This product was provided at no cost for review purposes. All opinions are solely mine.
Papago! GoSafe 388 – Tech Review
I removed my Papago! GoSafe520 that I previously reviewed off my car, and strapped on the newest offering from the dedicated dashcam company, Papago! – the GoSafe 388.
The GoSafe 388 is tiny, in fact, it’s a mere 2.1″x2.2″x1.1″ and about 30% smaller than the GoSafe 520, which is absolutely perfect if you’re going for an under-the-radar, or concealed mounting look. At that size, you’d think Papago! would skip a screen, as that’s what I originally thought, but they didn’t. It’s definitely not the kind of screen you want to playback your clips on, but it’s the perfect size to reference your footage and fine-tune the perfect recording angle.
The Papago! GoSafe 388 is powered via a cigarette-style power adapter, and a mini-usb connector on the camera end, which makes it easy to replace if you misplace the original. Besides the power adapter, the GoSafe388 box includes a windshield mount, an 8 gb memory card, and a quick-start guide and owner’s manual.
I decided to take my Papago! GoSafe388 with me on a recent trip to California, as I embarked on a road trip from San Diego to San Francisco as I figured it’d be a great test for the little dashcam. Right off the bat I was disappointed to realize the included windshield mount isn’t suction-cup style, instead it uses double-sided tape to adhere to the windshield, which isn’t too big of a deal, unless you’re looking to swap your camera from one car to another, as I often do.
Another issue I came across during my road trip, was the fact that unlike the GoSafe520, the 388 doesn’t have an internal battery, so there’s no such thing as “charging” to free up your car’s power adapter. This was a bigger issue than the windshield mount during my trip, as my test car only featured one power adapter, and I needed to connect a radar-detector and cell-phone charger as well. My only options were to take turns powering different devices as necessary, or buy a multi-plug adapter.
Once setup, the Papago! GoSafe 388 features stunning HD, high-quality images for a camera of its size, and even audio recording is pretty clear as well, though it’s quickly distorted if driving with the windows down (or top down in a convertible), but that’s to be expected out of any camera. A great benefit I took advantage of, was the 388’s capability to support a 64gb SD card, which allowed me to retain more video loops from my trip, like driving through the Golden Gate Bridge and other memorable views. Also, the 388 captures a 142 degree angle compared to the 520’s 46 degrees, and also features auto-adjusting exposure in order to adapt to changing lighting conditions.
In the end, the Papago! GoSafe 388 may lack some convenience features compared to its fancier sibling, the GoSafe 520. Despite that, the lower price point may be the deal you’re looking for to finally get into a quality dashcam.
Buy the Papago! GoSafe 388 here!