March 1st, 2018: Aukey DR02D video review and extra information and comparisons added
December 31st, 2017: Got in the last bit of work in 2017. We added a lot of information we left out in the video review.
November 8, 2017: This article is still under construction. We wanted to notify our website-only visitors that we have a new review. Raw videos and detailed information will be added later.
Feb 13, 2018: Added our Aukey DR02D Review. We still have a few sections we will fill out in the article tomorrow.
See Our Review Videos First
The review video above covers the essential information; we recommend you watch it first. The second video covers a camera we weren’t able to review in the first review. The article below makes it easier to compare our choices and includes additional details we left out.
Our Top Picks
Top Budget Pick
Best blend of performance, price and heat-resistance for most users. It’s a significant upgrade in video quality and functionality compared to any cameras we found under $100.
The alternative to the Aukey DR20D if you’re looking for better availability or customer support. It also has a higher 75°C/167°F operational limit. Only the version sold on Amazon will give you a two-year warranty. Otherwise, Aukey says you will deal with the retailer you purchased it from.
If the Mini 0906 is too much the $60 Pruveeo F5 is the cheapest camera we could find. Good reported reliability, OK front video quality but the worse heat resistance and poor rear video quality means there’s a lot less to love.
At $200 the DR490 is the cheapest camera we could find for dual 1080P parked recording. It blends good energy efficiency, reliable motion detection and an automatic parking mode that works.
Get it from Amazon USA Amazon UK
Potential Future Picks:
The DR590 is a refresh of the Blackvue DR490 for 2018. It has slight improvements in power consumption during parking mode and uses a much better .MP4 recording container instead of the bundled .AVI format can be tricky to playback. As the benefits seem minimal, this is only a good deal if it’s less than $20 more than the DR490 or more likely once stocks run out of the older model.
Get it from Amazon USA
Comparing Our Recommendations
|Mini 0906||Pruveeo F5||Blackvue DR490||Aukey DR02-D|
|Processor||Novatek NT96663||GeneralPlus 4248||Unknown||Novatek NT96663|
|Image Sensors||Sony Starvis IMX291 (F)
Sony Exmor IMX323 (R)
|Sony Exmor IMX323 (F)
¼” H62 CMOS (R)
|Sony Starvis (F)
|Lens & Field of View||7G f/1.8 – 160° (F)
6G f/2.0 – 140° (R)
|Unknown – 170° (F)
Unknown – 90° (R)
|Unknown – 130° (F)
Unknown – 130° (R)
|f/1.8 – 170° (F)
f/2.0 – 152° (R)
|Resolution||1080P – 20mbps (F)||1080P – 10mbps (F)||1080P – 12mbps (F)||1080P – 10mbps (F)|
|Max Bitrate||1080P – 16mbps (R)||480P – 4mbps (R)||1080P – 12mbps (R)||1080P – 10mbps (R)|
|Capacitor // Battery||Capacitor||Battery 320mAH||Capacitor||Capacitor|
|GPS||Yes||No||Yes, Optional – $30||Yes, Optional – $20|
|Failed SD Card Notifications||Not Good||Poor||Not Good||Not Good|
|Max Operating Temperature||60°C / 140°C||60°C / 140°C||70°C / 158°C||75°C / 167°C|
|Parking Mode||Not good. 3-second delay.||No||Yes, Good||Manual parking mode. Not good.|
|Power Draw During Parking Mode||2.96W||N/A||3.87W||N/A|
|Cutoff Temperature||90°C /194°F. Dangerous||No||70°C / 158°F. Safe.||No|
|Recording Time on a 64GB Card||3.9 Hours||9.5 Hours||5.9 Hours||7.1 Hours|
Comparing Mini 0906 vs the Aukey DR02D
|Mini 0906||Aukey DR02D|
•Puts out firmware updates.
•Responsive to Problems.
•Having wireless remote makes marking files much easier and safer
•Angled plates to center the camera
•Faster 7-second startup
•Front Camera Video Quality
|•2 Year Warranty
•Better brand recognition
•Straightforward warranty process
•Menu is system is easier to use as it has digital labels.
