Auto Vox M6 dash cam hands on: Streamlined and simple - but for front recording only

auto-vox-m6-mirror-dash-cam-eileen-brown-zdnet.png
  • Editors' rating
    8.0 Excellent
  • $109.99

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Intuitive UI and controls
  • Unobtrusive

Cons

  • Rear camera will not record
  • Electrical interference causes microphone buzzing

I liked the look of the Auto Vox M6 ($109.99) as soon as I took it out of the box. It is not just another fiddly gadget which takes up space on your front windscreen.

This streamlined dash cam is a mirror which fits over your existing rear view mirror and - apart from a wire coming out of the top of the mirror - is really unobtrusive. It also has a rear camera and wires to fit to the back of the car.

When the vehicle is started, the camera will automatically start recording. There is a power button at the bottom of the mirror to turn the camera off manually

It is powered from the cigarette lighter port with a USB 2.0 plug to the top of the camera / mirror. There is also a slot for a Micro SD card up to 64Gb, and an AV socket, which can be used to wire a rear camera to the dash cam to aid with reverse parking.

The Auto Vox M6 is really simple to operate, much simpler than the Z-Edge dash cams I looked at last month.

If you want to save a particular video clip, touch the screen, touch the Tachograph icon, and then touch the padlock. This will protect the current video loop.

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Videos are recorded at 2304 x 1296 30 fps, but can be adjusted in settings to 1280 x 720 30fps. Video quality can be adjusted, and movie duration can be set to 1,2,3,5,and 10 minute loops.

Still images can be captured at 14Mp to 1.2Mp. Settings to adjust quality, exposure and ISO are configured in the relevant settings.

Other settings such as date, and clock format can be adjusted in general settings. You can playback videos and review images - lock, unlock, or delete them without taking the SD card out of the dash cam.

You can configure motion detection if you have wired the camera to a permanent power supply. It will start to record if it detects movement. Another useful feature is parking guidelines for reverse parking.

If the reversing light is invoked, the rear camera shows the view from the rear screen with lines to help you park.

I had a couple of issues with the camera. The dash cam itself is situated on the left hand side of the rear view mirror. In a right hand drive car, the camera, when the LCD screen is touched, obscures almost half of the rear view mirror.

However, the LCD screensaver will switch off the screen - but still record video - after a pre-configured amount of time, which should not make this feature too much of an inconvenience.

The rear camera is a bugbear for me too. It connects unobtrusively, and sits behind your rear licence plate. However, the dash cam only supports front view recording. The rear camera only acts as a reversing camera - nothing else.

It seems such a waste of effort, as many newer cars have rear parking cameras already fitted. The manual says that if you want to use the rear view camera to record, then contact support.

Rear view recording is not a standard feature. This is something that could easily be fixed and would make the device top-notch for me.

The video - and still image quality is good - even in low light. I did notice when I replayed some of the videos, there was an annoying buzzing - like electrical interference - captured by the on board microphone.

This could have been due to interference from my mobile phone. I did not notice this on each video I recorded. The microphone is sensitive and captures conversation in the car. Sound capture is on by default.

If you want to configure the camera for motion detection or parking mode, then the camera needs to be hard wired so that a continuous power supply is available for the camera. Its on-board battery will only power the car for five minutes before the battery drains.

The rear view camera is a fiddly to fit, nice-to-have extra, but a simple software upgrade could easily enable the dash cam to record images from the rear view camera.

It is unobtrusive, easy to use and intuitive. All in all, I loved this dash cam - but I would love it more if it had rear camera recording - just in case I ever get rear-ended.

Related items

A look at Z Edge dash cams: Good quality output from unobtrusive cameras

Specifications

Video Input
Type Dashboard camera

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