-- Max. resolution: 3840×2160 @ 30fps
-- Price: eBay US / AU – more countries & vendors
-- Max. bit rate: 76 Mbps
-- 2″ screen
-- Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS)
-- Size: 61mm x 42mm x 23mm (33mm with lens)
-- Ambarella A12LS75 processor
-- Sony IMX117 sensor
-- Video format: MP4
-- Photo format: JPG
-- Photo resolution: up to 12MP
-- Angle of view: 170° diagonal, 120° horizontal, 98° vertical
-- Supports up to 64 GB class 10 or USH-I U3 MicroSD cards
-- Time and date stamp on video
-- Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor
-- Time-lapse video
-- Interface: USB 2.0
-- Apps for Android / iOS
-- 1100mAh battery (x2)
-- Internal microphone and speaker
-- Adhesive mount
-- Optional waterproof casing
ThiEYE T5e Review
The Chinese ThiEYE T5e is one of the first dashboard cameras to record true 4K (3840x2160) resolution at 30 frames per second (fps). Technically, the T5e is not really a dashboard camera, but an action cam; however, it does support all the dash cam must-have functions (loop recording and auto on/off), making it easy to set up for use in a car. Just select the option “Auto DVR” in the settings menu, and you’re good to go.
Note that there are many fake 4K cameras out there that can’t actually record 3840x2160 video at 30 frames per second. Manufacturers use various methods to simulate 4K recording, such as interpolation or shooting at lower frame rates, resulting in severely reduced video quality.
The ThiEYE T5e isn’t one of those fakes. It is built of high quality hardware components: The optical sensor is a 12 megapixel Sony Exmor IMX117, and the CPU is an Ambarella A12LS75 processor. The casing feels robust and solid to the touch, and a 2″ screen is included (non-touch).
Video quality is very good during the day time, with high definition of details and great colors. During the night, video quality is good also. However being an action cam, the T5e is less sensitive in low light situations than some other high-end dashboard cameras.
Of course you can also configure the T5e to record at lower resolutions than 4K. More than 20 alternative resolutions are available, either in 4:3 or 16:9 format. For use as a dash cam we prefer 16:9, as it shows more of the surroundings to the left and right. Here’s an overview of the 16:9 resolutions supported by the T5e:
|3840x2160||25 or 30||-|
|2560x1440||30 or 60||-|
|1920x1080||30 or 60||Yes|
|1920x1080||100 or 120||-|
|1280x720||30, 60, 120, 200, or 240||-|
Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) is provided to remove any shakiness from your video, however as you can see in the table, it is only available when recording 1080p at 30 or 60 frames per second.
The T5e includes two powerful 1100mAh batteries, allowing it to run some 70 minutes while recording at maximum resolution, or 100 minutes recording 1080p at 60fps. Of course, for use as a dash cam, you will want to power it from your car. Note that a long power cable that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter is NOT included, so you’ll have to get this separately if you don’t already own one.
An adhesive mount is included, to stick to your wind screen as usual. For what it’s worth, the camera also features a tripod mount. This might come in handy if you plan to use the T5e outside of your car also.
Customer service by ThiEYE has been reported to be responsive and helpful, which is a definite plus and unfortunately can’t be said for all camera manufacturers.
The T5e supports Wi-Fi, and apps are available for Android and iOS phones. The camera comes with a transparent waterproof case, which isn’t really necessary for use in a car, but might be helpful if you plan to use it on a motorcycle.
One downside of this camera is that it isn’t the most heat resistant, due to its large batteries. Be careful not to leave it baking in your car when parked in the sun, as batteries may explode. If you live in a hot climate, you’re definitely better off getting a capacitor based dash cam instead.
Another negative is that there is no lock file button present, to protect footage that you would like to keep from becoming accidentally overwritten by the camera’s loop recording.
All in all, the ThiEYE T5e records great video at day time, with an astonishing level of detail. At night, light sensitivity is acceptable. While this device was not specifically designed to be a dashboard camera, it can easily be configured as such. Plus it’s available in all black, so it doesn’t stand out as much as some other action cams do.
If you are
- aware that this isn’t a camera that can be exposed to extreme temperatures, and are
- happy with its night video quality, and you’d
- like to record at the highest video resolutions available in 2017, or
- at very high frame rates (up to 240fps) to capture fast movements, or you want
- a camera that you can use outside of the car as an action camera as well,
then the ThiEYE T5e will do an excellent job — and at a much better price than most other true 4K cameras.
ThiEYE T5e Video Samples
For full original video quality, make sure to watch on full screen and select maximum video resolution (use the cog icon in lower right corner). You may have to rewind the video after changing the resolution.
Day Time Video Sample
Day time video is very good. Images are sharp, with clear details and crisp colors. License plates are readable even when driving by at some distance.
Night Time Video Sample
Night video is slightly blurry, but still good enough to see what’s going on around you. License plates of other cars are readable when close.
Where To Buy
The ThiEYE T5e is available for sale from the following vendors:
For the latest in tech, check out our up-to-date list of the best dash cams of 2020.