PROS / The monitor displays images at a resolution of 648 x 488 pixels, which is the highest resolution among all the 3.5-inch displays we reviewed.
CONS / The support options left us wanting; if you have a problem, there are no online resources available.
VERDICT / You would be remiss if you didn't consider the Safesight SC0302 when shopping for rearview cameras.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because it is no longer in our top ten. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Safesight SC0302 is a rearview camera that augments your rearview mirrors in assisting you with seeing objects and obstacles behind your vehicle. Inside the package, you'll find a monitor, camera and the cables necessary to connect the two.
Standout features include a good-sized monitor, the widest viewing angle of the award winners in this category and a high-resolution picture that displays images in a crisp clear manner. The camera also automatically turns on when you shift into reverse, eliminating the step of switching the camera on before you hit the road.
We would have liked to see this rearview camera include wireless functionality. However, the video quality and camera features and accessories more than make up for the lack of wireless connectivity. This product earned our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award for rearview cameras.
The display included with the Safesight SC0302 boasts a 3.5-inch active matrix TFT LCD screen. This is the smallest screen among our award winners. There are two other monitors on our lineup that measure 3.5 inches; the reason we feel this screen is superior to those is because of its higher resolution. Other 3.5-inch monitors top out at 480 x 320 pixels. The Safesight SC0302's display touts a higher 648 x 488 resolution. Compared to the other 3.5-inch monitors available, Safesight is clearly the superior monitor.
The Safesight SC0302 includes two video inputs. These inputs allow you not only to hook up your rearview camera to the monitor, but also to additional video devices that connect via RCA. For example, if you have a portable media player that connects via RCA, connect it to the monitor and watch the content on your player. This opens the Safesight SC0302 up to many different functions that simply wouldn't be available if it didn't possess this connectivity.
On the back of the monitor, you will find adjustable brightness and mirror-image function buttons. These controls allow you to fine-tune the settings of the Safesight SC0302 to fit your specific needs. For example, during the daytime, you probably want to set the brightness higher since sunlight naturally dulls what you see on the screen. When the moon and stars are out, an excessively bright screen is distracting, to say the least.
As we mentioned earlier, the Safesight SC0302 automatically detects when your vehicle is in reverse and automatically activates to provide you with an image of what's behind your vehicle. Other rearview cameras have this feature, but they require you to connect the camera to the reverse lights to detect when your car shifts into reverse. The Safesight SC0302 doesn't require a trigger wire connected to the reverse light. Therefore, you don't have to worry about whether your electrician skills are up to par.
The monitor of the Safesight SC0302 is equipped with a 65-degree adjustable base. This base not only enables you to place the monitor almost anywhere on your dashboard, but also to angle it so you have a clear view of the monitor from anywhere in your cabin.
The camera of the Safesight SC0302 measures just more than 0.75 inches by 0.94 inches. It includes a CMD sensor for superior picture quality. For a camera so small, the inclusion of this advanced sensor surprised us. Lesser rearview cameras use cheaper or subpar sensors in order to make their products small. Safesight managed to not only keep its camera component small, but also to include a quality sensor.
Because the Safesight SC0302's camera connects to its monitor via wires, Safesight includes an 18-foot RCA cable that you must snake through your car. Installation of this cable is tricky, but if you follow the included instructions exactly, you should have few problems figuring it out. We would like to see such a great camera include wireless functionality, but nothing is perfect.
One of the many standout features of the Safesight SC0302 is its parking-assist grid lines. Turn this feature on, and the unit will show you the exact path you need to follow for all parallel parking situations. Even when you're not parking on the street, this function helps you get a better feel for how far you are from vehicles and other objects behind you.
Safesight coats the camera portion of this backup camera with a special waterproofing compound. This waterproofing protects the camera and its sensor from damage caused by rain, snow, hail and other elements that could potentially render the unit useless.
There is only one rearview camera on our side-by-side comparison chart that has a wider viewing angle than the Safesight SC0302. At 170 degrees, the viewing angle of the Safesight rearview camera gives you a clear, wide view of everything behind your vehicle. The viewing angle is so wide that you can even see some things beyond the corners of your bumper.
The installation kit and mounting bracket included with the Safesight SC0302 allows you to install the unit with relative ease. Some models of cars are trickier than others; however, the principals laid out in the instructions are nearly universal. It may take some mental gymnastics if you have an oddball model of car or a vehicle that requires a longer cable than the included18-foot cable.
Help & Support
Every rearview camera on our side-by-side comparison chart offers a standard one-year warranty, except for the Safesight SC0302. This rearview camera blows all of them out of the water with a three-year warranty. This is an indication that Safesight has the utmost confidence in the quality of its product. Chances are that you will never utilize this lengthy warranty, but it's good to know it's there.
Other support options are somewhat limited. Safesight only offers telephone support; there are no resources to contact the company online. There is no email address, no FAQs, no live chat and no other support avenues; if you need help with the Safesight SC302, the company's call center is your only option.
Overall, the Safesight SC0302 is an outstanding product. It has the highest resolution among the products we reviewed with a 3.5-inch monitor. Automatic reverse detection, a wide viewing angle and a lengthy warranty are just a few of the great features of this rearview camera. We were disappointed in the lack of wireless connectivity and support options. However, the quality of the components in this product more than make up for what it lacks in support and connectivity.