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.
I have been reading and watchimg your reviews as I am new to the dashcam world and looking for my first one. Have you reviewed the Fujitsu FD7? It sounds comparable in price range and has the g-sensor as well.
I’m now debating between the xiaoyi and Fujitsu, would love your expert opinion!
The Fujitsu is a rebranded camera that costs $30. Can’t find the popular name of it. Fujitsu licensed their name but didn’t make the product themselves. The Yi will be the better product.
bought a grey chinese version (SN: CABAACNC01650F374E2), however the video quality is significantly poorer than the video posted by you. cant see the license plate of car >5 feet away (both day & nite), how can i check whether my dashcam is original.
Can you post the videos somewhere? Did you remember to remove the protective lens covering? Alternately it could be a defect. The focus might be factory misaligned. Rare for Yi but it can happen.
I hav returned the dashcam. Bot the power edition w 130°, any comment on the video quality?
It’s fine. The video quality is supposed to be slightly lower than the original Yi Dash Cam. Oh, it’s only in Chinese as the firmware hack doesn’t work on that model.
Can you review the new de-featured 动力版 (Action) version of the Xiaoyi dashcam?
It’s CNY249 or US15 less than the original version. It seems like it would be a great camera for people who only drive in the daytime or perhaps as a rear camera.
No, sorry. The main reasons being the lack of retailers outside of China and it’s Chinese only.
I enjoyed you review of the Xiaomi Yi dashcam very much. In fact, because of your review, I purchased one. I greatly favored the stealthy black body, as opposed to the gray International version, so I ordered the Chinese version planning to convert it following your instructions. Here is where I need a little help.
I created the “SN.txt” and “engmode” files, and copied them onto the SD card. Here is where my trouble began. After inserting the card into the camera and booting up, I do not receive the engineering menu. I attempted resetting the camera at this point, but afterwards the serial number remains unchanged. I have tried reformatting the SD card, re-creating and re-copying the files to the SD card, but still no success. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Thank you very much!
Richard Wisotzkey – Apex, NC
The factory installed firmware version is V-1.03.026-CN. It also has a couple extra configuration options in the menu. Looks like options for sounds, turn off the display (maybe), and one that looks like text notifications (not sure).
In looking ahead, I could not find the English version firmware to download from the Xiaoyi website.
Thanks again for any insight you might provide.
Sorry I don’t do troubleshooting. There’s a lot of variables and I’m not the creator of the hack. The video was mainly done to help others who may not know the instructions. You can try asking the community at Dash Cam Talk: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/forums/yi-dash-cam.184/
So since it has a lithium battery, will it die if its in hot weather even if its turned off ?
It shouldn’t. It’s more about when it operates in high temperatures, but batteries are definitely more prone to swelling or even exploding in hot weather even if the camera is turned off. I don’t think you have to worry though, because the Yi has had very good reliability record.
I recently watched a YouTube video taken with the Xiaoyi Yi dashcam and in the stats it says the video was recorded in 1920×1080 @ 50fps. My question is “How is this possible, and why would anyone want to do that?”
Hey Geoff, it could be that the refresh rate was set to 50Hz which is essential in some countries to prevent flickering. This might affect the FPS or perhaps it’s a glitch.