If you've watched any of my video reviews and read several of my articles, one thing I really look for is value for money. That aspect of any vehicle is usually gauged by the price versus what you're getting, and that's why I always tend to prefer mid-spec or mid-grade models; it's generally a compromise, but a happy one.
Every so often though, something comes along and changes the game quite a bit by offering much more for less. That is the case for a new product that has just come to market: Solare X. What they are offering is a new line of window films... the nano ceramic kind.
Tint or window film is a big thing for us in the Philippines; the sun and heat here can be brutal, especially now since summer is here even though there have been sporadic rainshowers recently. Tint helps a great deal with that, and even gives a degree of privacy depending on how dark you go (within reason and legal limits, of course). That's why a good window film is often offered as a standard free item when you buy a brand new car at a dealers.
Nanoceramic film currently represents the highest of infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) rejection by using compressed particles in the film to block the harmful rays while also being transparent. It actually even improves the strength of the glass if you go with the ballistic-resistant film, but we won't touch on that today. What we're after is the improved heat management of a vehicle from the technology.
So I brought my Nissan Navara to the Philippine distributors of Solare X; a partnership between Jeff Pelayo and Joseph De Leon. I visited their installation facility in Katipunan in Quezon City; they actually have a very nice lounge that is fully tinted with Solarex, outstanding coffee (and other beverages) for you to enjoy, along with some very chic furniture; all of it by Kenneth Cobonpue.
I pulled the truck into their clean room so they can remove my existing tint (the premium OE option from the dealership) and install the new nano ceramic tint. For my purposes, I opted for medium on the side windows and rear glass, and went a bit lighter for the front. That would be VLT 50 in front, and VLT 35 for everywhere else.
After a few weeks driving around, it's clear that there is a big improvement. The heat I would feel when direct sunlight hits my left arm (given that we're an LHD country) is significantly less. The heat on the dashboard is definitely much less than before even at high noon and considering that the windshield tint now is lighter than before.
There are some very minor drawbacks. For one, there's a slight color change with what you can see through the glass. It appears a bit more brown; not brown glass window levels, but it's there. The other is that the RFID signal for the expressway may have some issues. I'll have to have my RFID reinstalled and tested, but hopefully no problems.
But those are really the only drawbacks, and very minor. This is really good stuff. But the key thing here is the price. In all honesty, even after all the demonstrations of advanced window films in the past, I just felt those weren't worth it given the cost. But not this Solare X.
Nano ceramic films aren't new in the local market, but what's different here is the price. With other brands, prices typically start at 5 digits for a small sedan, and so much more for a larger pick-up or SUV. Solare X, however, starts at PHP 8,888 for a small hatchback (e.g. Wigo, Jazz) and up to PHP 17,999 for a van (e.g. Hiace, Starex). For my pick-up, the price is PHP 10,999. That's outstanding value.
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. It's even covered by a 20 year warranty which isn't something I expected at all. But most importantly, it's the improvement in the cooling of the cabin. The tint gives the A/C a much easier time, allowing me to dial down the blower and thermostat to give the compressor more time to relax during a drive. As a result, fuel economy improved in the city too.
Given today's fuel prices, this tint will pay for itself.
If you want to know more, you can check out their social pages (solarexfilm.ph on FB and IG) or call 0945-799-1222.