Beta Tester Review of Wyze Cam v2!

beta

#1

Hi, everyone!

We’re launching a hardware upgrade for Wyze Cam! You can find out more information about it here. We had the help of some excellent community members for beta testing and bug bashing before we went public. This post is intended as a place for them to post their reviews of Wyze Cam v2!

Best,

WyzeCracker


#2

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, I was able to be lucky enough to beta test the V2 and here is my review of the product:
Upon receiving the device I noticed it comes in the same clean tiny box as the V1. The V2 has a Matte Finish instead of the Glossy finish.Now this is where the confusion came in for me. I placed both cameras side by side and when my wife came home I asked her to look and tell me which device was the V1 and which one was the V2… She couldnt tell the difference , until she got really close, then it still wasnt too evident. I left the room and let her move them around and not telling me, I could not distinguish the difference by looking at them until I got really close. So it would have been nice to have something to distinguish the V2 other then the number coding on the bottom. The CMOS upgrade is unbelievably clearer then the V1. The picture is really crisp upon zooming in on the V2 versus the V1 (I will have comparison photos once im home). The speaker in the V2 is definitly louder!Our house is 1800SQFT and I tested the mic to speaker function and could hear myself clear as day in each room, so could my wife. This was over normal sound (EG): Televisions running in each room and my wife could still hear my voice thru the V2. Bathroom with the door closed and running water, I could still be heard, which is a major plus! The V1 has a good speaker, but its not as loud and clear as the V2. There is a new Feature Called Motion Tagging: This is a really neat feature! My dogs are pretty active around the house when we are at work and one of them are hard to see because of here coat and also because she is very quick! Well shes not that quick anymore! With motion tagging, it outlines any sign of movement on your saved video clip, or your motion/sound alert clip (You have the option to disable this feature if you do not want to use it).The built in microphone? Allot better then the V1! I can actually hear my wife when shes in the sunroom with the door closed (The microphone is not to the intensity point where it becomes creepy but its strong enough to catch patrons if they are in front of your house carrying on a conversation which is a good thing). The night vision works awesome too! more clarity with this camera in the dark and it shows!From a user stand point? You will still have all the same great features as version 1 BUT with allot more advanced hardware coming in to give the final WOW factor!Im amazed that the WYZE team packed more punch in the same great product and kept the price point the same! If anyone has questions , I have a ton of answers!
** I tested this unit with the following size MSDC: 8gGB,16GB,64GB,128GB and the unit excepted all of these. There was one person able to use a 250GB MSDC(Which I have ordered and will be receiving soon)Again, The only thing that I wish was added would be the color scheme to differentiate the models…Like it or not folks , I would say its safe to say this company will continue to WOW us with rock solid products and an unbelievable price point!Got questions? Well I got answers!!!


#3

Oops! Looks like you were attacked by a coding bug. Do you have the ability to edit those out or would you like for me to clean it up? I promise not to change your review! :slight_smile:


#4

Got it covered! I knew I was going to get hit with it! lol! (I noticed using some of the parameter choices it gives the code break…


#5

I was a lucky beta testers of the Wyze Cam v2… and I am very impressed… took a very valuable camera and improve the quality of the audio and video, and you have a STABLE camera at a low price. I use my cameras for everything from Inside Security and monitoring of my pets, to viewing the outside of my house… Keep up the awesome work, and I’ll be a customer for life :slight_smile:


#6

WyzeCam Version 2 (V2) Hands On Review

I was selected as a beta tester of the WyzeCam Version 2 (V2). Here is a review of my first experiences using the camera as compared to my 12 Version 1 Wyzecams.

Unboxing and Setup

The packaging and physical form factor of the V2 camera and accessories are essentially identical to V1. The most notable exception is that instead of being surrounded by clear cling film, the V2 is in a semitransparent plastic bag secured with tape. This is because the cling film does not adhere to the matte finish of the V2. It is slightly more difficult to remove than the cling film, but since it’s a one-time event, it is not a problem.

The matte finish of the V2 is noticeably different than the glossy finish of the V1 when close to the camera. From a greater distance, the difference is not very apparent. Whether this finish is an improvement over the V1 is a matter of personal preference. The V2 will likely appear a little less obtrusive in a brightly lit space.

