Yi Dash Camera Review – No Longer Good in 2019 – Get the ROAV A1 Instead

Hey, it’s Andrew from Car Cam Central and today we are reviewing the XiaoYi Yi If you’re looking for your next dash camera but don’t want to spend a lot of money? The $70 Yi is a great choice for most drivers [intro music] This is XiaoYi’s first dash camera after launching an action and a home security camera It first released in China in January and comes in two colours, Grey and Gold If you want to see the Gold version and better coverage of the basics take a look at the review by Linus from TechLineHD He also covers mainstream and non mainstream smartphones and gadgets Links in the description Back to our Yi on the front of the camera is a f/ 1.8 6-element
glass lens which is an upgrade compared to the plastic lenses found at this price range On the back is a 2.7” LCD screen which is decently bright even under the sun During our tap and press test it feels rather
robust It doesn’t creak or flex and it’s decently
thick all around The camera was well made even With the intricate vents cut into the top and bottom of the camera These vents help remove heat from the camera
through convection The metallic paint sparkles and is odor free and UV protected against fading You think the grey version would be a little
bit more discreet but it stands out but I don’t think it’s
a problem for most drivers One benefit is the lighter colour is much
cooler to the touch as it reflects more sunlight compared to black
cameras This could improve reliability If you look on left side of the camera you’ll
see a SD card slot which has a great cutout making it easier to insert and remove cards even if you have big fingers or trimmed nails On the other side is a microUSB port for power and can be used to transfer files The Yi comes in a Chinese and an International
version I’ll bring up the differences as we unbox
the camera When you receive the camera it will be shrinked wrapped and bound by a
red paper strip Since I have the Chinese version it has Chinese
writing in fact, everything inside is in Chinese but I’ll show you how you can change it
later Both versions use a thick, double walled cardboard
box When opened, the camera is dramatically revealed In the international version the camera is
CE and FCC certified which is a requirement to be sold in Europe
and the United States Whether the hardware has changed is a different
story Underneath the camera you’ll find the accessories The Chinese version has a suction mount and
a two port, 2-Amp charger The international version uses a 3M tape mount and a one port, 1-amp, CE certified charger Moving onto setup, while you can install the
camera out of the box you may wish to change a few settings like
the time and date If you go into the camera’s menu there are
less options but the overall interface is outstanding The camera uses digital labels which display
the function above your fingers and make it easy to understand what you are pressing One small complaint is the “enter menu” & OK functions use the same
button It’s easy to accidently change your resolution
and not notice The iOS and Android WiFi app give you deeper customization options and allows you to view videos, update firmware
and more Launching it for the first time you have a
friendly quick start tutorial XiaoYi also links to other guides and resources
inside the app To connect to the camera it’s as easy as
pressing the red button It’ll do all the hard work of disconnecting
you from your current network and linking with
your Yi Once connected you get a live video stream from your dash camera even when it’s recording You can browse recorded videos but you’ll
have to download it there’s no options for streaming This also shuts down recording but that’s
not uncommon I’ve only seen Blackvue’s DR650 as having the ability to record and stream
videos at the same time Looking into the settings menu you have additional
options such as removing XiaoYi’s branding from
the video As well the camera will automatically synchronize the time and date with your smartphone after
connecting There’s also an interesting discover section where XiaoYi has collected videos they found
from other users Maybe you’ll be the next hit Installation is no different than GPS sat
navs You won’t need any tools and it’s finished
in 5-10 minutes Starting with your mount it’ll slide into the T-slot at the top of
the camera You can also purchase 3rd party mounts from Transcend, DOD Tech, and more as it’s
a standard size The Chinese version includes a suction mount and I had no problems in cold or hot weather The camera is pressed into place and you can use the various knobs and nuts to adjust and secure the Yi The power adapter plugs into your power outlet and you can run the cable around your headliner to hide your power cable Moving on we looked at how easy it is to use the camera on a typical day Like most cameras the XiaoYi turns on and
records automatically when it receives power The Yi is one of the few cameras under $100 which has done a good job in letting you know when your camera has failed If there’s a problem a bright red screen
appears this is quite visible and will stick around
until you close the prompts But, it’s not as good if it’s missing
an SD card The message soon disappears The LED status lights are placed in a good
location and can be seen even if the camera is installed behind your rear view mirror It could be more intuitive, the yellow is
for recording, red for battery charging status Moving to the emergency record button Most people use it to lock accident footage or to save an interesting scene for later The button is easy to feel out even in the
dark Once pressed it will lock the prior and following
10 seconds from being overwritten Less good is the placement of the record button It’s easy to press the wrong one and turn
off recording Another advertised feature is the lane departure and forward collision
warnings The ADAS system In theory, ADAS should help to prevent accidents In reality there’s many false alarms and
it annoys more than it helps You also have to lower the video quality to
1080P which reduces sharpness XiaoYi also recommends you connect your camera to transfer GPS data to improve performance But we find that’s not very convenient If you do get pulled over or see something
interesting on the side you can rotate the camera 360° to capture what’s happening If you were looking for a camera with motion
detection the Yi has no such feature It’s not advised anyways as the heat tolerance
isn’t the greatest So jumping directly into video quality, it’s one of the highlights of the XiaoYi During the day video quality is sharp At night it rivals more expensive cameras and has some of the best video quality for
the price Comparing it against the Mobius you can see
that the dynamic range is better There are less shadows which help you capture the situation such as if a pedestrian were to jump out in front of your
car Other cameras such as the $100 Dome D201 do provide better video quality You can see it’s sharper with lower noise but functionally it’s much worse I find the Yi’s field of view at 165° is
overly wide It captures more of the scene but distorts
distances and reduces the size of objects which reduces
legibility Overall, for the price I think you’ll be happy with the image quality of the XiaoYi
Yi Moving onto reliability it hasn’t been released
long enough to say how well it will perform Looking at XiaoYi’s previous products they
have had a good track record so far Few reported failures I am concerned about the video focus shifting
in hot weather I tested this using my hacked toaster oven and threw in the XiaoYi for an hour at 60°C
or a 140°F Over the span of an hour you can see the video quality noticeably degrading Once cooled down the camera was fine In normal use it wouldn’t get this hot unless you are recording while parked with
the air conditioning off which is not recommended as the Yi wasn’t designed for these conditions Overall if you are looking for a budget camera and don’t live somewhere very hot I think the XiaoYi Yi is a great choice If you are looking at getting the Yi I would purchase the international version especially if you live in the United States as it’s sold directly from XiaoYi through
Amazon with a one year warranty Otherwise it’s available through GeekBuying but dealing with the warranty is more difficult The Chinese version is a little cheaper and you can can change the firmware so that the camera is in English The link to my video will be in the description Our website has more information on the Yi as well you can download raw videos to see the true quality as YouTube applies compression As well let me know what what kind of content you want to see from me next whether it’s more reviews, guides Let me know In the comments below So that’s the end of this review If you liked it give it a thumbs up If you want to see more, Subscribe. Thank you for watching!

