The Road Angel Halo Ultra is one of the cheapest 4K dash cams you can buy, and it captures superbly detailed videos, day and night. It’s extremely smart and compact, too, but with limited storage and upgrade potential, it’s a little disappointing overall.
- Excellent video quality
- Compact, slimline design
- Keenly priced
- No rear camera support
- Onboard storage only
- Only works with the Road Angel app
- GPSBuilt-in GPS saves your exact location as you drive
- AppRoad Angel’s app gives you a live view, and lets you scroll back and forward through your driving timeline
Road Angel’s range-topping Halo Ultra dash cam might seem pricey, but it’s actually one of the cheapest 4K car cameras you’ll find.
In fact, at the time of my review, it was discounted to just £160, making it look like incredibly good value. But dig a little deeper and you might still uncover some disappointments.
Design and features
- An extremely low-profile camera, with no screen or controls
- GPS positioning, parking mode, Wi-Fi and driver assistance
- 4K video
The Halo Ultra is an unusually compact dash camera. It doesn’t have a screen, or any controls other than a single function button and a status light, so Road Angel has shrunk it down to just slightly bigger than a Mars bar. To fit it, you put an electrostatic sticker on your screen, then stick the mount to that. It’s comparatively easy to remove again if needed.
My car has a chunky moulding around its rearview mirror, but even so I could fit the Halo Pro Ultra so that it was almost obscured behind the mirror. It’s very easy to hide away. This camera comes with a cigarette power lead and a fitting tool to help secrete its cable under your car’s cabin trim. You can also buy a hardwiring kit if you plan to use its g-sensor controlled parking mode.
There are a few oddities about the Road Angel Halo Ultra. First off, it uses a non-standard USB-C connection, so you can’t power it through a generic lead. Strangely, it also has 64GB of onboard storage which can’t be expanded through a microSD card. Given that each three minute section of 4K footage weighs in at 616MB, it can only store around five hours of footage in total. If something happens in Land’s End, you’ll need to stop and download it or it’ll be overwritten before Birmingham. For those that drive long distances, the upgradeable Nextbase 622GW may be a better choice.
The other disadvantage of this arrangement is that you can’t just pop out the microSD and browse your footage on a PC. This mightn’t be an issue if you could connect the camera and browse that from a computer, but its non-standard port seems to rule that out. While you can power it on from a computer using the supplied USB cable, it’s not detected as an external drive.
This means you’re stuck using Road Angel’s smartphone app, which unfortunately isn’t the best. Once you’ve installed it, you’ll need to connect to the camera’s onboard Wi-Fi, which is simple enough. However, on my Google Pixel 4a the app wouldn’t subsequently detect the camera.
I dug out an old phone with Android 11, on which it worked perfectly. Road Angel told me it isn’t aware of any connection issues. It could be something specific to my phone, although this didn’t have any problem connecting to the Road Angel Halo Pro I also reviewed.
Once in the app it’s not immediately obvious where your videos live. You may see short incident recordings triggered by the g-sensor, but your full video history is accessed by dragging the timeline on the live view tab. I found that counterintuitive at first, but it should be a great visual way to find a moment in time and view your location on a map.
Unfortunately, I found the reality hard to navigate. Once you find the moment you want to download, you have to wait while it transfers a three-minute recording to your phone at a few megabytes per second. There’s no option to leave this running in the background, for example while you dig out other sections of video you want to download, but you can cut it short if you’ve passed the last relevant bit of the action.
Although the dash cam itself reliably obtained a GPS lock and recorded my speed, the app didn’t show any location or telemetry data. It’s unfortunate that this didn’t seem to work, although it wouldn’t be essential to reporting an incident provided you could remember yourself where you’d been driving.
This camera also has driver assistance features including lane-departure and onward collision warnings. I found these a little distracting and a bit trigger happy, but they might be helpful in an older vehicle without similar systems built in.
Performance and video quality
- Superb video by day
- Class-leading nighttime video
Whatever my misgivings about this camera’s features, it gets one thing absolutely bang on. By day or night, it recorded some of the best quality video I’ve seen from a dash cam. Of course, having a 4K sensor helps here, but high-res cameras don’t always get the best images – particularly in low light. The Halo Ultra’s SONY IMX415 sensor obviously didn’t get that memo.
By day, the Road Angel Halo Ultra captured extremely crisp 4K footage. As with the Halo Pro bundle I’ve also tested, this camera didn’t just get sharp video – individual frames were less blurred than I’ve seen from many dash cams.
The net effect is it’s often possible to stop playback and make out details like number plates, even if they’re on a car coming towards you or travelling across the frame. This more than makes up for the maximum 30 frames per second this camera supports – better to have 30 crisp images than 60 or 120 blurred ones.
This is the best dash cam I’ve tested for night recording. It shares the Halo Pro’s ability to capture detail in iffy lighting, but with even higher resolution. I could make out several parked car number plates from my trip around the block, and the detail of various road and shop signs too. My only criticism would be that its exposure might be improved if it was a stop brighter, but sadly this can’t be changed.
Should you buy it?
You want the best quality footage: If you want quality 4K video day and night, then this camera provides it.
You need more storage or flexibility: With no microSD card slot and a reliance on the smartphone app, this dash cam is fiddly to get footage off.
This is an excellent dash cam in many ways, but it’s also rather compromised. I love its design, and its video quality, which is genuinely about the best I’ve seen.
But I don’t like being forced to use an app to view footage and location data – particularly given it doesn’t seem to work that well. I’m also not keen on having just 64GB of non-upgradeable storage: it’s not enough for a fairly typical long distance return journey.
How we test
We test every dash cam we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main dash cam for the review period
We take sample video during the day and night to see how good the footage really is.
We test any smartphone apps to see what additional features are on offer.
We test any additional safety features, such as lange change warning, to see how useful they really are.
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No. There’s no compatible one available.
No. It has 64GB onboard, but no memory card slot for expansion.
You don’t have to configure the Halo Ultra, so it will record your journeys even if you don’t have a smartphone. However, you can only view your recordings by connecting to the camera’s Wi-Fi connection and using Road Angel’s Android or iOS app. If you have an accident, or you just want to check it’s working, you’ll need a phone or tablet.