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Three cameras cover all your angles, even inside the vehicle. Easy to switch between cameras with the 12-inch touchscreen. Rear camera is waterproof. Includes Starvis Night Vision, parking assistance features, video recording, and a GPS antenna that can add contextual information like speed and location.
Quite expensive. Most owners will want to upgrade from the included 32GB memory card.
A 10.5-inch black mirror with a mount, cable, cord cover, and necessary tools. Features a 4.3-inch LCD screen with brightness that changes automatically. Works with many RCA backup cameras. Cord has 2 RCA inputs and a fuse box.
Does not come with cameras.
Simple to install and use. Screen switches from wireless backup camera monitor to traditional mirror with a touch. Six-lens rear camera utilizes LED lights to improve night vision. LEDS engage automatically based on ambient light. Distance scale lines help with reverse parking. Supports additional cameras.
Model only includes a backup camera. No recording feature. Simplified monitor doesn't offer adjustment settings.
Includes an auto-dimming feature to help the mirror adjust to the surrounding lighting. Temperature and compass displayed on the screen. Guidelines are adjustable to fit your vehicle. Looks like a normal rearview mirror when not in operation. Comes with a remote.
The installation on this rear mirror is a bit complex. It also does not include the actual camera.
Shows front and rear views in split-screen and night vision. Senses impact and records video of the accident. Shows the time and date, speed, and direction. Offers location monitoring and streaming when parked for security.
Some features may fail to work.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
New, larger automobiles often come standard with LCD screens and cameras to eliminate blind spots. Unfortunately, older models — the very vehicles that revealed the need for these tools — usually lack this technology. That doesn’t mean you have to keep driving blind or upgrade to a new vehicle, however. An aftermarket rearview mirror screen can bring your current vehicle up to date.
Rearview mirror screens are LCD monitors you attach to your existing rearview mirror fixture. They display real-time video relayed from cameras you mount at the vehicle’s rear and dash. Many can also record video, provide alerts if you leave your lane, and display information like the time and temperature.
Most rearview mirror screens aren’t cheap, but they cost less than a single month’s car payment — and accident repairs.
When you’re looking at rearview mirror screens, you need to know what you’re getting. Some packages include an LCD screen as well as both dash and rear cameras. A handful of them offer only the screen and a rear camera. Others may include just a high-quality screen and require you to find a compatible camera. This screen-only option lets you customize, but this is usually more costly in the end.
Screen quality is important, but it can only display the image transmitted by the camera. Resolution is a big factor if you’re getting a screen that includes a camera. Some sets transmit full HD video (1080p) from both dash and rear cameras; others relay full HD from the front and 720p from the rear. Budget-priced rearview cameras may only take VGA-quality video. Most experts advise, though, that high resolution is more important in a dash camera than in a rear camera. In an accident, dash camera video can provide evidence that helps determine fault and can provide important details such as the make, model, and license plate number of a car.
Some rearview mirror screens display an image as large as your factory mirror, and they often give you an unobstructed view that is clearer than a reflection. Other screens project a smaller image, which allows you to use the uncovered portion as a traditional rearview mirror. Smaller screens are less expensive and allow you to use the mirror to supervise young children in rear seats. Both screen sizes display the same wide viewing angle, but the image itself varies.
Many mirrors securely screw into your existing mirror post. Others strap onto the factory mirror using heavy-duty plastic straps. Strap-on models are usually less expensive, but the straps may fail over time, especially if you live in a warm climate. Either way, check the measurements of your mirror to make sure the screen you choose is a good fit.
Dash cameras are often integrated with the screen fixture, but rear camera videos must be transmitted through a cable. Standard cables usually measure 18 to 20 feet, so if your vehicle is longer, the cable may not reach all the way to the back. Many manufacturers offer longer cables upon request.
While the distinguishing features of some screens are integrated into the screen itself, others are more of a function of your camera or cameras.
Parking lines: Many covet rear cameras because they simplify parking a large vehicle. On-screen parking lines can help you park with confidence, but lines on aftermarket vehicles may not match the width of your vehicle. Some screen sets include adjustable parking lines — a great feature for wider vehicles.
