The Chortau Dual Dash Cam is a budget-friendly camera that offers great quality at an affordable price.
Most dash cams at this price point will lack either video quality, build quality or features. However, this Chortau dual dash cam does surprisingly well on all fronts.
In this review, we’ll cover some of the pros and cons of the Chortau Dual Dash Cam 3, helping you decide if this is the dash cam for you.
N.B. The model we used for this review is the B-T13 Model.
What’s In the Box
- Chortau Dash Cam (Front)
- Chortau Dash Cam (Rear)
- 12v Power Cable (For Cigarette Lighter)
- Suction Cup Mount (For Front Cam)
- Adhesive Mount (For Front Cam)
- Adhesive (For Rear Cam)
- User Manual
- Full HD 1080p
- Wide-Angle Lens
- Parking Mode Without Hardwiring
- Loop Recording
- No GPS, WiFi or Bluetooth
- Maximum 32GB Storage (workaround below)
- Grainy Rear Footage
Installing the Chortau Dual Dash Cam 3 for everyday use is straightforward. However, if you want to use some of the more advanced features, such as back-up mode, you’ll need to carry out a few extra steps.
Front Installation (Easy)
First, you’ll need to find a position on your windshield to affix your camera. You can use either the suction cup mount or the adhesive mount if you want a more permanent solution. Once you’ve found a position that doesn’t obstruct your view of the road, you need to run the power cable.
Take the included 12v cigarette lighter adapter and run it from your vehicle’s power outlet, around the windshield and into the camera. When you turn your engine on, it will automatically power the dash cam and begin recording. When you turn the engine off, the camera will turn off and stop recording.
Rear Cam Installation (Easy)
The rear dash cam already has a cable and mount attached. Simply find an unobtrusive spot on your rear windshield and affix the camera. You then need to run the strand of cable around your vehicle, all the way to the front camera. This one cable provides power for the rear unit and also carries the video signal from the rear camera. It will behave the same way as the front camera when you turn the engine on and off.
Alternatively, you can mount this cam on the outside of your vehicle as it’s waterproof. This is useful if your windows are tinted.
Dash Cam Front and Rear Installation (Advanced)
You can use the 3-inch dashboard camera screen on the front unit as a reversing cam. This is a great feature for this price point but it does require additional wiring.
You’ve already run the black strand of cable to the front unit, you now need to run the red strand to your reverse light. This lets the dash cam know that you’re reversing and to start showing the rear camera feed full screen on the front unit.
To connect the red cable, you’ll need to splice it into reverse light. This means identifying the reverse light, cutting it and using either a terminal block or some electrical tape to connect all the wires together.
If this sounds too difficult then you can find a mechanic to do this easily, it shouldn’t take more than an hour for a trained auto electrician to install.
The image quality on the Chortau Dual Dash Cam is surprisingly good. A dash cam at this price point five years ago would have been virtually unusable. However, since camera technology has dropped in price so much, this offering from Chortau will meet most driver’s needs.
Front Chortau Dual Dash Cam Quality
At the front is a 1080p full HD 170° wide-angle lens camera that provides adequate quality footage in most weather and lighting conditions.
License plates are visible up to 10 feet away in daylight. Beyond this distance, small details are obscured, but larger details remain bright and clear on-screen. This footage from the front camera would be more than sufficient to establish blame in the event of a road traffic incident.
At night, the quality suffers somewhat. Chortau hasn’t published what sensor chip they’re using, but its low light handling could be better. Having said this, other vehicles, pedestrians and obstacles are still clearly visible. However, license plates are not as discernable in low light. The image becomes grainy as the camera tries to adjust it’s gain levels to compensate.
Despite its drawbacks, the wide-angle of the front camera combined with its good daylight performance make this a product worth considering.
Rear Chortau Dual Dash Cam Quality
The rear Chortau dual dash cam is not as impressive as the front, but still functional. It’s both a rear dash cam and a backup camera with night vision. However, the image quality at night is still blurry and there’s a lot of glare from streetlights and headlamps.
This doesn’t make the rear camera footage unusable to establish blame in the event of a road traffic accident but you won’t be able to rely on it for detail.
As always, we encourage you to check out the footage for yourself before committing to buy a dash cam. There are lots of examples available on YouTube for this camera, such as this one here.
The audio quality on this Chortau dash cam is not exceptional but it’d good enough. In low traffic situations, you should be able to hear what’s going on outside the vehicle but it’s not guaranteed. If you are on the side of the freeway, voices will probably be obscured.
If you want to better record the audio from outside the vehicle, the camera mount allows you to rotate the camera. By pointing the camera at the sound source, you’ll stand a better chance of picking up the sound.
This dash cam has a built-in 150mAh Li-ion battery that is able to power the dash cam in parking mode for up to 24 hours. This means you don’t have to hardwire the camera to your vehicle’s battery to use parking mode.
This is an especially attractive feature to new dash cam users or those on a budget, as hardwiring can be both difficult and costly. However, the drawback of using a battery of a supercapacitor is that the operating temperature decreases. Batteries generate heat and as a result, this unit has a maximum temperature of 158°F (70°C). This may be unsuitable depending on where you live.
The front and rear dual dash cameras are remarkably well-built. They don’t feel cheap as you might expect for electronics at this price. The front camera looks like a compact camera whereas the rear camera is considerably more low profile.
The main front unit is roughly 3 inches wide, which is quite large, but the benefit of this is the large viewscreen. If you live in a high-crime area, you may want to consider using the suction cup mount so you can remove your camera, as it is probably quite attractive to thieves.
The rear unit is just one inch in diameter. The fact that it is waterproof is also impressive. Being able to install this outside of the vehicle offers flexibility for a lot of users. Overall, this is a well-designed and well-built piece of equipment from Chortau.
Can I use a larger SD Card with the Chortau Dash Cam?
Chortau advertises a maximum memory card capacity of 32GB. This is enough space for around 90-120 minutes of footage from the cam; front and rear combined. With the loop recording feature, the oldest footage will be overwritten to make space for the newer footage. Depending on the lengths of time you drive for, this might be fine.
However, if you wish to use a larger Micro SD card, this is possible, but you’ll need to be a class 10 card that’s been reformatted to the FAT32 format. Most cards will be in NTFS (if you use Windows) or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) if you’re on Mac.
By using third party software on your PC, you can reformat any size Micro SD card to Fat32, making it usable with this Chortau dash cam. If you’re on Mac, Apple’s native ‘Disk Utility’ app will be able to do this.
Is it worth it?
This Dual Dash Cam is an incredible offering for the price. The video quality, combined with the feature set and the build quality is way, way better than expected.
The viewscreen on the front unit is clear and useful, which is something that some more expensive dash cams don’t have. The installation process is simple but you have the option to permanently install for mode advanced features. It seems like Chortau didn’t want to exclude anyone from their target market. Both novice users and experienced users will be surprised at how good this dash cam is.
In conclusion, yes, this dash cam is worth it. It will make your vehicle and your driving experience safer and at very little expense. If you’re still not sure, check out the rest of our site for more some detailed dash cam reviews.