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Home Security Camera
The home security device in question, and the subject of this review, is the YI Home 1080p camera. For the benefit of those readers who are perhaps not so familiar with YI Technology, to give the company its full title, is an organisation that has set out to provide enhanced safety and productivity on a worldwide basis for consumers and business users. The company offers a wide range of solutions, for both indoors and outdoors, that it has designed, developed and manufactured including the YI Home 1080p model.
This camera kit consists of the main home camera unit, a standard-to-micro USB cable, 3-pin power adapter and various items of documentation that do not include a User Manual. There is mean to be such a document available for downloading from an appropriate website. However when I tried to download this document, all I got was a few lines of code saying "the bucket was empty". Hopefully this was not a sign of other issues yet to appear.
The 1080p camera, coloured black, is actually integrated into a white adjustable stand with a circular base. The stand is constructed so that its angle of presentation can be adjusted, through the use of a hinge element, to give the best viewing angle of the area towards which it is pointing. I did suspect that the hinge element might be a weak spot but this did not prove to be the case during my review of the product despite some heavy handed use.
Located on the rear of the camera is a micro USB port for attaching the supplied USB cable and linking the device to a power source. I found it far easier to slot the USB lead into the camera when the stand unit was in a more or less flat position. The camera also features a micro SD card slot which can be found on the rear of the camera situated on the right side. This slot, which can handle a memory card up to 32GB for storing video and still images, acts either as a supplement to or instead of the Cloud storage option that is provided on a paid-for service.
To complete this package you will need to download and install the YI Home app which is available from the App Store and Play Store. Using this app you can set up a free YI Account. This process requires you to provide an email address, password consisting of upper and lowercase letters plus a number, and entering the provided Catcha key. In order to complete the process you will need to check and respond to an activation email sent to the address you provided.
You can then pair the camera with the app by holding them close together. The camera will scan a QR code which appears on the smartphone hosting the app. The final stage will consist of linking to a WiFi router. At this point you will be able to use the YI Home camera and its communication link with the smartphone hosting the app.
Indicating that it is receiving power, the YI Home camera displays a blue light at the base of the lens unit. Offering 1080p high definition, the YI Home camera has a 112 degree wide angle lens with LDC distortion correction and night vision facility with a range of 9 metres. Built into the camera is two-way audio and motion detection. However, and what might disappoint some users, YI has taken the decision not to include support for any of the voice control systems such as Alexa or Google and the like.
Using the YI Home app, you can review a live stream from the camera, receive alerts regarding motion detected incidents and instigate video and still image captures. Tabs are available to switch quickly between areas entitled Home, Alerts, Cloud and Discover. By default the app starts with the Home tab showing a live feed from the YI Home camera. Options are available to switch between SD, HD or Auto display mode plus change from a portrait view covering half the smartphone screen or a wide landscape orientation.
Rather than clutter up your mailbox with various alerts concerning motion incidents detected by the camera, these incidents are noted instead in the alert section. You can replay or delete these incidents as necessary. Captured still images can be viewed in an Album feature found in the Discovery section.
While content, in the form of alerts and still images, can be saved on the micro SD memory card, YI also offers a Cloud storage service. This is a paid-for service with an initial free 30 day period. Depending upon the contract taken out, this Cloud service can give you 7, 15 or 30 days of storage. For the purpose of this review I have stuck with using the memory card method of storing alerts, videos and still images.
I was a little disappointed with a couple of issues regarding this YI Home camera. The 112 degrees of viewing angle was less than many other cameras of a similar type and the lack of support for voice activated system could put off some users. However the image quality delivered by this camera was of a reasonable standard. I also found that with the night vision captured content allowed you to identify the images.
The YI Home 1080p camera is currently listed at £21.99 by Amazon.
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