So it finally came in the mail.
What is it?
The GS8000L dash cam. Chinese made or something like that.
Link to said $20 deal:
First impression: This thing is so tiny! It fits in the palm of your hand and you can wrap your fingers all the way around it... Shit. Fine, TWSS. That's actually a good thing, since it's discreet, depending on where you mount it.
It came with its own mount that was easy to use immediately. You can adjust the left/right tilt along with forward/backward tilt (click 'expand' for a better look).
Just to give some perspective on size and appearance (not a permanent setup).
The video quality was suckish in general (worse than my iPhone 4S and brother's HTC One), but it got the job done.
This is a test clip in 720p (also supports 1080p) that was spliced from longer footage using Windows Movie Maker (known to lower quality of videos). SD Cards of up to 32 GB are supported.
The battery life is almost nonexistent, so it always has to be plugged into the car outlet. Which isn't terrible, as it has a long ass wire that you can easily hide or hardwire.
By default, it always is recording as long as it is plugged in and the engine is running (in my case, at least). You can switch that off I think. Once the SD card is full, it is supposed to overwrite the existing footage. People recommend using a really good SD card to ensure smoothness and so the data doesn't get corrupted. Edit: Some of my files got corrupted once I tried to play them. Then again, this was a cheap SD card. There's also a motion sensor, so you could in theory only record when there's motion (like when you park the car?).
All in all, this camera pretty much does what it was advertised to do and gets the job done at $20. Can't beat that. I was expecting a bit better video quality from 720p, though. But honestly, I would buy something more expensive (and maybe more reliable with regards to saving footage) with better quality video recording if I would go back. Anyways, we got this for my dad who often has lengthy commutes for work, so it should suit him.