Tech Junkie Review: Wyze Cam Pan – $30 Panning Wi-Fi Security Camera
The old saying goes, “You get what you pay for!” It’s not too often that you get more than you pay for. I think Wyze Cam may be one of those exceptions. I reviewed the original Wyze Cam in 2017. The company updated their oringal camera with a better camera and smarter AI. They also just released a new Wyze Cam Pan that can pan 360 degrees as well as up and down. I took it for a test.
The Wyze Cam Pan is similar in shape to the earlier Wyze cam, it's just taller. It's about 4" tall and about a 1.5" on each side. It sits on a round bottom that allows the camera to rotate. You'll find your standard micro-USB power plug, a micro-SD slot, a USB port and a button. The unit itself can rotate but the camera portion can move up and down.
Wyze has done a great job of making setup very easy. First you'll need to install the app on your phone. Then you go through setup, identify your Wi-Fi network (2.4 Ghz), press the button on the bottom of the camera then show the QR code on the screen of your phone to the camera. That QR code tells the camera how to connect to your wi-fi. Once the camera declares that it's connected, you're ready do go! The Wyze camera will now show up in your list of cameras on the app.
Using the Wyze Cam Pan
The app is simple enough while also having enough extra control over the camera. When you open the app you'll see a simple list of your Wyze cameras. Unfortunately the screenshots that are displayed in this list are often old. It shows the screen grab from the last time you accessed the camera. This should either show live feeds (like the Nest Cam app) or at least show a recent screen grab. Tap into the camera and it brings up the live feed. Below the live video stream you'll see the up/down/left/right controls for the Wyze Cam Pan. Hold down an arrow and the camera moves. Simple enough!
The Wyze Cam Pan offers all of the features I detailed in my original Wyze Cam story. It also adds some unique features that go along with the ability to pan. This includes the ability to follow motion. In my testing it it worked but seemed to lose track of objects often. Hopefully this gets better with firmware updates. You can also set waypoints and have the camera pan from point to point, stopping at each location for 10 seconds.
The video quality on the Wyze Cam Pan is good. Not great. Sure, it's HD but many colors seemed oversaturated in my testing. The nightvison was good but didn't seem to work as well as some other cameras. When I recorded video I noticed a delay between the video and the sound and some digitization from time to time. Again, it's good enough. It's just not great.
This thing costs HOW MUCH?
$30! Insane, right? It makes any shortcomings mentioned above disappear. You could buy 4 of these things for just $120! That's less than most companies charge for a single Wi-Fi camera. The price is the selling point here... hands down. And I'm sold!
Motion alerts in the cloud
Most home Wi-Fi cameras require you to subscribe to a storage plan to store any video in the cloud. The Wyze Cams give it to your for free. 14 days of storage of 10 second motion or sound notification clips are saved into the cloud. This is awesome! I absolutely despise paying for a storage plan after I just spent money buying a product. Wyze lets you add local storage if you want to but they also throw in cloud storage for free. Nicely done!
The Wyze Cam Pan is awesome. It picks up where the original Wyze Cam left off, adding more functionality with just a $10 price jump. You simply will not find any Wi-Fi camera with these features for this price. Sure, it's not perfect and you can find a more expensive camera with a better app or better video quality, but this camera is all about the price. It's a great gift for yourself or someone else who wants an inexpensive way to keep an eye on their home and family when they're not there.