If you’ve driven in Manila in the past few months, you’d probably considered getting a dashcam for your car after your umpteenth encounter with idiotic counterflowers and reckless buses. But the question is, which one? There’s a whole bunch of dashcams currently in the market today, ranging from the ultra budget to the swankier models that have built-in GPS transceivers. But if you’re looking for a really good, bang for the buck dashcam to put in your car, probably the best mix of performance and price would be the Abee M6 dashcam.
The Abee M6 dashcam looks much like most dashcams in the market today – it has a display on the back that help you confirm the field of view when you first install it in your car. The adapter takes up a whole cigarette plug though, which is a bit of a hassle for people who have older cars with a single cigarette plug.
Just like other dashcams in the market today, the Abee M6 attaches to your car’s windshield via a suction cup mount. The M6 then slides onto that mount and is locked into place via a plastic tab. You can adjust the M6’s orientation via the adjustment wheel near the plastic tab.
The microSD card slot is on the left side of the M6, along with the power button. The side of the camera uses a mini USB port for power, and even has an HDMI port if you want to display the recorded footage straight to a TV. The rear of the camera has four keys for navigation and function, as well as a small 2.4-inch color TFT display.
As far as features go, the Abee M6 has all the basics covered: it automatically writes over the oldest file in the microSD card so you can use cards as low as 8GB (we don’t recommend it, and Abee throws in a 16GB card with every purchase just in case) when you’re out and about, since a single, 3-minute full HD video is around 281MB in size. You can record in 2 and 5 minute chunks as well. The camera records both video and audio, though you can opt to turn off audio if you want to when using the camera. There’s also a parking mode which automatically turns on the camera when it senses motion in front of it. The camera has a small battery inside of it for this very reason, and just like most dashcams in the market it has a g-sensor that automatically protects the footage in case of an accident.
The sensor of the M6 is a 3-megapixel, 1/3.2-inch high sensitivity CMOS sensor for low light. The field of view is 136 degrees, and the lens has a f/1.8 aperture, perfect for collecting light in the darkness. The camera records in both full HD (30 FPS) and HD (60/30 FPS).
Image quality of the M6 is good, even in a vehicle that has a darker than average tint. Tint on cars hamper dashcam performance by quite a bit, and while the video taken during our drive through the dimly-lit streets of Manila is a bit dark in places, cars hit by our headlights are still easily identifiable, as are markings on the street as well as traffic lights.
If there’s one thing that we don’t like on the M6, is it’s g-sensor. It’s easily tripped by regular potholes and bumps on the road, even on the lowest setting. It’s so sensitive that we had to turn it off lest it write protect every single video it recorded. If we ever did get into an accident, we’d have to use the manual emergency setting that write protects the footage in the dashcam.
Verdict: Great mix of features and performance
While the Abee M6 is priced a bit higher than your typical dashcam at Php 4,200, it has that elusive blend of price, performance and features. Sure, it’s quite a bit more compared to your typical entry-level dashcam, but you’re getting a little more performance in low-light situations even with a heavily tinted vehicle.
The Abee M6 can be bought in Henry’s Professionals, and other stores that carry car accessories.