Sunday, December 27, 2015

Snug Wireless Pan/Tilt Camera

Find it here -
This camera as purchased to replace a wireless D-Link camera (that did not move) we got for our son's room when he was still a baby. He's creeping up on 4 years old and he no long sits still so we needed something that provided a bit of movement. I also needed something that not only allowed me to hear him, but allowed him to hear me. Set up was a breeze when I used the Snug Camera App on the App Store. Once I had it out of the box, I was up and running in less than 5 thanks to rather spartan instructions.
The camera itself is built pretty sturdy. It doesn't feel like a $400 camera would feel, but it's definitely sturdy for the price. It's heavier on the bottom which makes me feel confident it will stay in place and not tip over with a simple bump. My D-Link was top heavy and it fell over quite a bit so this is a nice change for me.
Utilizing the camera is very simple on a phone or tablet, I just wish they would make a desktop based client a little easier to obtain. The app for using this camera is pretty straight forward. You have options to adjust the brightness, mute incoming audio, turn the night vision on or off, have the camera auto-pan/tilt and a few other options. My personal favorite feature of this camera is the ability to set up preset positions (up to 16). So if your youngster has some known spots they sit or play in frequently, you can simply mark them as a preset and simply pressing the corresponding number will point your camera in those positions automatically!
And now the Airing of Grievances:
1. The picture quality is not nearly as clear as some of the screenshots would have you believe. I've attached a screenshot from my phone with the camera into my son's room. I have the HD feed selected, so unless there is a setting I'm missing here, the video feed leaves room for improvement. Don't get me wrong, for the price and the features that come with the camera, it's still very good and allows you to see everything that you need, but my iPhone provides clearer images.
2. This camera has the great ability of providing two-way audio. Not only can I hear my son playing, I can also tell him to lay down and go to bed! And that's all well and good, but the problem with this is sort of two fold. The first issue is that when I press the microphone icon on the app so I can speak, it mutes all incoming audio. What this means is that you can get some serious communication issues, especially when you're talking to a toddler. I can't hear him and talk at the same time. The other problem here is that after I talk, more often than not I hear myself talking right back through the phone speakers. I don't think I should ever hear myself back on the phone side after I talk. This complicates the two-way audio even more because not only do you have the inability to speak and listen at the same time, you end up overlapping with yourself and it seems to make the audio pretty rough. Both my son and I are often saying "what?" to each other when we try to use it.
3. Panning and tilting the camera with the app can become cumbersome. The camera moves by swiping the screen. It's inverted so when you swipe left, it goes right. When you swipe up, it goes down. That's fine, I can get used to that. My real issue here is that each swipe only moves the camera so much and you can't hold a swipe. If I want to turn the camera 90 degrees to the right, I need to swipe about 5-6 times. What would be ideal is to swipe once and hold your finger on the screen until the camera reaches the position you want.
Overall, this camera provides me with some great abilities I didn't have before. I can move camera remotely, I can talk to my son through my phone, and I can set up automatic preset positions. To me, the pros outweigh the cons on this one and I can confidently recommend this product to those looking looking for a way to remotely keep an eye on their little ones. Although I received this product in exchange for an honest review, all opinions expressed are my own and reflect my personal experience with this product. Feel free to ask me questions about this product and I'll respond within 24 hours. I hope my opinions help to enhance your purchasing experience!