4.0 out of 5 stars
By Michael - Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2020
So far great cameras. Be forewarned the review is a bit long.
Just a forewarning, this might be a bit of a long review. I've been holding off on a review until I've had some time with the cameras. I got them just before New Year's Eve and put them up around Jan 4, so I've had them up a little over three weeks. Pros: 0. Customer service is absolutely awesome! I really didn't have issues, I had questions and they always seemed to respond within 24-48 hours. I can't say enough good things about them. 1. Configuration is a breeze. Straight forward, I can't imagine how it could be easier. 2. The video in daytime is great. The video at night with the night vision is good. Obviously more light the better, but when I compared the live video in the Eufy app with night vision on, and the live video via HomeKit, HomeKit does not have night vision and the camera view is much better at night through the app. 3. Homekit compatible. (Main reason for me getting them.) And you can run HomeKit and the app simultaneously. 4. Local video storage on the base station and coming soon hopefully HomeKit Secure Video to store video in iCloud. No service contract. 5. The audio is very good. Very clear in both directions. 6. Mind you it's been just over three weeks, but the battery seems to be going strong. The first few days I had it installed I was playing with the settings and always checking video feeds to adjust the angle of the camera, so that will obviously drain the battery faster, but the battery still seems to be going strong. 7. The video starts recording before you get the alert. I would say you'll get an alert within 4 secs of motion being detected. I think they're saying is detect, record, alert. 8. Human detection is very good. 9. Very good app. Cons: I really wouldn't say they are cons, as I would hope that further firmware/OS updates would bring a few features, and some improvements. 1. During the setup, the instructions say to keep the camera about 1 meter away from your router/wireless AP setup. I found out why the hard way. Could be just my setup, I have an Netgear cable modem (so I don't rent the cable company's modem), and an Orbi mesh system. I just wanted to make sure the cameras were fully charged before I mounted them. You can plug in the power cable to the base station and power them up that way or use an adapter as you would for your cell phone and plug them into the wall. I initially opted for the base station method and already had the base station connected to my router. The cameras knocked out my wifi. A couple of reboots got everything back up and running, but my Orbi systems takes a little while to come up. Once up it's been rock solid. Maybe it's the magnets in the base of the cameras that messed with the HDs in the router/wifi gear. Long story short, heed that warning in the instructions and just connect the camera to the base station and move the cameras away from anything with a hard drive in it. 2. What I learned from customer service is at the moment the two way audio only works through the app. You can hear what's going on when using HomeKit, but to talk through the camera you'd need to open the app. Reason being I learned that the criteria for HomeKit is full duplex audio, meaning both parties can talk and/or listen at the same time without pressing a button. Currently the camera allows two-way audio, but only in one direction at a time. So on the Eufy app you have a button your press to talk, then release to hear the audio from the other party. This wasn't a deal breaker for me, I hope this will in a firmware update, but for me if it doesn't it's still not a deal breaker. I would like to see some of the features in the Eufy app in HomeKit, but as customer service told me, they have to influence over HomeKit. At night, all motion detected and alerted. I would love to have a setting for just Human Detection all the time. I imagine the "all motion is detected at night" hard code is because it's darker and maybe the AI needs more light, and Eufy would rather have an unnecessary alert than no alert. Part of the reason I wanted HomeKit compatibility was I have the cameras trigger my HomeKit light switches to turn on the outdoor lights if motion is detected. Hopefully allowing me a better video of a would be burglar, and hopefully making them move on. I've gotten a few unnecessary alerts from my backyard camera at 0'dark thirty when a bird flew or a leaf fell in front of the camera, but it hasn't been to many. I'm not sure how the AI works, but during the daytime, it's been fantastic just alerting when a human is detected. This brings me to motion zones. It's great that you can create a motion zone. I would love an enhancement where you could create a motion zone that wasn't just square. I live on a corner lot in a court and my front yard curves. I want to see if anyone enters my yard from the side, but I don't want to catch everyone walking their dog on the sidewalk. With only the rectangular motion zone, it was just a bit of a compromise. Someone would be able to take a couple of steps into my yard before being detected, in order for me not to have everyone on the sidewalk trigger an alert where the court curves. These are all things I can get around, as they have been great cameras so far, and the fact that I don't have to pay for a cloud service is great. I don't have a ton of activity around my house, and I'm just happy I don't have to pay a subscription for all the AI I'm getting. Yes it would be great if animal and car were also a part of AI, but human detection is really what I'm after. One other thing, which may be an Apple HomeKit issue. I can call up the cameras using Siri on my wife's phone (we are using her iCloud account for all our HomeKit devices), but when I try on my phone, I'm prompted to add the cameras to my "Home". Kind of strange because all of our HomeKit light switches can be activated via Siri on either phone. I'll reach out to Apple about that. One more thing if Eufy reads this. About your flood light camera, please make a version that is HomeKit compatible. With so few outdoor HomeKit security cameras, on the market, Eufy can really grab some market share. Especially since the cameras are flexible being battery operated, and you don't have to pay a subscription fee, and the video and audio quality is quite