The LOOK-IT Wireless Rear Vision System is a Bluetooth enabled backup camera for your car that installs easily, but suffers from a poor quality VGA camera, inconsistent performance, and a very high price tag. The system works, for the most part, but at a $249.99 price point, the performance and image quality should be much, much better.
What is it?
For older models cars, without built-in backup cameras, the LOOK-IT wireless rear vision system adds this coveted safety feature with the help of your Bluetooth enabled smartphone.
The LOOK-IT comes in an impressive box detailed with all the features of the device. The important components are all set deep into a custom foam inset.
What’s in the box?
- LOOK-IT Plate Frame
- QuickView Wireless Remote
- Magnetic Phone Mount
- LOOK-IT Manual
- Mounting screws, adhesive, and attachment for hardwiring system
The LOOK-IT unit itself looks like a large license plate mount with a small camera attached to the top.
The unit is waterproof and has a self-contained long-life battery. LOOK-IT says the battery is good for over three years in normal operating conditions. After that, you can purchase a replacement battery through a LOOK-IT authorized retailer.
Various mounting brackets, caps, and a uniquely tipped wrench to prevent theft are included with the camera system.
Along with the camera unit, a remote control fob is required for total functionality.
Only the main center button on the fob works, the other buttons are for “future expansions”. The website says that the extra buttons will open up the map apps on iPhone and Android devices, but that function did not work in my testing.
The fob has a velcro strap that allows you to attach it to your steering wheel, parking brake or another convenient spot.
The LOOK-IT also comes with a handy magnetic phone mount. The metal plates slip into your phone’s case and the mount can be attached to a vent. This was a great addition to the kit, but at $249.99, it’s the least they could do.
- iPhone 5 and up with Bluetooth 4.2
- Android smartphones running Android 5.0 and up and equipped with Bluetooth 4.2. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) is required for updates and settings. Some Android smartphones are not capable of BLE operation.
- Horizontal viewing angle of 100 degrees
- Camera resolution: VGA 600 x 480
- Three year self-contained replaceable battery
- Waterproof molded plastic casing
- Bluetooth 4.2
The first step in the LOOK-IT setup is to turn it on by activating the battery. This is done by pressing on the single button on the back of the unit for four seconds.
Once activated, the button light will blink red and the unit will stay on continuously for up to three years, depending on the life of the battery.
The next step is to link the LOOK-IT unit to your smartphone. This process involves downloading the LOOK-IT app and making sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your phone.
I started the app and followed the setup instructions, and after several tries, I still couldn’t get the unit to link to my device.
The app would crash at the same point in the setup process every time.
The only way I was finally able to get everything synced was to go into my device’s Bluetooth menu and connect to the LOOK-IT unit that way, similar to how you set up any typical Bluetooth device.
Once the camera unit and my device were linked, the rest of the installation was relatively easy.
There are two brackets that need to be inserted and then adjusted for correct mounting on your vehicle.
Your license plate mounts on top of the LOOK-IT unit, so the plate has to be removed first. An important thing to remember is to keep the original license plate screws handy, you’ll need them for the next step.
The LOOK-IT mounts to your vehicle using the original license plate screws, then your plate slides under the camera unit and mounts to the LOOK-IT with the included screws and the specially tipped Allen wrench. Definitely keep this wrench in a safe place, you won’t be able to remove your license plate without it.
The only part of this installation that I didn’t like was that there are no holes on the bottom of the LOOK-IT to secure your license plate.
To secure the license plate bottom you need to use adhesive tape placed behind the license plate. Again, after spending $249.99 on the LOOK-IT, this solution seems pretty inelegant.
Design and Features
To activate the LOOK-IT, you press the center button on the fob after it’s mounted where it feels comfortable. I chose to mount the fob on the parking brake handle in my vehicle.
Once you press the fob button, what should happen is the LOOK-IT app activates and a backup view from your camera pops up on your device screen. This worked properly about 75% of the time in my testing. Again, for $249.99, this should be flawless. The times when I pressed the button to no avail were incredibly frustrating and the only way to get it to work is to manually open the app, close it and try again.
I also have some concerns about the LOOK-IT application draining my phone battery. The LOOK-IT application needs to be running for the camera to work. When the application is running, you will see an Android logo on the very top left of your device’s screen. If the logo is not present, you will need to manually start the application.
When the button and app do work properly, a view from the camera appears for 30 seconds. Overlaid on the camera view is a safety boundary showing you how close objects are to your car.
One of the setup features in the app allows you to adjust the safety boundaries to correspond to the placement of the camera on your vehicle.
The view is usable, but it’s VGA, crappy, and pixelated. With camera sensor technology advancing every day, becoming smaller and cheaper, attaching a 640 x 480 VGA camera to a device and charging $249.99 for it is unconscionable. The camera has night vision as well, but as to be expected, it’s even worse quality.
What I like
- Easy installation
- Unobtrusive design
What needs to be improved
- Poor Camera quality
The LOOK-IT Wireless Rear Vision System works, occasionally. And when it does work it gives you a very poor quality view of the objects behind your vehicle. If the price were $50-$100, I’d recommend it, but with all the other options available on the market right now, $249.00 is just too much to pay for this product.