Carlinkit T-Box AR, Android Auto and CarPlay with integrated dashcam | Review

Carlinkit T-Box AR, Android Auto and CarPlay with integrated dashcam | Review

Carlinkit T-Box AR

Traveling by car always hides many pitfalls and it is not uncommon, unfortunately, to find yourself facing an accident, even a minor one, caused on behalf of a third party. From rear-end collisions to potholes on the road, the causes are truly varied and always having a clear shot of the route followed when driving your car can make all the difference. Perhaps with this very intention, Carlinkit introduces T-Box AR on the market, i.e. a smart system that integrates a 2 mpx camera, capable of saving every single moment while driving, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

How it's done

T-Box AR is not a simple dashcam to be installed on the front windshield of your car, as it integrates a system capable of transforming the original screen of your car into an Android tablet at all the effects. T-Box AR uses Android 9 and offers the possibility to start the wireless versions of both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, therefore becoming a 360-degree plug-n-play system. The possibilities of use do not stop there, the manufacturer has also included additional functions related to YouTube, Netflix and Play Store, offering an entertainment system that is even more advanced than what we generally find on board our cars. Installation is easy and similar to that required for a simple dashcam: it is necessary to choose the area where to glue the T-Box AR and, using the practical plastic lever included in the package, pass the USB-A power cable. The power supply is still USB-C, so if you already have a predisposition of some kind you will be at an advantage. To operate, the system requires the installation of a MicroSD (up to 128GB) and a data SIM.

How it works

The operation of the Carlinkit T-Box AR is simpler than than you can imagine; as mentioned, inside the device there is an octa-core Qualcomm SDM450 SoC which manages all the functions requested by the user, from the operating system to image capture. The system is combined with a GPS module (GPS, Beidou and Glonass), a WiFi module (a/b/g/n/ac dual-band) and a Dual Bluetooth module (4.2 BLE and 5.0 BLE). Those who want extended connectivity, needed indeed for Spotify or any other internet-requiring application, can take advantage of the built-in 4G modem provided.

The Carlinkit T-Box AR plugs into your car's infotainment (if compatible) directly projecting all the functions on the car screen, like any original or Google / Apple home entertainment system.

Field test

T-Box AR integrates a 2 mpx sensor capable of capturing images in FullHD (1080p) with a width of 148 degrees ( practically an ultra-wide-angle lens) thus covering the whole road in front of our hood. The recording quality is valid and capable of offering details even in situations of low light or sudden light (ie high contrast conditions). The dashcam works like most of the models on the market: it temporarily captures all the footage and, only in case of an emergency, it freezes a few seconds of the footage by saving them in a non-overwritable file. To do this, it uses a series of gravitational sensors that detect every single sudden movement (from the pothole to the sudden and not carefully modulated braking).

We tested T-Box AR on a Mazda CX-5 "Special Version" of 2022 using all the functions available without particular difficulties; the only perplexity concerns the input system which, on our particular model without a touchscreen, does not seem very effective in some situations thanks to the presence of many items and submenus. We specify that it is a problem of the infotainment system itself which, however, we would like to clarify as advice for future buyers. Below are two still images (static and moving) which testify to the possibility, in the event of an accident, of reading the license plate of the car ahead of us; the images come from a clip recorded in 1080p @ 30 fps.

Crop 500% (According to the GDPR in art. 4, point 1 we have censored part of the license plate)

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