ddpai mini 2 review

runtohell121

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#1
Thanks to ddpai for sending me the ddpai mini 2 for review.

Links to product spec/info/images: http://en.ddpai.com/mini2.php

First impression of receiving the unit was that it was nicely packaged in a small box. Love the simplicity of the box and had a pretty pleasant unboxing experience. The build quality if the unit is pretty good for plastic devices, in the hand, it feels pretty sturdy, just that the color of the unit isn't the best for dash cams, as it is shiny silver/grey. I do wish that ddpai made the unit a matte black instead of the shiny silver/grey.

Compatibility
I've notice that if you're a Mac user, time-lapse videos will not play on quicktime. It will play fine on a Windows computer.

Also to note, 64gb microSD card is not compatible with Mac; so if you're using a Mac, I would advise you to get a 32gb microSD for ddpai dash cam, otherwise, you will not be able to read files off of the microSD card on the Mac. It works fine on Windows, as I've been transferring files back and forth from my Windows to Mac, mainly because of this compatibility issue.

ddpai app
Not much to note, as it is a pretty simple app. First, go download the app from the iOS App Store or for Android, the Google Play Store. Next, go to your settings and find the ddpai connection, enter in the default password of 1234567890. Then once connected, open the app, and go to the second tab below and tap the "+" to view the dash cam live feed. Within the live feed, you're able to tap on it and bring up the menu (3-slash) to bring up the settings for the dash cam. But to be honest, there isn't much to change there.

*****Update 8/25/2016*****

-heat issue-

As you can read below in the comment post after the initial post, I am experiencing possible heat issue, where the ddpai mini 2 will restart itself in the middle of driving, losing about 30 second of footage. You will normally hear the "startup" chime if you have sound enable and if you hear that when driving, it is most likely the camera restarting from possible heat protection of some sort... Not exactly sure why, or it could be a buggy firmware or something else. At the moment, I'm not really sure what details I can provide.

With parking mode (post #20) on a constant power source, parking my car for more than 7 hours, the ddpai mini 2 experienced 2 reboots. The first reboot (since it was the morning...), it only lasted 28 seconds of losing footage. The second reboot (where the day got hotter...), the camera seems to have shut down for 1 hour 2 minutes and 53 seconds, and that is losing valuable footage if anything ever happened to your car at those time the camera wasn't recording. When going through the memory card, I noticed that the camera did restart after it seems to have cooled down and continue on with regular recording mode for first 15 minute and then went back to parking mode afterwards before I got back to my car.

----------------------------end 8/25/2016----------------------------

Here are images of the unit and the box:












Screenshots of video footage will be provided below here to compare between other dash cam.
ddpai mini 2 vs. Mini 0806 daytime screenshot; seems to me that ddpai is a bit sharper and can read the license plate of the car on the right lane as I pass by it.



At night time, both aren't readable when moving, though that is to be expected with most dash cams. At the speed limit sign, it seems the Mini 0806 is a bit sharper.



*****Updated 08/27/2016*****
ddpai mini 2 vs Viofo A119

During daytime, both are pretty good performer, but that is to be expected. Both of the dash cam can read the license plate for the car merging into my lane.
ddpai


A119


During the night, both are pretty grainy and nothing is really clear that can be read...
ddpai


A119



ddpai


A119


***********End 08/27/2016 update***********



Parking guard footage will be provided here; upon request, I will upload original files via dropbox or other file hosting sites, but for now, I will be putting them up on YouTube.

I'm actually enjoying the parking guard/time-lapse feature. It tends to save space and to me, it is clear enough to provide some evidence in case of any accident happening near my car. I was running the ddpai mini 2 off of a 10,000mAh battery bank, as I have not hardwire it to my car yet.

Another parking guard video, not too much to show, but more movement in the parking lot this time around to show how it might be useful in some situations.
 
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runtohell121

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#2
***Reserve for videos***

Daytime; ddpai mini 2 vs. Mini 0806 (upper right ddpai; lower left mini)

Nighttime; ddpai mini 2 vs. Mini 0806 (upper right ddpai; lower left mini)

Daytime; ddpai mini 2 vs. A118C (right side ddpai; left side A118C)

Garage lighting; ddpai mini 2 itself, testing out how the ddpai mini 2 adjust to the different lighting situation; it seems to do a great job handling the light changes.

Garage lighting; A118C itself; for comparison against the ddpai mini 2.


