XiaoYi Yi Dash Camera Review

April 4th, 2018: 2 years after we reviewed the Yi dash cam it’s still one of our top choices for drivers in cooler climates. To see the full list of best dash cameras we recommend right now please see our Best Dash Cams Article.
By Andrew Lam on May 29, 2016
The XiaoYi Yi(Amazon Link) is our top recommendation for any driver on a budget and looking for an excellent blend of value and performance. At $70 it records in stunning 1296P and provides excellent low light clarity to help ensure you are protected under all conditions.XiaoYi provides frequent firmware updates and is known to support their products well. We are somewhat concerned about it’s reliability in hotter weather. For drivers in continuously hot environments or extremely hot summers we recommend more heat resistant cameras such as the Transcend 200.

Our Video Review

The Camera

This is the first dash camera made by XiaoYi after successfuly launching their home security and action companies. XiaoYi is a different company from XiaoMi who is known for their smartphones and other gadgets. XiaoMi invested money and owns shares of XiaoYi but they are different companies.


Date Released Jan 2016 // Intl Version March 2016
Max Resolution 1296P – 2304 x 1296
Image Sensor 1/2.7 inch,3umpixel, 4000mV / lux – s
Processor Yi A12 (Novatek)
Lens 6-G Glass Lens f/1.8
Capacitor // Battery 240mAH Lithium Polymer
LCD 2.7 426 x 240 LCD
Diagonal FOV 165°
Wifi Yes ( 802.11n)
Bitrate 20000 kbps
Size 74 x 32 x 52.4 mm
Weight 74g

Video Quality

The video quality on the XiaoYi is outstanding for the price. It’s the sharpest quality I’ve seen day or night for $60 to $70. Getting into the technical details the resolution may be upscaled from it’s native resolution at 1080P. The AR0230CS sensor records at a maximum 1928 x 1088 not the 2396 x 1296 which is the eventual file output. For me this doesn’t really matter other than some marketing tomfoolery to entice buyers. The results speak for themselves. You can download raw videos and directly compare screenshots of the videos used in the review. Download Raw Videos: Ausdom A261Dome D201Mini 0806XiaoYi Yi Download Raw Videos: A118BlackvueMobiusXiaoYi Yi Download Raw Videos: DomeXiaoYi Yi Download Raw Videos: A118BlackvueMobiusXiaoYi Yi

Startup Times

Something I didn’t mention in the video but the Yi is one of the fastest cameras I’ve ever used. The camera starts in two seconds and is recording soon after. Most cameras take 7-8 seconds. I have no idea how Yi Technologies managed to create such wizardry. Great job, this means no waiting in a parking lot for your camera to startup.

Chinese and International Editions

The XiaoYi comes in two different versions. One catered for their Chinese market and one in English for everywhere else. Courtesy of GeekBuying here are the differences between the two versions. The international version comes with a 3M tape mount. The Chinese version is suction. cn_intl_2_Mounts

The international version includes a 1-amp, 1-port charger and is FCC/CE certified. The international version has two ports and delivers 2-amps. intl_cn_3_Charger_cropped


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39 Comments on "XiaoYi Yi Dash Camera Review"

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Can this item be record if we turn on the engine car?


Is Yi a good option for Canadian weather? I live in Vancouver and our summers rarely go above 34 to 36 c. You talked about lithium batteries being unreliable in hot weather. If I drive without the air conditioning, will the cam fail?


I bought a Chinese version of the dash cam and the quality is bad compared to the international version. Also highest resolution is not much different than the other resolutions. You can tell people to avoid the Chinese version it is better to spend a few extra bucks and get a good international version.


u are wrong, the specs are the same whether in chinese or international version, i flash my chinese firmware to international, no difference…


Anyone have an English Link for the YI 2.7K King version?

A Canadian link or ship to canada would work.


Yi has updated their dashcam lineup to include a new “2.7K King” version (2.7K王者版).

This new version records at 2688×1520 and uses H.265 for 30% better compression. It’s being launched on July 7 on JD.com for 379 RMB.


I know you do reviews of locally available cameras and I imagine the camera won’t be available in Canada immediately. But given how big the Chinese population is in Canada and how often we go back to China (at least two times a year for me), a review would be pretty helpful.


I live in Canada and am looking to buy the YI 2.7 King version. Is there a website for that. I need an English site because Chinese is all Greek to me.

Rolands Varna

Hey Brian. Yes, we are aware of this camera but haven’t tested it out as we have other projects looming. Previous models have been a success and I expect this one to be good too.



I’m using Yi dashcam for about 1 year now (with Lexar SD Card) the only problem is when the memory card is full it deletes the earliest videos, are there a way or settings that we can make the dashcam to delete the oldest videos? I’m almost got hit by another car today and i want to download that video but when i check it the video is gone it was overwritten.

Should i update the firmware? pls help, thanks.



I think i already found what causing the problem its the DATE… it was set to 2047 then somehow the date was reset back to 2017 though i didnt change anything… will do some testing this week if the date will change on its own again.

Rolands Varna

So have you eliminated your problem? That should’ve been the case here if you recorded your video with the correct date and your camera switched to 2047 it treated video files from 2017 as the oldest on your camera.



Will this dashcam interfere the radio reception? Is it wireless? I bought one dashcam last week, and it interfere my radio frequency terribly.

Rolands Varna

Hey. I haven’t heard about that sort of problems with the Yi dash cam. It’s not wireless. What camera did you buy? I know some people have tried to switch mini USB cable to a high quality (gold plated) mini USB cable with ferrite core. It has helped.



I’ve read that 1080p 60fps degrades the video quality (although smoother), so I’m currently using 1080p 30 fps.
My question is: 1080p vs. 1296p – which is better?
At first glance, of course 1296p sounds like a good idea but since the resolution is “interpolated,” I’m debating whether there is an actual improvements in video quality. You already mentioned this in the article but is there really no improvements? Should I just keep using 1080p?

Rolands Varna

You should always go for the highest resolution possible. FPS means nothing if you can’t resolve the plate characters.

Kari S.


I have been reading and watchimg your reviews as I am new to the dashcam world and looking for my first one. Have you reviewed the Fujitsu FD7? It sounds comparable in price range and has the g-sensor as well.

I’m now debating between the xiaoyi and Fujitsu, would love your expert opinion!

Boon Hoong

bought a grey chinese version (SN: CABAACNC01650F374E2), however the video quality is significantly poorer than the video posted by you. cant see the license plate of car >5 feet away (both day & nite), how can i check whether my dashcam is original.