Technology is allowing us to drive in ways we never thought possible even a decade ago. However, there’s a piece of tech that not enough people have that could save them money and headaches in the long run: a dash camera. Most of us don’t have them, but in other countries where drivers are less careful and insurance companies are more strict, they’re a necessity. This review looks at a great example of how you can add a dashcam to your car: the Carchet Discovery T12 Dashcam.
Upon opening the Carchet Discovery T12 Dashcam, I’m impressed with just how well it’s packaged. The high-density foam will certainly keep things safe in shipping. Also, the build quality is excellent. Everything feels solid in my hands without any creaky plastic or overly light or heavy components. It seems very well made.
At first, I was surprised and confused by what I saw when I fully unpacked the box. There were many little components and long cables, and it’s pretty confusing. However, the instruction manual is very clear and helpful with very few perceptible typos or poorly constructed sentences. The instruction manual also clearly states what each piece is and walks you through how to do everything.
Setting up the front-view camera is incredibly simple. You hold it to your rear view mirror, use whichever rubber retention strips fit your mirror, and you’re good to go. Plug it into the 12V outlet, referred to as the cigarette lighter receptacle in the instruction manual, and you’ll hear a chime letting you know that it’s on and working.
I did not test the rear-view camera, as the setup for that is a little more involved. You have to tie the red trigger wire for the camera into the reverse lights and screw it into the back of your car, which would likely be easy enough but a little intimidating. Plus, there’s a portion of the cable for the backup camera that feeds through one of your taillights and runs on the outside of your car. Considering how many cars now come with a backup camera, I believe most won’t use this part of the setup anyway, so I’m not spending too much time on it.
Using the front camera is a total breeze. It’s a great quality video display, and the actual mirror function with the screen off (or even with the screen on if you adjust your eyes) is totally usable. Plus, it’s a slightly larger mirror than your standard rear view, which gives a broader field of view. I really like how it works. The camera itself is excellent as well. It has a great quality Sony sensor, which means everything looks great.
However, there are a couple of things I don’t love about the product. For one, you have to provide your own microSD card. I wish there was at least a little bit of built-in storage on the device, as I could see someone being disappointed that they just spent $170 on a dashcam, and they also now have to go out and buy a microSD card to make it functional. Seeing as I don’t have one lying around, I was unable to test the actual quality of the video.
The second thing I don’t like is that if you do have the screen on for whatever reason, using your wiper blades can be very distracting. You see them in front of you, but then you see that movement a split second later in your dashcam. This is small, but I could see it being annoying.
Overall, I’d say this is a good product, depending on your use case. At $170, the price tag is a little steep for someone like me who already has a backup camera and won’t use about half of the features of this device. You can get just a backup camera for much cheaper.
But if you’re someone in need of both a mirror-mount dashcam and backup camera, this price is fairly competitive, and the Carchet Discovery T12 Dashcam appears to be one of the better actual cameras on the market. So, if you’re in the market for both, I’d highly recommend picking one of these up (plus a $25 microSD card).
If you enjoyed this product review, you may also like our reviews of the AGM M7 Smartphone, the Tronsmart Onyx Apex True WirelessTM Stereo ANC Earbuds, and the Rock Space AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Repeater.