SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Camera

MSRP $170.00

“The SimpliSafe Outdoor Security Camera is a long-awaited, but slightly flawed addition to the lineup.”

Pros

  • Great video high quality
  • Impressive night-mode viewing
  • Responsive movement detection with exercise zone customizations
  • Alexa and Google Assistant assist

Cons

  • Unreliable dwell view and glitchy app
  • No stand-alone choices (starter package required)
  • Expensive if all you need is a digicam

Outdoor sensible safety requires a number of ranges of ingenuity and safety as Mother Nature, UV rays, and different suburban and city-based variables are forces that indoor tech merely doesn’t must take care of (for probably the most half). Fortunately, many sensible manufacturers are on prime of this, providing house safety merchandise tailored on your yard, patio, or open-air house within the type of cameras, floodlights, and video doorbells.

SimpliSafe, a pacesetter within the sensible safety market, has lengthy provided a myriad of in-home safety tech, encompassing practically each component of a full-suite surveillance system, from cameras and smoke detectors to temperature and glass-break sensors. One space the place the corporate lagged behind the competitors (a bit) was out of doors merchandise — however not anymore.

The new SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Security Camera is the corporate’s first devoted out of doors providing, a reasonably small digicam that we had the good pleasure of testing out.

Unboxing and setup

If you’re searching for an out of doors digicam which you can purchase on a finances, pair to your Wi-Fi, obtain an app for, and begin utilizing instantly, the SimpliSafe approach will not be the ticket. In order to make use of the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Camera, you’re going to want to buy one in all SimpliSafe’s starter kits. Do know that even probably the most fundamental starter package (with the Outdoor Camera add-on) will run you about $250. Compared to aggressive out of doors cameras just like the Nest Cam ($180) and Ring Spotlight Camera ($199), you’ll be investing somewhat extra from the get-go if SimpliSafe is your model of alternative.

The Simplisafe Outdoor Camera mounted outside.

For my setup, I went with the naked necessities — a base station, keypad, and the Wireless Outdoor Camera. Getting my system activated and on-line was fast and painless. All you actually must do is obtain the SimpliSafe app and observe the on-screen prompts for configuring a system for the primary time.

Once your base station is dwell, including the Outdoor Camera is straightforward, too. Just faucet the hamburger-dropdown within the top-left nook of the Home Screen, choose Set up a digicam, then observe the on-screen prompts. A phrase to the clever is that you just’ll wish to map out an honest block of time for really charging your Outdoor Camera’s battery (SimpliSafe recommends 5 hours for a complete juice-up).

Design

From an aesthetic standpoint, I actually love the best way the Outdoor Camera appears to be like and feels. Just by holding it, one can inform it’s a sturdy piece of {hardware}. An IP-65-rated gadget, the Outdoor Camera is constructed to face up to heavy rain, snow, and winds, in addition to provide whole safety from filth, particles, and bugs. You gained’t have to fret about temperature both, because the Outdoor Camera can stand up to temps as chilly as -20-degrees and as scorching as 113-degrees Fahrenheit.

The 140-degree lens presents a powerful vantage.

Visually, the off-white casing and black lens housing mix in fairly properly with most out of doors décor. When putting in and mounting my grandmother’s Blink Outdoor Camera, expletives stuffed the air as I attempted, repeatedly, to get the digicam physique clicked into the mount barring. So you may think about how a lot I beloved SimpliSafe’s super-easy magnetized mount. Just two screws into the vinyl siding and also you’re able to pop the digicam on.

Quality and efficiency

The Wireless Outdoor Camera handles as much as full 1080p recording and dwell views, with choices to scale all the way down to 720p or 480p (each are much less taxing in your web connection). Real-time footage and occasion clips look nice. The visuals I skilled have been shiny and clear, with super-accurate colours and distinction — I’m guessing that’s because of the digicam’s onboard HDR assist.

The Simplisafe Outdoor Cam live view (daytime).

The 140-degree lens presents a powerful vantage, too. From my second-floor condo’s porch, the digicam captured a near-perfect wide-angle view of the complete car parking zone and constructing throughout the road — with little to no pixelation. When an individual walked into view, the digicam adopted their each transfer with minimal lag.

While the digicam lens lacks an optical zoom, what you’re going to get is an 8x digital push-in for locking onto faraway individuals or object of curiosity. To use this characteristic, all it’s a must to do is launch the digicam’s dwell view, faucet the picture with two fingers and pinch out. The outcomes are serviceable, however not astonishing. Similar to the kind of zoomed-in high quality chances are you’ll get from a fundamental point-and-shoot digicam, pixelation and distortion begin occurring fairly quickly, however probably the most important shapes and colours stay intact.

The Simplisafe Outdoor Cam with digital zoom enabled.A full 8x digital zoom-in with the Outdoor Camera.

Such a characteristic might not go too far in serving to authorities set up what a faraway perpetrator appears to be like like, however it’s nonetheless helpful for issues like zeroing in on the make and mannequin of a automobile parked throughout the road.