Other than the matte finish, the V2 form factor is identical to the V1. The only other way to tell the difference between them externally is by the V2 labeling on the bottom of the camera. The power block and microSD cable are identical to the V1. Plugging the micro USB cable into the V2 for the first time was a little too snug. However, it loosened up nicely on the 2nd and 3rd attempts.

Setup of my beta unit proceeded smoothly in the same manner as the V1. The unit required a firmware update out of the box (as did my V1s) and that update proceeded without problem. The microSD card slot in the beta unit was shipped in the engaged position. This meant that the microSD card had to be inserted, then removed and reinserted to get it to engage. Once that was done, it operated normally. The current firmware and iOS app are able to format the card while in the camera – a nice feature. Time sync from the iOS app to the camera was without problem. The setup voice on the V2 is quite loud due to the improved sound processor. You will get a lot of attention if you set it up in a quiet office.

Image Quality

As with the V1, I cannot readily discern any difference in image quality when zoomed in on a still scene in HD vs SD mode. The lower SD data rate is achieved not by a lower image resolution, but instead by a higher compression factor. Therefore, you will see differing compression artifacts when comparing the two modes. However, in my opinion, the overall image quality of HD is not really any better than SD.

The timestamp imprint on the V2 image is dramatically more clear and clean than that of the V1. This makes it easy to identify image captures taken on the V2 vs the V1. Here is one example:

V1 Timestamp: Attachment 1 below (the forum will not let me embed images in line)

V2 Timestamp: Attachement 2

My first comparison of image quality involved putting the V2 beta unit next to a V1 that points out to the street through a front window. I was expecting significant improvement from the V2 and in all honesty, I was a bit disappointed. The V2 image in this situation does not appear to be improved. Here are two full size images from side-by-side V1 and V2 cameras respectively:

V1: Attachment 3

V2: Attachment 4

Note that there are reflection artifacts in both images that are the result of shooting through glass, no fault of the cameras.

Here are the upper right 650x350 pixels of each image:

V1: Attachment 5

V2: Attachment 6

The image quality appears to be pretty similar with maybe a small advantage going to the V1.

My next comparison involved putting the V1 and V2 side-by-side in a basement rec room. Here the V2 was the clear winner in image quality.

V1: Attachment 7

V2: Attachment 8

The V2 image is more true-color and has clearly sharper features.

Here are two 200x200 pixel areas of the ribbons in the background of each image capture.

V1: Attachment 9

V2: Attachment 10

There are clearly sharper edges and more detail in the V2 image.

The V2 handles low light much better than the V1 and therefore automatic night vision switches on later, as it gets darker, with the V2. Once on, the night vision image on the V2 is clearly better than the V1:

V1: Attachment 11

V2: Attachment 12

Conclusion: The V2 has greatly improved image quality in many, but not all, circumstances and settings.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the V2 is vastly improved. It is both louder and more clear, both in transmission and reception.

My first test was to play a voice program at normal listening volume on a TV about 12 feet from both cameras and listen to it on each camera version from another room. When listening via the V1, the spoken words took great concentration to understand and many words could not be heard clearly. When listening via the V2, the audio was much more clear, louder and with much less static in the background. The spoken words were easily understood without much effort.

Next I compared the speakers of the two camera versions. The ultimate test is whether my dogs react to me calling them over the speaker of each camera. With the V1, there was no reaction from the dogs. Whether that is because the V1’s audio out is much quieter or because there is less frequency response, I do not know. But the dogs acted as if nothing was happening.

When I called the dogs over the V2 speaker, their reaction was much different. They started looking all around trying to figure out where my voice was coming from. The audio output of the V2 is much louder although, to my ear, a bit more distorted. However, the dogs’ reaction tells it all - much more useful audio output.