good. I would say if some of those other items I mentioned could be enhanced in an OS update, you'd be ahead of most competitors. A little background if you've made it this far and want to keep reading. I was intially looking at Netatmo since they were the first HomeKit compatible security cameras I could find. They do need to be hardwired and at first thought they would be good for my front port and back door, since it does come with a spot light, and they have Human, Animal and Car detection. I do have some HomeKit switches, and the porch light I have set to come on at dusk. I wanted the Netatmo to turn the spot light on at dusk, as well as after I turned it off for the night to come on when it spotted motion. I was told by their customer service, that wasn't possible. It was motion detection or manually turning on/off the light. I also watched a Youtube review on it and was a little upset that it records all the activity first, then sends an alert. That's too slow. Then I heard Arlo was finally going to add HomeKit to their cameras. My neighbor had an Arlo system and the video looked pretty good. I was just waiting on them to add HomeKit when they came out with the Arlo Ultra 4K. This seems really great, but the price was quite hefty, plus you have to pay the service fee for all the AI and extra to upload 4K videos. You would actually only get 4K on your local wifi. I understand this as 4K would obviously eat up a lot of bandwidth, but it seemed like to get all the bells and whistles you'll have to pay a hefty annual service fee. During some Youtube reviews of Arlo, I ran across Eufy. This seemed to tick all the boxes especially have my video local and no service fees. I just really wanted HomeKit compatibility. Then Arlo announced the Arlo 3 which sat between the Pro 2 and the Ultra and that seemed like the sweet spot price and feature wise, but you still had to pay a service fee and many reviews showed the video looked gray, even thought it was supposedly 2K video. It really didn't look any better than 1080P, and quite honestly the 1080P looked better than the Arlo 3. Plus the audio, at least in the head to head comparisons videos was just on par, or not as good a Eufy. Then word came Eufy was going to add HomeKit Secure Video, so I contacted the company and asked if that meant HomeKit would also be added. They responded letting me know that a new camera would have to be created that was HomeKit compatible. They made good and came out with a new camera, the Eufycam 2 and 2C. I do believe Eufy supports Google, and Amazon Alexa, but I'm only interested in HomeKit. Everything has been working great so far and I'm still digging into some of the features figuring out exactly how I want everything configured. Since I've mounted mine outside, I'm not too fussed about geofencing, although that is an option. I want them detecting and recording all the time. I did just try out the siren, and I thought that was limited to someone trying to steal the camera. We let the dog out and the camera picked him up and the siren went off. I think that would be good for when we're on vacation. Fully disclosure, although the siren is 100DB, it doesn't sound that loud. But hopefully it would be enough to have a would be thief move on. Again, there are other options too, Home, Away, Disarmed, Geofencing, Schedule, Customize. These are indoor/outdoor cameras so if I had these inside I could see using more of these options. I currently have them tied in with my HomeKit switches, so at night, if it detects motion, the outside lights come on to provide more light for better video capture and also hopefully to scare off any would be thieves. Eventually I want to get it all tied into my security system. So far, great cameras. I have the two camera set, and plan on adding more to cover some other spots around the house. I hope this helps. Sorry if it was too long. I'll most likely update as time goes on and I have more experience with them. Update 1 April 2020. Just a quick update for viewing the cameras using Siri and range. I have moved my camera in the backyard a little further out. It was originally on the fascia board pointing down towards our backdoor. This was fine, but from that high an angle, I got my families heads and some of their face if they were leaving the house. This also limited my view to pretty much to just in front of my backdoor and a corner of the house. This worked fine, but one of the good things about these is they are battery powered, so you can move them anywhere you can mount them. I ended up mounting it on our pergola and with the lens being wide enough, I now have a really nice view of someone approaching the backdoor, kitchen window and part of the backyard from one side, and the other side of my house where we have a side door. This is great in that I shouldn't need to purchase a third camera, as I had intended to cover the side door. If the kids are running in and out of the house or just playing in the backyard, I just put the updates on "snooze" for however long I think they will be out there, so I don't get pinged to death with updates. As far as range though, I think I'm about as far away from the base station that I should be. I get very good wifi range, I have an Orbi RBR50 with the router and one satellite and they cover my house and yard and even across our court. So yes the cameras don't use your wifi but the base station. But I would definitely say you can go more than 6 meters as some else suggested. I don't know what they're house is like, but my base station is hidden in a cupboard in my laundry room with all my network gear and cable box. The move from the fascia board to the pergola alone was probably at least 3m about 9~10 ft. Anyway, my point is they are battery powered so you can move them around to get the best view and test the range. Second update is using Siri to call up the cameras. I just sorted this today after having contacted Eufy and Apple previously. Eufy said anything HomeKit I should contact Apple about as they have no control over that. Fair enough. Again with their product the support was great. Apple did their best, but couldn't solve it. I just figured it out today and I feel rather silly, but I figured I'd post it in case anyone else has a similar setup. We have a HomePod as our HomeKit bridge, and my wife has an Apple Music subscription, so the entire family just plays music through the HomePod