Enhance your driving experience with an amazing 2-in-1 Mirror Dash Cam. Enjoy the benefits of a device that provides more than a mirror and more than a dash cam.
When my wife moved up into her Nissan NV, we sold my Chevy Silverado and I inherited her Dodge Grand Caravan. When we purchased the Dodge Van, she was not interested in bells/whistles and extras/add-ons beyond a backup camera. So, we essentially had a stock van. Do not misinterpret my statement though, because the vehicle has behaved amazingly well over the last six years. The power doors still work, the power windows still work, the stock stereo still works, but the rearview mirror appears to be breaking down around the edges. Perusing the internet, I was pleased to find that I was able to upgrade the mirror with an aftermarket overlay. Furthermore, if I was going to add a mirror, I figured why not add a dashcam as well.
The device arrived in sterile white packaging, with a prominent image of the mirror dashcam taking up 3/4 of the cover. The image color was enhanced by the contrast between the black rim of the mirror and the solid white backdrop. The top panel displayed the company web address, www.yitechnology.com, and the back panel provided six 1/2 inch icons: 4.3-inch widescreen, MEMS 3-Axis Gravity Sensing System, Front and Rear Cameras, Large Aperture and All-Glass Lens, G-Sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity. The bottom panel had a small 3 13/16 inches wide by 1 1/4 inches tall sticker which provided a QR code link, listed the packaging contents (yi mirror dash camera, USB car charger, USB power cable (typo on the box), Rear camera, Users Guide), the product specifications [1920 x 1080 front camera, 720P rear camera, 4.3” 800×480 display, DC5V/2A power source], YCS.1C17 model number, SKU barcode and several of the product manufacturing labels.
I removed the outer layer of the box and set it aside. I removed the protective layer over the mirror and then removed the mirror from the opaque plastic bag. Beneath the cardboard, you will find the 137 inches long (11ft 5 inches) USB-A to USB-mini cable, 235 inches long rear camera cable with 3.5mm port and a 57.5 inches long red power cable, a rearview camera with 18 inches long power cable/metallic base and screws, limited warranty card, and pentalingual instruction manual. I turned to the English section (English/Spanish/Italian/French/German) and perused the instructions. The first page provided a very useful labeled diagram of the front/back of the camera, the second panel listed the product parameters, and the third/fourth panels showed the wiring diagram. The fifth/sixth/seventh/eighth/ninth pages detailed the App and camera functions, and the last few pages discussed safety features of the camera/rearview mirror. The instructions were easy to understand and provided a few nuggets of wisdom: 1. Please use genuine 8-64Gb Class 10 microSD cards, 2. Make sure you use correct USB car charger/make sure to turn if off if you plug it into the port that is always on, 3. You may need professional help with installation to attach the red cable to the back-up signal lamp positive terminal. For a useful video, I turned to “How to Install a backup camera on a Dodge Caravan.” Since my van already had a backup camera, I was unable to test that feature in that manner.
As my initial step, I set all of the components aside and evaluated the mirror. The device measured 12 1/4 inches long by 3 1/8 inches tall by 3/4 inches wide. The entire front of the mirror was coated with a silvery reflective coating that seemed to attract fingerprints. When I looked closely, I was able to see the 3 3/4 inches wide by 2 1/8 inches tall touchscreen and the yi logo along the bottom of the mirror. Interestingly, the touchscreen was not centered horizontally. Instead, it was 4 1/8 inches from the left edge and 4 3/8 inches from the right edge and centered vertically 1/2 inches from the top/bottom mirror edge. Turning the camera over, I found a sticker with the device specifications, product manufacturing labels, and a QR code along the bottom corner. Along the other side of the mirror, I found the 3/4 inches diameter by 3/4 inches tall 1080P camera. Along the middle of the mirror, you will find two straps with retractable plastic clamps. To attach the device, extend the clamps, place the mirror into the middle of your car’s rearview mirror, loop the plastic clips over the back of the mirror, and secure the rubber strap into the plastic clamp. Once the loops are attached, press the plastic clamp into the mirror to lock it into place. The power port was located along the top of the mirror. I was okay with allowing the cable to drape down from that point but would have preferred the power to enter into the bottom of the mirror. If the cable presents a visual distraction or eyesore, they provided enough cable to run the power cord along the ceiling of your vehicle, down the edge of the glovebox, under the dash, and to the center console. When ready, plug the USB-A end of the power cable into the car lighter adaptor.
