When it comes to driving on the roads, you can be the safest driver in the world, but there’s guaranteed to be some other person out on the roads who earned their driving license from opening a box of cereal. So in the unfortunate event of some crazy person swerving into your lane, or you being involved in a car accident, there are those moments where you wish that you could have caught the entire thing on film. Well, the Mio MiVue 358 is here to save the day.
The Mio MiVue 358 is essentially a dashboard-mount video camera, which is capable of recording footage onto a microSD card. In the box you get the actual MiVue device, a suction-cup dashboard mount, and a power adapter that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter or spare power port.
Getting the device up and running is brutally simple – just snap together the pieces and attach the mount to your windscreen, and you’re good to go. The MiVue 358 has a relatively long power cable, since it’s designed to be plugged in pretty much all the time. The included cable mounts ensure that you can neatly tuck away the cables, but it’s still a bit awkward to have that cable visible at all times. If you charge your phone in your car, you’ll have to get some kind of splitter so that you can connect both the MiVue 358 and your phone charger at the same time. As recommended by the instruction manual, I mounted the MiVue 358 just next to my rear-view mirror for minimum obstruction to my view.
The MiVue 358 has a number of modes in it, which can be setup based on your usage scenario. It has a ‘Power-on record’ mode, which automatically starts recording once the car engine is turned on. Or you can set it up in such a way that if its G-sensor detects a sudden change in the car’s motion, it will automatically start recording. Lastly, there’s also a motion-sensor mode which will discreetly turn on the device and start recording if it detects any motion nearby.
You will need to insert a microSD card into the MiVue 358 in order to use it, as it sadly doesn’t have any onboard storage. I recommend a minimum of 16GB, as the video files that are recorded can really take up a lot of space (they’re recorded in .mov format). The MiVue 358 offers recording in both 1080p and 720p, with the 720p option giving a slightly wider field of view. However the quality of the 720p video can be a bit disappointing at times, so you’re better off recording in 1080p. Also worth mentioning is that files recorded in 720p end up being larger than those recorded in 1080p, which is quite weird. On a 16GB microSD card, you can get around 2.5 hrs of footage with audio, which is pretty decent. You can see the quality of the 1080p clip and 720p clip below; in the 1080p clip it’s fairly easy to make out finer details like license plates etc, but in the 720p it’s more of a guessing game.
You can also quickly snap photos at 5 megapixel resolution. You can also hook up the MiVue 358 to an external display via its miniHDMI port if you want a larger viewing screen.
If you’re looking for a dashboard cam that can record a bird’s eye view of things, then the MiVue 358 won’t disappoint. It’s easy to setup and install, and the 1080p mode gives some surprisingly detailed recording. The device sadly doesn’t bundle with a microSD card, and the included PC software is minimum at best. But if you’re looking for a presumably affordable dashboard camera, then this is one to add to your car’s arsenal.
Editor’s Note: as per current UAE law, it is illegal to use any kind of recording equipment to film public actions. Any footage you record cannot be admitted to the police and may in fact be used against you.