The Eken Alfawise V50 pro is surprisingly not based on the iCatch V50 processor – instead it is based on an Ambarella A12. At the current price of review ($65 USD) the performance is acceptable however there are several tradeoffs, including a lack of image stabilization. If you can afford the extra, I would highly recommend purchasing the Firefly 8SE or the ThiEYE T5 Edge instead.
Build quality of this camera is average, while the included accessories are above average. The camera itself is made out of plastic and has a slightly hollow feeling to it. Regardless, the buttons are nice and clicky and the user interface is responsive. The screen is bright and easy see in daylight. Eken did not include a tripod mount built into this camera. Instead, if you want to mount it on a tripod, you’ll have to use the included adapter.
The 4K on this camera is soft, likely due to the lens being poor quality. If you purchase this camera, expect to use it primarily in 1080p 60. 4K resolution does appear to be real 4K, although it is on the lower end of real 4K as far as image details goes. The softness is especially apparent at the edges of the frame where objects get a bit of a halo or duplication of straight lines.
That was quite disappointing because this camera renders very decent colour and brightness. In scenes with motion, the lack of detail is less noticeable. In 1080p60 mode this camera is more or less adequate so long as the camera is being held steady.
The biggest downside of this camera is apparent once you start using it for action-y things. It does not have image stabilization. This is pretty much a requirement for action cameras, in my opinion, and I struggle to recommend any camera without image stabilization these days. Cameras with IS are easier to film with and get good shots. There’s also significant lens distortion and no distortion correction setting.
Audio quality from the camera is above average. It’s loud, voices are clear, only occasionally peaking if I spoke while too close to the camera. There’s no way to adjust the mic volume or gain though.
A 1080p 60FPS freeze frame.
A 4K freeze-frame.
Still Photo Quality
Still photos are where the soft lens starts to become a problem. Despite these images being 12 MP, the still photos lack detail. Generally on cheaper cameras this is because the manufacturer lies about specifications and uses a low resolution sensor. However, this does not appear to be the case with the Eken. This camera allegedly uses a Sony IMX258 sensor (13 MP, 4K). Although companies are occasionally dishonest about the exact sensor they use, this is less common than merely exaggerating resolution. I suspect the poor results are a combination of bad optimization and a blurry lens. The images are fine when zoomed out or viewed on a larger screen, however, zooming in and cropping makes the images much less useful.
Click image for full resolution
Eken V50 at 100% crop (13MP, click for full res)
Samsung S9 Front Facing Camera (8MP, click for full res). This 8MP camera has more detail than the Eken 12MP.
A 100% crop from the V50 Pro
This camera scores bonus points because of its ease of use. There are not too many settings that would overwhelm a non-technical user. The time-lapse mode is especially easy to use and the menus are simplistic to navigate.
If you can spend more money on a better camera I highly recommend doing that instead. Considering the price, the Eken V50 pro is an OK camera but there’s significantly better available for not much more money. For example the SooCoo C30 is around the same price and available domestically in the USA. Despite some minor issues with colour and slightly worse audio quality, the C30 is a better choice than this Eken because it has image stabilization. In order to get better quality real 4K, the next step up is the ThiEYE T5 Edge, and then the Firefly 8SE (which is worth it if you can spend $120).
The Firefly 8SE is a real 4K action camera from Firefly based on a Sony 12MP sensor. It is largely similar to last years Firefly 8S, but includes a few minor updates such as a touch screen and better audio. These improvements make it easy to recommend this camera over others at the same price point. It also includes a mic in the box, as an added bonus.
The next step up from this camera would be one that offers 4K @ 60FPS but the price difference is so high that it may not be worth the upgrade for the casual user. This camera is a good balance of price and performance.
Maximum real video resolution: 4K @ 30 FPS
Maximum video resolution with stabilization: 1080p @ 60 FPS
Highest framerate slow-mo: 720p @ 240 FPS
Still image resolution: 12 MP
4K bitrate: 65 Mb/s
1080p 60 bitrate: 32 Mb/s
Other Footage and Samples
Where to Buy
Gearbest (try coupon code: Firefly8SE). There’s also a 90-degree FOV version of this camera, if you want one with less distortion.
