Mega Dash Cam Comparison (Viofo vs. Xiaomi vs. Chupad vs. SJCAM vs. ThiEYE vs. Vasens vs. Mini)

Agie

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Too many to list here (psst, Viofo, Chupad, Xiaomi, Mini )
Thought I'd do something a little different tonight, and create a mega comparison between eight models of dash cameras, as a guide for potential buyers out there. Do bear in mind that these are my opinions only, and check out the full reviews of these dash cameras for even more information. Note: there are two action cameras on this list, and they have been included because they do record in higher resolution (4K) and it is interesting to see them in an alternative implementation as car dash cameras.

Each of the dash cameras I have reviewed thus far have their high points and low points. In this comparison however, it is essential to see that what some buyers see a weakness, other buyers do not see as a deal-breaker or affecting them at all. The same applies interchangeably with strengths, where some buyers value a particular feature of one camera over another feature in a competing camera. I have done my best to make this the easiest read possible for the viewers out there. If you wish to read the full run-down on a particular camera, click through on the links below.
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Xiaomi Mijia Car DVR full review
click to purchase from GearBest

Chupad D501 full review
click to purchase from GearBest

Viofo A118C2 full review

ThiEYE T5e full review
click to purchase from GearBest

SJCAM SJ7 Star full review
click to purchase from GearBest

Mini 0801S full review
click to purchase from GearBest

Vasens 902 full review
click to purchase from GearBest

Viofo A119 full review
click to purchase from GearBest
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As such, this format will take the form of 'best for' categories, as this is the simplest yet most effective way of comparing the cameras' capabilities in addition to their strengths and weaknesses. I honestly wish this was an awards night :)....so without further adieu, let's get right into it.



Best all-round value for money dash camera: Viofo A119

This is an easy decision. If you don't have a limited budget and wish to obtain the best camera for a little over $100USD, the Viofo A119 is your pick. Recording at 2K (double that of full HD), this little camera has fantastic image quality both in night and daytime situations, coupled with great after-sales support and solid firmware updates from Viofo. This camera picks up a lot of detail at night without distortion or smearing. Recorded audio quality is also one of the best I have ever seen on a dash camera, only beaten by dedicated action cameras from ThiEYE and SJCAM.



Best low budget dash camera: Viofo A118C2

Viofo makes it onto the list a second time in a row, and for good reason. This camera capitalises on the success of the older A118C, and throws in a capacitor this time around, making it suitable for hot climates (much like the Viofo A119 is). Other changes include a larger aperture (i.e. letting more light in for brighter images) and support for optional polarising lens and GPS logger. The camera is much like the Vasens 902 and Mini 0801S in that it doesn't do as well at night unlike Chupad/Xiaomi/Viofo A119, but for the price you're paying you're getting a pretty good deal.



Something different (OBDII or GPS): either the Vasens 902 or Mini 0801S

While both of these dash cameras perform decently well in image quality at a notch below others like the Viofo A118C2 (Vasens also scores marks for having one of the fastest exposure changes in video quality), these two cameras bring something a little different to the table. The Vasens 902 can be powered by your car's OBDII port - I have never seen this before on a dash camera and is handy and works very well. Do bear in mind that with anything powered by OBD, you should invest in a reputable hardware kit, to avoid draining your car battery prematurely (Vicovation is a recommended purchase).

The Mini 0801S is the only dash camera in this comparison that has a built-in GPS module. This allows for display of GPS coordinates of your location whilst driving, along with the speed your vehicle is travelling at. I have found the GPS lock to be fast and fluid, and the overlay of footage to be reliable and easy to read. The Mini 0801S has a lot of options for customisation of the camera and image quality, which is a big plus in my books.

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Best absolute image quality: ThiEYE T5e or SJCAM SJ7 Star

Image quality is a multi-factorial story and depends on parameters such as resolution, exposure, saturation, level of detail, speed at which exposure changes are handled, among others. Some of these matter more than others to buyers, but if you are after the biggest perceptible increase in image quality, look no further than either of these 4K action cameras. In a nutshell, video quality is very crisp in order to discern details such as licence plates. Do bear in mind though that neither has capacitor support (so not as well suited in high temperature climates), and both do tend to run quite warm due to the chipset and sensor used. Despite this, both use high quality components and are well supported by their parent companies in terms of both after-sales support and firmware. These cameras run more expensive at $130USD and $199USD respectively.



