Russia is the craziest. Explosions. Comets. Military tanks driving on public roads. Waving of handguns to secure a merge in traffic. People throwing themselves at stopped cars hoping for an insurance settlement for being run over. Drivers running over said insurance fraudsters anyways. The list goes on.
How does the world know that Russia is the craziest? Dashcams. Everyone in Russia has a dashcam. It’s one of the many reasons to own a dashcam.
I have a dashcam, too. It’s the Swann DriveEye, and though I’m not Russian and I live in a place where the craziest thing I’ll likely see in the course of a day involves a raccoon waddling off with some stuff from my garbage, I hooked it up to give it a try.
First up, if you’re checking this unit out, note that it’s tiny. The packaging and images on said packaging might make it look bigger. I was expecting the DriveEye to be about the size of a Smartphone, which could be a visibility issue when mounting it to a slim windsheild. Turns out, it’s only a bit bigger than a 9-volt battery, and you can mount it just about anywhere, even behind your rearview mirror where you can hardly see it. The unit hangs upside down, with the mount above, supporting low-profile mounting options. Software flips the videos right-side up easily if required, depending on your mounting needs. Bonus!
The unit’s small size belies its extensive feature content. In addition to recording at full high-definition and running on a removable micro SD card, it also has a built-in sensor that detects sudden acceleration, deceleration and impacts. There’s a mic, so users can record their own narration over video recordings, too.
The DriveEye operates on the premise of continual recording. Powered via a USB cord, starting your car’s engine turns on the power, which causes the camera to power up, and recording to start on its own. This takes about 1 second when the car is started, no driver involvement required. If you’re moving, the DriveEye is recording. Simple as that.
Recording generates three-minute files, one after the other, with no gap. Once the memory card is full, the files are over-written, earliest first. Recording is constant and automatic, though an accident puts things on lock-down.