Just as we've always recommended that commuting cyclists wear a helmet cam, so all motorists should fit a dash cam to their car. Not only could one help you legally and help to keep your insurance premiums low, all those cameras on the roads mean lots of fun footage to upload to YouTube. Seriously though, you need a dash cam... and we've found yet another good 'un from Mio, the MiVue 618.
The 618 is a compact little gadget, measuring just three inches across. Unlike a lot of other bulkier dash cams, this one can actually be mounted behind your rear view mirror, which is a great place to put one to both reduce distractions and improve the cam's view of the road. A suction cup mount is included, as are the power and USB update cables.
One thing that we immediately noticed about the Mio MiVue 618 Dash Cam was the resolution of the camera. Most cams of this size and price would be packing a fairly standard 1080p HD sensor, but this one boasts a slightly better version at 1296p (2304 x 1296 at 30 frames per second). This means that footage captured by it is that little bit clearer and more detailed than you might be used to from a dash cam; and with fast cars zooming by your wind screen, its all in the details. The camera also features a 140 degree viewing angle – again, very good.
Apart from the improved camera, most of the other features on the Mio MiVue 618 are ones we've become very used to testing in the past. There's an auto-on function so that as soon as you start the ignition the camera will start to record, as well as GPS tracking which will record your location and speed to a separate file next to the video footage. Mio also offer free monthly updates with the location of speed cameras, so if your cam is up to date, it'll warn you when you're approaching one. The fact that this update is free for the the duration of the dash cam's life is pretty unique, as, in our experience, many other companies charge for this privilege.
The onboard three-axis G-sensor will record all movement the car makes, especially when something out of the ordinary happens, like a collision. Fortunately we never had to rely on this data during testing, although it did give us the excuse to download and play around with the MiVue Manager, Mio's desktop management programme. Insert the Micro SD card from the cam into your computer, and the MiVue Manager will bring up all your footage, photos, GPS data, and axis info in a really easy to understand manner. You can overlay the footage with GPS coordinates, for example, as well copying over and organising the clips. Its a great suite and is available for both Mac and PC.
So this is a high quality cam that seems to cut through all the complicated mess to deliver something that just works, and works well. The footage looks great, even on darker days, and coupling it with the software makes taking care of (and sharing – hello YouTube) your clips easy.