This post was originally published in the Southwest Journal, a Southwest Minneapolis community newspaper.
I was first introduced to Wyze Cam in January 2018 and I bought one right away. It was billed as a wireless smart home camera and you couldn’t beat the price … it was $26 at Amazon! I tried out that first one and was incredibly disappointed. It kept dropping my wireless network and didn’t seem to have any smarts to it. I returned it.
Nine months later I was out with a fellow techie and we were discussing our latest gadgets. He brought up the Wyze Cam v2. He couldn’t say enough positive things about it. He made sure to point out that it was the second version that he had. I ordered one the same day and it was the same price, so not a major purchase. [Note: You can buy it directly from the manufacturer for only $20 plus shipping!]
The new Wyze Cam v2 was great. There were no problems connecting to my wireless network and the software was much smarter than the previous version, detecting movement on the screen and drawing a green box around the motion that it recognized using new AI.
Like the original version, the v2 is a small cube that looks like a robotic eye. It records in full HD at 15fps (frames per second) as opposed to 10fps on the original. It has two-way audio so you can talk and listen live. It also has night vision for picking out images and motion in the dark.
According to the website, a feature I was not familiar with is “Smart Sound Recognition: Wyze Cam recognizes the unique sounds of smoke alarms and CO monitors and alerts you to these specific emergencies.” That is a nice safety feature to have.
The cam includes free 14-day rolling cloud storage where events are automatically saved in the cloud for you. It also uses end-to-end encryption so your privacy is safe. Additionally, you can pop in a microSD card (not included, but very affordable) and you can continuously record locally; when it gets full, it just overwrites the card. You can record in HD or SD if you want to save space on your card. You can even set a time frame and intervals to easily create a time lapse that can be recorded to the microSD card.
There is a magnetic base and it includes adhesive tape and a metal bracket for mounting, so you have quite a few options there. It is meant for indoor use only.
The Wyze Cam only uses the 2.4GHz frequency from wireless routers, so no getting it on your 5GHz band.
It does not have a battery, so must be plugged into a power source. It comes with a 6 foot power cable, but can be extended to 11 feet with the mounting kit (sold separately at Wyze for $3).
Wyze has it’s own proprietary app that is available for Android and Apple/iOS. The app is pretty straightforward. You can see your cameras live or go back to a point in time. It can notify you whenever there is movement and you can watch those notifications instantly. You can even record or take photos directly from the live stream
Wyze Cam v2 even works with Alexa and the Google Assistant (if you have a compatible screen) so you can pull up your camera on a larger screen to view it. I generally just use the app.
All in all, I think this is a great security tool, especially for the price. If you have been debating buying a wireless security camera, then this is the one for you.
Paul Burnstein is a Tech Handyman. As the founder of Gadget Guy MN, Paul helps personal and business clients optimize their use of technology. He can be found at gadgetguymn.com or via email at email@example.com.