Our love for cars is inevitable, no matter what! Let it be the odd-even rule or anything else, cars will keep running on the roads. However, it will certainly affect the way things going, sooner or later. For now, let’s move on to the brighter side of the picture.
The reason I am suddenly talking about the cars and roads is this Reco Smart Car Portable Video Cam — a cool piece of product straight from the house of Asus, which poses itself as a treat for all those car travelers who look at ways to record their remarkable journeys or probably just another car chase.
Folks at Asus India recently sent us this product to review, and I do have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with it. So without delaying things any further, let’s unleash the truth whether this product is worth your hard-earned cash or not!
Reco Smart Car Portable Video Cam comes with a sturdy yet unique hexagonal packaging, which we found a bit unnecessary considering the camera design and in-the-box content. Asus evidently tried to make it a bit of a sci-fi gadget with this packaging, which is attractive. Nonetheless, Asus should focus on keeping things simple.
Reco Smart comes along with a camera car holder, dual car charger, 4 meter USB cable, Quick Start Guide and few self-adhesive clips, etc. I almost tore the packaging apart with excitement and a bit of confusion, the camera popped out of the box. Design wise, Reco Smart feels pretty smooth with premium quality material and hardware controls used on top.
Reco Smart Cam sports a Sony CMOS sensor that can record Full HD 1080p videos at 30FPS. It is powered by Ambarella SoC and packs a 720 mAh battery that lasts around a couple of hours on continuous usage. Reco Smart Cam comes with a dual car charger with 1A and 2.1A output, which makes it easier to power on and charge other electronic devices at the same time.
However, make sure to disconnect your car charger when the engine is off. It’s recommended from Asus to make use of only the power adapter accompanied with Reco Smart Cam, as using different car chargers may damage the camera due to different power outputs.
It features a Micro USB port, GPS port, MicroSD card slot and power button, which is also used to toggle Wi-Fi function. Other than that, there is a record button, an emergency button, and speaker. NFC sensor is placed right underneath the Asus branding at the back, and that also accompanies recording/snapshot and LED battery indicators at the bottom.
The power button automatically activates the Wi-Fi function. Similarly, when it comes to turning the camera off, you have to long press the power button until you hear a beeping sound. If you want to turn the Wi-Fi off during power on, press the power button once and you will find the connectivity function turned off.
Before you start using the camera, make sure to download & install Asus Reco app from App Store or Google Play Store, app download links are mentioned in the description. And if the device you are connecting is NFC-enabled, you can simply place it on the NFC sensor of your Reco Smart Cam to download and install Asus Reco directly on your mobile.
Once you complete these first few mandatory steps, turn on your Reco Smart Cam. The Wi-Fi function usually takes around 40 seconds to turn on. Now turn on the Wi-Fi function of your mobile device. From the list of networks, tap Asus Reco, enter the password and get connected to the camera.
Using the camera is pretty straightforward, just press the record button to start/stop the recording. Whatever data you capture or record on camera gets stored on a microSD card. Reco Smart Cam supports microSD card up to 32GB, but to overcome storage issue; Asus offers 500GB of cloud storage for emergency backups free for one year.
This red button on the camera is a nice idea! It’s an emergency recording button. Once pressed, it starts recording & storing the event automatically. Interestingly enough, one can preserve up to ten emergency recordings that normal recordings cannot overwrite. Pretty helpful at the time of unfortunate incidents.
If you want to reset camera settings to default, press the power button and emergency button together for five seconds. In the case of a sudden failure of power off function, you need to press and hold the power button for ten seconds to force shutdown.
Performance wise, the camera did exceptionally well, even in the low light condition. When placed inside a car under direct sunlight, the camera produced fairly bright and crisp imagery as well as recordings.
Though it’s a car cam, but you can use it while riding a bike or can be used as a temporary surveillance camera as well.
Now let me demonstrate the Asus Reco app a bit!
The mobile app acts as a workstation that features all important functionalities, which makes this camera possible, or rather practical. It allows live streaming, video playback or downloading media files for sharing across the mobile device.
Live streaming, capturing photos and recording videos are just a tap away under the preview tab where you can go and test things on your own. I found operating these basic functions on the app quite easy and useful, and I am sure you will too.
Similarly, playback tab allows playing recorded videos and viewing captured photos, which is not much of a headache. Once done, you can also share your files directly to social media.
Under Settings tab, you’ll find settings for the camera, video backups, emergency options, wireless and system configuration. These lots of settings make the camera highly customizable according to your needs, and that made me love this camera more!
You can even enable the Auto Record mode, which let the camera start recording when wheels are on the move.
- Compact Design
- Live Streaming
- Easy to Install & Use
- Video Quality is Superb
- Nice Connectivity Features
- A Multipurpose Camera
- Live Streaming Lags when Camera is Moved Faster
- Difficult Packaging
Price & The Verdict
The MRP of Reco Cam is Rs. 21,000 and will be available starting February this year. The Reco Camera is a very useful piece of technology if you spend a lot of time on roads. It can be a good investment for Cab & Truck drivers, but for people who don’t travel much, there are several other options available in the market at half of the price. Reco Camera is a smart cam, it’s not like other dashboard cameras, and that justifies the price tag it is carrying.