Interior cameras seem to be the latest trend among dash cams, which appears to be fueled by the rise in casual taxi drivers through services like Uber and Lyft. AUKEY is the latest to jump on the bandwagon with the DRS2. This is yet another Chinese company that’s larger than you might have realized and is now targeting the burgeoning dash cam market.
The DRS2 consists of an unobtrusive main camera but with a much more ungainly secondary camera sticking out the side. Both support shooting Full HD 1080p video, which can be recorded simultaneously. The rear-facing camera sports a pair of LEDs for infrared recording, which in theory means it can capture footage in complete darkness. This makes the DRS2 a potential candidate for taxi drivers. But you can also detach the secondary camera and place it elsewhere, such as pointing through your rear window.
AUKEY DRS2: Features
- 1080p main video shooting
- 1080p secondary video shooting with infrared
- G sensor for collision detection
Aukey DRS2: Key specs
Resolution: Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 maximum resolution front and rear
Screen: 2-inch LCD display
GPS: optional extra
Additional Safety Features: G-sensor for detecting incidents
The main camera has a maximum resolution of 1080p Full HD at 30 frames per second, although you can operate this camera at 720p and 30 or 60 frames per second, WVGA and VGA. The rear camera only operates at 1080p, however. Full HD footage is recorded at around 10Mbits per second from either camera, so a 16GB will be enough for 218 minutes of footage from the main camera alone, or half that if you’re running both cameras. The front camera has a wide 170-degree angle of vision, whilst the rear-facing one a more modest 152 degrees.
Loop recording is supported, with options of dividing the files into 3, 5 or 10-minute durations. There’s a G-sensor that will mark files for permanent storage in the case of an incident, or the far-left button can be pressed to do this manually. There’s also a motion detection setting so the DRS2 can be used as parking surveillance. A time-lapse option lets you grab a sped-up version of your journey to show your friends.
By default, the rear camera actually records in monochrome, so that the infrared LED lighting is more effective. One thing the DRS2 doesn’t have is a built-in GPS. So it won’t capture your location alongside the footage. There is a port for attaching this as an optional extra, however, and the module costs $26. You don’t get any other advanced safety features like lane departure or collision detection.
AUKEY DRS2: Design and build
- Removable rear-view camera
- 2-in LCD display
- Extra mounts and adhesive included
The DRS2 comes with an adhesive mounting kit and has no suction-based option. The main unit slides onto a plate that is stuck to your windscreen. In theory, this makes it removable when not in use, but it’s not that easy to slide on and off, so in reality you will probably leave it permanently installed. At least the squat format will make it sit in the car as if it belongs there, which is better than some designs.
Aukey also bundles in an additional screen mounting plate and two more pads of 3M double-sided adhesive material. So you could use the DRS2 in two vehicles, and reuse if you change cars. You also get a little pack of clips with the same material, which is a nice touch. These can be used to route the cabling around your windows out the way. Lots of dash cam manufacturers don’t include these so you have to find your own tidying solution. Another commendable detail is that the power cable is a standard Mini USB one, with an adapter that has two USB ports. This means you can hook up your phone cable or a separate sat-nav, assuming it also uses a separate USB cable.
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Although the DRS2 looks a bit odd with its second camera sticking out the side, the party trick is the detachability. The second camera simply pulls off the side to reveal a Mini USB connection beneath. The bundle also includes a separate adhesive mount for the rear camera on its own and a very long USB cable that could reach all the way from the windscreen to the back of a station wagon, even if routed around the edges. As with the main mount, the bundle includes a second rear mount and two more pads of 3M adhesive.
The 2-inch LCD isn’t a touchscreen. Instead, the simple text menu is operated by four buttons just beneath. The button on the far-left triggers a manual emergency recording. The button on the far-right toggles between previewing the front or rear views, a picture-in-picture with the rear view on the top right or turns the screen completely off.
AUKEY DRS2: Performance
- Reasonable Full HD image quality from main camera
- Decent monochrome rear-facing camera
The main camera is hobbled a little by its Full HD resolution, but still does an acceptable job. The footage is a bit soft, but you can still make out the important details with sufficient clarity. There isn’t any creeping grain ruining the image. The rear-facing camera records in monochrome by default, and the built-in LEDs with infrared mean it can pick up an image in near darkness. If you want to use it for a rear-window view, you switch it to color instead.
AUKEY DRS2: Verdict
The AUKEY DRS2 isn’t quite the bargain that the Apeman’s C860 is, but you can at least add a GPS if you want to. The double function of the rear-facing camera also means you have flexibility about how you use it – either for inside your car or behind. The image quality merely does the job rather than being a revelation. But if you’re after a bargain dash cam with an internal camera that can also be used as a rear camera, the AUKEY DRS2 is definitely worth a look.