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Roav A1 Review

A nice user interface at a reasonable price
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $60 List | $56 at Amazon
Pros:  User-friendly, inexpensive
Cons:  Average video quality
Manufacturer:   Roav
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jan 6, 2019
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 6
  • Video Quality - 40% 5
  • 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. While it's video quality is noticeably inferior to that of many cameras that cost just a bit more, it's still clear enough to catch legible frames of a license plate if you get into an accident, and to provide adequate records of any other driving incidents you may encounter. Therefore, for those shopping on a shoestring budget, we think the Roav A1 is a great value. But, if you're looking for great video quality in order to document your scenic drives, the Raov A1's camera will likely fall a bit short of your expectations.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Roav A1 offers good-enough video quality, a large screen, clear interface, and a low price.


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. In general, it is good enough for most dash cam applications, but spending not much more can generally get you noticeably better video quality.


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.



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. The AUKEY DR02 was 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.

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 something the AUKEY DR02 notably 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.


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


The Roav A1 is certainly at the cheaper end of the price spectrum, and it performs quite well considering that fact. Though there are some camera that cost just a little bit more and perform better, we think the Raov A1 is agreat shoestring budget option.

Conclusion


The Roav A1 is a fairly well-performing and inexpensive dash cam.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata