SimpliSafe Outdoor Wireless Security Camera Review

For a long time, the lack of an outdoor camera had been one of the few negative aspects of the SimpliSafe security system. That changes with the company’s new wireless outdoor camera, a sleek device that, unlike the company’s garish indoor camera, looks like it was built with the SimpliSafe design motif in mind.

The camera has a compact design, built as a small cylinder (think a half-height soup can) attached to a magnetic base that allows it to be repositioned quite freely, yet it is designed to be mounted high on a wall and pointed downward. towards the ground. The base is easily fixed to the wall using two included screws.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best home security cameras, where you will find reviews of competing offerings, as well as a buyer’s guide on the features to consider when purchasing this type of product.

The camera runs on a sizeable battery similar to what you’ll find in a Ring doorbell. The battery can be removed and charged externally via a microUSB cable (included); SimpliSafe says the battery will last 3-6 months before a recharge is necessary. If recharging the batteries isn’t for you, the camera can also be connected full-time via a pass-through microUSB cable found under a rubber tab on the back of the device. (A 25-foot waterproof cord will cost you an additional $ 50.) If you’re mounting the camera in a place where sunlight is abundant, an even better option might be to install the optional solar panel ($ 69) to conserve battery life. topped off.

Simlisafe Outdoor Camera Solar Panel SimpliSafe

SimpiSafe’s optional solar panel ($ 69) will keep the outdoor camera’s battery charged, so you don’t lose use of the camera while it recharges or changes the battery.

From a specs point of view, the SimpliSafe Outdoor Camera covers most of the bases, although it relies on a connection to a 3rd generation SimpliSafe base station and keyboard and cannot function on its own (you will also need to connect it to your 2.4 GHz device). Wi Fi network). The unit has an impressive IP65 weather resistance rating and records 1080p video in a 140-degree field of view. Two-way audio is included, as are two night vision options: traditional infrared or full color night vision through a built-in spotlight. Motion detection and activity zones are available, and the camera can be configured to alert based on any movement or with people detection only.

If you have a working SimpliSafe hub, setup is literally a one-button affair: just launch the SimpliSafe app, select “Setup a camera,” and press a button on the back of the camera when prompted. Everything else is handled behind the scenes, making this possibly the simplest camera setup I’ve come across to date.

SimpliSafe App Christopher Null / IDG

Invariably some video clips are missing from the timeline.

If you’re just watching a live video feed, the camera is decent but not the best on the market. The video is clear, but the app is extremely slow to connect to the camera and activate it, often taking 5-15 seconds before the stream appears. When recording video, the system has room for improvement. It took me a lot of movement to get a notification from the app, even at the highest sensitivity settings, and clips that were recorded were often marked as “No video” available. The application frequently crashed every time I tapped the “rewind” button to play older clips within the main interface. The app tends to lose its Wi-Fi connection quite a bit, and again it takes several seconds to find it. Both night vision modes are effective, but all suffer from a “pop-in” problem where the lens must work to adjust to ambient lighting for a few seconds, leaving the first few moments of any recorded video overexposed.

Please note that you will need a monitoring plan to make the most use of the camera; otherwise you are restricted to viewing live video. A $ 10 / month plan offers unlimited recording options for up to five cameras and is designed for people who do not want professional security monitoring. Upgrade to SimpliSafe’s 24/7 Professional Monitoring Plan, $ 25 / mo, increases the maximum to 10 cameras; the good news is, if you use SimpliSafe as your security system, chances are you already have this subscription.

Camera video is solid, but from a wireless standpoint there is work to be done, and the app might need some polishing to achieve stability. Those are problems that can probably be fixed with a little time and patience. The hardware is reasonably priced (not cheap though). Ultimately, if you’re already a SimpliSafe user, it’s worth taking advantage of the 60-day money-back guarantee to see if the system works well in your environment.

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