If you’re on the lookout for an reasonably priced sprint cam in your taxi, Lyft, or Uber work, then Akaso’s $100, wide-angle Trace 1 is an effective selection. It takes entrance and inside video, with infrared inside lighting for night time time use. It’s additionally solidly constructed and straightforward to make use of.
This evaluation is a part of our ongoing roundup of the best dash cams. Go there for extra info on competing merchandise and the way we examined.
Specs and design
The Trace 1 measures roughly 3 x 1.75 x 1.25 inches. It’s comparatively gentle, and has a whopping three air flow ports to dissipate warmth. There’s an on/off button and SD card slot (as much as 128GB) on the left, and 4 motion buttons on the underside of the unit. The buttons fluctuate in operate, turning issues on and off whereas recording is happening, or navigating the settings menus when recording is off. I choose having the ability to change settings whereas recording, however that’s a minor gripe.
Akaso offers the unit with a suction mount with a rotary knob to extract the air. It sticks very, very properly. So properly, in reality, that the primary couple of removals required a pry software. It finally turned simpler. It additionally took me a minute to seek out the attachment level on the digital camera, because it was hidden by a rubber plug with the Akaso emblem on it. It actually appears like a part of the digital camera till you peer carefully. Note that the mount solely adjusts horizontally via the orientation of the suction cup. Make positive it’s aligned correctly earlier than you end twisting the rotary knob.
I used to be positive that once I first noticed the identify that the Trace 1 would have GPS. It doesn’t. Sigh. It takes nice video, however GPS data is helpful to doc your location each throughout an accident, and on journeys. At least the choice can be good.
The 170-degree subject of view cameras help 1080p at 60 frames per second in the event you’re solely utilizing the entrance, or 1080p at 30 fps in the event you’re utilizing each the entrance and inside. If you’re loop recording (overwriting the earlier video each three to 10 minutes), that is good. Unfortunately, there’s no solution to choose solely the entrance digital camera at 30 fps, so that you’re going to make use of a few gigabyte of storage for each six minutes of video it doesn’t matter what. For touring or different documentary functions, it will be good to have a front-only 30 fps possibility. (And GPS)
Note that there’s a fast reference information within the field, however to obtain the complete handbook that tells you about locking video, it says you will need to go to www.akaso.web/usermanual/trace1.pdf. The handbook was really discovered at www.akaso.web/user-manual/trace1.pdf. Oops.
You’ll really need this doc, as there are tidbits akin to warning towards utilizing a daily USB charger to cost the Trace 1’s 20-hour battery, as you would possibly injury it. I did precisely that within the workplace to research the person interface with out sitting within the automobile. Darn. It didn’t appear to wreck the gadget, however don’t maintain me up for example.
I used to be very happy with the standard of each the day and night time video captured by the Trace 1’s ahead digital camera, in addition to the black-and-white imagery captured by the inside digital camera. Note that any of the streaking you see beneath is my fault—I are likely to seize the cameras on the lens and smudge it up with out noticing.
The Trace 1’s daytime captures are top-notch, with good distinction, element, and shade, however 60 fps video is usually overkill and makes use of a whole lot of storage. There’s a little bit of fish-eye due to the 170-degree lens. I’ve seen worse, however it’s nonetheless not the digital camera for capturing surroundings.
The early night seize beneath is included to indicate a driver who thought it will be intelligent to drive the incorrect manner up the one-way avenue I used to be coming down.
Though there are streetlights round, that is nonetheless a moderately darkish space. The streaking is essentially my fault. Sorry, Akaso.
Interior video, as proven beneath, is grayscale, however reveals fairly a little bit of element because of the infrared lighting. It’s actually adequate to doc any passenger hijinks in the event you’re an expert driver working the late shift.
The seize beneath reveals off the Trace 1’s night time video, and it demonstrates one other benefit of utilizing a battery moderately than a short-lived super-capacitor. (This was taken whereas strolling residence from the automobile, so no, I wasn’t driving on the sidewalk.)
Though the battery will run for roughly 20 hours in parking mode after a 3-hour cost (or take about 20 minutes regular of video), you would possibly take into account grabbing an always-on OBD energy cable to interchange the included auxiliary (cigarette lighter) cable if you wish to make the most of the digital camera’s parking surveillance mode for any larger size of time.
The said temperature working vary for the Trace 1 is -4 to +158 levels Fahrenheit. I barely observed any warmth from the digital camera (because of the aforementioned venting little doubt), so I’m inclined to belief it.
Great for professionals, not for journey
Purely for documenting incidents inside or exterior the automobile or parking surveillance, the Trace 1 is a good sprint cam. That’s what it’s designed for, and I can simply suggest it in that position. But the 170-degree lens and heavy storage necessities restrict its usefulness as a documentary sprint cam or journey accomplice.