Note: Gearbest sent a sample of this camera to us for unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are our own, after real use of this camera.
The DDPai Mix3 is a 1080p dashcam based on a Sony sensor that promises excellent night video – and for the most part it delivers. This camera has noticeably better license plate legibility than many other 1080p dashcams in its price class. The built-in storage seems like an odd decision, but may make it easier for a user who does not want to buy extra memory. It also has quite a large battery.
During the day, video quality ranges from good to excellent. In sunny weather, there’s a lot of detail and brightness is accurate. It’s possible to read most oncoming license plates in the adjacent lanes even at fast speeds. The video looks great, albeit once and a while there’s just a little bit of visible compression noise in areas of high details (such as being surrounded by lots of tree branches). Even in those moments it’s still possible to read plates for the most part, but it would be nice to see a slightly higher bitrate. Overcast weather has the same characteristics: excellent video quality overall, with accurate colour and lots of detail.
At night, video quality is still very good and among some of the top cams I’ve tested. In the city, the video is slightly darker than other cameras but that makes details a bit clearer. It’s easier to read street names and see the makes and models of cars. License plates are not readable for oncoming traffic, which is normal. Plates are often readable on cars ahead of the camera travelling in the same direction. In the pitch black, illuminated by only headlights, this camera does a respectable job, with decently bright and detailed video.
Audio quality from the camera is a bit muffled but it’s possible to understand voices talking while the car is in motion. It wouldn’t be usable for high fidelity requirements like travel vlogging, but it should be audible in a pinch. At least the road noise is muffled too so voices are not drowned out by engine noise.
The Android app is straightforward enough. It is a little bit clunky to use, though it gets the job done. In the Android app, there’s options to preview the video, take snapshots, and see footage that was already recorded by the camera. You can also adjust camera settings on the fly, although there is not many of them. There’s settings for video resolution (1080p30 or 720p30), mic on/off, parking mode and date stamp. It’s functional, but not the most pretty.
The biggest issue with the app is permission requirements: at the time of writing, the Android app requires the permission to view/manage phone calls. I don’t think that’s necessary for a dashcam app, and is kind of invasive. DDPai has been in contact to say that the iPhone app doesn’t require that permission. They’re also apparently working on updating the app so that it does not require that permission. I’ll update this review once they do fix that.
One of the odd features of this camera is the built in storage. I can understand the reason behind it: this way users do not need to worry about buying extra memory cards. The problem is that there’s no way to plug in an SD card if you choose. Memory is one of the most common points of failure on a dashcam, so it would have been nice to have the option of an external card. Despite DDpai’s assurance that the memory in this camera is MLC (high quality and long lasting), if the memory does corrupt then the camera will have to be thrown out and a new one purchased. That might result in a lot of warranty claims for DDpai. The other thing to keep in mind is that the storage is internal so in order to get video off of this camera it is required to use the app over Wi-Fi or to take the camera out of the car and plug it into the computer. It’s not possible to remove the memory and plug it directly into a phone, tablet or computer. You’ll also need a spare micro USB cable since there’s only the long one included in the box.
The camera also has a nice feature: a timer to turn it off while in parking mode. It can be set to 1 hour, 6 hours, 24 hours or disabled. Setting it to a time ensures that it will not drain the cars battery when parked for a week. As someone with a car that has the lighter port always active, that’s a great feature and one I took advantage of while testing the cam. My car battery never died despite leaving the cam plugged in.
The camera also seems to have a relatively massive battery for a dashcam. With most cameras I have tested that use a battery, I can only record between 30 seconds and five minutes with the camera on its internal battery. With the Mix3 I filmed almost the entire review on the internal battery. I found that I could easily record between 30 and 60 minutes with the internal battery. That’s HUGE for a dashcam. A big battery means the camera can function in parking mode without power for longer. However, the problem with a big battery is that they do not do well in heat or cold. This could be an issue for someone living in a hot climate like Texas or Australia. I would not recommend leaving this camera in direct sunlight, and having to take it out of the car kind of defeats the purpose of having parking mode anyways.
