Night vision isn’t an option in most cars, being reserved mainly for high-end models and being an expensive option otherwise. With the Lanmodo Vast, you can add night vision to any car for less than a manufacturer would charge.
It has an 8.2in 1080p screen (though not a 16:9 aspect ratio) and uses a camera built into the rear of the device with a Sony sensor and a 28mm lens. This gives a bright, zoomed in view of the road ahead and makes it a lot easier to see in poor conditions including when it’s raining.
Unlike some built-in systems there are no warnings when hazards are detected, so you won’t get alerts if a pedestrian is spotted. However, this also means no false warnings, as you sometimes get with those systems.
You can use the suction cup to mount it to your windscreen, or the silicone base so it sits on your dashboard. In testing, we found we had to attach the three included sticky pads to stop it moving when cornering or braking hard.
The unit can be powered via your car’s 12V accessory socket or via the OBD port, and both cables are included. There’s a second camera input on the cable which is for a rear-facing camera. You can buy a kit including the 720p rear camera separately for an extra $100.
Buttons on top of the unit allow you to adjust brightness and contrast, switch between front and rear cameras and rotate the screen, which you’ll need to do if you use the suction cup mount instead of the base. Another button switches between colour and black and white.
The display is about the size of a rear-view mirror, so it’s quite large, and it takes a bit of getting used to glancing at it while you’re driving. If you already have a car with extraordinarily powerful headlights you may not need the Vast, but in many cars it really does enhance vision at night, even when there’s street lighting.
If there’s a negative, it’s that the camera has limited adjustment so the screen has to be roughly parallel with your windscreen – you can’t turn it much before the camera isn’t pointing at the road any more. Lanmodo says this is intentional to ensure that the camera doesn’t shake and cause a blurry image on screen.
Build quality is below what you might expect at this price, with cheap feeling buttons and suction mount. Also note that the Vast isn’t a dash cam which records video: it’s just a monitor.