Nonda ZUS backup camera hands-on: Great innovation for older cars

Hands on with the Nonda ZUS backup camera great innovation for older cars zdnet
  • Editors' rating
    8.4 Excellent

Pros

  • Easy to fit
  • Long battery life
  • Wide field of view

Cons

  • Phone needs additional dashboard mount
  • Unneccesary app features for single device use

The ZUS Wireless smart backup camera from Nonda fills a gap in the market for anyone who drives an older car, or a low-spec car that is not fitted with a backup camera. 

The camera is housed in a plastic housing. its dimensions are 1.29 x 10.74 x 1.14 in (33 x 273 x 29 mm), and it weighs only 8.48oz (240.4g)

Usefully, in the box, there is a spanner and non-tamper screwdriver, and enough screws and nuts to fit the camera to your car. There is also a USB charging cable which you need to use.

I tried to use one of my other USB charging cables that did not go far enough into the backup camera slot. When the camera is charging there is a red LED light.

With a few screws, you attach it to your rear license plate using the pre drilled holes (there are three methods of installation depending whether you have two or four holes behind the license plate).

Once the camera is fitted and fully charged, download the ZUS Smart Driving Assistant app, turn the camera on by pressing the button on the back of the camera until the green light flashes three times, then connect the app to your smartphone using Bluetooth. 

Top ZDNET Reviews

The camera has a 170-degree wide angle lens so you can see everything behind you. The neat thing is that you do not need to install an additional screen. Your smartphone -- which needs to be fitted into a dashboard mount -- works well.

The camera is 2MP, 720px, and has a 6-layer glass lens. You can configure the camera to switch on night vision automatically at specified times. You can also flip the mirror if you mount the camera onto the front plate instead of the rear.

The backup camera is rechargeable, with two batteries totaling 5,200mAh, and each full charge lasts for up to three months.  The app has a battery level indicator -- but not a low battery alert. It is rated IP67, so you do not need to worry about it getting wet.

The camera will only activate itself when it is connected to the app so if you do not use the car every day, the battery will last for longer.

The ZUS Driving Assistant app  has several configuration options. You can calibrate the rear parking guidelines to the size of your car so that you can reverse into a parking space using the camera, not the mirrors. It has infrared lights so you can see in the dark, too.

I was disappointed that the app promised several features that are not available if you only have purchased the backup camera. To get all of the functionality promised by the app, you do need to buy extra devices.

The app promises you the ability to you to set parking meter alerts, track mileage, monitor car battery life, and provide a car's location through its "find your car" feature.

To monitor your engine health, you need to purchase a Health Monitor. You will need to purchase a Smart Tyre Safety Monitor for real time pressure data or slow leaks, and a Smart Car Charger if you want to check your battery level and monitor performance.

You will also need to buy a dash cam to record your journeys, mileage, and trips.

With all these extra devices, you will be able to have a comprehensive overview of the functionality of your older car. However for around $100 the ZUS backup camera certainly is really useful -- and easy to fit.  I certainly recommend it for simplicity -- and your peace of mind when reversing.

Related stories:

Top ZDNET Reviews