From a sheer video quality perspective, this camera hits a home run. License plates are legible in most lighting situations, colour is accurate and video is detailed. The camera is not without its quirks, though, such as the big battery and internal memory. Some users may find those features useful while power users may want something that has a different feature set than this camera: a capacitor, 1080p60, and even some basics like a license plate number stamp.
The Keeken N56 + HL01 is a dual dashcam kit that features two real 1080p video streams, an OV4689 sensor for the front and a Sony IMX sensor for the rear. This kit is pretty close to a replacement for the Viofo A119 front facing and the A119S rear facing, at a significantly lower cost. There are a few little issues with the video quality but overall it has been solid and reliable in my time using it.
Dual 1080p + 1080p video streams
1440p 30FPS or 1080p 60FPS (when using only the front facing camera)
Mic can be turned on or off
OV4689 front, Sony IMX rear sensor
Capacitor for better performance in varying weather conditions
This is a review of the Samsung Galaxy S9 camera (not S9+) after using it for a month. If you just want to see the comparison to the old LG, skip to: 5:06
Is it really worth upgrading? Well, if you’re using a smartphone from the last 1 – 3 years and you’re still happy with it, I don’t see why you would. Many of the hyped features are things the average user won’t really notice or care about in day to day use. The camera is WAY better in low light but the old phone still holds solid for day time. The S9 has one of the best screens on the market and a fantastic camera, so I would recommend buying it if you need a new phone or if the camera is a big deal to you (or get the S9+ if you want the bigger screen, I personally don’t think the dual camera is worth the upgrade alone).
The camera is great, though. I won’t lie. I just don’t think it’s worth upgrading if you’re happy with your current device. There’s a lot of hype around these devices and sometimes it’s justified, but other times it’s a bit blown out of proportion.
True 12MP photos with a good amount of detail
Dual aperture for better low light shots and sharper daylight shots
Noise kept well in check in low light
Video quality is very good, especially stabilized 4K
Video stabilization is very effective
User interface is a bit clunky, especially in pro mode
Sometimes in low light the camera shutter speed is too slow making it difficult to shoot clear photos
The Thieye T5 Edge and the T5e are significantly different cameras. My goal with this video is to help you decide which would work best for you.
Let’s start with the unboxing. It’s been a while since I unboxed the T5E but I remember it coming with two batteries and less accessories whereas the Edge comes with a few more clips but only one battery.
In terms of build quality, the cases of these two cameras are almost identical save for the orange markings on the Edge. From the back, the sides, and the bottom these two cams are identical and they even take the same waterproof case and batteries. The biggest difference between these two cameras comes when you turn them on. First off, the screen on the Edge is noticably dimmer than the E. They both have good viewing angles though.
The user interface of the Edge is way better than the E. To show you what I mean I’m going to count the number of clicks that it takes to change the video resolution from 4K to 1080p. (timer this) On the edge, you hit the up arrow to enter the video settings menu, then hit the down arrow, record button, down two more times, record, then menu to return for a total of 7 clicks. On the E, it takes 19 clicks to do this same simple task. You have to cycle through the modes, through the playback, then scroll past 10 different video resolutions, most of which an average user is not going to ever need. And it gets worse when you want to change other camera settings because the menu is one long list. The edge, on the other hand, has its menus cleanly broken into different sections for video settings, photo settings and camera settings so it is far easier and takes less clicks to find what you’re looking for. The options that the Edge has are more basic, and that means it is missing several customization options: the edge does not have settings for sharpness, ISO, mic volume, or field of view, all of which the E has buried in its long list.
Both cameras have real 4K at 30 FPS but there is one key difference: the Edge has stabilization at 4K while the E does not. The E excells in 1080p 60 and 1080p 120, where it has far more detail. If you want higher resolution and don’t care about frame rate, the Edge is the cam for you but plan on using 1080p60 primarily you’ll probably be better off with the E. Since we’ve got the Edge on the left, lets talk about where it is best first: high resolution modes. Mounted on my bike handle bars these cameras have to deal with a lot of bumps and shaking, and side by side like this it’s hard to see the difference, so let’s look at one clip at a time.
