Field of view: 170° wide-angle lens
Display: 3-inch LCD display
You might be tempted by the Chortau B-T13’s low price and the fact that it offers 1080p resolution and an additional rear camera for such a low price.
However, image quality suffers at night, the rear cam isn’t great, and there’s a dearth of additional features. It's certainly going to leave you wanting more.
Chortau B-T13 dashcam review: Price and availability
The Chortau B-T13 can be hard to track down outside of Amazon.com, where it will set you back just under $65.
Chortau B-T13 dashcam review: Design & features
The Chortau B-T13 shares its looks with a typical compact camera. Its rectangular body comprises a brushed metal front and plastic rear frame sporting a wide 3-inch display — larger than what many high-end dashcams offer.
The unit would look somewhat sleek and discreet, if not for the whopping lens casing incorporating six sparkly infrared sensors. Though the B-T13 is fairly light on features, it still manages to include 1080p resolution, a parking mode, IR-enabled night vision, and motion detection. And like most standard dashcams, the onboard G-sensor registers any collisions with the vehicle and starts recording footage automatically.
Still, it lacks things beyond the basics, such as GPS and any sort of wireless connectivity. However, Chortau has managed to squeeze an additional rear camera into the package. This pool chalk-sized box is also waterproof, meaning you can install it on your car’s exterior if, say, you have tinted windows.
Chortau B-T13 dashcam review: Setup
Setting up the B-T13 was somewhat tricky, not least due to the poor language localization in the instruction booklet.
Out of the box, the camera needed the time and date setting, but then you’re good to go. The unit’s buttons are located on its sides, meaning you need to operate the menu system while awkwardly cradling the device — a feat that will require all your digits.
Additionally, for a screen of this size, it was disappointing to see that the icons and date stamp were rendered so small on the display. You practically have to squint to see if your mic is on and recording — which is not recommended while driving, naturally.
The supplied mounting kit also felt a little cheap, with rough seams and scratchy textures on the plastics. However, I liked the swivel design of the B-T13, meaning you can point it to where you need; a traffic stop, for instance.
Mounting the rear camera was also fairly simple, as it came with screws and a sticky pad. However, this adhesive pad was ineffective — I found the camera dangling by its wire against the back of my car the following morning.
One thing I found was that the main unit started running pretty hot after around 30 minutes of driving, begging the question of whether it would stand the test of time after months of use and under summer road trip conditions.
Chortau B-T13 dashcam review: Video and audio quality
The Chortau B-T13 has mixed results in the video quality department.
Its 170-degree wide-angle lens can pick up a fair bit on its periphery, allowing for better clarity against oncoming number plates. And its 1080p camera generally holds up during the day.
However, glare and light contrast are this model’s biggest weaknesses. Sunlit clouds often appear whited out, with plenty of fuzziness within darker objects such as trees.
This problem is most apparent at night, where the sensor is often overloaded from contending with darkness and bright lights. It makes it nigh-on impossible to discern licence plates caught in headlights, even those directly in front. The infrared vision was all but useless at mid-to-far range.
The rear camera fares even worse, with limited clarity unless objects are within a few feet of your tailgate.
Chortau B-T13 dashcam review: Verdict
On paper, the Chortau B-T13 is a highly affordable dual dashcam complete with generous display. However, its shortcomings are plentiful, with minimal features, disappointing video quality at night, and lackluster build quality.
Its daytime footage quality is generally acceptable, so it might just about do for habitual road users. Still, bigger rivals offer better quality, more features, and more support for a little extra cash. As such, there’s not much to recommend about this model — avoid unless you’re on a tight budget.