With dash cams becoming more of a necessity than ever, consumers may find it difficult choosing the right one. This is especially so with the lower end of the spectrum, where a sea of sub-$200 dash cams are available to overwhelmed buyers. YI hopes to make their 2.7K Ultra stand out with an impressive spec sheet and great all round value for money.
This is apparent from the moment you open the box, which includes some nice extras. Along with the camera itself, you get a 16GB Sandisk microSD card, a 3M sticky mount and a suction cup mount, as well as the necessary charging equipment and literature. The camera is available in two different configurations, the Black 2.7K and the Grey 1080p version. This review will focus on the Black 2.7K model, which arguably offers the best value for money.
The camera is encased in a single polycarbonate shell covered in a stealthy matte black coating. There’s also a carbon fibre print on the front around the lens, giving the 2.7K Ultra a unique look. The case housing the internals is a mere 15.6 mm thin, which means the aluminum camera lens does protrude quite far out from the body. This, paired with the LCD display, makes the dash cam look a little more like an actual digital camera.
Surrounding the display is a microphone, charging and status indicator LEDs and an array of buttons for emergency recording, album viewing and settings/power. Flip it over and you’ll find the camera lens taking up most of the front surface area, flanked only by a small speaker below the lens. Up top is the bracket nut and air vents to keep the device cool, which are also found below. Both feature a unique honeycomb-style design. The rest of the hardware is found on the right side, this includes the micro USB and reset ports, as well as the microSD card slot.
The value for money idea translates well into the camera setup. As the name would suggest, the custom three-axis sensor is capable of recording video in up to 2.7K resolution, or 2688 x 1520 pixels at 30fps. Bringing it down to 1080p will allow you to double the framerate while further lowering it to 720p will let you save significant storage space without skimping on video quality.
The 4 million pixel “high sensitivity” image sensor features an f/1.9 aperture under 6 layers of glass. With a field of view of around 140 degrees, the camera is viable for the wide roadways found in densely populated cities of the East where the camera is made. This is further aided by the SUPER WDR 2.0 software, which helps create a wide field of view without stretching the picture. Audio is covered by the built-in omnidirectional microphone, which features noise reduction.
A few of the above mentioned technologies are also made to accommodate for adequate performance in low light conditions, which is an integral part of any good dash cam. The wide dynamic range helps with exposure while the high sensitivity sensor lets in more light while reducing noise. As a result, the overall image quality is sharp and clear with an adequate amount of saturation and contrast. This is the type of video quality you’d expect on a much pricier unit.
The 2.7K Ultra features a unique processor setup. Instead of the more conventional Ambrella single-core CPU, this camera is powered by a dual core A17 processor, which is aided by an A7 co-processor. This increased power helps the camera run smoothly as well as increasing the final quality of the videos. H.264 real time multi stream encoding is built-in to help save storage space while maintaining the initial quality of recordings.
To change settings and preview videos on the fly, there is a 2.7 inch TFT LCD display built-in on the 2.7K Ultra. The four buttons found below are adequate for the simple settings found on the camera. For added control, there is the unique AI voice control feature. While it only supports two commands at the moment (video recording and emergency capture), YI claims to be working on adding more in future firmware updates.
If you want to playback videos on a larger display, there is a mobile app available for the camera. Simply connect via WiFi and you can view your recordings, albums and a few settings from your phone. The app currently supports the more recent versions of Android and iOS.
There are also a few safety features included, such as the gravity sensor, which will automatically start recording, storing and locking footage when it detects a collision. Overall, the YI 2.7K Ultra provides just the right amount of performance and extras, making it a viable option in its price range.
Dimensions: 65mm x 30mm x 42mm Weight: 4.3 ounces Video: 2.7K 2688 x 1520 @ 30fps, 2K 2560 x 1440 @ 30fps, FHD 1920 x 1080 @ 30/60fps, HD 1280 x 720 @ 30fps Processor: firstname.lastname@example.orgGhz+A7@800Mhz, dual core configuration. Co-processor: Built-in Neon acceleration, integrated high-speed FPU processing unit Encoding technology: H.264 real time multi stream coding capability Process technology: 28nm advanced process Run memory: 128M*16bit(2Gbits)*2 Lens Angle: 140° Display: 2.7″ TFT LCD Storage: microSD (class 10), 16-128GB (16GB card included) GPS: No G-Sensor: Yes Temp Range: Operating temperature：-10℃ ~ 60℃ Battery or Capacitor: Battery, lithium battery, 400mAh capacity Audio Recording: Yes (on/off option) WiFi: Yes APP: Yes, Android & iOS Dual Dashcam: No Model Number: 2.7K Ultra