What: Blaupunkt BP 3.0
At a glance:140 degree wide lens, 1080p picture quality, 1920x 1080 resolution
Best buy: Rs 12,500 on amazon.in
USP: Sturdy camera, flexible stand
In an episode of Black Mirror (the dystopian sci-fi TV series), titled The Entire History of You, in the near future, individuals are shown to have an inbuilt camera in their eye, attached to a memory chip in their brain. This way, they can record every moment. Now, imagine this technology at use during a road trip. It enables you to capture everything — from the in-car jokes, to the changing landscapes — and relive it, frame by frame.
We are far from a camera being installed in our eyes. But phone cameras and adventure cameras, such the GoPro, have brought us closer to that future. The Blaupunkt BP 3.0 is purely a dashboard camera — a niche addition to the always-on video gadget pool. We took it on a recent road trip to Bhuj, Gujarat, hoping to capture a three-day journey. However, it disappointed on the most basic front. The fully charged battery ran out in just half an hour.
What’s good: The design is impressive. The three-inch plastic body, as the makers claim, is crash-proof, and looks classy. The camera kit comes with a dashboard stand that holds it in place. It allows for flexible movement of the camera, so one may pan and tilt the frame without dismounting it. The stand is sturdy: it features an inbuilt lock that keeps the camera in place even on a bumpy road. It shoots in 1080p (high definition), and doesn’t take up too much space while storing the data — HD footage worth 30 minutes translates to a 4GB file. Also, the motion stabilisers do a decent job on challenging Indian road conditions. Be prepared for a grainy film quality, though.
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What’s bad: You would think that a camera device designed to be mounted on a dashboard — a point in a car that is most obviously prone to harsh sunlight — has inbuilt heat resistance. Instead, the BP 3.0 heated up and shut down one afternoon when the sun wasn’t even harsh. We were still willing to attribute the heating to an overuse of the device on low charge. So, we charged the camera overnight and used it the next day. The device ran out of battery after 30 minutes of continuous shooting. Sure, we could have put it on power instead of the battery, but the USB wire provided is too short to reach the dashboard. As for charging it on a power bank, one needs to hold the power bank next to camera at all times, as the former keeps slipping off the dashboard. Secondly, it took three hours to get the battery to halfway point, and it again gave up in under 10 minutes. In all, we have 40 minutes of recorded footage from a road trip of 72 hours.
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Verdict: The Blaupunkt BP 3.0 fails to deliver on a feature that should be basic to any device, let alone a device that is aimed at travel and adventure enthusiasts.