Xiaomi Yi Smart Dash Camera Review
The Xiaomi Yi Smart Dash Camera is Yi Technologies cheapest option for cars. It comes with a Full HD video resolution and a collision detection feature to make sure that every accident is captured. Pretty much all that you can ask for from a dashboard camera. Well at least on paper. Which is why I have put together this review to see if it still has the quality Yi technologies is known for and how it performs in the real world!
- Chipset: YI Customized Chip / A12-60 dual core+DSP
- Sensor: 1/2.7″ CMOS Sensor 3.0m unit pixel
- Dimensions: 74×52×19mm / 2.9×2.1×0.8″
- Weight: 74g / 0.16lbs
- Field of View: 165°
- Video resolutions: 2304×1296 30fps; 1920×1080 60/30fps
- Bitrate: 20Mbps
- Modes: Video, Collision detection, Loop
- Digital Image Stabilization: No
- Screens: 2.7″ LCD
- Connectivity: WiFI
- Ports: MicroUSB
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 64GB
The Yi Smart Dash Camera comes with the exact same shape as an action camera. It even has similar dimensions (74×52×19mm / 2.9×2.1×0.8″) and pretty much weighs the same as well (74g / 0.16lbs). The only main difference is the way it’s built. Yeah both of them are made out of plastic but it’s not that thick on the Yi Smart Dash Camera. As in it doesn’t feel like it can survive a drop. But that makes sense as a dashboard camera doesn’t have to be as strong. Oh and you can also choose between two colors: silver and gold.
Like I mentioned before, the overall look resembles of an action camera. On the front you find the lens with a small LED indicator. The sides have a MicroUSB port and a MicroSD card slot. The back of the camera has a nice 2.7″ LCD screen with buttons for changing the settings and turning on the camera. And finally the top of the camera, which is where you find a slot that you attach the different mounts to. It’s pretty unique and I’m quite surprised that it’s not something simpler, like a standard threaded screw. But it works and it’s pretty much a built-in quick release so it’s fine.
The dash cam does come with a couple of accessories. The package includes a MicroUSB to USB cable, an adhesive mount and a power adapter. You can use the adhesive mount to attach it either to your cars dashboard or the windscreen. There are also mounts available with suction cups if you would rather use that. They can be found on Amazon for around $8. The power adapter comes with one USB port but I’m sure that many of you already have one in your car. I at lease used the one I had before with two ports and it worked just fine.
This is a dash camera so don’t expect some crazy video quality from it. It records videos at resolutions of 2304×1296 30fps and 1920×1080 60/30fps. The native resolution is still 1920×1080 which is also known as Full HD. The 2304×1296 resolution is actually interpolated via software. So I’d still consider it as a Full HD video camera. Which is pretty standard for dashboard cameras.
The camera comes with a 6G lens that has a 165° field of view. It’s pretty good as there’s hardly any distortion there. The lens even has an infrared filter inside it that reduces glare and blocks sun rays. Which is used to create a clearer and sharper image. Here’s a video example of the image quality.
The image quality actually isn’t bad considering how much it costs. Everything is surprisingly clear and you can also read number plates of all the cars in vision. Well you do have to be near them to do that. From a far, they are still quite blurry. But that’s fine since it’s a budget dashboard camera. So overall I’m pretty happy with it.
I also want to add that the camera needs to be connected to a power source when you are using it. It has somewhat of a battery inside it but that lasts for up to 10 seconds after you unplug it. So that USB cable needs to be plugged in the entire time.
Since this is a dashboard camera, it does come with some pretty unique safety features. There is an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) that monitors what’s happening ahead and warns you if you are drifting off your lane. Enabling these features does mean that the maximum frames per second you can choose is 30.
It also comes with a G-sensor that has 3 levels of sensitivity. This can detect sudden breaking and collision, which makes the camera automatically record when it thinks there’s going to be an accident. So you’ll have footage before the actual accident or crash should happen.
Connectivity & Menu
You can access the menu from the 2.7″ screen behind the camera. Below it are all the buttons that are used to navigate through it and change settings. The interface is really straight forward and easy to use.
Everything you record is saved to a MicroSD card. The maximum capacity you can use in this camera is 64GB. It also comes with WiFi, which you can use to connect the camera to your phone and view the past recordings from there as well.
One thing I want to point out is that when you are buying the Yi Smart Dash Camera, make sure that you are getting the International version. That’s the one that comes with the English interface. There is also a Chinese version available and you can’t change the language on that!
The official Xiaomi dash camera App is available for both iOS and Android smartphones. From the app, you can change all the settings and turn on features. Again just like the menu, it’s really straight forward and easy to use. It also comes in English so you don’t need to worry about having to learn Chinese.
The Xiaomi Yi Smart Dash Camera is an extremely well priced and easy to use dashboard camera. It comes with a straightforward menu and an App that keeps it as simple as possible. Sure the video quality could be better, but it’s definitely one of the best in this price range. So if you want something with a better image quality or GPS, then unfortunately you’ll need to look at something more expensive.