To give my latest gadget its full title – Solar powered HD 1080p Wireless PIR waterproof security outdoor IP67 camera. Originally I received an ESCAM solar camera which was GREAT but which would not operate reliably in the outdoor heat despite its other great features. This was my alternative pick and after several weeks of un-interrupted, external solar operation it was until recently proving to be 100% reliable.
By Oct 1 2019 this was no longer true. Returning from Spain to UK the camera I left there failed. All others including the Watchman were and are fine and the weather there remains sunny. Both this camera and the Watchman have been rock solid for many weeks and both survived August sun and September storms. Now this camera has been dead for 2 days. As there are no wires there is nothing to fix. Interestingly the original ESCAM was similar in that it operated peffectly for a while then stopped. At the time I could simply restart the camera, in this case I can’t as I’m no longer at that location.
So, straight off the bat, I originally liked this camera, I also have a couple of MINOR gripes about the Android “i-Cam” app – no volume control on the sound… I like the idea of talking to the postman from thousands of miles away… .but to offset that – there are ways around the lack of sound control as I have a fully remotely controllable Raspberry Pi here in Spain. The camera, as well as being fully solar operated (it came minus batteries and I just fitted 2 cheap Lithium 18650 (maybe 2,000maH) batteries – it only actually needs one but I thought better safe than sorry) is fixed lens and has a wide field of view complete with 2-way sound. However note my comments above – it looks like the camera is not good enough for unattended operation.
There’s a video I made here: https://youtu.be/lVHvhZlC0F8
The first pleasant surprise was the App on my Android phone – dead easy to use – setup of the camera was trivial and I was surprised to see that the camera stores short video sequences triggered by the PIR into free cloud space (you can turn that off) even if you choose as I did, NOT to fit an SD.
Moreover, once I messed with some simple settings, when I moved past the wall-mounted camera back into the house, the camera rang me up on my Android mobile phone and when I answered the call I was immediately greeted with video footage.
Nice trick – The idea was that I could have it ring me when I’m away from home or hiding in my office, on answering I can talk to whoever is visiting (like the postman) – or in the case of burglars, threaten to beat them to death. Be aware that at the lowest sensitivity this device picks up on some large sunflowers we have when it is windy so position for minimum visual interference if you want to use the alarm feature.
Wall-mounting the camera is simple and they even provide a small screwdriver for the open-able battery compartment (the camera is solar but of course needs not-provided standard Lithium batteries for the night).
HD quality looks good – and the price is ok too. The camera has it’s own access point mode in case it loses the WIFI but so far it has been rock-solid on WIFI, recovering transparently from 2 short power cuts with the attendant loss of WIFI.
Packaging was simple but perfectly adequate.
Apparently July 31 was the end of sale season. Be warned: as is often the case, there are some really DUMB specs for this device online. What the hell is “200w pixels” for example. Also “low-battery warning sent to your phone”… REALLY? Not much use if you are away from home, like, thousands of miles away. I hope that’s just a translation issue.
Such a camera MUST recover automatically from a flat battery. Don’t expect to see much about this in other reviews. Despite the above, I loved this camera for many weeks until we left the area and it just stopped. You have a choice of SD or HD modes and once set it appears to stay in whichever mode you put it.
The simple design means you cannot optimise the solar panel position and angle but that does not seem to be an issue. The camera kept going through a bout of bad weather but as you’ll note above, eventually failed.
Here’s the Banggood link: https://bit.ly/2Ouo5lc