*******Update on 08/27/2016*******
Daytime; ddpai mini 2 vs. Viofo A119 (left side ddpai; right side A119)

Nighttime 1; ddpai mini 2 vs. Viofo A119 (left side ddpai; right side A119)

Nighttime 2; ddpai mini 2 vs. Viofo A119 (left side ddpai; right side A119)
***********End 08/27/2016 update***********
 
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Yooshaw

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#3
Don't suppose you are seeing any artifacts/ghosting in time lapse parking mode? I was having this problem at 1440P, but the artifacts/ghosting went away if I went to 1080P. That was with firmware 3.5.0.9. My preliminary tests on firmware 3.5.1.4 at 1440P looks promising. It looks like you are on the latest firmware, 3.5.1.4?
 
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runtohell121

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#4
Don't suppose you are seeing any artifacts/ghosting in time lapse parking mode? I was having this problem at 1440P, but the artifacts/ghosting went away if I went to 1080P. That was with firmware 3.5.0.9. My preliminary tests on firmware 3.5.1.4 at 1440P looks promising. It looks like you are on the latest firmware, 3.5.1.4?
I don't see any artifacts/ghosting for my time-lapse parking mode, though my weather condition is below 70*F (outside, not sure about inside the car). I left the settings pretty much default, so max resolution for video recording. I am not on 3.5.1.4, or at least it doesn't seem like I am when I am in the Camera Infos in the app. I am not able to find any updates as it shows that I have the latest firmware apparently, which is v3.5.0.10 on iOS

One problem I do have is that the dash cam seems to be powering on/off when running on my power bank, but it could be the power bank's fault, as I did think I've experience a similar issue when charging my phone from it before, so as a result from the powering on/off, some of the parking mode functions were disabled for a short period of time before it went back into parking mode again. I'm running the dash cam off of a Xiaomi 10,000mAh power bank when I park my car.

On a side note, I uploaded another parking mode/time-lapse from today. Also about to add ddpai mini 2 vs. A118C.
 
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Yooshaw

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#5
I don't see any artifacts/ghosting for my time-lapse parking mode, though my weather condition is below 70*F (outside, not sure about inside the car). I left the settings pretty much default, so max resolution for video recording. I am not on 3.5.1.4, or at least it doesn't seem like I am when I am in the Camera Infos in the app. I am not able to find any updates as it shows that I have the latest firmware apparently, which is v3.5.0.10 on iOS

One problem I do have is that the dash cam seems to be powering on/off when running on my power bank, but it could be the power bank's fault, as I did think I've experience a similar issue when charging my phone from it before, so as a result from the powering on/off, some of the parking mode functions were disabled for a short period of time before it went back into parking mode again. I'm running the dash cam off of a Xiaomi 10,000mAh power bank when I park my car.

On a side note, I uploaded another parking mode/time-lapse from today. Also about to add ddpai mini 2 vs. A118C.
Yeah, sounds like you power bank is to blame if you experienced the behavior with your phone.

Not sure why you don't see an update for 3.5.1.4. I'm on Android, but I have to believe the camera firmware would be the same.

And I'm a huge fan of time lapse parking mode. It's the primary reason I got this camera (didn't need GPS and prefer capacitor over battery). I think it's the right trade-off of making sure you capture an event and maximizing sd card life by minimizing write cycles. I'm hoping the artifact/ghosting issue I was having is resolved.
 
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runtohell121

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#6
Anyone else that owns this cam... Do you guys ever experience any reboots when connected to a power source while driving a long period of time (e.g., driving 30+ minutes to over an hour)? I've been noticing the past few days when the unit is powered on long enough, at times, it will make a "ding dong" sound, meaning the camera seems to have restarted.

Also, I haven't really been able to use parking mode for too long when running on a power bank. At this point, I'm not sure what is actually shutting it down, either the power bank or the unit itself shutting off.. I might have to hardwire or plug it into a constant power cigarette source (car have 2 constant ones, 1 acc on one) in my car to run parking mode, but afraid of it draining the battery.

edit: updated post #2 with video footage of how the ddpai mini 2 adjust to garage parking structure lighting situations; I think it did a fairly good job and adjusting quickly.
 
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Yooshaw

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#7
Anyone else that owns this cam... Do you guys ever experience any reboots when connected to a power source while driving a long period of time (e.g., driving 30+ minutes to over an hour)? I've been noticing the past few days when the unit is powered on long enough, at times, it will make a "ding dong" sound, meaning the camera seems to have restarted.

