Pros: The quality of the video itself is pretty decent. I like that it has a weighted base which is also magnetic. It comes with a metal plate that you can mount and stick the camera to. The cloud service is nice and playback works well. Audio works well too and isn't jumpy. The camera is very decent for the price/size, if only the setup was easier. Once you get it set up, it's a very nice camera. I'm giving it 3 stars because of the time it took me to get it set up.
Cons: 1.) Setup is a nightmare. My Meraki AP was obviously not compatible with this device for initial setup. I spent like 2 hours trying to get this camera set up. After doing some googling, I found some manual instructions. I will provide them in the notes below. For some reason the camera is not compatible with some wireless access points/routers. I had to put my phone into wifi hotspot mode, change the name of my phone ssid to match my home wifi ssid, then match my password. Once I did this, I had to connect ANOTHER phone to my wifi hotspot phone, then use the app to set up the camera. It was a pretty awful experience. It seems they could have fixed this prior to releasing the camera, or at least update the firmware to fix the issue.
2.) The power cable is not removable so it gives the appearance of being a standard USB webcam for a computer. I think it's kind of silly to have a power cord that can't be unplugged. It would have been simple to have a micro usb connector like a lot of devices do.
3.) My camera came cracked where the base connects to the camera (at the ball joint). It's not cracked enough to break, but just a little. I will just have to be careful with it.
Overall Review: ****With all of that being said, once you get it set up and working, it's a good little camera.
Troubleshooting/Manual Setup Instructions:
HOW TO CONFIGURE THE MINI TO JOIN YOUR NETWORK MANUALLY (Troubleshooting)
What should a user do when the Wi - Fi connection fails during device pairing?
There are two final solutions to help solve this problem. These solutions are practical and somewhat fairly technical
FIRST METHOD - Use the Hot spot feature on your mobile phone to create a Wi - Fi connection. (Turn off your home router)
Step 1: Turn on the hot spot feature of mobile phone A , when setting up the mobile hotspot, make sure the ssid and password is the same as your router’s ssid and password.
Step 2: Configure mobile device B to join the Wi - Fi that you just created on the mobile hotspot (connect to the Wi - Fi of mobile phone A )
Step 3: Connect the mini using mobile device B to the hotspot created on mobile phone A
Step 4: When Wi - Fi configuration is successful, and device is now online, turn off the hot spot feature of mobile phone A .
Step 5: Turn on the power of your r outer; the device will connect to the router’s Wi - Fi automatically. EZVIZ Inc. 908 Canada Court, City of Industry, CA 91748 U.S.A Tel: 1 - 855 - 693 - 9849 www.ezvizlife.com
SECOND METHOD - Use the TF card [Micro SD card] installed in the Mini
Step 1: Remove the TF card from the Mini
Step 2: Put the TF card into computer using a card reader
Step 3: Build a TXT file named ezviz in the root directory of the TF card using a software called Notepad which is installed in every windows computer [Do not put this file inside a folder on the TF card].
Note - Make sure the file name ( ezviz ) is all lowercase .
Create the following contents inside this file you just built in the specific format shown below
SSID – Input the name of your Wi - Fi
Password: the password of the Wi - Fi (if the password is empty, just write ” password : ”)
Type: Input the encryption type of the Wi - Fi (you can leave this field empty; the device program will select the type automatically)
Note - All these information should be the same as listed in your router.
Step 4: Insert the TF card into the mini [make sure the mini is powered off]
Step 5: Power on the device [observe the indicator lights, wait till the indicator lights starts flashing a blue colored light ONLY ] EZVIZ Inc. 908 Canada Court, City of Industry, CA 91748 U.S.A Tel: 1 - 855 - 693 - 9849 www.ezvizlife.com
Step 6: Use the mobile APP to scan the QR code on the back of the device or search and add the device by using the EZVIZ Web Application
Step 7: Follow the instructions and complete the setup
Pros: Really good image quality
Set up is pretty straight forward (but has a few issues)
Has local storage option on SD card
Can turn camera LED light off if you want (very bright light at night)
IR/night mode works pretty well, but as with all IR cameras, no color and pic is not as good as daylight pics.
iPhone interface is pretty easy to navigate.
