Portable Car Display + 4K Dash Cam | HOTPEAK 9 Inch CarPlay Display Review

In this video, I check out the HOTPEAK 9 Inch Portable CarPlay & Android Auto Display With 4K Dash Camera. You can buy this Car Display currently for $124.99 from Amazon US 👉🏻 https://amzn.to/3wTDnGP, with other store regions still to follow. In the UK they sell a similar panoramic 9″ display that may be better for narrow-height interiors for £109.99 👉🏻https://amzn.to/43jcs34.

TL/DR: The HOTPEAK 9” CarPlay Display is a feature-packed car display that offers a built-in dashboard camera, easy installation, and multiple audio output options. While it excels in some areas such as user experience and dash camera recording quality, it falls short in other aspects like FM transmission and stretching of icons in Android Auto. Retailing at $124.99, this display provides a convenient and affordable upgrade for car enthusiasts seeking enhanced entertainment and convenience on their drives.

The HOTPEAK portable car display features a 9-inch screen, with a 1026×600 pixel resolution. It features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It allows video casting from your iPhone via AirPlay and via the TLink app for Android. It offers four audio output methods to cast its audio to your car’s stereo system. There is an onboard speaker, FM transmission, auxiliary cable connection, and finally, there’s also a Bluetooth audio output with the ability for wheel controls whilst using this method.

On the back, there is a built-in, adjustable dashboard camera that can loop record video up to 4K resolutions. A bundled 1080p camera can also be inserted with plenty of cabling to reach comfortably to the rear of the vehicle. The camera can also be raised slightly from the display to peek over the top of the dashboard or its central-mounted windscreen mounting arm.

The casing has a thin profile around the entire display, making it appear quite thin, but whilst viewing from the front it does have a slightly thicker bezel around its 9-inch LCD. It doesn’t project too far out at the back. Here you’ll find two mounting height options and on the left side there are some I/O ports for USB-C power, AV-IN for the rear camera, a TF card slot for saving the dash camera’s videos and photos, and finally, there is an AUX 3.5mm output port.

Installation is simple, thanks to the two mounting solutions that come bundled in the box. The first is a fixed plate mount for dashboard surface mounting. The second is a windscreen mount that can also be repurposed for dashboard mounting. The screen is lightweight, however it is best mounted with its chin resting on the dashboard to reduce any pull from its adhesive mount.

Being a 4:3 ratio display, and at a size of 9 inches, this display from HOTPEAK can be a little monolithic in its size once mounted on the dashboard interior. In my Golf Mk7, it can get in the way a little too much for my liking, so a lower vent mounting option might have been a better way to reduce its huge stature on the dashboard (a suitable ball joint vent mount bracket would need to be purchased separately).

Powering up the display takes less than 10 seconds before its rather simple and simplistic main menu interface is displayed. I found its use of grey colour in its clock font a little odd and not so contrasting against its background wallpapers, which you can change, but only from a handful of options.

From the home screen, you have quick access to wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, AirPlay and Android (TLink) video casting. You can also access the four audio output options and playback any captured videos and photos from the onboard dash camera. Across the bottom is a menu drawer for easy access to the live view from its dash camera, access volume and brightness settings, and dive into the display’s variety of settings.

Its Settings menu has plenty of options to customise your display and functions, such as CarPlay/Android Auto driver-side settings, alter the system language, to options for the dash camera and rear parking camera. I didn’t feel anything was missing here personally, and the basics were all covered here too.

Firing up Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly took around 12 seconds from pairing the mobile with the display. So expect a total boot into CP/AA of around 20-25 seconds, which isn’t too bad of a wait.

CarPlay was responsive, not the smoothest at a likely 30fps and a low DPI due to its larger 9-inch screen, but it was still functional and didn’t fall over in my tests. I found swiping the screen had more friction on the screen than some others, possibly some treatment on the glass screen, but the display isn’t matte and is glossy with nice viewing angles – maybe it was a ‘dry hands’ day. One issue I commonly see with displays of this price range isn’t laminated, the LCD screen is buried a little further away from the front glass material, so this can result in the CarPlay UI hiding slightly behind the top portion of the screen. This didn’t stop any of my interactions from happening, but it does affect it from a quality and visual point of view.

Over on Android Auto, the HOTPEAK display was also ok. Navigation was also good, yet not amazing considering its price – there are better experiences to be had for the extra cost. Android Auto icons were slightly vertically stretched, meaning the display ratio wasn’t correctly matching the display – a common issue across many Android Auto adapters, AI Boxes and displays. Otherwise, I found Android Auto ok, with reconnections being reliable on this display.

