Cellink NEO Review
Looking for a better way to power your dash cam in your vehicle? Look no further, this is the brand new Cellink NEO and it surprisingly has many features. Let’s break it down to see what it’s capable of and see if it’s right for you.
First off, just like its predecessor the Cellink B, the NEO is a battery pack for your dash cam. Some people may think that because there's already a battery in their vehicle, a dedicated battery pack is unnecessary. This is far from the truth, as the battery that’s inside your car is made to start your car and it’s not designed to power slow draining electronics. Who would want to find their vehicle with the battery drained and unable to start? On top of that, many newer vehicles have sensitive electronic systems that may not take too kindly to the power draw of a dash cam. BMWs and Mercedes are perfect examples, as their systems are unfamiliar with Dash cams and are very sensitive. Owners of vehicles with smaller batteries such as compact sports cars & Japanese vehicles should take notice, as dash cam batteries like the Cellink NEO are a must-have for parking mode.
Design & Improvements
Unlike the Cellink B, the NEO is now enclosed in a metal casing with a brushed aluminum finish. The overall feel of the unit is much more premium than before. Sized at 150mm x 170mm x 38mm, it’s a compact package overall, making it easier to pack and hide away under seats and into tighter spots.
Another area of improvement is the connectors. The outgoing Cellink B had connectors on both sides of the battery pack, making wiring and positioning the unit slightly difficult. The new Cellink NEO encloses all the connectors and switches on the bottom of the unit, making routing cables easier and allows for a cleaner install.
The NEO matches the Cellink B in terms of battery capacity with a whopping 76.8Wh. Packed with LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) this high-density battery carries the capability to last about 45 hours on a single channel camera and about 25 hours for a dual channel setup. Fully charging the NEO will only take 40 minutes with the included 9 Amp hard wire cable thanks to the Advanced Microcontroller (MCU) that’s built-in, it ensures efficient charging control. However, while using optional 5 Amp cigarette socket, it will take about one and half hours to charge, so we do recommend using the hard wire cable instead. As always, those with constant powered cigarette sockets in their vehicles are advised to only charge through hardwire.
As for output cables, there are a few to choose from depending on the dash cam that it’s connected to. The cigarette socket is the standard output method and is great for connecting to cameras like BlackVue cameras. The spliced hard wire kit is designed for use with Thinkware models and comes with the constant and acc connectors already attached. This simplifies the process making it easier to hook up. Blacksys units are compatible with both the cigarette and hardwire methods. For those who are more than willing to, an unspliced cable is available for DIY-ers to tackle and splice accordingly.
Once installed, the NEO can be monitored through its built-in Bluetooth functionality. This allows it to connect to a smartphone from an app that can be downloaded from either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. On the main page of the app, there’s a circular indicator that shows the battery's status. Details seen include the unit’s charge level, whether or it’s discharging and the unit's temperature. Our favourite feature of the app is it's “usable time” timer, which can determine how much time the NEO can power the dash cam for before it fully discharges.
Overall, the Cellink NEO surprised us when we received it with its sturdy construction and amazing capacity. We liked how easy it was to install and with the addition of the Smartphone App, it’s easier than ever before to take care of the battery and know the charging levels. This would be an amazing addition for those who want an easier way to enable parking mode by simply using the cigarette plug and avoid the hassle of hardwiring, or for those who park their vehicles outside where vandalism or other suspicious activity may occur.