Wyze’s new security camera can record continuously on battery power… but only for a day

The long-rumored Wyze Battery Cam Pro ($93.99 plus $5 shipping) arrives today, August 1st, and is the company’s first camera to record continuously on battery power. But this impressive feat comes with caveats: it requires a microSD card, and the battery won’t last more than a day when constantly surveilling your home, so it’s best to wire it up if you want true 24/7 coverage. Still, you’ll get a full day of recording if the power goes out, something no other battery-powered camera I’ve tested offers.

“Continuous recording will be available on both battery and wired,” Wyze spokesperson Kyle Christensen told The Verge. “The battery will not last more than a day, though, so we definitely recommend wired for most scenarios. The weatherproof wired adapter will not be available at launch but is coming soon.”

The new cam, which is the successor to the Wyze Cam Outdoor V2 ($74), has been completely redesigned and brings 2K HDR video and radar-powered motion detection to the table. (Radar should offer more accurate motion detection over a PIR sensor alone.) It also has alerts for people, pets, vehicles, and packages (with a subscription), plus a built-in 150-lumen spotlight and an 80-decibel siren.

Unlike the V2, the new cam doesn’t require a hub, but Christensen says this means it will have a delay of one to two seconds for live streaming, compared to the hub version. Other specs include color night vision via a starlight sensor, a 134-degree field of view, 15fps, dual-band Wi-Fi, two-way talk, an IP65 rating, and a new Bluetooth setup that eliminates the need to scan a QR code. It also works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.


Wyze’s new camera uses rechargeable, replaceable batteries; extras can be purchased for $22.95 each.
Image: Wyze

This is also Wyze’s first camera with a removable battery — a staple on competitors like Ring and Arlo. Removable batteries make it easier to keep battery-powered cameras rolling, as you can have a couple of spares charging and ready to swap out more easily than having to take a camera down and plug it in somewhere.

When not recording continuously, Wyze claims the Battery Cam Pro will last six months on one 6,200mAh battery. However, that seems ambitious. As noted in its specs for the camera, battery life will depend on usage. In my experience with battery-powered Ring cameras that use 6,040mAh batteries, I’m lucky if I get six weeks in a busy area, half that on Arlo cameras with their 3,660mAh batteries.

Along with the new cameras, Wyze is launching a Battery Charging Dock that charges two extra batteries ($17.99 for the dock, $22.99 for the battery), plus the camera works with the Wyze Solar Panel

The new camera comes with a mount for installing the camera on a wall. A universal mount for ceiling installations is available separately for $10.
Image: Wyze

The continuous recording feature won’t be available at launch, but Christensen says it’s coming soon. It requires a microSD card (up to 256GB and sold separately) that saves all video locally, and it’s also an option on Wyze’s wired cameras.

In the meantime, you can record motion-activated videos to the cloud using Wyze’s Cam Plus service for $2.99 a month. A subscription is really a prerequisite for this camera, as it doesn’t support Wyze’s free tier Cam Plus Lite, so without paying, you only get snapshots of motion events.

The $94 price tag is also a bit disappointing. Wyze is quickly losing its low-cost leader moniker, but it is adding more features, such as radar motion detection and 2K. The original Wyze Outdoor Cam launched at just $40, so this Battery Cam Pro is more on par with comparable $100 offerings from Ring and Blink (although those have lower video quality). Early reports indicate this device feels a bit cheap, too. We’ll be testing it and will report back. 

The Wyze Battery Cam Pro is available to buy starting today, August 1st, for $93.99 at Wyze.com, and Wyze is offering $20 Wyze Cash with purchase — which should cover some of those accessories, including an extra mount; the one it comes with will only mount the camera to a wall, not under an eave or on a ceiling.

Source link