Motion Tagging:

WyzeCam V2 supports tagging of motion observed by the camera. This is done by drawing a green box around areas that the camera considers to be motion in both live stream and playback. The feature can be turned on or off in the settings for each camera. Here’s what it looks like:

Attachment 13

I have found the motion tagging to be mostly just a novelty, although it is useful sometimes to know what the camera is “thinking” in terms of motion detection. The real benefit will be if Wzye is able to use this to eventually support masking of motion detection areas in the camera’s field of view.

iOS Beta App

The beta iOS app allows recording and pause/resume in playback. This was a much needed feature, enabling you to save video from the on-board microSD card without having to remove the card from the camera.

The beta app allows formatting of the microSD card while still in the camera and the ability to turn on/off the timestamp watermark. Automatic screen rotation is supported, although only while watching live or playback video.

Future Improvements Needed

The WzyeCam V2 is a dramatic improvement over the already fantastic V1 model. The fact that Wyze has made these improvements and kept the price point at the same low $20 is terrific. Below is a list of hardware and software improvements that I think could make the product even better:

  • Better form factor for the supplied power block: The current power block protrudes quite far from the wall with the USB cord protruding even further. It would be beneficial if the prongs on the power block were mounted at 90 degrees to their current orientation so that the block and USB cable would lie parallel to the wall.
  • Holes in the base for screw mounting: While the magnetic mount and metal disk system is useful in some applications, the metal disk adhesive leaves a very large area of wall damage when removed. If there were a couple of small holes in the base, these could be used with small drywall anchors, leaving a much smaller area of damage when removed. I have drilled holes in the bases of some of my WyzyCams and mounted with small drywall anchors, and it works great.
  • Motion detection masking: As mentioned above, it would be a nice feature to be able to mask out areas in the camera's field of view to be ignored for motion detection. This could be used for areas such as a waving flag, or a TV screen, that trigger unwanted motion alerts.
  • More camera thumbnails per screen: The current app only shows two large camera thumbnails on the home screen. There is a lot of scrolling to find the camera you want to view if you have many Wyzecams installed. The app should optionally allow up to 8 (smaller) thumbnails per screen to improve camera selection.
  • Rearrange thumbnails: In addition showing more thumbnails on the app's home screen, it is important to be able to rearrange the order of the thumbnails so that it is not dependent on the order that the cameras were set up. With 12 or more installed cameras, thumbnail organization is important.
  • Thumbnail refresh: Pulldown on the home screen would not only refresh the camera list, but it could retrieve a current image from each camera. These updated images could be used to select which camera to view. It would be especially useful when the cameras are used as pet monitors. A further improvement would be to implement a very low frame rate (eg. 1 fps) constant refresh of all camera thumbnails, user switchable.
  • Full rotation support: The app should support full automatic device rotation in all modes including the home screen, camera settings, notifications and account settings. This is especially important when using the app on a tablet that is sitting in a stand in landscape orientation.
Overall Conclusion:

The WyzeCam Version 2 camera is a worthwhile improvement over the V1. For those planning to increase their cadre of Wyzecams, you will be pleased. For those yet to purchase their first WyzeCam, it adds even more value to an already value-priced product.

 

[NOTE: this forum will not allow me to embed images inline with the text and will not allow me to remove or reorder attachments. Therefore the images attached are not complete or in the proper order. This review will have to stand as is without the images that were supposed to be included. Too bad]

V1-timestamp.png

03-IMG_0883.jpg

04-IMG_0882.jpg

05-V1-TR-corner.png


#7

Hey WyzeCracker… do you have any idea how to add inline images to my review above. I can paste them at the end as attachments, but they really won’t make sense that way.


#8

I was lucky enough to be selected to beta test the v2, and was pleasantly surprised.

Appearance
The v2 come is a more matte white shell (not glossy). I like this look better. I think it better blends in and will likely reflect less for those putting their camera behind a window.
Other than that it looks just the same as the v1. Same packaging and accessories too!

Hardware:
There are 4 “night vision LEDs” (this may not be new to all v1s, but mine only have 2). This does produce more clear night vision for me.
New speaker! Although I thought the original was sufficient, this is a noticable improvement. Audio is much louder & also more clear.

Software
The beta looks and feels like the release version, with a few minor tweaks. 2 cool new features we’re the ability to record snapshots from your Playback tab & reformat your class card from within the app.
Setup process was equally easy & painless as my v1 cameras.

