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(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 


Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

DR02 D - Best Budget Dual Cam

Yi Ultra 2.7K
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level


What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.


RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)


U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)




The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for's some.


VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 


« CCTV Basics - Wired day & night outdoor camera. | Main | The Big SJ5000+ Action Camera Review »

K1S - The first Front & Rear Hidden 1080p Dash Camera

My full video review for the K1S 2ch HD Car DVR is below. 
If you want to watch my 'Beginners Guide To Dashcams' video - Click here.
The K1S manufacturer website is here, and pdf manuals for the camera can be found here.
For my downloadable sample videos click here  As always, download these files to your machine before viewing them - streaming will make them look worse than youtube.
Note: These files have been manually trimmed for length (and filesize) - therefore the start and end points for the front and rear clips no longer match each other perfectly.
Size Comparison
The control unit is approximately the same thickness as a box of cards but a bit smaller overall (without cables).
Buying the K1S
I’ll add links below as and when I discover additional resellers. 
US link here
UK link here
(US) With GPS:
(US) Without GPS:
UPDATE 02 March 2015
I've received the answers to a few questions I asked the manufacturers.
1) The Car Lamp Open/Closed menu as expected does warn the driver if they are driving in the dark with the headlamps off. It judges this by the exposure.
2) Apparently the battery used is a Standard GoPro size....which is great. Normally I try to avoid dashcams that use batteries, because when the internal battery fails you have to replace the whole camera - in this case you can buy a new battery. Just a reminder -  I can't comment on the long term reliability of any cam after only a month of use.
3) I wasn't sure how the emergency button handled the files. I was concerned that if you saw something you wanted to keep - but the camera started recording the next file before you managed to press the button then you would be protecting the wrong clip. Well it turns out the manufacturer has thought of this. "When this button is pressed, if current recording is less than 1 minute, then current file and the file before this (together 2 files) are locked"
4) Not a question, but I have raised the issue of the need for resellers in China who can export to Europe and also the Speedcam database is no use in the UK until the camera can support additional database formats. Both these things are being explored...but the database issue isn't a simple quick fix.
Both my cars had a K1S installed until a couple of months ago - They were still working 100% at the point I took them out. I removed them so that I could test other cameras, although I was getting a bit sick of the rear wire interfering with the rear hatchback door on both cars - this would work better in a car with a fixed rear window.  It seems that my experience is not the same as that of other people - perhaps the manufacturer changed the product after I purchased my cameras...but if you read through the comments it seems that other people are having lots of reliability issues. You may have noticed that this is no longer on my list of Recommended Cameras - and this is the reason. I was happy with the performance of both of my cameras for 18 months...but perhaps my experience was uncommon. 

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Reader Comments (642)

May 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterhard wire kit K1S

Has anyone managed to find a USB extension cable which works for the cameras? I need more than 3m for the front.

May 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBill

The system works great but I have two issues.
1. The compass heading is inaccurate especially when stopped. Is there an actual compass or is it derived from the GPS/speaker module?

2. Sound quality is terrible. Any way to hack in a different microphone?

May 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRico mcpato


do you need micro usb cable for koonlung k1s? 3meter or 4 meters our shop can supply for you

May 21, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterk1s

Hi sir
Is the koonlung K1S still your preferred dash can and is yours still functioning perfectly?

May 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Bourke


I have now tested the K1S Dash cam for a while. It have been great. Then I put the cable proper away, and it stiil seemed to work as it should. Lately I have been getting a double beep, then a pause forlowed by recording started. It seems that it doesen't record in 10 min clips anymore, but different stops and starts. Motion detection is still off.

I noticed that from the dobbel beep until recording start is heard the "REC" text on the controldevice is turned green. As soon as recording started is heard, the "REC" text is turning red again. There is no change in the red light on the enclosed extra button, which I have next to my emergency light button. It keeps lighting red from the moment I set power to the controldevice.

Does anyone have an idea, why this suddenly is happening?

kind regards Michael.

