Xiaomi 70 Minutes Smart WiFi Car DVR review

the dash cam installed in my car

Xiaomi 70 Minutes Smart WiFi Car DVR review

the dash cam installed in my car

The Xiaomi 70 Minutes Smart WiFi Car DVR dashcam is a 1080p (FullHD) dash cam that retails for a very reasonable price. It features a 130 degrees with a Sony IMX323 image sensor (F2.2, known for its good video quality even in low light conditions), and is equipped with a shock sensor and can be controlled with an app (over its own WIFI network). Can this product compete with other dash cams in the market?

Make sure you check out the one minute review on YouTube:

Where to buy

You can buy the Xiaomi 70 Minutes Smart WiFi Car DVR  at Gearbest, the price is around € 35.

Specs

Specs as found on Gearbest:

General

  • Brand: Xiaomi  //  Model: 70 Minutes   // Type: Full HD Dashcam,Wireless Dashcam
  • Image Sensor: CMOS   //   Function: G-sensor, Loop-cycle Recording, WiFi Storage
  • Max External Card Supported: TF 64G (not included) // Class Rating Requirements: Class 10 or Above
  • Battery Type: Built-in   //   Battery Capacity (mAh): 240mAh Li-polymer Battery //    Working Voltage: 5V
  • Wide Angle: 130 degree wide angle lens  //   Camera Pixel : 2MP  // Aperture Range : F2.2
  • Decode Format: H.264  //  Video Resolution: 1080P (1920 x 1080)  //  Video Frame Rate: 30fps
  • WIFI: Yes   //   WiFi Network Frequency: 2.4GHz   //  Loop-cycle Recording : Yes   //  G-sensor: Yes
  • Operating Temp.: -20 – 60 Degrees   //    Power Cable Length: 3.5m

Dimension/Weight

  • Product weight: 0.0700 kg
  • Package weight: 0.2320 kg
  • Product size (L x W x H): 10.00 x 5.50 x 3.20 cm / 3.94 x 2.17 x 1.26 inches
  • Package size (L x W x H): 12.70 x 12.20 x 5.00 cm / 5 x 4.8 x 1.97 inches

Expectations

The product is sold under the name Xiaomi, which raises the bar a little bit on the aspects of design and overall quality.

Expected is that the product is for people who buy their first dash cam: it sounds like a complete package (except for the SD card) to get you on the road. If the image quality of the Sony IMX323 image sensor meets the expectations, even the more serious dash cam users will probably be happy with the Xiaomi. Drivers that are required for their profession to have a dash cam running will probably miss functions like GPS and a separate remote control.

Packaging

The product is shipped in a lovely black box.

Xiaomi 70 Minutes Smart WiFi Car DVR in a lovely black box


Does it fit your mailbox?

No. The dimensions of the box are not that big, but the height (5.00 cm) will be an issue.

What’s in the box

The contents of the box: 1 x DVR, 1 x Car Charger, 1 x 3.5m Micro USB Power Cable, 1 x Chinese Manual, 1 x Plastic static attachment sticker

Features

Main Features as stated on Gearbest:

  • 130 degrees FOV, cover wide vision range, 1920 x 1080P HD resolution, clear recording
  • 1/2.9 inch light-sensitive components, capture clear images during night
  • With SONY IMX323 image sensor
  • WiFi connection allows you to real-time to watch the recording and share the videos or images on the popular social media
  • Advanced H.264 photography compression technology keeps high-quality videos and plays a part of saving storage as well
  • High-temperature resistant adhesive, can avoid the problem of falling under high-temperature conditions, provide strong adhesive force, but also more beautiful and do not damage the car glass
  • Coupled with car charger and micro USB power cable for power supply, convenient for users to adapt themselves according to their needs in the car
  • The video can be monitored on the APP of your phones
  • Rotatable holder meets various recording demands
  • Simple and exquisite appearance

Build Quality

The build quality is good. When you first get the dash cam out of the box, it feels lighter than expected. The body is all plastic but it does not feel cheap.
The accessories accompanying the dash cam feel durable, especially the 3.5 meter USB power cable. The 12V car charger feels less durable than the camera and the power cable but is still more than acceptable.

Design

The design is well thought off. The dash cam is simple but elegant, with only a single button with a multi-color led indicator around it. A blue light says it is starting up and a green light means it is recording normally. A red light means an exception, it is still recording but needs attention (e.g. battery almost empty)

The micro USB plug on the power cable made at an angle of 90 degrees, so when installing the cable in your car it is easier to put the cable out of sight.

xiaomi dashcam front - on table

Portability / Mobility

The main use of the dash cam / car DVR is to install it in your car and attach it to the 12V car charger. The camera is equipped with a 240 mAh battery which enables you to use the unit for a while without having it plugged into the car charger. I tested it solely on the battery and it kept running for more than half an hour.
However, I suggest having the dash cam always powered by the car charger. This prevents you from stopping halfway your trip to connect the dash cam that runs out of battery.
It’s also more convenient: when powered by the charger, the dash cam switches on when starting your car and safely (that is the battery is for) shuts down when switching off your car.

Usability

The Xiaomi 70 Minutes Smart WiFi Car DVR is clearly aimed at the Chinese market. The manual is in Chinese and also the voice feedback from the camera is Chinese. This does not prevent you from having a good experience with the product. It captures movies during day and night of good quality.

The accompanied 70mai app is basic but functional: you can have a live image (very useful when attaching the camera), start recording and take pictures and download the stored pictures and video’s to your phone or tablet. Also, the firmware can be updated through the app. You can connect to the dash cam by connecting to the camera’s integrated WIFI network. Works very well.

Although the camera is equipped with a shock sensor, it does not mean the shocks are stabilized. When bumps in the road resonate through the car they show up in the movies. The 130-degree view covers a big part of the causes some distortions in the images, but that is what you can expect from a fish-eyed view.  The Sony sensor meets it’s expectations: it performs well during night and day. It cannot compete with the higher range dash cams, but for most of us, the image and video quality will be sufficient.

70mai Smart car Dash DVR App for iOS
70mai Smart Dash Cam DVR App for iOS

70mai Smart car Dash DVR App for iOS - very useful instructions
70mai Smart Dash Cam App for iOS – very useful instructions

70mai Smart car Dash DVR App for iOS - recorded videos
70mai Smart Dash Cam App for iOS – recorded videos

Alternatives

There are a lot of dash cams on the market, at this price point, the Xiaomi 70 Minutes Smart WiFi Car DVR performs well because of the image sensor.

Pro / cons

Pros:

  • Good images quality, also in low light conditions.
  • Price.
  • Simple but elegant design.

Cons

  • Feedback from the dash cam is Chinese.
  • No GPS
  • No internal storage / SD card not included.

Price quality

There are cheaper car DVR solutions available but these often come at the cost of image quality and usability.
The Xiaomi is one of the higher end dash cams in the lower segment, because of its design, image quality (during day and night) and overall usability.

Verdict

If you are thinking about buying your first car DVR, the Xiaomi 70 Minutes Smart WiFi Car DVR is a very good option. Even when it is not your first dash cam, but you don’t want to pay the world for a car DVR, the Xiaomi is a good option, too. The only price you have to pay is that it talks Chinese. Personally, I don’t have an issue with that: e.g. if it tells you the battery runs low it also provides a red light indication, but you cannot mute the voice.

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