Wyze Cam v4: Budget Security Camera Royalty

With AI motion tracking, a built-in flashlight, and a crisper 2.5K QHD resolution, the finest inexpensive security camera gets even better.

(Image: © Wyze)

For less than $40, the Wyze Cam v4 is packed with premium features like rich alerts, AI motion tracking, and even facial recognition. Its precise motion recognition and crisp camera quality operate nearly faultlessly. It doesn't hurt that Wyze also provides one of the most reasonably priced plans available.

Pros

  • Impressive 2.5K resolution with vibrant color night vision
  • Weatherproof with a versatile magnetic base that can stand or mount
  • Person, package, and vehicle smart detection to reduce false alerts
  • Rich sound+ for improved two-way communication
  • Easy-to-use app with premium AI features like subject tracking

Cons

  • Lower framerates occasionally lead to choppy visuals

The powerful Wyze Cam v4 security camera is new and reasonably priced. With three times the price of some of the best home security cameras, it produces sharp images because to its bigger sensor, enhanced color night vision, and 2.5K resolution. It also features an integrated lighting and siren.

Having said that, the Wyze Cam v3, which we rated as the best low-cost security camera we examined, leaves some very big shoes for this camera to fill. We complimented the earlier camera's low cost and color night vision in our assessment. Is the new Wyze Cam capable of unseating its elder sister as the budget king? Or are Wyze's advancements overlooked by the plethora of newly released, reasonably priced interior and outdoor security cameras, such as the Blink Mini 2, that have emerged in the intervening years? Continue reading to learn more.

Wyze Cam v4: Specs

  • Dimensions: 2 x 2 inches
  • Resolution: 1440p with color night vision
  • Field of View: 116ยบ
  • Person/Package/Vehicle Detection: Yes
  • Wireless: 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Works with: Wyze app, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT

Wyze Cam 4: Price & Availability

The Wyze Cam v4 is priced at $35.98 and went on sale on March 26, 2024. That is less expensive than its competitor, the entry-level Blink Mini 2 ($39, Amazon). With its greater resolution and integrated weatherproof plug, the Wyze Cam actually offers a better value than Blink because you won't need to purchase an additional outside power kit to use it outside.

Wyze Cam v4: Design Review

A few stylish enhancements are made to Wyze's iconic 2-inch cube camera. It now has a smooth matte finish and is available in white or light gray. This gives it a less boxy, more contemporary appearance by emphasizing its rounded corners. In order to survive harsh weather conditions, including rain, and severe temperatures ranging from -4°F to 122°F, Wyze developed the camera with an IP-65-rated body.

The Wyze Cam v4 has a camera in the middle, status LEDs on either side of the camera, a microphone at the bottom, and a spotlight at the top. Turn it over, and the older Micro USB power connector protrudes in the middle of the back, along with a speaker system along the top. Simply attach the 6-foot power line that comes with it, and you'll have enough extra to reach a power outlet on the side of the house or behind furniture. It's not the end of the world because this isn't a battery-operated gadget that you'll be continuously connecting and unplugging, even though the Micro USB communication standard is cumbersome compared to USB-C. The MicroSD card slot for local storage, the pairing button, and the folding magnetic base are located on the underside.

(Image credit: Future)

When you position the camera off a shelf or hang it off a wall at an angle, you may extend its base out from the bottom of the camera for extra height. You may experiment with different angles and positions because the camera cube itself rotates and pivots. Without any installation, I've attached it to magnetic surfaces like the metal plant container beneath my awning and the corner bead on my living room wall. I found a perfect location to monitor over my yard, high up off my back door and aiming downward. I've never seen such adaptability in a camera before, and the Wyze Cam v4 mounts or places almost anyplace thanks to its simple installation process. Of course, the box also includes typical mounting hardware. Additionally, Wyze comes with 3M adhesive metal rings that you can easily adhere to vinyl siding or brickwork before using a magnet to attach the Wyze Cam v4 to it.

Wyze Cam v4: Image & Audio Performance Review

Other low-cost HD cameras are completely outclassed by the crisp 2.5K QHD (2560x1440) quality and robust low light capabilities of the Wyze Cam v4. With rich color night vision, its sensor creates vivid, clear images during the day as well as at night. As seen in the image below, which shows sunshine streaming through my living room windows, it captures useful footage even in extremely bright light blowouts. This camera intelligently modifies the image quality to maintain sharpness in details such as the texture of a leopard print rug or the subjects within an image frame.

Budget cameras with lesser resolutions are frequently affected by light fluctuations, which results in flickering and problems with color balance. The Wyze Cam v4 does not suffer from worse image quality or lose overall detail in highlights or shadows since it concentrates on the immediate foreground rather than the background. This is evident when comparing the first photo below to the side-by-side image of the rich complete picture of the Wyze. The sharp contrast between the Blink Mini 2's darker image quality, which mostly captures the distant trees at the expense of clearly capturing what's happening in the room itself, can be seen as you scroll right.

Image 1
Image 2

In addition to having more pixels for a crisper image than the typical 1080p budget camera, Wyze's 2.5K resolution image is sharper. With reduced pixelation, you can now easily zoom in up to 8 times digitally on items like lettering on boxes or t-shirts. The Wyze Cam v4's unique Smart Focus AI motion tracking technology sets it apart from other inexpensive cameras. This is often only available on high-end security cameras and allows it to recognize, focus on, and track a subject. As soon as persons and items moved across the camera's field of view, Smart Focus recorded them precisely, placing them inside an imaginary rectangular box. For rich alerts, the onboard AI not only recognizes the topic (person, package, or vehicle), but it also tracks the subject for the length of the event.

