How to use the Old Smartphone as Dashcam

If you have an old mobile, you don't need to pay for an external camera. If that's what a dashcam is, why not use an old, unused smartphone instead? This way, you'll save some money while also prolonging the life of your old gadget. This also reduces the amount of garbage that accumulates inside our cabinets. This is how you use an old phone to serve as a dashcam.

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Pros and Cons and Smartphone Dashcam

Before we get into the essentials you require to transform your old smartphone into a dashcam must be aware of the pros and cons. The main benefit of using a smartphone's dashcam is saving cash on a brand new camera.

You can automatically connect to any WiFi hotspots or WiFi access points to store the recorded videos in the cloud as an Android-powered smartphone. If you wish to watch the videos you've registered, all you have to do is remove it from its mount and then use it as a typical smartphone.

But, as it's a smartphone, it's an attractive target for car thieves. This is particularly true if you put it out in the open, as is the case with most dashcams. The other option is to remove it from its mount. However, this is an option; remounting it each time you drive could be an issue.

Dash Cam Pros and Cons, Source: Youtube, Schwartz & Schwartz

Also, you should be aware of local laws. Certain jurisdictions have strict rules about keeping a mobile within your driver's view, and therefore a smartphone with a dashcam could result in a ticket.

If, however, this is permitted in the areas you go to and reside in a safe zone, then a smartphone's dashcam may be an excellent option for you. This is why we have some of the things you should consider when installing an old smartphone to use as the purpose of a dashcam.

Image Quality as well as Quality of Smartphones

The purpose of having an in-car dashcam is to record a precise track of the streets you're on. If your smartphone has a low-quality camera, less than 1080 p Full HD resolution, and doesn't respond well to constantly changing lighting conditions, you're in danger of failing.

Also, consider the range of view of the camera on your phone. You don't want phones that show only the smallest part of your hood; you'll want something that will capture the entire vantage point of the person driving. This is why it's best if the phone you're using comes with an ultra-wide camera for recording.

Smartphone Camera Quality: Explained!, Source: Youtube, Marques Brownlee 

It's not necessary to have an updated phone in your vehicle, but one between three and five years old could work great as a dashboard camera. If you have an older phone, you should consider whether its camera isn't adequate or its internals could have a problem due to wear and wear and tear.

Remember that when you're using it for a dashcam, you're likely to be exposed to various temperatures, from extremely hot in the summer sun to brutally cold in winter. It could reduce its lifespan since smartphones aren't intended to be used in these temperatures. This is why it's better to utilize an older phone with no physical damage. The condition of the phone should allow it to last longer.

The capacity of Phone Storage

The majority of old phones have only a limited amount of storage. If your phone contains 32GB and 64GB space, it is recommended to reformat the phone before using it. Also, make sure there are only essential applications and the dashcam application. So, you'll store plenty of storage for your video.

Smartphone Tips - How much phone storage do you need? - DIY in 5 Ep 110, Source: Youtube, Kingston Technology

If your phone can extend its memory using microSD cards, consider installing a 128GB removable card. This way, you'll be able to take your dashcam video in the most optimal setting and save a few videos on your phone before they're erased.

Power Source

Although most smartphones have good longevity of batteries, more old models tend to have less battery life. In addition, making videos requires lots of energy. This is why you need an ultra-fast charging cable and adapter for your vehicle to charge the smartphone's dashcam.

Which power source is the most efficient? Source: Youtube, Seeker 

Do not buy an inexpensive car charger or cable that you can get. You need to ensure they have enough power so that your phone doesn't deplete its battery while serving as an in-car dashcam. It is also essential to find a long enough device not to be able to see cables hanging before you. It's a danger to your driving, and you must avoid it.

What to Look for in a Dashcam Application

Whether it's an Android or iPhone user, there are various dashcam applications that you can pick from.

  • GPS tracking of location
  • Automatic recording
  • Background recording
  • Adjusting the length of videos
  • Automatic file overwrite

Dash Cam 101 - The Beginners Guide to Dash Cams - What Matters, What Doesn't, Source: Youtube, Andrew Lam 

Other settings you might be interested in are:

  • Automatic collision detection
  • Custom-made video settings, such as white balance and exposure
  • Automatic cloud uploads
  • Audio recording
  • Calling for emergency service
  • GPS Speedometer

These features will give you as much information as you can in the event of an accident. This allows investigators and your insurance company to discover what exactly occurred.


If you don't end up in trouble and your phone still has plenty of life left, you don't mind using it as the dashcam could be an intelligent choice. It will allow you to save some cash and, while doing so, it will reduce the waste of electronic gadgets. If you're caught stuck and need to get help, utilize your smartphone's dashcam for call emergency assistance.

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Hope this article is helpful to you, thanks for reading.