Also, I haven't really been able to use parking mode for too long when running on a power bank. At this point, I'm not sure what is actually shutting it down, either the power bank or the unit itself shutting off.. I might have to hardwire or plug it into a constant power cigarette source (car have 2 constant ones, 1 acc on one) in my car to run parking mode, but afraid of it draining the battery.

edit: updated post #2 with video footage of how the ddpai mini 2 adjust to garage parking structure lighting situations; I think it did a fairly good job and adjusting quickly.
I've only had it happen during parking mode, but I was not there to see or hear it of course. My only guess and theory is it is heat related. Does your unit feel hot after running for a while? Mine gets really hot, like as hot as the Mobius heatsink hot. Parking mode seems to run hotter.

If your testing it out, leaving it in the car for one day to test shouldn't drain the battery (say 6-8 hours). I'd personally like to hear your experience with a longer parking test. Mine's been nothing but problems at 1440P.
 
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runtohell121

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#8
It does get fairly hot after a while.

Here's the 2 connecting clips, a lost of 44 seconds due to the restart. [last clip end time: 10:44:37; next clip start time: 10:45:21]


I could try leaving it connected to my constant power source on the car tomorrow and will be parking outside for maybe ~7 hours. I guess it shouldn't be able to drain the car's battery.
 

Yooshaw

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#9
One time should be OK. But maybe leave your power bank for a go. My hunch is it is heat related and will just shut down after a while, then maybe turn back on after an hour or so. I think it happens quicker for me because of Florida heat (your in San Fran?)

What you show above I would get also - sometime 30-40 secs before it started recording again, sometimes an hour. When it would turn back on, it always started back up in normal recording mode, then maybe go to timelapse, and maybe just shutdown again. Of course this was all in parking mode though.

I'm talking with my seller now on the issue to see what they can do, but not expecting much. I'm giving one more test tomorrow then going back to 1080P.
 
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runtohell121

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#10
My power bank is usually used for parking mode, other than that, I would always have it plug into my car. I haven't had it shut down for longer than a few seconds, but just been noticing that it had the startup chime, so I took note of it and seems to be happening after 30 or so minutes of driving. Yeah, I live in the Bay Area, so it doesn't get as hot as your unit does.

I'll contact a ddpai rep to see what they might say about this possibly heat related issue.
 
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runtohell121

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#11
@Yooshaw I got an initial reply back from ddpai saying it could be due to "high temperature protection" implemented in the dash cam, but telling me that they will get back to me with a response from their engineers.
 

Yooshaw

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#12
@Yooshaw I got an initial reply back from ddpai saying it could be due to "high temperature protection" implemented in the dash cam, but telling me that they will get back to me with a response from their engineers.
Thanks, good to hear there is over-temperature protection. Can you ask what the over-temp limit is that shuts off the camera?
 

Moskis

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#13
Thanks to ddpai for sending me the ddpai mini 2 for review.

Links to product spec/info/images: http://en.ddpai.com/mini2.php

First impression of receiving the unit was that it was nicely packaged in a small box. Love the simplicity of the box and had a pretty pleasant unboxing experience. The build quality if the unit is pretty good for plastic devices, in the hand, it feels pretty sturdy, just that the color of the unit isn't the best for dash cams, as it is shiny silver/grey. I do wish that ddpai made the unit a matte black instead of the shiny silver/grey.

Compatibility
I've notice that if you're a Mac user, time-lapse videos will not play on quicktime. It will play fine on a Windows computer.

Also to note, 64gb microSD card is not compatible with Mac; so if you're using a Mac, I would advise you to get a 32gb microSD for ddpai dash cam, otherwise, you will not be able to read files off of the microSD card on the Mac. It works fine on Windows, as I've been transferring files back and forth from my Windows to Mac, mainly because of this compatibility issue.

ddpai app
Not much to note, as it is a pretty simple app. First, go download the app from the iOS App Store or for Android, the Google Play Store. Next, go to your settings and find the ddpai connection, enter in the default password of 1234567890. Then once connected, open the app, and go to the second tab below and tap the "+" to view the dash cam live feed. Within the live feed, you're able to tap on it and bring up the menu (3-slash) to bring up the settings for the dash cam. But to be honest, there isn't much to change there.

Here are images of the unit and the box:












Screenshots of video footage will be provided below here to compare between other dash cam.
ddpai mini 2 vs. Mini 0806 daytime screenshot; seems to me that ddpai is a bit sharper and can read the license plate of the car on the right lane as I pass by it.



At night time, both aren't readable when moving, though that is to be expected with most dash cams. At the speed limit sign, it seems the Mini 0806 is a bit sharper.




