Telico 1080P Dash Cam good for driving safety.
Is it not saddening that as our world is growing more technologically advanced, we are still faced with horrendous car accidents. It seems that more tech means more distracted drivers. While driving and passing vehicles, I have seen people watching movies/tv, texting, applying makeup, shaving, eating. If you can imagine an activity, I bet there are people who will try to do it while they are driving. The problem here is that your safety is not solely in your hands. Even if you are the best driver in the world, there are too many other people that are distracted or just simply poor drivers. There are multiple television shows, internet examples of horrible accidents or stories about accidents. I have friends who wish that there was video proof of a given accident. I have others that have been spared legal heartache through their video evidence. There is a piece of tech that has become quite popular lately, the dashcam. Personally, having never been in an accident, I have never felt the need for a device like this. My opinion was wrong.
I received an “Advanced Portable Car Camcorder” to review. The product arrives in a white box with colorful images. The top of the box shows the camera, both front and back with images of the specifications. IT has a 2.7″ screen, HD DVR at 1920X1080 capture, G sensor, motion detection, HDMI interface and a wide viewing angel. The bottom of the box is plain/empty. One side of the box has additional information regarding the function of the camera. It lists the camera lens as a 6 fixed focus lens with 4x digital zoom. Night vision 4 enhanced infrared lights, 5.0MP camera saves pics as JPG. The camera has a built in microphone/speaker, it has a G sensor (records on impact). It supports up to 32 Gb Micro SD card. There is no mention of an included MicroSD card with the packaging. The other sides show a few additional color options for the camera and a few other feature symbols. The packaging is reasonable and does the product justice. I have no complaints about the packaging as it clearly details what you are getting, details digital video camera, digital voice recorder and digital still camera. As a consumer, I really do appreciate when companies focus on their product packaging. I know you should not judge a book by its cover, but we all know that we do.
Opening the cover of the box, the company has nestled the camera inside of fitted cardboard. Beneath this is the camera mount, 2 chargers and the manual. I was really impressed with the company when I saw that they included a MicroUSB to 12V USB Car adaptor and a USB A to USB Micro adaptor. They did not need to include the car adaptor, as they could have opted to make you obtain a USB car lighter adaptor yourself. Instead, they have included the ability to connect to your computer or to connect via a USB A outlet in your vehicle. Do note, if you plug this into Aux IN, it will not work as a recording device, but rather will open the file management part of the camera. The camera mount easily slides onto the base of the camera and together they way about 3 ounces. There is a ball joint that is easily positioned and then locked down and a very effective suction cup mount base. You have the option to attach this to your dash, but you will likely need to get a suction cup sticky base to allow a flat place to attach the camera. Not having one of these, I opted to attach this to my windshield just under my rear view mirror. This provided much less distraction and still allowed me to have good range of view. In this mounting style, the power plug is on the top of the camera and you will have to either drape the charging cable in front of the camera or behind it. This is an annoyance, but a necessary evil as this only has a 300mAh LiPO battery. Unfortunately the plug socket is incredibly loose and does not fit either cord that well.
On the top of the camera are 7 buttons: power, forward, reverse, menu, ok and mode. On the face of the camera itself is an orange button with an emergency triangle. The suction mounts easily, simply press against the window and depress the lever. You then can maneuver the camera through the ball joint. This works seamlessly. I then plugged the camera into the car lighter using the Micro USB/Car lighter adaptor. A bluish/purple LED came on at the top left and then changed to a red color. I pushed the power button and nothing, the screen remainder blank. I removed the power cords and plugged them back in. Still nothing. After about 30 seconds, the camera booted up and there was a picture of a car on the screen. The micro USB attachment is very loose and occasionally makes a screaming whistling noise. It seems the battery was too dead to start up and it required a little time to charge to actually boot up. I made a quick 5 minute drive to the grocery store and as soon as I got there there was a blue screen stating SD Card full. How can this be full with 5 minutes of video? I drove back home and pulled out the manual.
The manual is the weakest link of the device. The first 4 pages are in Chinese, pages 5-8 are in English and then the remainder is in another language (I think Greek, not sure). The English is choppy, poorly written and seems to be either translated or written by a non native speaker. The manual stats before using the product, please insert TF card, al the files will be saved in the TF card. During the Unboxing, I never found a TF card. Nothing on the packaging states that one is included. I figured that the internal memory of the camera was minimal and thus that 5 minute drive led to “Full SD Card” message. However, on the side of the camera I noted a TF card pre-installed. I never installed this. I removed the card and found an 8 Gb Kingston micro SD in the memory card slot. I found this to be interesting. The manual continues to detail the buttons: power on/off. Mode allows you to change the video recording options, camera, video. Here you can short press okay to use this as a camera. This would let you get a snapshot of a license plate. The mode button if pressed again will also take you to playback mode. I tried this and found that there were already 4 videos on the card, none of these from my drive. The first one had a Chinese man for a brief moment and then the camera was laid down and there was 20 seconds of keyboard typing. The other 2 videos were keyboard typing only. I deleted these videos and made the drive again. I returned home, evaluated the drive and I had 6 2 minute videos of the drive. NO further SD card full messages.
Pressing the mode button, this will cycle you through video, camera, playback mode. When in playback mode you can press menu and you will see delete, protect buttons. If there is a key on the playback, the video is protected. You cannot delete it until you unprotect it. When deleted, it is gone and there is no further access to the data. This allows you to delete from the camera itself, without having to hook into a computer. When you press the menu key once, you are taken to video options. Here you can adjust the MP resolution 1080FHD 1920×1080, 1080 1440/1080, 720 P 1280×720, WVGA 848×480. You can also change the loop recording time from off, 1 min, 2 min, 3 min, 5 min, 10 min. Change motion detection, Record using, date stampe, G sensor and park mode. Press menu again and you will go to general setup. There are 4 pages that can be navigated with the arrow key. Date/time, auto power fm screen saver, beep sound, language, tv mode, frequency, format. I was really disappointed with the manual. Even after reading it a few times, I still found more by just pushing buttons and learning on the fly.
For a device to be used by the masses, it really needs to work well out of the box. I had issues getting the camera to turn on, I had issues with already having videos on the TF card. I still do not know if this comes with a memory card or not. The Amazon page does not have this listed as an included item. The camera worked for about 1 week. I had the SD card full issue on day 1. After setting the resolution to 720P and loop at 2 minutes, I had no issues. Pressing the orange button on the front actively cause a the camera to record. Now after somewhat more/prolonged use, the camera does occasionally make a very high pitched whining noise when plugged into the car lighter or to the USB micro/USB A plug into an adaptor. The camera still works but that whining is annoying. I really did not find much use for the HDMI output. The 300mAh battery is essentially empty and I constantly get “Low Battery” message now. Personally the manual is weak and needs work, the USB Micro plug needs work. The camera itself is amazing, takes great video in light and low light levels. I really do think that the company has a potential for a winning device. As it stands I would wait for them to fix some of the issues. Having read many of the horror stories, I will continue to drive with a dashcam. This device will serve me just fine for now.
BUY FROM AMAZON