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VIOFO VS1 Mini In-Depth Review

VIOFO appears to have issued themselves a very simple challenge; How small can we make a camera with top-tier image quality?

The VS1 Mini is their answer, as it is their most discrete and compact unit to date, no larger than an average thumb. And yet, it doesn’t compromise on its 2k image quality, with Sony STARVIS 2 image sensors, which they’ve widely adopted as the best image sensors available today, especially when it comes to night vision. All while staying budget-friendly with plenty of features, of course.

In this article, we will explore the features of the VIOFO VS1 Mini, including its design, video resolution, parking mode, convenience features, and other reasons why it is considered the best-in-class 2K QHD front camera to date. Let’s dive into this dash cam full review.

Reasons to get the VIOFO VS1 Mini

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*The VIOFO VS1 Mini 2 is a front-only dash cam, no rear or interior camera options available

✅ 2K QHD front camera recording
✅ Sony STARVIS 2 IMX675 Sensor
✅ Super Night Vision 2.0
✅ HDR
✅ Built-in Dual-band Wi-Fi and GPS
✅ Voice Controls and Voice Notifications
✅ Auto-Event Recording with Buffered Parking Mode, Time Lapse, and Low Bitrate Recording
✅ Supercapacitor
✅ Included 32GB SD card + 512 GB storage capacity

What’s inside the box?

  • VS1 Mini Dash Cam
  • 32GB VIOFO SD card
  • 12V Car Charger
  • USB-C Data Cable
  • Trim Removal Tool
  • Spare Mount Adhesive Pad
  • Windshield Static Stickers
  • User Manual

VIOFO VS1 Mini Design

The VS1’s most striking aspect is unmistakably its unique design, with a small, easy-to-hide form factor. It’s no wonder it won an iF Design Award.

This pill-shaped dash cam measuring 3.4cm(1.3 inches) x 3cm(1.2 inches) x 7.5cm(3 inches) can be easily mounted on the windshield with the VIOFO static sticker that comes in every package.

Still, that’s not all that’s unique about this unit's design, as we examine the mount. While the square platform at the top appears separate from the unit, that’s not the case, as it’s shaped this way to allow 165° degrees of rotation. This is primarily due to the stationary camera lens, which cannot be moved. The mount instead is the small piece of plastic that the adhesive sits on. Despite being a small sliver, it is very firmly fastened with mounting rails that hook into the square platform at the top of the camera.

Combining the very wide rotation options, with the discrete design of the unit makes for a more unique camera than meets the eye, being able to easily be installed alongside pre-existing camera systems to cover specific angles. Take a look at how one taxi driver fixed his VS1 to watch the interior of his vehicle.

VIOFO cameras traditionally have 4 buttons, but to make things more compact, this is reduced to 2 buttons. There is one MIC button on the camera's left, and a video protect button on the back. This means these buttons are doing double-time, as the video protect button can be held for 5 seconds to turn on the wifi, with the MIC button being held to format the SD card. To compensate, the voice commands can be used to control the units easily, more on that in the features section. For now, let’s see how it’s resolution holds up.

VIOFO VS1 Mini Video Quality

Now, this is the aspect where the VIOFO VS1 Mini shines. When designing this dash cam, it seems like VIOFO exerted extra effort to make the video quality able to stand up to other 4K dash cams, even if it’s a 2k 1440P video recording camera recording at 2560x1440P and 30 frames per second. This is further backed up by a 140° Wide Viewing Angle, and a F1.8 aperture lens.

First, the Sony STARVIS 2 technology. This new image sensor is in charge of the VS1’s capabilities to capture the sharpest details in low-light settings, while also producing more vibrant-coloured images, and even lower parking mode consumption. The Sony STARVIS 2 image sensor is widely regarded as the highest quality image sensor in dash cams available today, especially when recording during the night.

It’s night vision capabilities are further enhanced through Super Night Vision 2.0 and HDR. We learned that the VS1 has the highest sensitivity and lowest noise and motion blur captures in nighttime driving. It also offers a wider dynamic range of 78 dB in a single exposure – significantly improving over previous STARVIS sensors of the same size.

