70mai A810 Dash Cam review: incredible bang for buck
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70mai A810 Dash Cam review: incredible bang for buck

 

Two-minute review

70mai is one of the leading manufacturers of dash cams and its newly launched A810 is a credit to an already impressive lineup that also includes the 360-degree Omni dash cam. The 4K front-facing camera can deliver excellent results in all lighting conditions and the added HDR technology gives it a great boost when shooting in intense light or at night.

The secondary camera is only 1080p resolution and comes as a separate piece of hardware in the set. As great as it is to have a second camera for recording the vehicle cab, the quality of that video is inferior to its front-facing big brother. Colors aren’t as vibrant and it struggles in tricky lighting conditions. The additional camera also means an increase in trailing cables as the unit has to be connected to the main device.

The A810 contains a range of extra surveillance features including night vision, parking mode, and GPS tracking. All of these make it a great option for security-minded drivers.

The dash cam market includes a range of similar 4K options, as well as other cameras that offer additional features. Check out our best dash cams guide if you’re looking for other possibilities.

(Image credit: Future)

70mai A810 Dash Cam Price and Availability

The 70mai 4K A810 HDR Dash Cam is only currently available in the United States with a planned launch in the UK in March 2024. The lists price is $149.99 for the dash cam only, $169.98 for the Dash Cam and Hardwire Kit, while the Dash Cam and RC11 Rear Camera is $165.99 or $185.98 with the Hardwire Kit. If you’d rather the pricier secondary RC12 Rear Camera with the main Dash Cam, it’s $179.99 or $199.98 with the Hardwire Kit added.

Inside the box, you get the dash cam, a windscreen mount, an electrostatic sticker, a power cable, a car charger, and a seal twister tool. The USB-C-to-USB-A and car-charger adapter will keep the dash cam powered when driving. If you want the dash cam to work when the engine is off, you’ll have to purchase the 70mai UP03 Hardwire Kit. This is essential for making use of the parking surveillance feature.

The app makes it easy to control the dash cam via your phone, as well as view and download your media. However, it’s a shame that when you connect the app, you instantly lose the ability to control the dash cam from the device itself.

The Nextbase 622GW and the Vantrue E1 are both great 4K dash cam alternatives, but if you don’t need that level of resolution or want something a bit more minimal and trendy, 70mai’s Omni dash cam is a cracking option. This smaller device has all the features of the A810, minus 4K resolution and dual video recording.

The A810 build quality is pretty modest, with all the body parts being plastic. This results in a noticeably lightweight unit but, at the same time, doesn’t feel particularly robust. The device is also not particularly attractive or modern in terms of design. However, all the ports are contained on one side of the device, which is a good implementation for ensuring a tidy setup.

The A810 includes a microSD solution for storage

(Image credit: Future)

The 3-inch screen has a resolution of 640 x 360. This display is flush with the outer casing, which made me a little nervous about damaging it during installation and moving it in and out of my car. A small lip around the screen would more adequately protect the screen from an unexpected drop or impact.

The camera can be rotated 90 degrees around the vertical orientation but this is manually operated. Rotating it felt a little like forcing the camera in ways that it didn’t feel natural to be moved. I was concerned about how the hinge would cope with the regular movement, but it held up under all my tests.

The A810 includes a camera that can rotate 90 degrees vertically

(Image credit: Future)

One of the most important features of any dash cam is video quality. There’s no use having all the additional surveillance features in the device if what it captures isn’t of a high enough quality to ‘see’ what’s happening in the shot.

The video quality of the front-facing camera is excellent across its two resolutions, 3840 x 2160 and 1920 x 1080, with the latter available at both 30fps and 60fps. The picture is crisp, with bold and vibrant colors throughout. The quality of the 4K is particularly helpful for enabling users to zoom in on the footage – something that’s essential for identifying number plates.

The backup camera doesn’t, in any way, match the quality of the primary camera. That’s to be expected, but I think the 1080p rear-facing camera struggles to replicate colors accurately and produces a pretty average picture. The HDR capability rescues it in some regard, as it’s still able to adequately cope with the light and dark ends of the color spectrum.

The standout feature of the A810 is its 4K video resolution at 30fps. This video quality is down to the built-in Sony Starvis 2 IMX678 Core Chip. The resolution puts it squarely alongside Nextbase 622GW and the Vantrue E1 – 4K recording is by no means universal across dash cams, making the A810 one of a limited set of options if 4K is essential to you.

The Sony chip benefits from the technology around it that captures the light. The lens is wide angle, boasting a 150-degree field of view – perfect for capturing a broad view in front of the car – and has seven layers for capturing the light being transmitted in ultra-high definition. Alongside IR functionality and a large f1.8 aperture, it can deliver great results even at night.

The lens can be manually rotated around 90 degrees in a vertical orientation but by no means boasts the abilities of the 70mai Omni, which allows 360° horizontal rotation and can even be controlled via the app.

As well as the 4K front-facing camera, this dash cam set comes with a backup camera, making it possible to record the road and the vehicle cab for an almost 360-degree surveillance setup. This second camera, capable of recording at 1080p, is a separate piece of kit and can be installed or removed as you see fit.

The HDR capabilities and night vision technology enable the A810 to deliver great results in low-light conditions, such as driving at dusk or night. This is made possible by the highly sensitive image sensor and wide dynamic range. This comes at a cost with visible noise in darker areas, but that is rarely a problem for security-sensitive drivers.

The built-in GPS means that every route can be logged and tracked. This is ideal for providing evidence of your vehicle’s location for legal or insurance purposes.

The additional hardware kit opens up a couple more features, including time-lapse recording and smart parking guardian mode. The time-lapse feature is pretty self-explanatory but, in essence, makes it possible to capture long periods in smaller files. This has the downside that periods between the capture start and end times might not be captured and, therefore, important events might get missed.

The smart parking guardian mode tracks impact and motion around your vehicle. This requires the hardware kit because it needs a constant power supply to function. The additional snapshot functionality helps to capture specific incidents when you’re not with your car.

The device is easy to set up right out of the box. The box includes the windscreen mount, as well as the cables required for power and the secondary camera. I plugged this into my car’s USB-A port, so I didn’t check the setup process for the hardware kit.

The mount has a well-engineered, sticky backing strip that’s easily removed and placed on the windscreen. This mount locks securely into the dash cam and provides a very satisfying click when it’s in place.

The dash cam takes MicroSD for its storage capacity, but you won’t find one of those in the box. Make sure you purchase this alongside the dash cam, otherwise, you’ll be disappointed that you can’t get your camera up and running straight away.

All of 70mai’s previous dash cams had app functionality, and the A810 is no different. The 70mai app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for wide-ranging accessibility.

The app was straightforward to download, and connecting it to the dash cam was no trouble at all. The app lets you control the dash cam, as well as view and download recordings.

I did find it frustrating that when the app is connected it automatically locks the functionality of the dash cam buttons. A two-way setup would make for a far superior experience. I see no need to limit user interaction to either the app or the device.

Should you buy the 70mai A810?

An optional secondary camera can be purchased

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

How I tested the 70mai A810

  • I used it regularly across a number of journeys
  • I used it during the daytime and at night
  • I recorded video for extended periods

I used the 70mai 4K A810 HDR Dash Cam during the winter and so was able to test almost every type of weather condition that the British climate can offer. I also recorded footage during a variety of different lighting conditions, including the most extreme light and dark scenarios.

I made good use of both the device and the associated app, controlling its features through both avenues.

I was unable to test the parking surveillance mode or the time-lapse feature due to not hard-wiring this device with the additional hardware kit.

  • First reviewed December 2023

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