The VanTop H610 is a Chinese dual channel mirror dash camera released in Sept 2019. This dash cam is popular on Amazon and has many positive reviews.
The H610 is based on the Huawei HiSilicon Hi3556 V100 processor. It uses a Sony STARVIS IMX335 CMOS sensor for the front camera and a FH-2308Y CMOS sensor for the rear camera. The processor and Sony sensor are decent components and can be found in many other popular dash cams. We have never heard of the rear camera sensor before.
The front camera records 1440p (Quad HD) video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 12 Mbps. Video quality for the front camera during the day is above average and night quality is below average. In many scenarios the video looks grainy.
The rear camera records 1080p video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 6 Mbps. Video quality is average during the day and poor at night. Like many mirror cameras, the video quality is not the camera’s forte.
The rear camera is waterproof and can be used externally. Depending on your vehicle, mounting this externally may not be the easiest. Many people opt for professional installation of this camera since it is more complex than mounting the more typical internal rear camera that most other dual dash cams come with.
Note that videos are saved using the newer H.265 HEVC codec option instead of the more common H.264 codec. H.265 may not be compatible with older computers or viewing devices which could be a problem when sharing video files with Police or insurance companies. Not a huge issue but something to be aware of.
The H610 is a simple mirror cam with a few features. While it comes with a 10″ touchscreen and g-sensor, it does not come with GPS or WiFi. The only parking mode provided is non-buffered.
The H610 is a large camera at 254 x 97 x 38mm but clips on to your existing rearview mirror which makes for a discreet installation. Unfortunately most mirror dash cams, including the H610, suffer from a number of problems due to their design:
- You will lose any advanced features from your car’s rearview mirror (i.e. auto dimming) since the dash cam will cover it up
- The mirror is only usable when the screen is off. When the screen is on, there is still reflection from the mirror so you end up with a double image (combination of screen image and mirror image)
- At night, the reflection is very dark and in some cases not usable
Note that the H610 cannot swivel to record interactions at the driver or passenger windows. While the camera only comes with screen error notifications, given the large 10″ mirror screen, any errors will be easily seen by the driver. Unfortunately build quality is average and reliability has not been the best.
The rear camera can be used as a backup camera. It comes with a red wire which you can tap to the reverse light of your vehicle. If this red wire is connected, the dash cam’s display will automatically go full screen to the backup camera when going into reverse. Note there are many user complaints that the backup camera warning lines cannot be calibrated and make it difficult to know how far you are from objects.
VanTop appears to be responsive to questions but beyond that, the camera has limited support. We have not seen any firmware updates for this camera since it has been launched. VanTop provides a 12 month warranty, which is common for most dash cams.
Note that some Vantop provides a free gift in exchange for 5-star Amazon reviews. This is not ethical and is likely influencing the ratings there.
Touchscreen freezes / Unresponsive
The most common problem that has been reported is the touchscreen freezes and becomes unresponsive. There is no known cause for this problem or solution.
A number of owners have indicated the camera will often reboot during a drive continuously. Make sure you are using the supplied power supply. If you are, the problem is a defective camera with no known solution
A number of users have indicated the camera gets very hot on warm days. This can result in blurry videos, the reboot loop mentioned above or touchscreen not working correctly.
There are many reviews and sample videos on Youtube for this camera. When watching these clips, day videos will look acceptable at first glance, but pay attention to the details. More importantly, look at night videos. Quality is not impressive. Rear camera videos are even worse.
Should I Purchase?
The VanTop H610 appears to be a bargain at $80 for a dual camera, discreet form factor and 10″ touchscreen. When compared to more traditional dash cams, the H610 suffers from worse video quality and has numerous compromises when mounting over your existing rear view mirror (worse mirror quality / double image).
Combined with numerous reliability complaints (freezing touchscreen, overheating, reboot loop), limited support and free gifts to influence Amazon reviews, the VanTop H610 is not a best buy for a dash cam.
Published: Nov 11, 2020