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ASUS RECO Classic Car Cam: Review

ASUS RECO car cam installed

ASUS line of business has mostly been computer hardware and accessories. So it came as a surprise that ASUS has launched a car camera in Singapore. I requested for a test unit and they promptly delivered for my review.

I have a car camera for about 3 years and the video quality has deteriorated. So the RECO Classic Car Cam comes at a good time for me to determine if it is a good candidate for replacement.

Key Selling Points of the ASUS RECO are:

– Full HD recording in HDR resolution with bright F/2.0 lens
140-degrees wide viewing angle
– Driver safety features like collision warning, lane departure warning
– accessories for DIY setup

Installation

The RECO comes with DIY installation kit including adhesive clips to stick the long USB cable around the windscreen. It is thoughtful of ASUS to include them, for consumers who do not want to visit a car workshop to conceal the cables for a small fee.

ASUS RECO in the box

The retail unit for Singapore comes with 2 mounts: one is the suction one with GPS module, the other is adhesive without GPS module. Again, very nice of ASUS to provide extra.

It is a good thing that the RECO uses the same mini-USB port and voltage as my current car cam so I can use back the power source during the review period.

Recording Formats

The RECO is capable of recording video in the following formats:
– 1920×1080 30fps HDR
– 1920×1080 30fps
– 1280×720 60fps
– 1280×720 30fps

 

The full HD HDR consumes about 532MB per 5 min file. I do not see any difference with HDR and non-HDR except file size, so I guess it’s safe to leave it to non-HDR mode to conserve file size. A 64GB memory card can record about 840-1200 mins of Full HD 30fps footage, or 750-1100 mins of HDR footage.

The normal HD 60p uses 307MB while the 30fps is about 200MB. The 60fps produces crispier video due to higher frame rate, so this should be the preferred mode if you want to save space. With a 64GB memory card, you can record 1000-1500 mins when recording in 60fps, or 1500-2200 mins in 30fps.

ASUS RECO car cam installed

The RECO starts recording the moment you start the car, and shuts down automatically when you turn off the car power. Scroll to the end of the review for sample video footages.

GPS Unit

The RECO comes with a GPS unit built into the dashboard mount. A short external cable is required to connect the GPS to the RECO. Once connected, the recording will capture the vehicle speed and GPS coordinates. When you install the RECO software and playback on your computer, the GPS information will be displayed, as well as speed, directions, G-force meter. The software also lets you save footages as still images.

ASUS RECO Car Cam App Screenshot

Monitor Mode and Motion Detection Mode

Other than recording while you drive, you can also record while the car is stationary (parking mode). However, you would need a separate power source or else the RECO will shut down once you turn off the car. Most car workshops would plug a power bank which in turn connects to the car battery so that the power bank will power up the dashcam when the car engine is turned off. When you start the car, the car battery will recharge the power bank.

ASUS RECO car cam installed
The power cable (top plug) that comes with the ASUS RECO has a L-shaped connector. I am using my current power connector.

 

ASUS RECO car cam installed
The bottom connector goes to the GPS module, and the cable is barely sufficient.

The motion detection mode will auto record only when motion is detected. The monitor mode will record 1 frame per second when no motion is detected, and records in normal fps when motion is detected.

While it makes sense to record video in full HD, the normal HD footages are very usable thanks to the bright ASUS lens. If you enable monitoring or motion detection mode to do full day recording, your memory card will be filled up within 24 hours.

In addition, RECO has a feature to auto-save a separate video file if it detects collision. The emergency record footages will not be overwritten. You can also manually invoke emergency record feature by pressing the first left button on RECO, which can be useful when you notice some undesirable road users behaviour and want to store them for future reference.

Wide Angle 140-degree

The camera captures the complete view of the windscreen thanks to the wide-angle lens. When wide-angle is disabled, there is less distortion with a slight reduced angle of view.

