So how good is a security webcam that only costs $30? Surprisingly good.
Design / Ease of Use
The WyzeCam has a unique cube design. The flexible base also allows you to aim it where you want, but please note that the camera does not have pan and tilt motors. The base is magnetic, which gives you some flexibility when it comes to mounting it.
Configuring the camera is easy. The app will walk you through the process, then display a QR code that you show to the camera. The camera then pulls your Wifi information from that code and configures itself for your network. Wyze’s cloud services take care of connecting you to a live stream of your camera when you’re away from home, so you don’t need to worry about port forwarding or messing with your router.
The camera can record in 1080p with a night vision infrared LED. The picture quality looks great — it’s not as quite as good as the Logitech Circle 2 that I recently reviewed, but it’s clear enough to see people approaching the camera. Remember that the infrared night vision LED will not work through glass, so you won’t be able to see or record motion outside at night through a window.
The Wyze Cam will send you a push alert whenever the camera detects motion. Similar to the Logitech Circle 2 camera, you can create a time lapse recording of the day, but you must schedule it in advance and it only records at regular intervals — not just when it detects motion.
The camera also feature 2-way audio, allowing you to use the app to talk to a person near the camera.
While the WyzeCam packs a lot of functionality, it is missing a few features. As I mentioned earlier, you cannot move the camera while you’re away… it is stationary. You also cannot specify specific zones of the image for motion alerting, just the sensitivity (Update: The April 2018 firmware update adds motion detection zones). Also, there is no Apple HomeKit or IFTTT support at this time (Update: The May 2018 firmware update adds IFTTT support).
Audio will always be included when recording to the Micro SD card or when a motion clip is saved to the cloud. You may want to keep that in mind if you plan to keep it running all the time inside your house (Update: The April 2018 firmware update adds the ability to disable the mic). If you don’t want to save any anything to the cloud, be sure to disable the motion and sound alerting options.
Unlike the Circle 2 camera, which only gives you 1 day of cloud storage, the Wyze camera gives you a full two weeks of motion storage in the cloud. You also have the option of using a Micro SD card — up to 32 GB — to record 24/7 locally. So even if your internet connection goes down, you still have a copy of your recordings. That’s another big advantage over the Logitech Circle 2 camera, which has no local storage option at this time. So while the Logitech Circle 2 constantly pushes you to their higher tier cloud storage options, the Wyze Cam functions are completely free (at launch, there is not even an option to upgrade yet).
- When enabling motion or sound detection, a 12-second clip will be saved to “the cloud” whenever an event occurs. The clips are stored for 14 days. If you reach 5 minutes of recordings in the cloud, older clips may be deleted (prior to 14 days).
- If you don’t want to save anything to the cloud, you will need to disable all motion and sound detection options.
- Audio is always recorded to both the cloud (if motion/sound detection is on) and the Micro SD card (if you choose to record locally). (Update: The April 2018 firmware update adds the ability to disable the mic)
- When saving to the Micro SD card, the folders are organized by Date > Hour > Minute. Each minute is saved as a separate MP4 video file.
- February 2018: WyzeCam v2 has been released, which adds motion detection highlighting (so you can more easily see what triggered a motion alert) and a new CMOS sensor. The WyzeCam team states they will continue to support v1 with firmware updates.
- April 2018: WyzeCam now support motion detection zones and the ability to disable sound recording.
- May 2018: WyzeCam now supports IFTTT! The biggest benefit is that you can now enable/disable motion detection alerts based on your phone’s location.
- June 2018: A pan/tilt version of the WyzeCam is now available.
- July 2018: You can now view your WyzeCam v2 and WyzeCam Pan on Alexa devices with a display. Unfortunately, WyzeCam v1 is not supported at this time.
For a quick and easy way to check in on your house while you're away, you can't beat the price and picture quality of the Wyze Cam. I especially like the generous cloud storage of motion events and the ability to record locally to a Micro SD card.
- 1080p with infrared night vision
- 14 days of motion clip storage
- Flexible mounting options
- No zones for motion detection
- Cannot turn off audio recording completely