Product Review Update: Wyze Security Camera and Sensors. (Updated April 2021)

Apr 3, 2021Technology0 comments

For the price, you can’t beat any of the Wyze products. Setup is easy, the picture quality is great, and connectivity to Google, Alexa, IFTTT, etc is pretty good and will hopefully only get better.

I recently purchased two Wyze security cameras before Christmas. Wyze Cam Pan and Wyze Cam with sensors. Both of which are indoor security cameras with no battery option. I’m currently using an assortment of cameras, including Arlo, DLink, Blink, Ring, and Vivint Doorbell and outdoor security camera. Since I first wrote this article, I’ve added additional Wyze cameras, sensors, light bulbs, plugs, and outdoor plugs, and all of them have performed great.

None of these other cameras have worked great, and now I only run a single blink camera (wireless in my garage) and my ring doorbell. The Arlo wireless features are great, but battery life sucks; the Ring doorbell 2 is okay, but I’m not impressed with the picture quality, and the doorbell doesn’t always ring. The Blink camera is better, but it has a short range from the base station giving it limited usability. The DLink camera was old and low resolution, but it rotated to cover two doors.

Wyze offers many other products; unfortunately, they only sell the Wyze Cam and Wyze Pan in Canada (through, of all places, PetSmart). I’ve been limited to the products I’ve acquired by using third parties like Home Depot (US) or Amazon. Normally I wouldn’t use third parties because of the warranty challenges, but with the cost of these units being so low, it’s a relatively inexpensive risk.

Images from the website.

Wyze Cam Pan

I was originally drawn to the Wyze Cam Pan 360 Camera because it is affordable, it rotates automatically, two-way audio communication, and it has 1080p picture quality. The fact it had to be hard-wired power supply was a drawback but being more than half the price, I was willing to live with this deficiency.

The setup was a snap, the audio prompts were very handy instead of interpreting flashing lights, it connected effortlessly to my dual-band wifi. There are a variety of mounting kits available on Amazon or the Wyze website so mounting was no problem.

Integration with IFTTT, Google Assistant/Home, and Alexa was easy. It’ll the video feed to both devices with no issues, just a slight lag. The remote startup on the app is a few seconds and then you have a great video feed, full rotational control horizontal and vertical, and two-way communications.

  • The motion detection zone can be defined. It also has motion tracking where it will follow the subject and record the motion. 4 preset locations can be set and the camera will spend 10 seconds on each point and continue to go back and forth searching for motion.
  • Storage of clips to the cloud is limited (12 seconds) and held for 14 days, free of charge. Paying a premium fee ($1.49 per camera) extends this to the full-motion clip.
  • MicroSD card onboard for unlimited recording including timelapse.
  • Motion or sound activation (alarm, fire alarm, CO2 alarm) is available with notifications on your smartphone through the app.
  • Night vision using With 6 infrared LEDs, distinguishes 18 steps of grey and provides clear images up to 30 feet away.

So far I’ve had no issues with the camera itself, the app, however, is good but there are a few improvements that would be good.

  1. You can’t quickly access your preset locations, you have to turn pan and scan on and wait for it to get to the point you want, or manually rotate the camera.
  2. There is no home button/location that would return it to the home location where you may have a motion detection zone setup.

Although these aren’t deal-breakers, they are shortcomings especially if you want to get into some specific routines. For example, I’d love mine to go to the front door preset or back door preset if a Wyze sensor on either door was activated. Right now you can’t do that. Wyze is preparing to sell home security subscriptions with new sensors to be launched soon, my hope is that more of this functionality is incorporated into the apps for the cameras to integrate them into a total home security setup. If this functionality is important you may want to wait.

Wyze Cam

The Wyze Cam came with a three-pack of sensors. The Wyze Cam has an almost identical picture quality to the Wyze Cam Pan and has the same two-way audio communication. The major difference is that the Wyze Cam is stationary and has limited adjustment.

Just about everything is the same as the Wyze Cam Pan. Picture quality, audio, SD card storage, etc, it’s just smaller and has limited height and rotational adjustments.

