In the last couple of weeks of driving around for work, Christmas shopping and family visits, we’ve been trying out the Philips ADR810 Driving Video Recorder.
The Philips ADR810 Driving Video Recorder
With Collision Detection, Emergency Easy Capture and Fatigue Alert, there are features to record what others are doing, as well as supporting you to think about your own driving. Something that has been very important to me in the last couple of weeks, as I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. One of the symptoms is extreme tiredness, and so after a couple of those sleepy-eyed blinky moments I realised that I probably shouldn’t be driving at the moment (something confirmed by my consultant). But how would the Philips Driving Video Recorder know that? Well, it doesn’t of course. But what it DOES do is use a variety of factors to figure out how tired you might be – based on how long you (or in our case currently, the Other Half) have been driving, the time of day etc… and then it calculates when you might need to stop for a rest. At which point it alerts you, both via the screen and via audio. Definitely very useful, as I know that I, like many people, often don’t realise that the fatigue has been creeping up on me.
It works in practice as well as it does in theory, with the number scale on the screen turning to amber when the number scale reaches 60 to warn you to stop soon (and 80 is the point where it suggests that a rest really is in order RIGHT NOW). It’s worth noting that you do have to switch this function on or off, so if you want to use it, make sure it’s enabled.
The other great thing about the Philips ADR810 (particularly for someone who is generally functioning under par right now) is that it is really, really easy to set up. I got the power lead, video camera unit, and mount out of the box, slotted in my mini SD card (which needs to be purchased separately as it isn’t provided), and then had it stuck up in the windscreen and ready to go in less than 5 minutes. Without even needing to read any instructions (although I did read them online afterwards, just to make sure it really was that easy…).
Setting it up
All I had to do was peel off a sticky label to stick the mount to the windscreen, and set the date and time on the camera using the ‘OK’ button menu before it would start recording. That’s important, of course, because if you do happen to be involved in an accident, having the right date and time on the video will be useful for any insurance claim.
The Philips ADR810 has Collision Detection to help with this too – it works by creating an emergency video file. This is saved on a separate section of the SD card so that it won’t be overwritten, and saves footage from 30 seconds before the incident occurred. We have a large number of potholes in the roads around here, and so there have been a few ‘incidents’ that aren’t really incidents at all…however I do find it reassuring to know that it works. Emergency video files can also be created manually, by pressing the ‘Easy Capture’ button on the power lead, or the separate Easy Capture button on the recorder itself. This came in quite handy when a deer ran in front of me on a dark Essex lane a week ago!
How it works
The recorder switches itself on and off automatically when the car ignition is started or stopped. I like this feature as otherwise I’d probably forget to switch it on myself. It doesn’t have an internal battery, but has a capacitor so that it can retain settings for up to a week of not being used, which is fine for us as we use the car pretty much daily. Worth remembering if you have been on holiday though – the settings will need to be input again or the camera won’t record.
Recording is 1080pHD, with a wide angle that takes in a lot of detail in high quality. The night driving picture quality is good too, a definite bonus at this time of year as the majority of our driving is in the dark. There is no GPS, so speed and location aren’t recorded, but this isn’t really an issue for me as most of my driving follows the same routes and I’m lucky in rush hour if I can get above 30…
In the dark, the recording light on the Philips ADR810 is quite bright (especially when it’s blue), and I found this a little distracting to start off with. Having the camera mounted directly in front of my rearview mirror has helped to obscure this a bit. Viewed from the front of the car, the recorder blends in nicely, so that it is not obvious at all.
Other devices that I have used have come with suction mounts, so I was a bit unsure whether a sticky pad would actually work well, but it turns out it does – well, it hasn’t fallen off the windscreen so far, anyway! It’s also easy to remove the camera and slide it back on again too, something which is important to me as I don’t like to leave electronics in the car.
Having the Philips ADR810 has definitely helped me to think more about my driving (or current lack of it), and it’s reassuring to know that it’s there whether we are driving around on motorways, country lanes, or simply crawling around giant car parks (yes, the Christmas hell that is Lakeside in December).
For regular drivers who want a great quality driving recorder that’s easy to to use, the Philips ADR810 Driving Video Recorder could be exactly what you’re looking for.
We were sent the Philips ADR810 Driving Video Recorder to put through its paces for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are either mine or those of the Other Half.