Wyze Labs has created a security camera that could give Nest Labs's cameras a run for their money. Meet the Wyze Cam, capable of recording 1080p video, night vision, motion and audio sensing, and a smart cloud storage system, to boot — all that plus more for just $20.
The security camera category has become crowded several years after Nest first introduced the Nest Cam, then called the Dropcam. Now, Logitech, Samsung, and Netgear all have decent offerings, all trying to outdo each other by making the cheapest one available.
Newcomer Wyze Labs is joining that crowd, hoping to appeal to customers with its extremely cheap security camera that seems significantly feature-rich — at least on paper.
Wyze Labs Security Camera Features
Besides being able to record in glorious 1080p — and that's glorious because 1080p is already pretty amazing for a $20 camera — the Wyze Cam also has infrared-based night vision, which makes it a viable sleeping monitor solution for customers who have little toddlers.
It's made with a magnetic base that swivels or tilts to any direction, so it can sit on a desk or hang from the ceiling thanks to the included sticky metal plate.
Though how well it works remains to be tested, the Wyze Cam does feature motion and audio sensing, which works with another feature called "alert video" that records 15 seconds of footage whenever the camera sees someone moving or hears something, like when a smoke detector is beeping, for instance. The 15-second footage is then sent to the cloud via end-to-end encryption. However, users who want continuous recording can stick a microSD card instead. This footage is stored locally, but can be accessed via the Wyze Cam app.
The Wyze Cam also has a microphone/speaker built-in for two-way audio.
Those features all sound pretty good, but as mentioned, a spec sheet is just one part of the whole discussion. Obviously, bringing down the price to $20 means Wyze Labs has cut corners in some aspects. For example, The Next Web has taken issue with the companion app, saying it crashes and freezes often.
Wyze Labs Plans To Launch Other Cheap Smart Home Devices
Still, $20 for a functional, serviceable security camera that has night vision, motion and sound detection, and a smart "alert video" storage system? That sounds like a product that's worth a lot more than its asking price. Wyze Cam will probably not make much profit from selling this, and the company's Director of Marketing, Jessie Zhou, admits as much, telling TechCrunch that the product margin is "extremely low."
But the Wyze Cam is just the opening salvo for Wyze Labs's plans to introduce more affordable smart devices going forward. Take this as a "you gotta spend money to make money" type of product. Selling them low now makes perfect sense. Just look at what happened to the Essential Phone.