Battling Traffic To Review AUKEY's DRS1 4K WiFi Dashcam
Sony Guts and Wifi are some solid selling points.
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Good: Sony 4K image sensor, WiFi, ~$120. Bad: No SDHC card, GPS extra. Check Latest Price
I am the first to admit, along with The Drive et al, that dashcams have numerous benefits. Personally, they’ve contributed to having a cracked windshield replaced by a careless landscaper’s insurance, and a premium 20-inch wheel reimbursed by my state’s DOT. I’ve also been able to show off some cool wildlife to my family, evoke positive change within my community, as well as give us loads of hysterical content.
I’ve been a long-time advocate for dashcams, even going so far as saying several years ago that several years from then, all cars would come standard with front-facing video cameras. Several years later, I stand here utterly wrong.
So while you should not invest or place bets on my predictions, you should heed my advice when it comes to dash cameras in general. That's why, when given the opportunity to review one of the new kids on the block, AUKEY’s DRS1 4K, I did just that. TL:DR, but please do, the Aukey marries a myriad of popular features and cutting-edge tech with a budget-conscious price.
And given my experience, it’ll probably even pay for itself. Let's get into the particulars.
Our Initial Reaction to the AUKEY DRS1 4K WiFi Dashcam
Damn this thing is small. The Aukey DRS1 is no larger than my previous “compact” dashcam, yet packs WiFi connectivity and next-gen specs. Adhesed to the windshield behind the driver’s side of my rearview mirror, it consumes very little of my field-of-view.
Unpacking the rest of the understated box, it’s clear that AUKEY wants any driver with any vehicle to be set up for success. Both a suction cup and a 3M adhesive mount (with extra adhesive pads) are included along with cable routing mounts, a ton of USB cabling, and a dual-USB power adapter. There’s even a plastic trim tool to help you hide the power supply cable.
Battling Traffic With the AUKEY DRS1 4K WiFi Dashcam
After adding a Class 10, or better, SD card up to 128GB, the AUKEY DRS1 simply works. Preset to begin recording at 4K resolution in loop mode as soon as it tastes power, you could be content and secure without touching a single setting.
With just a little more effort, you can set up WiFi file access through AUKEY’s Android or iOS app, turn on the audio recording (personally, I could do without hearing my screams of profanity in an accident), and tweak a slew of other settings. You can even add AUKEY’s GPS module if it suits your fancy.
This little dashcam does its job regardless of temperature, time, or circumstance. Night recording is better than older generation units, motion detection keeps you protected during downtime, and a crash sensor automatically keeps potentially critical video clips protected from being overwritten.
What’s Great About the AUKEY DRS1 4K WiFi Dashcam
The AUKEY DRS1’s Sony IMX415 CMOS sensor grabs four times the pixel data of comparable 1080p dashcams. We found that license plates, street signs, mile markers, and other details were far more legible compared to previous generation dashcams. You can’t quite identify the species of butterfly smashed into the windshield of the car in front of you, but determining evidential data and interesting details within your videos takes little effort or speculation.
What’s Not To Like About the AUKEY DRS1 4K WiFi Dashcam?
The AUKEY Dash app and WiFi were a little cumbersome to set up on my Google Pixel phone. It works fine after some handshaking, but I think it’s easier to remove the SD card and physically transfer video files to my laptop. And, like other dashcams, the DRS1 still uses an archaic USB-Mini interface instead of USB-C. That's no bueno.
The Drive’s Verdict On the AUKEY DRS1 4K WiFi Dashcam
While any dash camera is better than no dash camera at all, spend a little extra cheese on AUKEY’s DRS1 to get four times the video data compared to 1080p constantly keeping an extra eye on everything in front of you and your vehicle.
A Car Cam Cinematographer's FAQs about Dash Cameras
More questions about the AUKEY DRS1 or dashcams? Here’s The Drive’s additional brief.
Q. It’s Really Got “Sony guts”?
A. It’s Sony Guts! AUKEY crammed a premium Sony Exmor IMX415 8.0-megapixel 4K CMOS sensor into the DRS1.
Q. All Joking Aside, is AUKEY a Good Brand?
A. AUKEY products have been better than good in my experience. They are a budget brand that focuses on quality instead of marketing or packaging. I’m currently typing on an excellent AUKEY gaming keyboard and I’ve owned tons of their gear ranging from car phone mounts and dashcams to an LED bedside table. Nothing disappointed.
Q. Can I Read License Plates in the DRS1’s Videos?
A. Deciphering license plates depends on the motion blur of the video, distance to the car in question, headlight glare on the plate, and other factors beyond the resolution of the video. The 4K sensor does a much better job than the previous-gen 1080p sensors, and in most circumstances license plates are legible.
Q. What’s The Craziest Thing You’ve Caught on Your Car’s Camera?
A. Driving home one evening several years ago, a large fireball meteor streaked across the sky in front of us. I’ve also captured an overloaded truck losing its load of garbage, a family of foxes, and gigabytes of “idiots in cars” worthy of many upvotes on the aptly-named subreddit.
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