Dashcams are becoming ever more commonplace these days, with some SatNav systems having them already built-in. I have been taking a look at the Mio MiVue 658 WIFI dashcam.
There’s an extremely obvious reason why dashcams are popular, and that’s to have a record of an accident you are involved in. This is why the insurance companies might even offer you a reduced premium as having a live video recording of the incident will cut time, and therefore money, should someone contest your claim.
If you get a decent dashcam they might record incidents even when you’re not in your car. These clever cams will activate if they sense your car being hit. Very handy should someone knock in to your pride and joy and just drive off without leaving you a note. I feel the days of someone owning up to that kind of mistake have sadly gone.
There’s also the much undersold bonus of capturing a particularly scenic drive. Imagine cruising the coast roads on a clear day. You can have video ready to edit or even share straight to your socials, depending on what your cam’s capabilities are.
MiVue 658 WIFI design
The MiVue 658 WIFI is fairly chunky but very compact to say that it comes equipped with a 2.7-inch touchscreen on the back and a wide-angled lens taking in a 140° view.
The camera is also loaded with GPS and Wi-FI, not to mention the ability to capture ‘Extreme’ HD thanks to its 2304 pixel sensor. Video is recorded in H.264 format so it’s high quality but also space saving. This helps you capture more footage on to your SD card.
There’s not much else on the body of the camera, save a pair of metallic red buttons.
Everything else is accessed via the clear touchscreen menus.
MiVue 658 WIFI performance
I passed the camera to my almost domesticated driver (the arrival of my car had been delayed) so that he could take it out on the road.
His first point, he even text me to say this, is that the device’s internal battery is close to non-existent. This will be why it comes with an in-car power cable which will need to be connected at all times. There is even a kit to hardwire your MiVue into your car’s electricity supply.
The end of the cable needs to run through the mount, which took him a bit of trial and error to work out. This might be down to the ‘men ignoring instructions’ default though.
As long as you have it powered, your dashcam will spring in to life as soon as your turn your ignition key.
Now, he didn’t comment on this but some of you may have noticed that the mini USB port is on the front of the camera. This is where your power source goes in. So, depending on where your plug point is, you might find the cable trails in front of the lens. Perhaps a rear or side-mounted port would have been the way to go here?
MiVue video performance
I must say that I am impressed with the MiVue 658 WIFI’s optics through its F1.8 lens. There is a great field of view and the footage taken in low-light was really good.
Being able to view the footage on a smartphone via the unit’s Wi-Fi is pretty slick. Not only are you able to ping it straight off to YouTube or Facebook, it’s a great way to back up the data to review later. I used a USB cable to transfer the captured video on to my PC so I could see it on a big screen. I am guessing this is where having the option of HDMI, even micro HDMI, would be an advantage for TV playback.
Using Mio’s MiVue Manager software, you can plot your video recording on Google Maps too. This app also gives you a variety of telemetry gathered during the recording.
The MiVue’s GPS gives speed camera alerts and tells you if you’re driving over the legal limit in that area. These were all pretty darned accurate with my friendly vehicle owner commenting that the speed read out was practically bang on.
You’ll get free updates on the speed cameras as well, so you shouldn’t get caught out. Not that you’d drive over the limit, of course.
The 2.7-inch touchscreen makes navigating the unit’s features considerably more intuitive than the screens on some more expensive rival dashcams.
MiVue sucker and SmartBox
The supplied suction-cup screen mount that comes bundled with this dashcam seemed to cause my tester some grief. In the clip above, at the end it looks like he and his car came to a violent end. I am happy to say that this is not the case, it was the suction-cup pinging off and throwing the cam on to the dash. I have tested the suction myself using my bedroom mirror with the cam attached and all seemed fine. Perhaps his car has a super-curved screen or something.
When you park your car, your dashcam can offer further protection from harm. Put it in to parking mode and connect it up to a ‘Smartbox’ for power (an optional extra that hardwires a power supply to the camera). It will then detect any impact motion and start recording while you’re away.
MiVue 658 WIFI review conclusion
The Mio MiVue 658 WIFI is a feature-rich dashcam, there’s no argument about that.
The images it produces are impressive, as is the wide-angled lens. Audio quality is something I have not mentioned as I see that very much as a secondary thing. Well, unless you love uploading footage of your own car karaoke. Saying that, the MiVue 658 WIFI’s mic is darned fine too.
The two stumbling blocks that I have to raise are that: 1) You can only use parking mode if you buy the extra Smartbox to provide the power when the ignition is switched off. 2) The positioning of the USB port.
Apart from that pair of points there is very little to complain about the MiVue 658 WIFI. In fact, it definitely has the most important areas covered.
The quality is top notch and the fact that it not only timestamps the footage, but includes speed and GPS coordinates are all great selling points.
Perhaps just as important as all of its technical prowess is, the MiVue 658 WIFI is incredibly easy to use.
MiVue 658 WIFI price and availability
You can buy The MiVue 658 Wi-Fi now for around £160 from most online retailers. Amazon.co.uk has it for £154 right now.
For more information about the MiVue 658 WIFI, or any of the Mio range, head over to their website.