If you want to prevent the camera from constantly zooming in, you can disable Smart Focus tracking. However, I was amazed at how well it tracked me around even large outside areas, highlighting details like my neck tattoo and the clothing I was wearing. When a subject enters the camera's field of view, the Wyze Cam v4 detects motion quickly and sends out a notice in less than two seconds. You will only receive a snapshot of the event's cause if you do not have a paid Wyze subscription, and you will have to wait five full minutes for another notice. If you miss the initial message during this cooling period, it can be rather unpleasant as a lot can occur over that period.

Overall though, Wyze is kind as the camera allows you to store videos locally on a MicroSD card without having to pay for a membership. The gadget occasionally stutters or delays recordings due to its poor frame rates and inability to support 5GHz WiFi. Even if it's not always the smoothest professional security camera footage, for a small fraction of the cost, the Wyze Cam v4 gets close more than 90% of the time.

This camera offers a good infrared image and can detect motion events in the dark, early hours of the night with accuracy. I illuminated my porch from seven feet distant with a dazzling white light emitted by the built-in 72-lumen spotlight. Rich color night vision, made possible by this light, produces a more detailed view with vibrant colors. In the video above, this is particularly evident in my red sneakers and the green spotlight from my neighbor's house. This camera's colors are almost as vivid as those of professional HDR-equipped models I've examined, displaying subtle differences in the brown foliage in my front yard and the green and yellow tones in the grass.

(Image credit: Future)

The Wyze Cam v4 excels at audio since it sounds clear even when pressed up against a wall. Although it smooths out background noise from passing automobiles or the wind, speech and even sounds like a dog barking appear natural. It's easy to hear someone conversing with you in two-way audio or to decipher recorded speech.

Wyze Cam v4: App Review

With its simplified UI, the Wyze app offers extensive settings, recorded clips, and a single view of all of your cameras. There are no obtrusive recommendations or advertisements for new goods that appear in between your controls or gadgets. Upon loading, the "Home" menu appears, displaying a real-time thumbnail of every Wyze device. To equip your cameras with a single press, simply press the "I'm away" symbol located along the top of the routine button section. Helpful recommendations that inspire you to explore with linking different smart home devices together are located next to these presets. For example, you can set up smart lighting to switch on when a certain camera detects motion or when your phone gets home.

To view the camera's live feed nearly immediately, click on the thumbnail. Its flashlight, microphone, siren, and recording buttons are all controlled from this location. By utilizing the options cog, you may explore more sophisticated functions. This includes creating motion detection zones, recording resolution changes, and configuring sound triggers to detect changes in CO2, fire alarms, or even the sound of a wailing infant.

(Image credit: Future)

Tapping locations on a multi-point grid is all it takes to set up a detection zone. Since forms aren't drawn or stretched, choosing the precise region you want covered is simple. The next option down the bottom will take you to the occurrences area, where you may sort specific occurrences by person, package, vehicle (membership required), or device that caused them.

Wyze Cam v4: Smart Home Integration Review

Given that Wyze is an independent firm and is not supported by Amazon as Ring, Blink, or Nest is with Google, it works well with Alexa and Google Home and even allows IFTT customization. Web browsers of choice, smart screens, and smart speakers may all access its video feed and controls. While this universality has its benefits, some platform-exclusive integration features are not available to you. For instance, when the doorbell rings, Ring cameras will instantly bring up a live feed on an Amazon Fire TV or Echo Show smart display.

Using the same 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network, I was able to utilize the Wyze with my Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) and Echo Show 15. With no discernible benefit on any of these smart displays, it was quick to announce motion events and load video feeds.

Wyze Cam v4: Subscription Fees Review

The Cam v4's cloud video storage and sophisticated subject detection capabilities are subscription-only, like the majority of security cameras. For $2.99 a month, Cam Plus is the starting point for storing 14 days' worth of rolling video in the cloud. For $3.99 per camera each month, you can upgrade to Cam Protect, which includes facial recognition and allows you to tag faces to get notifications on who activated the camera. Additionally, with this more expensive package, you may equip your camera as an alarm system and receive round-the-clock surveillance.When an armed device detects motion, the siren sounds and a video recording of the incident is sent to a live agent. This agent may then contact emergency services on your behalf, even if you're not near your phone.

With a MicroSD card, you may save footage locally on the camera itself without the use of a USB thumb drive or additional module. Since you don't have to pay to view your clips, this alternative is more cost-effective. But until you pay, you won't be able to enjoy helpful features like rich alerts.

(Image credit: Future)

Wyze Cam v4: Final Verdict

Some security cameras may feature footage that is free of chops or a little closer connection with smart home screens. They are also far more expensive than the Wyze Cam v4. With its pro-level monitoring and security functions, this security camera outperforms its weight.

The Wyze Cam v4 has the best sound and appearance of any low-cost camera. It would take a serious nitpicker to discover flaws, especially for $35. As an entry-level security camera, it's hard to beat, but if you already own an older, more expensive model from a reputable company like Arlo or Ring, the Wyze cam v4's superior color night vision and 2.5K resolution quality make it a worthwhile investment. This is one of the greatest security cameras money can buy because of its remarkable hardware, extensive feature set, and ability to be placed practically anyplace. It is also compatible with most smart homes.

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