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People these days seem to be very concerned about security. Whether it’s a good or bad thing is not something we plan to debate, but if home security is important to you, then there are a lot of smart home security cameras on the market that are worth a look.
It’s important to consider video and sound quality to ensure that you can detect motion or sound, and who is making it. You also need to consider a wide range of features like geofencing, notifications, and other customizations that allow you to make the camera work for you.
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Wyze’s goal is to make an excellent home security camera for cheap. They succeeded in creating a very small camera that can go anywhere in your home, and there are several versions available for less than $50 each.
The most important question is whether or not a camera like this can compete with the main players in this space as far as quality and features are concerned.
At roughly 2x2x2, the Wyze Cam easyazon_link identifier=”B076H3SRXG” locale=”US” tag=”ahrom-20″]Wyze Cam[/easyazon_link] is small enough to sit on any ledge or go anywhere in your home. Once you place it, you can almost forget about it, and you’ll hardly notice it anymore because it’s so unassuming. It tends to blend in.
It is in the shape of a cube, which some might consider retro in comparison to others, but nostalgia is in, so there’s that. It fits in well if you have modern decor with clean lines. If the words ‘cute’ or ‘friendly’ were appropriate for describing security cameras, then we would use them here.
The goal of a home security system is for it to be almost unnoticeable. The Wyze Cam unlocks this achievement. You can use Wyze Cam brackets to mount it on the wall, or you can simply set it down on the counter. You can leave it alone as a two-inch box or tilt it up and down to point it wherever you want a video feed.
The Wyze Cam easyazon_link identifier=”B076H3SRXG” locale=”US” tag=”ahrom-20″]Wyze Cam[/easyazon_link] has two-way audio and 1080p video resolution. The video quality is pretty impressive considering that the Wyze Cam costs as little as it does. This offers a clear picture of any people who enter the frame.
Wyze also offers free cloud storage for a rolling fourteen day period, meaning you can backup all of your videos and access them at any time within fourteen days of them being recorded. These videos are also end-to-end encrypted for additional security.
You can also set up notifications when your Wyze Cam senses sound, motion, carbon monoxide, or smoke alarms. You can change the sensitivity of the alerts using the app, which is compatible with both iPhone and Android devices.
People with pets can decrease the sensitivity of the Wyze Cam so they won’t get a notification everytime their cat walks through the room, while people without pets can leave the sensitivity high and most likely won’t have a problem with false alerts.
The six-foot power cable means you can place it anywhere, even if it’s not close to an outlet. If you find that you have some extra cord, you can just bind it up and leave it. Extra cord might bother some because it’s hard to hide.
The Wyze Cam also has two-way audio and smart sound recognition, so it can tell the difference between voices and other noises and knows better than to notify you when the dog sneezes.
The main complaints with the Wyze Cam are the extra long power cord and the lack of geofencing. If having extra cord lying about bothers you that much, the Wyze Cam probably isn’t the camera for you; however, as far as functionality goes, that has no impact.
The other main complaint has to do a lot with your notification settings. Because the Wyze Cam has no geofencing, it can’t tell when you’re home. You can set a daily notification schedule to turn them on during the hours of 8 and 5, but if you come home early, it will notify you of motion or sound, because it doesn’t know it’s you.
In the same vein, it will notify you of motion or sound constantly on the weekends, and you may find yourself turning off notifications completely. This is a tad high maintenance and requires opening the app to adjust your settings quite a bit.
Wyze Cam Pros:
- Great video quality
- Free cloud backup
- Amazon Alexa integration
- Two-way audio
- Notifications for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms
- Smart sound detection
- Night vision
Wyze Cam Cons:
- No geofencing
- Long power cord
The affordability of the Wyze Cam coupled with its incredible video quality begs the question: why are competitors so expensive? It has high-definition video, it’s easy to set up, usability is excellent, and it’s small and attractive.
The value of the Wyze Cam beats a lot of competitors for a simple and affordable solution to your home security dilemma, and at the current cost, you could almost buy one for each room for the cost of one competitor’s product.
It’s also worth noting that Wyze also offers the Wyze Cam Pan with a full 360-degree view of any room as well as lens tilt. The Wyze Cam Pan provides the same great features and affordability as the Wyze Cam with the ability to track action as it happens and set up custom patrol routes.
The Nest Cam is a leading competitor in the smart security camera space, offering clear video even in low light, a Wi-Fi connection, many device integrations, and excellent customer support. For superior quality and a lot of features, the Nest Cam is the best choice.
