Koonlung K1S Review

The Koonlung K1S Dual Channel Dash Cam is a unique product from a Chinese company focused on making high end dash cams. There are many ways to make a dual channel dash cam, Blackvue's popular DR650S-2CH for example packs GPS and WiFi into a sleek body and uses a tiny rear camera for a very organized and simple setup. Then there are dashcams like the FineVu CR2000G which don't offer WiFi but has internal GPS and a touchscreen so that the dash cam can also be used as a backup camera of sorts. The Koonlung K1S takes a very different approach in which everything is spread out which has it's unique pros and cons.

The main recording body has a modestly sized 2.7" LCD screen and a few buttons along the bottom edge, this houses the processor and memory card as well. It has four ports on the left, two for the front and rear cameras, one for the wired controller and GPS, and one for the power cable. The GPS and wired controller are optional and we've decided not to spec our K1S dash cams with this GPS device as we found it too bulky for our liking. This recording body comes with a bracket and can be attached on the vehicle using the supplied adhesive tape. A suction cup mount is also available for the K1S but mounting on the window with all the wires coming out of the screen may be a little overwhelming for some. The camera units themselves are very small and are absent of any security LED feature (common on Korean dash cams), and should make for a stealthy dual channel solution. 

Like the other Koonlung products, the K1S uses high end video components like the Ambarella A7LA70 chipset and OmniVision CMOS sensor. Video footage is sharp even at night and video is very smooth. The rear camera is one of the best we've seen on a dual channel dashcam and license plates can be picked up even when the vehicles are in motion. Images are crisp without having an artificially sharpened look 

 

In terms of pure video quality the K1S is one of the best dual channel systems on the market and the fact that it can take 64GB micro SD cards means a lot of recording on a non-parking mode dashcam. The 140° lens offers a sufficiently wide viewing angle and it's hard to complain about much video-wise for this product. That being said there are areas where we would like to see some improvement on Koonlung's part. 

The amount of wires is just too much to make for a neat install, yes the K1S can be put in your glovebox if you want it out of sight but if you want to actually use the screen/buttons that makes things a little tedious. With four wires coming out of the side it would just leave an unsightly mess and tucking everything under trim would be tricky. Perhaps if Koonlung separated the recording unit and the screen it would've been nicer as that way the screen would be the only thing you'd see and the rest would be tucked away elsewhere. Even if the wires weren't much of an issue for the customer, the lack of a true parking mode by motion detection means that the K1S isn't really a replacement for a Korean dual channel device such as the Blackvue DR650S-2CH or FineVu CR2000G. At the end of the day, we're still big fans of the K1S as it offers something quite different from the other dual channel devices at a very reasonable price point. The video quality is exceptional and punches above its weight class and the design/material choices are great as well.