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Ecobee SmartCamera Assessment | PCMag

The Ecobee SmartCamera ($129.99) is the most recent addition to its circle of relatives of good house units and is the corporate’s first house safety digital camera. It’s an indoor 1080p digital camera that provides movement detection and acts as an Amazon Alexa instrument that may do the whole lot an Echo good speaker can. Symbol high quality is sharp and Alexa capability works smartly, however in the end you’ll get extra options for a similar value with our Editors’ Selection, the SimCam 1S. Nonetheless, the SmartCamera is a forged choice for Ecobee Haven customers.

Design and Options

The Ecobee SmartCamera stands 5.4 inches tall (with its stand) and is two.2 inches broad and 1.7 inches intensive. The enclosure is white, with a shiny black faceplate, and it makes use of a small silver stand that may be connected both to the ground of the instrument for placement on a flat floor or at the again panel for mounting on a wall. Mounting screws are integrated within the field.

The highest of the digital camera is house to Alexa motion and mute buttons, and the entrance comprises the digital camera itself, a couple of far-field microphones, a digital camera process LED, 4 LEDs that glow blue when processing Alexa voice instructions, and a speaker.

The digital camera captures 1080p video at 30fps and has a 180-degree area of view. It provides virtual pan and tilt the use of the cell app and has an auto pan and zoom characteristic that zeroes in on shifting topics. The digital camera makes use of 3 infrared LEDs for evening imaginative and prescient and is provided with a dual-band Wi-Fi radio for connecting to your own home community and a integrated siren. It is usually supplied with a 2GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of flash reminiscence for onboard video processing, and it comprises circuitry that permits it to function an Alexa instrument that may play song, run Alexa Routines, provide the information, and keep an eye on Alexa-enabled good house units. You’ll be able to additionally view video from the digital camera on a suitable good show. The digital camera additionally detects movement, however it’s a must to subscribe to Ecobee’s Haven carrier to view recorded video and obtain movement signals.

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Haven is Ecobee’s new house tracking carrier that permits Ecobee units together with thermostats, room occupancy sensors, cameras, and door and window sensors, to paintings in combination to observe actions in your house. With Haven you’ll mechanically arm and disarm your units the use of your telephone’s location products and services (Autopilot), see when individuals are coming and going, view as much as 14 days of motion-triggered video saved within the cloud, and obtain match notifications for your cell instrument. You’ll obtain signals when the digital camera or any of the Ecobee sensors detects movement, however you’ll’t have the digital camera start recording when any other instrument, equivalent to a door/window sensor, is brought on.

In case you don’t subscribe to Haven you’ll nonetheless use the digital camera as a standalone instrument, however you gained’t obtain movement signals and occasions are captured with a snapshot as a substitute of a video clip. A Haven subscription will price you $5 per 30 days for the Necessities Plan, which provides reinforce for a unmarried digital camera, or you’ll pay $10 per 30 days for the Prolonged Plan with limitless digital camera reinforce. Along with Alexa and Haven compatibility, the SmartCamera helps Apple’s HomeKit and Siri voice instructions, nevertheless it does not reinforce Google Assistant voice instructions or IFTTT applets that might permit it to engage with third-party good units, a minimum of now not but. 

The SmartCamera works with the similar cell app (for Android and iOS) used to keep an eye on different Ecobee units such because the Ecobee Transfer + and the Ecobee Good Thermostat With Voice Keep watch over. The house display screen comprises tabs for all your Ecobee thermostats, cameras, and sensors. The digital camera tab presentations the identify of the digital camera, the closing captured symbol, and a View Are living button. Faucet that to release a reside move with buttons for two-way communicate and panning. In case you subscribe to Haven, you’ll additionally see snapshot and video file buttons. On the most sensible of the display screen you’ll transfer from a Are living view to a Historical past view that presentations thumbnails with timestamps for all recorded video. Faucet any thumbnail to view the video, obtain, or delete it. A tools icon within the higher proper nook takes you to a settings display screen the place you’ll permit Autopilot, configure movement settings (process, movement zones), and permit Window mode, which disables the infrared LEDs to get rid of glare when the digital camera is going through a window.

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Again on the house display screen there are 4 buttons on the backside. The House button returns you to the house display screen, and the Process button takes you to a display screen the place you’ll view occasions from all your Haven units together with digital camera movement occasions, arming and disarming occasions, and brought on sensor occasions. The Holiday button is used to configure thermostat settings for if you find yourself away on holiday, and the Account button brings you to a display screen the place you edit your own home data, location, and anonymously donate thermostat information for analysis functions.

Ecobee app

Set up and Efficiency

The SmartCamera is straightforward to put in, however ahead of you get started you’ll must obtain the cell app, create an account, and create a House. Faucet the plus icon within the higher proper nook of the house display screen, make a choice Digicam from the record of goods, and practice the directions to energy up the digital camera. After 10 seconds or so, when the LEDs cross from white to amber, faucet Excellent to Pass and make a choice the digital camera when it sounds as if within the instrument record. Choose your Wi-Fi SSID and faucet Subsequent to have the app upload the digital camera on your community and instrument record. Entire the set up through naming the digital camera, settling on a couple of settings (Window Mode, Autopilot, Notifications) and updating the firmware (if important).

The Ecobee SmartCamera carried out smartly in checking out. With a Haven subscription enabled, I gained rapid notifications when the digital camera detected movement and recorded video was once right away to be had within the Historical past display screen. Symbol high quality was once sharp and colourful, with out a evident indicators of distortion, and black-and-white evening video confirmed excellent distinction. I had no bother viewing video from the digital camera on an Amazon Echo Display, and it labored flawlessly in my HomeKit scenes. Two-way audio was once blank, and the siren was once loud sufficient to be heard right through my area.

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The digital camera additionally labored smartly as an Alexa instrument, even supposing its speaker lacks bass reaction and isn’t smartly suited to enjoying song. That stated, it all the time spoke back to requests to keep an eye on Alexa-enabled good units, and not failed to provide me the present native information and climate when requested. 

Conclusions

In case you’re searching for a flexible indoor safety digital camera that does greater than hit upon movement, the Ecobee SmartCamera is price a glance. It now not most effective allows you to use your telephone to peer what’s happening in your house, but additionally acts as an Alexa instrument that may provide the information and climate, play song, keep an eye on Alexa-enabled good units, and extra. The digital camera delivers sharp video, however it’s a must to subscribe to Ecobee’s Haven carrier to view recorded video and obtain movement notifications. It’s a worthy addition to any present Ecobee ecosystem, however you get extra bang to your greenback with our Editors’ Selection, the SimCam 1S, together with face reputation, mechanical panning, loose native video garage, clever signals, and reinforce for Google Assistant voice instructions and IFTTT applets.

The Backside Line

The Ecobee SmartCamera is a flexible Wi-Fi-enabled indoor digital camera that provides integrated Alexa capability, virtual pan and tilt, and interoperability with Ecobee’s Haven house tracking platform.

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