What do you need from a DVR? So that it is compact and does not obstruct the view through the windshield. That he was inexpensive and not forced to draw up his purchase on credit. And, of course, to shoot a high-quality video – enough to see the license plates in the frame. This is the basic minimum. Everything else is options that only increase the cost of the device and are not needed by everyone. The recently launched MiVue C351 fits into the listed frames and at the same time has a built-in GPS with tips about road cameras! But first things first.
Specifications MiVue C531
- Dimensions (height / width / depth, mm): 61 / 54.6 / 33.7
- Weight: 69 g
- Video: 1920 × 1080, 30 FPS
- Camera: 2 MP, F1.8
- Recording: Continuous, Loop, MP4 (H.264), Night Mode, 3DNR Function
- Viewing angle: 150 degrees wide
- Sound: built-in microphone and speaker
- Screen: 2 inches
- Built-in battery: yes, 240 mAh
- Power connector: Mini USB
- Memory card: microSD (microSDHC) up to 256 GB class 10 and above
- Mount: suction cup
- Additional features: recording by shock sensor, motion sensor, photo mode, warning about speed cameras, voice alerts
Design and equipment
From the point of view of design and ergonomics, the registrar does not present any surprises. In terms of its dimensions, it looks like a matchbox made of black plastic: there is a lens on one plane, with a 2-inch screen on the back from it. On the front side, above the camera lens, there is a mount, on the bottom edge there is a slot for a microSD memory card, on the right in the direction of travel there are four device control keys, and on the left is a mini-USB connector for powering the DVR.
If we talk about the connector, then it may seem outdated in 2021, but there will be no problems finding chargers. The standard charger allows you not only to connect the recorder to a 12-volt outlet, but also to do it as conveniently as possible – the cable length is 3 meters, which makes it easy to stretch it under the interior upholstery.
The mount that comes with the MiVue C531 is a suction cup to the windshield familiar to everyone. The part to which the recorder is attached is installed at an angle to the sticky base and allows you to adjust the angle of the device. But you must immediately warn that you will have to apply force – the hinge is so tight that at first it seems that it has no adjustments at all. This is not the case, it just takes a serious effort to tilt the recorder. On the one hand, of course, this will not allow the device to dangle while driving, on the other hand, the declared ability to shoot 360 degrees seems questionable, because either you will not have time to turn the recorder and take off what you planned, or you risk overdoing it and breaking the mount …
MiVue C531 is equipped with a 2 megapixel sensor with a viewing angle of 150 ° in width, which is enough to cover up to six lanes. Potentially, you can watch the captured video directly on the built-in 2-inch screen with a resolution of 220×176 pixels, but this should be done only when absolutely necessary. It is best to download videos (recording is in MP4 H.264 format) to a computer and open there using the proprietary MiVue Manager application. The software shows the direction of movement and displays information about the events recorded by the shock sensor for analysis along 3 axes in synchronization with the video, for models equipped with GPS it makes it possible to view the route on Google maps, and in addition, from the application, you can immediately upload videos to YouTube, VKontakte »And Facebook.
Impressions of use
The picture quality is excellent in good weather. If necessary, in Full HD video, you can easily see the license plates in the frame (provided that your windshield is clean), both during the day and at night – in the dark, the proprietary 3DNR technology comes to the rescue, which suppresses noise in low light. The function is not only beautifully described in the documentation, but actually works.
Two more declared possibilities in the case were not verified in a couple of months. Unfortunately, nothing can be said about motion sensor recording (the built-in battery and motion detection technologies should automatically start recording when something happens in the frame) – it’s hard to believe that nothing happened in front of the car parked on the street all this time, but judging by the videos from the MiVue C351, it was so. And, fortunately, the parking mode was not useful – in the energy-saving mode the recorder can work up to 48 hours, automatically activating the recording when the shock sensor is triggered.
But in motion, the G-sensor works almost tirelessly. When a command is received from the shock sensor, the recorder instantly starts recording indelible video – 20-second clips (ordinary videos can be adjusted in length of 1, 3 or 5 minutes) have accumulated in excess due to the fault of … Russian roads! Even at the lowest sensitivity level, the G-sensor actively reacts to pits and potholes, not even missing the joints on the bridges. It’s scary to imagine what will happen in the maximum sensitivity mode – there, probably, the entire recording will consist exclusively of indelible “scenes”.
At the minimum range of operation, it is worth setting notifications about cameras for photo and video recording of traffic violations. Otherwise, all your trips will consist solely of voice or sound alerts (and there is no point in disabling them at all – why do you need built-in camera notifications then?). And it doesn’t matter if you are driving along the road or spinning in the yards – if there is a traffic camera in the field of view of the registrar, he will warn you about it. And this, frankly, is not the most necessary information at the moment when you park at your entrance.
According to Mio, the database contains over 60 warnings for different speed cameras – speed limit control, roadside control, dedicated lane control and many others. At the same time, the DVR warns about cameras “shooting” in the back of moving cars, and also notifies about the Avtodoria and Avtouragan complexes, which record the average speed on road sections. The current speed limit, your current speed, and the distance to the camera are displayed on the screen. You can adjust the level of exceeding the limit at which the signal will be triggered, so that in general MiVue C351 can cope with the role of a radar detector! It is only important to update the base of cameras on time – the system reacts only to stationary complexes – or to add (up to 100 user cameras are supported) them independently right during the recording process.
It is relatively easy to operate the recorder on the move, if necessary. Above, the recording indicator, time (synchronized by GPS) and the level of satellite reception are displayed, below – the current speed, and on the right – menu items. The top button, in fact, opens the settings menu, the second from the top – allows you to “hammer” the camera on the road into memory during recording, the second from the bottom – takes a photo, and the bottom button activates manual recording of the incident. Inside the settings menu, the top and bottom buttons act as “Back” and “Enter” keys, respectively, and the two middle ones are used to navigate the menu items up and down. There are not very many settings, but enough. Among them, it is worth noting, in addition to the above-mentioned sensitivity of the sensors, the ability to turn on or off the sound recording – on ordinary trips you can do without the accompanying “soundtrack”, but in controversial situations or, for example, when communicating with traffic police officers, the audio track can be recorded. Moreover, the built-in 240 mAh battery allows, albeit for a short time, to use MiVue C351 without being connected to the on-board network.
In general, for two months of using the DVR, impressions from it remained positive. During the tests, the gadget spontaneously turned off a couple of times – perhaps it overheated under the glass. Once the memory card failed, but here the problem is not on the side of the recorder. I had to resort to formatting – everything has been working fine since then.
We can safely recommend this model of the recorder to those who need video recording and notifications about road cameras – like any combo device, the MiVue C351 is not without compromises, but for the average driver who is not ready to carry with him an expensive recorder installed at the same time and in addition to it radar detector, the new Mio will be a good companion on your daily trips.
In case the MiVue C351 is too simple for you in its capabilities or, on the contrary, it is extremely complicated, take a look at the DVR models from our selection of the best models of 2021.