Mid-range dash cam offers strong image quality and broad range of features for a sensible price
Mio is among the best-established dash cam brands in the UK, with units to suit most budgets.
The 8 Series is its top-end range but within that the 818 is near the bottom, lacking the ultra-high resolution sensors and fancy features of the most expensive units and priced at around £139.99. Nevertheless, it packs in 1440p recording, built-in GPS, a range of driver aids and wifi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Design and fitting
Compared with the similarly priced Garmin 57, the 818 feels like a fairly chunky unit that needs more space to mount on the windscreen. It also doesn’t have quite the same robust feeling as a Garmin or Thinkware model, although it’s far from flimsy.
Despite its size, it is easy to fit and adjust thanks to a proper ball and socket bracket that allows you to fine tune the position once you’ve stuck the slimline mount to the glass. As standard the 818 comes with a 12V power adaptor and the tools to hide the cable neatly but there is an optional hardwiring kit that unlocks a smart parking mode which can detect motion and impacts around the car even when the ignition is off.
While some dash cams rely on a smart phone app, the Mivue 818 has a 2.7-inch screen and built-in speaker and microphone, allowing you to review footage and adjust settings on the device. It does also have a decent partner app which is simple to use and allows you to change settings and view, download and share clips. The app can even use GPS to help you find your vehicle in a car park.
Despite being one of the cheaper 8 Series cameras, the 818 also features a number of advanced driver assistance systems that claim to replicate the driver aids fitted to modern cars. These include forward collision and lane departure warning, fatigue alert, headlight reminder and a head-up display mode. As with any aftermarket ADAS, their effectiveness can be affected by the positioning and calibration of the camera and things like the HUD mode are pointless when the camera should be mounted out of the driver’s eye line.
More straightforward are a speed camera alert function and the average speed camera function which calculates the remaining time, distance and average speed to the last speed camera to keep you within the law.
The 818 is a single front-facing camera but can be linked to the A50 rear view unit for all-round coverage.
Sitting at the lower end of the range, the 818 features 2K 1440P resolution rather than the 4K images of pricier units. Despite that, the camera’s image quality is impressively sharp and smooth in most conditions. The contrast is a little lacking compared to the very best units in very bright conditions but it’s not a big problem.
In low-light situations, the 818 employs a special “night vision” mode to capture as bright an image as possible. While it’s clearly a step down from daylight footage, the 818’s low-light performance is still impressive, and better than some other similarly priced units.
At its highest resolution, the 30 frames per second is smooth enough but stepping down to Full HD recording will allow the camera to operate at an even smoother 60fps, which could be useful if you spend a lot of time in fast-moving traffic.
You can spend more money on the MiVue 798 Pro which offers 1600P recording and similar features but on the basis of our tests, there isn’t a marked difference between it and the 818, making the cheaper camera the better buy.
The MiVue 818 is priced to compete against a huge number of other dash cams, ranging from 4K units that sacrifice features for image quality to similarly specced models from big name brands like Garmin. The 818 is good value, offering a sharp, clear image and handful of useful features amid the gimmicky ADAS stuff. The Garmin 57 offers similar picture quality and better packaging but the Mivue is cheaper and its better low-light operation giving it the edge over the Garmin.