Passing audio from the display can be done in four ways. The onboard speaker should be left for navigation or voice output and not be used for listening to music. FM transmission was unfortunately disappointing. Another common trait of cheaper displays is that I had some distortion in the frequency signal from any heavy bass in music playback. Separating the power cable (antenna) away from the driver side and trying other frequencies, all of which didn’t fix the problem I faced with FM transmission audio in my Golf.

Luckily, I have an AUX input port, which gets around any of these frequency problems, but at the sacrifice of another ugly wire sticking out from the right side of the display. If you can live with it, this is the next best audio quality output method from this display, bettered by wireless Bluetooth.

Should your car stereo accept a Bluetooth input connection from your mobile, the HOTPEAK display will certainly utilise it. Pairing the display, phone and car system over Bluetooth gives you the best of all worlds and audio quality. Wheel controls will work this way also, but there has to be a downside right? Microphone input will sadly come from your phone during this method, so if your phone is in a back pocket or inside a bag in the back seat, you will not be heard when sending audio messages or making calls. I also faced issues with reconnecting with my Golf BT system on reentering the car the next day, more an issue with my Golf than this display, I think.

Calling and audio messages are perfect when using the display’s front microphone input. Calling lag is very rapid and holding a conversation will not be a problem here. However, this microphone will only be used in Speaker, FM or AUX audio output modes. So your experience will vary depending on your preferred audio output method.

AirPlay and Android Cast aren’t worth any words in this review, sadly. Performance is very lacklustre, with low frame rates and audio sync lag measured up to +500ms at times which makes this input only worthy for passive viewing, and that’s if you can get over the poor frame rates, worse on Android, which still has to use an app rather than use Android’s built-in casting option – madness!

The lens on the back of the display enables this display to have a unique ‘one-up’ over some other displays on the market. But does this make the HOTPEAK display a ‘jack of all trades and master of none?’ Its UI and management of recording are pretty solid and can be quickly accessed from the display’s Home Screen.

As for its dash camera recording quality, I was very impressed with both day and night recording when I cast my memory back at some of the other dash camera portable car displays I have reviewed. The day and night recording is very good with very little glare back at night time oncoming lights. Even at 4K, it may not match the captured sharpness as more dedicated dash cams do, but considering you’re getting this feature bundled along with a 9-inch display that also does CarPlay and Android Auto, it is a very welcome and performing feature. Looped video files of 1-5 seconds in length are recorded to the bundled 64GB SD/TF card, which is ample for looped recording for several days’ travel (depending on your journey length).

Retailing currently for $124.99 on Amazon US with coupons, this display from HOTPEAK is in the medium tier section of car stereo displays, mainly uplifted by its included dashboard and reversing camera. I like its thin profile and simplistic I/O. It would have looked better with an even and thinner front bezel to make it truly iPad-like, and its dual mounting options are pretty much standard these days.

It does CarPlay and Android Auto amicably, but pay a little extra and you could get a higher refresh rate along with a higher DPI screen, which would be an overall smoother and more vibrant display elsewhere. But if your budget is stretched already and you also want a dash camera solution, then this display from HOTPEAK ticks most boxes, as long as you have the dashboard height to position its rather large 9-inch 4:3 ratio screen and have no desire to utilise its rather disappointing video casting tools.

TIMESTAMPS:

0:00 – Brief overview
0:19 – Unboxing
1:08 – Display Features & Design
2:36 – Power Up & Main Menu Interface
4:00 – Settings & Customisation Options
6:07 – Wireless Apple CarPlay
7:16 – Internal Speaker Audio Output
7:57 – Microphone Test
8:25 – Call Delay Test
8:37 – Wireless Android Auto
9:39 – AirPlay & Android Casting
13:02 – DVR Playback
13:33 – In Car Installation & Demo
15:37 – FM Transmission Audio Output
17:01 – AUX Cable Audio Output
18:03 – BT Audio Output
20:30 – DVR Dashboard Camera
21:34 – My Impressions

You can view this video and many more on my YouTube channel. If you like what you see, please do Like and Subscribe to our channel so you can be alerted when my next video goes live.

Share this article

Support the Channel

If my videos have helped you in any way, you can show your support and appreciation by making a one-time donation through Buy Me A Coffee or a SuperThanks on one of my videos. Thank you so much for helping!

Donate via PayPal

You can also support my channel via PayPal by clicking this Donate button below and making a kind gesture. Big or small goes a long way! Thank you for helping!

Donate

Related articles