Pros / The display is easy to mount and stays out of your way.
Cons / The actual viewing area is relatively small.
Verdict / This backup camera is great for those seeking an inexpensive and inconspicuous system. Although it has its drawbacks, it’s a solid option for those willing to do a little extra installation.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Chuanganzhuo Backup Camera and Rearview Mirror Kit is a little different from the rest of the backup cameras we reviewed. The first major difference is that it’s not wireless like most. But what really sets it apart is the design of its display.
Most backup cameras use a simple screen that you can mount on your dashboard via a suction cup or adhesive, such as the TadiBrothers Wireless License Plate Camera. This is a convenient and effective method, but it can disrupt your interior feng shui with cables draped over your dashboard and windshield. This backup camera does a better job of integrating with your interior and limiting clutter because it replaces your rear-view mirror rather than adding to it. This means that your dashboard stays clean and your interior remains more or less the same.
When you’re not using the backup camera function, the display looks much the same as a typical rear-view mirror. But when you shift into reverse, a screen appears in the center of the mirror. This is a cool, futuristic feature but it’s not without its drawbacks. For one, the screen is somewhat small, which could make it more difficult to see for some users. Also, some users have complained that the screen can be dim or difficult to see in direct daylight.
One advantage of this backup camera is the 170-degree field of view, which is comparable only to the Pyle PLCM7500. However, since the wide image is crammed into a small rectangle in the middle of the rear-view mirror, the image is distorted around the edges like a fish-eye lense. This can cause some people to be disoriented to depth and distance.
The camera works great at night thanks to seven infrared LEDs. A water-resistant exterior protects the cam from weather damage. Some of the cameras we tested had undergone rigorous waterproof testing that involved submerging the camera in water for a certain period of time in order to earn an IP67 water resistance rating. This camera has not, but for its price we’re not really surprised. Tests like that cost manufacturers, which in turn costs consumers.
Installation of this camera is more complicated than most of the cameras on our review. It’s doable for a savvy individual, but there are definitely some things to consider. The wired nature of this kit means that you’ll have to connect the camera to the display via wires that run behind your ceiling panels or under your vehicle, depending on its design. Other cameras can save you time and effort by relaying video information with a wireless transmitter and receiver. We found mounting the display was very easy, however, as it simply clips to your vehicle’s existing mirror.
The Chuanganzhuo Backup Camera and Rearview Mirror Kit is an excellent choice for a rear-view camera that integrates into your vehicle’s interior. It’s a little more difficult to install than wireless options, but that’s counterbalanced by a very attractive price.