Ke­han K300

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

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.

De­sign

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.

Im­age qual­ity

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.

Ver­dict

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

Day­time screen­grab

Night-time screen­grab

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