We haven’t discussed DVR dash cams too much so we though to bring the subject over to you. These cameras can be surprisingly helpful to drivers everywhere, providing the ability to record traffic events and accidents, burglary attempts, or be used to document their travels. Of course, they’re mostly used to record traffic events and provide proof in case of a traffic dispute.
We’ve had the chance to test out two Mio dash cams, the MiVue 688 and MiVue 638 Touch.
On the first review, we will focus our attention on MiVue 688. It’s an interesting model capable of Full HD recording at 30 frames per second, using a Sony sensor. The lens allows for a 140 degree recording angle, enough to cover both road sides and even sidewalks. It features a GPS, fixed speed traps alert and other interesting functions.
Aspect and accessories
The cam comes together with a 12V car charger and a windshield holder. It has no internal memory so you need to separately acquire a microSD card to record videos. MiVue 688 is built using matte plastic that offers better resistance to scratches. The holder is rather small, but facilitates the attachment and detachment of the camera with great ease. The charger is a bit large in size and the wire is longer than you’d expect, connecting with the camera on the top side. MiVue 688 doesn’t take too much space though.
Turn on and emergency recording buttons are placed on the sides of the camera and are large enough to be operated even while driving without taking your eyes of the road. Settings are also attached to the sides of the camera but are not as easy to use as the two buttons mentioned above. It actually takes a little while to adjust to their position and size. It seems to be easier to remove the camera from its holder in order to tune in various settings.
MiVue 688 comes with a quality LCD display which renders bright colors and enough details.
It must be mentioned that Mio MiVue 688 automatically starts recording when powered up and stops when you switch off ignition. This way, you don’t have to press a button to start it up.
The camera records continuously and stores videos in chunks of a few minutes each. When the microSD reaches full capacity, old files are automatically overwritten. Thankfully, videos featuring events are kept by default.
A good video quality is given mostly by the Sony supplied sensor. F 1.8 lens increase low-light video quality.
We’ve tested the camera early in the morning and late at night to see if it’s able to record details such as license plates or people on the sidewalk. It did really well, even at night. Video resolution is good and rarely renders any movement defects, without affecting the overall quality in a mentionable manner. During bright light conditions, video quality increases exponentially.
A 3-axis G-sensor records any events such as accidents or heavy braking, storing data such as direction of travel, speed and acceleration. This is probably one of the most useful functions for post-incident analysis.
Other interesting capabilities
I won’t start filling up entire pages with every function of the MiVue 688. Instead, I’ll just go through the most important ones.
If the camera starts running at night, it will provide a reminder to turn your headlights on.
The GPS receptor works great for positioning but also warns about upcoming speed traps. Data is updated for free, forever. This is especially useful when travelling abroad.
It will also warn you when going over the speed limit or when getting out of lane. However, for these functions to work properly, you will need to play a little with positioning the camera.
I personally enjoyed this model. First of all, recording quality at night and other low-light conditions is way better than other DVR cameras. Recording angle is wide enough to cover a 4 lane road and still capture sidewalks.
Automatic camera startup, lane detection with departure warning, GPS receiver and full personalization options are just a few of the advantages of this camera.
The size of the charger could have been smaller and the charging port might have been better off on the side or on the lower part of the camera. Settings buttons are rather difficult to use and the lack of a microSD card are the downsides of this camera.
Price tag goes higher than the average of no-name products; however it’s highly advisable to avoid going for the lowest price when it comes to dash cams. This gadget might be the very element proving your innocence in an accident, thus you will want a sturdy and efficient device rather than any camera stuck to the windshield.
Next, we will cover another Mio. MiVue 638 Touch comes with a few extra blends compared to its 688 relative.