size||1.5LTPS|
|Camera||120A+ grade high resolution ultra wide angle lens|
|Language||English, Russian, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Korean|
|Recording Video Format||M-JPEG|
|Continuous Video Loop||Seamless loop recording|
|Automatic Power On/Off||Supports auto-ignition boot|
|Motion Detection Function||Support|
|Time Sync||Support (Y/M/D/H/M)|
|Carrier Media||Built-in memory (total 64MB)|
|Photo Mode||5 Million|
|Memory Card||TF (max 32GB)|
|Infrared Night Vision||Support|
|USB Function||1: USB-disk 2:PC-Camera|
Keywords: Toguard Dash Cam, Toguard Dashcam, Toguard Dash Cam Review, Toguard Dash Cam User Manual, Toguard Dash Cam Instructions, Toguard Camera, Toguard Mini Full HD 1080p Dash Cam