PROS / It's far simpler to install than most other rear-view cameras.
CONS / The camera doesn’t automatically turn on when your vehicle is in reverse.
VERDICT / Though slightly less convenient in actual use, this remains one of the best backup cameras on the market.
The QuickVu is a wireless backup camera that offers incredibly easy installation and a wide field of view, making it a unique product on the rear-view camera market. It has one of the higher MSRPs of the cameras we reviewed, but the simple, practical design makes it worth the expense for many users.
Previous versions of the QuickVu were lacking some important features. Despite the camera's easy installation, these omissions were reason enough to consider other options. In other words, there was a tradeoff: features for convenience.
Recent updates to the camera, however, have addressed these issues by adding night vision, a waterproof housing and a digital wireless signal. In light of this, there are precious few reasons to consider the drilling and splicing required by other models. For its combination of features and easy installation, we’ve decided to award the QuickVu Backup Camera our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
The QuickVu has a wireless range of around 1,000 feet, which is much more than necessary in most circumstances. It doesn’t hurt to have the extra range, but the longest vehicles on the road are rarely longer than 80 feet. In other words, this range isn’t going to have massive benefits.
It broadcasts using a digital signal, which means it won’t suffer from interference from other electronics such as Bluetooth devices or Wi-Fi signals. It has a wider-than-average field of view, at about 142 degrees, and that allows you to see anything that's behind you.
Previous versions of the camera did not have night vision capabilities, which meant that you had to rely on the limited illumination your vehicle's reverse lights provide if you want to use the camera at night. However, recent updates to the camera have rectified this issue as the camera housing now includes seven infrared LEDs. The included 4.3-inch monitor uses your vehicle's cigarette lighter for power.
The camera has an unconventional design that requires less installation than most of its competitors. It is attached to a bar that screws into your license plate. Unlike most rear-view cameras, whose transmitters are separate from the camera, the transmitter for the QuickVu is built into the camera. This means you don't have to drill into the trunk to connect the license plate camera to the transmitter. You don't have to splice the power supply of the camera into the reverse lights' power supply either, since the QuickVu is powered by two AA lithium batteries.
Obviously, the batteries would run down quickly if the camera were left on whenever your vehicle was on. Conventional backup cameras are wired into the reverse lights of a vehicle, so when the vehicle shifts into reverse, the camera automatically turns on. Because the QuickVu is not powered by reverse lights, it uses a timer to turn itself off.
The camera automatically turns on when the car starts, and it remains on for a user-selectable period. You can also press a button on the monitor to turn the camera on manually, so you can check behind your vehicle whenever you need to. It’s not as convenient as the more automatic use offered by other models, but it does allow you to use your camera continuously as you shift in and out of reverse for maneuvers like parallel parking.
We found the monitor quality of the QuickVu camera to be only average. At 480 x 320, its resolution is good enough, but nothing spectacular. There are no menu buttons on the display either- so you can’t adjust settings like brightness or contrast. There are however, buttons on the rear of the display that allow you to adjust the length of time the camera remains on, toggle parking guides and reverse the view should you need to mount the camera facing forward. Some models include video inputs so you can use the monitor for other applications than reversing- a feature that the QuickVu is also missing.
The monitor is powered using a cigarette lighter, and mounts on your dashboard or windshield via an adhesive or suction-cup mount. We found these mounts, and indeed the design of the monitor on the whole to be a little flimsy for its high price point. Although this didn’t affect the overall performance of the backup system, it may have an impact on durability over time.
Help & Support
The QuickVu comes with a one-year warranty, which is solid, but expected for rear-view cameras in this price range. QuickVu offers both email and phone support should you run into any issues with your camera. In our experience, QuickVu tends to respond quickly.
The QuickVu backup camera is one of the most easily installed rear-view camera in our review. It requires no drilling, splicing or wiring. Although its lack of night vision used to hold it back, there are now very few shortcomings. It’s slightly less convenient because it isn’t wired to your reverse lights and its display and mounts are flimsy, but these factors are outweighed by easy installation.