Best for night-time video quality: Chupad D501 or Xiaomi Mijia Car DVR

These two cameras win hands-down in my eyes for night-time video quality, due to their use of the Sony IMX 322/323 sensor. These take in a lot of light, even more than the ThiEYE and SJCAM action cameras, leading to a much more vibrant and brighter image, without the loss of detail. Daytime image quality is decent too, but tends towards the overly processed side of things. The Xiaomi also scores points for being the simplest one to use as it has very few options (albeit the menu being in Chinese - hopefully an English firmware is coming).



Best-looking dash camera: Xiaomi Mijia Car DVR

I just had to add this category, because there is bound to be someone out there who is after the most fashionable dash camera out there to complement their fashionable car. The SJ7 Star with its metallic rose gold finish and the ThiEYE T5e with its solid ribbed rubber / stainless steel finish also vied for this prize, and were strong showers. The Xiaomi however won out with its soft-touch plastic finish, red/white lights and menu items and it's crowning feature - the copper finish around the camera lens body and shutter buttons. I don't know what Xiaomi were thinking when they designed this camera, but in a world of a lot of generic dash camera designs, they absolutely nailed it.

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arsh

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Just curious, was the a118c better than chupad for value due to chupads average price, or was the a118c just that much better? GB had a sale so i got a chupad for $40 (too good to ignore) but it looks like the average price is $65 which would have made me re-consider the a119.
 
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Agie

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overall in terms of image quality, you are getting better at night-time by a big margin with the Chupad, at daytime with the Viofo A118C2. Chupad doesn't do too badly at daytime too to be honest. You have gotten a good deal, so don't fret too much.
 

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overall in terms of image quality, you are getting better at night-time by a big margin with the Chupad, at daytime with the Viofo A118C2. Chupad doesn't do too badly at daytime too to be honest. You have gotten a good deal, so don't fret too much.
Perfect! I did contemplate the a118c as well but the reviews always said a119 was better. Just obviously viofo's support is impeccable considering most of the dash cam landscape is non existent and chupad is well par for industry, so it's been hard to judge what's actually decent.
 
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Perfect! I did contemplate the a118c as well but the reviews always said a119 was better. Just obviously viofo's support is impeccable considering most of the dash cam landscape is non existent and chupad is well par for industry, so it's been hard to judge what's actually decent.
happy to hear my guide helped you in your purchasing decision :)
 

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create a mega comparison between eight models of dash cameras
Good luck with 8 on long term usage and feedback and a nightmare keeping up with firmware updates
 
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Agie

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Too many to list here (psst, Viofo, Chupad, Xiaomi, Mini )
Good luck with 8 on long term usage and feedback and a nightmare keeping up with firmware updates
firmware updates aren't an issue for most haha, typical manufacturers not stepping up to the plate with proper support :D
 

arsh

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i realize i might be biased as a D501 owner but i'm surprised the Chupad doesn't get more attention. I feel like the video quality is almost on par for daytime with the A118c, has better night quality, and is basically on par price wise. (or if you're lucky like me you find a $40 flash sale). I agree at $100 the A119 still needs to win but i do hope more ppl check out the Chupad D501, they did an awesome job with it.
 

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i do hope more ppl check out the Chupad D501
I just did and I like the form factor............ However, for me it needs GPS and capacitors instead of a battery
 
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Agie

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I just did and I like the form factor............ However, for me it needs GPS and capacitors instead of a battery
I've run it in hot climate here in Australia in the back in summer, but of course capacitator would be more of a guarantee against damage. With it's IMX322, Chupad D501 is definitely under-rated and I am pleasantly surprised by how reliable it has come to be over time.
 

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I've run it in hot climate here in Australia in the back in summer
I am a fan of lithium batteries in certain applications and I know it gets seriously hot in Perth so what temps are you talking about and could you show us where/how its mounted
 
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Agie

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I am a fan of lithium batteries in certain applications and I know it gets seriously hot in Perth so what temps are you talking about and could you show us where/how its mounted
Have to find the thread months ago that I posted here for a photo, but it is tucked at the top of my rear windscreen which has tinting on it. Talking about 40+ degree Celsius days. Gets toasty warm when you remove it cos of the silver-coloured lining but the great thing about the unit is that it has good heat dissipation - - - so even in normal operation it runs barely warm. A few of other dash cams that i've tested get warm even after a minute of operation from a cold start, so they would fry in summer i bet on it.
 
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