Parking guard footage will be provided here; upon request, I will upload original files via dropbox or other file hosting sites, but for now, I will be putting them up on YouTube.

I'm actually enjoying the parking guard/time-lapse feature. It tends to save space and to me, it is clear enough to provide some evidence in case of any accident happening near my car. I was running the ddpai mini 2 off of a 10,000mAh battery bank, as I have not hardwire it to my car yet.

Another parking guard video, not too much to show, but more movement in the parking lot this time around to show how it might be useful in some situations.
Sorry, do you know height and width of 3M stick please?. I would like to prepare a magnetic support.
Thanks.

Enviado desde mi Galaxy S7
 

Moskis

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#14
About microsd card, do you know what's the hours capacity in case we use 32, 64 or 128Gb?. I'm looking for a microsd for the Mini2 and i don't know what to buy.
Thanks.

Enviado desde mi Galaxy S7
 
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runtohell121

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#15
@Yooshaw I had the ddpai mini 2 connected to the constant power cigarette port for about 7 hours yesterday. After going through the clips, I noticed that it rebooted 2 times. It seems to shut down and reboot every 2 to 3 hours in my condition (~70*F or so).

@Moskis The 3M sticky pad is about 3cm x 2cm, Trim about ~0.1cm to fit more perfectly in the rectangle; so maybe 2.9cm x 1.9cm

I have no checked the hour capacity; will check later.
 

Yooshaw

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#16
@Yooshaw I had the ddpai mini 2 connected to the constant power cigarette port for about 7 hours yesterday. After going through the clips, I noticed that it rebooted 2 times. It seems to shut down and reboot every 2 to 3 hours in my condition (~70*F or so).

@Moskis The 3M sticky pad is about 3cm x 2cm, Trim about ~0.1cm to fit more perfectly in the rectangle; so maybe 2.9cm x 1.9cm

I have no checked the hour capacity; will check later.
Thanks for checking. What's the time gap between re-boots? Almost immediate, or longer?

My seller, estore009, confirmed with DDPai that the unit will shut down at 70c (158F). It's hard for me to believe that the unit is hitting that temp at 7:30 am at about 80F outside after a 10 min drive to work. My unit is not going into parking mode/time lapse at all. Just shutting down, and turning on randomly the rest of the day and turning off again.

estore009 has offered a refund/exchange, but of course I have to pay to ship it back. Wondering if it is worth it now or just cut my losses.
 

Moskis

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#17
@Yooshaw I had the ddpai mini 2 connected to the constant power cigarette port for about 7 hours yesterday. After going through the clips, I noticed that it rebooted 2 times. It seems to shut down and reboot every 2 to 3 hours in my condition (~70*F or so).

@Moskis The 3M sticky pad is about 3cm x 2cm, Trim about ~0.1cm to fit more perfectly in the rectangle; so maybe 2.9cm x 1.9cm

I have no checked the hour capacity; will check later.
@runtohell121
First many thanks for your help. I've looking a table about memory size/video quality and i've found a Blackvue table that maybe is similar than DDpai.

I think that DDpai quality in setup can select 1440p, 1080p and 720p but i don't know frames by quality. Maybe you've checked the maximun record time in each resolution to choice the better sd.
Thanks.

Enviado desde mi Galaxy S7
 
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runtohell121

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#19
@Yooshaw I haven't checked the reboot times, only checked if it rebooted or not. I'll check later and let you know. If the high temperature protection is rated that high... There's definitely something weird with our units or if the firmware is controlling some sort of settings within the dash cam... Who knows.

@Moskis at 2K(1440P) with a 64gb (formatted gives you 60gb), the estimated total recording time is about 13:33:49 according to the app/camera. That should give you a clue about other memory sizes.
 
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runtohell121

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#20
@Yooshaw Alright, I calculated the time since the 2 reboots it had, based on the footage on the memory card.

The first restart, the gap was only 28 seconds.

The second restart, the gap was 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 53 seconds... (last saved clip time ended at: 12:42:35 [from time-lapse/parking mode]... start of next clip [in regular recording mode]: 13:45:28)

Assuming it's not my car's fault... as I do believe my cigarette power port is constant power, even with engine off, it still provides power without key or anything at 2 locations in my car. I mean, the camera did start back up again when I wasn't back to my car yet at the time...

edit: Updated my original post (#1), reflecting the issue. I will continue with the review, comparing the video quality to other dash camera I currently have, but at the time, I might not be recommending this dash cam due to heat issue of it rebooting.
 
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