Review - Aukey DR02 J '4K' AR0521 NT96660

TonyM

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This is my review of the latest Aukey dashcam, the '4K' DR02 J which I bought from Amazon. This review will start with daytime video and general aspects of the camera. I will add night video recordings later, after I have the opportunity to drive at night then review the footage.

1521850346903.png

The usual plain cardboard box from Aukey.


Box contents


Wedge camera with 4 buttons


Window side. The outside-facing LED can be turned off to maintain a discreet appearance.


Camera set up alongside A119
IMG_20180324_132746-01-01.jpeg

Highlights:
- Wedge-style camera
- Advertised as '4K' dashcam
- 5MP ON Semiconductor AR0521 sensor and Novatek 96660 DSP
- Supercapacitor

Likes:
- Above average day performance
- Capacitor design
- Easy to setup and use
- Small and discreet
- Sturdy mount

Dislikes:
- Misleading '4K' claim. The 4k video is interpolated by almost 150% from the 5MP sensor.
- Highest non-interpolated resolution is 2560x1440
- 1080p video is not full-frame
- Poor definition and occasionally blurred night video
- Low bitrate - pixellation and loss of fine detail
- Sharpening set too high
- Poor sound quality (something loose inside?)
- Grey VHB mounting pads

The DR02 J is an upgraded version of the DR02 that was released last year with a 2MP Sony IMX323 sensor and was limited to 1080p30 video. The new model sports a 5MP AR0521 sensor which brings additional resolution options of 1080p60, 1296p30, 1440p30 and 2160p24.

Note that the 2160p video (3840x2160) is upscaled from the AR0521's maximum pixel dimensions of 2592x1944, representing an almost 50% increase in width. Thus the DR02 J is not a true 4K camera and I believe it should not be advertised as such.

Daytime Video Samples

2160p 24fps (24.6Mb/s)

1440p 30fps (17.7Mb/s)

1080p 60fps (20.1Mb/s)

Full Frame Extracts (with comparative frames from an A119)

DR02 J 2160p24


A119 1440p30



DR02 J 1440p30


A119 1440p30



DR02 J 1080p60 (Note that the DR02 J records 1080p at a narrower FOV than the full area of the sensor)


A119 1080p60
 
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TonyM

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Resolution and Field of View Comparisons
I have not tested all the resolution options. So far I have found that the 1080p video is not recorded using the full area of the AR0521 sensor. Whether this is a sensor limitation or a firmware decision I am not sure.

2160p 24fps


1440p 30fps


1080p 60fps


1080p 30fps


I can see no increase in detail of the 2160p frame over the 1440p frame, which is to be expected since the higher resolution video is interpolated.

The 1080p video appears to be a direct 1920x1080p crop from the centre of the 2560x1440p video. The lack of a full-frame 1080p video option, even at 30fps, seems rather strange.
 
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TonyM

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See post #5 for night video samples
 
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Mtz

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OK, so this fake 4K Aukey DR 02 J dashcam can be used correctly only at the 2K resolution.
They could fake also the 1080p 30fps to keep the full frame by downresizing the 1440p, but they were more interested to fake the 4K. The 1080p 60 fps full frame is not supported by the CMOS so maybe they can fake it by upscaling the 720p 120fps to 1080p 60fps.

Tony, you are making very good reviews because you know for what to look to obtain valuable informations and share them correctly.
I am tired about reviewers which are recording more their face compared to the product description and specifications.
Keep the good job and stay correct always.

enjoy,
Mtz
 
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TonyM

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DR02 J night video samples

I have only used 1440p 30fps and 1080p 60fps since I have already shown the 4K to be an interpolated resolution.

1440p 30fps (17.7Mb/s)

1080p 60fps (20.1Mb/s)

Full Frame Extracts (with comparative frames from an A119)

DR02 J 1440p 30fps



A119 1440p 30fps



DR02 J 1080p 60fps



A119 1080p 60fps



The DR02 J did not drop or double any frames at 1080p60. However the video quality varied considerably, with noticeable out-of-focus sections.
 

Mtz

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Compared to Viofo A119, the only part where Aukey is winning is more nice white color tone during night. Also a little more bright images during night but this is only because the day image is overexposed, too bright, look at the sky. Of course, the sky is not important for a dashcam but this is affecting sometimes reading car license numbers. Maybe lowering the EV in Aukey in settings will help the image.

enjoy,
Mtz
 
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TonyM

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I was not impressed with the DR02 J so I have returned it. I am happy to stick with my A119 that delivers consistent performance at a reasonable price.
 

