Top critical review
Software updates could make me love this camera.
February 3, 2018
I own an Amcrest camera and was looking for something better. The Amcrest is fine as a camera but the app is impossible, it's not user friendly at all. I had notifications working for a long time then they stopped, and I'm to a point I'd rather just replace it than mess with it. With that in mind I was looking for a better camera. My main use for my camera is keeping tabs on a very irresponsible teenager, and as a side benefit I can make sure the house is safe while I'm gone. This camera can do several good things.
- I installed it in less than 2 minutes and I didn't use any instructions. I have installed several Alexa devices so I just followed that idea and it worked great. Download the app, open it and follow the instructions. I had a video on my phone in no time.
- You can pull up a live feed anytime you want
- It records any motion and adds it as a motion alert on the app, you can set how often you want to be notified of such alerts (options are every time, every 10 minutes, every 30 minutes, hourly, every 4 hours, daily, and never)
- The audio is really good. You can turn audio detection on or off but when it's on it picks up the audio very well
- You can set the camera to know if you are home or away based on your phone's location. For me this feature doesn't help much because I'm home at night, but I want the camera to notice if the teenager is up and around the house. (no sneaking out with this camera)
- Nighttime video has been good, better than the Amcrest.
- The camera is pretty low key and not super noticeable so it's not an eyesore.
- You can't set time frames for the camera to be on or off. I really don't want it on when I don't need it (when everyone is home and moving around) because you get TONS of notifications. (they show up in the app, you can set how often you receive notice of them). You could turn the camera off, but only manually. I would probably want the camera off everyday between 4:40PM and 9:30PM.
- For some reason the events are often a bit broken up. I had my daughter playing a dancing video game right by the camera. Rather than it being one video of her playing for like 30 minutes it was cut into literally like 100 short videos.
- My dream is for there to be profiles you can set. For instance at night I want instant notification if someone is walking around the house, but during the day I don't need instant notification because I expect people to be walking around the house. So I could create one profile that just gives me an end of the day notification of all events, and one profile that sends me instant alerts. I would love to be able to have it scheduled so all day long it runs on the no notifications profile then at night instant notification. It doesn't do this, but it could if they put that in the app.
- There is an LED that comes on when the camera is recording and is off when it's not. I don't like this because it could alert the teenager to the camera being off at certain times. I would like to be able to turn this off but I can solve this with LightDims (also for sale on Amazon, and I'm not paid to sell them, I just didn't know they existed and I found them so I figured I could save you some trouble if that's important to you too. I don't own them yet so I don't know if they are great or not but they get good reviews)
- Can't sign up for advanced features on the app, you have to go into your amazon account and find the cloud subscription. It would be nice to be able to do that from the app
So the simple solution is to just leave the camera on at all times, but if you do you'll get several hundred notifications in a day that for my situation I may then have to sort through. I feel like what technology is there for is to make things easier and more convenient. In this case I would have to manually do all this stuff. If the teenager is home I want notifications of things. If not then I don't, I could manually make these adjustments every day or Amazon could build some of these features in and it would make things "easier and more convenient". The Amcrest could do these things, but programing it was like writing code.