There aren’t too many car tech accessories that appeal more than a Heads Up Display (HUD). With OBD II becoming a standard across cars, it was only a matter of time before one could access plethora of information much beyond the usual set of displays present in a car. OBD apps help to retrieve and track the data in real time on your smartphone, but won’t it be cool to keep track of them “safely” while you’re driving? That’s where HUDs like Echoman EM05 come into picture.
Echoman has been into car electronics for a decade now. Based out of Shenzhen, it’s like any other Chinese company fighting it out on the basis of decent hardware at an affordable price. In fact, their HUD products are one of the best sold ones on Gearbest, one of the top eCommerce site from China who ships across the world. With this HUD, one can keep track of time, speed, fuel consumption and many other things. More on this later in the review.
Echoman EM05 comes with a 5.5-inch LED display panel. The real USP of this product is its brightness. The big icons on this LED come alive at night, but are bright enough to be used during daytime as well (it comes with an ambient light sensor). EM05 ships with a polarizing film which when applied on the windshield can enhance the visibility even more. It also ships with an anti-slip mat, which in our usage, lost its glue after a month or so. If you manage to not remove it from the place you first stick it to, the adhesive should last much longer.
The setup was expected to be simple, but sadly it wasn’t the case. After finding the most appropriate position to stick the polarizing film and aligning the anti-slip mat, we had to connect the extra long OBD cable to the OBD II port of the car. The cable was little too lengthy to our liking and we had to tie it up and hide it somewhere. Thankfully, Echoman provides two OBD ports on the EM05, which you can choose depending upon the positioning of the unit relative to the OBD port in the car. It does come with an user manual (in English), but it isn’t descriptive enough. We had to struggle our way through to setup the units and time.
Once set, it was a breeze to use the Echoman EM05. As mentioned earlier, the LED is super bright and it takes power directly from the OBD port of the car, so you don’t have to power it separately. It comes with a remote control which helps in alternating between different screens. In addition to the basic Speed, RPM and Time tracking, Echoman EM05 can also display the Instant and Idle Fuel Consumption, latest travel interval, current battery voltage, current water temperature and the latest travel distance. All these data were always there, just that the HUD is extracting them effectively via the OBD port.
One can also preset values like continuous driving time, maximum speed, battery voltage, water temperature etc. and the HUD will alert you with a beep when the preset value is breached. If you’re a newbie, gear shifting indication can be a boon as it can alert you to change gears if rotate speed is higher than the preset value.
In our experience, using Echoman EM05 has been smooth. It’s so bright and big, that we have had multiple people asking about it, specially the security guys at malls and hotels. Although it can display almost everything we mentioned above flawlessly, we wished it was a bit more smart, and had a memory and battery of its own. Right now, it switches off when you turn off the ignition, and it so happened that a couple of times it completely forgot the time we had set. But then, you’re paying just around $50 (with free shipping from Gearbest) as against $499 for something like Navdy (which is yet to launch after 2 years in production). Echoman EM05 is a great buy if Heads Up Display is something that excites you and you don’t want to spend too much for ‘smartness’. While we are on car electronics, we suggest you to check out other related stuff on Gearbest.
Disclaimer: Echoman EM05 was sent by Gearbest.com for review.