using her account. I've just been setting up all of our HomeKit devices under her HomeKit "Home" since the HomePod was setup under her account, and I added myself as a "Guest" to her home. I was able to use Siri on my phone, her phone, and the HomePod to control our HomeKit light switches. After I installed the cameras I could only call up the cameras using Siri on her phone, and not mine. Obviously not on the HomePod as it doesn't have screen. I was able to pull up the cameras on my phone if I went into the Home App, but not via Siri. This wasn't a deal breaker, but it bugged me a little to be honest. I couldn't figure out why the light switches would work via Siri on all devices, but the cameras would only come up on her phone via Siri. Solution: The HomeKit Homes have a default name, "My Home". My wife's HomeKit Home was called "My Home" and my HomeKit Home was called "My Home". When I would try to call up the camera via Siri, I would be prompted to add the camera to my Home App. I tried configuring them on my personal "My Home", thinking this would work, but I was greeted with the message, this device has already been added. The solution was to change the name from the default "My Home" for my wife's Home App. I called it our Family Home, and left mine default My Home, since I don't have any HomeKit devices. Everything now works as it should and I can now call both cameras via Siri on both phones. I hope this helps. One last tidbit, Eufy apparently now supports HomeKit Video Secure. I don't have it as I honestly don't have a lot of activity around my house and the local storage seems to be working just fine, but I am a little curious to see how well the people, animal, and car detection is. Sometimes I get alerts early in the morning when people are driving their cars by my house. Not to often, but I would love not to receive them. During the day the differentiation between people and other objects is much better. I'm hoping Eufy will update that. Still very good cameras. Six months later (June 6). I've had the cameras for just over six months now. They are still going strong, and I've given them their first recharge. They were down to about 13% charge, and could have gone longer, but I just figured I'll just recharge them now. Eufy advertises that they will last a year on a charge. I'm not disputing that as I changed the settings on my cameras which will drain the battery faster. To get the 1 year charge Eufy says the settings should be the default 20 sec clip and you're getting no more than about 10 clips per day. I don't get as much activity in the front, but my kids and wife are always triggering the camera in the backyard. At times I found the 20 sec clip to be a little short. For instance someone comes to the front door and mills around a bit, and the clip ends. I personally wanted to see if they tried looking through windows or simply just left and things like this, so I changed my setting to record up to one minutes as long as there is activity. I also used live view sometimes just to check on my kids in the backyard, or if they go around the front where I can't see them, which also drains the battery a little faster. Nothing I did, I would consider excessive, except in the beginning when I was playing with setting and jumping into live view all the time. Kind of like a kid with a new toy. Otherwise I'm quite happy if the duration of the charge. I just took the cameras down in the morning when I knew I would be home for the majority of the time, and plugged them in. They do take a long time to charge, but I had them back up before dusk. Again, I think it's a great product especially since I don't have to pay a recurring service fee and my video is local. I hope Eufy continues with the HomeKit updates across the rest of their products. If so I'll be purchasing more of their gear.
1.0 out of 5 stars
By Iryn Robben - Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2019
Many good things with a few fatal flaws
Just ordered the system, paid about $300 for it. Its a brand new offering it seems from eufy. Would have liked a higher resolution camera, like some of the arlo offerings, but those don't offer free cloud storage. Definitely didn't want to spend $$ on a system, only to have to pay a monthly subscription. This system avoids monthly fees. This system records directly to the base station, and so far, judging by two cameras and total events a day, it seems like it will get 20-30 days of clips. I hope the system knows to overwrite old clips as it runs out of space. Thoughts: App is very functional, everything works, no glaring bugs or anything on Andriod. Setup was easy. Mounting was easy. Note however, that the eufy cam uses heat (PIR) to detect motion, so it cant be mounted behind glass if you want to use this feature. After figuring that out and remounting, everything working as expected. Detection is accurate, quality is good, doesn't seem to have a lag from motion detected to recording time (ie. it records the whole clip without starting midway into the action). Connectivity is good, frame rate is good. Overall I'm actually quite impressed. I put the base station and the router and modem on a UPS system as well, so if there is a power outage, app is still accessible and keeps recording. Initially only wanted plug-in cameras, but after hearing this could last a full year, the lack of cords is quite nice and keeps the entire setup clean. I'll update if I run into big issues, or if something stops performing, and we'll see about that 1 year battery claim. I'll get back to you on that one. UPDATE : 3 STARS now, the eufy server has been crashing multiple times in the past couple days causing all eufy users to not have access to the app. That is a pretty big flaw in my opinion. Because this problem has been ongoing and eufy has not solved, I can't recommend this product at the moment. Hopefully eufy solves this one and earns back my trust. Update : I tried to recover history from two months ago, my base station has been recording for a year. I could not find the history from two months ago, it is basically non-existent even though it has been deliberately recording everything. It is pretty scary knowing I cannot rely on it to find history when I need it to. This went from a five-star device to a three-star device, and now to a one-star device. I give up hope of Eufy. System should be improving overtime not getting worse.