TL;DR: The Yi Mirror Dash Camera is mostly simple to install, easy to navigate, and the perfect addition to your car — especially if it’s older — for safety.
Full Disclosure: Yi sent us a Yi Mirror Dash Camera for free in exchange for a review and our thoughts. They didn’t tell us to like it, and they had no impact on this article.
Yeah, so, here at GoGoDadget, we review whatever we can get our hands on. Did I know we’d be review back-to-back dash cameras? No. Are we fine with it? Yes. Before Christmas, we reviewed the Yi Ultra Dash Camera and really liked it — we just wanted to spread them apart a little bit.
So, is it hard replacing your rearview mirror with a new one? Probably — but that’s not what you do with the Yi Mirror Dash Camera. In passing, I sort of guessed that’s how it was done, but that’s not the case. It’s simple to mount, easy to use, but is a little tough to wire.
Yi Mirror Dash Camera Design
The Yi Mirror Dash Camera is exactly what it sounds like: a mirror with a dash camera built in. It’s nice and wide, super clear in reflection, and I prefer using it over the tiny review mirror that came with my almost-20-year-old Honda.
What’s neat about the mirror, though, is that it doesn’t replace the one you have — it goes right over top of it.
As you can see, there are two rubber bands that stretch snugly around your existing mirror to hold the Yi Mirror Dash Camera in place. And when I say snug, I mean snug. So how does it not damage your original mirror? Let’s take a look.
There are two rubber feet that will press against your existing mirror, helping to avoid damage. Not only that, but it separates the two mirrors enough that the dash camera can breathe. You can also see the lens flanking the side there. Then, on the bottom, you have speakers and further cooling holes. Also the power button.
On the front, you have a 16×9 screen inside of the mirror, that disappears when it’s not illuminated. To control the screen, it’s all touch-based — and it’s much, much easier to navigate than the Yi Ultra Dash Camera’s physical buttons. It just is.
On top of the device, you have a micro-USB port for power, a micro-SD port for storage, and another port to connect the back-up camera.
That’s right — this thing can double as a back-up camera!
Included with the unit is a back-up camera unit, which is where things get tough for installation. I’ll pick back up on that in a bit.
All in all, the device is really well put together, rugged, and blends in very nicely with the rest of your car. It isn’t super noticeable, which is nice if you need to leave it in your car and you don’t want someone to steal it.
You also get an extra-long USB cable for power and hidden routing, a dual-port charger, the 1080p camera on the main unit, and the 720p back-up camera. You can either pop out the SD card for downloading, or use the built-in WIFI to your mobile device.
This thing made me nervous. I’m not really a “car guy,” and hiding the extra-long cable was questionable — but I wanted to see if I could do it and how hard it actually would be.
It wasn’t that bad! I was able to tuck the wire where the windshield meets the felt roof of the car, then pop off the plastic panel and run the cable behind it, down underneath the glove box, then over to the car charging port. I felt like I was constantly breaking the car, but I did it.
The back-up camera, however, I never did get installed — and it’s not because I was a coward, but because I couldn’t figure out where to mount the camera once I got it back to the trunk. There wasn’t a way for me to get it to run back outside of the car, and having it jut in the rear window didn’t seem to be helpful for backing up.
As a dad, it’s just going to have a be a weekend project, and I don’t get much time for those to be honest. I consider Yi including the back-up camera as a perk, though, and would and do use the Yi Mirror Dash Camera without it — and it’s worth it even if you don’t ever use that piece.
The Yi Mirror Dash Camera, like I said, is easier to navigate and use than the Yi Ultra Dash Camera, thanks to the Mirror Camera’s touchscreen. It’s never confusing to change settings directly on the camera itself, and the screen is easy to see.
I do wish, however, there was a quicker shut-off for the screen, because right now the shortest time is 1 minute auto-off — which feels like an eternity when you just want to get driving.
Recording is easy, too, because it’s automatic. You can change the length of clips it records, but it’s just turn on your car and go and you’ll know the camera is capturing it all. It also has a feature that will detect an accident to make sure the recording catches everything.
The only thing I had real issue with was connecting it to my phone via WIFI, I just couldn’t tell if it was my phone’s fault or the camera’s, but in the end I got it to work and everything’s groovy.
No complaints. Take a look.
- The main camera is easy enough to install, but the back-up camera requires a higher level of know-how that I have at the moment.
- The auto-off for the screen feels long at 60 seconds.
- The WIFI can be finicky.
If you consider the back-up camera just a nice perk to the Yi Mirror Dash Camera and decide not to use it, it’s still worth the money, because you can pick one up for less than $100 on Amazon.
It’s an upgrade to your mirror that also gives you peace of mind for safety’s sake, giving you nice, clear footage, and an out-of-sight, out-of-mind operation that is there if you need it.