The Mobius dash cam is a Chinese camera produced by the same manufacturer of the popular 808 #16 key chain camera. The camera has very good picture quality during the day and average picture quality at night. It records 1080p at 30f/s with an average bit rate of approximately 18,000kpbs.
This camera also claims to have Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) to improve recording in low light conditions. However, there have been some complaints for low light recording. While above average, there are better cameras for night recording. When recording at 1080p, this camera likely has great video quality for a $85 camera.
This camera does not come with a G-sensor, GPS or screen. One of the greatest features is the small size (61 x 35 x 18mm) and discreet form factor. Due to its small size and low weight this camera has become popular for radio controlled vehicles.
The camera has been updated numerous times since its original release. As of 2015 (Mobius V3) the updated features include:
- New case with improved shielding
- Widening of the top LED observation hole filled with a clear plastic “light pipe” that extends over the four LED’s inside
- Over-voltage protection which will disconnect external power if voltage is between 5.6V and 28V
- Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Lens Module instead of the original metal lens module
- Optional 820 mAH battery available instead of the 520 mAH battery
- Optional capacitor instead of the battery
The Mobius can be purchased with different lenses. Each lens has a different field of view
- Standard A Lens – 86°
- B Lens – 116°
- C Lens – 132° (no longer sold, due to reliability issues)
- C2 Lens – 132° (replaces the C lens)
Processor and CMOS Sensor
The manufacturer has tried to conceal which processor and CMOS sensor are being used on this camera. However, it appears this camera is using the Novatek NT96650 processor and the Aptina AR0330 CMOS sensor. This is based on the following facts:
- Developer is a Novatek shop and the NT96650 was the best chip available from Novatek when the Mobius was released
- If you run the strings output command (in Linux) on any available firmware version there are many references to NT96650 and AR0330 (v0.32 string output and v1.13 string output). This is consistent with other cameras who are using this processor and CMOS combination
- If you run a hex dump (in Linux) on any available firmware version there are many references to NT96650 and AR0330, consistent with other cameras who are using this processor and CMOS combination
- The manufacturer has indicated it is a 3.5MP sensor. The ONLY Aptina sensor that has this resolution is the AR0330 and Omnivision does not sell a 3.5MP sensor
- The Mobius captures photos with a resolution of 2304×1536. This is a very unique resolution and surprisingly is the same as the active array for the AR0330
- Here is a picture of an unlasered NT96650BG, beside a picture of the lasered chip in the Mobius. Notice any similarities.
Based on these facts you can decide which processor and CMOS sensor the Mobius is using.
Wide Dynamic Range
This dash cam claims to have Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) capability to improve low light video quality. Unfortunately this is not true.
Dynamic Range is measured in decibels (dB) and most cameras have a dynamic range of 60 dB to 80 dB. The human eye has a dynamic range of approximately 100 dB. Anything higher than 100 dB is often referred to as “Wide Dynamic Range”.
While the Novatek NT96650 Processor supports Wide Dynamic Range, the CMOS sensor used, the Aptina AR0330, has a dynamic range of 72.4 dB (see datasheet). Hence from a pure technical perspective, this camera is not providing true Wide Dynamic Range.
There is improved night performance with WDR enabled on this camera. Note that a high dynamic range number (>100 dB) does not guarantee great night performance if other aspects of the camera are poor (processor, lens, firmware).
Given the excellent picture quality and $85 price tag, this camera quickly became popular. However some issues were identified:
C Lens Out of Focus
The Mobius with the “C Lens” sold in early 2015 had numerous complaints about going out of focus. This is discussed on our forum here. As of July 2015, the C lens has been discontinued and replaced with a C2 lens that does not exhibit this problem.
Some users of the original Mobius have complained that this camera causes interference with GPS devices (navigation, smart phones). This problem has been corrected with the newer versions of the Mobius (improved shielding of the case).
Mounting the Camera
Our member Mtz has created a topic on custom mounts for the Mobius dash cam in our forum. A lot of great ideas on mounting this camera.
Disassembling the Camera
RCGroups have created detailed instructions and pictures for disassembling the camera:
Should I Purchase?
This camera has excellent video quality during the day, likely one of the best for $85. Video quality at night is average. The size and form factor is discreet and initial reliability appears to be ok. Also the manufacturer appears to be quite responsive in addressing issues via firmware.
Overheating issues do not appear to be common, but do not run this cam in a parked car on a hot day to minimize problems. Overall this is the best discreet camera for the money.
A configuration tool has been developed by Isoprop that works in Windows. The tool can be downloaded from his site. This tool can be used to edit configuration settings or update firmware.
Alternatively, you can edit the camera configuration manually using the steps found here.
An Android application exists for configuring the Mobius cam as well.
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
The easiest way to update the firmware is via the configuration tool above. You can manually update the firmware with the steps found here.
The latest firmware version can be found here (Mobius FW v2.41).
- Mobius FW v2.37
- Mobius FW v2.33
- Mobius FW v2.30
- Mobius FW v2.29
- Mobius FW v2.25
- Mobius FW v2.10
- Mobius FW v1.20
- Mobius FW v1.17
- Mobius FW v1.13
- Mobius FW v0.59
- Mobius FW v0.57
- Mobius FW v0.53
- Mobius FW v0.47
- Mobius FW v0.45
- Mobius FW v0.44
- Mobius FW v0.42
- Mobius FW v0.41
- Mobius FW v0.39
- Mobius FW v0.35
- Mobius FW v0.34
- Mobius FW v0.32
You can download the English manual here.
Published: August 20, 2013
Last Updated: February 3, 2015
Mobius - DashCamTalk
The Mobius is the best discreet camera for $85. Great video quality, size and support.
Product SKU: Mobius
Product Brand: Mobius
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 85
Price Valid Until: 2021-02-04
Product In-Stock: SoldOut