K1s Dash Cam Review – Faulty and unreliable

Key features:

  • Lens: 6GIR F/2.4 angle 140°
  • LCD: 2.7″ 16:9 HD 960×240 LCD
  • Max Resolution: 1920×1080 30fps (20M front and back)
  • Battery: 1100mAh interchangeable Li-ion
  • Lens dimensions: 28(L)x28(W)x36(H) mm
  • External memory: Micro SD card up to 128GB
  • GPS + speed cam: Optional
  • Interface: front cam, back cam, GPS module | wired control, power in | AV out
  • G-sensor: Yes
Best deal at: Amazon.com

Affiliate Disclosure

I Receive a Small Commision from the Affiliate Link in this Post to Help Fund my Work at No Extra Cost to My Readers.

The K1S is the first dual 1080p dash cam that features two small cameras which can be installed separately from the recording unit. It’s manufactured by Chinese manufacturer, Koonlung. I have had the K1S for nearly nine months now, and I certainly have some feedback for others considering this dash cam. Here are some of tips for installing and using the dash cam, as well as my overall feedback on the K1S.

Design and set up

The K1S incorporates five sections that are altogether joined by links and cords. It includes the fundamental unit (which is typically stored in the glove box or centre console), the main and back cameras (attached to the front and rear windscreens), the GPS module, as well as an outside catch for manually shooting an incident quickly. 

These five sections mean there is quite a bit of cabling to set it up initially. Give yourself a couple of hours to install this dash cam, especially since the instruction manual is not terribly helpful to follow along to, so needs a bit of Google and YouTube to get the job done successfully. In fact, I am yet to be able to figure out how to set date and time according to the manual.

The kit comes with a connector that allows you to route video through the DVR unit to a deck or head unit, which would let you use the rear camera as a back-up camera. And the rear camera’s video can be mirrored to make it look as though you’re looking at a rear view mirror. This is a pretty neat and unique feature that works well.

I would recommend you do a practice run of the placement of the cameras before actually sticking them to the window; it’s only when they are in place that you can you see the angles and obstructions. This means it is helpful to use power to see what the dash cam is actually viewing. 

One final tip for the installation is to remove the protective covering over the camera lenses! It’s an easy thing to forget but will impact your footage quality. 

The design of the dash cam is pretty discreet. There are quite a few pieces but they all come together pretty seamlessly and they aren’t obstructive to the driver or passenger. 

Overall, the installation was a little time consuming than I had initially expected, but not anything I needed to call in the experts for.

Video and audio quality

The K1S dash cam shoots 1920×1080 footage at 30fps – in fact, the quality of the front and rear dash cam is much the same. It also has a 140° lens which captures a wide view of both lanes on the road. The quality of video is reasonable during the day; a little difficult to see clear detail when you are driving along at regular speed, but it’s not too bad. The night time footage is pretty average. 

This K1S dash cam also comes with a built-in microphone and speaker. The audio recording is terrible and very difficult to understand a single thing. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d go as far as giving it a 1 for sound quality; it’s a useless feature in my opinion.

Additional features

It’s unfortunate that the K1S doesn’t have a capacitor, but instead uses a battery. Whilst you can change out the battery in the K1S which is quite a unique feature of dash cams, batteries simply do not hold up in the US heat – they expand and become faulty. I am afraid that the K1S is no different. Through the summer months recently we experienced some extreme conditions, and in a hot car, the temperature truly soars. I am quietly confident this is about when my K1S started to become unreliable; since then, it only records about half of the time it’s supposed to!

The K1S has auto on/off, loop recording, and time/date stamps on video, plus a speed stamp if you’re using GPS. This speed stamp can be set to turn off once you exceed a certain speed, so you won’t be collecting evidence against yourself in case you exceed the speed limit at times. This is a bit of a dishonest feature in my opinion… it allows you to not have your travel speed recorded at all times because it doesn’t suit you and your driving behaviour. 

The K1S also includes a feature called ‘parking mode’. This is detected by the G-sensor which distinguishes a sudden change in movement and records a specific ‘incident’, then saves this important footage in a safe place so it’s not overwritten by the loop recording. Parking mode isn’t buffered though, so it will only record whatever happens after the impact, not what happened before.

The K1S takes SD cards up to 128GB in size, which is able footage from both your front and rear cameras. Make sure you buy a high quality SD card though – the cheaper versions tend to give you error messages or do not save files correctly.

My verdict

I have used the K1S for nearly nine months now and I do not recommend people to buy this dash cam. It has reliability issues which I suspect is a result of getting too hot inside a parked car during the summer months. You don’t want a dash cam that only works less than half the time! For the price you pay – which isn’t cheap – there are better dual cameras on the market that will fit this same budget. I recommend something like the Viofo A129 Duo as a reliable alternative.