There are lots of good-quality dash cams to choose between, but the majority record only what happens in front of you. With the Kehan K300, you get a second camera on a long wire which records the view behind your car as well, giving you evidence in the event that someone rear-ends you.
Open the K300’s box and you’d be forgiven for thinking the wrong product has been sent as, from the rear, this dash cam looks like a small smartphone. It has a 4in screen – much larger than usual – and this means it’s easy to replay recordings and see the menus to change settings. It also means it takes up more space, potentially blocking some of your passenger’s view of the road.
Around the front, the big lens protrudes and is wrapped in a reflective chrome-effect plastic that’s very obvious from outside the car. You might choose to remove it from its mount when you park, but the fact it’s obvious might act as a deterrent to potential car thieves or vandals. Kehan tells us that the next batch of cameras will have a black lens and not the chrome effect.
The suction cup works fine, but the plastic mount is flimsy. The dash cam can be removed quickly as it’s only held in by friction, but it would be better to have a release lever and a more sturdy design.
A long power adaptor is provided that should be long enough for most cars. It doesn’t offer a USB pass through, so you can’t charge a phone or power a satnav from the same power outlet.
There’s precious little mention of the rear camera in the manual. However, despite the red and black power wires, which might lead you to think you’ll need professional installation, the camera can take power from the dash cam if you use the cigarette lighter power supply. We installed the K300 in a Vauxhall Meriva and found the wire was more than long enough to mount the camera in the centre of the rear window. A sticky pad is provided, but it lasted less than a day stuck to the car’s headlining: in the end we resorted to the two screws provided. It would have been better to have a bracket designed to stick to the rear window.
Another niggle is the 90-degree connector on the end of the wire – a straight connector, such as the USB power cable, would have made for a neater installation.
Menu options are relatively limited. You can set the length of loop recording as well as whether the g-sensor is turned on or off. There’s also a motion detection mode, intended for parking, but there’s no quick way to enable this short of going through the menus. To use it, we recommend hard-wiring the K300 and using an external battery supply: the camera’s internal battery lasts only a short while.
There’s also the option to mute the main unit’s microphone.
When plugged in, the rear camera’s feed is displayed at the top right on top of the main camera’s. Pressing the ‘up’ button makes it full screen, which could be handy as a reversing aid. The image from the rear camera is reversed so you see the same image you do in your rear-view mirror. Again, there’s no option to disable this, and it’s offputting when reviewing the footage as everything is backwards. Kehan has said that the camera will be changed this summer, so it won’t be a mirror image.
Above right is a screengrab from the rear camera. You can’t make out number plates, but it still offers a reasonable record of incidents and should offer the necessary evidence in the event that someone does crash into the back of your car.
Separate files are recorded on the microSD card, labelled A for the front and B for the rear camera’s. The time and date (and your registration plate if you want) are embedded on the videos.
As there’s no GPS, there’s no speed or location recording. There’s no built-in Wi-Fi either.
The buttons are on the righthand side, but there’s no power button. The camera turns on and off based on whether it has power from your car’s 12V socket, but you can turn still turn it off manually by holding down the OK button.
The maximum resolution from the front camera is 1920x1080 at 25fps, and files are recorded at 12Mbit/s. Each three-minute recording is almost 300MB, plus over 90MB from the rear camera. That means an 8GB card will record only one hour of video. We recommend opting for a 32GB card to give you the last four hours of your journey. Any videos recorded when the g-sensor is triggered will automatically be locked and not overwritten.
The K300 is a better choice than dash cams that include a second lens facing backwards on the main unit as you can position the remote lens pretty much wherever you want. Quality isn’t quite up there with the best dash cams, but it’s pretty good value overall.
Rear camera screengrab