The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear

Roav A1 Review

A nice user interface at a reasonable price, but a fairly mediocre camera
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Price:   $60 List | $56 at Amazon
Pros:  User-friendly
Cons:  Video quality lacking in comparison to similarly priced models
Manufacturer:   Roav
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jan 6, 2019
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 7
  • Video Quality - 40% 6
  • Video Capture - 25% 8
  • Interface - 25% 8
  • Visual Footprint - 10% 6

Our Verdict

Offering a nice suite of features and an intuitive user interface, the Roav A1 is a good all around dash cam. It is also relatively inexpensive. However we found its video quality to be slightly subpar, and that it is more noticeable in your peripheral vision than some other similarly priced cameras. For example the even less expensive YI Dash offers a noticeable bump up in video quality, and the only slightly more expensive AUKEY DR02 produces significantly better video. Therefore, while we certainly wouldn't' consider the Roav A1 a bad camera, it gets overshadowed by its similarly priced competitors.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Roav A1
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  
Price $60 List
$55.99 at Amazon
$200 List
$199.99 at Amazon
$70 List
$69.99 at Amazon
$90 List
$49.99 at Amazon
$200 List
$169.95 at Amazon
Star Rating
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Pros User-friendlyGreat video quality, second cab-facing cameraVery good video quality, relatively inexpensive, very slim profileInexpensive, good video, built-in Wi-FiVery good video quality, very slim visual profile
Cons Video quality lacking in comparison to similarly priced modelsExpensive, relatively bulkyNo built-in Wi-Fi, no rear or interior cameraSlightly larger visual footprint, no rear or interior cameraExpensive, some may find user interface a bit confusing
Bottom Line A nice user interface at a reasonable price, but a fairly mediocre cameraCurrently the best model on the market for Uber and Lyft driversFor most people, the perfect combination of great performance and a reasonable priceAn incredible value for those that want to document driving mishaps or road tripsA very good camera that is somewhat overpriced when compared to its competitors
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Rating Categories Roav A1 Vantrue N2 Pro... AUKEY DR02 YI Dash Garmin 55
Video Quality (40%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Video Capture (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
6
Interface (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
5
Visual Footprint (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
8
Specs Roav A1 Vantrue N2 Pro... AUKEY DR02 YI Dash Garmin 55
Field of View 140 degrees 170 degrees 170 degrees 165 degrees 106 degrees
Resolution 1080p 2.5K 1080p 2.3K 1440p
Event Detection G Sensor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cabin Camera No Yes No No No
Camera Dimensions 3.3" x 2.2" x 1.3" 3.8" x 1.5" x 1.5" 3" x 2" x 1.5" 2.9" x 2.1" x 1.3" 2.2" x 1.6" x 1.4"
Built-in Wi-Fi? Yes No No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Roav A1 is a decent dash cam that falls just a bit short in the video quality and visual profile arenas. If you can find it on sale it might be a good buy, but otherwise you can get better performance for the same price elsewhere.


Performance Comparison


Across the board the Roav A1 turned in at or above average performances in our tests, earning it a relatively high overall score.

Video Quality


Overall the Roav A1's video quality is good, but not exceptional. It is about what you might expect from a fairly small and inexpensive camera in this day and age. However, some other small and inexpensive cameras were able to exceed those expectations in our testing.


In our testing the Roav A1's 1080p resolution didn't fully come through. The footage looked clear enough, but other models of a 1080p resolution (namely the AUKEY DR02) were able to get much closer to that full high-definition pedigree. Apart from some slight pixelation and blurriness, the A1's footage generally has vibrant and accurate colors. The 140˚ field of view is on the narrower side, which isn't a bad thing as this can often mean things at further distances are better in focus. However, in practice we didn't feel that distant objects locked any clearer with the A1 than with wider 170˚ models like the AUKEY DR02 and the YI Dash.



When it comes to reading license plates, the A1 works quite well, but does run into issues more quickly than other cameras. In most clips we were able to easily read other cars' license plates, but bright sun during the day or bright lights at night quickly left every plate farther than 20 feet from the camera washed out. Bothe the AUKEY DR02 and the YI Dash were able to better handle those challenging lighting conditions in our testing.



Video Capture


When it comes to capturing video and offering options for managing that footage, the Roav A1 has pretty much everything most people are going to want.


Like all of the cameras we tested, the Roav A1 automatically starts recording when you turn the car on, and we thoroughly vetted the ability of the G-sensor to detect crashes by reading a copious amount of user reviews. Clearing these minimum hurdles won the Roav A1 inclusion in our review.

As we've mentioned before, dash cameras use loop recording, saving video in discrete chunks with the oldest being deleted to make way for the new. When a G-sensor senses a crash it protects the current chunk of video from being overwritten. The Roav A1 lets you set those loop recording video chunks to be 1, 3, 5, or 10 minutes. We like this adjustability, as those concerned with filling up their memory cards with footage from every time they brake hard at a stoplight can opt for shorter clips, and those that don't mind a little extra video management if it provides a better chance the camera will protect all the meaningful footage from a crash can opt for longer clips. This is more adjustability than most cameras offer. For example, the AUKEY DR02 lacks the 1-minute option, and the YI Dash only has a 3-minute setting.

The A1's video looked a bit more pixelated than many of its competitors'.
The A1's video looked a bit more pixelated than many of its competitors'.

On top of loop recording adjustability, the Roav A1 has a built-in Wi-Fi network. With the corresponding (and free) Roav app, you can wirelessly send videos from the camera straight to your phone (or other Wi-Fi enabled mobile device). This is probably most useful for those that want to be able to quickly share clips from their dash cam on social media, but it can also be nice for those that want to save clips for safekeeping without having to remove the memory card and plug it into their computer. This feature is present in the YI Dash as well, but is something the AUKEY DR02 noticeably lacks.

Interface


The Roav A1 is one of the few dash cams we've tested that offers both intuitive controls/buttons and easy to navigate menus, and a fairly large screen. We never had any trouble finding and changing the A1's settings, and pretty much never had to consult the manual to find what we were looking for. The 2.7-inch screen also made everything easy to see and read without squinting. Both of the A1's main competitors, the SUKEY DR02 and the YI Dash, have similarly well-designed interfaces, but have much smaller screens (1.5" and 2", respectively).


The A1 has a nice display and well-designed buttons.
The A1 has a nice display and well-designed buttons.

Visual Footprint


This is one area where the Roav A1 isn't terrible, but it's definitely less than ideal. The camera itself isn't huge, its largest dimension is 3.3 inches, but it does have quite a boxy shape that must sit a bit back from the windshield by necessity. It also uses a relatively large suction cup mount, which adds to its visual footprint. Finally, most models that use larger suction mounts instead of adhesive one route the power cable through the mount itself. The A1 doesn't, instead having the cable stick straight out from the top of the camera. Overall, the A1's presence in a windshield probably won't annoy most drivers, but the AUKEY DR02 does have a noticeably smaller profile for those who just can't stand seeing objects in their peripheral vision while driving.


The A1's boxy shape makes it a bit more noticeable than some other cameras  but it doesn't take up too much spaced tucked into a corner.
The A1's boxy shape makes it a bit more noticeable than some other cameras, but it doesn't take up too much spaced tucked into a corner.

Value


At $60 the Roav A1 is definitely at the cheaper end of the spectrum, and it performs fairly well considering that low price. However, both the YI Dash and the AUKEY DR02 are similarly priced and offer better video quality, making both of those cameras a better value in our book.

Conclusion


The Roav A1 is a fairly well performing and inexpensive dash cam, but it falls a bit short of the bar set by other similarly priced cameras.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata