Review: Yi 1080p Outdoor Security Camera

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YI Technology, a subsidiary of Xiaomi, produces a series of security, action and dash cameras. Their products are typically affordable and there is a wide range of security cameras with different designs and features. Among these is the Yi Outdoor Camera 1080p – a weatherproof outdoor video camera with a dedicated app, night vision and dual communication.

A camera that is incredibly easy to install.

Packaging

The white packaging has the camera’s image printed on the front, with the features on the back and the specifications on the bottom. The cardboard packaging is good quality and made in such a way that it is pulled out to the side when opened; perhaps this isn’t ideal for protection from impact, but both the camera and the accessories are well-fixed.

Inside the packaging itself, you’ll find the camera with base, a wall mount with USB connection, a screwdriver, 10 wall screws with plugs, 8 cable ties and the instruction manual. The cable for the camera comes directly out of the camera itself and is fixed, but very long – 3m.

Technical Specifications

Image Resolution1920×1080
Angle of Vision110°
CertificationIP65
AudioTwo-way audio, integrated speaker
Night VisionInfrared LED, automatic IRCUT switch
MicroSDOne MicroSD slot
Output5V 1A, presa da muro compresa
Motion DetectionYes, with the option to select specific areas of vision
CablingHardwired cable, length 3m
AppsAndroid (4.1 or higher), iOS (8.0 or higher)

 

The camera has a good resolution with FullHD and a viewing angle of 110°, which is comfortably enough to capture an entire room without any issues. This isn’t uncommon though; what really sets this camera apart is its IP65 certification. This stands for “Internal Protection”. The number, 6, shows that the Yi camera has the maximum degree of protection from dust and sand, while the second number 5, shows that it is resistant to firm jets of water. This is definitely a camera that can withstand the rain.

The night vision allows you to record even in complete darkness, made possible thanks to the infrared LEDs. This allows you to position it wherever you like, without worrying about keeping a light on for illumination.

The camera is equipped with a microphone and a speaker, so you can hear the sounds in the room and also send sound to the camera itself through the control app – available on Android and iOS.

The camera also allows local recording, saved to a microSD for later viewing. However, it only records the instances when motion is detected, so that no unnecessary memory is taken up.

If you want to save the recordings remotely, you can subscribe to one of the Cloud Yi plans, with either annual or monthly payment options, which both allow for continuous upload so that even if the camera is damaged, the videos are saved to the cloud.

Design

The camera is completely white and plastic all over – of excellent quality, that will withstand the elements. The front is completely black though, so that the LEDs and lens are completely invisible.

The camera fixes to the wall with a support that allows for adjustment of the viewing angle. Once fixed in position you can then screw it in place behind the chamber and choose the angle.

As in the picture, the wall support has 4 holes at the base. These holes allow you to fasten the camera to the wall with the screws and plugs in the kit. As a personal suggestion, I can tell you that the camera isn’t particularly heavy, so two screws work just fine.

Once the camera is mounted in place, check the angle so that the maximum amount of room coverage is achieved. Then you cna get it all connected up.

On the lower part of the camera you’ll find the cable connection, the speaker and the microSD slot, inside which you’ll also find the reset button. If you want to change configuration or connect to a different WiFi network, you’ll need to unscrew this part and press the reset button.

Once mounted, the camera looks good. It isn’t invisible, but as it is all-weather, it can be put in places that are hard to reach.

Use

The camera software is really simple and intuitive. Once you’ve registered, you get access to a range of really interesting features.

The first of those is the ability to remotely listen, and send audio to be played through the speaker. The microphone’s quality isn’t great, however; even in absolute silence there is a bit of a buzz. Similarly, the speaker itself it a bit noisy, but you can certainly make out everything that is said.

Through the app, it is possible to make recordings and take still photos, and then you can see all archived recordings, conveniently ordered by date and time.

In the settings, you can then turn the camera and status light on or off, rotate the image 180 °, correct any lens distortion and enable and disable the night vision.

You can also enable notifications upon motion detection, which you can focus on specific “sensitive areas” – this enables you to record focused on one entrance, while other movements in the room are ignored.

You can also change the sensitivity level, choosing whether to record slow movement. And you can set specific alert times, so that the motion detector is only switched on when you are out, or at night time.

For extra security, you can also set a pin, which is convenient if other people are connected to your WiFi and you don’t want them to have access.

The camera has Full HD resolution. The image quality isn’t great though,and suffers when it is very bright. The camera distorts the images a bit, but you can rectify this fairly well through the app.

Conclusion

The price is what makes the Yi Outdoor attractive. Even though there are other options in the same bracket, this is a good-performing video camera which is extremely easy to rig and connect. It takes about 5 minutes, and connects easily to modems with a good signal range.

It is a shame that the cable is hardwired, as there is no way to replace it for a longer lead, or a new one if it breaks. The notifications work well, although there’s sometimes a lag of about 15 seconds between camera and smartphone. There is also the occasional instance where remote connectivity drops out, but you are still able to view the recordings as they are automatically saved to the MicroUSB.

 

 

80%
Best smartlight (below $100)
  • Packaging
  • Specs
  • Design
  • Usability

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