Both front and back cam are able to produce a good quality image. The full screen video is very clear. Date and time displays on the mirror. Cameras can be turned off and used as a regular mirror. Includes grid lines. Rearview camera can be installed behind your license plate. Touch screen controls.
The front camera is so clear, it has a tendency to show any spots on your windshield in the image.
The rearview mirror operates as a touch screen, which allows you to switch cameras. A front and rear camera are included in the package. Automatically switches on when you go in reverse. Installation is easy. Fits over your existing mirror. Records while driving and can record when your car is off. Bigger than many pre-installed mirrors. Clear picture on the camera.
The screen can be hard to view in the sunlight or daytime hours. It also does not automatically show the backup camera full screen.
Camera is waterproof. Very clear image when reversing. Plugs into your cigarette lighter. Mount goes behind the license plate. Does a good job of eliminating blind spots. Simple installation. Has a feature to automatically start recording when any motion happens within 3 meters of the camera. Touch screen controls.
Model only includes a backup camera. Others on the market also include front cameras.
Includes both a front and back camera and a touch screen function. An automatic sensor records when a collision is imminent. Mirror looks more like a regular mirror than others. Operates as expected. Not difficult to set up. Quality of the manufacturing is high for the price. Good customer service from the company if you run into problems.
Rear camera is not as strong as other models. Mirror function can seem a little dark.
Includes an auto dimming feature to help the mirror adjust to the surrounding lighting. Temperature and compass display on the screen. Guidelines are adjustable to fit for your vehicle. Looks like a normal rearview mirror when not in operation. Comes with a remote.
The installation on this rearview mirror is a bit more complicated than others on the market. It also does not include the actual camera.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
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 after-market 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. Which features are worth your money? Keep reading to learn more about rearview mirror screens. When you’re ready to buy, check our recommendations for the best rearview mirror screens on the market.
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 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 buying 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 before buying 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.
If you need to buy a separate rearview camera, models that mount onto your license plate or directly behind it are usually the easiest to install.
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
Some screens have different viewing options that allow both full-screen and picture-in-picture displays.
If you opt for an inexpensive kit, your rearview mirror screen may come without a few crucial components. Here are a few recommendations:
Rearview camera: XO Vision Backup Camera with Night Vision
This affordable camera provides a wide-angle view of 170º and excels at night vision. If you opt for a kit that doesn’t include a rearview camera, this model may keep you within your budget.
If you opt for a kit without a dash cam, this is a great budget option. With the capability of recording HD video and a built-in screen, there’s no need to worry about wiring it to your rearview mirror screen.
SD memory card: SanDisk Ultra SDXC Memory Card
Not all rearview mirror screens include cameras with enough memory to enough video for your needs. This 64GB memory card offers ample space for several hours of HD video at a great price.
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 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 value-added and safety features.
Most rearview mirror screens are powered through your auxiliary power outlet; if you already use your jack to charge your phone or power a GPS unit, you will need to find an alternate power source for your accessories. Look for a plug with a splitter, or wire your screen kit into your fuse box.
SD cards may or may not be included with the screen you purchase — verify this before ordering if recording video is important to you.
If 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 below the mirror.
If you must buy a separate rearview camera to go with your rearview mirror screen, make sure you get a waterproof model.
If you’re interested in a wireless option, this Pyle Backup Camera and LCD Mirror wirelessly transmits video more than 100 feet. It’s not high resolution, but it’s not intended to be since it serves as a rear camera rather than a dash cam. For a higher-end experience, we like the looks of the X1PRO Rear View Touch Screen Mirror Dash Cam. The unit gives you a full-mirror view and auto adjusts for environmental light. With lane departure alerts and GPS tracking, it has more bells and whistles than most other models on the market.
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. Video that is 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.
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