There is a need every so often for a WiFi camera. Whether you’re monitoring property or checking in on your dogs — hey, being a concerned dog parent is serious business — it’s sometimes handy to have a non-descript camera at your disposal.
The EZVIZ Mini camera is non-descript. However, unlike most WiFi security camera solutions, it doesn’t come with a $150+ price tag. In fact, what sets this camera apart is its sub-$100 price. But at that price, does the EZVIZ Mini make any sacrifices that you’d otherwise get with a more expensive solution, or is it a lot of bang for your buck? Let’s take a look.
- Dimensions: 3.6″ x 2″ x 1″
- Resolution: Up to 720p
- Field of View: 115 degrees
- Connection: 2.4GHz 802.11n
- Modes: Normal, Night-Vision
- Live-streaming: Yes
- Local Storage: Yes
- Motion Detection: Yes
- Sound Detection: No
- Apps: iOS/Android
What’s in the box
- EZVIZ Mini Camera
- 16GB microSD Card
- Start Guide
- Mounting Hardware
When I first pulled out the Mini camera, I was surprised at how solid it felt. At 3.6-inches tall, the camera is definitely quite small. Though its magnetic metal base means it sits on a pretty solid foundation and can be placed almost anywhere. The camera itself is housed in a plastic frame and the front of the device is fairly simple. All you’ll see is the lens, an LED that changes between blue and red depending on a number of situations, a microphone and the EZVIZ logo.
On the right side of the device, is a micro-SD card slot and a reset button. The micro-SD slot will fit cards up to 64 GB in size.
The camera itself will record video up to 720p. It also sports audio recording, 115° view angles, and boasts up to 33 feet of night vision. The entire camera is white, short of the bottom of it. It has a white USB cable coming out of it.
Ease of Use
When I first set up the EZVIZ Mini, it was kind of a struggle. I plugged the camera in and the lights flashed between red and blue. I downloaded the app, and followed the instructions for set up. I opted to sign up with an email address but when I did I never received the email. It could be that I entered it in wrong, but instead of fumbling with an email, I opted for a text message sign up.
That worked without a hitch, and I was then ready to register my device. Now the instructions say to just scan the QR Code on the back of the device and the app should register the camera. In my attempts to do so I couldn’t get the QR code to work. The camera wouldn’t focus. Finally, after multiple failed attempts I opted to just enter the device’s serial number manually. That worked.
From there, the camera connected to the WiFi after a few minutes. After the setup, I was a bit weary about its use but I found that performance to be a pleasant surprise.
When you use the camera, everything you do is done through the app. You can take screenshots, record video, and change between basic, 480p and 720p recording. Basic quality isn’t bad. I found myself using that more than anything else, mostly because I have crappy Wyoming Internet, but for peeking in on my dogs, basic quality worked pretty well. I did up the quality a bit, and while there was a noticeable difference between the three qualities, it’ll boil down to personal preference.
The EZVIZ Mini gives you a constant, continuous live feed. It starts recording the moment it detects motion within its field of vision. You can set it up to send a notification whenever it detects movement. It comes with a microphone and you can hear what’s happening in the room the camera is in. This model doesn’t work as a two-way communicator, so if you want to use this as a way to see and communicate with someone at your door, that just won’t happen, though EZVIZ does have other models available with this capability. Even so, you can hear what’s going on in your recording.
It only has motion detection and has no sound detection. The motion detection is a bit sensitive. This may be great for those of you who want it to pick up even the slightest of movements, but those of you who don’t may not like how sensitive it is. The night-vision mode is pretty handy. I didn’t use it much but I thought it was a pretty neat feature for being under $100.
But despite that, the Mini camera simultaneously records to the microSD card and to the cloud (subscription needed). The nice aspect about this is that with dual-recording, you’ll have a back up in the cloud should the camera ever go missing. I had a 16 GB micro-SD card in the camera and I found that to be adequate. I never ran into storage issues with that size. Though you might if you’re going multiple days. Security wise, streaming is secured via SSL and the camera encrypts the video directly. All of this is done and sent to either an Android or iOS app.
The app, besides the issues with getting the camera ready to use, worked wonderfully. I could take screenshots, change modes/video quality all with the tap of my finger. The UI was simple, to the point, and looked nice. There’s no extra fluff but it flows well, and you’ll have a simple time navigating through the app, as well as using the camera.
Like I said at the beginning of this review, the camera is under $100. Depending on where you look, it’s anywhere from $50 to $80. On Amazon, you can find the camera with a 16GB SD card cheaper than without. I haven’t figured out why, but at $60 for the camera and a 16GB micro-SD card, you’re getting one heck of deal. You’re getting an HD quality camera feed, a well-designed camera, an app with a clean UI, and night-vision. In my opinion, that’s a well-encompassing camera for what you’d pay for a halfway-decent Bluetooth speaker experience.
When it comes to buying this camera, it all comes down to what you need. The super-sensitive motion detection is something you’ll love or hate, but the fluidly designed app and 720p quality is a boon for the camera being under $100. The local and cloud-storage back ups are convenient should the camera go missing.
The only real downfall to this camera is the setup, but once I got the camera set up, it was a pretty easy time using it. Even so, given that I can pick up two to three — depending on where you buy it — for the price of another WiFi camera, I can put up with a longer setup.
When it comes to a WiFi security camera, the EZVIZ Mini HD camera offers 720p recording, night-vision and a simplified app experience. You get all this for one heck of a price. That’s tough to beat. If you’re looking for an inexpensive WiFi security camera, the EZVIZ Mini is where its at.[rwp-review id=”0″]
*We were sent a demo unit of the EZVIZ Mini for the purposes of this review.
Last Updated on January 15, 2016.