The Edge in 4K has a decent amount of detail although perhaps slightly less than the E. I find that it also has some slight compression artifacts in smooth gradients like the sky and the clouds. Let’s take a closer look at each camera, and slow it down a little. At half speed you can see that the footage looks pretty damn good but if you’re on a big 4K screen you might see some compression noise in the form of blocks or a slight lack of smoothness in the gradients. Some of that is Youtube and some of that is the camera. The E also has a bit of noise up close but again it’s no big deal. Let’s compare that to the E.
The E footage has very slightly more detail. It’s such a slight difference that you may need to freeze and zoom into 100% to see it, but take a close look up on the trees in the distance. On the Edge it’s just a bit more smudgy.
The difference in actual resolution is kind of a moot point because unless the E is mounted on a tripod or placed on a stable surface like a table the video from it is less useful than the Edge, thanks to the stabilization. Check out the difference between stabilized and unstabilized footage and you’ll see what I mean. Also, I noticed while filming this, that the Edge stays way cooler than the E. The E gets hot at 4K resolution!
1080p 60 and High Frame Rate Modes
Let’s flip things around now and look at 1080p video, where the E is the clear winner. The difference in the amount of detail the two cameras resolve is startling, with the E being far sharper. It’s almost as if the Edge is actually shooting video in 720P, and then upscaling to 1080p.
As per usual we’ll start with the Edge up close. The video isn’t terrible, far from the worst 1080p 60 I’ve ever seen. It is a true 60 frames per second, so it can slow down to half speed and still be reasonably smooth; but still check out the grass and the pathway compared to the E. It too is a true 60 frames per second but it also resolves real 1080p. The E also has several slow-mo modes that the Edge does not: 2.7K 60, 1080p 120 and 720p 240. Quite frankly, if the Edge had stabilized 2.7K 60FPS it would be the perfect camera, but I can dream. Having the option, even if it does not have stabilization, is nice because it can be used on a gimbal or flat surface or with a proper stabilizer where with the Edge you’re stuck.
The point of this section was to say that if you want slow motion or you plan to use 1080p60, maybe stick with the E, but if you want higher resolution then the Edge is the better choice due to stabilization.
Speaking of higher resolution, on the Edge, both 4K and 2.7K are 60 Megabits per seconds so I prefer the 2.7K mode. I think this is the best mode on the camera, so lets step down to 2.7K for the rest of this comparison. I’ll be using the 1080p60 on the E so you don’t have to suffer without stabilization.
We’ll take a close up look at the Edge first of all. The Edge does a decent job with stabilization and although it’s not as powerful as some high end cameras it is quite good for the price. It maintains a good amount of detail without loss of resolution. The video stays flat with stabilization distortion being well corrected and there’s little wobble.
And now lets see the E. Remember that the E is in 1080p 60 because this is the highest resolution it offers stabilization in. The stabilization is pretty good too. Which one do you think does better? Let me know in the comments.
Colour and Exposure
It’s hard to say which colours are more accurate; I think that the Edge consistently pushes a bit towards warmer yellows, which you can see on the concrete compared to the E. At this point it’s basically preference. I find that the Edge is a bit more vibrant than the E, as well it is definitely warmer in many situations. The Edge is the clear winner though in terms of dynamic range. There were several times where I felt the Edge looked overall better, especially when there was a lot of contrast in the scene like during bright daylight. Check out the cloud in the top right. The Edge has detail throughout the cloud whereas on the E it’s a big bright splotch.
Low Light and Night
Low-light is kind of a toss up between the two cameras. In some situations the Edge is a bit brighter, but as it gets darker and darker both cameras get more smudgy due to noise reduction. In a dark situation the stabilization on both cameras are ineffective. The Edge can get brighter than the E, but at the expense of detail. For most people either camera will be good enough but my personal preference sways slightly towards the Edge.