The Nest Cam is black and circular. It couldn’t be more different than the Wyze Cam as far as design goes. It’s roughly 5x4x4. There’s really nothing spectacular about the look of the Nest Cam. All of the fancy stuff is on the inside.
The Next Cam is only for indoor use, although there is an outdoor version as well. The video resolution is 1080p, which is the same as the Wyze Cam. The video is clear enough to tell the difference between people and other objects.
The two LED lights allow you to see things at night and a 130-degree field of view exceeds that of the Wyze Cam by twenty degrees. By mounting the Nest Cam in a corner, you can see most of a room.
The digital zoom allows you to enlarge parts of the video by up to eight times, also the same as the Wyze, and two-way audio means you can stay connected with people on the other side of your video.
The motion detection on the Nest Cam will send you a notification if it detects movement and the mobile app is easy to use. After you use it to set up your camera, you can change settings or view videos.
The primary benefit of using the Nest Cam is the ability to connect it to other Nest devices or third-party products like IFTTT, the August Smart Lock, Scout Alarm, and Philips Hue. You don’t need a Nest Aware subscription for any of these basic features.
Having a Nest Aware subscription also gets you continuous video recording, the ability to download clips, and time-lapse videos. It also includes location detection so your Nest Cam can use GPS to activate alerts when you leave the house.
The Nest Cam connects to 5GHz Wi-Fi instead of 2.4GHz, which will provide you with less signal interference in the event you need to access your Nest Cam or any of its many Wi-Fi enabled features.
Nest offers customer support beyond a two-year manufacturer’s warranty, meaning you can rest easy knowing that if anything goes wrong, a representative will be there to help. The Nest support site has FAQs and direct customer support via phone, email, live chat, and their dedicated Twitter support account.
One of the downsides to the Nest is that you need a subscription to enable some of the upgraded features. At the price point, which could also be considered a disadvantage given how high it is, you would think you’d get more of those things included.
Another thing some users complain about is how hard it is to see the video feed in direct light or complete darkness, although it works well in normal or low light. Any camera will struggle in direct light, causing the feed to look washed out. Unfortunately, the infrared LEDs are so bright, that in dark conditions, they wash out the feed as well.
Nest Cam Pros:
- Great video quality
- Integrations including IFTTT, Philips Hue, August Smart Lock, and Scout Alarm
- Two-way audio
- Customizable notifications
- Motion and sound detection
- Night vision
Nest Cam Cons:
- Need Nest Aware subscription to activate some features
Nest offers a lot of features, but also costs a lot of money. However, if what you’re looking for is a camera with a lot of integrations, allowing you to create not just a security camera feed, but an entire smart home ecosystem, then the Nest is right for you.
Nest also offers outdoor versions of their smart security camera that are weatherproof, so you can expand your smart home security to include the perimeter of your home or your entire lot.
Nest also has updated Nest Cam IQ (full review here!) devices that offer many more features like three-way audio with noise cancellation, Familiar Face Alerts using facial recognition, and much more.
Further read, Arlo Q vs Nest Cam!
|Wyze Cam||Nest Cam|
|Field of view||110-degree||130-degree|
|Integrations||Amazon Alexa||IFTTT, Philips Hue, Scout Alarm, August Smart Lock, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, other Nest devices|
|Cloud storage||Included||With subscription|
|Mobile app||iOS and Android||iOS and Android|
Wyze Cam or Nest Cam?
If you’re looking for a smart home security camera that offers great video quality at an affordable price, the Wyze is the logical choice. It offers almost as many features as the Nest Cam, but it costs significantly less.
If finicky notifications or an extra long power cord are concerns for you, then you need to decide if it’s worth the upgrade to something like the Nest Cam, but for most people who want a network of security cameras, the Wyze offers an easy and cheap way to build and customize that from the ground up.
On the other hand, if you want access to features like geofencing or integrations that improve usability and can potentially create a fabulous smart home ecosystem, allowing you to control your home while you’re away, the Nest Cam is the better choice.
While direct sunlight and night vision can cause some trouble with the video feed, that will be the case for most camera lenses. It can also be frustrating to subscribe to a service for additional features, but those features enable you to do so much more with the camera and your notifications.
Both cameras offer excellent quality, exceptional video resolution, and easy setup and operations, allowing you to create a smart home security camera system that will work for you and keep your family safe.
Further read, Ultimate Smart Home Gift Ideas
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!