In recent times, car prices have doubled and cars that were once in the price range of many consumers are now only available to consumers in the form of cool desktop wallpapers.

Eventually, we all find a car that we quite enjoy. We take great care of it by watching out for potholes in the road, cleaning it from dust and road grime, and even watch where we park. Yet when we are driving down the road, there is nothing to protect us against an accident.

Every day thousands of accidents happen with cars, some worse than others, but when the accident is one person’s account versus yours, it’s hard for the police to find out whose fault it is.

In the United States, the person who has damage towards the front of their car is almost always at fault. However, there are many cases where the person in front of you is at fault, but you cannot show proof. For example, if somebody goes through a stop sign and you hit them on their side. Also, more worryingly, when people deliberately stop in front of you to make false insurance claims.

This is where an all-seeing eye comes into play. With a camera that records everything you do while driving, nothing is ever questioned and the camera can help prove your innocence or even identify the perpetrator in a hit-and-run car crash.

Car manufacturers install a lot of technology into their cars to improve driver response and offer driving aids, but when it comes to protecting the car from other drivers, there’s nothing, so it’s advisable to protect your investment with another small investment.

Based out of South Korea, BlackVue is a reputable brand that has been producing some of the best dash-cameras that I have ever seen. By protecting the front and rear of your car, there’s nothing that is questionable to the police and you have everything to prove your case.

By recording GPS location, speed, listening to the microphone and seeing live data, this little camera can show you everything you need to know about the car and its driver. Perfect for personal and enterprise usage. Plus, offline recording means that the car keeps an eye out for when you need to step away.

As the sixth member of the BlackVue camera lineup, this new DR650S-2CH is a feature-packed camera that matches well with the new Power Magic Battery Pack. With 12 hours of offline recording, never miss a moment of your new car.

Welcome to my review of the BlackVue DR650S-2CH and Power Magic Battery pack. Throughout this in-depth review, I will be discussing the following topics: the setup, design, functionality, and my final thoughts. A special thank you to BlackVue for providing me with both of these products.


Those accustomed to my previous BlackVue reviews will know that the setup of a dash-camera is fairly straightforward.

The DR650S-2CH is a dual channel dash-camera, meaning that you are provided with not one, but two cameras. The larger and higher resolution camera is optimized for the front, while the smaller unit is for the rear of the car.

After reviewing multiple BlackVue cameras, I must say that I much prefer this dual channel setup. The front camera voids any misconceptions about the front of your car and the rear protects you against those who run into you from behind.

Setting up the cameras begins by mounting the cameras with their extremely strong 3M gel to your front and rear windows. Be sure to clean the windows first with some Windex or, preferably, rubbing alcohol, to ensure good adhesion.

Then, route the cables through the headboard and plastic fascia around your car. Ideally, do your best so that you cannot see any cables. In my setup, I was lucky and fully hid the entire cable run. Since this setup uses the rear camera, two cables will lead off of the front unit. One is for power that terminates at a cigarette lighter power source, and the second is a power/video feed to and from the rear camera.

When routing the cables, I am always thankful that BlackVue provides plenty of length of both the power and rear camera cables. Furthermore, BlackVue generously included a plastic wedge that allowed me to push the cables into the headboard. This is not something they have provided in the past and it sure did save a lot of time.

If you have trouble routing the cables on the window or cannot hide the cables well enough within the headboard, then BlackVue kindly includes cable mounting brackets that also use the strong 3M gel. Furthermore, once mounted, both the camera and cable mounts are extremely difficult to remove. Removing these gel pads does ruin them so make sure that the first mount is the best it can be.

Normally, this would be the part where I say connect the power to a cigarette lighter and call it a day. However, this is not the case. Just like my review on the BlackVue DR650GW-2CH , this camera has the option to connect to a secondary device.

Named the BlackVue Power Magic Battery Pack, this is an addition to BlackVue’s cameras that can provide power when the car is turned off. In my review of my first BlackVue camera, I complained that if you have a car which does not have cigarette lighters that turn off when the car turns off, then your camera would continuously record and eventually drain the car’s battery.

Then, BlackVue attempted to solve this issue by releasing the BlackVue Power Magic Pro (PMP). This was a device that connected to your car’s fuse box and could monitor your car’s battery. When the PMP detected that the voltage of the car’s battery dropped below a threshold, it would cut power to the camera. Otherwise, the PMP had a built-in timer which also cuts power.

Now, to further simplify the problem, BlackVue has rethought the PMP in favor of this battery pack. While large in size, this battery pack is exactly that, a battery pack that provides battery power. By connecting the battery pack to your car’s cigarette lighter, your car begins to charge the battery pack's internal battery. Power is then passed through to the dash-camera. Afterwards, when the car is turned off, the battery pack begins to power the camera.

Why is this important? With the battery pack, your dash camera can now record what happens when you are out of the car. So if you are shopping and return to a dented car by a hit-and-run, you will now have a video of it.

When it comes to setting up the battery pack, the difficult part is where to place it. It’s large in size but does come with some large Velcro pads and a removable mounting clip. If you have room, underneath your car seat will be the most optimal place. There’s no fuse box wiring necessary with this model, just connect the included cables to a cigarette lighter and you are all set.

Finally, all of the configuration and settings are housed within the new BlackVue mobile application. While this will be discussed further down, the new application is easier to use and has had a well needed revamp.


