I was anxious to try the $240 Drive HD Dash 2316D dual-camera system and see what Cobra brings to the table these days. We gave the last dual-camera Cobra solution I reviewed, the CDR895D Drive HD, an Editor’s Choice, largely because of ease of use and low price. That system’s night video has since been eclipsed in quality by many cameras, even entry-level models. I expected and hoped the Dash 2316D had evolved with the times. 

Long story short: In terms of usability, the Dash 2316D is on point. There are numerous nice-to-have new features iRadar (Cobra’s information service) traffic alerts, and driver assistance. But when it comes to video quality, the Dash 2316D has not evolved, and there are a few other features I’m surprised Cobra hasn’t improved.  

Design and specs

The Dash 2316D’s front camera, with a 160-degree field of view, is a small, squarish affair with a two-inch LCD display. It’s easy to hide behind your windshield mirror, which gives you a very good alibi in states that outlaw vision-obstructing devices on your windshield. You never know when a highway patrol officer will be looking for an excuse to ticket you. 

The camera offers four ports: a 3.5mm jack for the optional $50 GPS; a slot for the SD card; HDMI output for direct playback on your TV; and a micro USB port for power and connecting to a computer.

The camera is controlled and configured using four buttons on the bottom that vary in function, illustrated by icons onscreen directly above the buttons. During normal use the buttons invoke: pause recording, take snapshot, mute microphone, and split/rear/forward view. Press the pause button, and you enter the settings mode.

At the top is a blue button (silver for non-Bluetooth models) that starts emergency recordings (automatically overwrite-protected), and a “power”/display-off button.

dash2316d front Cobra

The Drive HD DASH 2316D front camera is small enough to hide behind most rear-view mirrors. That’s handy if someone claims it was blocking your view in a lawsuit.

The 130-degree rear camera is a tube design, and captures video in 720p rather than the 1080p that the front defaults to. That’s more than adequate for legal purposes.

dash2316d lcd rear Cobra

The display of the front camera and the rear window camera are shown here. Note that the small bit of cable shown is a bit misleading: Several cables are required to provide all the connections between the two units.

The cabling for the Dash 2316D is complex, to say the least. Instead of two inputs on the front camera for power and the rear camera, the affair involves a Y-adapter and three other cables. With the CDR-895D, I thought it a clever way to morph a front camera that was meant to fly solo into one that plays nice with a second unit. Two years on, it seems more like a kludge that should’ve been redesigned by now.

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