Currently available on Amazon at £45.99 and as prices are falling this has to be judged as a mid range cam. However, camera quality is going up as fast as prices are falling and so it needs to offer more than just a bargain price to be any good.
Inside the rather low-end box was the camera itself, long mini-USB car charging cable with hard-wired cigar lighter plug, short USB cable, suction cup mount, sticky mount and a User Guide. The User Guide is nicely designed compared to those usually supplied and well printed too as well as being quite comprehensive and actually useful although has a few translation issues. I attach a scanned copy to my unboxing video. Switch to full screen and pause as needed to read it.
Insurance fraud is on the rise and one way of protecting yourself from driving-related scams is to install a dashcam. Dashcams such as this one are positioned discreetly pointing forwards through the front window and record all your driving activity. The dashcam turns on automatically when the car is started and off again a short time after the engine is turned off. It records continuously in short recordings onto a memory card. When the card is full the camera records over the oldest recording. A good camera will have a built-in G-Sensor which automatically records impacts and secures that file against overwriting.
The camera is quite small for the 3″ screen size and on my car can be hidden in front of the driving mirror. The camera attaches to the windscreen or dashboard with the supplied mounts and in my tests, this worked well. Like most cameras, this one has a built-in battery which is designed only to give short-term coverage should the car power supply fail in the event of a crash. For normal operation, it should always be connected to the car power port. The camera has a large screen which you need to access to configure the device, a chore but it only needs doing once.
The camera has a microphone which is useful in an incident if you have the presence of mind to observe and announce number plates or external events not captured by the camera. The dashcam has a G-sensor which will ensure that impacts or other events are not overwritten by other recordings on the card. The camera takes a micro SD card of up to 32GB to record onto and you must get a good quality high-speed card. Class 10 is best if a card is too slow the camera will not be able to write to it properly. Several looping time lengths are available and I suggest 3 minutes for best results. The G-Sensor trigger will lock and the flag the current video file for any impact it detects. The camera has an Emergency Lock button so you can manually flag the current file to prevent deletion.
The camera lacks a GPS sensor, a disadvantage for some users but not for me as I found watching my journey on the map is a novelty that soon wears off. Also, should your device fall into the hands of the police after a crash they will be able to note and use against you any previous speed infringements or driving errors caught by the GPS.
Video results are good for the price and it offers multiple resolution levels. At the maximum FHD resolution of 1296p@30fps, the picture is better than good. It can also work at 1080p which can also produce good results with a smaller file size. Other resolutions are available but are too small to be of use. The camera has a wider than normal 170° lens and has a WDR mode which can improve image quality by enhancing shadow and highlight details. The camera can connect via the supplied mini-USB cable to your PC to view files directly.
The camera offers a Parking Monitor using Motion detection which can act as a security feature when the vehicle is parked (this may depend on how your car power socket is configured) but the system latency means you may miss the trigger event and this could also be a nasty battery drain in some circumstances. Personally, I keep it turned off.
One novel feature of this camera is that it has an optional built-in Wifi hotspot. To use this, first, download the RoadCam app to your Android or iOs phone. Turn on the Wifi option from the camera settings and then using the system settings of your phone connect to the hot spot generated by the camera using the password 12345678. Open the app and then select the camera. You can view a live stream from the camera and record video and still images directly. You can also configure the camera settings. Personally, I doubt I will be using the app again, not because it does not work but I can configure the settings well enough using the camera screen and prefer to view the recordings on my PC. It would be a useful way of getting quick access to the camera memory when away from your computer, I suppose. Nice feature, glad to have it, but not really useful for me.
This is a budget-priced dashcam but provides all you need plus some extras besides. Video quality is excellent and for the current low price, this is an attractive buy.