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Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder - Video Format, Safety Cameras, MiVue Manager and Verdict

By James Morris

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder - Video Capture

In the case of the Mio MiVue 358 and 388, video is recorded in 1080p format, while the entry-level 338 is limited to 720p. For the 388, video is captured at a data rate of a little less than 13Mbits per second. As video is recorded, it is split into 287MB chunks, which equates to three minutes of footage. By default, your speed and the current coordinates of your position are imprinted on the bottom left, updated every second, whilst the date and time are on the bottom right with the device name at the top right.

Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder

Mio MiVue 388 Drive RecorderA micro SD slot is used for storage, and a 8GB piece of media will be enough for around 85 minutes of footage. However, once, the storage is full, the device will simply start recording over the earliest files. So you will lose these, but won't ever miss an event that has just occurred. Audio is also recorded, so you could narrate instructions as you drive, or create an audiovisual tour of an area.

Unique to the top 388 model is safety camera detection for the lifetime of the device. A warning pops up on screen to tell you when you are approaching a safety camera and have strayed above the speed limit. However, as the MiVue uses your car power output, you would need an adapter to power a sat-nav at the same time, if you want to use one for navigation.

The MiVue hardware is only part of the equation, however, particularly where the 388 model is concerned. The bundled MiVue Manager software lets you browse the contents of the Drive Recorder, and play each clip back without having to copy it to a local drive first. Since the clips have been recorded alongside the GPS location, you can watch your progress on a map as the video plays back.

Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder

Most impressively, the G sensor captures the motion of your car during your journey, and this is displayed in a dynamic graphic while the video plays back as well. The G force experienced is shown laterally, along the direction of travel, and even vertically, although this will generally be close to one, representing gravity. This will tell you if had to brake suddenly, have over-egged a corner, or been hit.

You can back up your Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder files locally, grab screenshots, and export the geographical data as KML files, which will allow it to be imported into applications like Google Earth. You can also upload directly to YouTube or Facebook, at least in theory. We couldn't get this facility to work, though, which is a shame if you want to share a driving experience with your friends or the world. But you can still do this directly within YouTube or Facebook.

Should I buy the Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder?

If you are worried about being able to back up your claims about road behaviour, the Mio MiVue 388 can supply the evidence, making it worth considering. It would also make a decent trackday recorder, assuming the organisers will let you use a camera attached via a suction mount, as some require these to be more securely attached. The price, however, does push it beyond something you would buy on the off-chance of needing it.

Verdict

The Mio MiVue 388 is an intriguing device. It's not going to be an essential tool for everyone in the UK, but if you do want to guard against false claims of fault on the road, it does its job well.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 9
  • Usability 9
  • Value 7

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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