Cheapest hackable waterproof action/dashcam


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Nov 10, 2017
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United Kingdom
Please excuse me if this is the wrong subforum, as this is more of a "shopping question", however as hackability is of utmost importance, I'm posting it here.

For a project I'm developing for a client I'm looking for a camera capable of:
  • being controlled over WiFi (e.g., start, stop recording, download video clips)
  • waterproof (diving case as an accessory), will be used outdoors
  • 1080p @ 30 fps
  • low-light performance is not critical, as long as it is not abysmal
  • cheap as possible (sub-$40)
"Standard" features, which I don't need for this project, are
  • could be without a battery
  • no need for display, GPS, 4K, 60 fps, Bluetooth, HDMI
  • could be without a SD slot if it has some internal memory
So I'm looking for a product midway between a dashcam and an action cam - combining the minimalistic set of features of a cheap dashcam, but with the outdoors capability of action cams.

Initially I had selected the Xiaomi Yi Action (original), and I quite like it, but the client has voiced concerns over the price. So I've looked into what's up in Amazon, Gearbest, etc. and it seems the market is flooded with basically the same model action cam: 170° FOV, 1080p capable with WiFi, 900-1050 mAh battery, 2" screen. E.g., the Crosstour CT7000, the APEMAN, and a bunch of others. Prices are around $40-$50 for onesies. What worries me is are these cameras hackable? As I understand it, they all use some Android (Camdroid?) external OS, handling the WiFi comm/file transfers, while an internal RTOS handles the camera functions, buttons and LEDs. Is this always the case, or there are additional details I'm missing?
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