"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Right? That’s what I imagine was said at the BlackVue design meetings in Korea. Again, those familiar with my past BlackVue reviews will now find this design remarkably similar to other BlackVue cameras.

The cameras are a cylinder-shaped design that are easily concealed behind the rear-facing mirror and are unobtrusive when placed on the rear window. Painted in a matte black, both cameras come with an optional security LED that can either blink to inform others that they are being recorded or be turned off.

On the front camera, there is a detachable mount that allows you to take down the camera. Additionally, this doubles as an adjustment wheel as it allows the camera to rotate 360 degrees. Also on the front camera, there is the wireless on/off button, SD card, GPS and recording notifications, speaker, and built-in microphone.

The rear camera is notably smaller in size compared to the front and there isn’t a removable mounting bracket like the front. That said, to level the camera, it can rotate inside it's bracket.

Previously, if you had placed the rear camera upside down, you would be recording upside down. Thanks to the new application, the DR650S’s rear camera can now be virtually flipped so that no matter which orientation you place it in, the image is always the right way up.

As for the battery pack, the 5 (W) x 4 (L) x 2 (H) inch body is constructed from a sturdy plastic with ventilation holes on two of the sides. Being quite large in size, I wouldn’t recommend placing this thing in view, but in case you do, BlackVue has included two USB ports on the battery pack to allow you to charge smartphones and tablets.

The entire body of the battery pack is matte black and there are some informational LEDs on the top indicating power and battery status.
While it does also weigh 1.2 pounds, the detachable mounting clip allows you to mount this anywhere with the included Velcro or by screws.


The functionality of this camera differs from my other BlackVue reviews because of the newly designed BlackVue mobile application.

To configure your camera, watch past recordings or view live data, everything is controlled through this application. The application connects to the camera by a wireless network that the camera creates and while it’s not the fastest connection, it gets the job done.

Inside the new app, you are greeted by a friendly and colorful menu screen that gives you three major options. Users can now access the BlackVue Cloud, BlackVue WiFi, or your phone's internal memory for saved dash-camera clips.

For additional options, there is a hamburger menu that expands to show settings, update firmware, BlackVue news, and some other items. While the functionality of the app is mostly the same, this new application is fast, easy to navigate and just a pleasure to review, especially since the old app was dark and black.

The BlackVue Cloud option on the front menu is the whole reason for this app redesign. The DR650S has the option to connect to the cloud for 24/7 communication to BlackVue servers. This means, if your car has a mobile 4G hotspot, your camera can connect to it and provide live data, even if you are not in the car.

This is perfect if you have a fleet of vehicles and need to keep track of one of them. Or perhaps a parent that wants to know where their child is. With cloud connectivity, users can use two-way communication, see live camera views, GPS tracking, and even receive notifications if the car is tampered with while in parking mode.

It should be noted that this BlackVue Cloud service does come at a price. You need the 4G hotspot in your car, but additional Cloud features are only available to paying members. Free users get 10 minutes of live viewing per day, one registered camera for the account, 5GB of online storage, and 100 downloads per month.

Diving into the functionality of the camera, this dash camera is a great one because it does simply one thing, record your driving. It just works and does so quietly.

Everything about the camera can be customized through the app of course. Lights, sounds, recordings, timings, what is displayed on the video, etc., and it can be turned on or off depending on your preferences.

For myself, I have the camera set to record three-minute clips of both the front and rear and this decreased the amount of video that I would need to search through on the included 16GB SD card. Additionally, I turned off all of the lights and voice sound effects. I turn on the car and the camera begins to record without a single comment.

On the recording side of things, the camera performed flawlessly. The front facing camera uses a 1920 x 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second while the rear is 1280 x 720p at 30 frames per second.

Playback of the video is clear and bright. You can see everything as it happened while you were driving. Furthermore, the camera uses a fish eye lens that provides a 129-degree diagonal, 103-degree horizontal and 77-degree vertical viewing angles. The rear camera is similar with its 129-degree diagonal, 103-degree horizontal and 57-degree vertical viewing angles.

Picture quality from both cameras is more than acceptable and even night shots are bright enough to see most things in the camera. You can see some footage below of morning and dusk driving. The rear camera can suffer during the dark as your tail lights aren’t as bright, but it can easily detect car’s behind you by their headlights.

The functionality of the battery pack is fairly self-explanatory. When the unit sees that the car has stopped providing power, the internal battery kicks in and allows the camera to continuously record. The camera will also switch to parking mode where it only saves recordings when one of the internal sensors are activated. These sensors include the car being hit or moved as well as motion detection.

BlackVue claims up to 12 hours of recording and a one-hour recharge time. From testing, I can say that this is fairly accurate with only a slight margin of error. The downside is if you have a short commute to work as I do, then you don’t get a full recharge time.

My Final Thoughts

From my first BlackVue dash camera installation to this one, I have loved every moment of owning a dash-camera for my car. It is the all seeing eye and it does not lie. You capture every moment of your driving, just in case the unthinkable happens and you need to report your innocence.

Priced at $369 for the DR650S-2CH and $159 for the Power Magic Battery Pack, this setup does put a large hole in your wallet, although this price is nothing compared with the increased insurance rates or repairs to your car if something were to happen.

I’m a big fan of the BlackVue lineup and highly recommend this DR650S-2CH to anybody who wants to protect their investments. Customers and business owners can easily benefit from all that this camera has to offer.

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© 2016 Justin Vendette