I've spent the better part of one and a half years with the DDPai M6 Plus. I bought it based on the positive Techmoan review.

tl;dr: I'm somewhat disappointed in the device. Something simpler like an A119S is a much better buy.

Some background on me and dashcams

I had a Mini 0805 in my last car, and have two Mini 0805's (front+rear) in my second car (I just had the two cameras, and moved the front one into whichever vehicle I was driving). I was actually quite happy with the cameras, despite some complaints online (overheat, soft/blurry video, etc).

However, in the spring I noticed the audio was intermittantly poor on one of the cameras. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn't. I decided to live with it. However, I recently purchased a new car, and decided to install a new, working camera. I decided I wanted some new features the 0805 didn't offer:

  • Parking mode
  • Wifi to retrieve an "occurrence" from my phone

While doing my research, Techmoan reviewed the DDPai M6 plus. He seemed quite impressed, and it seemed to check off all my boxes. I bought one, and hard-wired it in.

On with the review

I purchased the camera in July 2016, and I've written this over the following 1.5 years (failing to post it sooner, it has been revised accordingly).

Good

Bad

  • Without additional hardware, parking mode will kill your battery.
  • LiIon battery instead of a capacitor.
  • Big. This camera just barely fits behind my mirror. It is much more noticable than my 0805 ever was.
  • Wifi is always on, so my phone tries to connect to it periodically. Be sure to change the passphrase.
  • The app isn't really that good. Took me a while to find how to download regular non-saved video (even after looking it up), and found I can only do it in smaller clips at a atime. Effectively, you need to yank the SD card to retrieve large amounts of video. This isn't the end of the world (it's faster), but means the wifi feature is effectively not used.
  • The app has cloud features that don't work when connected to the camera due to the lack of an internet connection when connected to camera's wifi.
  • It speaks Chinese when it turns on.
  • 25fps. Weird. Although I guess for the purpose, this doesn't really matter.

My biggest problem has been with the parking mode. It will frequently simply record realtime video for hours on end, instead of entering the timelapse mode. This causes unecessary writes to the SD Card, and overwrites previous clips much earlier than expected. Furthermore, it will drain my car battery in two or three days without using my car. In colder months, this has lead to a significant use of my booster pack on Monday mornings. There is additional hardware that can solve this, but factor that into the purchase price.

I also found the wifi itself very hard to use, since my phone didn't want to stay connected to it due to the lack of an internet connection. I can't fault DDPAI for this, as Android is just trying to make sure I get my email. A "Use only for local network" checkbox in Android's wifi settings would be helpful.

Additionally, the wifi is very slow, short range, and prone to disconnects. I've taken to simply yanking the card to retrieve video, but since it has no screen, the app is still required for various functionality (periodic SD formatting, configuration, etc). A camera with a built-in screen is much easier to deal with.

Ugly

  • It gets very hot during the day
  • Particularly after recording for a while, the sound can be noticably delayed from the video. See this sample of cars driving past me. Also, at 1:00 I drive over some tracks, and the sound is delayed by about a second. (although this was solved with a firmware update. However, there are more recent firmware updates that I can't apply due to the app simply failing to push the firmware over).

tl;dr

It's not necessarily a bad device, it's just not a great one either. $173 CDN is quite a steep price for a camera with a LiIon battery and functionality issues. Ultimately, a capacitor version with battery-drain protection would go a long way toward convincing me the higher price tag is worth it, even if the app stayed as-is.

Ultimately, it's better than my 0805, but not enough to justify the $80 extra. The A118-C was $75 cheaper than the M6 Plus (and the A119S is available at that price now). you'd lose parking (although that might not be wisely usable on the M6 Plus) and wifi (although it's not really a great feature), but you gain a capacitor, a much slimmer design, and a truely stand-alone device.

tl;dr the tl;dr: Probably buy something else