My car is one of my most prized possessions, after my house its also my most expensive possession. One car accessory that is an absolute must have for every car enthusiast is a dash camera. Its an essential accessory for insurance purposes and in general if you love your car.
I used to have the Roadhawk camera for quite some time. However with time I was getting more and more annoyed with the extra set of wires and how it didn’t merge into the interior of my car. The long wires looked super shabby and I didnt like the fact that it took over my cigarette lighter slot.
At that time I discovered that BMW had a dash camera system: the BMW Advanced Eye 2.0 camera. Not much was known about this camera on the Internet.
At the time I was thinking about buying it, no one in my car dealership had heard about it. The accessory shop was ready to order it but was asking for close to $1000 to install it. Mainly because BMW of Bellevue had no clue on how to install it. Its a pretty shitty dealership but there are only a handful in Western Washington.
Anyway, the camera proposition seemed to be great. It was BMW branded which meant it was covered by the car warranty. It would connect directly to the car systems and it would look sleek and fit into my interior. I ordered the camera from an out of state dealership which gave me a great discount and got it installed by a local shop Zahntech. They did it for 30% of BMW of Bellevue’s cost.
Build quality for the camera is surprisingly solid. The wires hide pretty well into the car when well installed and the functionality of parking mode and general move works pretty well.
Overall no complaints with respect to build quality. Even in super hot and super cold weather the camera worked perfectly.
As someone who works in software development, i am embarrassed that BMW felt it was ok to ship the Advanced Eye 2.0 application. The application is perhaps one of the most frustrating I have ever used in my life. That would explain why the application has 1.1 rating on the Apple Itunes App store.
Why you ask? Where do I even start? The UI is un-intuitive, the application and interface to the camera is buggy and updates are few and far between. I remember spending close to 60 mins configuring the app for the first time.
One of the features that should work the best, video downloading often hangs, the device uses modal popups to share simple messages to the user. Its almost impossible to use the application and to be honest i would rather just take the SD card out and use it. Unfortunately there isnt a native way to see the rear camera view when you do that.
There is a Windows app that is also published for this camera but that also didnt work for me. I am shocked that BMW endorsed such a shitty product.
If you can get over all the software hangups and still want to give it a try. Here is a sample video for you.
Video quality is nothing to write home about. There are always random glitches present in the video where the image would gray out for a split second or so. Again poor quality hardware plus software.
That is right, dont waste your money on the BMW Advanced Eye 2.0 camera, you will do better to get other more conventional options than relying on the BMW Advanced Eye 2.0 camera system. Its a cheap system with a lot of functional gaps and not so great video quality.
When I contacted BMW around issues with the camera they asked me to talk to the dealer, the dealers dont even know about this camera. So BMW is letting its customers bear the brunt of this poor product.