Video/Image Quality
I think the v2 cam has a slightly more crisp video. Edges and items at a distance look more clear. But I think the colors are a little less accurate. If you’re familiar with a “vivid” mode, v2 is more similar to that.
As I noted above, night vision is also improved.
They also added a new Motion Tagging feature you can turn on that outlines what motion the camera is detecting. I thought this was cool, my wife was not impressed, lol. In retrospect, may not be too useful, but again, I was a fan.

I do have 1 issue with the Notification video playback playing in “fast forward”. The clip would say 15 seconds, would contain 15 seconds of time, but would finish in 10 seconds. But Wyze is aware of that and is working on it

Overall
I’d buy a v2 cam over a v1. ?
Nothing super different, but just many minor improvements. You can tell Wyze is listening to us, and is working to be the best product on the market!


#9

Hi Folks,

I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the v2 beta and am confident this upcoming release will continue to build on the existing success of the WyzeCam family.

Please see the below review, which was conducted over a 2 week period:

Assembly/Packaging:
The v2 arrives in an efficiently organized, frustration free package. The contents are safely and well packed, providing a pleasant, unpacking process. The contents consist of the v2 WyzeCam unit, mounting tape, power adapter, quick start guide, USB cable, and wall plate.

Fit and finish:
The matte finish is attractive and visually appealing. In addition to the compact footprint, the matte finish enables the v2 to easily blend in with its surroundings, whether freestanding on its own in a corner, on a shelf with books, or mounted on a wall. The head swivels well and the magnetic base can accommodate a variety of articulated positions with ease.

Setup:
The setup process on the v2 is easy, fast, and reliable. Time required, from start to finish, was approximately 5 minutes. The in-camera audio assistant, combined with the in-app wizard on a mobile device, ensured a successful experience each time. As needed, users can supply additional storage by adding a MicroSD card, with a supported 32GB maximum capacity.

User Experience/Features/Performance:
With an inherently intuitive design, using the v2 comes naturally. Whether positioning the unit or managing features and functions through the mobile app, the WyzeCam hardware and software are a perfect pair that performs reliably all the time, every time.

In addition to the matte finish, new features on the v2 include a new audio chip, new CMOS sensor, and Motion Tagging technology. The new audio chip is immediately noticeable and adds much value to the overall user experience. During the setup process, the audio assistant wizard was clear and easy to understand. Playback/recordings had high fidelity, and 2 way communication was enjoyable; similar to using a quality 2 way speakerphone. The new CMOS sensor provides accurate and sharp images throughout the home, in various lighting conditions, including artificial and natural sources (i.e. fluorescent, halogen, incandescent, sunlight, etc.) During the testing period, the v2 was positioned within the home, to constantly monitor inside and outside areas. In addition to LiveStream, playback/recordings were consistently HD quality; accurate, clear, and sharp reproductions. Motion Tagging technology, is a great new feature that makes it debut on the v2, and will be enjoyed by broad range of consumers (personal and professional smart home enthusiasts alike). By detecting and outlining objects in motion, Motion Tagging significantly simplifies the tuning process for alerting/monitoring!!

Please welcome the newest addition to the WyzeCam family, and mine, the fantabulous v2!!

 

IMG-1367.jpg


#10

If you are looking for a low cost and high value solution for video monitoring, this is the camera for you. The camera itself is made with quality materials and components. The camera produces a sharp and clear image. The low light images are easy to see as well. Another big advantage is the lack of needing a paid subscription plan to benefit from the cloud based monitoring alerts. In the camera administration app, an image from each camera is shown and is the access to the live feed for that camera. One thing to be aware of with the low light view, it does not work through windows. So a camera on the inside looking outside through a window will not work in low light, but works fine in daylight or if the outside is lit up. Suggestions for improvement in the admin app would be a button that would get fresh images for each camera and the ability to reorder and group/categorize the camera images.