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Lane Departure Warning System

The LDWS will detect whether you are veering off the lane marking. When activated, the RECO will trigger a audible beep and on-screen graphic. The LDWS only works when the vehicle travels above 60km/h. It is a good feature if you have a problem keeping in lane, but seasoned drivers might find it annoying as the cam does not know if you are changing lanes or falling asleep on the wheel.

The LDWS only works when recording in Full HD.

Forward Collison Warning System

The FCWS will detect whether you are getting too close to the front object. Similar to LDWS, the FCWS works only when travelling above 60km/s. If you travel on expressways, you might get one warning too many as you manoeuvre in the busy traffic or tail gate. The FCWS only works when recording in Full HD.

It would be better if both warning systems provide different warning tones, as I was not able to tell the difference: was I veering off-lane or driving too close?

Speed Camera Detection System

The ASUS RECO can support speed camera detection as well as road speed limit warning, but this feature is not available for Singapore roads.

Sample Recording Footages

1. 1920×1080 HDR

2. 1920×1080 30fps

3. 1280×720 60fps

4. 1280×720 30fps

Verdict

If you research hard enough, there are a lot of inexpensive car camcorders, though the quality can be questionable. Even Andy of SengkangBabies Blog was researching for a dash cam recently, and eventually settled for one that is below S$100.

While the recording quality is good even at night, the ASUS RECO falls short to be the perfect car camcorder. The GPS module could have been built into the main unit so that there are fewer cables. It should come with built-in battery to allow short recordings in the event of power failure.

The RECO Classic retails for S$199 in Singapore.

ASUS RECO car cam retail box

Specifications

Main Chip: Ambarella
Aperture: F2.0
Display: 2.0 ” LCD
Features:
– 140° viewing angle
– HDR(High Dynamic Range)
– G-Sensor(3-axis accelerometer)
– LDWS(Lane Departure Warning System)
– FCWS(Forward Collision Warning System)
Storage: Micro SD SDXC, Class 10 (8GB – 64GB)
Resolution:
– Full HD 1080P (1920×1080)
– HD 720P (1280×720)
Video:
– file format:MOV (AVC/ H.264)
– file length:5 min/ per file
GPS: External GPS sensor
Power: Car Charger (four meters)
Ports: mini USB port, mini HDMI port, GPS port.
Temperature:
– Operating : 0 ℃ to 60 ℃
– Storage : -20 ℃ to 70 ℃
Package Content:
– Car Camcorder
– Car Charger
– 3M Adhesive Mount Holder
– GPS mount holder
– Quick Start Guide
– Self-adhesive cable clips
– Warranty

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
ASUS RECO Car Cam
Author Rating
31star1star1stargraygray
6 comments
  1. ernie

    I received my new RECO classic car cam from Amazon UK on the 23 April 2016.
    Tested it on the 24 and it was fine. Disconnected it after the test to fiddle with the long cable.
    Re-installed it on 25th and it does not power up !!!! Tried to power it up automatically and manually and it fails to switch on. Have you any advice as to what I may be doing wrong? The “Support” process from ASUS is horrendous and does not seem to cover car cams at all.

    1. Chester Tan

      Hi Ernie, sorry to hear about your experience. The RECO car cam does not have any internal battery. Do try with other cable or other chargers to see if it’s the fault of the accessory. Else, you might have to do RMA.

  2. Khorso Sohrabian

    Hi Guys,
    I would like to know if this cam. does loop recording as well. I couldn’t find any info. about it.
    Thanks
    Khorso.

  3. FURNAL

    Thank you for your review!
    I had this camera for 1 month. I use it almost everyday when I drive my car. I really like it, but what I don’t like is that it is really visible from outside the car. I cannot leave the car without taking it with me because I am afraid of someone breaking in my car just for the camera.
    Anyway, I really like how it records. I only used 1080p with HDR but I am thinking of switching to 1080p no HDR or maybe even 720p60fps for being able to record more on my 32gb card.
    Anyway, I didn’t read a lot of reviews before buying a camera. I needed one after an incident in traffic. I hope that I did a good choice with this camera.

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