Cowon's Auto Capsule has a design inspired by prescription medication!
Cowon was one of the first companies to start integrating Wi-FI into their devices to keep the device itself clean and simple but also provide a more thorough and intuitive interface via smartphone integration. The AW1 is a Korean 1080P dashcam with great specs and features but we were most interested in whether there was a point in choosing it over the FineVu and Blackvue products.
The Cowon AW1 uses a wider than average 140 degree lens and can record full HD at 30 FPS has a fairly large 1/2.7" CMOS sensor which sounds like it should pack quite a punch. Feature-wise it has all the right ingredients as well such as parking mode with motion detection, G-sensor, loop recording and WiFi. Although everything sounds well and good, we found the WiFi to be painfully slow and still preferred to remove the SD card and review footage that way. This being one of the first instances of WiFi technology in dashcams we're not surprised that it's imperfect but frankly we'd hold off for the newer devices.
From our own video testing and certain clips we saw online we feel Cowon has oversold their dashcam in terms of video quality. It's noticeably better than your typical cheap eBay unit but as far as a >$200 device goes we weren't particularly impressed. The videos tend to have a pixelated yet artificially sharpened look to them and at this point we're not sure it justifies the high price tag
While on paper the Cowon AW1 sounds like a pretty decent package we feel like Cowon writes cheques it can't cash in terms of both video quality and features. We get the sense that you're paying a premium for a WiFi function that's still in its beta testing and would recommend looking at devices without WiFi such as the FineVu CR500HD or something with a proven WiFi such as the Blackvue DR600GW.
What is Parking Mode by Motion Detection? Learn more from HERE
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