The 7 Best Smart Car Products to Buy in 2017

Buy the best key finder, dash cam, smartphone mount and more for your car

With the evolution of smartphone and Bluetooth technology (among others), our cars' functionalities have also been able to evolve. But finding out which products you should buy and sync up to your car can be difficult to determine. So to help, we've compiled a list of the current best smart car tech products of 2017. Products range from the ever-popular video recording dash cam, to more integrated and professional maintenance software like a scanning tool that keeps track of your car's diagnostics. Read on to see the must-have smart car products.

1
Best Smartphone Mount: iOttie Easy One Touch 3

iOttie Easy One Touch 3
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Smartphone mounts have been around for years and come in a surprising amount of styles. But with phones getting larger over the past few years, not all mounts are suited to help you regardless of phone size. The iOttie Easy One Touch 3, however, works with nearly every smartphone (up to 3.5 inches in width), including newer models like such iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Google Pixel and Moto Z.

The iOttie Easy One Touch 3 attaches to your dashboard or windshield via a sticky gel pad that works on most surfaces, and it holds your smartphone tightly in place no matter where you stick it. The mount has a telescopic arm that brings your phone one inch closer to you and it can pivot 180 degrees, so you can use your phone in portrait or landscape mode.

While this is our overall pick for best smartphone mount, we’d caution that this is not well suited for hot temperatures and may come loose under excessive heat.

2
Best Smart Driving Assistant: Automatic

Automatic
Courtesy of Amazon.com

What an automated scanning tool that you know will work with your iOS and Android devices? The Automatic is the one for you and is designed to be one of the best scanning tools for functional compatibility — it even works in conjunction with Amazon Echo.

The Automatic is an automotive scanning tool that gives you the same power as professional automotive service people. It is able to decode your check engine light with a detailed description of the problem via Automatic’s app. You’ll be able to clear it for minor issues you can fix, but if you need a mechanic, it will provide you with well reviewed-experts in your vicinity.

If you’re in an accident, the device will get immediate assistance from a live agent, and emergency services are called — all while it notifies your family and close friends. The service is available 24/7 in the U.S. and there are no subscription fees for the second-generation adapter of the product.

The device gives audio warnings that help you stay under the speed limit you designate in the app, and also assists with driving habits to improve hard braking and smoother acceleration. The device also keeps track of your cost and MPG for every trip, so you can find more efficient routes to your destination.

3
Best GPS Tracker: Zubie ZK30012M GPS

Zubie ZK30012M GPS
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Whether you’re a concerned parent or want to keep track of where your car is going – there’s an app and device for that. The Zubie ZK30012M GPS tracker makes sure that you’ll always know the location of your car and where it’s headed. It has won the “Best Insurance Telematics Product” from TU Automotive.

Zubie is a professional grade connected car service that gives you real-time locations on where your car is, how they are being driven and if they need maintenance or repair. And the device keeps track of trip history so you’ll always have a routing system of where your car went last. It also includes a driving score with monthly reports on how you can easily coach more safe driving behaviors, as well as monitor and analyze progress.

Real-time GPS connective tracking is done from a live map that you can see on your Android or iOS operated smartphone or computer. The wireless connection included in the price lets you track any vehicle you use it with remotely, with coverage in all 50 States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. You can set up alerts when cars come and go from common places like school or work, and get updates for when you need an oil change, a tire rotation or break pad replacements. Set-up time takes less than 10 minutes.

Some Amazon.com users have reported that the Zubie irks surveillance fears similar to a 1984 nightmare scenario with the way it tracks geo location, speed, engine diagnostics and battery levels. Others are not happy that there is a $99.95 per year subscription fee for after one year of trial use. Still, some Amazon.com users find the device to be very useful in collecting information and enjoy the alerts they receive when something’s wrong.

4
Best Dash Cam Mounted Video: AUBBC Full HD 1080P Dash Camera

AUBBC Full HD 1080P Dash Camera
Courtesy of Amazon.com

One way of assuring safety of a “who hit whom” car accident is by having it recorded on camera. The best and most conventional way of filming your driving incidents is with a dash cam. On Amazon.com, the AUBBC Full HD 1080 P Car Vehicle HD Dash Camera DVR Cam Night Vision Recorder with 32GB Micro SD Card Black is the number one best seller in Car On-Dash Mounted Video.

