Wyze Cam review: The cheapest security camera I’ve ever tested might be my favorite

If this is $ 20 inside Security Camera by Seattle-based smart home company Wyze sounds familiar to me, you’d be right. This cheap camera, called the Wyze Cam, is very similar iSmartAlarms Spot. The spot used to cost $ 99, but is now available from iSmartAlarm for $ 40. It’s affordable, but still double the price of the Wyze Cam – and it looks like Wyze has made some design updates (although I don’t have a spot on hand for side-by-side comparison).

To like

  • This indoor security camera is only $ 20
  • It has free cloud storage and a microSD card slot for local storage

I do not like it

  • You only get one movement zone for free

The Wyze Cam has the same main performance and functions as the Wyze’s $ 30 Cam Pan, another solid, affordable indoor camera from the brand. Instead of a swivel base, however, the Wyze Cam has a static base that you can bend, raise and lower manually. It has free person notifications (see below), free 14 days of event-based cloud storage, and a microSD card slot if you want continuous local recording. The value of those free features alone is a big contributor to its low cost purchase price and solid performance, and the value is absolutely insane.

The Wyze Cam is one of my favorite cameras for indoor use and is therefore easy to recommend and to be determined as the winner of the Editors’ Choice Award.

Editor’s note, November 27th: In January 2020, Wyze will end its partnership with Xnor.ai, the company that provides the person identification function of Wyze Cam. Wyze says it is working on in-house people recognition software for the next year and that it will continue to be free, but has not given a specific availability date for the feature. This news didn’t affect our rating as the camera still has very strong value. Our review, originally published on November 26th, follows with minor adjustments.

$ 20? You can’t beat this price

When I started testing Security cameras In 2013, Most DIY indoor cameras are $ 200or anywhere in this stadium. But as I already wrote This camera paradigm is changing and Wyze is a leader in offering solid products for significantly less than the competition. The Wyze Cam is a big part of that shift.

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The Wyze Cam is only $ 20 – and it’s damn good.

Tyler Lizenby / Tips Clear

Again, these are the things you get with your $ 20 purchase – no subscription required. I have bolded those that are often subject to a fee on other surveillance cameras:

  • 1080p HD resolution
  • Alexa and Google assistant Language support
  • IFTTT integration
  • Motion alarms
  • Sound detection with Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm detection
  • Personal warnings (via Xnor.ai through January 2020; Wyze then plans to roll out its own free personal notifications sometime next year.)
  • Motion detection zone
  • 14-day cloud storage (motion and acoustic alarms)
  • microSD card slot (microSD card sold separately)
  • 110 degree field of view
  • Adjustable magnet base
  • Night vision
  • Two-way audio through a built-in speaker and microphone
  • time lapse

So that is a lot of of functions. Except for the microSD, if you want to choose the local storage path, you have to buy it for free. I love almost as much as Tips Clear’s Rick Broida, aka The Cheapskatewho writes about that best deals on consumer goods — and The value of the Wyze Cam is hard to beat.

Note that it’s a little more expensive in the UK at £ 35 from Amazon, but that’s still a great deal. It’s super cheap in Australia too, at AU $ 42 from Amazon.

It works too

More good news: the Wyze Cam performs well too, provided your Wi-Fi network connection is decent. During my first tests, I received quick and accurate movement, sound, and person notifications.

As mentioned above, in January 2020 Wyze will end its partnership with the current provider of its person recognition function and person warnings. In an email to customers on November 26, Wyze said, “We are preparing to roll out our own in-house version of Person Detection next year that will remain free for our users.”

We’ll be keeping an eye on this to test Wyze’s own person detection feature when it starts up.

The motion detection zone was easy to set up and worked well. I wish you could create more than one, but it’s solid for a free feature. I haven’t tried the smoke and carbon monoxide functions yet.

The live view is clear, but not as clear as Nest’s IQ cameras with their 4K image sensors. But for $ 20, the Wyze’s view is pretty good – you can also switch it between Standard and High Definition in the mobile app if your connection isn’t working well. It also has automatic night vision or you can adjust it manually. Again, the cloud database stores footage for two weeks that you can review for free.

wyzeapp2

The Wyze app is highly customizable.

Screenshots by Megan Wollerton / Tips Clear

You can also customize the app, from adjusting your sensitivity to movement and sound, to enabling or disabling features such as smoke and carbon monoxide warnings and personal warnings (which may raise privacy concerns for some people).

Further information on data protection can be found in Wyze’s data protection declaration. The company uses the Amazon Web Services cloud platform for cloud storage and Xnor.ai again for person recognition until January 2020.


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4:03

A great Wi-Fi security camera for a lot less

I am impressed. For $ 20, you get a camera with free two-week cloud storage, optional local storage (when you purchase a microSD card), person notifications, a detection zone, and advanced audio detection.

It’s a great camera, and it’s definitely affordable for just $ 20. The Wyze Cam is not perfect. Most of the time, I wish you had more than one detection zone, but for the price, I don’t mind that much. I am also annoyed that the person identification and person warning will no longer be available in January and that Wyze has not yet committed to it when the new internal person recognition function becomes available in 2020.

I plan to keep testing the Wyze Cam over time, especially its smoke and carbon monoxide functionality – and notifying the new person when they arrive. But I can comfortably say, even with the people detection feature completely gone, that the Wyze Cam is the affordable camera worth buying if you’re looking for an affordable indoor camera with features you normally only find on cameras that do cost a lot more.

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About Emma Watson

Professional Blogger, Digital Marketer, Web Developer, Search Engine Optimiser, Online marketer, Advertiser, and News Reporter. An enthusiastic reader, responder. Love to help Humanity. I love to learn and like to share.

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