Updated Oct 19th, 2019
After three years the Yi Dash Cam has been replaced with our Anker ROAV A1 pick. You can see that review here (YouTube Link) along with our article on the top dash cams we recommend in 2019.
I’ve purchased all dash cams and accessories since 2017. No paid reviews here. We may earn a commission for purchases using our links.
Our Video Review
This is the first dash camera made by XiaoYi after successfuly launching their home security and action companies. XiaoYi is a different company from XiaoMi who is known for their smartphones and other gadgets. XiaoMi invested money and owns shares of XiaoYi but they are different companies.
|Date Released||Jan 2016 // Intl Version March 2016|
|Max Resolution||1296P – 2304 x 1296|
|Image Sensor||1/2.7 inch,3umpixel, 4000mV / lux – s|
|Processor||Yi A12 (Novatek)|
|Lens||6-G Glass Lens f/1.8|
|Capacitor // Battery||240mAH Lithium Polymer|
|LCD||2.7 426 x 240 LCD|
|Wifi||Yes ( 802.11n)|
|Size||74 x 32 x 52.4 mm|
The video quality on the XiaoYi is outstanding for the price. It’s the sharpest quality I’ve seen day or night for $60 to $70. Getting into the technical details the resolution may be upscaled from it’s native resolution at 1080P. The AR0230CS sensor records at a maximum 1928 x 1088 not the 2396 x 1296 which is the eventual file output. For me this doesn’t really matter other than some marketing tomfoolery to entice buyers. The results speak for themselves. You can download raw videos and directly compare screenshots of the videos used in the review.
Download Raw Videos: Ausdom A261 – Dome D201 – Mini 0806 – XiaoYi Yi
Download Raw Videos: A118 – Blackvue – Mobius – XiaoYi Yi
Download Raw Videos: Dome – XiaoYi Yi
Download Raw Videos: A118 – Blackvue – Mobius – XiaoYi Yi
Startup TimesSomething I didn’t mention in the video but the Yi is one of the fastest cameras I’ve ever used. The camera starts in two seconds and is recording soon after. Most cameras take 7-8 seconds. I have no idea how Yi Technologies managed to create such wizardry. Great job, this means no waiting in a parking lot for your camera to startup.
Chinese and International Editions
The XiaoYi comes in two different versions. One catered for their Chinese market and one in English for everywhere else. Courtesy of GeekBuying here are the differences between the two versions. The international version comes with a 3M tape mount. The Chinese version is suction.
The international version includes a 1-amp, 1-port charger and is FCC/CE certified. The international version has two ports and delivers 2-amps.
Great review, thank you.
I intend to use the dash cam more as a cam for catching the scenery as I am planning on making a long road trip through scenic country. I have a question for you (basically a question I have on all dash cams I am reviewing) which is related to loop recording — almost all dash cam reviews tell me that the camera has loop recording mode so the data gets written over. But what if I did not want the data (all of it, not a 20 sec or 5 min segment) to not get recorded over ?
Is there an option to turn off the loop recording (I am prepared to have extra storage cards with me) ?
Alternatively, does the camera have a message to let me know that the Card is now full ?
The questions are specifically for XiaoYi Yi but in general for other well rated dash cams like Viofo A119, Garmin Dash Cam 20, Transcend 200.
Thanks in advance for your response
Apologies on the late reply. Sometimes I miss the email notifications. The Yi, Viofo A119 and Transcend have options to turn off loop recording. The Garmin 20 does not.
I don’t know if there is a message once it fills up if loop recording is disabled. I haven’t tested it as it’s not a common feature and I personally think it’s a bad idea for me to even talk about it. I think it’s better to use an actual action camera as it will cinematically look better and the white balance will be more on point.
You should be able to use your dash cameras as an action recorder. I would set a timer to alert you when your recording space is about to turn out.
For some reason my comments keep disappearing.
Also wonder if it will go through customs without FCC/CE certification.
Sorry about the disappearing comments, by default it was set to require manual approval. I’ve changed it as I already have Google recatchpa to deal with spammers. To be honest I don’t know enough about the FCC/IC requirements in Canada to comment.
