I have been looking for a dash camera for a while now, I keep seeing the aukey, and the anker cameras, then the blackvue camera looked really nice but i wasn’t too keen on that price tag, especially since I already have a couple Yi cameras as well as a few GoPro cameras laying around that I could use, however since i use my GoPros quite often I didn’t want to put extra wear on their batteries and SD cards, so i left the duty to the Yi4K that has been collecting dust since I got my Hero5 Black. Unfortunately the Yi4K has been having this issue that when you use the built in 1/4-20 screw mount it would just shut the camera down out of nowhere.
I saw a few weeks ago the Yi Mirror Dash Camera and really liked the idea of not having something that i would have to mount and unmount every time i leave the car as you cant really leave anything in the car lately from GPS devices to even a simple bag, because for some reason in the bay area criminals will break your window for any reason with little to no recourse, so having a camera hanging off my windshield just seemed like a giant “break my window” sign.
The camera somewhat blends into the mirror, the wires coming from it doesn’t look too conspicuous because the stock mirror already had wires hanging from it going to the roof liner, and the screen, when turned off, is unnoticeable to the human eye.
To route the power i ran the cable up into the headliner where the stock wires were already going and just pushed it in until it stayed, i did this all the way down to the A-piller and theres a piece of plastic trim there, i pulled it forwarded and tucked the wire behind it, then back out to where the weather strip covered the edge of the roof liner, pulled the weather strip back and theres plenty of room to tuck the wire in behind the roof liner and then fold the weather strip back, i did this down to where the dash meets the door and i pulled the glove box off, and ran the wire behind the glovebox down to the center console, out and into the cigarette lighter.
To install the rear camera its basically the same thing, route the cable along the headliner and the pillars and out to the back where i used the two little screws to screw it into the headliner and tucked the excess cable into the liner. There was a red cable that
Whats in the box?
The camera/mirror comes in the new standard type of simplified box, no extra fluff, its just big enough to house the camera and assorted cables and thats it, which helps with shipping and reduce unnecessary packaging. You get the mirror on top, when you pull that out there is hidden under a plastic insert is a long wire for the rear camera, the rear camera, and a usb charger.
The screen is pretty good during the day, when its really bright outside its kinda hard to see, but i really don’t stare at the screen that often, especially since it turns off after maybe a minute and allows you to focus on the road.
It like it for backing out of parking spots as a second check to my cars built in screen, i can see live while driving behind me which is great and which my stock backup camera doesn’t do but i wished it did.
all in all the screen is good most times, but really the best thing about this whole setup is the screen turns off and its just a mirror, everything else is happening in the background and your not being distracted by playing with the screen or options and stuff, it records on its own when you start your car, it stops when you turn your car off, you don’t even need to think about it.
Image quality is not the best, but its about what you would expect for a $69 action camera these days, id say its probably on par with the first Yi action camera or the Polaroid Cube level, maybe Gopro Hero2-ish range. Coming from 2.7K and 4K action cameras one typically uses these days its a bit of a drop off, but its carries the right balance of cheap and good enough. id say its good enough, the front camera is pretty clear, you can read signs and license plates so long as the sun isnt blowing them out or they arnt passing you by too fast.
Summary aka TL:DR
- Dual Camera Recording
- Automated features, starts recording on engine start, ends on engine off, reduces human error
- SD card loop overwrite function, never runs out of space
- Crash Detection
- Wide angle Cameras, can see side lanes, can also see behind car better
- some sort of built in battery or capacitor allows it to turn on after power has been cut
- stealth, you cant even see the rear camera, and the front camera blends in so well its completely overlooked.
- doesn’t require suction cup or adhesive mount with arms and all this other junk to install
- because all the mounting crap is gone there is less obstruction to view
- camera is on a movable ball joint, you can position camera just right
- Price: i mean for $69 this is pretty damn cheap for a two camera dvr type system and peace of mind.
- 80MB/s or above SD Card Speed required
- Barely fits my Mirror, if you have a thick mirror this might not fit
- mounting method- two silicone straps might break down over the months in sun?
- 1080 front camera, 720 rear camera, could be better, especially coming from Action cameras like the Yi4K and Hero5 image qualities to this.
- could block remote buttons on garage, it doesn’t on mine, but could on others.
- screen kinds hard to see during daytime, kinda bright at night
- 2.4ghz wifi is alot slower than 5ghz, and i don’t think the wifi stays on when it powers off so you have to sit there draining your batter to transfer videos if using wifi
- gets in the way of sunvisor, i cant put my sunvisor down without moving the mirror
- Use two SD card slots to record each camera independently
- bump the quality to 1440 at least, if not 2.7K, if the old Yi cam can do 1440, im sure this can
- adjust brightness of screen based on ambient lighting
- 5ghz wifi
You really cant get get this combination of features for the same price point that Yi is making, I think for me personally its a nice combination of stealth, quality, coverage, convenience at the right price point to make this an easy buy if your stuck in traffic at all on your daily commute. With these days of scammers, thieves, and crazy drivers its always good to have a video backup of something that may happen, or even just have that piece of mind as a driver. Ive personally noticed that people tend to calm down and watch themselves alot more when they know your recording.