Rove R2-4K Review
Rove is a brand that’s dedicated to designing reasonably priced dash cameras. Which is fantastic as there aren’t many people who want to spend their life savings on a simple gadget for their car. Usually this also comes with a downside. The cheaper dash cameras aren’t that good in terms of image quality. But that’s not always the case and you can’t judge by just the price. Especially since the Rove R2-4K is currently one of the best selling dash cameras. So the goal of this review is to find out what you can expect from this particular camera.
- Chipset: NOVATEK NT96660
- Sensor: 4.0 MP OV4689
- Dimensions: 76×51×25 mm / 3.0×2.0×1.0″
- Weight: 85 g / 0.19 lbs
- Field of View: 150°
- Video resolutions: 2880×2160 24fps (interpolated); 1920×1080 60/30fps; 1280×720 120fps
- Photo resolution: 12 MP 5312×2988
- Modes: Parking, Motion Detection, Loopy Cycle Recording, Slow-mo, Time-Lapse, Night Vision
- Features: GPS, WiFi, G sensor
- Screens: 2.4″ LCD
- Ports: MiniUSB, MiniHDMI, 2.5 mm Composite TV-OUT
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
- Battery: 180 mAh 3.7V Li-On
In The Box
- Rove R2-4K
- Dual USB fast car charger
- Windshield suction mount
- Adhesive mount
- Cable clips
- Car wiring tool
- 3.5 m / 11.5 ft USB charging cable
- 79 cm / 2.6 ft USB data cable
Dash cameras are pretty unique in the sense that there are so many different designs. So you can always find something that you personally like. The Rove R2-4K is one of the most standard looking dash cameras. The only actual difference is that it’s a bit higher. As in the overall size is a bit bigger than an action camera for example. I know that many brands use their cases. I’m quite happy that Rove hasn’t done that as it makes their dash camera stand out.
The cameras body is fully made out of black plastic. It has a dimension of 76×51×25 mm / 3.0×2.0×1.0″ and it weighs 85 g / 0.19 lbs. So it’s still quite a light camera. Obviously you won’t be able to use it as an action camera, so dropping it on the floor is out of the question. This is strictly a dash camera for your car and that’s the only thing it can really be used for.
The camera does come with plenty of buttons and ports. Most of the buttons are located at the back side, right underneath a colorful 2.4″ LCD screen. The Mini USB and HDMI ports are on the right side of the camera. The left side has a simple power button and a MicroSD slot. Rove has also included a 2.5 mm composite TV-OUT input. You can find that at the top, next to the slider mount slot.
This type of mounting slot is pretty common among dash cameras and it works really well. I’ll write more about it below. The overall build quality is quite decent though. I don’t really have any problems with it. The buttons work like they are supposed to and so do the ports. I didn’t have any problems with plugging in the cables. Nor did they just randomly come out. And I have read plenty of reviews where people weren’t that happy with the quality of the plastic. Well I personally don’t have any problems with it as it’s exactly what I’d expect from a camera in this price range. So pay in mind that you get what you pay for.
Most dash cameras also come with at least the most basic accessories. The Rove R2-4K includes not only the basics but also a couple of extras. Those include two different mounts to set it up in the car and a couple of cables and adapters. One of the mounts is a 360 degree suction cup that’s used to attach to the windshield. It works really well and it stays attached to the window. You can also remove it any time you want. Another mount that’s included is basically the same as the suction cup, but it instead has an adhesive pad. You can use that to glue the mount to a dashboard. However I’m not a huge fan of this as it can come off any time. Plus it will leave a mark.
You also get two USB cables. One of them is a much longer one that’s designed to be used in the car. It’s basically used to power the camera. If your car doesn’t have a USB port, then you can use the included cigarette adapter. In addition, Rove has also added cable clips so that you can keep the wiring as neat as possible. They have done a great job at making the installation as smooth and stress free as possible.
When it comes to dash cameras, video quality is the most important feature. You can have the nicest looking camera in the world but if the video quality is so bad that you can’t read any number plates, then it’s just useless. That’s also one reason why I don’t really care about the advertised resolutions. Sure 4K sounds great but what’s the point, it’s not like you’ll be shooting any high quality travel videos with it. In my opinion the camera is good as long as it can capture a clear footage in every situation.
But if you do care about that, then the Rove R2-4K is capable of recording videos at a resolution of 2880×2160 at 24 fps. That’s basically 4K resolution at 4:3. Well at least that’s what the company is claiming. I’m pretty sure that it’s interpolated though. Plus the frames per second is way too low to record on a high way. Which is why I always kept the resolution at 1920×1080 and 60 fps. You can also switch to 1280×720 and use 120 fps if you want to create slow motion videos later. But I haven’t found any reason to do that.
Here’s an example video captured during the day. It was recorded in 2880×2160 simply so you can see the quality in all of the resolutions. I recommend watching the video in 1080p so that you can see what it will mostly look like when recording. The overall video quality though is pretty decent. There’s quite a bit of blur on both the right and left side of the footage. But that’s quite typical for cameras in this price range. That said, you can still clearly read all of the number plates in front of the car and also on the lane next to it. And that’s what matters the most to me. So in that sense, the Rove R2-4K definitely works as a dash camera.
Here’s another example of the same camera during the night. As you can see there’s much more blur and you can’t really read any number plates from the distance. However once the car gets closer, the plates are again as clear as during the day. Which for me is a pretty good result yet again.
The Rove R2-4K dash camera does come with plenty of fancy features. For example it has a built in GPS receiver. So it saves all of the data and you can later on view where you traveled and even display the route on a map. That also shows the speed at which you were driving. Besides that, there’s also a G sensor that can detect collision and sudden breaking. That’s why the camera has also got a Motion Detection mode. Everything else is pretty standard though.
Connectivity & Menu
This particular dash camera comes with plenty of different modes and settings that can be all changed. That’s why the camera has a decent size 2.4″ LCD screen on the back. You can change all of the settings directly on the camera. The user interface is quite straight forward and pretty easy to use. At least I didn’t have any problems with getting used to it.
In addition, the camera has also got built-in WiFi. As in you can connect the camera to your iOS or Android phone. You’ll first need to download and install the Rove Dash Camera app. After that you can view the footage directly from your phone and you can also use the app to change the settings. Again the app is straight forward and easy to use. Everything is in English and again I haven’t had any problems with using it.
To be fair, when I first did my research on the Rove R2-4K camera, I did find two type of reviews. Some were good and some were bad. But after using the dash camera for a while, I have to say that I’m far from disappointed. Some were mad about how the camera felt in their hand. But that’s pretty stupid in my opinion. Remember that you get what you pay for, and this isn’t a high end dash camera. You can tell that from the price. What matters the most is the clarity of the video. And that’s why I don’t care that it’s advertised as having 4K video. Unfortunately it’s currently impossible to get a native 4K resolution at under $100. So forget the advertisements and look at real life videos.
So overall the Rove R2-4K does work as a dash camera and it’s a pretty good buy in the budget camera range. The video quality is good enough that you can always read the number plates and that’s really the most important thing for me.