The VS1 Mini 2's overall resolution is superb. In fact, it stands out from all the other 2K cameras we have tested. While the built-in lens prevents a CPL filter from being added, we recommend a BlackboxMyCar Aqua Shield to keep the view rain—and glare-free.

VIOFO VS1 Mini Parking Mode

Standard in VIOFO dash cams, the VIOFO VS1 Mini 2 dash cam also offers 3 different parking recording modes:

    • Auto-Event Detection with Buffered Recording
    • Low Bitrate Recording
    • Time-Lapse Recording

The most important one here that you will use is the Auto-Event Detection with buffered recording. With this mode, the Auto-event detection will automatically record for 45 seconds while a moving object is detected, and if any impact is detected, it’ll give you footage 15 seconds before and 30 seconds after so you can get a full understanding of the incident. Ultimately, these are VIOFO standards, and we’re happy to see they are just as uncompromising, even in this smaller unit.

Regardless of the parking mode, you are using, you will need the HK5 hardwiring cable to activate this feature, sold separately.

VIOFO VS1 Mini Wi-Fi and VIOFO App

Unlike other 2K budget dash cams, VIOFO has equipped the VIOFO VS1 with dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi. Upon testing, we noticed that the upgraded 5GHz Wi-Fi provides 4 times faster file transfer than 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, enabling ultra-rapid file transfer, smooth video viewing, and dash cam settings adjustment. In fact, you can download a 1-minute 2K video in just 10 seconds, with a download speed up to 11Mbps!

Moving on to the dedicated smartphone app, the VS1 Mini 2 is compatible with the VIOFO app, which is available on iOS and Android devices.

You can also connect the dash cam directly to your computer using the data cable, or even use an SD card adapter to view the footage directly on your phone. It also upgraded its storage capacity, supporting micro SD cards up to 512 GB! Also, files are recorded in H.265 and saved in MP4 format.

VIOFO VS1 Mini Convenience Features

On top of the built-in Wi-Fi, the VS1 also has a built-in GPS logger that precisely captures the vehicle's position, speed, and time, making it a perfect tool for precise accountability in insurance claims.

Like the A139 Pro, the VS1 Mini also includes Voice Notifications, which act as a virtual assistant, informing you of key dash cam events such as video protection, setting changes, or memory card failures. If you think this is already helpful, wait for the next new feature.

The Intelligent Voice Controls. Yes, VIOFO also added smart Voice Controls that enable you to command your VS1 in simple operations. This allows you to start/stop recording, take images, and turn on/off WiFi with your voice, keeping you focused on the road. We have only seen this in other brands like Garmin and Nextbase, so we love that VIOFO has made the competition even stronger with this innovation.

VIOFO VS1 Mini Installation

One reason why we love the recent VIOFO dash cams is because of their static stickers. VIOFO introduced this with the VIOFO A229, and they've brought this sticker to all of its latest models, including the A139 Pro and A119 Mini 2. This goes right onto the front windshield and the dash cam goes onto the sticker. In other words, the dash cam is not mounted directly onto the glass.

In terms of power, the VS1 comes with a 12V power cable that you can plug into your car's cigarette lighter socket if you want a simple plug-and-play solution - although this will not support parking mode. To use the parking mode features, you must either hardwire the dash cam to your vehicle's fuse panel using a VIOFO HK4 ACC hardwiring kit.

Shop the VIOFO VS1 Mini now!

We see the VS1 Mini as a technologically advanced dash cam, and a great symbol of how VIOFO has embraced innovation, while continuously improving its product line. With features like Sony STARVIS 2, Super Night Vision 2.0, Voice Commands, Built-in Wi-Fi,GPS, smart parking modes, and long-term reliability for under $120,

Whether you're navigating the city streets or exploring off-road trails. As we enter a new era of dash cams, the VS1 embodies the perfect blend of performance, quality, and innovation. The VIOFO VS1 Mini will surely capture not just the best 2K footage, but the hearts of more customers.

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