6 January 2015

REVIEW: Mio MiVue 538 Dash Cam


After being exceptionally impressed by the Snooper DVR-3HDVehicle Drive Recorder that we reviewed last November, we were keen to see what other high-tech dash cams were out there. So if you're worried about a T-Rex suddenly stomping on your car and then claiming it was all your fault, you need to keep yourself protected with a dash cam in the form of the Mio MiVue 538.

A compact gadget, the Mio MiVue 538 contains a full-HD camera and small screen, which can be neatly affixed to your dashboard or windscreen. Just like the Snooper device, the Mio MiVue 538 is wider than it is deep, meaning it really doesn't take up much space on your dash and has the appearance of small satnav.

The camera is also very similar to the Snooper in that records in 1080p HD, but has the added advantage of possessing a F1.8 lens, which apparently lets in more light than standard lenses. Certainly the footage we captured while testing it was clear and bright but too be honest we didn't notice too much of an improvement when compared to the aforementioned Snooper DVR-3HD, or indeed to several of the action cams we've reviewed, including the KitVisionEdge HD30W.

That's not to say that the footage was in any way poor - not in the least - as once viewed on a large-screen device such as a computer or tablet, the level of detail that had been captured was impressive. Certainly good enough to record every detail of what goes on in the road ahead of your car. So watch it, damn dinosaurs.

But the Mio MiVue 538 Dash Cam is so much more than a dash cam. Packed away inside that tiny package is also a very accurate GPS, which can track your location and route travelled, and also a three-axis G-sensor which records how your vehicle is moving. Thanks to that sensor the Mio MiVue 538 will wake itself and immediately start recording the moment you switch on the engine, and should it detect a crash or impact, the footage from that moment will be automatically ear-marked as vital and never overwritten (on the included 8GB MicroSD card).

We really admire the feature the Mio MiVue 538 possesses where, once your car is parked and you've left it alone, the cam will start to record if there is movement immediately in front of the vehicle. This therefore ensures that anyone manoeuvring around your parked car will be captured on video, enabling you to see who possibly dinged your bumper in the shopping mall car park. And, should you need to record any damage caused to your car on the scene, you can remove the Mio MiVue 538 from the dashboard mount and use it, in photo mode, as a stills camera.

We really like this dash cam, and as it comes in a bit cheaper than the Snooper, this could definitely be a contender for your new piece of dashboard gadgetry.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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