For quite a long time now my wife and I have been considering getting a dash camera to record any potential incidents that may happen while we’re out driving around the city. Although our own driving may not be perfect, it’s not really ourselves that I’m concerned about—it’s other drivers. Recently I got the chance to try out the new JS Dash Mini Plug & Play Dash Cam, which was the ideal opportunity for me to dig in and see just what modern dash cameras can do, and what they are all about. If you too have been considering getting a dash cam for your car, join me today as I reveal the results of my time testing this small plug and play dash cam with Full HD 1080p resolution. Let’s get started.
JS Dash Mini Features & Benefits
In addition to being a Full 1080p HD (30fps) plug and play dash cam, the JS Dash Mini has a number of other useful features. It uses loop recording (in 60-second clips) to ensure that everything is captured whenever your vehicle is running, a G-sensor to monitor acceleration and directional changes (as well as potential collisions), night vision (to record crystal clear footage, even after dark), a 1.5″ LED display screen (so you can see, in real-time, whatever you’re capturing), and a wide-angle lens (to make sure as much of any incident or accident as possible is recorded). There’s also a built-in microphone to record all of the audio for any event that takes place, and the camera easily plugs into a standard cigarette lighter outlet via a 3.5 m (12V) power cord. A separate USB charging cord (shown further down the page) is also included.
Among the benefits of a camera such as this is the ability to limit your legal and/or financial liability in the event of an accident by proving with video evidence that the incident was not your fault. As many multi-vehicle accidents are the subject of great dispute and intense litigation, it could be highly beneficial to have video evidence on your side. This could also serve to ultimately reduce your insurance premiums (or at least keep them from rising out of control due to an accident that wasn’t your fault).
If you’re the parent of a recently licensed teenage driver, you could occasionally check their progress by looking at your dash cam’s recorded footage. Since it clearly records audio, you can hear if they’re messing around and not taking their driving seriously. You could even have them turn the camera on themselves when they drive to ensure that they don’t check their phones while on the road.
Some people also make car videos where they film themselves talking about a subject of interest or importance to them while driving. I don’t endorse this myself, however, as it may qualify as distracted driving in some jurisdictions. But even so, there are many great compilation videos on YouTube where people have assembled dashcam footage for entertainment (and sometimes educational) purposes.
One disappointing detail to note is that the JS Mini requires (but does not include) a high capacity, FAT 32 formatted, microSD card with no less than 8GB of recordable space. A Class 10 or higher card is specified in the instruction booklet. As I didn’t have one of these cards lying around the house, I had to go out and pick one up. The cheapest one I could find was about $16, with prices increasing sharply from there. So it’s worth keeping this in mind should you choose to purchase your own JS Mini.
Testing the JS Dash Mini
As I mentioned above, testing the JS Mini required me to track down a microSD card. This was literally the most difficult part of the setup process as it required me to leave the house/garage. Everything beyond that was incredibly easy, and, aside from having the impression that it seemed rather delicate and wouldn’t like being dropped, I was immediately impressed with this fine little camera.
The actual installation was simply a matter of peeling the 3M adhesive tape from the camera’s mount and sticking it to my car’s windshield. Then you just plug in the power cord shown above, and you’re ready to roll. It really is a plug and play camera! As the camera has an internal battery that occasionally requires charging, a special USB charging cord is provided for this purpose, and you can easily remove the camera from its mount at any time. Simply unscrew it and take it into the house to charge.
The image quality it produces is great, as you can see from the photo above. Whether you’re driving in broad daylight or the middle of the night, the images captured are very high quality, and the wide-angle you’re given is enough to see pretty much everything you’d normally see anyway when driving a motor vehicle. The sound quality is also quite good. You can clearly make out talking, the radio playing, or any other sounds that the mic can pick up.
The final point I wanted to make was that beginning a recording is as simple as starting your car. On the first occasion, you will have to press the start button, but that’s all there is to it, and after that, it’s automatic. Overall I was extremely impressed with this capable little dash camera.
Examining the Video Evidence
Please take a couple of minutes to check out my video overview of the JS Dash Mini Camera. In it, I show the camera up close, discuss its installation and use, and throw in a good bit of footage from the camera itself as well (both daytime and nighttime footage). Have at it:
Final Thoughts on the JS Dash Mini Camera
I have to say, I really enjoyed having the JS Dash Mini around for a while and am now seriously considering picking one up for myself. My only caveats are that it does seem a bit delicate and you have to supply your own microSD card, but neither of those are exactly major issues as long as you’re careful with it. With that said, it’s very easy for me to recommend this product if you’re looking to protect your vehicle in this truly modern way. It’s a simple and straightforward dash camera that does its job effectively. Highly recommended!
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