The most frustrating piece of electronics I've used in a long time.
Reviewed in the United States on 14 February 2020
Let's start out with why this isn't a one- or two-star review. This didn't stop working after a week or two, or never do what it was designed to do, so it's not one star. It didn't have flaws big enough that, despite technically doing what it's designed for, it was functionally unusable. And, honestly, the picture quality isn't bad. It's not, like, digital SLR quality, but it's a $60 dashcam, so I didn't expect it. My guess is, if I left it in my car, I'd probably eventually be able to use it to prove that the other guy was the bonehead and not me.
But, although it succeeds at its primary function overall, I'm still in the market for a new one after less than two months on my car. Why? Well, let's address all the ways it's pissed me off.
First of all, install. I'm not the type to leave the wire coming down to the console power outlet from the rearview mirror. I'm also not okay with having something taking up the 12V power outlet (I want to use that for my phone charger). So I bought the hardware kit that Amazon recommended. Went to install it... no dice. The right-angle plug went the wrong way. I couldn't plug it in and use the windshield mount. So, I tried using a Micro-USB cable I had lying around. Also no dice. The mount puts it too close to the windshield. So I had to find a hardwire kit that ended with a USB-A plug, run an extension cable, and buy a set of two right-angle plugs so I could be sure I got the right one.
Okay, so then I got it all installed and hooked up, and started using it. First of all, the mount is a total piece of crap. I can't get it to stay pointing up enough, even if I take it off the windshield and snug it up as best I can (and I have jar-opening hands... I'm not some weakling). It always loosens up enough to point back down.
Then, I decided to turn parking mode on. Great... except if you sit down too suddenly or slam your door getting in the car, that triggers parking mode. With a well-designed dashcam, that wouldn't be a problem. But this one, if you start the car while parking mode is triggered, will STAY IN PARKING MODE. What this means is, as you drive, it will turn on whenever you hit a bump, brake, or go around a curve, and it will turn off three minutes later. Over. And over. And over again. I finally discovered that once it turns off the first time, you can hold down the power button for a couple of seconds to turn it on, after which it will stay on until you turn the car off. But why should I have to do that? And of course, if you don't do that, and the chime is on, it keeps on chiming every time it turns on and off. And if the chime is off, chances are it won't record the boneheaded thing the other person did.
But, that's nothing compared to the thing that finally made me decide to get rid of this thing. You would think that turning on "loop recording" would make it delete old recordings when the card fills up, right? Nah. Once the card fills up, it will beep at you incessantly (once every 2 seconds until you throw it out the window) to let you know the card is full. The "fixes" are to unplug it (at which point, it will go into parking mode and just beep at you every time it turns on), remove the MicroSD card (which will only fix the beeping while the car is on... it will then start beeping at you due to no card the next time you turn the car on), or to reformat the card through the menu, which of course means you lose any recordings.
Speaking of the menu, did you know that, instead of using the button between the up and down buttons to select a menu item, you have to use the power button? The button between the up and down buttons is the back button. Makes perfect sense, right?
So, it's not one or two stars... but unfortunately, the fact that it took me a month and a half to get pissed off enough at it to replace it means I'm 13 days beyond the return window (it took me a week to install, then the car was in the body shop to fix the bumper damage that spurred me to get a dashcam in the first place, then I was on vacation with the car in the garage at home). So now I'm out $60.
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