Audio quality between the two cameras can only be compared with some samples. The Edge just got a new firmware update that promises improved audio quality and I have to say, I really notice the difference between the new firmware and the old one but it’s still not as clear as the E. The Edge has a bit of a problem where it sounds echoy and hollow, as well sometimes it peaks and clips the sound with a harsh crackle. The new firmware improved this a little. Check it out:
Well, this will be based on your preference again; If you prefer the brighter and more dynamic colours of the Edge and can put up with the slightly smudgy details it is better, but if you prefer the sharpness and way that the E resolves detail
I tried my best to make this video not confusing but it was quite difficult since the two cams are named basically the same thing. It looks like for most situations I like the Edge more though, which was a massive surprise. The only things I really think the E are better at is audio and high frame rate modes.
It seems like the hunt for the perfect budget 4K camera is still on. I’d be happiest with a mash-up of these two camera to be honest. It seems like, when buying one of these cameras, you need to take into account what each camera is best at and figure out what you want to prioritize. A lot of cameras out there that say 4K are junk but these two seem to be on the higher end. They’re still not perfect but each iteration is getting closer.
The ThiEYE T5 Edge is very slightly better than the V50 in almost every way (lens, stabilization, user interface), but it’s not enough to justify the 30% higher price on Amazon. The V50 has a more rounded accessory package too. If you can get a deal from an overseas seller the Edge is a marginally better cam, otherwise stick with whatever is cheaper on Amazon.
The T5 Edge is currently only 10 GBP more on Amazon UK (and that’s worth it imho but 30+ difference isn’t)
Author’s note: I forgot to note when I showed a cropped 4K and 2.7K sample, so if you’re wondering why the quality of those two shots are so poor, now you know. They’re cropped in!
The ThiEYE T5 Edge is one of the newest cams in ThiEYE’s lineup, and it is one of the first cheap cameras to feature real 4K and electronic stabilization at 4K 30FPS. Initial tests look promising – but this camera has a big legacy to live up to. The original T5e was one of our favorite cameras last year, so it’s going to be a tough fight. Subscribe to us on Youtube to find out when the showdown video is released later this month.
At $110, this is one of the least expensive real 4K cams available on Amazon. At the time of posting I think it’s one of the better deals for someone who wants more resolution than 1080p but doesn’t want to break the bank. This is my initial test and review, more testing and a full breakdown of video quality (including comparisons to other cams) will be released in the next few weeks.
The video quality isn’t as clean as something like the SJ7 Star or Firefly 8S and definitely not as good as GoPro Hero6 or Sony FDR-X3000 – it’s quite close though. But overall for the video quality you get versus price, this is a good deal for a cam available on Amazon Prime. Of course, spending this much from an overseas seller will net you a much better camera but that requires import and shipping time.
Included in this video is some drone footage, some biking footage and some driving footage.
Please don’t trust Amazon reviews on this cam, because Akaso has been known in the past to give free copies of the cam for 5-star reviews. Watch video samples and decide for yourself.
I think the V50 is definitely worth getting over the Akaso EK7000 and the Akaso Brave 4 since those are both fake 4K and there are cheaper cams with the same hardware as those two available on Amazon.
If all you need is 1080p, get the SooCoo C30 instead because it’s cheaper, has stabilization, bigger batteries and a real 12MP sensor (fake 4K though).
The Ele Rexso K is based on a Hi3559 Processor and 16MP Panasonic MN34210 sensor. The camera performs best in its native 4K 30FPS resolution, with 1080p and 2K modes not being as sharp as competitors. Audio is quiet. Video is pretty good at night with lots of detail, however there is a decent amount of noise introduced. The user interface can be somewhat confusing but it is straightforward enough once you figure it out.
At $84.99 (when reviewed) this cam is the cheapest real 4K cam I’ve tested to date and it performs quite well at 4K given its price. However there are better cameras with sharper 1080p60, and better stabilization.
I recommend that you check out the Firefly 8S instead if you plan to be shooting mostly in 1080p.