June 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSkeel


I had a similar problem for a while. From what I can tell, it was caused by one of two things (both of which I changed at the same time). First, I had a UHS 10 speed class 1 card in the DVR. Koonlung actually recommends a UHS 10 speed class 3 card be used. I picked up a 64Gb UHS 10 speed class 3 card on Amazon for about $50. This records about 5 and 1/2 hours of video at the Super Fine setting in 1080p. The other problem was that I had used my DVR with the battery provided by Koonlung for a while. Turns out that this battery gets very hot under normal usage (and this was during the winter when high temperatures were no more than 40 degrees F) and this damaged my DVR. I know the DVR was damaged because it repeatedly and fairly often would lock up where it would stop recording - and even sometimes do that when it was saying "Recording started" and this would cause it to say that over and over until I unplugged the unit. I got a new DVR and have not used the provided battery (the unit works without a battery).

I know other people that have commented on this site have mentioned that a GoPro Hero2 battery fits and they have not had problems with the DVR at all. I would recommend that you check the firmware is up to date. If I recall correctly, the current version is 1.80. It only allows for 2, 5, and 10 minute file lengths, with the default being 5 minutes.

June 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC. Smith

@ Smith.

I have just cleaned the card. I will see if I can remove the battery, and let you know if these things help. I have the latest firmware in kmh which worh fine. The problem didn't seem to happen while the controldevice was mounted near the emergency lights button on the dash. It has first started after I have put the controldevice away in a compartment next to the steering wheel.

I will let you know wha happens after removing the battery.

thanks for now.

regards Michael.

June 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSkeel


That makes sense to me. I have my DVR in my glove compartment (glovebox, whatever else it might be called) and I noticed that when I had the battery installed it would get very hot in there.

June 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC. Smith

The camera does not automatically turn on and start recording when you start the car. So you have remember to do it manually every time, which gets annoying.

June 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTim W

Both of mine do, as does everyone else's. There's something unusual about your configuration. Test the camera out by plugging the power into a USB charger...e.g. Run an extension lead from your house, plug a USB charger into it. Plug the K1S into it and see if it turns on. If it does, perhaps you have a permanently powered 12V socket in your vehicle, if it doesn't, look through the settings to ensure you haven't deactivated anything.

June 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

@Tim W, @Techmoan

It's not a configuration issue. I have a K1S in my daily driver and in our conversion van, and both are configured identically. The K1S in our conversion van starts every time my wife turns the vehicle on. The K1S in my daily driver usually starts when on power-up, but not always. The only difference between the two is the one in the van is plugged into a port that gets powered up when the vehicle is turned on, whereas the one in my daily driver has to be unplugged from the port because the port is hot when the car is off. Fortunately for me, my daily driver is a small car and so it is easy for me to open the glove compartment and power it up manually.

June 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC. Smith

Some vehicles send a double power pulse that upsets the auto-on detection on dashcams, like flicking a light switch twice quickly. It is possible that a different USB adaptor might smooth this out - or alternatively hard-wire the camera in to a switched 12V fuse.

June 10, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

K1S power issues , I got mine to work ok after taking power direct from the car battery to an independent switch then to a secondary cigarette lighter socket , the K1S is then plugged into that socket , I also run a Gopro battery , after I start the car I flick on the Independent power switch which kicks the DVR into life , when I stop the car I manually stop recording and turn the DVR off using the power button on top of the unit , I then turn off the independent power switch to the lighter socket ready for next time , No Problems !

June 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGreg


Hmm. I'm running mine with no battery and I use the supplied button to manually stop recording before turning the car off each time. I'll try powering the DVR down each time before I turn off the car and see if that helps. Thanks for the suggestion!

June 10, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC. Smith

Does anyone know where to get the latest firmware for the K1S? My unit came pre-loaded with "K1S:R183/20150922 6948 HW_v3". Having a few issues with unit shouting out "GPS On" every few minutes which gets a tad annoying.

June 11, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterfraze1974


You have the most up-to-date firmware already (or you might be at most one version behind). That said, I had a problem with getting "GPS Ready" announced multiple times during a trip. The resolution was to buy a faster memory card. I had originally purchased a UHS 10 speed class 1 card. When I replaced it with a UHS 10 speed class 3 card, the problem went away.

