The A800 is the most recent release (July 2020) from the Chinese manufacturer 70mai. This is 70mai’s first 4K camera and is gaining popularity due to its reasonable price and video quality. The camera is also known as the MiDrive D09.
The A800 uses a Huawei HiSilicon Hi3556 V200 processor. The front camera uses a Sony STARVIS IMX415 CMOS sensor while the rear camera uses a Galaxycore GC2053 CMOS sensor. The hardware and specs are very good quality.
The front camera records 2160p (4K) video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 25 Mbps. Video quality for the front camera during the day and night is good. During the day very few cameras are better than the A800 currently which is impressive given the price tag.
The rear camera records 1080p video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 8 Mbps. When compared to the excellent front camera, the rear camera does not perform as well. The 1080p has good video quality during the day and average at night. While the rear camera is optional, we suggest purchasing it since the incremental cost for the dual camera version is only $20 more.
The 70mai A800 has a large 3″ screen, g-sensor and has built in GPS. The camera comes with WiFi and supporting apps for Android and iOS. Unlike many dash cams with poorly designed apps, the 70mai app is pretty good. The A800 has Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) built into the camera. Most owners find this feature annoying and typically turn it off.
While the A800 is bigger than other 70mai cameras at 89 x 60 x 36mm, the wedge shaped form factor allows for discreet mounting. The camera comes with audio, screen and LED error notifications. The build quality is good and initial reliability appears to be good as well.
The camera can be mounted directly to the windshield or on a provided electrostatic sticker. The electrostatic sticker allows you to remove the camera from the windshield without leaving any residue. Sticking directly to the windshield without the electrostatic sticker will provide a firmer mount. The camera cannot swivel to record interactions at the driver or passenger windows.
Their are a couple of negatives to be aware of on the 70mai A800. While parking mode can be enabled, the only option is non-buffered which is not ideal. Also note that you will need to use the optional 70mai hardwire cable for this to work.
The other negative, as can be seen in the pictures below, is that the camera uses a 500mAh battery instead of a capacitor which is not ideal in hot climates. The battery appears to use a connector so if you do find an equivalent replacement, you will not need to solder the battery.
Also note that the A800, like most other 4K cameras, runs hot. We haven’t heard of overheating problems but it is something to be aware of.
70mai support outside of China is not the greatest. However they do create firmware updates for their cameras to fix bugs and enable new capabilities which is a positive.
The camera has been recently released and there haven’t been any widespread problems. Note that a few owners have indicated part of the video is blurry or soft which is typical for lower quality lens or a misfocused lens from the factory. Check for any blurriness in your videos after purchasing.
Internal photos of the camera can be viewed in this PDF.
Should I Purchase?
If you are looking for the best bang for your buck 4K camera on the market today, the 70mai A800 should be on your shortlist. In the $100 price range, there are few cameras that will have better video quality than the A800. Build quality is good but it is a bit early to determine long term reliability.
Be aware of the 2 drawbacks to consider. The A800 also uses a lithium battery instead of a super capacitor and the non-buffered parking mode is not the best. Overall a great value given the excellent video quality at this price point.
See what other owners say about the 70mai A800 on our forum.
Where to purchase for lowest price
The 70mai Dash Cam Pro sells for approximately $120 on the 70mai Official Store on Aliexpress.
WARNING! MAKING CHANGES TO YOUR FIRMWARE ARE PERFORMED AT YOUR OWN RISK. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR DASH CAM AS A RESULT OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS.
Firmware Update Instructions
There are 2 methods to update the firmware: via the app (follow the instructions in the app) or manually (follow the instructions below).
Note that there are no hardware differences between the International (English), Chinese and Russian versions of this camera. Any language firmware can be flashed to the camera.
Updating Firmware Manually Steps
- Format the memory card in the camera (32GB cards or smaller are best)
- Turn off the camera by long pressing the button on the side. Remove the memory card.
- Connect the camera to the charger without a memory card. Turn off.
- Unzip the firmware archive file and copy the contents to the root of the memory card
- Insert the memory card with the firmware into the camera, press the rightmost button and the power button. Hold these 2 buttons until the arrow appears on the inscription in English. Now you can release.
- The firmware process has started.
- After flashing the firmware, a green check mark should appear and the camera will turn off.
- The firmware update is complete. Turn on the camera with the power button.
- The camera should boot up normally
The English User Manual can be downloaded here.
Published: Oct 10, 2020