If you have ever been involved in a car crash, you may already appreciate the value of a dashcam. The small device that sits in the windscreen and records everything in front of it could be the difference between an insurance hike and an insurance claim, should the worst happen.
Do you need a dashcam to make sure you are covered on the roads? No, but it certainly helps. If you are involved in an crash and things are less than clear cut, as they often can be, the dashcam footage can help you prove your case, saving you a hefty increase in your premium next year.
But it only works if your dashcam captures the footage. Most cameras are windscreen-mounted, which captures a fairly wide angle and will pick up almost anything that happens in front of you. But a large number of car crashes involve a rear-end collision – out of the view of your front-mounted camera.
Miofive’s Dash Cam Dual solves that problem. You get the MioFive 4K dash cam, which has a 140-degree-wide angle lens, recording footage in 3840 x 2160, and a rear camera that captures footage in 2K, sending it all to the Miofive app should you need it.
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Setting everything up is easy. You don’t need technical know-how out of the box to get things working. The camera is powered from your car’s USB connection or 12V socket; the rear camera connects to the front dashcam via a long cable. Trying to tuck those cables out of sight is the more difficult task, although if you really want to hide everything, you can get the hard-wired kit and get a professional to install it.
I decided to go for the more flexible option, and tried to tuck the cables away as much as possible. Both cameras are mounted with sticky pads, although the front dashcam can be removed from the mount easily enough if you want to tuck it away. The camera works with a single button to turn it on and off, though it will automatically turn on when it detects the power from the car.
When you have the second camera connected, you see the footage as picture in picture, with the front-facing camera as the main picture and the rear camera as a smaller window. It gives a clear view of what is going on behind you, so if something happens, the video will be captured.
The Miofive camera has internal storage, so no need – or space – for an external card. Once you have the camera connected to the smartphone app, you can pull footage from the camera and save it to your phone in a matter of seconds.
The emergency function will automatically detect a bump or collision, triggering a one-minute clip and locking the footage so you don’t accidentally record over it. You can then retrieve the clip through the app, download it to your phone with all the embedded data, and send it to the insurance company or the authorities if needed.
That’s how it is supposed to work at least. The emergency function was a bit on the sensitive side, with several of Dublin’s more severe speed bumps causing it to activate. I have an app full of clips of a certain spot on a road in Dublin 12, showing little else but a clear road in front. But at least it looked good.
The camera offers good quality footage both front and back, and has a wide enough angle that it will give you a good view of the road.
The emergency function is a must, if a little sensitive, and works even when parked so if someone hits your car at night, you will have it capture on video. However, that would mean leaving the dashcam on display in your unattended car, which may not appeal to everyone. After all, you can’t get the footage from the camera if it is no longer in range.
The cameras can only be fixed to the front and rear windows with sticky 3M pads – great for keeping them stable, but if you need to move the camera or change car, you’ll have a job getting them off the glass and refixing them.
The constant voice prompts, which are turned on by default, are irritating too. After a few days, the back seat passengers began imitating the camera, which was even more irritating.
The lengthy cables give you plenty of flexibility when it comes to fitting the cameras, but if you are in any way particular about how the finished product looks, it might be worth investing in the hard-wired kit and calling in the professionals.
Easy to use with good quality footage, the MioFive Dashcam Dual is an additional safety tool that can help keep drivers safe.