The previous dashcam I reviewed was very good, but the Mini 0801 is even better. This is the smallest dashcam available with an LCD display, GPS, G-Sensor and 1080P recording. It can hide discretely behind the rear view mirror without being disruptive. For example, the WS300W I reviewed would not fit behind the mirror on my Audi, but this one fits in there with room to spare.
- Records 1080P HD Video at 30fps & Audio
- 5MP CMOS Sensor
- Accurate GPS Data Logger
- 3 Axis G-Shock Sensor for Accident Data
- 1.5″ LCD Viewing Screen
- 120 Degree Viewing Angle
- Records Time and Date Stamp
- MicroSD Card Slot (32GB max)
- Ambarella A2s Processor
I’ve had this on my car about 2 months now and the video quality is very clear and sharp both day and night, better than other dashcams I’ve tried. At night the image is very clear and noise free thanks to the 5MP sensor and Ambarella A2s processor used on more expensive cameras.
This camera is very small, easily fits behind most mirrors and can hide discretely without anyone knowing it’s there. In my Smart Car, it is not visible from the drivers seat and partially visible from the passenger seat. My only complaint is it has a bluish LED to tell you it’s on but not bright enough to be seen past the mirror. If it’s distracting to you, a small piece of black tape will take care of that.
The camera uses 3M double-stick take to attach the mount to the windshield. The power cable connects to the mount, not the camera making it easy to unclip the camera without lose camera position. What’s also nice is that it’s very small, maybe 1″ square make it less conspicuous. The mount is sturdy, does not move and the camera stays in place quite well.
The windshield mount also contains the electronics for the GPS. The GPS is used to not only track location but also logs speed. It takes under a minute to acquire a satellite signal. You have the option to display the speed on the recorded video, but may work against you in an accident, so best to let it store the information separately.
It also has a G-sensor that logs if you are turning, accelerating or stopping and how hard your are doing so. For example, it can show that you did try to avoid an accident.
You will need to get a MicroSD card. The manufacturer recommends at Class 4 or 6 card and to avoid Class 10. What I found with a Class 10 card is it worked fine, but occasionally when the card was full, it would stop recording. With a Class 4 or 6 card, it worked consistently all the time. It could be that a firmware fix is already in place that resolves this, but to be safe, use a Class 6 card.
Inside the box you get a CD with software, a manual, an extra double stick tape pad, a USB cable, a 12V adapter with a very long cable, the windshield mount and the camera. I had no problem running the cable through the headliner, down the a-pillar, under the dash for a clean install.
I tried the software that came with the camera, and it worked OK, but not as well as Registrator (free) which seamlessly played clips together, showed Google maps with the video and had a nice graph of speed travelled. As you can see, the camera is shorter than the 12V adapter.
To see them at the full 1080P resolution, you must click on the icon with 4 corners to see the video full screen and then it should automatically go into 1080P viewing, if not click the gear icon and select 1080P. Word of warning, some browsers have issues with embedded YouTubes. If you click on the heading, it’s a link the YouTube page with the video.
Now onto the technical bits, how to configure the camera. You turn the camera on or off by pressing and holding the large button on flat end of the camera for a few seconds. It chimes to let you know it’s there and turning on or off. Reassurance that it’s working. When the camera is plugged into power, it powers itself on automatically, like when you start your car.
The first screen you get is the recording screen with the image the lens sees, in this case black because I set it down on table to take picture of the screen. The upper left is a large blue dot, that means the camera is on but not recording. If it was recording, it would be red. You can turn recording on/off with the top button on the right. There’s other information showing you what resolution you are recording at (FULL HD means 1080P), what date and time is, how fast you are going and that the SD card is place. The number 3 means it’s recording in 3 minute segments, this is configurable.
If you hold the upper right button for a few seconds, it goes into the setup screen. There’s nothing really to change here, the defaults are setup as most would want, like FULL HD. You use the top and bottom buttons on the right to scroll up/down and you use the center button to select an option.
Scrolling down there’s more options, again nothing that I changed here.
Scroll down more and there’s menu options you should change like Time Setup and Auto Power Off. Auto Power Off is where you specify the amount of time to record after you turn the car off or unplug the device.
Time is pretty self explanatory, you set the time you want to see on the video. Use the up/down buttons to scroll to the number you want and then press the center button to take you to the next field.
Viewing the Recordings
The files are stored on the microSD card as .MOV files and can be played back using the included software. What I would recommend that makes this easier is a free program called Registrator Viewer that I show in the video above. It lets you open a series of files and then gives you a timeline to make it easier to find recordings and displays Google maps along side the video. It also lets you view videos that span separate video files and then export a selected start/end points as one video file. Videos that span a file do not lose any frames and the transitions are invisible.
I’m very impressed with this little camera. It’s incredibly small, especially when you consider it has a color LCD screen. It hides well behind the mirror in all my cars and not visible from the drivers seat and barely visible from the passenger seat. From outside you see light gray 3M pad. Some people found black double-stick tape that is less visible. Some people say you can see the white letters that say 1080P and put black tape to cover it. I find that it’s not all that visible. I had it running for 2 months and never even thought about it or noticed it was there other than the chime when it first powers up.
It also reduces my stress levels driving because people cut you off and do stupid things and I think to myself, I have this all being recorded, they won’t be able to talk their way out of this one.
The pluses for this camera are;
- Price – good HD quality for the price
- 1080P resolution at 30fps
- GPS Logger
- 12V adapter has a very long cord to allow you to hide the wire
Price – currently $109 shipped from Wrightwood Surveillance. Click HERE for the link.