100 Replies to “Yi Dash Camera Review – No Longer Good in 2019 – Get the ROAV A1 Instead

  1. Good review. A question: What is the best budget camera that has a reasonably working GPS data, imprinted on the footage? And may be one step ahead, Alarms such as red light camera warning, etc, when connected to cellphone?

  2. Hi andrew, what is the best memory card for this yi smart dash cam. appreciate your prompt response. thanks

  3. I ordered the Chinese version. It works fine but I was told I would get ENGLISH instructions/user manual. None were included. I contacted the seller TomTop? and they just sent me a technical sheet. That was useless. Now can I get an English operating manual anywhere? I would even pay for it and or download it. If anyone would be able to scan a manual I would give you my e mail so you can send it to me. Appreciate any help I can get.Thanks.

  4. At the end of your video you claim the Chinese version firmware can be reloaded/changed to the English version. can you give me details on where to get this and how to do it?

  5. Hello, since the US Version comes with an adhesive pad, could you recommend a suction cup mount for this camera? It would be also cool if you did a video with your recommendations of various types of mounts ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. This is a great dash camera. It has all the essential features you need for Dash Cam. Living in Los Angeles with all the traffic and idiot drivers, (Uber, Lyft, etc…) you need a dash cam that will instantly have the video footage available to show the COPS if involved in an accident. This Yi Dash Cam does it. Right there, the COPS will determine who is at fault and would write it on the Police Report to show your Insurance Company. Amazon as of 4/14/18 has the black one for $34.99, so I purchased two since I have two cars. Great camera and great video review…Thanks!

