The Auto-Vox brand has delivered some of the best backup cameras (opens in new tab) that we've seen. While the Auto-Vox M1W might not make that list, the wireless backup camera and monitor kit has enough on its side to appeal to certain motorists, and in particular anyone with a longer vehicle.
Thats's because the M1W keeps the exterior camera and wireless transmitter separate. While other backup cameras might be easier to install, with the M1W camera you can put the transmitter closer to the monitor for better signal, which is better for long vehicles such as SUVs and trucks.
The M1W transmits on the 2.4GHz frequency. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth also transmit on this signal range, so it’s possible that your backup camera could get some signal interference if you’re trying to use it in signal-congested areas. You can combat interference with the placement of your wireless transmitter. Place it closer to the monitor and at the same height, where the signal should be strongest. In our tests, we didn’t run into signal interference when it was set up in a car in a parking garage, but it wouldn’t work in our testing lab, which is inside a building with other signals flying around.
The camera is small and attaches to the back of your license plate and car with adhesive. It has LEDs that automatically turn on when conditions are dark. Most other backup cameras had infrared LEDs, but the regular LEDs on the M1W do give off enough light to see what is directly behind you, even if it looks washed out. This camera is also waterproof with an IP68 rating. The camera attaches to the wireless transmitter, which wires into the rear lights of your vehicle for power. The transmitter should be installed inside, as it has a lower resistance to the elements.
The 4.3-inch monitor is lightweight and comes with a sticky silicone suction mount. The mount stays in place better than other monitors we installed. The monitor uses the cigarette lighter outlet in your car for power and turns on when you turn the ignition. The power cord has a USB outlet in the plug, so you can still charge your phone while using the backup camera.
Its three buttons are located on the back of the monitor to maximize screen size, which isn't ideal. Quite simply, we didn’t like this setup because you can’t see what you’re pressing, but it works okay if you’re willing to cycle though the menu a few times to get your ideal settings.
Should you buy the Auto-Vox M1W?
The Auto-Vox M1W is a good backup camera with a few quirks. Depending on your vehicle, the split camera and transmitter setup could be an inconvenience or provide the kind of huge signal boost that you need.