A4DA2221CDC7_1517876863547.jpg


#11

I was fortunate to be able to help beta test the new V2 version of the Wyzecam, and I own several of the V1 camera’s as well. I also have several high-end camera’s costing over $100 each.
I first got my V1 cameras about 6-8 weeks ago just to see what a $20 camera could do compared to my other high-end camera’s. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I have to say I was impressed right away with what I found - and now they have improved the camera with better 2-way audio, better night vision, a new camera sensor, and less shinny matte finish. And it’s still only $20! I’m seriously considering dropping all my $100+ camera’s and replacing them with Wyzecam’s. At this price I can afford to put them wherever I want one!

What do I like about the Wyzecam?

  1. Easy of set up (didn’t even need the 'quick start guide.) This was so much easier than the other camera’s I’ve had. While there is no written manual there are online video tutorials if you want to better understand all its features.
  2. Mounting options. It comes with a plate you can attach to any flat surface, and the camera magnetically attaches to that. Very easy and flexible.
  3. Ease of use. Log into the app, click on the camera, and there you have the live stream video. And you can set it up to alert you to motion of sound.
  4. Continuous recording, or record on motion, to a micro SD card (not included with the camera.) That allows you to access and ‘playback’ all recorded video via the app (and take snapshots during playback as well.) I’d highly recommend getting a micro SD card for your camera!
  5. The audio (on V2) and picture quality is comparable to my high-end cameras. It maybe even better!
  6. Time lapse recording feature! Set a start and end time and record hours of time lapse video.
  7. I can install the app on several devices (iPhone, iPad, android device) and access my cameras from all of them and receive motion / sound alerts on all of them too.
  8. Sharing - I can share one or more of my cameras with other people (family / friends etc.) as needed. All they need is the app installed and to create an account.

So, if you are looking for a camera that provides excellent value, and is easy to use, this is the camera for you.
That said there are a few things the company is working on improving like the sensitivity control for motion tracking. I have a lot of trees outside my home and branches blowing in the wind can set it off (would not be an issue for indoor use or where there are no trees.) And the alerts on Android devices are intermittent (they work fine on iOS devices.) Also, it does not have pan and tilt like my other high-end camera’s but it turns out I never use that anyway! A web interface would also be nice. But I’m confident they will find solutions to these over time, and they have already issued several firmware and app updates as they continually improve the features / functionality.

So, for $20, this is an excellent choice for someone just wanting to try a home camera, or for someone how wants a lower price option to the other cameras out there, and the features you do get at this price point are outstanding.


#12

I have the option for “Insert/edit image” at the far right of my tools. It looks like a picture of mountains with a sun. Do you have that option? If so, once you click it you can put a source URL into the box that pops up.

But I admittedly don’t have much experience with that.


#13

Yes, I have that option. I put the image on dropbox and inserted the dropbox URL into that field. Did not work. If it won’t take a dropbox link, I don’t know what URL I’m supposed to use. Other forums let you insert images uploaded from the computer in line with the text.

I also tried to add the images as attachments in order. But they got out of order, so I stopped. Now it won’t even let me remove the attachments to start over.


#14

I was one of the folks selected from this group to beta test v2 for the WyzeCam. This is my report.

My needs for a videocam are pretty simple. I don’t need one to watch over property, a storage space or even a garage. I live in a studio apt in Seattle by myself and I originally had a DropCam. I have replaced the DC with two v1 WyzeCams. They each have a 32 GB microSD card. I have now replaced one of the v1 WCs with the v2 WC.

My 2 cams are for my own protection. One monitors my front entry and the other takes a long shot across my apt. They provide proof for the police of any activity that takes place in my apt if I ever need it. I previously had a situation where someone visiting my apt stole something and the police said that I didn’t have proof of the theft, so it was my word against the thief’s. That won’t ever happen again.

For my simple uses, there isn’t a great deal of difference between the v1 and the v2. The v2 has a little bit sharper image than the v1. Both cameras have well-lit locations for most of the day. They use IR about 9 hours at night when the lights are out for sleeping. In that situation, the v2 has a little sharper image. That may be because the v2 has 4 IR lights, whereas my v1 is the original and only has 2 IR lights.

