Although dash cameras are still illegal in many countries and roaring in others, car owners continue to research the topic of road safety and look for ways to invest in high-quality gadgets.
Dash cams have proven worth it on numerous occasions and will offer you peace of mind on the road. Whether it’s an accident, insurance disputes, or false accusations, a good dash camera provides the perfect visual evidence.
It’s not often a quality dash cam on a budget pops up on the market, but the new Xiaomi’s 70mai 1S is both better and cheaper than its predecessor.
70mai 1S DVR Dash Camera Short Overview
The second edition of the ultra-portable and popular dash cam by 70mai returns with new characteristics and a better price. For around $40 you’re getting several improvements, a well-working smartphone app, and voice commands, albeit not the best full HD recording.
- Stealthy due to its low visual profile.
- Continuous charging with the engine off.
- High temperatures endurance.
- Handy voice commands.
- Doesn’t support GPS.
- No parking mode.
- Sub-par video quality.
Although it’s quite hard to improve something that’s already working great, the new 70mai 1S proved to be a true successor to one of the best budget dash cameras in this class out there.
Unboxing and First Impressions
Unpacking the 1S dash cam is a trip down memory lane. The experience is quite basic and we wouldn’t want it any other way. We’re unboxing a device that promises efficiency, after all.
Inside the box, you’ll find the main DVR, dual-socket USB car charger, heat resistance adhesive, electrostatic mounting sticker, and user manual. Which you can access from the smartphone app in one quick motion wherever you are.
Visually, there aren’t many changes to the main body of the dash camera. The 70mai 1S comes with a sleek non-trace design and only one color variant—Black. Which of course matches the color of most car dashboards and contributes to the clean look in the interior design of your car.
70mai 1S offers hardware that matches its price point quite well.
- Max. resolution: 1920×1080 resolution, 30 fps
- 1/2.8 inch lens 130 degrees angle of view
- Aperture: F2.2
Processor: Mstar MSC8328P
- Bit rate: 16 Mbps
- H.256 video compression
- 2-megapixel Sony IMX323 sensor
- 240mAh Li-ion battery
- Internal microphone and speaker
- Support up to 64 GB MicroSD cards
- Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor
- Voice control
- Wi-Fi module
- Weight: 70g
70mai 1S’s battery performs flawlessly in a high-temperature environment. We exposed the dashcam to several of the hottest days in Houston and experienced no problems whatsoever. There was no degradation of image quality and no indication of overheating issues.
According to 70mai the maximum operating temperature of the 1S dash cam is 60 degrees. The excellent durability is further enhanced by the high-quality plastic of the main body.
Thanks to the 70mai 1S’s no-trace design, this dash cam’s wiring, and mounting is a piece of cake. You can perform the installation in just a few minutes, as the wiring only needs to reach your car’s cigar lighter. Depending on how devoted you are, the 1S dashcam may even look like a factory-integrated by the end of the installation.
We wished 70mai updated the holder, though. In the previous generation, it contributed to some shaking in certain conditions.
Initial configuration requires your smartphone. The whole process can be done at home before you’ve installed the dash camera. Start by switching it on, so it creates a Wi-fi hotspot you’ll need to connect to, and then simply follow the setup guide.
You can safely stick to the default settings which you can fine-tune through the smartphone app anytime. A feature worth highlighting is that the 70mai 1S dash cam’s charging is not affected by turning the engine of the car off. A rare quality that makes this cheap dash camera a good choice for your car’s safety.
70mai 1S DVR Dash Camera Performance
The codec used seems to be the same as in the previous generation—h.264—with the special compression technology by 70mai, that our video editing software doesn’t come with, so additional encoding of the files was done beforehand.
The result is oversharpened and oversaturated footage, which exposes more noise than usual. This comes as no surprise, as this is usually the case with many dash cameras on the market.
The 70mai 1S features 130 degrees angle of view only and although we thought the image wouldn’t be badly distorted, we were proven wrong. The lack of aspheric lenses usually contributes to the bent edges in each corner of the image.
We found the number of details rather disappointing, even though the files’ bit rate varies around 19-20 Mbps which is much higher than the usual for full HD.
The footage looked pixilated and plate numbers were often not legible. Keeping in mind the 1S is a budget solution, we hope 70mai will improve this in future versions.
Voice commands are quite handy when you want to move a file as an emergency video in a separate folder. Other actions you might want to try are commanding the camera to take a picture, record video, turn sound recording on/off, and toggle Wi-Fi on/off. Keep in mind speech detection is not top-notch, so occasional misinterpretations might happen.
Parking mode is triggered the same way as the old generation by movement or shock, which is mostly unreliable, unlike motion sensors in other dash cameras on the market.
If you’re looking for a budget solution to record your road adventures without standing out, the 70mai 1S dash cam is the way to go. At this price point, you’ll get decent road footage, while enjoying a user-friendly mobile app and handy voice commands.
Xiaomi 70 Mai Dash Cam: https://geni.us/70Mai1S
Official Website: https://www.70mai.com/en/smart-dash-cam/
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