XiaoYi Yi Dash Camera Review

By Andrew Lam on May 29, 2016
The XiaoYi Yi 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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25 Comments on "XiaoYi Yi Dash Camera Review"

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



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?

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.



Can you review the new de-featured 动力版 (Action) version of the Xiaoyi dashcam?

It’s CNY249 or US15 less than the original version. It seems like it would be a great camera for people who only drive in the daytime or perhaps as a rear camera.



I enjoyed you review of the Xiaomi Yi dashcam very much. In fact, because of your review, I purchased one. I greatly favored the stealthy black body, as opposed to the gray International version, so I ordered the Chinese version planning to convert it following your instructions. Here is where I need a little help.

I created the “SN.txt” and “engmode” files, and copied them onto the SD card. Here is where my trouble began. After inserting the card into the camera and booting up, I do not receive the engineering menu. I attempted resetting the camera at this point, but afterwards the serial number remains unchanged. I have tried reformatting the SD card, re-creating and re-copying the files to the SD card, but still no success. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Thank you very much!

Richard Wisotzkey – Apex, NC

The factory installed firmware version is V-1.03.026-CN. It also has a couple extra configuration options in the menu. Looks like options for sounds, turn off the display (maybe), and one that looks like text notifications (not sure).

In looking ahead, I could not find the English version firmware to download from the Xiaoyi website.

Thanks again for any insight you might provide.



So since it has a lithium battery, will it die if its in hot weather even if its turned off ?

Geoff S

Hi, Andrew

I recently watched a YouTube video taken with the Xiaoyi Yi dashcam and in the stats it says the video was recorded in 1920×1080 @ 50fps. My question is “How is this possible, and why would anyone want to do that?”


Hi Andrew:

Great review, thank you.

I intend to use the dash cam more as a cam for catching the scenery as I am planning on making a long road trip through scenic country. I have a question for you (basically a question I have on all dash cams I am reviewing) which is related to loop recording — almost all dash cam reviews tell me that the camera has loop recording mode so the data gets written over. But what if I did not want the data (all of it, not a 20 sec or 5 min segment) to not get recorded over ?

Is there an option to turn off the loop recording (I am prepared to have extra storage cards with me) ?

Alternatively, does the camera have a message to let me know that the Card is now full ?

The questions are specifically for XiaoYi Yi but in general for other well rated dash cams like Viofo A119, Garmin Dash Cam 20, Transcend 200.

Thanks in advance for your response



Richard Sherrington
Richard Sherrington

For some reason my comments keep disappearing.

Richard Sherrington
Richard Sherrington

Also wonder if it will go through customs without FCC/CE certification.

Richard Sherrington
Richard Sherrington

Hi Andrew,

Can we legally use the Chinese version in Canada? I notice Gearbest has it on sale for $72.72 Canadian.


Other than geekbuying, is there another site where I can get the Xiaomi yi? I’m debating between A118C vs Xiaomi Yi. Amazon.CA seems to be swaying my decision towards the A118C as I cant find the Xiaomi Yi on Amazon.CA.

PaulandJane Bourke
PaulandJane Bourke
Hi Andrew. I have found your dashcam reviews very informative and enjoyable and am writing you a query about the Xiaomi-yi car DVD international version. I live in the Australian outback, as expected in summer temps can get pretty extreme however our car is usually under a carport, is air-conditioned and although in the outback extreme days are rare. A typical summer will have max temps in the mid 40’s C. I bought a $35 cheapie dashcam a couple of years ago as an introduction to dashcams, as a learning tool. Despite the heat the camera still gives reasonable performance both in video & battery. It is deficient in other areas though so now is time for upgrade, with budget restrictions and a year+ of products research/reviews etc I’ve narrowed my selection down to 2 candidates, the Vantrue N1 or the Xiaomi-yi. I’d love the koonlung K1S but that’s well out of reach. Vantrue will sell to Australia by contacting them if the customer pays the shipping (agreed $23au) email [email protected] or [email protected] (nb these are just email addresses, not websites, the language is Chinese but an English reply is given), Xiaomi-yi international version through Amazon. I found your review of the Xiaomi-yi brilliant and very useful (particularly the oven temp test), I’m hoping you would make a dashcam Vs dashcam video of the two or reply your comments about this. I’ll briefly discuss my perception of the main pro’s & con’s. Firstly the vantrue staff have been prompt & courteous which inspires confidence that they’ll stand by their product should a problem occur. The product is not new to the market and has recieved great reviews. It has a proven track record and importantly has a low sun/heat catching profile and heat transferring metal strips. The video quality is… Read more »