JOMISE K7 1600P smart dashcam hands-on: Good video quality, but rather weak software support
Although the title of its product page on Amazon reads "JOMISE 1600P 60 FPS Smart Dash Cam with Wi-Fi GPS Parking Monitor, Ahead Car Move Reminder, Traffic Lights Change Reminder, Custom Screen Saver, 2" Touch Screen, Night Vision, G-Sensor, Loop Recording," it looks like the dash cam that I was able to take out for a few spins (as co-driver, to be honest) should be referred to as "JOMISE K7" or simply "K7" and nothing more.
The highlights of this product from one of the many emerging Chinese brands that are present on Amazon, eBay, and other major online stores include the ability to record 1600P 30 fps or Full HD 60 fps videos, built-in GPS, G-sensor, a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, as well as real-time reminders that help you keep up with the traffic lights changes and the car ahead.
Now, let's take a closer look at this camera that features a SONY IMX415 sensor and can be acquired for less than US$115, depending on the ongoing promotions and coupons available.
Packaging & Looks
The retail package is basic and, unfortunately, it doesn't reveal much about the JOMISE brand and the product itself. There is no product name on the box, and even the manual is rather generic. On the front cover of the user manual, above and below the image of the dashcam, we can easily read "Model: K7" and "Dashcam-K7" but no trace of JOMISE.
Inside the lackluster box mentioned above, there is the dashcam itself, the manual, a long USB cable, and a car lighter adapter for that cable. The cable is long enough to go around the windshield even in wide and tall cars (can probably fit nicely in buses as well, but I was only able to install it for testing in my father's Volkswagen Golf Mk5). In addition to these, there's also a piece of static sheet to add beneath the sticky back adhesive. As I was able to see in some user reviews, the K7 is better applied directly without that sheet. In my case, the static sheet fell off the windshield after roughly three weeks, although it was applied perfectly.
The camera itself looks good and is quite discrete overall. The plastic feels sturdy and is pleasant to the touch when handled, although I wouldn't label it as premium material. Nevertheless, the K7 is good for the price when talking about build quality and materials. Sadly, black is the only color option.
Features, the interface, and the mobile app
The Sony IMX415 sensor inside the JOMISE K7 can go up to 1600p, default resolution is 1440p, but after switching through the available settings back and forth I concluded that [email protected] fps is the best choice, image quality vs. storage space used-wise.
The video encoding options available are H.264 and H.265. However, it seems that in both cases, the videos recorded cannot be played easily on a computer. Thankfully, I uploaded them to YouTube and they were converted successfully. Nevertheless, this is an issue that should be solved in the future via a firmware update.
According to the user manual, the only resolution that supports 60fps recording is 1080p. For both 1600p and 1440p, the only options available are 30 fps and 25 fps. Sadly, the interface of the camera is only available in English and Chinese for now, as adding more languages would surely improve its reach on the global market.
The mobile app for Android worked perfectly on my father's Poco M3 and I had no problems setting up the camera and getting it started. Those who claim that using the mobile app is pointless after the initial setup part should simply check out the size of the touchscreen and the options available on the K7 itself and then think again. After all, it is much easier to simply cut the interesting parts from a video recording, upload them to the phone via WiFi and then share them as needed instead of taking out the microSD card and running around with it.
The reminders when traffic lights change or the car ahead is pulling away are useful and work as intended. The parking mode is very useful, and since the G-sensor did not detect any impact because there was none, it only recorded regular footage. Although most users will go with larger microSD cards, I must say that a 16 GB one is enough to record 1080p video at 60 fps for around 3 hours and half, maybe 4 (I didn't pay much attention to this detail).
Before the final thoughts, I should also add that the few seconds of autonomy provided by the minuscule 150 mAh battery of the K7 could make the difference between having proof of someone's guilt or leaving them get away with it. Obviously, a power pack with a more generous autonomy would be nice to have in the successors of this dashcam.
The good, the bad, and the truth
The JOMISE K7 1600P should get a better retail box, an improved manual, not to mention a mobile app to make it justice. The dashcam itself is very good for the price and this should be everything that matters, if not for the awkward movie download/viewing process or the rather small display.
I was not able to play the movies taken off the microSD card on my PC, but after I uploaded them to YouTube, they got converted and I was finally able to check them out. Thankfully, there are no problems when viewing the videos shot by the K7 using the mobile app.
In the end, the driving reminders and image quality recommend the K7 alone. However, it might not be the best choice for starters and people with poor vision (adding support for voice commands to save short clips of a fixed length would be great, for example). As mentioned in the beginning, you can purchase the JOMISE K7 1600P on Amazon.
Disclaimer: The author of this review received the K7 dashcam from JOMISE free of charge for the purpose of testing.