Generic Action Cam Initial Impressions (iSpring)

From the amazon page

I picked up this camera off Amazon for $40 and wanted to use it as a cheap dash cam.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be possible (at least not easily, I’ll post a couple hacking posts later).

So let’s just review this as a camera.

First off, mine is branded as Gaminol and not iSpring, so these things must be rather generic…It is a small thing; however, and fits in the palm of the hand. Although I don’t own a GoPro, I think it is the same size.

The video quality, shown below both night and day on my bike inside the waterproof case, is meh. Despite it being at 1080p @ 60fps, it looks like garbage at night. I didn’t even need to blur out the license plates. So, if you’re in a hit and run, then good luck.

The same applies for the day, but it certainly looks nicer.

I’m not going to be too hard on the video quality, because it isn’t meant to be an expensive camera. It isn’t supposed to replace your Canon, Nikon, or Sony cameras, this is just a nifty little trinket.

There is a streaming app for it called iSmart DV (have you noticed that nothing brand or name-wise matches up yet?). It is bare bones and does what you expect it to; however, the battery indicator in the app is fake. I didn’t test the wifi indicator, but I imagine it is fake as well..

There are still some other problems though, the biggest is the build quality. It feels cheap — like if you drop it, then it would shatter.

On my camera, the volume buttons are put on upside down. The only reason why I know this is because the “volume down” button is supposed to turn on WiFi. The screen is way too bright and I didn’t see an option to reduce the brightness. I suppose I could put a resistor in there or pwm the back light, but it isn’t worth the effort.

So there was not a lot of care put in the the design and manufacture of the device…

When running the camera, it gets hot. Like REALLY HOT. This is going to be a problem for battery life and longevity. In fact, the battery life when running with the screen on is less than an hour, which is unacceptable for an action camera that is supposed to be taken camping, hiking, swimming, and so on.

For the price that I paid, it think it is just okay; however, I would not recommend paying a penny more. If you want a numerical review then I’d give it a 5/10 because of the heat and poor battery life.

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