IROAD X9 Review
We’re pleased to bring the newest IROAD model to North America, and after weeks of testing can confidently say that it’s a strong contender for your next all-rounder dash cam purchase. Although it’s a relatively new brand, its global sales in Asian countries compete directly with the best in the market, and we have no doubt in the X9’s ability to perform just as well as the current leading market dash cams, even excelling in some areas while being loaded with awesome features.
The X9 has a sleek and smaller design than that of its closest competitors. The unit is able to rotate up to 90 degrees for greater flexibility and we particularly liked that the rear camera is powered by a mini-USB and not a coaxial cable, the latter of which can be damaged easily by design.
In the 2CH system, the front camera is equipped with a Sony STARVIS sensor while the rear is fitted with the Sony EXMOR sensor. They both record in full HD 1080P at 30fps and have a sophisticated night mode where the dashcam will sense that it is dark and automatically turn up the brightness of the recording. The sensors embedded in the front and rear are found in many leading dash cam models, which received widespread praise for both their video recording capabilities and fantastic night-time performance. It is also worth noting that the X9 boasts a 150 degree front viewing angle and a rear viewing angle of 145 degrees, beating many other dash cams in this category. The microphone on the unit is very high quality, and announces events such as when the vehicle is entering or exiting parking mode. While there isn’t a manual recording button built onto the device, there is a built-in power button which is a welcomed change compared to its competitors. The microSD card included will also auto format upon turning on the X9 for the first time, so it works right out of the box without leaving any room for guesswork.
Mobile & Desktop App
The IROAD X9 comes with a free app which supports both iOS and Android based platforms, which makes pairing with mobile devices an easy process. The app is quick to respond and allows the user to change features such as time, parking mode and sensitivity settings, etc. The live view stream is excellent with hardly any lag between what was picked up by the camera to the phone screen. The X9 also allows users on the go to capture a screenshot of what the camera sees and to switch to the rear-view camera. Users also have the option to select a favorite screen so the app will automatically open to live view (front or rear camera) upon opening. Finally, the dash cam also allows you to search videos that have already been recorded by the camera, highlighting recordings that have been viewed with a different color which makes finding videos much easier.
Software zoom in the app
Just like many of the current dashcams on the market, you are also able to connect the X9 directly to the computer and adjust all the finer settings from there, and better still it’s even MacOSX compatible! One feature that is inherent in the desktop viewer is the option to fast forward the video recordings to create a timelapse-style playback, which other competitors currently do not support. Also, GPS can be enabled as an optional accessory, allowing the user to view the vehicle’s speed and location during playback via Google maps when in desktop mode. The videos seamlessly jump from one recording to the next which helps when trying to find a specific incident when reviewing footage. You can also download any updates straight from this screen and turn off the LED on the dashcam itself.
Thanks to its Sony STARVIS sensor, the X9’s video quality while driving in daytime was superb and license plates showed up clearly along with any surrounding scenery. The rear camera was equal in quality and performed very well in capturing all of its surroundings with clear and crisp resolution. Nighttime video recording, however, is where the X9 truly excels. The X9 is able to capture video in low light conditions exceptionally well and auto-detects when it is being placed into parking mode, making it much clearer and brighter at night compared to dash cams from competitors. The amount of contrast between colours during playback is outstanding, while the level of clarity places it on a par with other high-end dash cams.
Something our customers often complain about is their dash cam overheating. We tested the IROAD X9 in heat and are happy to report that higher than usual temperatures did not affect the camera’s functionality. We also left the unit continuously recording and noticed that the heat emitted was relatively low. This is one of the reasons why the IROAD X9 is extremely popular in countries like Hong Kong and Singapore.
Driving Assistance Features / Road Safety Warning System
The X9 also features an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) which contributes to a higher standard of road safety. When GPS is enabled, the integrated warning system provides both audio and visual alerts for Front Collisions, Front Vehicle Departures and Lane Departures. The Front Vehicle Collision calculates your speed, the distance between the vehicle in front, and will also notify you the instant that your car is no longer at a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front. The Front Vehicle Departure feature once again uses the front camera sensor and is similar to the collision system, in that once it detects movement from the vehicle in front of you, it will also give you a verbal notification. The Lane Departure detects in real time where the lanes on the road are and will notify you if you start drifting to one side or another.
Your Data is Safe
IROAD uses format free auto-recovery technology, which is one of the most stable file systems as recordings are automatically saved in a main memory unit. Given that IROAD uses its own .JDR file format, new memory cards do not require regular formatting, which guarantees the safety of the data and the device. What’s more, saved images can be restored with the auto-recovery system, which means you never have to worry about losing vital footage. Finally, its automatic reboot function protects the unit by checking for SD card errors and organising the saved data.
The introduction of the IROAD X9 across North America marks a huge step for IROAD, who previously only did business in Southeast Asian countries. We are often skeptical of just how good a contender a less established brand can be against some of the more recognized dash cam manufacturers in North America - based on our experience with the X9, however, we can confidently say that this unit can not only rival its competitors’ products in terms of ability, but also excel in providing a more optimized user experience. The X9’s excellent recording capabilities combined with the various finer details, such as letting you know if a voltage has cut off or if an impact was detected in parking mode during start-up, are what makes the unit stand out. The fact that the compact X9 includes a hardwire kit, and other small conveniences that allow it to function right out of the box, shows that IROAD understands their customers and the need for a simple solution that functions easily.