•Poor error notifications, hard to tell when there’s a problem
•Rear camera video quality
•Easy to install – same thick rear camera cable
•1 Year Warranty Only
•No direct support from the manufacturer MEGTech.
•Hasn’t released one firmware update for any of their dash cameras
•GPS costs $20 and external
•Easy to turn off recording by accident by pressing the wrong button.
•Takes 14 seconds to startup
•Notification LED facing outwards.
Comparing Video Quality
The Mini 0906 has the best video quality in both the front and rear cameras we’ve seen even when compared to the premium $500 dual channel cameras. The 0906 has excellent video hardware and has a high bitrate. It uses a Sony Starvis in the front camera which is the best sensor for 2018. The Mini sets the new standard for what $120 can get you in a dash camera.
We found the video quality of the Aukey DR02D to be similar to the Mini 0906. Most people will be happy with the sharpness and clarity which are way above the average on the market. The only difference is a small reduction in the quality of the front camera as it uses the older Sony Exmor IMX323 sensor. If the Mini 0906 got an 8.5 on the front camera, the Aukey DR02D would get an 8.
The DR490 uses similar hardware in the front camera as the Mini 0906. It looks excellent both day and night. We do not see a difference. The rear cameras have worse video quality. It’s not as sharp, but you can still read license plates. For $200 we weren’t impressed with the video quality. You should only get this camera for its parking mode.
The Pruveeo F5 for $60 is surprisingly OK. The front camera looks like the original $60 A118C camera we previously reviewed. It’s the minimum quality we expect in a camera. The front view is reasonably sharp both day and night. We did find the exposure to be off sometimes. The lower dynamic range also means situations with contrasting light aren’t captured very well. We were surprised Pruveeo was able to add a rear camera and keep a $60 price point. The rear camera is awful. Since it has VGA resolution, you can’t capture any license plates but you will be able to show what happened behind you. Out of all three VGA cameras, we tested (Pruveeo F5, Dome A305D and Rexing V1) the F5 had the narrowest field of view on the rear camera.
Comparing Setup Options & Usability
|Mini 0906||Pruveeo F5||Blackvue DR490||Aukey DR02D|
|Overall Ease of Use||Getting into the menu is not intuitive. You have to long-press the up button after turning off recording. Otherwise OK.||Good. Lacks digital button labels which would have made it easier to use.||Good but requires a PC with an SD card reader. Must download Blackvue software but is well programmed. WiFi connectivity would make this excellent.||Well laid out UI with on-screen button labels makes it easy to navigate through the menu.|
|Language||ENG and RUS||ENG, FR, ES, PT, DE, IT, Simp/Trad ZH, RUS, JP||ENG, ZH, RUS, JP/td>||ENG, FR, ES, DE, IT, JP, POR, RUS, ZH|
|Disable GPS/Location Overlay||Yes||N/A||No, All on or All Off. Linked with Date & stamp.||No|
|GPS Time Sync||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|MPH and KPH units||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Loop Length||1,3,5,10 Minutes. Cannot be disabled.||1,2,3 Minutes.||Cannot be changed. Records max 120MB files (around 42 seconds).||3,5,10 Min. Cannot be disabled.|
|Disable Date // Time Stamp Individually||Yes.||On or Off.||No, all on or off including the GPS coordinates and speed.||No, all on or off.|
|Silence All Sounds?||Yes||Yes||No, but you can make the voice notification quieter.||Yes|
|Turn Off Screen // Screensaver||Yes, 15, 30, 60 Sec||Yes. 1, 3 Min||N/A||Yes, 1, 3 Min|
Our Top Pick for Most Drivers
The $130 Mini 0906 delivers almost everything we think is essential for a dual dash camera. It has 1080p recording on both cameras, the performance and reliability that has not been found in cameras under $200.
Note: We will test the Aukey DR02D Dual Channel Dash Cam which may be an attractive alternative to the Mini 0906.
