Product review: Kent Cam Eye
In car dash cams are probably among the best inventions to date, especially when it comes to vehicle security. This often ignored device can prove to be a vital source of evidence in the event of a crash or even theft, for that matter. While India is slowly warming up to the idea of dashcams, a well known water purifier brand, Kent has ventured into the dashcam space with a revolutionary product, the Kent CamEye.
What's in the box?
The box includes a main unit with two integrated cameras, a mount and a long USB cable The main device is equipped with two 720p cameras with infra-red night vision. It gets a 3000mAh battery and an in-built speaker and mic. Additionally, there's an accelerometer sensor, temperature sensor along with a light sensor. The build quality of the main device is pretty basic but good enough to last. What we would have liked is better plastic quality in order for it to feel premium, considering the price which I will get to later.
The best part about the Kent Cam Eye does not require hooking up to an OBD port. Instead, the device is powered by regular 12V charger, included in the box.
So, is it any different to the plethora of dashcams out there in the market?
There's actually a world of a difference, compared to the run-of-the-mill units we've tested. As we've mentioned, the device has two cameras, one facing outside and one facing inside the cabin. The cameras operate simultaneously, so the device is recording the traffic movement and what the driver of the car is up to, at the same time.
The video footage is stored on the cloud and can be accessed via the Kent Cam Eye app. The owner can also log in and watch footage in real time and that makes this device a must have for people who'd like to keep a check on their driver, especially in scenarios where kids have to dropped or picked up from school.
The app also shows real time GPS coordinates and vehicle speed with pinpoint accuracy so you know exactly how fast your car is being driven. A preset speed limit will also cause a buzzer inside the device to warn the driver if he is speeding.
The best part, however, is that in case the driver tries to block the camera with a cloth or a newspaper, the owner is alerted about the same. Disconnecting the device, which also send out a warning, from the 12V power source does not cause it to stop recording as long as the battery does not drain out.
The trips are stored on the cloud and can be viewed at any given point and from anywhere in the world. The company says the videos are stored up to 90 days. A complex encryption system ensures that besides the owners, nobody can access and view these videos.
How's the real world performance?
We've tested the device for over three months and have to say that the device has worked well in most scenarios. The video quality is clear and so is the audio that's being captured. In fact, phone conversations over the car's Bluetooth are also audible. We only wish that the camera had better light sensitivity in the dark as the video quality suffers after the sun sets. That said, you can still view the cabin without the need to wince your eyes.
The only issue we faced is that the device's GPS system takes about two-three minutes to hook up to the satellite and register that the car is moving, followed by a notification by the app that the car is indeed in motion.
Interesting. But are there any other benefits?
The Kent Cam Eye also sends out an alert if the driver has kept the car idling for too long or if the AC is running while the car is parked. It's a great feature in the case where driver's take afternoon naps, cocooned in the comfort of the AC and engine running. You can also set an alert for a specific destination, like your children's school, for instance, so as to know if the car has made it to its destination.
How much does it cost
The device costs Rs 17,999 and this includes a three-month free subscription. Owners need to purchase subscription after the introductory period and can opt for either the Rs 600 per month or Rs 6,000 per year package that also includes the SIM card.
While the initial price may seem steep, it's totally worth it from a security point of view. The peace of mind that an on-board camera provides is unparalleled in today's age.
Not only is the footage worthy in gathering evidence, in the event of a mishap or a scenario where another vehicle rams into yours, the fact that you have an eye over your precious car's at all times is the peace of mind you need.