The Blueskysea B1W is a fantastic budget-friendly dash cam. It has a lot of features that you’d expect from a much more expensive dash camera. It’s currently on Amazon and requires no expertise to set up. You can even change and control almost all the settings via an app.
Blueskysea has been known for their dash cams for several years now. I first heard about them from their motorcycle dash cam line, specifically the popular Blueskysea DV688. While they are based in Asia, I have talked to their customer support with great ease and they are focused on trying to deliver the best product for customers.
We’ll go into a lot of detail in this review to help you decide if the Blueskysea B1W is the right dash cam for you or if you should spend the extra dollars to upgrade to the 2020 Blueskysea B4K. Let’s explore the features.
What’s in the Box?
- 1 x B1W Mini Dash Cam
- 1 x Adhesive Mount
- 1 x Power Cable
- 1 x Micro-USB Cable (for Data Transfer)
- 4 x Cable Clips
- 6 x Small 3m Adhesive Pads (for Cable Clips)
- 2 x Large 3m Adhesive Pads (Spares)
- 1 x Cable Tool (for Hiding Cabling)
- 1 x Micro-Fibre Cloth
- 1 x User Manual
- Inexpensive Considering Quality
- Wi Fi Enabled
- Voice Alerts
- No Rear Camera
- Hard-Wiring not Included
- Is without LCD-screen
The Blueskysea B1W is surprisingly small considering the amount of features it has. The camera body dimensions are 3.94 x 1.57 x 1.57 inches (not including adhesive mount). It has a rounded, pill-shaped design and the all-black form factor make it almost invisible from outside the vehicle.
The controls on the camera are fairly minimal. Most of the settings are changed via the mobile app using the camera’s Wi Fi feature. On the camera itself, there is a port for power (micro-USB) and a slot for a micro-SD card (not included but expandable up to 64GB).
There is only one button on the camera and this is the “Lock File” button. Normally, when an SD card is full, a dash cam will overwrite the oldest recording. This is called “Loop Recording”. Pressing the “Lock File” button protects the current file from being overwritten, which is very useful in the event of an incident. This button has the secondary function of disabling the Wi Fi (more on this later).
Another design feature of the B1W dash camera is that the lens is on a rotating bracket. This means it can turn on a 360 degree vertical axis. This means it can could be used to record inside the vehicle as well as outside. This is different than the Blueskysea B4K as you cannot rotate the bracket, so you won’t be able to record inside the cabin but you can make minor adjustments up, down and left and right to fit your windshield.
The video quality on this dash camera is more than acceptable for most people’s needs. It provides 1080p 30 fps high quality recording by default. It can also record in 720p if you want to save space on your memory card.
The camera uses a Novatek GM8135s Processor and a Sony IMX323 2MP CMOS sensor. This combination allows for 1080p full HD video quality. By doubling the price of the camera, you can get the newer version B4K and its 4K resolution. While 1080p is pretty industry standard, 4K does provide the user a lot more pixels to work with.
The easy-to-adjust lens is a fixed 150 degree wide-angle lens. While the lens is adjustable vertically (giving you a lot of placement options when installing) you can’t adjust the focal length. This doesn’t matter though, as the field of view is as wide as it can be without compromising quality. When the dash cam is installed in the centre of your vehicle’s windshield, it will be able to see everything that you can. Interestingly enough, the B4K reduces the wide angle to 120° but it claims that its a more true view of the landscape.
However, because of the wide-angle, license plates are only visible within the middle 30 degrees. License plates outside of this central field will be obscured by the fish-eye effect. This generally isn’t a problem as, usually, dash cams need only to establish fault, not identity.
At night, the B1W performs pretty well. You would expect this video quality from a camera double the price. It manages to highlight most of the relevant detail without overexposing street lamps or oncoming headlights.
The biggest image quality problem is the bitrate (only 12Mbps). This doesn’t drastically affect the quality of the footage. However, for the price of using a little more storage, the video quality could have been greatly improved.
There is a lot of dash cam footage online that can inform your purchasing decision.
