Top critical review
*Updated* Poor software. Camera issues after 2 weeks 👎🏼
August 21, 2019
*Updated - see update at bottom*
I bought this camera to use with Alexa as backup security. The camera initially worked. The picture quality certainly isn’t the HD quality it claims, but it did work...Did! I’ll get to that in a second....
There are 2 major annoyances/issues I have with this camera. The first is that the required phone app to set it up and control it is very clunky. The pan feature works, but it’s not a crisp control. Very jerky and I never know if a quick movement will move the camera an inch, or if it will pan across half the room. There is also a horrendously log load screen to open the app. They cared more about a fancy (but useless) animation than getting to the video feed, so good luck if you hear a noise and want to quickly pull up the camera. The second problem is that it buffers a LOT. This causes issues when pairing it with Alexa. Regularly, Alexa can’t access the camera. Even when she can, the feed will drop after a few seconds. The buffering happens via the app too though initially not as bad. Even with a strong and fast internet connection that plays other video feeds fine this camera buffers more often than not. Making it basically worthless for displaying on fireTV. Today, after only 2 weeks of use, it now drops the connection regularly. Mysteriously, even though the app says it can’t connect to the camera, it can reboot it via the app. After reboot sometimes it will stream for a few seconds - usually it won’t. I took a risk on a cheap camera...and that’s exactly what I got. A cheap camera that doesn’t work a majority of the time.
*Update* - read all this, because it’s important to know before buying!
-Since my initial review there have been multiple firmware and software updates. The software still favors unnecessary loading screen animations that take too long, but the camera buffering has improved greatly. Which is good....however, today a neighbor called the police on a person going house to house looking in windows and trying to open doors. I instantly checked the SD card on this camera (which sits at my picture window looking outward) where I discovered the file structure is archaic. It writes four 10-12 second video files into individual folders - meaning lots and lots of folders to sift through. Difficult to search but still useable. The BIG PROBLEM is that between each folder’s contents is a 2 minute gap. So when looking for the window peeker I see this person leave my neighbors yard and walk into mine. Then, as they walk up to my window the 10 second file ends, and being the 4th file in the folder I have to move to the next folder - which picks up 2 mins later. I check all the folders and there is 2 minutes of no footage between them all. Worthless! Who would make a security camera that records 24/7, but has 2 minute gaps between every 40-45 seconds of recorded content? Crazy and super sad considering there have been improvements on most of my other initial complaints. A security camera that misses more content than it records though....that makes it useless to me!