Recently Wyze launched an outdoor version that is wireless and has a rechargeable battery. I installed mine in late fall and it ran 4 months on a full charge we had a two-week stretch where temperatures were in the -30F/-35C range, and all night time lows were below 0F/-15C for a month. 4-month battery performance in this weather is fantastic.

The camera syncs to a base station (supplied in the starter kit) which I have connected through an ethernet port to my home computer/network/internet. So far motion detection and recording have been good. Wyze is constantly working on AI to enhance things like human, pet, package, detection.

The new Wyze Cam is IP65 rated giving you outdoor use capabilities and other enhancements. If you don’t want or can’t charge the battery in the outdoor Wyze Cam the Wyze Cam v3 may be a good choice.

Wyze Sense

The interesting feature of the Wyze Cam is that it came with two wireless battery-operated contact sensors and one wireless battery-operated motion sensor. The sensors link through a controller that can be added to the back of any Wyze Cam. The controller is powered through the camera and links the sensors. Since my original purchase, I’ve added some additional sensors now that I have Wyze light bulbs as well.

If you want to control Wyze lights the sensors can be connected to lights or cameras effortlessly with some advanced controls in the app. If you want to use the sensors with non-Wyze devices you’ll need to use IFTTT or Google/Alexa routines but you’re limited to the routine restrictions of these apps. Like all smart home devices right now they’re all taking the frustrating Apple approach of limiting you to their ecosystem.   As Henry Ford said, any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants, so long as it is black. You can have a complete smart home as long as you stay in the ecosystem of choice. 

I currently use a Meross light switch which controls my outdoor light switch, originally I took this approach because it was the only option when smart outdoor bulbs weren’t available or extremely expensive. I also have a switch to control my front entrance chandelier where replacing 20 bulbs isn’t practical. I’ve slowly replaced my other smart bulbs and only run HUE or Wyze bulbs now. The Wyze bulbs are white (warm to cool) only so I use them in utility areas. For example, I have a Wyze sensor on my basement door that turns my basement Wyze bulbs on. After 15 minutes they automatically turn off.

The HUE bulbs are great not only for the reliability and color options but because they also connect with other apps and services Nvidia game sync, my Vivint security system, etc. I also use a cool goal light feature where when the Edmonton Oilers score all the HUE lights in my house flash red. The downside of HUE is the cost, they are 2-3X the cost of the Wyze bulbs. Wyze has recently announced/started selling colour bulbs as well.

SmartLife lights, and a Philips Hue light with the three sensors. They are fairly quick to respond, but like most things running through IFTTT, there is a slight lag.

I’ve recently stopped using IFTTT only because of the IFTTT limitations and that most of the apps now have pretty good routine support.

My most recent purchase was two Wyze outdoor plugs. These are great for controlling Christmas lights, water fountains, bug zappers, string lights, etc. In the past, I’ve used DLink outdoor plugs and they’ve been great. The feature I’m looking forward to testing this summer is that the Wyze plugs work with the other Wyze products and they track power consumption.

Lastly, the Wyze power plugs have been great. I use them to control everything from our iron, interior lights that don’ have smart bulbs, and any other dumb item I want to incorporate into our network. The only issue is they only have one plug on them. Not a big deal but a dual plug would be nice for the size.

For the price, you can’t beat any of the Wyze products. Setup is easy, the picture quality is great, and connectivity to Google, Alexa, IFTTT, etc is pretty good and will hopefully only get better.

Some other Wyze products that are available but I haven’t been able to access in Canada include a Wyze robot vacuum ( I really, really, wanted this and tried to purchase through a third party shipping service but Wyze still wouldn’t sell it too me), Wyze doorbell, Wyze thermostat, Wyze headphones, Wyze bathroom scale, Wyze watch, and fitness band, Wyze irrigation controller, Wyze door lock, Wyze plugs, and Wyze hand vacuum. If you live outside the US procuring one of these will be difficult. If you find a way to do it, let me know!!

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