June 11, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC. Smith

Bought one on Amazon based on this review from you. I also heard you mention on a different video that this is the dashcam you use in your car so thought I'd give it a try. As you have your select choice of dash cams and you still chose this one really says a lot :)

I will let you know how I get on

June 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTony Savage

mmmm noticed that with a 64GB card the interval always defaults to 5 minutes, I've tried setting it to 2 minutes but the unit won't take the setting. However with a 32GB card it remembers the 2 minute interval. Both cards are Samsung EVO Plus microSD cards. Perhaps a faster 64GB card is needed as the EVO Plus cards are only UHS Class 1 and not the recommended Class 3?

June 14, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterfraze1974


I had originally purchased a Samsung EVO card, as well. I upgraded to Lexar cards (one 64Gb for one car, a 128Gb for the other car): . As for the file lengths, I've found that longer is better in situations where you want to write-protect a file for later review. Originally, I had set mine to 2 minutes, then I changed to the default of 5 minutes. I have since changed both cars to 10 minute file lengths because of the way files get protected when you press the button.

Koonlung's algorithm for protecting files at this time works like this: It protects the file currently being written by the front camera and protects the previous file written, which is always the last file written by the rear camera. It does *not* protect the file currently being written by the rear camera and it does *not* protect the last file written by the front camera.

I wish they would change their file protection algorithm so that it protects both the files currently being written by both cameras *and* the files last written by both cameras. The problem with their current algorithm is that if the event you want to protect footage of is behind you, then you'd have to press the button multiple times to get that file protected. Similarly, if you're rear-ended and that causes you to rear-end someone else, then you need the files from both cameras to prove this.

Anyway, sorry to rant. Hope this helps.

June 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC. Smith

Can you turn off the Bing Bing.... Recording started...... Or turn it down

I bought one of these close to a year ago after this review.... Last week I ripped it out of my old car and put it in my new one.... All is fine... This install the gps unit is on the dash and it's insanely loud.... And anoying.... I have the remote emergancy button... So it's red light will let me know if it's working


June 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHoe


I don't know if it can be turned down or off. I've actually never tried. I did look through my system's configuration options and I didn't see anything in there that would let me either turn it down or turn it off.

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC. Smith

@c smith

thats what i did..... might just have to put up with it

pressing issue now is its started turning itself on and off every 20 seconds.... i thought i had a good one..... dang

June 20, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjoe

My brother bought and fitted a K1S after seeing mine , he headed from Perth to Queensland and half way across Australia the system crapped itself , he has not been able to get it to do any more than turn on , all he gets is the start up screen , I told him to remove the battery and run it on direct power alone but even doing that doesn't help , he is currently attempting to contact Vimel Technology , the Australian distributor of Koonlung in Victoria but they wont answer their phone , its a mobile number. not good !

June 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Nothing but problems. 1. Pauses recording and resumes after several seconds or minutes making it useless. 2. Constantly beeps for different malfunctions. 3. Green icon comes on screen when beeping. 4. Occasionally remains on after shut down and confirmed not the car's power. Tried a 16 and 64G cards all with same problems. Exchanged uint once with same problems.

June 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

@David , have you tried to run it without the battery installed ?

June 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

I'm thinking its high time Koonlung updated the software for the K1S !!

June 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Hi, could this set up be used with a different rear camera, that is always on, as a a van rear view/reversing cam, or can it only be used with the cameras supplied?

June 24, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAL

I'm getting the exact same result as David commented above.
I left the sound on so I can hear every time it stops and starts recording again. I looked at the time stamps in the video and noticed the first recording is 1 minute long. then every video after is about 40 seconds long before it stops recording, waits 30 seconds, then starts recording again only to stop again after 40 seconds.

This is the second device I've gotten after I contacted spytek and exchanged the first one which was doing the same thing as this second one is. I'm going to request a refund and send everything back if they get back to me.

Using a 64GB SanDisk Ultra Class 10 card.

Looks like people who bought them last year were lucky while this year the quality is incredibly shoddy.

July 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Wow. I don't know what to say. I'm not having that problem with mine and only just bought them in March and April. I was going to pull my card into the house this weekend anyway to take a look at some footage I got this morning on the way to work. I'll see if there are any gaps in my files, though I'm not expecting any because I'm not getting any audio alerts. I'll post back to confirm.

July 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterC. Smith

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