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New Car DVR overview - Yi 2.7K Ultra

I have posted before about various vehicle DVR devices which I have seen and have experience with.  One of my old G1W DVR's recently baked to death in one of my vehicles and I had to change it out.  It actually made it about three full years without dying out on me.  I replaced that one with the Z-Edge 2k Ultra DVR which I had in my vehicle and decided that I needed another DVR to replace it in my daily driver.  I purchased the Yi 2.7k Ultra car DVR which has various features I did not see available before.  Specifically WIFI and phone based GPS tracking (sort of like many wrist activity monitors).

So the box is pretty snazzy and obviously of Chinese origin.

Decent presentation which could be compared to a modern cellphone box.

Inside you get a bunch of various items, all of which neatly packaged.  You get the camera itself, a 16gb Toshiba micro sd card which I will probably end up swapping out with a 32gb or 64gb class 10 micro sd card.  Not that I have to, but more is always better when talking about memory and quality.  You also get two mounting options standard, a 3M sticky attachment (the red tab) and a suction cup attachment, which I use as I do not want to glue anything to my windshield or dash (although there is nothing wrong with it if you do).  You get a double cigarette lighter USB charger, I am not sure the output, probably in the 1v area is standard, there is no documentation the Yi Ultra needs 2.0v or 2.1v to function.  You get a decently long micro USB charging cable, I think its 15ft per the documentation but I did not check to confirm.  You get a short black plastic piece which allows you to push the cord into the dash and various plastic pieces around your vehicles dash/door frames.  This tool is great, I really like it.

The camera itself is pretty robust, its got a plastic body but feels heavier than previous DVR's.

On the bottom it has a standard screw mounting port, I think its the same for most hand held cameras, I did not check against my DSLR but it looks similar.

The bottom and top of the camera have vent holes, something that was lacking from the G1W, which eventually led to its demise.

One side has the micro USB and Micro SD ports, other side is completely flat.

Buttons and lights are very clearly marked, top left you have two LED's, on the bottom left you have a microphone, then four buttons which allow you to use the device's functions.

After taking the old USB wire out of my dash I installed the new one with the black push tool included.  Once installed I had about a foot of left over wire, which is just about right.  I ran the wire through the headboard, down the passenger side A-pillar, into the front passenger side door frame, under the dash, under the carpet between the firewall, then into the center dash and just left a little bit out to snugly plug into the USB port.

On the left is the Yi 2.7K Ultra on the right is the Z-Edge 2K which still works perfectly fine, but lacks some of the features the Yi has.

As you can see the Yi Ultra is slightly larger and more robust than the Z-Edge 2K. It mounts the same way, in the same spot.

I decided to go with the Yi Ultra instead of the comparable upgraded Z-Edge Z3 upgraded or the Z-Edge Z4 because of known memory card compatibility issues.  I did a little bit of research and having recommended the Z-Edge Z3 to people before, they all stated that they had issues with various cards until they found a card which worked properly.  I do not know if the newer Z-Edge Z3 upgraded or Z4 have such issues but I did not want to find out.  Having researched a little bit I ended up getting the Yi Ultra as I wanted something which works with the current crop of new features, specifically WIFI and android/smartphone app connectivity.  The Yi Dashcam android app works really well and quickly finds the DVR relatively quickly.  Mine updated firmware twice right away.  Then I set the settings to my preference, specifically highest resolution possible @ 60fps.  If you buy a car DVR which cannot do at least 720p @ 60fps you are setting yourself up for failure.  It is 2018, put the coin down and get the better spec'd out DVR.  Also setup the longest time to shut off and lowest time of file size - 1 minute.  This is good in case you get hit and the camera is jarred or you lose power for some reason the files will not be corrupted or massive in size. 

The coolest part is that I did all this via the app on my pixel 2 through WIFI.  You have to turn on your location services / GPS in order to use the app, but once it connects you can run the Yi Ultra via the app and never actually touch the DVR, which is yuge in my opinion. 

The only negatives I can see is that it has plastic mounting hardware, which I do not like, I prefer something more sturdy.  Its transfer speed to the app via WIFI is not that fast, I have not measured it but it took me about 45 seconds to download a 71mb 1min video.  I know, modern tech problems here and all that. 

As I experience things with the car DVR I will report back, but so far this Yi Ultra covers all my requirements and more.