By not using an on-board battery, the operational temperature range of the camera is greatly expanded. A battery will store electricity and consequently heat. This will radiate inside the camera, heating the components and potentially causing damage. In hot environments, a dark dashboard can reach up to 180F; more than hot enough to damage electronic equipment.
Forgoing a battery generates much less heat. However, the downside of this is that the dash camera will need to be plugged-in to function. This isn’t likely to be a problem though, as the only time you’ll be taking your camera out of the car is to view footage/download videos. In this case it will be powered by the USB cable going to your computer.
The most unexpected feature at this price point is the B1W’s WiFi. This is what will allow you to use the accompanying mobile app on your iPhone or Android device. The app will allow you to view videos and change settings. It has a simple user interface and an easily followed user experience.
The Wi Fi is on by default. You can connect to it the same way as you would any other network. From the app you can view a live feed, download videos and change almost every setting. Some of these settings include (but are not limited to):
- Video Quality (Video Resolution)
- File Partition Size
- Time/Date Format
- Sound Recording On/Off
- Voice Notifications
If you’d like to turn the Wi Fi off, you can use the “Lock File” button. Just press and hold until a voice notification tells you the Wi Fi is off. You can tell whether or not the Wi Fi is on by the LED indicator. If the light is red it’s off. If the light is green, it’s on.
The app and Wi Fi combination gives you a lot of control and definitely makes this camera worth it. Normally, you’d expect to pay more than $100 for this.
The B1W has a G-sensor (an accelerometer) for detecting sudden impacts. When an impact is detected the camera will assume an incident has taken place and it will “lock” the current file (this just means that the loop recording will not overwrite it). However, some users have noted that the default sensitivity of the G-sensor is too high. Leaving it on this high setting will mean the current file will be locked every time you hit a pot hole.
Fortunately, the G-sensor’s sensitivity can be changed within the app. By setting it to “Low” you can avoid running out of space on your memory card due to too many locked files.
The G-Sensor has the secondary function of activating the dash cam’s Parking Mode function. This mode requires that you hardwire your dash cam so that there is a constant power source.
Whilst in Parking Mode, the B1W will detect any sudden movements or impacts. When something triggers the sensor, the camera starts video recording. The recording will last for 30 seconds, long enough to determine the cause of the impact. This video file will then be locked.
If you were to purchase the upgraded model, the Blueskysea B4K, there are a host of additional parking modes including time lapse, buffered parking mode and motion detection.
N.B. If you do not hardwire your camera, this function will not work. A hardwiring kit is not included with the standard package. However, you can buy it separately.
There is an error that’s been reported by some users within the Blueskysea community. This error is called the “SD Card Slow Speed Error“. This is normally rectified by restarting the camera (simply unplugging and replugging the cam). However, if this doesn’t work there might be an incompatibility between your SD card and the camera. This is a rare occurrence but should it happen, we recommend reaching out to Blueskysea customer services, who are fairly responsive.
How do I view Blueskysea B1W Mp4 files?
You can view all of the files on your dash cam from the mobile app (free on the App Store and the Google Play Store). Simply connect to the camera, open the app and click on the button “Video List”. This will be a list of all video files currently on your device. You can download these to you phone by simply selecting the file and tapping “Download”. You can also view videos by removing the memory card from your camera and plugging it into your computer to view the files directly.
How do I delete videos from the Blueskysea B1W?
The only way to delete files within the mobile app is to reformat the memory card. However, doing this will delete the entire contents of the card. It is recommended that you either:
- Download all the videos you don’t want deleted using the app
- Plug the memory card directly into a computer, manually take off the files you need, then reformat.
Reformatting can be done within the app itself or within a computer. Any files lost due to reformatting are unrecoverable.
The Blueskysea B1W, despite a handful of minor complaints, is fantastic value for money. It offers quality and usability in a tiny, well-designed package. If you’re new to dash cams or you’re working to a tight budget, this camera should definitely be one of your considerations.
If you do choose to go for the B4K, you immediately get the 4K resolution and built-in GPS is included. You do lose some viewing angle, but you also gain all of the parking features. Is it worth paying near double for the upgrade?
I would say that if an extra ~$50 isn’t too much of an expense, check out the newer model. You’ll guarantee yourself those extra features and will be investing in your car’s security.