Xiaomi YI Review

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YI, or XiaoYi, is one of the world's leading dash cam manufacturers today. Based in China, not to be mistaken for Xiaomi (they have their own line of dash cams), YI has been successful in manufacturing one of the most popular dash cams of 2017, with an excellent price/performance ratio. It's far from perfect, but at its price point offers great value.

info-iconSpecification

Chipset YI A12 (Based on Novatek 96660)

Speculated to be AR0230CS

165 degree lens

Resolutions: 2304x1296 30fps, 1920x1080 60fps, 1920x1080 30fps

Supports SD cards up to 64GB

Includes WIFI

Has a 240mAH lithium battery

Comes with a vacuum holder or a sticker mount, depending on the version (usually sticker mount

camera-icon.pngDesign

The YI smart dash cam's build resembles the GOPRO style cameras, including the screen. It comes in two colors - gold and light gray. It is not a very discrete camera, as it can be seen relatively easily when viewed from the outside, which isn't ideal for those not wanting to attract attention, but it can also be helpful if you want to calm a road raging driver you run into.

YI also manufactures a "compact" black version of this camera which is cheaper and looks the same. Make no mistake, this is a completely different camera in every respect and is inferior. The camera has a 2.7" screen which makes it easier to setup the camera during installation, but since the camera has wifi, it's not an absolute necessity.

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package-iconUnboxing

  • dot-img Long mini-USB cable
  • dot-img A dual or single potr USB cigarette lighter charger
  • dot-img Sticker mount or suction cup
  • dot-img English (or Chinese) manual

support-iconComroads support

The Comroads app fully supports the YI dashcam out of the box with no special functions or changes required. Just install the app, sign up, and choose you camera from the wifi list

The videos below are original and uneditted videos downloaded directly from the camera to the phone through the application and have not been processed at all (unlike YouTube etc.)

camera-iconDaytime video

The YI dashcam produces excellent daytime video quality for its price point, with a sharp image, especially in 1296P. However, the image sometimes becomes blurred to compared to slightly more expensive cameras.

Numerous owners of the YI dashcam have reported that the camera somewhat loses focus after being left in the sun for too long. This does not happen however in all models and there are videos online which explain how to rectify the issue should it occur.

camera-iconTwilight video

Evening, or twilight videos are important because they are an intermediate state between day and night when there is less light but is not quite dark. The YI camera still manages to produce a pretty good image at these hours, although as you can see in the video, it's very hard to making out number plates does become harder.

camera-iconNight video

Good quality night video is a rare occurance with dash cams, certainly not in the YI's~$55 price range. The YI does manage to produce acceptable image quality at night, but don't expect any miracles, event at 1080P 60FPS.

conclusion-iconSummary

It's easy to see what makes the YI smart dash cam such a success. It offers great quality for the price, and includes a good wifi setup, which enables full support with the Comroads app out of the box, allowing you to easily retrieve videos from it at the push of a button.

It's not perfect and it has its issues, including the fact that it contains a battery and not a capacitor (preferable for hotter climates). The bottom line is that if you want a good camera at a low price, the YI seems to be the best choice


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