One of my favourite options of the Outdoor Camera is the flexibility to decide on between two totally different Night Vision experiences. Standard is the default setting (it’s higher on battery life) and it shows photographs as much as 30 ft away in black-and-white. Then there’s Spotlight (more durable on the battery), a mode that balances the digicam’s built-in highlight and HDR to show a colorized nighttime view as much as 10 ft away.

simplisafe wireless outdoor camera review spotlight view 1

simplisafe wireless outdoor camera review night view standard 1

Battery life

As talked about, you’ll wish to allocate about 5 hours on your first whole charging of the Outdoor Camera battery. Depending on what settings you will have assigned to your Outdoor Cam, SimpliSafe guarantees between three to 6 months of battery life earlier than a recharge is required.

Software

The SimpliSafe app (for iOS and Android gadgets) is a feature-laden controller on your complete SimpliSafe suite and an incredible (however not excellent) approach of accessing, controlling, and customizing your Outdoor Camera. We’ve lined the finer particulars of the app earlier than, so for this evaluate, we’ll simply deal with what it brings to the digicam expertise.

When you launch the app, a static picture from every of your SimpliSafe digicam feeds will likely be displayed on the Home Screen. By tapping the Watch Live icon, you’ll be taken to a real-time view of what your digicam is presently seeing. While in dwell mode, you may pinch out for digital zooming, begin a two-way audio chat, and document video clips. Once you’ve completed recording, it can save you the clip to your cellphone or share it with others by way of textual content or throughout sure social media platforms. There’s additionally a jump-to-timeline button that can carry you to the app’s log of motion-triggered occasion clips.

Various app settings for the Simplisafe Outdoor Camera.

The movement occasion log can be accessible from the house display screen (merely faucet Timeline within the bottom-right-hand nook). Each recording options its personal dropdown window that can let you know what time the occasion was captured and the way lengthy it lasted, together with the choice for video playback. If you’ve initiated any recordings your self from the Watch Live display screen, they’re logged right here, too (designated as User Recording).

By tapping the gear icon within the upper-right-hand nook of the house display screen, you’ll be taken to Camera Settings. Here, you are able to do issues like change your digicam’s title, regulate image high quality, select between night time imaginative and prescient modes, toggle mic, audio, and sirens on/off, and extra.

One different subject that provides fairly a little bit of customization is Motion Detection. When you faucet this selection, you’ll be taken to a separate Motion Detection menu the place you may regulate movement sensitivity and select whether or not or not you need the digicam to detect individuals solely or all movement (a handy adjustment for busy condo developments like my very own). Then there’s my favourite add-on — a gridded Activity Zone customizer that lets you select what areas you don’t need the digicam to concentrate to.

Performance

One main and infuriating hassle I had with the app was getting some of the fundamental instructions to even work — launching the dwell view. After tapping Watch Live, my SimpliSafe app would usually begin buffering like the times of dial-up. After about 30 seconds (or extra), this could lead to a “camera disconnected” message. I might then must attempt to relaunch the dwell view, or fully restart the app. On common, I must attempt to launch dwell view not less than 3 times earlier than it really labored.

To troubleshoot, I even unplugged and relocated the bottom station to a number of new factors in my lounge, which did nothing to assist.

Pricing and subscriptions

Whether you wish to expertise SimpliSafe’s full assortment of monitoring options or simply need your digicam(s) to have the ability to document video, a SimpliSafe subscription is required. There are two memberships to select from, with no contracts and anytime cancellation for each tiers.

Camera Recordings Only is simply that — limitless HD recordings and real-time footage for as much as 5 SimpliSafe cameras, priced at 33 cents/day (about $10/month).

The base pricing for a Simplisafe system with Outdoor Camera.

The second tier, Interactive 24/7 Professional Monitoring, contains 24/7 police, fireplace, and ambulance dispatch, built-in mobile information assist, water and temperature monitoring, and limitless recordings and real-time footage for as much as 10 Simplisafe cameras. It is priced at 83 cents/day (about $25/month).

Our take

If you’re searching for a stand-alone out of doors digicam which you can chuck on a mount, pair to your community, and faucet into from a cellular app, the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Camera does most of this stuff properly — except being system-inclusive.

If you already personal a SimpliSafe system and need an out of doors add-on, or are constructing a brand new sensible safety suite, the Wireless Outdoor Camera is one element you most likely wish to add. Yes, it may be glitchy at times, and a few touted options (just like the 8x digital zoom) aren’t pretty much as good as you’re led to consider, however when it comes to total high quality and efficiency, it’s a strong out of doors providing.

How lengthy will it final?

Based on its weatherproofing and temperature safety, we doubt you’ll expertise a lot in the best way of element-driven {hardware} failure from the SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Camera. For these faults that do sneak in, the corporate presents a three-year guarantee on all its tools.

Is there a greater different?

In phrases of picture high quality and reliability, the Arlo Pro 4 is one in all our present favorites for out of doors cameras, providing a 160-degree lens, loads of customization, and superior monitoring plans. For a budget-friendly stand-alone possibility, there’s additionally the Wyze Cam Outdoor — that includes an IP-65 bite-sized physique with Alexa and Google Assistant assist and a handy time-lapse characteristic.

Should you purchase it?

If you’re a SimpliSafe devotee, then sure. The SimpliSafe Wireless Outdoor Camera is a effective addition to a full SimpliSafe system, offering a set of eyes (and ears) for the world exterior your partitions and home windows.

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