JohnnyMnemonic

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Same here, I was hoping for a better cam considering how happy I was with my previous DR01 but after having a bad first dr02J and a bad replacement, they’ve been sent back. Maybe better luck down the road with a dr03, lol.
 
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Russelluk

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I've just been offered a free gift of one of these, DR-02J from Aukey, but after seeing some the videos and screenshots and information I very much doubt I will set it up, might just use it as a second security camera for my home driveway. I still don't like aukey due to you can not power these off by a button on the camera you still have to take the power lead out. I have all my cameras hardwired on a permeant live. so I like to properly shut down the camera before taking the SD card out. so with aukey units you have to mess pulling the lead out of the camera to shut down rather than just press the power button. the dr01 is a pain as the power lead is right next to the SD card slot as well on that unit. and that camera got used for less than a day as the bracket was flimsy, and it looked like every thing was just upscale, and horrid grainy footage.
 
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So now they're trying to give them away?
After my less-than-5-star review on Amazon, Aukey customer service got in touch to offer me a free replacement (in addition to the refund for the DR02J). I said I didn't want any of their cameras.
 
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JohnnyMnemonic

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I've just been offered a free gift of one of these, DR-02J from Aukey, but after seeing some the videos and screenshots and information I very much doubt I will set it up, might just use it as a second security camera for my home driveway. I still don't like aukey due to you can not power these off by a button on the camera you still have to take the power lead out. I have all my cameras hardwired on a permeant live. so I like to properly shut down the camera before taking the SD card out. so with aukey units you have to mess pulling the lead out of the camera to shut down rather than just press the power button. the dr01 is a pain as the power lead is right next to the SD card slot as well on that unit. and that camera got used for less than a day as the bracket was flimsy, and it looked like every thing was just upscale, and horrid grainy footage.

Even though Viofo's have a power button I prefer an actual switch that I can use to turn the camera on and off. I have my cam powered by a Cellink NEO and when I know I am parked in a 'safe' area like my garage or even my driveway I turn the cam off. What I bought was this switched mini USB inline switch. Here's a quick pic of how I ran it and just use it to turn the cam on and off instead of through the button on the dashcam itself.



IMG_5476.jpg
 
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Russelluk

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cheers for that information Johnny, I will have to look into getting a couple of these.
 

JohnnyMnemonic

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cheers for that information Johnny, I will have to look into getting a couple of these.

You're most welcome. There may be other sellers out there but honestly, that person is the only place I could find them available. At first I only bought one to make sure everything was working properly but then I ordered myself a few backups because of their scarce availability. At least shipping to you will be reasonable, lol. Cheers my friend!
 

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The ends are different though Tony. The one I use and got off the eBay seller has mini USB on each end, one end is male the other is female. This way I can just plug the end of the long length of ran power cable into one end of the switch and then the other end of the switch directly into the camera.
 
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TonyM

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The ends are different though Tony. The one I use and got off the eBay seller has mini USB on each end, one end is male the other is female. This way I can just plug the end of the long length of ran power cable into one end of the switch and then the other end of the switch directly into the camera.
Sorry, yes, this would have to go at the other end of the cable. My mistake.
 

JohnnyMnemonic

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Sorry, yes, this would have to go at the other end of the cable. My mistake.
Please, no problems Tony, appreciate the effort of trying to find another source for them. The easy ones to find are similar to mine but with micro usb ends, not mini usb. Seems people like the micro usb ended ones because they use them on Raspberry Pi projects.

At least should the manufacturers eventually begin to switch from mini to micro usb, these switches will be easier to find I guess.
 

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so what's the ideal resolution to have this set on and frame speed please, this camera will be for static use and not mobile.
 
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so what's the ideal resolution to have this set on and frame speed please, this camera will be for static use and not mobile.
What are you using it for? CCTV fixed at your house?
 

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yes tony, due to not been able to upgrade my own cctv at the moment, the best other option I've found to get good HD quality footage is to stick a dash cam in my front bedroom widow, I do have a Viofo G1W-s at the moment recording 24/7 with a 64gb card, but I would like to put the smaller Aukey in its place. this footage is from the Viofo, best watched in HD in YouTube settings
 

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