Vantrue R2 Review

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By Andrew Lam on June 18th, 2016
We were looking forward to reviewing the Vantrue R2. It has many positive reviews and is the runner-up pick from The Wirecutter. Sadly after testing we found there isn’t enough value.

It’s not a bad camera but there’s not much excitement for the price. Video quality is good but that’s not unique. Other features are average to bad such as its poor warning notifications. You won’t notice if your camera has failed and can continue driving with a faulty camera.

Vantrue stands out in only two ways, its 18 month warranty and excellent customer service. We don’t think it’s enough to separate itself from the crowd and recommend you look for another camera.

Video Review

Our YouTube review covers everything you need to know about the Vantrue R2.

Video Quality & Raw Videos

The Vantrue R2 is in a tough spot for video quality. While it is an improvement over many cameras it’s $150 price tag makes it one of the most expensive using the Ambarella A7 and OV4689 chipset.

The Ausdom A261 has similar quality and the same chipset for only $100 and includes an internal GPS. The Dome D201 has better quality for $100 using a more powerful CPU. Compare the video quality below and see our review of both cameras for more.

Below, you can compare screenshots and download raw videos of the videos used in the review.

The Optimal Resolution

The R2 records in two resolutions above 1080P. We found the wider 2560 x 1080P to be be better.

Download Raw Videos: 2304 x 1296P2560 x 1080P

Sharper than Yi Dash Cam

Looking at this video from Dusk it’s clearly sharper than the older A118 and even the XiaoYi Yi dash camera we thought delivered very sharp video quality for its $70 price.

Download Raw Videos: A118Dome D201Vantrue R2Yi

Better Dynamic Range Than Older Cameras

The Vantrue R2 in low light situations will be able to resolve more of the surrounding areas than older hardware such as the A118. This is beneficial if you have an unlit object such as a person suddenly run out and impact your vehicle. You can capture what happens instead of of darkness.

Download Raw Videos: A118Dome D201Vantrue R2

Dome D201 has better Video Quality

For $100 the Dome D201 is sharper at night and can render plates where the Vantrue R2 could not. It uses the same image sensor but upgrades the processor to the Ambarella A12 which can record in 2560×1440. Yes the warranty and service is not as good, but cameras like the D201 give a good feature contrast to the R2.

Download Raw Videos: A118Dome D201Vantrue R2

It Has Shaky Video

The Vantrue R2’s mount isn’t as powerful as other suction mounts. This results in increased wobble when going over even mild bumps. It’s not bad but affects night vision especially as the shutter is opened for longer.

Download Raw Videos: A118Dome D201Vantrue R2

Download Firmware // Video Player

If you’re looking to upgrade your firmware or their video player it can be difficult as Vantrue doesn’t have a website yet (Vantrue.Net when it’s launched). The firmware link is found on Amazon but you can grab them below which links to their Evernote page.

Video PlayerFirmware

Where to Buy

Maybe this camera appeals to you? Vantrue officially sells the R2 Amazon and Newegg.

Amazon

Vantrue is on Amazon Canada, United States and the United Kingdom. This is the best place to buy cameras from Vantrue. It’s their primary platform.

Newegg

They are also listed on Newegg.

Other Sellers

eBay sellers are not authorized retailers. Joe from Vantrue says they will cover eBay and other non-authorized retailers if it’s a genuine product but they may change their policy at any time.

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