Nobody looks forward to buying a new dashcam and taking it for a spin. It’s a functional gadget, only there for emergencies, like a pacemaker or a burglar alarm. Which is perhaps why Mio has tried to stuff the MiVue 788 Connect with all manner of extras.
It’s got lane assistance to stop you veering into the central reservation. It connects to your smartphone and displays your social media messages. And it warns you when you’re about to burst past a speed camera faster than you should be. Do any of these extras justify the £150 price tag? No, not at all.
MiVue 788 Connect review: features
Let’s start with all these added extras, before we deal with the quality of the dashcam itself.
The Connect in the name refers to the fact that this dashcam offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, allowing the dashcam to confer with a smartphone app and let you review footage on your phone. At least that’s the theory.
Despite numerous attempts, upgrades to firmware, uninstalling and reinstalling the app and the help of Mio’s engineers, I couldn’t convince the wretched Mivue Pro app to recognise the dashcam’s Wi-Fi connection. The phone connected to the 788’s Wi-Fi without problem, but the app just couldn’t see it. And it appears I’m not the only one having problems: a two-star rating from 130-odd reviewers on the Play Store tells its own story.
Mio’s engineers told us that the company is continuing to investigate “why a small percentage of Android users are unable to link the unit to the app. Our R&D is prioritising getting this issue resolved. This current issue only occurs on the Android platform as we don’t have any issue with iOS at the moment.”
Matters didn’t improve much with the other extras. Driving aids are meant to warn you when you’re veering out of your lane or driving too close to the car in front, but they have all the intelligence of a Findus Crispy Pancake. Every time I approached the car in front at traffic lights, I’d be warned I was driving too close. Every time I switched lanes on the motorway, I’d be warned I was veering astray. If you can drive with these on for an hour without flinging the MiVue 788 Connect out of the window, you’re a better man than me.
The only extra of any value is the speed camera warnings, but to update the library of camera locations you need to connect to the smartphone app. Anyone seeing the problem here?
MiVue 788 Connect review: dashcam performance
The good news is that once you forget about all the needless extra gubbins, therein lies a decent dashcam.
Footage is captured at Full HD (1080p) at 30 frames per second. Whether you’re driving at night or during the day the footage is clear and detailed, as you can see from the clips I captured below:
As you can see, the speed you’re travelling and your precise location (courtesy of the built-in GPS) is stamped into the bottom-right of the raw video footage.
And while whoever coded the MiVue Android app should be put in an industrial-sized dustbin and repeatedly whacked with a cricket bat, the MiVue Manager PC software is spiffing.
Clips are easy to find, there’s a wealth of data that could be very handy indeed in the event of an accident, and your road position is tracked on Google Maps, which is embedded at the bottom of the screen. In terms of evidence for an insurance claim or criminal case, you couldn’t ask for much more.
MiVue 788 Connect review: verdict
Overall, the MiVue 788 Connect is a decent dashcam let down by the promise of added extras – most of which either didn’t work in our tests or are about as useful as a spoiler on a Ford Ka.
Given those redundant extras crank up the cost of the MiVue 788 Connect, you’ll almost certainly be better off looking at the cheaper models in the company’s range.