NAVMAN has released an impressive new range of dashcams. They claim the higher quality than some of the competition. The compact NAVMAN MIVUE dashcam unit features glass lenses and CMOS technology to make the images clearer and more detailed.
NAVMAN fitted a dual camera 698 model to a Falcon XR6. A circuit was laid out in the middle of Royal Randwick Racecourse which allowed plenty room for the professional drivers to simulate real road conditions.
The 698 Dual Camera uses a cable between the cameras so will need the cable tucked above the headlining. Installation should be factored into the cost.
Voice warnings sound under the following conditions:
- Driver Fatigue Warning
- Headlight alert
- Safety camera alert
- Lane Departure (if you leave your lane unexpectedly)*
- Forward Departure (traffic in front moves off but you remain still)*
- Forward Collision Warning*
*features of ADAS
These were easily demonstrated and worked very well. I had slight reservations about the lane departure for reasons I’ll reveal later.
Other features include 3MP 2k recording, micro SD cards supported of up to 126gb, and an emergency recording button.
In cases where the driver manually operates the emergency button, the system timestamps a 10 second head start and continues to record until the button is pressed again or the card is full.
This recording is labelled Emergency and the time and date stamp is applied. This could then be used as evidence should the need arise.
All recordings time and date stamped, and a GPS location added.
The rear camera might also be used to monitor the cabin instead of being pointed rearward. An Uber driver would feel safer as would worried parents sending their children out in the family car unsupervised for the first time.
Instances of road rage and other traffic incidents could also be kept for the police or used as proof for insurance purposes.
There are physical buttons compliment touch screen controls making even the basic unit easy to use. A wired power source is preferred but battery recordings of over half an hour mean the unit can be hand held and used outside the vehicle when recording accident details for example.
All units have a wide angle glass lens, GPS tracking, optimized day/night recording, event recording, and a rotating body design.
- 630 – $159 has a 2” screen and 2MP recording
- 660 – $199 has a 2.7” screen, 3MP recording, headlight alert, driver fatigue warning
- 680 – $249 adds headlight alert and safety camera alert.
- 690 SAFE – $329 adds ADAS, and a second Micro SD slot to act as a “safe” for recordings you wish to keep
- 698 – $429 replaces 2nd SD slot with a rear facing camera (pictured below)
In addition, there is desktop software for viewing and uploading to internet sites such as YouTube. The Software suits both Windows and Apple systems.
The high quality recordings clearly show details like faces and number plates while virtually eliminating annoying flaring from excessive light, so the picture quality varies little between day and night.
Add-on units like these have their limitations. For example, the unit does not detect an indicator so will notify of a lane departure whether or not you indicate. There is a voice reminder only, so of course there is no steering wheel vibration either.
The unit is held securely to the windscreen with a suction cup that locks down. Adjustment is via a balljoint held in place with a single lug. The Dashcam has a quick-release so can quickly be detached for storage out of sight, or used to record outside the vehicle.
On the whole, the pros outweigh the cons. The ability to gather information for later use cannot be overstated. The picture quality is excellent outperforming cheaper brands we’ve used in the past.
The rear camera can be used in any number of ways giving the top model added flexibility. This goes some of the way in filling the technology gaps in older or less well equipped cars. Importantly, the compact design means the driver’s view is less obstructed.
The MIVUEDRIVE FHD is a combination unit which includes Dashcam, Bluetooth Handsfree, and Satellite Navigation, however the 600 range dashcams are purely recording devices, not satellite navigation tools. The combination model was not demonstrated.
Alan Zurvas is the founder of and writer for motoring blog GayCarBoys.