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Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder review

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Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Continuous, automatic video recording of your journey
  • GPS-tagged recordings that you can view alongside a map
  • G-sensor information included with location and video

Cons

  • Primarily useful if you are worried about accidents
  • Your car power output can't be used by a sat-nav at the same time
  • Relatively pricey for a single-purpose device

Key Features

  • 2.4-inch screen
  • 1080p recording at 13Mbits per second
  • GPS location for position tagging
  • Safety camera alerts
  • G-sensor for impact and turn triggering of recording
  • Manufacturer: Mio
  • Review Price: £199.99

What is the Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder?

The Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder is a GPS-enabled video recording device for your car. You might be wondering why you might want this, but increasing numbers of road travellers are choosing to record their journeys in case they need evidence of what actually happened in the event of an incident. Cyclists and motorcyclists lead this trend, but you could well be in this situation in your car as well.

In some countries, it is already quite normal to have a camcorder rolling in your car at all times. When a meteor shower hit Russia rather destructively earlier in 2013, there were so many videos of the event precisely because Russians face frequent claims of fault by people who deliberately cause accidents to extort money or defraud insurance companies. This may not be such an issue in the UK, but it does happen from time to time.

Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder

Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder - Design and Features

Rather than having to rig a consumer-grade camcorder up yourself, or rely on an action camera that was built more for capturing extreme sports than personal driving surveillance, Mio's new range of Drive Recorders are specifically designed for the job. The Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder here is top of the range, with a more limited 338 and 358 also available. These have more limited features, in particular not containing the GPS receiver and safety camera facilities, which we will be covering in detail later in this review.

The MiVue 388 is a square device that looks a lot like a small sat-nav. However, while it does have a GPS receiver built in, it doesn't have any mapping facilities. Instead, the 2.4-inch LCD screen on the front shows what the camera on the rear is seeing. The lens has a 120-degree angle of view, so captures quite a bit of what is happening either side of the car, as well as what is in front.

Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder

A typical sat-nav-style suction mount is supplied in the box, but the device is designed to be positioned near the top of your screen hanging down rather than at the bottom. The usual cigarette-lighter power cable is also supplied, but due to the location of the device you will need to route the cable around the outside of your windscreen, for which a bag of adhesive clips is supplied.

All of the MiVue devices are designed to begin recording when you start the car, and stop when you turn the engine off. Although the Mio MiVue 388 and other models in the MiVue range do have their own batteries, the default mode is to detect when external power is supplied, and begin recording immediately. However, you can also set the device to start recording manually.

The MiVues contain G-sensors, too, so they will trigger a special recording when they detect an impact or when you take a corner too quickly. You can also press one of the buttons on the device to earmark a recording as an emergency clip rather than one of the continuous ones. The MiVue devices also have photo modes, so you can use them to take pictures of collision damage, which will also be time and date stamped.

Anton

August 27, 2013, 10:41 am

I am having trouble with updating the MiVue Manager software at the moment so having to connect to PC as an external device and coping videos to a file in My Documents, support at Mio have said the problem should be sorted by the end of the day

HybridHuman

September 29, 2013, 11:17 pm

Can the videos be extracted easily from the SD card? I can see on one of the pictures that the format is MOV, but can I save that on my PC and use that video as I wish or do I have to use it inside the Mivue Manager only? thnx

Billy

October 5, 2013, 8:37 am

What if someone breaks into your car and steals your in-car camera. There goes your evidence. Can the images somehow be stored on the cloud? I don't suppose so.

bern

October 6, 2013, 4:08 pm

great product,

ann baxter

October 13, 2013, 5:48 pm

Could someone please explain What it mean Assuming the organisers will let you use a camera attached via suction mount Ive just bought the MiVue 388 is ilegalPlease help before I take it out of box

Camperman One

October 22, 2013, 7:19 pm

Anything used on a vehicle at track days has to be securely fixed in case it comes loose while at high speed. A suction mount is not sufficiently reliable.

Anthony

November 9, 2013, 7:07 pm

You can copy the videos from this device easily using any mini-USB data cable on the market or directly from the MicoSD card using an appropriate cardreader. The file structure in this device is quite the same like in any digital photo camera. The main problem of this device is it's ugly compression algorithm showing about 12 Мbit/s bitrate. That's too low, so you never get an advantage of nice optics provided. The square blocks and blurred out image in fast movement conditions would never let you read car plates or other useful information in captured video. Don't buy. Go for GoPro Hero 3 instead.

CRS

November 27, 2013, 2:56 pm

Upon checking it appears that if you mount one of these cameras on your windscreen, using a suction mounting, as per the above picture (it cannot be placed anywhere within the wiper area) then you are committing TWO dangerous driving offences. The first would be for obstructing your view of the road and the second for driving whilst you can see the LCD video of the road ahead!! In other words you cannot mount a camera within the wiper area and you must be able to turn off the video whilst driving. It is also a crime for a business to sell you a camera without checking that it can go on your windscreen legally.

Rich

December 12, 2013, 11:33 pm

It doesn't obscure your view. You're supposed to position it up near your mirror (stated in instructions) where it gets a better view of the road. You can adjust the time the video output stays on. Off completely, on for 3 minutes or on all the time. You need it on when you first fix it to the screen to ensure it's covering the right area but wouldn't want to have it displaying your whole journey.

Rich

December 12, 2013, 11:44 pm

You can connect this and watch your videos on your TV using a mini to full size HDMI cable, (if your TV has an HDMI slot) or transfer your video to your comp using a mini USB to USB cable or by putting the Micro SD card into the full size SD card adapter that comes in the package into your computer's SD card slot (if it has one).

Rich

December 13, 2013, 12:04 am

I bought one today, fitted it in the dark in the Halfords car park and recorded my 20 mile journey home. Watched parts of the video in the car when I got back and was pleasantly surprised to find it also recorded audio. So I went out again ! Came home, downloaded the video to my laptop and watched a couple of driver antics that I knew had been recorded. Downloaded the safety camera update and then connected the Mio to my TV and watched the antics again. It was dark, raining, I hadn't taken the protective plastic film off the camera lens and the quality was great. Yes you can read number plates. Looking forward to using it again tomorrow in the daylight and without the protective plastic on the lens.
My only criticism is that the quick start guide isn't that great. You need to put the CD that comes in the box into your comp and view the detailed instructions and/or go to the website to really know what to do with it.

saisho

January 5, 2014, 2:54 pm

i have just bought a 388 and can not fix it in front of my rear view mirror as the holder is to bulky can you get slimmer holders

John

June 9, 2015, 9:28 pm

I think it is a great dashcam. So simple. Put in the date/time and stick it on your windscreen and that's it. Will be getting one for our second car. The only probs I found was that the hard copy user guide did not contain explanations of a couple of the options. Regarding safety camera detection, I queried this with Navman as mine did not detect any. Navman informed me that this camera is a dash cam only and has no facility to detect safety cameras so I am very confused.

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