Escort M1 Dashcam Initial Impressions

Last night I grabbed my new Escort M1 dashcam (SEMA announcement info here) and mounted it onto a Max360c and took it for a spin. Here are my initial impressions of the new dashcam. The full review will be coming soon.

Escort M1 on the Max360c

Video Quality

Starting off with video quality, overall it looks below average. In the daytime, things look kind of muddled overall. You can see what’s going on around you, but the detail isn’t that great.

Capturing details like license plates is possible up close, but it doesn’t seem as capable as other dashcams I’ve tested. Something to note is that the camera looks like it locked focus on my dash. I’ll try tilting the camera up a little to see if that helps.

Night time quality isn’t anything particularly impressive either. I also notice any vibrations in the dashcam more at night, presumably because of the longer shutter speeds needed.

M1 Sticky Cup Mount

Speaking of vibrations, let’s look at the mount. The mount makes it pretty easy to attach the camera. The M1 connects directly to your RD’s sticky cup and the included instructions do a good job of explaining how to do it. There’s a pair of screws you can use to adjust the placement and angle of the dashcam, as well as to tighten it down once you have it where you want it.

Escort M1 mounted onto sticky cup

I do notice more vibrations than usual in the video footage, presumably because of the way the dashcam sits on the mount so I’ll compare it with one of the A119 series dashcams on my windshield for the full review.

Driving with the Dashcam

Something I like about the dashcam is that all the main features you’ll need are easily accessible on the rear of the dashcam. The power button doubles as the manual record button which you tap to save a clip as needed. Annoyingly though, the dashcam beeps when it starts and stops the manual record feature. It also does the same thing when you turn your car on and off, so it’s fairly vocal. There’s currently no way to disable any of the high pitched beeps.

The back of the dashcam also has a USB port for easy updates, the MicroSD card slot to make it easy to pull footage as needed, and a status LED to let you know the dashcam is on and recording.

The green status LED is annoying at first, especially at night. Eventually you do get used to it and tune it out, especially in the daytime, but at night it gets your attention and if you’re stopped at a red light, it keeps grabbing my attention in my peripheral vision and making me think the light turned green, heh.

Due to the dashcam’s placement, it’s not really feasible to tuck it behind my RVM and out of sight the way I can with other dashcams. Additionally, it also pushes my radar detector over to the left more and into my field of view, so it winds up blocking more of my vision than if I wasn’t running the dashcam and could push the RD closer to my RVM.

WiFi

The built-in WiFi works well. It looks like they used the same people DOD used because their app looks similar and it shares the same quirk where you need to manually stop recording before you can change any of the settings. Otherwise you can adjust the main settings like resolution, G-sensor sensitivity, format your memory card, etc.

M1 WiFi resolution settings

Another nice thing to note is that even when you’re connected to the dashcam via WiFi, your phone’s data connection still works fine which means you can run Escort Live for your radar detector without issue.

Initial Impression Overall

So overall, so far I’m a little underwhelmed by the camera. The mount is nice and it makes for a convenient install and setup, but the video quality is notably subpar. I’m going to try tightening the mounts down even further (I already did pretty hard) to see if I can cut back on vibrations some more, but even if it was rock solid, the video quality is nothing to write home about.

It’s easy to find examples of dashcams with more features and better video quality for less money, but is designed to be a fairly simple dashcam for people who want an easier install and/or an integrated package. This is a pretty okay first dashcam for Escort and it is nice to see something new like this for those who like its benefits over a standalone dashcam. I only expect things to get better over time for Escort’s line of dashcams.

Escort M1 on the Max360c You can purchase the Escort M1 dashcam here. 

5 comments

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    • Jon on November 8, 2018 at 9:01 am
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    At one time Escort was the best but now they’re just a joke with poorly functioning products which are overpriced. Maybe they should do everyone a favor & close their doors for good if all they can build is expensive garbage.

      • Mike on November 14, 2018 at 10:56 am
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      Jon from radenso? I think escort just like every company has it’s good and bad points. I dont wish any company to close their doors.

    • Kevin on November 14, 2018 at 11:09 am
    • Reply

    Thank you Mike. I do also agree with your comments. To call Escort Products garbage is actually laughable. There is always room for improvement no matter what business you’re in or what you’re doing, but ill will towards any company just bugs me . I am happy to see everyone succeed. 🙂

    Vortex just to make sure but did you remove the film from the lens ? The reason I ask is because it is barely visible and I almost missed it myself. If you didn’t , you can remove that and I am sure that will help quality some too. Make sure that the quality in settings is set to 1080p. Though I am no dash cam expert I can say I have truly enjoyed my M1, and don’t at all regret my purchase.

    Thanks for the write up!

    Kevin

    1. Hey Kevin, yeah the film was removed. It’s funny.. I had asked Escort that same question when I looked at some of their sample footage so I made sure to remove the film before I tested mine. At the end of the day, if it does the job for you and you’re happy with it, that’s what matters.

        • Kevin on November 14, 2018 at 5:45 pm
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        Ok thank you for your response Vortex. :-).

        I think maybe the cover over the lens should have been black or something because I honestly almost missed that and left it on there. Lol.

        Anyway thanks again.

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