Last year VicoVation wowed us with the release of their OPIA2 dash cam which to this day offers some of the best video quality available. That being said, the OPIA2 didn't offer too much in terms of standard features. The new OPIA1 hopes to broaden the appeal of the VicoVation lineup by adding WiFi connectivity. While the two cameras look quite similar, the OPIA1 actually uses a Novatek processor and a Sony STARVIS sensor instead of the Ambarella A12 and Omnivision sensor used in the OPIA2.
Design and Packaging
In terms of design, VicoVation has stuck with a familiar form factor that we've seen since the early Marcus devices. Upon unboxing these dash cams, most users will be surprised by just how small the camera is, especially when paired with the adhesive mount. Like earlier VicoVation devices, the OPIA1 comes with both suction cup and adhesive mounts to work with different applications. Both mount options allow the camera to swivel left and right which is great for recording a police interaction. Unfortunately, unlike the OPIA2 it does not come with the quick release bracket that allows use of the CPL filter.
The difference in the internal hardware results in slight differences in video quality with the OPIA2 having a bit of an edge in overall sharpness over the OPIA1. Regardless, the OPIA1 still offers excellent video quality and with the 60 frame per second option it can pick up license plates where other dash cams would typically struggle. Compared to the VIOFO A119S which uses the same Sony STARVIS sensor, the OPIA1 does offer more detail and better exposure. We suspect this has to do with the fact that the OPIA1 uses the Novatek 96663 processor rather than the 96660 processor found on the VIOFO. This chipset is typically reserved for 2 channel dash cams so performance should be better.
The extra processing power is also handy for supporting the WiFi connection. This is done through the OPIAViewer app for Android and iOS. The WiFi connection is enabled by holding down the down arrow button which is not that obvious without reading the manual. This app lets you change settings and download videos wirelessly. It seems a little redundant to change settings through the app since this camera has buttons and a screen, but being able to download videos without taking the card out is certainly handy. Overall the app has a clean design and is pretty easy to use.
Everyone wants to know if we would recommend the OPIA1 over the OPIA2. Those that simply want the absolute best audio and video quality should go with the more expensive OPIA2. That being said, the OPIA1 still offers really good video quality but a lot more convenience with the WiFi app and a lower price point so it may be a better package overall. Another competitor for the OPIA1 would be the VIOFO A119S that offers similar specs in a different form factor and without WiFi but for a lot less money.
As mentioned earlier, the OPIA1 does have an advantage in video quality and has the unique ability to swivel left and right that may make it a more attractive package. It also switches automatically in and out of parking mode based on the G-sensor whereas the VIOFO needs to be manually set through the menu. Perhaps most importantly though is the fact that VicoVation is a dash cam manufacturing veteran and makes some of the most reliable and durable dash cams around. In our experience, the defective ratio with the OPIA2 has been lower than the A119 and A119S, and we think this may indicate better reliability with the OPIA1 as well.
VicoVation's OPIA1 offers a very unique combination of features in the high end dash cam market. It's one of the only devices that offers a swiveling mount, capacitor-based power supply, WiFi connectivity, 60 frame per second recording, and automatic parking mode. Anyone looking for these specific features should be quite impressed by the OPIA1 which delivers in video quality, user friendliness, and build quality.