Front & Rear Camera • Rear Camera Quick Release Mount + 4 Adhesives • 2° and 4° Angled Mounting Plates • Power Adapter • Rear Camera Cable • Mini-USB Cable • String for Removing Camera Adhesive • Wireless Remote + 3M Adhesive • Manual • Six Wire Clips • Microfiber Cloth
Convenient Wireless Remote
The Mini 0906 includes a wireless remote which will is synced to the camera and will activate the emergency lock. This is incredibly handy as most cameras require you to reach up and touch the camera which can be difficult while driving. This is a feature which is becoming more popular with Chinese manufacturers, and we hope the trend continues.
Manufacturer Gets Feedback from the Dash Cam Community
The manufacturer, MEGTech regularly interacts with the members of DashCamTalk and beta-tested early production units to improve the camera. They’ve taken some suggestions and made the camera better. They’ve been incredibly open with camera issues, and that gives us confidence when recommending their products.
Useful and Low-Priced Hardware Kit
The Mini 0906 hardwiring kit includes everything you need at $25 for many vehicles. It uses plug and play connections, requiring no tools which is rare for a hardwiring kit. It has a useful cutoff setting at 12.2 and 12.4V which is high enough to prevent damage to your battery and valuable for winter driving to allow enough amps to start your vehicle.
Angled Mounting Plates
Included are two 2° and 4° plates which help to center the recorded video when the camera is mounted on the side of your windshield instead of the middle.
Body Won’t Melt in Hotter Climates
Upgraded to ABS PA777D plastic which has a higher deformation temperature of 115°C // 239°F. The Mini 0906 shouldn’t have issues in hot weather unlike the older Mini 0806
Mixed Feelings / Could Be Better
Sub-Optimal LED Notifications – Complicated & Can Be Hidden.
LED lights can be hidden depending on which side of the vehicle you drive on. You can mount the camera upside down, and there is a setting to rotate the camera position. Still, even when visible the LEDs are hard to see especially in the daylight.
Smaller Retailer Network
Compared to other camera companies recommended, MEGTech, the manufacturer of the Mini 0906 has no offices outside of North America and relies on a smaller and lower tier of retailers to distribute in Europe, USA and Canada.
Emergency Lock Functionality Could Be Improved
While the remote itself is great the actual functionality once the button is pressed is lacking. For starters, you have to hold down the button to lock the current file from being overwritten. It won’t rename, create or move the current file to a different folder which means finding the file on your PC or smartphone will be harder. It also only locks the current file and not create a new file with X seconds before and after the press which means you could miss the actual accident depending on when you pressed the button.
Parking Mode – 3 Second Delay
Labelled as “Parking Guard” in the camera setting, this mode works in conjunction with the hardwiring kit to save space on your SD card when your vehicle is parked. When parking mode is activated the Mini 0906 lowers the resolution and frame rate to 720P 2FPS, saving space. When it detects motion or a shock it switches back to recording at 30 frames per second. However, there’s a three-second gap when switching resolution where the camera is not recording which means you may miss recording an impact or license plate. We do not recommend using this camera for parked recording until this issue is fixed.
Good Value Camera with Strong Customer Support
Front & Rear Camera • 3 Front + 3 Rear Mounts • Car USB Charger + 13′ USB Cable • 20′ Rear USB Cable • Manual & Warranty Card
Overall the Aukey has good packaging and accessories. The cameras protected well during shipping. The thick-walled cardboard box and foam ensure the cameras securely firmly in place. The accessories are fairly standard although the extra four adhesive pads are a nice addition.
USB Charger + Power Cable
Compared to the Mini 0906 and other cameras in this review, Aukey separates the charger from the USB cable leading to your camera. This is better than the combined car chargers which block the entire port and prevent you from charging your phone. Unfortunately, Aukey used a generic charger that we don’t recommend you use with your phone. You should replace it with a proper charger like those from Anker.
Aukey’s Customer Service & Brand Recognition
Compared to the other companies on this list, Aukey is the most recognizable. They are known for producing good quality electronic accessories like chargers, cables and speakers. Part of their reputation comes from taking care of customers. They are known for quickly replacing faulty equipment at no expense to the user. Sometimes this is linked to changing a poor review.
