Updated on July 29, 2023
AUKEY has been making dash cams for some time now, and it’s no wonder these little devices are so popular. For not much money at all, this manufacturer is offering the market a budget device which gets the job done. It may not have all the bells and whistles of a high-end dashcam, but for the money, it packs a punch and is definitely worth checking out.
To bring you a low-down on its features, usability, picture quality, and everything else, we conducted our own AUKEY dash cam review of the DR01 in early 2023. Here are our findings:
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A Sony EXMOR IMX323 sensor powers the AUKEY dash cam. The sensor is capable of recording full HD videos (1080p) with the option to record sound with the video.
The lens on the AUKEY DR01 is a 6-element design. The lens is capable of recording a phenomenal 170˚. It captures almost A-pillar to A-pillar perspective, which is fantastic. You can record all four lanes of a freeway giving you a wide perspective of the traffic going away and coming into you. Thanks to the large f/1.8 aperture of the lens, the camera is capable of capturing a lot of light even when shooting in relatively darker conditions.
That said it is pertinent to note that small sensors have a huge crop factor and that bears consideration when you figure out the effective aperture of the lens. So, what you read (f/1.8) is not exactly f/1.8 in reality.
The AUKEY Dash Cam is capable of recording full HD videos. You can, however, choose to use different video resolutions. But for optimum results, it is best that you keep it at 1080p and at 30 fps. A higher frame rate ensures that the action recorded is smooth. Many times you will hear that 30 fps is best and that 24 fps are cinematic. 60 fps makes things very smooth and realistic.
WDR / HDR
The Sony EXMOR IMX323 sensor has the excellent low-light capability. Even in low light, the camera can capture a decent amount of detail in the shadows. But you shouldn’t be comparing this to the performance of the Sony sensor inside the A7 S II.
The system has what is a common feature across a lot of dash cams and action cams – loop recording. This enables the camera to keep recording for as long as it is connected to a power supply. When the camera runs out of memory card, it will start to overwrite the video files that were recorded the earliest and write new data in their place.
This feature allows the camera to keep recording for almost an eternity as long as it is connected to a power supply.
Memory Lock Gravity Sensing
The AUKEY DR01 comes with both a gravity sensor and a memory lock feature. The gravity sensor ensures that whenever there are any sudden changes of momentum or gravity the camera can detect that and make a recording. The recording is then locked from getting overwritten using the Memory Lock feature.
In normal loop recording, all older clips are overwritten. But not when they are locked. This is to ensure that any incrementing evidence in the likely event of an accident is preserved and not accidentally overwritten.
The AUKEY DR01 has a motion detection function. Motion detection is the anti-theft mechanism. Although the effectiveness of which is somewhat dubious as if the car gets stolen, what good will the video do when the camera goes with the car? But that said, motion detection is also good for the purpose of recording proof of erring drivers. If someone knocks on your vehicle when it is parked at a parking spot or does any other harm to your vehicle, a record can be made, which will be incrementing in a court of law.
The details of specifications are not clear whether the AUKEY DR01 can detect ignition. But it does not explicitly say the alternative either. The specs do say that after you set it up, and by that, it should mean making the connection with the car, every time the vehicle is started, the camera starts recording. In anyways, if you have to start recording manually, then it defeats the whole purpose of getting a dashcam.
Rear LCD Screen
A 2″ LCD screen dominates the back of the camera. It works for reviewing what you have recorded and doing some setting changes. Mind you, there are not much of setting changes that you can do. You can tinker with the video resolution and the frame rate and those sorts of things.
Setting it up
The AUKEY dash cam comes with dual mounting options. You can choose to use the standard 3M double-sided adhesive pad for mounting the camera onto the dashboard. Or otherwise, you can also use the provided suction mount cup for installing the camera onto the windscreen.
Video set-up options have been explained already. You can choose between full HD and a couple of other lower-resolution options. You get a lower resolution but a higher frame rate. Mind you, nothing of these is going to get you any videos unless you use the right memory card. A minimum Class 10 memory card is what you need.
Not much is detailed about the ability to record stills. In anyways there is no way that you would be looking to make still images using a dash cam. It is like buying a Maserati and driving it 2 blocks to get groceries.
Dash Cam Gurus Rating
The AUKEY DR01 is a good dash cam. No doubt. But it has its limitations. The lack of wireless connectivity means you have to manually connect the dash cam to a laptop or computer or plug the memory card to a card reader in order to take a backup. Also, we don’t quite like the fact that the camera does not have app support, which is evident because there is no Wi-Fi support either.
Another thing that we didn’t like is the rear LCD screen is too small. Although it’s bigger than the AUKEY DR02 screen (which is only 1.5 inches), the rear screen should have been at least 3″ in our opinion. Especially because you can’t swap your smartphone to do settings changes and or check what’s been recorded. But overall this is a nice little camera and it does its job.
With more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, Ash possesses a deep understanding of the diverse needs and challenges faced by drivers on the road. His relentless commitment to road safety and ongoing research is fueled by a genuine desire to create safer environments for all drivers.