UPDATE 2018-01-27: The WyzeCam is now back in stock on Amazon! Don’t miss out on your chance to pick one up. They go fast every time they get them in! Don’t forget to also pickup your SD card to store recordings locally! Also, if you’re interested in putting one outside, there is a 25′ power cable and an enclosure that is supposed to work. I bought these but haven’t had a chance to review them yet.
Continuing on with the smart home theme that we’ve been running with, I thought I would take a moment to talk about what I think is a pretty amazing little device, The WyzeCam. I first mentioned this back in the Big Guy on Black Friday post after I ordered 4 of them.
What if I told you that there was a new smart home camera on the market. What if I told you that this camera shoots video in 1080p, has 2 infrared LEDs, includes a mic and a speaker for 2-way communication, allows continuous recording via an SD card, provides you a rolling 14 days worth of cloud storage for alert videos for free, AND is just plain cute. “Meh”, you would say, “There are tons of those devices available now. But with the cloud storage, what is that thing, 300 bucks?”, you might ask. “No.”, I would say, “It’s twenty bucks!”
You read that right. You an get the WyzeCam for $19.99 (plus shipping) when you order it from their site, www.wyzecam.com. For me, shipping ends up being 4 or 5 dollars a pop. If the shipping for you gets to high, Amazon also sells the WyzeCam for $25.98, which is the same for me as the price from the WyzeCam site after shipping. If you have Amazon Prime, 2 day shipping will end up being free.
As I mentioned, the WyzeCam takes 1080p video, but you can also record in 720p to save space. Both settings look great, and you can even pinch-to-zoom the video, live or playback. You also have the ability to create time lapse videos. On the right you will see one I took of me putting together our Sleep Number C4. I had it set to snap a picture every 10 seconds. If you’ve seen this article before, you may realize that this time lapse changed. The previous one was a little boring :).
Below you can see an HD shot of the one that I setup in our kitchen to watch the door. Below it, you will also see where I zoomed in as far as it would go on the counter by the stove. Please don’t mind the mess. The wife has me doing a project in the pantry, so we have EVERYTHING from the pantry out all over the kitchen.
We have an 8 month old, and one of the things I wanted to use these for was as a baby monitor for our little guy is napping while we aren’t in the room. The WyzeCam has really good night vision in complete darkness. Below you can see a pic of my little guy catching some Zs as I spied in on him and took a screenshot.
One area where the WyzeCam doesn’t quite excel is audio. While watching a video produced by the camera (live or playback), the audio is so-so and can sometimes be delayed. Using the speaker to talk through the camera was also hit-or-miss for me. It works, but most of the time it is so low that you really can’t hear it unless you are right up on the speaker. I’m hoping most of these issues can be fixed with a software update, but honestly, for 20 bucks, it’s good enough.
Where Do You Store all of this Great Video?!
The WyzeCam comes with a free rolling 14 day storage for any event-triggered videos that it records. You configure it to record on motion, when it detects sound, or even if it hears a smoke alarm or a carbon monoxide detector. This camera also has a micro SD card slot that you can use for storage while it is continuously streaming. According to the WyzeCam site, the HD setting stores about 4-7MB per minute whereas the SD (720p) setting stores about 1-2MB per minute. I used the 32 gig card linked here, and the first camera I installed has been up for right at 2 days. The app claims I still have about 22 gigs of space left.
Getting Great Shots
If you want to place the WyzeCam somewhere out of the way, or you want to place it upside down, the bottom of it is actually magnetic, so you can stick it on anything metal. Or, if you want to place it somewhere, but you are lacking something metallic for placement, they provide you with a metal disk and a 3M adhesive to put this baby just about anywhere you want. If you happen to place it upside down, you can actually flip the video 180 degrees using the app.
The WyzeCam connects to 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. However, it will only connect to 2.4GHz. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as you aren’t in a congested area. More and more people are using 5GHz nowadays anyway. 2.4GHz should offer plenty of speed for video.
Currently, you cannot connect the WyzeCam to Smartthings, Google Home, Echo, or any other smart home ecosystem. The only real way you have to interact with the camera is through the app. According to some answers from the creator in a Reddit AMA, however, these are things they are looking into.
To view the live stream on the WyzeCam devices which have a micro SD card, to view the 12 second clips that are produced from event triggers (motion, sound, etc), or to configure the device, you will be using the Wyze app on you Android or IOS device. Now, the app has been a little buggy, but not to the extent where it takes anything away from this $20 wonder. They seem to be actively updating the camera software and the app though, so I imagine this will get better.
To wrap this up, the WyzeCam is amazing for how cheap it is. You can get it at wyzecam.com for $19.99 plus shipping, or you can purchase it over at Amazon for $25.98. If you have Amazon Prime, 2 day shipping will be free. Honestly, if you haven’t already went and grabbed one to pay with, what are you waiting on?
- 1080p video which looks really good
- Ability to use an SD card for continuous, local video storage
- Can be adjusted and mounted to fit just about anywhere (inside)
- It’s 20 bucks! Again, what are you waiting on? 🙂
- The audio is a bit lacking with the sound in the videos being delayed and the push-to-talk feature being a little buggy
- Not very many options for integrating into that smart home you already have so much money invested in
- The app, though they are updating it regularly
One more look at this little guy. He’s almost as cute as Mr. Buttons. OK. Maybe not.