Wyze Cam Pan v2 Review
Pros: Vertical/horizontal panning, color night vision, no subscription required
Cons: Indoor use only, no back-up battery, so-so sound quality
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Wyze Cam Pan v2
$49.98 at Amazon
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|Pros||Vertical/horizontal panning, color night vision, no subscription required||Inexpensive, most features available without subscription, color night vision||Sufficient live and download video quality, good onboard microphone||Color night vision, loud camera speaker||Inexpensive, 1080p video, night vision|
|Cons||Indoor use only, no back-up battery, so-so sound quality||Plug-in power source, no remote panning, no backup battery||Poor night vision, relatively slow frame rate, no onboard speaker||No local storage, poor audio and video quality, indoor use only||No local storage, requires a subscription, poor video and sound quality|
|Bottom Line||A top-performing, remote panning camera at a low price with no hidden charges||A high-performance camera at a low price that allows access to most of its features without a subscription||An all-around decent quality camera that cuts a few corners to keep the price low||This camera earned low scores across the board yet has a relatively high price tag||This camera performed poorly across the board and requires a subscription to boot — it's not worth the money|
|Rating Categories||Wyze Cam Pan v2||Wyze Cam v3||YI 1080p Home||Ring Indoor||Blink Mini|
|Recorded Video Quality (35%)|
|Monitoring Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Specs||Wyze Cam Pan v2||Wyze Cam v3||YI 1080p Home||Ring Indoor||Blink Mini|
|Camera Type (Indoor or Outdoor)||Indoor Only||Indoor and Outdoor||Indoor Only||Indoor Only||Indoor Only|
|WiFi Type||2.4 GHz
|Encryption Types||AES 128-bit||AES 128-bit||Yes, type N/A||TKIP, AES, TKIP + AES||AES|
|Wired or Battery||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired||Wired|
|Smart Device Compatability||Amazon Alexa
|Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Wyze Cam Pan v2 shows up its peers with its panning capabilities, giving it an expansive field of view. Add to this unique design good color night vision, dual storage options, and an easy-to-use app, and it should be clear why this home security camera was a favorite of ours. Our only gripe is that it can't be used outside. However, we are willing to overlook the lack of weatherproofing given its suite of useful features and remarkably low cost.
Recorded Video Quality
The recorded video quality metric assesses the camera's video quality, night vision, and field of view. The Cam Pan v2 did fairly well in this evaluation, earning above-average marks. The bright spot in this metric is the camera's field of view. While the camera can only capture 120º of horizontal vision in any position, it can pan on its X and Y axis, providing 360º of horizontal coverage and 93º vertically. The camera moves at 110º per second, too. It is fast enough to track moving objects passing through the field of view.
As for the downloaded video quality, we found that details such as facial features were clear; thus, identifying individuals was easy to do. We did find that video recorded in bright light tended to get overexposed. However, the effect was minimal.
Similarly, white surfaces in the night vision appeared very bright, and the eyes of subjects staring directly into the camera had an illuminated look. Yet, the quality of the images remained high. Again, facial features were clear, and lettering such as license plates was easy to read. The background is also relatively clear, with color adding to the quality of the low-light video.
Our assessment of recorded video quality is a comparative analysis. All the cameras being tested for review record the same event from the same location. Then the resulting footage is assessed alongside the footage from the competition. Using this methodology, we can tell you that the recorded video quality of the Cam Pan v2 is well above average for the class.
The monitoring performance metric assesses the camera's live video and sound quality and the sound produced by the camera's onboard speaker. Overall the Wyze Cam Pan v2 scored near the top of the class in this evaluation. In these tests, we are looking for a lag in what the camera sees and the video and sound rendered on the monitoring device. While the Cam Pan's video lagged real-time events by less than a second (a relatively minor delay), the sound lagged by two seconds. This decoupling of video and sound isn't uncommon with home security cameras. However, we have to say that it is a bit annoying, and we favor the cameras that limit this division.
Aside from the video/sound decoupling issue, we think that the live video is high quality and is quite smooth, displaying very little skipping or glitching. However, very fast movements do get a bit blurry. Additionally, unlike some competition, the Cam Pan v2 allows the user to stream a live feed indefinitely. This is a nice feature for keeping an eye on a pet, a sleeping child, or the weather at your vacation home.
While the video quality produced by the Cam Pan v2 is quite good, the sound quality is less satisfying. Spoken words outside of the direct proximity of the speaker are soft, a problem slightly exacerbated by a slight buzzing noise. Yet, noises made close up to the camera's microphone are clear and easy to discern. Moreover, the speaker on the camera produces robust sound, if a little rough at times. But, the alarm that the camera issues from the same speaker is quite muted (67.8dB) — too low to be of any practical use.
Ease of Use
The ease of use metric looks at how the user interfaces with the camera. Specifically, we look at the app used to program and monitor the camera, the available data storage options, and how the camera is mounted. The Wyze Cam Pan v2 performed wonderfully in this evaluation, earning top marks in its class.
The Pan Cam did so well in this metric because Wyze has no hidden subscription fees, providing its customers with free rolling 14-day cloud storage. Additionally, the app is simple, intuitive, and, most importantly, effective at quickly getting the camera to do what you want it to do. This is particularly evident when managing multiple cameras, as each gets its own home page and can be programmed as needed. For example, tap the camera you would like to adjust on the home screen — from there, enter a menu that allows you to watch the live feed, manually record, or access a camera's quick settings. We were particularly impressed with the motion tracking setting, where the camera rotates to follow the movement.
The Pan Cam v2 also offers users several types of programmable notifications. These include sounds, motion, people, and vehicles. The camera even offers users smoke and carbon monoxide detection alerts. Further adding to its redundant, security, and safety-focused design is onboard data storage in an easy-to-access micro SD card port.
Finally, the mounting system on the Pan Cam is as simple as pulling it out of the box and setting it on a horizontal surface with a clear line of sight and room for it to rotate freely. Unlike some competitors, this camera isn't rated for outdoor use or wall mounting. However, it does have a spot on the base to add attachments for nonstandard placement. Despite the mounting limitation, the camera is quite easy to use, from opening the box to customizing the settings.
We see value as a cost to performance ratio wherein a product that performs highly and costs less is considered a greater value. Few products meet this standard better than the Wyze Cam Pan v2. The camera is surprisingly inexpensive for what it is capable of, and Wyze does not charge the user for cloud storage or require a subscription to unlock the most useful features. For these reasons, we think that this camera is of great value.
The Wyze Cam Pan v2 is an incredible camera regarding its performance in our evaluation and its low cost. Notably, the camera does not require a subscription to function at a high level, and Wyze provides free 14-day cloud storage to its customers. This camera has an expansive field of view, good video, decent sound, and many useful features accessible through the Wyze app. Although, do note that the camera isn't rated for outdoor use, aside from that, it has few limitations and a host of great features to remotely monitor what's valuable to you.
— Nick Miley, Matt Spencer, and Austin Palmer
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