The WM1 by British company Viofo is a dash cam that aims to offer simplicity and an affordable price, while also packing a greater-than-Full HD resolution, plus integrated GPS and Wi-Fi.
This is a dash cam that foregoes features like a display, driver assistance systems and a second or third camera in favor of a compact design and affordable, sub-£150 price tag. Although it lacks many of the features that pricier dash cams offer, the Viofo WM1 aims to put simplicity first, with a stealthy look and a set-it-and-forget-it approach to the installation process.
Although not entirely lacking in features, the WM1 has three parking modes, which record when a collision is detected while the vehicle is parked and switched off, plus integrated GPS for adding speed and locational data to video recordings.
Viofo WM1: Specifications
Resolution: 2560 x 1440 2K Quad HD at 30fps
Voice control: No
Field of view: 135 degrees
Parking mode: Yes, with hardwiring kit (sold separately, £17.99/£14.95)
Viofo WM1: Key features
By doing away with advanced features, the WM1 majors on simplicity and a compact design. Viofo describes it as a “stealth dash cam” and it’s easy to see why, as the compact design means the WM1 can be hidden neatly behind the central mirror of most vehicles, where it quietly gets on with its job without distracting the driver.
Another key feature is the camera’s resolution, which at 2560 x 1440 is higher than the 1920 x 1080 of Full HD. More pixels are always a good thing, as it means footage is recorded in more detail – crucial for clearly identifying things like vehicle registration plates and street signs. On a related note, the Viofo is fitted with a Sony Starvis imaging sensor for improved low-light performance, and there’s also built-in GPS for adding speed and location data to recordings.
Lastly, this is a dash cam with Wi-Fi, which can be used to quickly transfer recorded footage to your smartphone via the Viofo app.
Extra features sold separately by Viofo include a CPL filter, a Bluetooth button for manually starting video recording (handy if the camera is fitted to a large vehicle and is out of the driver’s reach), and a hardwiring kit for giving the dash cam a permanent source of power and enabling the parking mode.
Viofo WM1: Build and handling
Compact design is the name of the game with this dash cam. Although larger than some of the smallest dash cams on the market, like the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2, the Viofo is still around half the size of many other models. This makes it easy to hide behind the mirror, where it can’t distract the driver – a point compounded by the lack of a display.
This means you can’t check the camera’s view or look at recorded footage without hooking up to the Viofo app over Wi-Fi. Thankfully, doing so works well and in any case, we find it’s always best to eject the microSD card (not included) and pop that into a computer for the best view of your recordings.
The integrated adhesive windscreen mount provides a good amount of vertical adjustment, but there’s no horizontal movement on offer like there would be with a ball-and-socket joint, and no way to lock the dash cam into place. Once into place, the dash cam can be easily removed from the small mounting plate, which remains stuck to the windscreen. Just make sure you position the mount properly the first time, as once it’s stuck to the glass its small size makes it hard to get off.
On its rear there are four large and easy to press buttons for manual recording and turning the microphone and Wi-Fi on or off. We like the simplicity here, and how easy it is to hit the manual record button when you see something worth capturing, such as an incident on the road ahead. A USB-C connection is also very welcome, and so too is how the micro SD card slot is easily accessible.
Viofo WM1: Performance
The Viofo WM1 records good-quality footage. There’s not much difference at all between this and footage we’ve seen from 1080p alternatives, so while there’s no harm in having the extra pixels of the 1440p resolution used here, it isn’t such a big deal.
Although not as wide as some, the Viofo’s 135 degrees of view is absolutely fine, showing the full width of our car without the distortion seen through wider lenses. Exposure and white balance are handled well, and footage lacks the grainy noise sometimes suffered by cheaper dash cams.
Audio recording is available, but we prefer to leave that switched off (via a press of the Mic button) and the Viofo’s voice alerts are useful, saying in plain English when the dash cam is recording and when its various functions are on or off.
Viofo WM1: Verdict
At $120/£120, the Viofo WM1 represents good value for money. It is the ideal dash cam for drivers who want the peace of mind that comes from a constantly recording camera with 1440p resolution, but who don’t want any distractions.
By sticking to the basics and getting them right, Viofo offers a dash cam with good resolution and video quality, that is very simple to set up and doesn't actually require you to use a smartphone app if you don’t want to. It is very much a case of set-it-and-forget-it, which is something we like when it comes to dash cams.
The camera feels well made and it is smartly designed to take up very little space on your windscreen. Its buttons are clearly labeled and their use is confirmed via clear voice messages. USB-C is handy to have and we like how Viofo sells lens filters, hardwiring kits (for enabling the parking mode), and Bluetooth buttons for those who might need them.
This is a dash cam that works well and gets the basics just right, without trying to convince buyers to pay more for features they won’t use.
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