2 Year Warranty
Most dash cameras come with a 1-year warranty and 2-years is great as issues pop up over time especially if the camera is exposed to temperature fluctuations.
Mixed Feelings / Could Be Better
Outward Facing Security LED
There’s a green LED which flashes outwards when the DR02D is recording. During the day it’s not too noticeable, but at night it can be easily be seen especially in cars driving behind you. You can disable this LED in the settings.
$20 External GPS
If you like GPS, it’ll cost an extra $20 and will require you to install the receiver facing up, not on your windshield as the antenna would be facing the wrong way. Users complained the cable is long and will require extra effort to hide it. Overall, we think GPS isn’t an important feature unless you need to track where your vehicle has been, for example lending your vehicle to friends or your children.
No Firmware Updates
Most manufacturers release firmware updates to improve flaws in the cameras. Aukey hasn’t released one update for any of their three dash cams. We’re concerned that while they will warranty their cameras that Aukey isn’t putting in the resources to ensure they are working at their full potential.
Ineffective Hardwiring Kit
We learned after the review that there is an optional hardwiring kit which turns on the camera through a separate motion sensor. From what we’ve seen the device will completely miss an impact as the camera will have to turn on from the start.
Pruveeo F5 (Dual Channel)
The Cheapest Dual Channel Dash Camera We Mostly Like
Front & Rear Camera • Two Front Camera Mounting Bracket • Upper Wire Hider • Four Adhesive Pads • Rear Camera Camera Adhesive • Two Screws • Power Adapter • User Manual
Great Reported Customer Service & Reliability
Looking at reviews online across Canada, United States and the United Kingdom, users have been very happy with the F5 and the service they receive should anything go wrong. Pruveeo sells directly from their merchant accounts and has an office in the United States.
Two Front Camera Mounting Brackets
Unlike our other two recommended cameras there’s a second mount which can allow you to move the front camera to another vehicle. Unfortunately, there’s no second rear camera mount.
Mixed Feelings / Could Be Better
Not Good for Warmer Locations
As mentioned previously it uses lithium-ion batteries which can cause trouble in hotter climates. Fortunately, the camera’s reliability has been good so far. There have been few issues with the LCD screen falling off but not many reports of failed cameras.
Rear Camera – Have to Bend Mounting Bracket in Place
Similar to most cheap dual channel cameras, the rear camera doesn’t have an adjustable rear mount. Instead, you have to bend the metal bracket to correctly angle the camera. We didn’t find it a problem as it was fairly easy and stayed in place, but we didn’t like the experience.
Poor Rear Camera Adhesive
The included adhesive doesn’t stick very firmly and we’re concerned it could leave a residue if left on longer. We recommend you cut one of the spare 3M VHB adhesives to mount your rear camera.
Awful Rear Video Quality
Our biggest gripe is the poor video quality from the rear camera. While you can identify make and models of vehicles, details like license plates will not be possible to capture day or night. It also has the narrowest field of view out of all three VGA cameras we tested.
For Parked Recording:
Get it from Amazon USA Amazon UK
DR490L vs DR490
There are two models of this camera, while we recommend the DR490, the DR490L (with LCD screen) has a potential issue. The DR490L comes with an included parking mode kit which makes it cheaper to install. The LCD screen also makes it a possible option for a rear backup camera.
During testing, the DR490L’s LCD screen intermittently stopped responding to touch during testing. While we only tested one unit, Blackvue had a similar problem with failing LCD screen on their last camera the DR750LW. This is concerning to us, and Blackvue doesn’t have enough reviews or sales to give us data on the DR490L’s reliability. We don’t have enough data to recommend it at this time.
Front & Rear Camera • 5 Mounts • 16-128GB SD Card • Power Adapter • Manual
This has to be the stingiest set of accessories I’ve seen in a $200 dash camera. I’ve never seen a company not include extra adhesive pads if you wanted to reinstall or move the camera. Very disappointing.
Stronger Rear Camera Connection
The rear camera connects to the back using a robust 2.5mm jack, not the easily broken coaxial connection found on older cameras.
