Wyze is known for making smart home products at prices so low, it seems like there has to be a catch.
Their latest? The Wyze Cam Outdoor, a basic wireless “anywhere” camera that costs just $50 for a starter bundle. Keeping an eye on your home just got a whole lot cheaper.
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“We’re on a mission to make smart home tech accessible to everyone,” said David Crosby, a co-founder of Wyze, the Seattle startup that changed everything with it’s $20 security camera.
“Pretty much shocked the world, especially a lot of our competitors, you know,” said Crosby.
I do know. I was among the first to feature the Wyze cam on TV, and it was the most popular story I did in 2017.
Wyze Cam Outdoor shares a similar look, but it’s a bit beefier than the original. It’s a wireless camera you can install in minutes.
It costs $50 dollars for a “starter bundle,” which includes a camera and the required base station. The base station works with up to four cameras – extra cameras are $40 each.
Wyze Cam Outdoor has 1080p HD video, night vision, local storage, and IP65 weather resistance.
“We put it through so much testing, like really hard testing, to make sure that it would hold up against the elements,” explained Crosby, who told me he also ran the device through his dishwasher (he doesn’t recommend you do that).
Setup is a breeze – the main thing to know is that you have to connect the base station to your router using an ethernet cable. Wyze did this to ensure a quality signal from camera to router. The cameras are rated for about 50 feet of distance from the base station.
Additionally, the base station has a MicroSD card slot, so videos can be stored safely in your home in the unlikely event that someone steals your camera.
Mounting takes just a screw or two into a base, then the camera magnetically sticks to the base. It’s a strong connection, but someone could pull the camera off the base if they wanted to.
In my testing, video quality ranges from just OK to good. When the camera senses motion (which is done via a heat-based algorithm, so you ideally don’t want to place it in direct sunlight) that triggers a 12-second clip. These clips are sent to the cloud and kept for free for 14 days, aka there are no required monthly fees.
Wyze says they’re working to extend clip recording time. One more thing to know: recording a clip triggers a “cool down” period of between 1 and 5 minutes where it won’t record another clip during that time. Five minutes is recommended, anything less will eat up more battery.
The battery is rated at 3 to 6 months between recharging, but this all really depends on how many motion events it is capturing. In my testing, direct sunlight and lots of street motion seemed to drain the battery faster than I expected.
Overall, if you can deal with re-charging from time to time, Wyze Cam Outdoor is an easy, portable and affordable way to add video monitoring to your outdoor space.
When I featured the first Wyze cam, there was a lot of speculation about the privacy surrounding the device. Wyze says no one looks at your video, they use Amazon Web Services cloud storage to store clips (which is based in the United States) and the app offers Two-Step Verification, which I would recommend turning on so no one can access your account if they figure out your password.
“There’s no compromise to the privacy and security on the camera because of the price you’re paying,” concluded Crosby.
The first batch of Wyze Cam Outdoor is sold out online, but Wyze tells me that the camera will be avaialble in Home Depot stores starting August 27, 2020. If you’re interested, I would go early, as I have a hunch they are going to sell out fast.
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