Roav A1 Review
Pros: User-friendly, inexpensive
Cons: Average video quality
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$60 List||$120 List||$200 List|
$169.99 at Amazon
$99.99 at Amazon
|Pros||User-friendly, inexpensive||Very good video quality, relatively inexpensive, very slim profile||Great video quality, second cab-facing camera||Very good video quality, small visual footprint, built-in Wi-Fi||Inexpensive|
|Cons||Average video quality||No built-in Wi-Fi, no rear or interior camera||Pricey, relatively bulky||Somewhat frustrating interface||Odd blue hue on all footage, slightly larger visual footprint|
|Bottom Line||This user-friendly model features a nice interface and a reasonable price tag||The best performance and value for those who only want to record the road in front of them and don't need a second, rear-facing camera||Currently the best rideshare model due to its great video quality and second camera||A great camera that is somewhat held back by quite a frustrating user interface||Unfortunately, the strong points of this model begin and end with its low price tag|
|Rating Categories||Roav A1||AUKEY DR02||Vantrue N2 Pro Uber...||Rexing V1||APEMAN C450A|
|Video Quality (40%)|
|Video Capture (25%)|
|Visual Footprint (10%)|
|Specs||Roav A1||AUKEY DR02||Vantrue N2 Pro Uber...||Rexing V1||APEMAN C450A|
|Field of View||140 degrees||170 degrees||170 degrees||170 degrees||150 degrees|
|Event Detection G Sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Camera Dimensions||3.3" x 2.2" x 1.3"||3" x 2" x 1.5"||3.8" x 1.5" x 1.5"||6.6" x 5" x 3.4"||2" x 1.6" x 1.4"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Roav A1 offers good-enough video quality, a large screen, clear interface, and a low price. Across the board it turned in at or above average performances in our tests, earning it a relatively high overall score.
Overall the video quality on the A1 is good, but not exceptional. It is about what you might expect from a fairly small and inexpensive camera in this day and age. In general, it is good enough for most dash cam applications, but spending not much more can generally get you noticeably better video quality.
In our testing, the 1080p resolution didn't fully come through. The footage looked clear enough, but other models of a 1080p resolution were able to get much closer to that full high-definition pedigree. Apart from some slight pixelation and blurriness, the footage from the A1 generally had vibrant and accurate colors. The 140˚ field of view is on the narrower side, which isn't a bad thing as this can often mean things at further distances are better in focus. However, in practice, we didn't feel that distant objects locked any clearer with the A1 than with wider 170˚ models.
When it comes to reading license plates, the A1 works quite well but does run into issues more quickly than other cameras. In most clips, we were able to easily read other cars' license plates, but bright sun during the day or bright lights at night quickly left every plate farther than 20 feet from the camera washed out.
When it comes to capturing video and offering options for managing that footage, the Roav A1 has pretty much everything most people are going to want.
Like all of the cameras we tested, the A1 automatically starts recording when you turn the car on, and we thoroughly vetted the ability of the G-sensor to detect crashes by reading a copious amount of user reviews. Clearing these minimum hurdles won this camera inclusion in our review, as these are basic prerequisites to be part of our lineup.
As we've mentioned before, dash cameras use loop recording, saving video in discrete chunks with the oldest being deleted to make way for the new. When a G-sensor senses a crash it protects the current chunk of video from being overwritten. The Roav A1 lets you set those loop recording video chunks to be 1, 3, 5, or 10 minutes. We like this adjustability, as those concerned with filling up their memory cards with footage from every time they brake hard at a stoplight can opt for shorter clips, and those that don't mind a little extra video management if it provides a better chance the camera will protect all the meaningful footage from a crash can opt for longer clips. This is more adjustability than most cameras offer.
On top of loop recording adjustability, the A1 has a built-in WiFi network. With the corresponding (and free) Roav app, you can wirelessly send videos from the camera straight to your phone (or another WiFi-enabled mobile device). This is probably most useful for those that want to be able to quickly share clips from their dash cam on social media, but it can also be nice for those that want to save clips for safekeeping without having to remove the memory card and plug it into their computer.
The Roav A1 is one of the few dash cams we've tested that offers both intuitive controls/buttons, easy-to-navigate menus, and a fairly large screen.
We never had any trouble finding and changing the settings on the A1, and pretty much never had to consult the manual to find what we were looking for. The 2.7-inch screen also made everything easy to see and read without squinting.
This is one area where the Roav A1 isn't terrible, but it's definitely less than ideal. The camera itself isn't huge, its largest dimension is 3.3 inches, but it does have quite a boxy shape that must be set a bit back from the windshield by necessity.
On top of this, the A1 uses a relatively large suction cup mount, which adds to its visual footprint. Most models that use larger suction mounts instead of adhesive route the power cable through the mount itself. The A1 doesn't, instead having the cable stick straight out from the top of the camera. Overall, the presence in a windshield probably won't annoy most drivers, but there are other options that have a noticeably smaller profile for those who just can't stand seeing objects in their peripheral vision while driving.
The Roav A1 is certainly at the cheaper end of the price spectrum, and it performs quite well considering that fact. Though there are some cameras that cost just a little bit more and perform better, we think this one is a great shoestring budget option.
The Roav A1 is a fairly well-performing and inexpensive dash cam. It may not have the video quality of other options, but it gets the job done and offers great adjustability in regards to video capture. If you're on a budget, this is certainly one to consider.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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