I have never had issues with either the v1 or the v2 with the original setup. I just have to remember that my Apple Express router has two bands and that my iPhone is usually on the 5 GHz band. So I need to downgrade the phone to the 2.4 GHz band before trying to setup WyzeCam.

I haven’t had any issues as well with upgrading the firmware in either cam. Both have always alerted me to any firmware upgrade as soon as I chose one of the cams to view in the iOS app.

I haven’t had any issues with recording the video to the microSD cards. The 32 GB cards give me about 3 days of surveillance before they begin recording over the oldest video.

I don’t have alerts turned on right now because they would just be me moving around. But I did test them with both v1 and v2 for about an hour and they function as expected. One thing that I do like about the v2, is the green boxes that point out exactly where the movement is in the view that set off the alert.

I do look forward to a couple of things that have been mentioned both here in Core Users and in our beta group. I hope to see the ability to turn the camera’s image 90° and 270° so that the cams can be hung on a wall. And I look forward to having the software geofenced so that the cams can be programmed to turn on alerts when I leave the geofence. They would then work as an alarm/security system.

27973760_174007170044542_3229714444594108008_n.jpg

27971585_174007213377871_8643461189863334844_n.jpg

27973876_174007280044531_6220938958767311602_n.jpg

28168673_174007336711192_5360781265301125310_n.jpg


#15

There have been many people before me giving you a lot of good information about the new v2 WyzeCam, so I’ll be brief.

In general, I don’t find the v2 unit to be a drastic improvement over the original v1. The image is a little clearer, the sound is a little better, they optionally highlight motion in your video content. Behind the scenes, the engine for this camera is said to be stronger, which should make it easier to add capabilities, but you may not notice the difference directly.

That said, I LOVE this camera. So why am I not writing about all the new things in v2? Because the v1 was such a great unit already! Look, if you want a camera that’s connected to the web and viewable from your phone, at a very reasonable price point to sweeten the deal, there’s no question. Go buy a couple of these cameras and enjoy them. They are easy to set up and easy to mount; easy to configure and easy to view.

Now, that being said, there are some challenges, both in the original v1 and continuing to v2:

  • The recording to the cloud is limited in how quickly it will capture the next motion event, and each cloud-recorded motion event is limited in duration. Now, that said, the units take an SD card, allowing for continuous or motion-activated recording to local storage. (Just don't mount it too high should you need to access the card)
  • The camera is not protected from weather in any way, meaning you need to be careful about where you mount it if you use it outside.
  • They are aggressively working to improve the firmware and software, so while the software isn't all I would want it to be, they are introducing improvements often, and I don't expect that to stop soon.
  • Third-party software that works with the WyzeCam is limited, at best. Okay, there's ONE package (plus the Amazon Echo video line). That's not a problem with the WyzeCam, but it does limit its use. I'm hoping that as they market share grows, we'll see more software makers jump on-board. This means I cannot yet use it with my Synology NAS surveillance software. :-(
Look... for the price and the quality, go and buy one camera. See if it works for you. If it does, buy more. If it isn't all you hoped it would be, tuck it away high on a wall somewhere as a continuous-recording security camera and move on. That's what I did, and I'm currently headed to five units in the near future!

(Note: As an avid and active user of my v1 camera, I was sent a v2 WyzeCam beta unit to evaluate and help improve. This has not in any way affected my honest review of the product, and I plan to add more cameras on my own dime soon.)


#16

Can you distinguish the difference in video quality? Does the V2 have better video quality at giving better images of a person’s face when you zoom in?


#17

Would someone be able to post a video of the V2? I want to see how it compares to the V1. Is there better quality in the V2? By the way, thank you for all your insightful reviews!


#18

If you head over to the wyzecam facebook page there are videos. Also within the caught on wyzecam thread a ton of V2 videos from us beta testers. If you do not find what your looking for, let me know.


#19

Geofencinng to disable/enable Notifications would be a great feature. There’s an iOS called Presence that allows you to use old iPhones as security cameras that has this feature, and I’m very much missing it now that I have Wyze.

What do you say Wyzers? Add some Geofence features? Super simple:


#20

IFTTT integration has been announced for the app roadmap. When that becomes available, it should provide you a way to incorporate geofencing.