I know if you are creating interfering emissions that’s illegal. However for small consumer devices I doubt they will pursue enforcement, at worst they may not let the item into the country. I haven’t heard of many cases as I’m sure a lot of domestic-Chinese intended products are imported regularly.
CE certifications is only required for Europe but it’s not a bad mark to have especially for an international company like XiaoYi.
Can we legally use the Chinese version in Canada? I notice Gearbest has it on sale for $72.72 Canadian.
Other than geekbuying, is there another site where I can get the Xiaomi yi? I’m debating between A118C vs Xiaomi Yi. Amazon.CA seems to be swaying my decision towards the A118C as I cant find the Xiaomi Yi on Amazon.CA.
I’ve only seen it at BlackBoxMyCar but it’s a fairly significant markup at $140. If you’re looking for budget cameras in retail Canadian stores, it’s difficult.
I have found your dashcam reviews very informative and enjoyable and am writing you a query about the Xiaomi-yi car DVD international version.
I live in the Australian outback, as expected in summer temps can get pretty extreme however our car is usually under a carport, is air-conditioned and although in the outback extreme days are rare. A typical summer will have max temps in the mid 40’s C.
I bought a $35 cheapie dashcam a couple of years ago as an introduction to dashcams, as a learning tool. Despite the heat the camera still gives reasonable performance both in video & battery. It is deficient in other areas though so now is time for upgrade, with budget restrictions and a year+ of products research/reviews etc I’ve narrowed my selection down to 2 candidates, the Vantrue N1 or the Xiaomi-yi. I’d love the koonlung K1S but that’s well out of reach.
Vantrue will sell to Australia by contacting them if the customer pays the shipping (agreed $23au) email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (nb these are just email addresses, not websites, the language is Chinese but an English reply is given),
Xiaomi-yi international version through Amazon.
I found your review of the Xiaomi-yi brilliant and very useful (particularly the oven temp test), I’m hoping you would make a dashcam Vs dashcam video of the two or reply your comments about this.
I’ll briefly discuss my perception of the main pro’s & con’s.
Firstly the vantrue staff have been prompt & courteous which inspires confidence that they’ll stand by their product should a problem occur. The product is not new to the market and has recieved great reviews. It has a proven track record and importantly has a low sun/heat catching profile and heat transferring metal strips. The video quality is great through all lighting/road use conditions.
The Xiaomi-yi dashcam is new to the market but the company’s other products have gotten solid reviews which inspire confidence, you Andrew have heat tested this dashcam and proven that it’ll take the heat, yes, it did have impaired performance but still useful and IMPORTANTLY THE HEAT DAMAGE WASN’T PERMANENT, ONCE IT HAD COOLED it’s performance was fully restored. I believe it’s higher quality recording through lit conditions seems negligible, even a tiny bit worse with sun in camera but much better nighttime performance. That’s significant here because being out of urban areas the only light on the road is headlight & moonlight.
They both have rechargeable batteries which I expect to fail due to heat but significantly I also had the same expectation of my current cheapie dashcam and it hasn’t. Also significantly on the battery theme they both have small batteries which is good because I anticipate swelling with heat but again, with my cheapie that’s not happened.
The latest updates for the Xiaomi-yi app have made it virtually unusable according to the app store/play store reviews but in the first place that’s just a fixable issue with another update and in the second place it’s not essential if you have a laptop etc.
I’m leaning towards the Xiaomi-Yi-Smart-Car-DVR because it’s $100 cheaper and gives better dark conditions performance. I’m still at least a fortnight minimum away from being able to buy either so hopefully in that time you might be able to respond your thoughts or possibly even make another YouTube video giving side by side comparisons through the same arduousarduous, rigorous & thorough testing.
Apologies for being so long and thanks for listening.
Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate the time it took to write it.
I’m reviewing the Vantrue as well and I’m glad to hear that reputation of good customer service is holding up.
I would actually recommend you purchase a camera with a capacitor instead as it will serve you more faithfully. In fact I would recommend you purchase the SG9665GC from Street Guardian. It was designed and tested in Australia (Canberra if I rember correctly).
If you can’t spend the money get the A118-C which is a budget capacitor camera because lithium ion batteries are affected by the heat. They will not do well in Australia. As much as I like XiaoYi I’m afraid it will fail sooner.