The AUBBC is a dash cam with a 2.31-inch high definition LCD screen display with a 5M pixel CMOS image censor. It has an optical format of 1 to 2.5 inches with a 2M-5M pixel COMS. The lens provides a full wide angle view at 140 degrees. It can record with 1920 by 1080 pixels at 30 FPS or 1280 by 720 pixels at 60 FPS so you can capture crisp images of other drivers’ license plates in case of a crash. It comes with a 32GB TF Memory card and is powered by a USB power adapter and built-in battery. A mounting kit is also included so you can place it on your dashboard.

Multiple Amazon.com users have praised the product for its affordable price tag and its quality high definition recording for up to three hours.

5
Best Car Charger: Maxboost 4.8A/24W 2 Smart Port Car Charger

Maxboost 4.8A/24W 2 Smart Port Car Charger
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The Maxboost 4.8A/24W 2 Smart Port Car Charger is capable of powering up your mobile devices like your iPad, iPhone, iPod, HTC, Galaxy, Blackberry, MP3 players, digital cameras, PDAs and mobile phones. It offers a maximum charging speed for both your iPad and iPhone devices so that they reach full battery capacity quickly. The USB car charger has a double injected frame that consists of a polycarbonate inner layer coupled with flexible eternal molding of thermoplastic polyurethane for a soft grip.

The Maxboost has an intelligent circuit system designed that protects against short-circuiting, over heating, over currents and over charging. It stops charging as soon as your device’s battery is full. Dual smart USB ports allow for simultaneous charging for both you and your passenger. And it includes an LED light that lights up when the device is ready. Many Amazon.com users have liked the device for its quick charging capabilities that average one percent per minute, but some found that the device’s plastic shell casing isn’t too strong and that it stopped working after a few months. But on the plus side, it comes with a one-year warranty. Colors come in black and white.

6
Best Key Finder: Beets BLU Bluetooth Wireless Key/Item Finder

Beets BLU Bluetooth Wireless Key/Item Finder
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Beets BLU Bluetooth Wireless Key/Item Finder will help you locate your keys when you’re caught in a bind, so you don't have to look frantically around the room before heading out the door. This black electronic beeper is designed with a loud sound alarm and red LED light in case of link loss. The portable lost key detector also includes remote commands accessible on the key fob button press so you can send alerts.

The device includes geo regional actions (only for iOS operated systems) and you can use the key location system through the company’s downloadable app on your iOS and Android mobile devices. The app pulls up a lost location tracking on your smartphone, making it easy to help find lost keys and other objects like your purse, wallet and even your dog. It also includes proximity detection, which creates off an automatic sound alert when you get closer to your lost item. The device uses a low power transmitter with a battery life of up to one year, and is also water resistant.

Some Amazon.com users like the wireless key finder for its ability to alert you when you leave behind something, as well as its compact design. More critical reviewers have said that there can be connectivity issues with their smartphone and sometimes dropped connections.

7
Runner-Up, Best Smart Driving Assistant: ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth

ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Diagnostic scanning tools have become a big hit recently, as more and more people are wanting to keep track of their car's performance. And one of the best tracking tools out now is the ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth for Android & Windows (unfortunately, you'll miss out if you own an Apple product).

The OBDLink LX is a Bluetooth-connected diagnostics scan tool, trip computer, logger and real-time performance monitor. It works with all from 1996 and after, as well as light trucks that are sold in the United States (except hybrid or electric vehicles). It's also pocket-sized, so it won’t get in the way of you legroom.

The device allows you to “Clear Engine Light," read all diagnostic trouble codes and research them online, check emission test readiness and calculate instantaneous MPG with the free OBDLink App. This extends over to your Windows PCs and laptops for a more thorough view as well. OBDLink LX includes a secure 128-bit data encryption, which keeps hackers from accessing your car’s network. It’s smart enough to go to sleep as soon as you turn your car off, thus saving your car’s battery life.

Some Amazon.com users recommend the product for car tech enthusiasts that want to perform thorough diagnostic checks on their vehicle. Other Amazon.com reviewers found some unstable connections pairing it with their smartphones and using Bluetooth. On the plus side, it includes free lifetime and firmware updates and a three-year manufacturer warranty.

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