Loop recording: Dash camera recording is another key feature that customers crave. And it’s no wonder — recordings can exonerate you in an accident investigation. But storing months' worth of video isn’t practical. Instead, many cameras save recordings in increments of 1, 2, 5, or 10 minutes. When storage is full, the device simply loops and deletes the oldest videos, preventing you from having to dig through several days’ worth of footage to find the clip you need.
SD expansion: If your screen and corresponding camera don’t offer enough storage for your liking, look for models with SD card slots. This will help you increase your data space and decrease overwriting.
Some higher-end models feature motion detection alerts — even when your vehicle is turned off. In some cases, motion within three feet of the vehicle will trigger video to record; others will trigger flashing lights or sounds.
These security features can give you peace of mind, but they can also quickly drain your vehicle battery when plugged into the auxiliary power outlet.
Touchscreen: As with many modern electronics, touchscreens have replaced manual buttons in most rearview mirror screens. A touchscreen gives your mirror a sleek, sophisticated look as well as a clearer view of the road uncluttered by manual controls.
Image improvements: Many mirror screens have anti-glare technology to help you see clearly during the day. Additionally, some have night vision settings that improve image quality in low light. Some screens respond to brightness and low light automatically; others must be adjusted manually.
Different models include a variety of other features, including:
Time and outdoor temperature readings
Traditional rearview mirror functionality when powered off
Compass direction display
Lane departure warnings
Inexpensive: You can find low-priced, well-rated rearview mirror screens for $35 to $70. Screens in this price range usually have touch-screen controls, but the LCD display portion will typically cover only half of the mirror space. They will likely strap onto your existing mirror. If included, cameras will relay video that ranges from VGA to lower HD quality resolutions. They may have parking line assistance, but the lines are rarely adjustable.
Mid-grade: Rearview screen mirrors in this tier may cost anywhere from $100 to $180. In this price range, LCDs will still cover about half the viewing area. They should, however, transmit higher quality video from the dash and rearview cameras. Screens in this price range may automatically adjust to light conditions and may adjust camera angles when you drive in reverse. Parking line assistance is generally included but may or may not be adjustable.
High-end: The best rearview mirror screen sets will cost $200 to $300. These screens should provide wide-angle views covering the width of the mirror. Rear cameras should relay lower-quality HD video, and dash cameras should record full HD video. Screens should have all the same features as mid-grade models as well as other safety features.
SD cards may or may not be included with the screen you choose — verify this before ordering if recording video is important to you.
If the front-facing video looks blurry, it may be time to clean your windshield. Some cameras tend to focus on water drops, fingerprints, and other dirty spots.
Consider professional installation if you’re overwhelmed by the number of wires in your rearview mirror screen kit.
If you use a rearview mirror device to keep an eye on children while driving, you may need to find a reflector that attaches under the mirror.
If you must get a separate rearview camera to go with your rearview mirror screen, make sure you get a waterproof model.
Q. Can I install a rearview mirror screen myself?
A. If you’re handy, you might be able to do it. Screen installation is relatively straightforward, but the rear camera portion can get complicated. Instructions will vary by model but generally involve drilling and wiring through the license plate mounting area. You will also need to thread the camera cable into the trunk and fuse the camera wires into the reverse light wires. Next, you will have to run the camera cable to the front of the car, connect it to the RCA cable, and run it into the fuse box. If this sounds doable to you, keep in mind the process takes about two hours. If it sounds intimidating, contact an electronics dealer or auto mechanic for professional installation.
Q. Can dash camera footage really help in an accident?
A. Attorneys increasingly see dash camera evidence admitted into court and influencing outcomes. Dash camera video can be used to disprove spurious claims from aggressive insurance companies and can even help to track down hit-and-run drivers. But you’ll need quality footage to make your case. Videos that are grainy, blurry, or otherwise poor in quality may be dismissed.
Q. How large of an SD card do I need?
A. If you mean physical size, check whether your unit takes SD or micro SD cards. If it needs an SD, you can still use a micro SD with an adapter, but an SD card can’t replace a micro SD. If you are concerned about storage size, a 32GB card should give you plenty of storage, offering up to an hour of storage before it begins overwriting earlier footage. This is more than enough for most daily trips. Look for cards with a speed of Class 10 for the best quality recording, ideally. If price is a major issue, you should go no lower than Class 6.