When I was choosing a new dash cam, I focused on two models: http://www.gearbest.com/car-dvr/pp_615460.html by Xiaomi, and this J511C by 360. After reading a few reviews (as both models were new), I decided to take J511C, as in comparison testing the picture of 360 was better. Another disadvantage of Xiaomi was also the only Chinese interface in the cam.
The box came in an usual paper mailing package with a layer of bubble wrap on the inner side.
As the box was made of cardboard, it almost didn’t get smashed. The corners got hurt a bit, but nothing serious.
The box is well-made, with clear full-color printing. On the back there are the key features of the dash cam.
When you open the box you can immediately see a sticker for a glass.
In a separate section (for a better protection during shipment) there is the cam with a protective film on the lens.
Next, there is a manual in Chinese and English. It is quite thick, but well illustrated and so easy to use.
On the bottom of the package there are 2 boxes with small things.
In the first box there are an USB power cord (about 4m), a Bluetooth button (with embedded battery) and a tool to remove sheathing.
In the second box there are a holder, an USB charger on 2 ports (2.4 A+1A), a Toshiba 16 GB microSD card and cleansing wipes.
All the equipment of 360 J511С dash cam:
• Ambarella A12A55 chip and AR0238 image sensor.
• 1920x1080 HD resolution, 30fps, F2.0 aperture, night vision.
• 165 degree wide angle.
• 3.0 inch TFT LCD screen (not touch screen). Control by 4 buttons under the screen.
• Gravity sensor. When it activates, the cam automatically generates a 1 minute video fragment (10 seconds before and 50 seconds until the accident) and saves it in a separate video folder protected from removal.
• Loop-cycle recording of video, when the oldest fragments are removed, and new recorded. Fragments lasts 1 minute, about 100MB each.
• Parking mode. When the gravity sensor activates, the cam automatically starts to record using the built-in battery, and makes a surveillance video.
• Built-in 500mAh Li-polymer battery. When charging it takes only 350 mAh at full discharge of the dash cam. On battery it runs for about 20 minutes.
• Bluetooth button, which you can use to take photos or record video by click.
• Control via menu or via the app using Wi-Fi.
• GPS contact supporting (GPS module isn’t included)
On the right side there is a power button with backlight. On the top there is a connector for an external GPS module. When you connect the GPS, your current speed will be additionally shown on video. If the dash cam is powered up, it turns on and starts recording automatically. You should only switch the power button for autonomous use of the cam.
On the left side of the cam there is a microUSB power connector and a slot for microSD cards. It supports cards up to 128GB.
On the bottom there is a microphone and a speaker.
On the back there is a screen, under the screen there are 4 control buttons.
Dash cam menu
When the dash cam turns on it immediately starts recording. On the main screen there are 4 menu items:
1. Mark the record as an extraordinary event (removal protection)
2. Enable or disable sound recording from the cam microphone
3. View the recorded fragments
4. Dash cam settings
All recorded fragments divided into 4 folders:
• Normal recorded video
• Videos with extreme events – which were manually labeled using button 1 from the main menu, and video recorded at the time when the gravity sensor was activated.
• Short videos. Strange folder where video recorded using the Bluetooth button go
• Folder for photos, which are also taken using the Bluetooth button
You can view and delete recorded fragments directly.
The settings menu of the 360 J511C dash cam is quite clear and concise. The menu is divided into 4 screens:
Additional photos of internal menus.
Remote control using a smartphone
One of the advantages of this dash cam is an option of remote control and viewing your recordings using your smartphone. You can also copy videos and photos to a smartphone, and then view them without using the dash cam.
To install the program you should scan the QR code from the Download APP section of the cam menu. When you run the installed program for the first time you should add a device. The program will request the password which you can enter manually or again by scanning from the Wi-FI info section of the dash cam. Everything is quite simple and shouldn’t cause difficulties.
The program settings are minimal. An option to check the firmware update and look through the program info is quite usufel.
When connecting to a smartphone, you should disable mobile data on your phone, otherwise the dash cam will not be able to connect via Wi-Fi.
After connection the app will display the current picture from the cam. And a couple of buttons for viewing and recording videos and photos.
Some settings of the cam itself will be also available after connection.
Saved video and photo fragments are structured by the time of recording. You can view any fragment using your smartphone, download or delete it.
A few fragments of day and night shooting, as well as photos are attached to this review.
Information on used codec:
It was hard facts. But I had a little adventure. The dash cam is tight to put and pull out from the holder so when shooting I managed to open somehow the menu and reset the firmware. Perhaps even because of long simultaneous pressing the power button and the first one from the menu. The dash cam began to speak Chinese. And the menu became Chinese. And the menu was different from the previously installed one and there was even no option to change the language. I got into the website, downloaded some firmwares – they were easy to install, but then again they were in Chinese. After a couple days of torment I found the firmware in English but for a previous model. I didn't manage to install it directly so I had to outwit the cam and make it reset. In the end, the cam spoke in Chinese and said the microSD card was incorrect, but the screen was dark. And it didn’t turn on. An attempt to return at least the Chinese firmware has failed. Finally, I wrote to the 360 developers and asked to revive the dash for my cost, describing briefly what had happened to him. Still it is useless. Surprisingly I received a response almost immediately: they asked me for my address so that they could send me a new one and I should send mine to the factory. My surprise and joy knew no bounds. They sent me a package the next day after the correspondence by the express delivery. I sent them by normal one but they got my package almost at the same time as I did. To celebrate, I offered them my free assistance inlocalizing of the firmware into Russian. They were delighted and agreed. I translated the phases they sent to me and voiced a couple of phrases more, they sent me an ip camera of their production and promised that the new Russian firmware would appear soon in a couple of weeks... I have already received the camera, it's been two weeks, but so far there is no new firmware. That’s the mysterious Chinese soul...
The dash cam fulfills all the underlying features, there are no bugs, date and time don’t slip. Among the disadvantages are uncomfortable fixing - it means, that you put the recorder and don’t pull it out. I wish there was a contact fastening to remove the cam quickly. The lack of a GPS module isn’t also an advantage, and it's not even on sale.
There is also an improved 360 J511 dash cam model, with an option to record 60fps (the current one records 30fps) http://i360mall.com/shop/item?itemId=4021677 but it isn’t also easy to find on sale.