EXAM – If you’re considering a dash cam, you’re not alone. The US dash cam market in 2021 was $587 million and is expected to continue on a growth trajectory. There are many options on the market vying for your attention, and today we are reviewing the MIOFIVE 4K Dash Cam. It’s a good choice overall, but there are a few things you need to know when choosing the right dash cam for you.
What is that?
The MIOFIVE 4K Dash Cam is a dedicated dash cam that can be an inexpensive way to have an unbiased witness aboard a shotgun with you whenever you’re on the road. This can help speed up investigations for insurance claims or traffic tickets, deter vandalism, or even just provide a record of your trip.
MIOFIVE is a relatively new brand established in 2020 and brought its 4K dash cam to market after a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in the fourth quarter of 2021.
What’s in the box?
- MIOIVE Dash Cam
- Interior trim lever bar for cable management
- Static sticker
- Additional double-sided tape
- Car charger (12v)
- charging cable
- User’s Guide
I’d like to point out what I found to be a potentially misleading point on the Amazon product page where it says:
NOTE: A simple plug-and-play installation of the wiring cable to your vehicle’s fuse panel activates the built-in Time Lapse mode in your Miofive Dash Cam, when you are away from your car.
The wiring kit contains the necessary components for your vehicle’s fuse box. The wiring kit allows the Dash Cam to be installed in your vehicle without using the car’s 12V socket.
The wording of this leads me to believe this was included with the MIOFIVE dash cam, however, this hardware kit is actually separate at $30 and not included.
|G-sensor||6 Gyro sensor, motion lock, sensitivity adjustable|
|Storage||64 GB eMMC with loop recording|
|Camera||140 degree field of view, F1.8|
|Image sensor||8MP CMOS, Sony IMX415|
|temporary operation||-10* to 45* C / 14* to 113* F|
|Dimensions||116 x 60 x 55mm|
Design and features
The MIOFIVE dash cam has a premium feel and packs an impressive feature set into a svelte package. I’m not a fan of most dash cam designs, and I appreciate the MIOFIVE for being compact enough to hide behind my rear view mirror.
Before installing a dash cam, be sure to understand and follow all local laws regarding placement.
This being my first dash cam, I expected the installation process of the MIOFIVE 4K dash cam to be tedious, especially hiding the power cable in the interior trim of my car . After fifteen minutes of an uneventful installation, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it turned out to be.
The instructions in the manual are clear and precise, and during the workflow a built-in calibration feature helps you make sure you’ve done it right. As this uses an adhesive application, the MIOFIVE is not meant to be put on and taken off the windshield, so you may want to look elsewhere if portability is important.
The most important feature of a dash cam is its ability to reliably capture video while you’re on the road. The MIOFIVE captures video at 4K 30FPS, which it does in a 140 degree field of view. The MIOFIVE records driving time in one-minute segments, which typically consume between 200-250MB each of the 64GB of storage. In the real world, I’ve found this covers about three days of driving history, while parking monitoring is also enabled. There is no expandable storage, so to expand the storage capacity you can disable parking monitoring and/or lower the resolution in the camera settings.
The MIOFIVE 4K dash cam contains the Sony IMX415 CMOS image sensor, launched in 2019. According to Sony, this image sensor was designed for security camera applications. It’s also common in 4K dash cams at this price point. I mention this because when I see a video recording device advertised as 4K UHD, etc., etc., my expectations are of above average quality. To be fair, the MIOFIVE does exactly what it claims to do, but thanks to that image sensor, you won’t get the same video quality as, say, a GoPro at the same resolution (to be fair, the GoPro Hero is more than 2x the price). This also explains why many dash cams produce similar quality video – they all generally use the same hardware. Here is a sample video of the MIOFIVE in action, capturing day, night and sunlight video.
Two images captured by the MIOFIVE are also to be considered. In the first, the MIOFIVE produces a reasonably clear image. In the second, I zoomed in on a passing vehicle where we lose a bit of detail.
Driving with the MIOFIVE 4K dash cam is generally a pleasant and hassle-free experience. When connected to the 12V car adapter, the MIOFIVE automatically turns on and is ready to work as soon as the ignition is switched on. The first few rides prompted me to make some tweaks to the AI sensitivity, as the MIOFIVE was frequently scolding me for dangerous turns (they weren’t) all over my neighborhood. I find the camera to be a little chatty, especially at the start of a drive, as it exits parking watch mode and switches to normal recording mode. At each transition, the dash cam lets you know what’s going on, then finally tells you that the “MIOFIVE continues (sic) to serve” when the 2.2″ IPS screen turns off. There doesn’t seem to be a way to disable them.
Without the fuse installation hardware, I can only take advantage of Parking Monitor mode to monitor when the ignition is off. In this mode, when the G-sensor is triggered, it will record the video. Luckily, it only triggered for me when opening or closing my car door. This mode also runs on battery power only, and since the MIOFIVE only charges when the ignition is on (without the fuse kit), if you’ve been parked for a while it may not be entirely reliable in the long run.
The display on the MIOFIVE 4K dash cam is clear, but in my setup I can barely see the camera when it’s behind my rear view mirror, so it sits largely unused. As the camera is not intended to be removed from the windshield, the usefulness of the screen is somewhat questionable. Sometimes it was helpful to make quick changes to camera settings directly, rather than through the phone app.
The MIOFIVE app is required to get the most out of the dash cam and connects by establishing a WiFi connection between your phone and the dash cam. This allows for quick content transfers to the phone, where I found it took around 10-12 seconds to transfer a typical video file. All device settings can also be configured through the app when connected via WiFi, and the app is also required for firmware updates.
I was thrilled to have a firmware update for the MIOFIVE dash cam out of the box, and reading the Kickstarter, it looks like the MIOFIVE team continues to roll out updates to features.
What I like
- Superior build quality and thoughtful design
- The app is well implemented
- Continued Feature Support
What I would change
- Ability to control all audio queues from the dash cam
- Some localization issues in the app and on the camera itself
The design of the MIOFIVE 4K dash cam is enough to lift it from the crowd, and the user experience is truly set and forgotten. Although I hope never to need it, I am confident in its ability to provide video of an incident should it occur within its line of sight. I wish we saw more innovation in this space from a component perspective. While I consider the output video quality to be “good enough” for the typical use case, the crystal clear clarity advertised by many of these dash cams is a little off in the context of capturing object detail in movement. Overall, the MIOFIVE dash cam is up to the task, and I’m glad to have it with me for the ride.