  7. Are you going to review the updated version – YI Compact Dash Cam? I was curious how this would perform as a rear camera with a dark tint on it. Does tint significantly affect camera footage in your experience from all cameras?

  8. Frys has this on sale for $35 but it's still rubbish! Here's what the video looks like. DO NOT BUY!

  9. Great review! I have a question though.
    Is this good enough or would you recommend a better alternative within the same price point?

    Btw, I live in the Philippines and it gets really kinda hot here.. so that's something to consider..

  10. I liked your video and after watching many of your reviews I purchased this camera through the ebay link you provided in the description but received a camera that only records in a max resolution of 1080p30fps. I now understand the camera I bought is the simpler "compact" variant while the one in your review is the "Smart" variant. Honestly, I am a bit disappointing as one of the deciding factors for buying this camera was the higher resolution and overall video quality as you describe in you video. I think you should change the title to reflect the camera you showcase is the so called "Smart" variant, perhaps mention there are two different variants on the market and definitely change the link you posted in the description, as I was sure I am purchasing the same camera as shown in the video review.

  11. Purchased this cam from Amazon. It was sent used and the mount adhesive was missing (not suction cup) I was shocked to get this in such bad condition. Amazon actually rejected my factual review and yi never responded to my request to send replacement. I would move on to other brand.

  12. After watching the video I decided I wanted to buy this dash cam. I'm going to a 2h trip tomorrow and gonna test the CN version out. I also managed to change the language to EN with a single .bin file which was really easy to do. I'll report back after I check the recordings from the trip. The only thing I wanted to ask is if there is really any difference between 1080p 30fps & 60fps?

  13. just discovered this video. i have a question : how do you erase the logo of xiaoyi when you editing your video ?

  14. Is there options set time of each recording segments? Like most cameras offer 1,3 5 minutes? I did not find it onย YI only records 1 min intervals

  15. Thx man, your videos are very clear and you share details without overextending. I was curious about the new Rexing v1 3rd revision since its going to be on amazon prime day sale tomorrow, but from your videos I can conclude that either go a119 or YI, so I'm buying the YI, nothing overly interesting mid road.

  16. I just got this from Amazon and am really excited to use it. I'm in the US and did not receive a charger with mine. Not a big deal, I have others I can use, but I wonder if they are no longer offering the charger with these units. Prime Day, I picked it up for $30!

  17. great video. ordered this from amazon (from the amazon seller Yi technology). it appears I have received the CHINESE VERSION (mine came with the suction cup). are the features the same for these 2 versions? they have told me I can return it for the correct version if I want. I am more inclined to keep it if there isn't much difference between the 2. but if one is better than the other, I definetely want to get the best version….thanks

  18. Is there an adhesive mount. I want to buy this for my brother by Tuesday but I cant find a mount that is compatible.

  19. Be forewarned that many of these have bad focus from the factory. It is something that an avid hobbyist can resolve, but it takes some knowledge of typical consumer electronics disassembly. The lens is a screw-mount, and there is some non-permanent glue affixing the lens… but it can be gently removed allowing you to adjust the focus (on something DISTANT) while viewing it on your phone. I left mine loose, so that I could refocus it in the future from outside the camera if needed.
    The factory mount is wobbly, so I 3D-printed a full-wrap snap-in mount that I use a Garmin ball-type suction cup mount with.

  20. Where can I buy new 3M tape? The original tape can not be used repeatedly (for example when windshield is replaced). No dealer in Finland sells a suitable product, I have to use normal two sided tape which won't last high temperature nor -30'C cold. Of course I could buy a new camera with a new tape but I'm not a millionare.

