Hytera VM580D Lightweight Body Worn Camera Review from ZOL

2020-12-01 14:16:00

Nowadays, the body worn camera is indispensable for law enforcement officers on duty. Facing with the ever-changing environment in the field, the traditional body worn camera that is used to only capture videos and pictures can no longer meet the current needs. Today, we introduce Hytera VM580D body worn camera. It is compact, lightweight, and easy to use. Unlike other body worn cameras we tested, Hytera VM580D is ultra-thin with the total thickness of 20 mm. This does not affect its powerful functions in any way. On the contrary, it gives you a better user experience.

Hytera VM580D Body Worn Camera

Stubby antenna, strong signal 

Unlink other body worn cameras, Hytera VM580D has a stubby antenna on the top to enhance signal receiving and sending. This ensures more reliable and stable communication.  

Protruding camera

Touch screen on the back without physical navigation button

Simplified buttons, easy operation

On the front, there is a protruding camera in line with the camera design on the smartphone nowadays. On the top, left and right sides, and on the back of Hytera VM580D, there are six buttons which are essential for the user to quickly finish operations. In the past, the navigation and confirmation buttons are located at the bottom of the screen. Now these buttons are no longer available because Hytera VM580D adopts the capacitive touch screen.

Battery life test 

We tested the battery life of Hytera VM580D first, since most the BWC buyers are greatly concerned on the battery life. In particular, when you are on duty for a long time without charging, you will never worry about missing any critical moments even in an emergency. 

battery capacity 3000mAh,can record more than 8hours

The file number indicates the recording time and the actual shooting time is up to 8 hours and 20 minutes

At the room temperature (26°C), we fully charged Hytera VM580D and then started shooting the video continuously. After 8 hours and 20 minutes, the battery ran out. So, for three shifts on duty, the 8-hour battery life is more than enough to cover one shift. 

Image quality test 

With enough sunlight, all body worn cameras can capture clear video or picture. We carried out the test in the sunlight. The test result showed that the small characters in the screenshots of the video can be seen clearly. And such characters were even clearer in the video. This is because the video is subject to inter frame compression, and the clarity of capturing one specific frame is relatively low. So we deliberately tested the image quality in the evening. 

Small characters in the screenshots of the video

Small characters in the screenshots of the video

Clearly identify the license plate

This video was recorded by the author who rode the bicycle along the road for about 9 kilometers. Under the dark sky and blurred street lights, Hytera VM580D delivered stable and clear video, even though it shook badly during riding.  

Push-to-talk over cellular communication test

Hytera VM580D can work as a Push-to-talk over Cellular (PoC) radio. In the past, officers need to carry a two-way radio in addition to the body worn camera for voice communications. Now, one VM580D is enough. Meanwhile, PoC communication offers better call quality and richer call mode settings. 

Hytera VM580D has a SIM card slot in the battery compartment. After the SIM card is attached, Hytera VM580D can connect to the LTE network. In the test, we turned the mobile phone into a mobile hotspot, and then enabled the Hytera VM580D to connect to the mobile phone through WLAN. After that, we added the Hytera VM580D to the group. Finally Hytera VM580D made a voice call over the LTE network. 

Press and hold the large PTT key to speak.

The push-to-talk button is very simple. Press and hold the PTT button on the side to speak. Your voice is heard by the entire group. Unlike a mobile phone, you do not need to dial the number. This helps you make a voice call more quickly and conveniently. 

Hytera VM580D has a built-in group talk application.

The pros of the PoC is to extend communication distance without the repeater like the traditional two-way radio, while the cons of the PoC is that the call quality depends on the signal strength in the mobile network. 

Positioning and Operating System

Hytera VM580D provides positioning services by using GPS, GLONASS, and BDS. When we attempted to set the positioning, we found that there was only one Location Service option.  If the Location Service is enabled, the multiple positioning systems will work at the same time to improve positioning accuracy. 

The GPS, GLONASS, and BDS are used for positioning. 

Hytera VM580D adopts the Android system. But most Android functions are not suitable for the body worn camera. So the user interface (UI) of Hytera VM580D had been streamlined to improve user experience. Only a few of menu options are kept. 

Streamlined and customized Android UI

Considering the data security for the body worn camera. Hytera VM580D hides the USB debugging option which is used to be available in Android developer mode. It prohibits all the pictures and videos in Hytera VD580D from being copied or deleted even if Hytera VM580D connects to the computer.  This safe design ensures that all source files remain intact as recorded. 

Review Summary

At the end of the test, since we happened to have a pair of Hytera VM580Ds on hand to test the calls, we also performed a drop test. Considering the wear and use conditions, we dropped one of them freely from a height of about 1.82 meters onto the paved asphalt road for three consecutive times. We deliberately adjusted the drop angle so that the side with the battery would fall face down. The test result showed that the battery did not fall off and the product was very strong without any damage. 

The battery did not fall off after drop test.

The battery can be replaced. 

Hytera VM580D adopts Android system and integrates digital call capabilities. It requires high-performance processors, WLAN, and baseband modules. At the same time, this camera needs to be rugged and durable for shock resistance. Compared with other similar body worn cameras, Hytera VM580D is very slim and lightweight. Of course, this design has a trade-off, that is, the battery capacity must be limited. Fortunately, its battery can be replaced. Even in a low temperature environment, one or two more batteries are enough for all day use.

Hytera VM580D is 2-in-1 device that combines video and image shooting with voice communications.

With fierce competition in recent years, the body worn cameras have undergone dramatic changes. In the past, the body worn camera can only capture pictures and videos. Nowadays, it has more diverse functions such as PoC communication. Hytera VM580D has the built-in interface, remains the functional key, replaces the navigation keys with touchscreen, changes the customized and embedded system to Android which provides more possibility of expanding the functions through the APP.

With comprehensive functions, easy operation, recording and voice communication, clear audio, lightweight, and long battery life, Hytera VM580D is one of the good choices and suitable for use in the city with good mobile signals. The PoC service can bring clearer audio quality and ultra-long communication distance compared with the traditional two-way radios.

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