This Little Security Cam Gives Nest and Ring a Run for Their Money

When I was initially plotting out the review of the Eufy SoloCam E40, or SoloCam Pro, I was thinking about cheap security cameras, and the concessions we have to make to save money for convenience and peace of mind. 

I thought about what a bargain the SoloCam E40 might seem like to someone looking to expand their home security outdoors, compared to the more expensive Nest and Ring options.
Users in Australia and New Zealand described suddenly logging into stranger’s cameras and having full access to their live feeds and other cloud data.
It’s the thing most of us fear when we’re buying a do-it-yourself home security gadget, and there are plenty of reasons to take the company’s own security practices into consideration when picking out a smart device.
Because just as Nest, Ring, and even Wyze have had to deal with security breaches for their respective products, the numbers show it wasn’t enough to stop the sales of devices.
Some might even cynically call it a mark of initiation.That’s all to say, there’s plenty to consider as you shop for a security camera, from how secure its cloud service is to how clear the resolution is on the picture.
But after nearly a week of testing, it’s clear this standalone security camera has some iterating to do before it has the same consumer trust as more prominent brands.The Eufy SoloCam E40 is a compact little security camera.
(There are no other wires except for when the MicroUSB cable is charging the device.) Note that there’s no power brick in the package, so be sure you have a USB phone charger on hand that can handle charging the SoloCam E40.
This includes 8GB of onboard storage, 2K resolution for both day and night vision, motion detection, customizable activity zones, two-way audio, and what Eufy calls “AI-powered human detection.” However, there’s no microSD slot for storing additional footage.
You’ll want to pay mind to the camera resolution if you plan to do long-term motion detection and surveillance.The SoloCam E40 is IP65 rated and can handle extreme temperatures ranging from -4- to 122-degrees Fahrenheit.
There are no exterior LEDs on the SoloCam E40, so you’ll need additional lighting if you use it outdoors, like a streetlight or flood lamp.
This setup method is a relatively new practice by smart home manufacturers, and it can get a bit fussy if the camera you’re configuring can’t read the code, which is why I suggest waiting to mount the device until after setup.
If you need to charge the SoloCam E40 and you want it to continue to surveil while it’s doing so, be sure to install the device near a plug or you’ll have to dismount it every time you charge it.
You can link the EufySecurity account through the Google Home app, where it will require that you set up a six-digit PIN before the device will execute voice commands.
Most new security devices that integrate with digital assistants require this kind of security to ensure no one is peeping through your camera viewfinder or unlocking doors without you realizing it.
I’ve only been testing and tinkering with do-it-yourself security devices for a few years, but I find that the best apps are the ones that keep the main function front and center.
After about five days of use, I haven’t developed an instinct for where to tap in the EufySecurity app when I need something a little more specific than a video preview.
There’s an additional hamburger menu off to the side, which you can expand for options like adding family members and guests to access the security camera and adding cloud storage and professional monitoring.
Since there’s no storage expansion slot, you might consider the $3-a-month or $30-a-year basic option, which lets you store 1080p video for one device for up to 30 days.
Professional monitoring is priced in the same vein, with the basic plan offering emergency assistance at the touch of a button for $5 a month and $50 a year.
There’s another tier that’s $10 a month or $100 a year, but it’s catered toward Eufy’s full-featured security system, including monitoring for doors and motion sensors, plus false alarm forgiveness.
Not to mention, due to the prevalence of false alarms, police departments around the U.S have adopted “verified response policies” to only respond if there’s a verified crime in progress.I tested the Eufy SoloCam E40 on the side of my house, where we park our four available rubbish bins when they’re not out on the curb for pickup.
I live in a suburb where fences are merely a suggestion, and you never know who is going to walk on by—and I don’t specifically mean people, because if you listen out the window at dusk, you can hear the siren call of coyotes traipsing the neighborhood and looking for scraps.
I bring up this specific situation as an example of the kind of thinking that might drive your decision to buy a friendly-priced security camera like the Eufy SoloCam E40.
Through push notification, I knew immediately each time my husband was taking out another bag or when my kid was sneaking around to play.
But I definitely jumped when I heard the alert go off, and I’m pleased to know there’s a simple way to make a loud, distracting sound without having to deal with shouting through the microphone.
Unfortunately, I ran out of time to test if the SoloCam E40 works with Google and Nest’s “Away” mode, and I wasn’t able to pair it with a smart home routine.
My concern with the Eufy SoloCam E40 is that if it’s not properly positioned, the camera flickers back and forth between night vision and day vision, making it hard to see what’s going on in a recorded clip.
The Eufy SoloCam E40 offers several features the high-cost brands do, including high-resolution night vision, a loud siren, optional cloud storage, and third-party smart home integration.
But despite the attractive $130 price tag, it’s hard to get excited about do-it-yourself home security when there is news that makes you feel insecure about the brand you bring home.
All it needs to do going forward is be a little more explicit about what’s going and what it’s going to do next to make its lineup of new security cameras a hit.

1 month, 3 weeks ago by SAEID US

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