Great, Automatic Parking Mode
This is the main reason to purchase this camera. It has the only reliable parking mode out of all the cameras we tested. This mode activates after 5 minutes of no movement, and it turns on a motion and impact based recording mode.
Requires a PC to Change Settings.
As the camera doesn’t have an LCD screen or WiFi, you’ll need a separate device to view and change settings on the camera. You will have to take out the SD card and download the Blackvue program.
Cheaper Plastic Feel
This is the cheapest feeling and looking camera from Blackvue. They have used different plastic compared to their premium cameras. Still, it seems durable enough.
Annoying Video File Format
Blackvue uses a special AVI container which puts both the front and rear video into the same video file. You’ll need a video player like VLC (link) which can display both videos at the same time. While this can make watching both videos easier, you’ll need the Blackvue player to split the files if you want to upload it to sites like YouTube.
Error notifications are a major issue on this camera. On our three failed ADATA cards, the camera constantly started the formatting process without letting the user know it was a failed card. The Transcend card didn’t even get an alert. We expected more than confusion from a $200 camera.
Premium Dash Cameras – Worth the Added Cost?
We’ll be looking at $400+ dual cameras from manufacturers like Blackvue, Thinkware, Lukas in an upcoming review. While there are diminishing returns, the best cameras will have all the major features which can only be found piecemeal in budget units. For the best cameras you’ll get all the features below rather than a few as with our budget picks:
Better Heat Resistance • WiFi • Great Video Quality • Low-Energy, Reliable Parking Mode • Live Cloud Connection • Temperature Protection
Before making a review, we did deep research to cover as many budget dual channel dash cameras as we can. We looked at a lot of cameras under $200, but many of them were left out of this review for one reason or another. Some of them weren’t widely available, and others just weren’t very good. Check the table below to find out which cameras didn’t make the cut and why.
Acumen E100 – $69: Little distribution although you can get it in some places in UK and US. Bad rear camera.
Arecord B40D/Eyoyo B40S – $80: Generic camera and poor error notifications. Bad rear camera.
AzDome Y900 – $60: This camera isn’t widely available outside of China. Its hardware is obsolete and isnt worth the $60 price tag.
Blacksys CF-100 – $130: One of the most discussed models in forums because of affordable price for a dual channel camera and good parking mode. Still, it’s 720P front-back video recording is obsolete and this camera has limited availability.
CiBest A118C + rear – $60 Has no Worldwide distribution. A generic camera which has major problems with overheating. Terrible rear camera quality and audio quality.
Cobra Electronics CDR895D – $160: Old camera with outdated hardware and costs more than our Aukey or Mini picks.
iTrue X6D – $150 Uses old video hardware, lithium-ion battery powered and is overpriced.
Junsun 4G – $75There’s not much you get for the price you are paying. Very limited availability outside of Asia.
KDLinks DX2 – $200 Overpriced product. Uses a battery and has an old image sensor. 720p rear camera
Koonlung A1 – $154 Specs look promising, but availability is a concern and company hasn’t proven they can build a great camera yet. They had significant issues with their dual-channel K1S model.
LG LGD323 – $200 Incredibly expensive for a 720P front-back camera.
LG RNEK-MN31B – $190 Bad video quality for the pretty hefty price.
Pruveeo V7 – $100 Very similar to the Pruveeo F5, but for a much higher price.
Rexing V1LG – $170 An old model which is overpriced for the video quality it offers.
Rexing V1P – $100: After fully testing this camera in our review we thought it doesn’t present enough value for $100. The quality we found was similar to the Pruveeo F5 for both the front and back camera. It also uses lithium-ion batteries which was disappointing. While the customer service is top notch, we didn’t think it was worth a 66% increase in price over the F5.
Timetec AB216 – $150: Very little distribution available and overpriced for what it offers.
Veoker DVR155 – $90 Bad availability and not a lot of info about this camera.
Zeepin T690C – $110 Good price for what it offers. At $110 you get two Full HD cameras. Unfortunately, it has very limited availability.