  21. Excellent, comprehensive video and I especially like your temperature testing. Question: I noticed the first one I had (returned because the internal battery would not charge) generated a considerable amount of heat in normal operation making the case warm to the touch — estimated temperature rise 12ยฐC over ambient. Did you see any distortion at all in your testing at lower temperatures? Having read anecdotal accounts of this phenomenon, I was thinking about adding active cooling through the bottom ventilation port but if there is no significant distortion at expected operating temperatures in an air conditioned environment, then I would forego that. Thank you for you excellent, very informative video !

  22. I have the Chinese version installed, I need to change it to the English version. From your video information we can flash the firmware to English, can you please help to get the firmware and how to flash it. Details written on the box " DIGITAL CAMCORDER XIAOMI YI CAR SINGLE CAMERA FULL HD1080P 130 ANGLE CHINESE VERSION" Please me to check it the English version

  23. Amazing review ๐Ÿ™‚ I have SJCAM SJ5000X Elite for motorcycle riding and I want something for a car and this seems to be good ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Hey can you let me know if the camera works without being connected to power? Or does it need to be connected all the time?

  25. Hi Andrew
    Got the camera for a year now and a few weeks ago it started reseting itself every time I switch on the car. I need to set the date and time all over again and the ADAS is turned on although I always turn it off. Any ideas?

  26. Where can I download the English manual for this dashcam? I actually got the chinese version which I cannot read at all.

  27. Mine died as soon as the temp was freezing, which was two weeks after I bought it. Any ideas on a more reliable camera or maybe I just had a bad camera?

  28. dont buy this rubish cam! lots of them keeps failing after time and same happened with one i have it just wont turn on for unnknown reason!

  29. Hey man sorry, I have a camera ๐Ÿ“ธ as like as this model and I have a problem! After one year I want to get movies on my device it wants wifi cod and I have forgotten, now my question :how can I get it back? Thanks for the help.

  30. Hey Andrew, is the Yi still a recommendation in the lower price category? Here in Germany it costs about 53$ (plus ~10$ for suction cup mount) and i'm asking myself, if it would be worth the money in comparison to my current Vantrue N1 (which screen seems starting to die), where at least at night the video quality is not very good.
    Or is there a better dashcam for the money? But it is important, that there is, at least optional, a suction cup mount available, cause im driving rental cars most time. Already thanks!

  31. Hello! When the camera is in ADAS mode, a screen with the situation / entry into another bar or too close to the front car / appears. / I think this is normal and this is the role of this function, but the warning is repeated at intervals even when there is no I want to know if this is normal and whether the shunt should be turned off manually, and whereabouts. Thank you in advance!

  32. Nice review ! 165 Degree angle of view is too wide, it captures reflected image of dash, otherwise the image is pretty good.

  33. Great review of this dashcam. I bought one online from Walmart for $59 last week after watching your review and a few others. I especially like the WiFi feature. You mentioned in an earlier comment to someone else that you recommend buying a CPL filter for this unit. Where would I find a CPL filter for the YI? Thanks!

  34. Today, my Xiao Yi dash cam app suddenly wouldn't log-in because the camera set a password which for the life of me I don't recall putting one in. Try using this password: 1234567890 , if you ever encountered a similar issue to mine.

    I don't mean to spam, but I wanted to post some useful tip to YT.

  35. Great review. I am strongly considering this dashcam. I particularly enjoyed the fact that a lot of this test footage was shot in my neck of the woods!

  36. UPDATE: JULY 5, 2019
    The Yi Dash Cam is no longer our cheap pick in 2019. It's been replaced by Anker's ROAV A1 which has better video quality (no blurriness in hot weather!), better functionality and better worldwide support. See our full review here: https://youtu.be/njXJoiWvses

  37. gue baru nemuin kelemahannya… rekamannya kan gak nyambung full dari awal "on" mobil sampe parkir, alias file film terbagi permenit dengan resolusi paling tinggi.. masalahnya diantara file rekaman yang tersimpan ada +/- 30 detik yang tidak terekam saat lanjut ke rekaman berikut… tidak terekam 30 detik itu ngeri juga bro, moment penting 20 detik aja berharga… sarannya gimana cara ngatasinnya supaya sambungan filmnya tidak hilang walau sedetik.
    terima kasih

  38. You, my friend, are a G. Super informative video. I would hang out with you, that is how awesome and respectable you and your content both are.

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