- Great design factor
- High resolution
- Easy handling
- Loop function limitations
- No driver assistance systems
With a resolution of 2.5K, app connection and chic and small housing, the Vantrue E1 offers solid features for a dashcam at an affordable price.
The Vantrue E1 is a dashcam with particularly compact housing. The “E” stands for “Elements”. The manufacturer even won a Design Award in 2022 for the optical design. But it is not only the shape that is successful. The video resolution of 2.5K is comparatively high. This leads us to hope for sharp video recordings on which even licence plates are still easily recognisable.
The Vantrue E1 is almost cube-shaped, compact and chic. We’d say it’s the most visually appealing car camera. The lens is huge. Without the lens, it is just under 35 mm long (with the lens, it is 42 mm), 45 mm wide, and with a windscreen mount, it is about 83 mm high. More compact car cameras in our tests are only the Garmin Dash Cam 67W and Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2. The compact dimensions ensure that the dashcam has little impact on the field of vision and thus does not distract the driver much. Only the height of almost 83 mm is somewhat excessive. This is much smaller in models from Garmin, for example.
The quality is convincing. The housing is made of metal and has no annoying gaps. The camera clicks into place in the mount. On the left is the striking orange power button, below which is the slot for the micro SD card. Less well placed are the three menu buttons on the underside. It isn’t easy to reach them in the vehicle.
The fastening is cleverly solved. As with the Viofo A119 V3, an antistatic film is used. First, the protective layer on both sides is removed. Then place the film on the windscreen. You stick the dashcam mount to the film on the windscreen. This advantage is that the car camera can be removed easily and without any residue. With cameras from Nextbase or Garmin, this usually involves a lot of effort. The disadvantage is that the film may throw bubbles, which is visually unattractive. You can also stick the Vantrue E1 directly to the windscreen, but it will be difficult to remove it again.
The image sensor of the Vantrue E1 is the Sony Starvis IMX335 with 5 megapixels and an f/1.55 aperture. It offers High Dynamic Range (HDR). Typical for modern dashcams is an acceleration sensor, GPS, a loop function and a rechargeable battery for a short-term power supply in case the power cable comes loose in an accident.
The scope of delivery includes a small remote control, a cable with a length of 3.5 metres with connections for USB-C, the 12-volt plug in the car, and a data cable with a length of 1 metre for USB-A and -C. A warning sticker for the car is also included. This is to inform others that the vehicle uses a dashcam.
A micro SD card is not included in the scope of delivery. The car camera supports a maximum of 512 GByte. Vantrue recommends choosing memory cards of type U3 for video recordings. We show a selection of suitable solutions in the Top 5: The best micro SD memory cards in the comparison test. Also available as an accessory is a hardwire cable to supply the Vantrue E1 with onboard electronics permanently. This is helpful when using the dashcam’s parking space monitoring function. We will explain more about this later. As an accessory, a polarisation filter (short: polarising filter) screws onto the lens. These suppress unwanted reflections on the recordings from the windscreen.
The loop function is critical in this country for data protection reasons. Here, the car camera always creates short video clips of a preselected length (usually 1 minute). The camera overwrites the oldest clip when the micro SD card is full. This is to prevent the memory from being full of recordings that violate the privacy rights of other road users.
Even better, however, is a solution in which the dashcam creates only one or a few clips simultaneously, which are then overwritten repeatedly. An example is the Transcend Drivepro 230Q Data Privacy, which only takes a maximum of two recordings. The Vantrue E1 does not have this option. Here, the dashcam only deletes the oldest recordings when the memory is 70 per cent full. We recommend regularly deleting even older recordings by hand.
But what happens if an accident occurs? Then the acceleration sensor comes into play. If it registers a strong deceleration, the camera saves the recording in a protected memory area, so the loop does not overwrite it. By pressing a button on the camera or using the included remote control, drivers can determine whether a recording in progress should be locked. The acceleration sensor is also helpful for parking space monitoring.
The orange button is used to switch on the dashcam. The buttons on the bottom are used to activate the WLAN connection, start and stop a recording, and scroll through a menu. As already mentioned, the controls are difficult to reach.
However, control via the app works well. First, you must switch the Wi-Fi and pair it with your smartphone. This works surprisingly well. The app is also straightforward and allows all settings and videos to be downloaded.
The battery-operated remote control (CR2032) is unusual. It is best to stick it on the dashboard where you can easily reach it without taking your eyes off the road. One button is used to activate the voice control, the other to activate the emergency mode: Now, the current video recording is pushed into the protected memory and is no longer overwritten.
The Vantrue E1 allows high image resolutions: A maximum of 2592 x 1944 pixels (2.5K) at 30 fps (frames per second) is possible. In addition, 2560 x 1440 pixels (QHD) at 30 fps and 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full-HD) at 60 fps are available. The latter offers less sharp image quality, but the higher frame rate can be valuable for clarifying the question of guilt; after all, the car camera then records twice as many images.
The picture quality is good. Despite the higher resolution, the image sharpness could be a little better. For example, licence plates can only be recognised sufficiently well up to 30 metres. In the dark, you can still see details well, but the image noise then increases noticeably. Compared to the other dashcams in our tests, the Vantrue E1 still performs very well.
The viewing angle is 160 degrees. This ensures broad coverage of the area in front of the vehicle. However, this also means that the recording looks slightly distorted (fish-eye effect), and licence plates are more difficult to recognise at a greater distance.
The Vantrue E1 is really stylish and pleasantly compact. As a result, it hardly disturbs the driver’s field of vision. The app connection works well, and the operation is self-explanatory. The Sony image sensor also offers a high resolution. However, the image sharpness could be better; licence plates are difficult to recognise at distances over 30 metres.
VANTRUE E1 Mini Dash Cam Front 2.5K, WiFi Dual GPS Dash Camera Wireless and Voice Control, Dashcam for Cars with HDR Night Vision, 24h Buffer Parking Mode, G-Sensor, Supercapacitor, Support 512GB
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