Monday, 12 February 2018

Xiaomi Dash Cam Review

I'm the first to put my hands up and say that bits of technology can scare me. All the wires, programming and bits that go with it make me want to run away from them with my hands over my ears. A dash cam is one of those bits of technology. Whilst I know it's something that I really should have invested in a long time ago, I'm overwhelmed with whats on offer and I have no idea where to start with finding something that works for me. That was until the folks over Xiaomi got in touch and asked if I wanted to try out their new 70Mai Dash Cam. 



The Xiaomi 70Mai Dash Cam is a smart Dash Cam that is not only affordable, but also is packed full of features that will help even the most technophobic of us to utilise the caerma to the best of it's abilities. Having taken the Chinese market by storm, the Xiaomi 70Mai is finally hitting the international shores with an Indigogo Crowd Funder ser up by the creators to allow us Brits a chance at owning this affordable smart dash cam.

Unboxing and installing.

Upon opening the box, I was greeted with a handful of bits to help get it set up and a simple user guide (in Mandarin, but I had been supplied with an English version too.) There was me getting all worked up about getting it installed, but it was as simple as stick, plug in and go.  I managed to get it set up in my car with no problems at all. They advise you to stick it behind the rear view mirror, but upon playing around with it, I found that just on the line of my wipers worked best for the picture for us. Luckily I've had my MOT since installing, and they said it was fitted fine and didn't obstruct the view at all.

The Dash Cam comes with a lighter adaptor and a usb connection, I swapped out the wire for one of mine as it's a bit shorter and it meant I could affix it to my dashboard easier than a longer wire. With a sticky pad to affix to the window and an easy tilt mechanism, it was easy enough for me to find the perfect place to put it.


General set up

The Xiaomi 70Mai Dash Cam is a simple device with one external button on the cam itself and a space for a micro SD card. I popped at 64gb one in that I had lying around and found it has more than enough space to record and take photos. Whilst the dash cam itself doesn't come with an SD card, the low price they are offering it at means that it's still just as affordable than other smart cams on the market. 

The button on the side provides you with several commands. One press and hold will turn it on or off, a quick press will start it recording and then 5 presses will reformat your SD card, which is a handy tool to have. The edge of the button has a coloured ring. This will reflect the different states of the camera. From blue in standby mode, to green in recording and red when there is an error. It's a great visual for technophobes like me, as it's so simple to work out that I've not had a problem at all so far. 

As mentioned before, the dash cam is smart enabled meaning that it will work in conjunction with your mobile phone. It was simple enough to download the 70Mai app and sync my device with it. From there you can perform simple tasks such as checking the view from the camera, taking photos, and doing other commands such as adjusting the settings.


The camera quality.

Of course the most important part of a dash cam is the quality of video. The 70Mai Dash Cam provides a 1080p Full HD video with a wide angle camera shooting over 130 degrees of footage. This is perfect as it's high quality, won't miss any part of the recording and takes in footage from your peripheral vision too. The photos you can take are only 2MP, but for working out a licence plate or a detail, it's fine for occasional use.

The lens itself is coated meaning that it will have a clear picture in both freezing temperatures and the scorching sun. I say that with jest, as we don't tend to have the extreme temperatures in the UK, but it's good to know if we were to have snow or anything like that, then we would be find to record.

It's recorded really well in daylight, low light and surprisingly in rain which has really impressed me. The camera records in 1 minute bursts and will extend that if you ask it to via the app or if it senses that has been an emergency. This is a fantastic feature as it gives you the peace of mind it's all recorded.


Overall opinion

Having been apprehensive about having a dash cam, I have to say that I'm so surprised and impressed with the quality of the Xiaomi 70Mai dash cam. It's cheap (around the $50 mark) and has so many features that it's completely worth the money spent on it for the smart features alone. Not to mention the quality of video is so high and clear that it's a fantastic for any lighting situation you may face. I love having the peace of mind that photos and videos are easily accessed from my phone and the device itself is relatively modest in size.

The Xiaomi 70Mai is available on Indiegogo now and is a perfect budget dash cam for any car. A huge thanks to the team at Xiaomi for letting me test this product before it hits the UK shelves. It's a thumbs up from us.


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