Being the geekiest bunch, we are always looking out for smart products available in the market that make our lives-less chaotic and a smart car camera definitely fits that bill. A car camera is meant to carefully record everything that takes place both on the road and inside your car. This is extremely useful when it comes to security of the occupants as well as pedestrians, if the car gets involved in an incident. Not to mention the handy evidence it will end up providing to keep your mind at peace without having to frantically interviewing other roadside commuters for a witness evidence.
With that in mind, we set out on finding the camera that is not just a regular dash cam but something that provides a lot more. This smart car camera from Raven, we fumbled upon sounded interesting with all the features that the manufacturer had reviewers raving upon so what better product to take for a proverbial ride and put any myths to the sword.
About Raven Car Security System
For starters, the camera comes with a plethora of features. The Raven car camera is an augmented model that comes with unique features that make it stand out from its competitors. Unlike traditional dash-cams, it is a combination of internal and external cameras, a security system with mobile application integration, GPS navigation, and much more.
It is a godsend for tech-savvy drivers like me who want to give their old cars a smart cam makeover. The exterior camera can record videos in 1080p while the internal one reach up to 720p . Packed with a powerful snapdragon processor, it offers functionalities all the bells and whistles you would expect like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a 4G LTE connection.
What Makes Raven Smart Car Camera Special?
1. Gesture – Triggered Videos
Raven cameras can record raw footage (just like any other dash camera) and short videos (also known as gesture-triggered videos) and time-lapses.
What is interesting is you can place your hand in front of the device to test and the device starts recording a short video. The Raven car security system uses an infrared Time of flight sensor that detects your hand. This sensor then sends pulses to the device, which triggers the camera to start the recording. As you can expect, this recorded video is automatically downloaded on your mobile phone.
2. Time-lapses Videos
This is our favourite! If you are planning on a road trip with your mates or partner, the Raven can be a good partner for you (see what we did there!). No, it does not mean you can leave your other half back home but it can be equally helpful with time-lapse feature to automatically record your memories during your trip. Irrespective of the length of your trip, this device will capture videos of your complete journey.
You also get to download recorded time-lapses on your mobile phone, through the Raven app and choose the trip of your interest- very handy indeed!
Raven smart cam comes with turn-by-turn navigation pre-loaded with its plethora of features acting as both a dash-cam and a GPS in one. A dash camera to record the road trips along with a GPS feature while viewing the road map on the screen saves some spend from your family budget.
We found the screen extremely intuitive. To start the navigation, select the arrow at the top right corner of the map on your Raven app. Now, enter your destination, and you are good to go. Easy peasy!
4. Sharing Trips With Others
One little handy feature is sharing your road trips with others. Raven smart car camera lets you temporarily share your trip with your loved ones. So, if you are getting late for a dinner date; you can share your trip with your partner so that they know where exactly you are. I can use it on my other half straight away without being nagged on!
Well, as with other features, the usage is self-explanatory: To share your trip status, open the Raven app on your mobile, and “Tap” on “Trip Share”. After that, you can send a temporary link of your trip status through email, text, or even through social media. This link will automatically expire when the trip ends or when you reach your destination.
5. 24 * 7 Live Video
If you are like me and want your priced possession, no I’m not talking about precious metals here, your car, to be safe and secure at all time, day or night, whether you are in your car or not, and you want to have an eye on what is happening in and around it on your mobile screen. This is a subtle but very handy feature when you are off on vacation. The robust sensors on the camera are extremely sensitive and will alert you if you have an intruder or a naughty teen trying to break into your car. One less thing to worry about in my life!
6. Your Car’s Doctor
Well, is your car feeling a bit spongy and wayward? Raven comes with toolset to help you have some on-board diagnostics before heading towards a mechanic and spending money. I no longer have to get taunts that “Women don’t know much about cars” from my partner
So,What is in the box?
In the Raven camera box, you will find the following things:
- 1 Raven Connected Car Device
- A quick start manual
- A double-sided tape to stick your camera
- An OBD-II adapter with power cable
- Four cable clips with adhesive and
- An Allen key
As with all purchases, make sure you have all the above parts in your box when you buy it.
How To Install Raven Smart Car Camera?
Great the tough part is done. You have purchased your Raven smart car camera, so what next? Now, it is time for the installation. Just follow the steps mentioned below to install the Raven app on your device and raven camera in your car.
1. Download the Raven app on your device. Raven app is available both on Play Store as well as on Apple Store for free.
2. After setting up the app, it is time to install the camera on your car dashboard. All you have to do is to plug the camera into the OBD-II port for power and vehicle data.
3. Once you have plugged the camera, place it on a dash or window as per your preference, and “Voila” it springs to life!
4. Your Raven camera is now ready to work, and you can now connect it to the App on your mobile device.
How Much Does Raven Costs?
The manufacturers have made this a bit more affordable for the customers than its counterparts, by offering flexible choices. You can pay monthly as low as $35/month with 1 year of data included. That means you will be able to use all the data features of the device for just 1 year. Just in case, if you, for whatever reason, feel that Raven is not for you, they also offer a 30-day return policy although I doubt you would ever want to give it back.
However, if you absolutely love the device, you can purchase Raven for $299 without any terms associated with it. It is available on both Amazon & Raven’s official website.
The basic service plan is free for three months, which is more than enough to give it a whizz, and then, it sets you back with $8 a month, so worthwhile to consider this outlay upfront.
If you are in the market for a dash cam, with all its features and price point, Raven is worth the investment. Apart from the basic features, you would expect a dash cam to do, it has excellent visual and audio quality to enhance your overall experience. Raven is a gadget meant for people who want a lot from their technology.
One thing we noted though is that others might be able to see what you are doing in your car or where you are heading. This unless you are swaying towards naughty side of life, which as a 24 year old, I do not, is not a big deal.
Raven is an interesting option from the rest in the market so, if you feel the features meet your requirements, it is a very good option for your car. You will get optimum performance with some interesting gadgetry for your car. If you are into technology like me, what more can you ask..
As with other things, if you choose to purchase it, let us know your experience in the comments below.
Are all cars compatible with the Raven Connected camera?
In the USA, the Raven dash camera is compatible with cars manufactured after 2008. Also, it will not work with most electric cars due to the latest configurations.
Do the Raven Cameras come with a warranty policy?
Yes, a warranty policy gives you a thirty-day test-drive period with a one-year limited warranty period for parts and defects on manufacturing. Remember to return the item in the original package. For more information about the warranty, visit the website.
Can the camera record for over 24 hours?
Well, this depends on the SD card. With a 256GB card, you are guaranteed 24 hours of driving with a full-motion video for both the dash and cabin. Again, you have four days with time-lapse recording, which works for road only recording. Finally, you get 300 shots for the road and cabin, which is sufficient for your review.
What can cause Raven cams to shut down?
In rare cases, the camera shuts down, and the typical situation is when your car battery is below 11.9 volts.
Can the Raven system collect and alter the information on how my car works?
No, all the Raven systems, including the apps, are secure and collect information based on encrypted connections such that third parties' access isn’t possible, so at no point will your car information get edited while in the Raven system.