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. 

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19 comments

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    • Jon on November 8, 2018 at 9:01 am
    • Reply

    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
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    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.

    • Tony on November 19, 2018 at 5:49 pm
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    I can’t get mine to play Pandora or Spotify while recording video.

    • Dan on November 21, 2018 at 4:41 pm
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    Escort radar detector technology has saved me thousands in tickets over the years. I wish them only the best. I will hold off on the camera until the next gen. Thanks for the review

    • george a doorakian on November 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm
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    Thanks on your insight on the Escort M1. How would you rate the TV advertised HD Mirror CAM MO 2.3. Lastly, I have a 2018 GMC Yukon Denali 4×4, with Onstar buttons on the bottom of the rearview mirror and I would like to purchase a high quality dash cam which has the important option of ON/OFF for Audio while using the video and has a micro SD card of higher than 32GB—what would be my options. Are there dash cams that video front and back simultaneously or, either or, WITHOUT turning the camera direction, again with the options stated earlier.
    Thank you for your expert advice.

    • Josh on November 26, 2018 at 4:49 am
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    I think a couple of your problems would be solved by using a blendmount. That tucks the radar detector (and by association, the cam) behind the rear view mirror. I know it’s not an escort product, but I imagine anyone that’s serious about that “clean” look uses one. It would help with obstructing your field of view, having you see the green light, help with vibration, and give you a better picture as it would be higher on your windshield.

    1. Yeah it’s nice that the BM solution is now available. I use one for my R3 and love it and wanna see how it fares for the RD/M1 as well now.

    • Gary F on December 10, 2018 at 5:14 pm
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    I’m having an issue with my M1. Escort claims the footage “can be viewed/shared instantly”. However, I keep getting the pop up message “camera is busy… please wait” when trying to access the footage. I’ve waited & waited with no results. My main reason for purchasing this unit was the ability to view the footage “instantly” on the app. I emailed Escort, but haven’t received a reply!!!

    • Jerry on December 24, 2018 at 1:46 pm
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    Kind of surprised nobody has put both detector and camera in one case.

    • Joey tong on December 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm
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    I use blendmount with my own 3D printed extension mount, pairing the M1 with the 360. No vibration, I also make the mount 3/4 inch loner so the cam is mounted closer to the windshield to have less refection. The video quality really aren’t that good day or night with the price tag. the best design is to share the power source with the escort. other than that the M1 is no better than any $40 cam on ebay! I return it and using the Owl cam right now.

      • Josh on January 7, 2019 at 8:28 am
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      I bought 2 owlcams on a black friday deal and did not like them at all. Sent them back and just finally received my refund. aside from the 1440 resolution, I’m not sure it’s any better than the M1. What did you dislike about the M1? I’d really like to get one to go with my Max 360. With the blend mount, it seems like the absolute best solution to keep a clean look (read: clutter free). What features of the owlcam do you like better than the M1 (that don’t involve an internet connection, as all those features were what made me send it back)?

      1. Really? I’ve been looking forward to checking that one out and will be talking to the folks at OwlCam at CES this week. Did you not like all the security camera features? With the M1, I like the general idea, but the video quality is below average, especially for the price. You can get an A119 for half the price (admittedly no WiFi, but it adds an LCD instead) and get way better quality. If you want to keep your windshield free of a dashcam, an M1 will work too. 🙂

          • Josh on January 7, 2019 at 8:50 am
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          Several things I didn’t like. First, I don’t like that there’s no removable storage. You can ONLY access the footage via your smart phone and you either have to be IN the car accessing it over wi-fi, or you have to spend credits to access it via LTE. You do get 60 credits a month, but if you go over that (which some people easily could) you have to start paying for credits. This is on top of the $100 yearly subscription fee. I also didn’t like the motion sensing feature. It was WAY too sensitive. Cars passing by 20+ feet away were setting it off. You can turn it off, but you can’t adjust the sensitivity, so it’s a fairly useless feature. You can tell it to save a clip, and I did think it was neat that you could do it via voice and also name it that way, but you couldn’t tell it when to stop saving. I also don’t like that it plugs into your OBD2 port. It makes sense to do that as it provides a cleaner look than running it to the cigarette lighter, but there are several reasons that’s a bad location that I won’t go into since this is already getting super long. This may have been a problem with just mine, but I also had an issue with it not recording at all times, as it is supposed to do anytime the car is running. To their credit, the customer service was good. I asked for a refund and they didn’t give me the run around, they just sent me a return shipping label and that was it.

          • Josh on January 7, 2019 at 9:00 am
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          Just looked up that A119. Looks like a little more work to install perm power, but pretty clean for sure, and it’s 1440. I will look a little more into that. While I like the concept of the M1, I do want to get the best dash cam for me. Another thing to consider with the M1 is its dependence on an escort radar detector. If I decide to switch manufacturers down the road, the M1 wouldn’t work for me anymore. Of course in a couple of years I might be looking to upgrade dash cams anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter, but it’s definitely something in the back of my mind

          • Joey on January 7, 2019 at 9:41 am
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          At first, I dislike the Owl as well. too much notifications, too much bugs and expensive after first year. But I got it when they are onsale for $250. So is only $50 more than M1. At beginning, the most stupid is damage report myself breaking into my own car! unless I have the app running before I approach my car. But I think they fix this bug. They still need some work on the software like adding more drive profile. Now only one phone can be setup. If my wife drives the car. The flood light will be remaining on! some other setting needs to add as well. So far after a month of use, I kind of like it. Think about this is like the Nest door cam, the fee is for the live view and cloud storage when you needed, and I believe the Owl will cover if the cam got stolen (not 100% sure). The 1440p front camera is much better than M1 day and night. The 24/7 recording can only download as 720p as they told me. But they are working on update download over wifi to have full 1440p download. Also the credit system, I think most people will only checking footages and do live view at the first month of so to see the performance of the camera, after months I don’t think anyone will touch it. I haven’t touched my other camera installed on my other car for over 6 months unless I thought I record something! I think at the end is the preference of use on the Owl.

            • Josh on January 8, 2019 at 3:35 am

            It’s exactly like a doorbell cam! I was going to say that, but I had already made such a long post. I have the Ring doorbell cam and while it has its quirks, I like it. Thing is, you can adjust sensitivity and set ZONES for where you want it to pick up motion. This thing can’t be adjusted AT ALL plus I don’t think a doorbell cam translates to a dash cam. I don’t mind that I can only access my doorbell footage from my phone. My dash cam, I want to be able to pull out an SD card and copy it to a PC. I have a C7 Z06 and right now I use the factory performance data recorder as a dash cam and I have pulled the SD card to upload some footage to youtube (or just save) more times than I can count. I’m sure the owlcam will be good for some people, but it definitely wasn’t for me

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