Firmly in the family section of the smart home security camera market, the ThreeC Camera Robot looks like a cute chubby robot.
At $50 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), it is only the size of a hand, and won’t break anyone’s bank. It can be used to keep an eye on the family, pets or what’s going on in a room.
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Out of the box comes a 2.4 x 3.4 x 2.8 inch little white robot shape with a black plastic visor where the camera lens sits. On the back is a USB port for power and an SD card slot for storage.
One of the main benefits of the ThreeC Camera Robot is that it has a magnetic design feature. This means you can tilt the camera head for a perfect angle wherever locate it.
Or you can detach the camera head, plug it into a USB power bank, as used for keeping smartphones running while people try to catch more Pokemon Go, and then place it anywhere for more covert surveillance, or just put it somewhere away from a power point.
You can also use it as a car dash-cam, although it seems a little fiddly for
Otherwise, the designers have tried to keep it in the specification stakes with a 960P video mode to seem better than plain old 720P models, which it can also do if bandwidth is an issue.
It connects to b/g/n standard WiFi networks but may have problems holding a connection, depending on location.
Otherwise, there’s two-way audio for communications and it is easy enough to connect the robot to your network video recorder or monitoring software to keep a steady stream of recorded footage. There’s also an SD card slot in the back for local storage, supporting up to 64GB cards.
The unit connects via WiFi network and there are an Android and iOS app to keep an eye on motion sensor alerts, or just to check in from time to time. The camera also features 10 IR LED lights for night vision, with a claimed performance of 10 up to meters.
Pros of the ThreeC Smart Home Security CCTV
The ThreeC Robot provides decent images in both day and night modes. While not quite up to the 1080p of the main players, there’s nothing really to complain about. Video streaming can be up to 25 frames per second, but that’s very much down to the network connection and your phone signal.
The ability to store footage on SD card or network storage is pretty useful. The camera is also flexible in operation, with the user able to set operating modes, timed periods when the unit is on and
The pack comes with sticky mats and screws so you can install the unit in the location you like, but the ability to attach a USB battery extender has some obvious uses, you can record footage in garden sheds, garages and other areas where connectivity is usually a problem.
Cons of the ThreeC Smart Home Security CCTV
It should be noted that this product is sold by several different brands, including Ryham, Smartdolphin, Apitch and others. They all seem to see it around the same price point and offer an identical product.
Whichever one you get, you’ll get minimal, badly translated instructions, so while it might seem all cute and family-friendly, you need to be at least mildly tech savvy to get it up and running.
Some people can get it to connect a few times and then nothing, so there might be a quality issue with the software or a component. Be aware of this when buying and check your return warranty options. Others have trouble setting up email alerts, and the technical support is spotty
Finally, while the robot is pretty small, it definitely screams “hello, I’m a camera” at you, which means it isn’t exactly a subtle piece of home security.
As we’ve covered in a past article, there are lots of these low-cost devices being sold by a variety of new brands or white labels. They work, if you get a good unit, and can handle the lack of clear instructions.
The ThreeC Smart Home Security CCTV IP Camera Robot 960P Wireless seems no better or worse than the others, and while the app or PC connection works, these aren’t exactly feature-filled utilities.
Really, it all comes down to cost, you can have three or four of these for the price of one Google Nest Cam, but at least you’ll know the Nest Cam will offer a great experience, and a fast replacement if something goes wrong.
If you get one that works well, then great, but be prepared for a less than easy setup.
We’d rather stick with a known entity, such as the Arlo cameras, which provide a range of price and performance points, but if you want to take a shot, then, by all means, give one a go.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!