From a piece of gadget that’s nice to have in the car, the dashcam has become a necessity. Having the ability to capture on-road incidents in the video removes many doubts on what had actually transpired. So crucial the dashcam has become that some car manufacturers have made the device standard with the car.
As people are getting more erratic on the road, getting a dashcam is a no brainer. But which dash cam is best? The choices of dash cams are as many as the windscreens these devices will be mounted on, and you’ll get precisely what you pay for. However, if you can afford exactly RM799, then the Mio MiVue 792 is one of the best, if not, the best you can get.
Out of the box, Mio’s flagship dashcam is hefty with solid build quality. Tipping the scales at 112 grams, this isn’t your typical tiny dash cam you get free when you apply for a credit card. It stands at the height of 48.8mm, a width of 90.2mm and a depth of 37.05mm. Our test unit came with a 16GB memory card, but the dashcam can handle up to 128GB.
Underneath its large shell, the Mio is machined with high-end features, which might explain its size and weight. This dashcam tucks away a WiFi transmitter, a GPS location tracker, a 3-axis G-sensor, an audio recorder and a Sony IMX 291 Starvis video sensor. More on the latter, later.
At the rear, the MiVue is armed with a large LCD screen that displays the video feed and information clearly even when placed at a distance. Beside the screen the orange Event Button, that starts saving a slice of the recording the moment you press it. This will come in handy when some mad man is running at your car, possibly trying to claim insurance.
On the right side are four small buttons that correspond with the icons displayed on the screen. The buttons are placed apart just right so no one will mash two buttons at once.
In front, you’ll definitely notice the large aperture F1.8 lens that has a wide 140-degree angle. To put things into perspective, the human eye has a 120-degree arc, most of which are in our periphery. This means that the MiVue can capture objects even before our vision registers it.
Mounting the MiVue is a straightforward affair — slot in the micro USB into the dashcam and plug the other end into the 12V socket. The dashcam comes with a ball-jointed mount with 3M sticky tape allows for precise positioning once you’ve plastered the MiVue on the windscreen. To be honest, we wished the mount came with a suction cup instead of the sticky tape; more natural to move the dashcam from one car to the next.
The quick guide comes in very handy when you’re setting up the dashcam; the plenty in the system menu to thumb through. Pairing the smartphone with the dashcam for the first time is easy, and you don’t have to do it again once it’s correctly set up. This is something you want to do.
Should an accident happen, or should the G-sensor gets shaken, the MiVue automatically starts saving a record of the incident. The video file is then sent directly to your phone, so you and all parties involved can play it back instantly. It is more convenient than looking for a computer to download the files to. You can also take a photo and then send it to your phone via WiFi.
The captured video in the daytime is clear and sharp, and as expected. The video and photo are watermarked clearly with date, time, current speed and GPS coordinates — no arguments here.
Where the MiVue 792 truly shines is in low-light situations, albeit the noisy images. The videos captured on a brightly lit street is surprisingly detailed and remains decent on dimly-lit roads. However, on an unlit street, the dashcam only catches the light sources while leaving the rest in the pitch black. Having said that, we managed to brighten the dark areas with the use of appropriate software. (Note: Scroll below to view the images taken by the dashcam in low light situations. We've taken one in a brightly-lit street, a road without street lamps but headlights on and one more of the same dark road with the headlights off. You can see for yourself how the MiVue 792 performs in those lighting situations).
Not many dashcams can perform at the same level as the MiVue 792. That the MiVue 792 works well in low-light situations should be one of the main reasons to purchase this dashcam. With relevant information watermarked on the video and images, there’ll be no more argument on when and where the incident took place. Although the MiVue 792 may cost a pretty penny, you know you’re driving with a solid dash cam always looking ahead.