Even before testing the touchscreen/camera combo, I was incredibly impressed with this mirror. The stock rearview mirror of the 2013 Dodge Caravan was deteriorating and was woefully inadequate. Even after a few days with the new mirror, I did not like driving our other cars. Along the bottom of the mirror, you will find the power button and along the top of the mirror you will find the power input port, USB-micro port, 3.5mm output put, and microphone. I powered the mirror on by pressing the lower button and then tapped settings along the bottom right. Within settings, I found that I could adjust image quality (1920×1080 30P, 1270×720 30Pand 640 x 480 30P), I could toggle voice recording on/off, toggle WiFi on/off, Format the SD card, adjust collision detection (low, medium, high sensitivity), adjust the date, adjust the time, adjust automatic screen off (1 minute, 5 minute, 10 minutes, or never), adjust video recording time (1 minute or 3 minutes), toggle on/off sound effects, toggle on/off touch sounds, select among the seven available languages, change the backlight level (low, medium, high), toggle on/off driver report, Factory reset the device, or tap about the yi dash camera to see the software version, WiFI, and Password. I did not find any reason to alter the base settings of the yi mirror-dashcam besides turning off the haptic sounds. One of my favorite features was the auto-off feature of the camera. Leaving the device alone for about 15 seconds, the screen will auto-redirect you to the main camera view. If you leave the camera alone beyond the set screen time, it will power off completely.
On the main screen, you will find five buttons along the bottom of the touch panel (Emergency, Turn Over, Recording, Album and Settings). In case of emergency, you can tap Emergency and the screen will record “Emergency Recording” for 10 seconds. If the device detects a collision, it will automatically activate this mode. When you start the car, the device will automatically start to record. You can pause the recording by pressing the pause button and thanks to the overwrite function, the recordings will overwrite the oldest data first when the SD card is filled. Conveniently, this overwrite feature was pre-set and was not an option that you had to activate. You can press the album button to enter into review mode. You can select an individual video to review, play it, pause it, advance/reverse within the video, and if desired, delete the video by tapping the trashcan icon. You can download the iOS/Android App by scanning the QR code on the back of the mirror or within the manual. The mirror works independently of the App, but the App does add some enhancements to the overall setup. Within the App, you can connect to the camera with WiFI to view live playback, preview, download video clips, update the firmware, or adjust remote settings. I found the camera to be incredibly clear and recorded license plates and events during the day and at night.
With the Included 1080P Front Camera and 720P Rear Camera, you can capture details behind and ahead of you and enhance your rearview mirror experience at the same time. As an added bonus/security feature, the camera has a driver fatigue feature built into the device. After two hours of continuous driving, the mirror will power on and require you to turn off an alert. This added feature served to promote the well being of the driver, passengers, and those around us. The only downside that I found was that the mirror did not have the little toggle along the top to dim headlights at night. I am still up in the air about the lack of the toggle, as my eyes are quite sensitive at night. I found tilting the mirror up slightly decreased the strain of the lights on my eyes. As noted above, my van already had a backup camera. Since I already had one, I preferred to use the included secondary camera to point at me and my driver-side window. Thankfully, the camera records both images simultaneously. I do not drive for UBER/LYFT but I know other drivers that use cameras in a similar manner to monitor themselves in case of emergency. I loved that you could use this device with or without the added secondary camera. Without the red wire attached to the positive lead of your backup lights, the camera will not enter “back-up” mode. As noted above, I liked that I could remove the extra camera or to add it to the setup as an extra set of eyes. I did notice that the rear camera orientation could not be adjusted from the base setting and thus you had to position it a certain way to have right-side-up imagery.
The device is well worth the $129 price, even without the dimming toggle. If you are in the market for a mirror/dashcam, I would encourage you to consider the yi mirror dash cam. I was able to see my children, the vehicles behind me, while the camera recorded the action in front of me. I hope to never need the recordings, but I am glad that the device has the data should I need it.