Has HD and SD video mode, SD mode is nice if you are recording to onboard storage (NOT included) and image quality is still decent.
Has 1 free year of cloud storage, and price for paid service does not seem too bad either.
Cons: This camera gets hot (120°F after being on for 20 minutes in a 76°F room). I know electronics produce heat, but this seems like a lot of heat from a small item.
A few issues connecting. One was my fault (I was on my 5ghz network, needs 2.4 ghz). Once I switched over to my 2ghz network it still would not connect via push from my iPhone6. It does have an option to create a QRcode on the phone for the camera to read, which it did. The directions say the light will turn solid blue, mine was a blinking blue when connected.
Camera mount and base not ideal. I can not mount it on a wall and have it face to the left or right and be level. (look in the items overview here and you can see a pic of what I am talking about, the "Flexable Placement" picture). Annoying, but not a huge deal for me, but be aware of how you want to mount it.
Power cord (~5 ft) is connected to the camera on the bottom corner, and affects camera position some also. It should be on the back ideally IMO. It also has a USB type plug on the end, but it does come with the outlet to plug into (that is a plus).
Computer use is clunky and you must use IE. I could not get Chrome or Opera to work with it. Plus I had to download something to get it to work since I am running 64 bit. Files recorded to computer will not play back on computer (saved as .avi files, still looking in to that).
Overall Review: I am using this as a camera to monitor my garage. I am a little worried about the heat, since my garage can reach 100°F in the summertime, how hot will the camera get and will affect its life?
It is nice that I can move it around my house if I want to change location to monitor.
I did get this camera to review, and if I had paid full price for it, I am not sure if I would keep it. The mounting problems annoy me even though they don't really affect where I have it now.
Pros: It's Wifi so no hassling with running wires.
Very secure, (this causes some issues though, see cons)
Not hard to mount with the mounting hardware that is OK
Easy set-up (On PC)Video quality is OK
Voice is OK, not great but OK
Seems to have solid build quality
Very nice looking.
Cloud storage with playback, not overly complicated to use.
Cons: I could not for the life of me get this to work with the app for my phone. I believe it has to do with being overly cautious about security but not 100% sure.
It asked me for my phones password in order to try and change the device password which bothered me beyond belief and I was not able to change the password to one of my choosing because I kept getting told I entered the wrong password (the password that was given with the device) no matter how many times I entered it, hence I was unable to get the App for wireless devices to work. I did get it to work perfectly on my PC which is just fine but EZVIZ really needs to get on top of the mobile App or for a lot of people this will be useless.
It gets hot very fast, this could be a problem with longevity, I will have to see.
Overall Review: This could have been a 5 Egg product if the mobile App was at all usable. It's a shame but this could be solved with some work on the App and may be in the future.
Pros: -Local Storage, Finally
-Ability to toggle front lights off (otherwise bright blue and red)
-Magnetic base and attachments
-Wide angle for larger viewing areas
-EZVIZ app was dead simple to use
-looks great in low light , sharp picture
Combine with IFTTT (if this then that) for homebrew automation ;like turn on sleep mode when you come home, or auto activate when you leave the home.
Cons: -Setup was clumsy (scan QR code on back,then connect to wifi , then push wifi pw to camera) this took way to many tries before it finally worked. Almost as bad as the aria fitbit scale...
Overall Review: -would recommend
-great alternative for home security and peace of mind
-good for tech/gadget enthusiast
-ironically have this plugged into the usb port of my Xbox one, too bad xbox's kinect camera is useless for home security
Pros: remote streaming access is available as on all types of cameras
most settings are automated or easily useful
flexible and compact design for easy magnetized placement
130 wide angle can be double that of some cameras
easy setup and settings are fairly equivalent on all devices
lighting is automated at all times but needs to be more bright
Can be scaled up to four or maybe more of these units
comparably easy login with forgiving Google/Facebook integration
Cons: recording can only be directly saved to the device locally, but of course you can manually network sync the folder as a backup
proprietary or older software platform not available on some servers or latest browsers
Anything above the lowest or standard resolution that is acceptable, the wirless n connection chokes up
Not the best camera for surveillance or car use
Overall Review: dual color LED's are on and flashing by default
Pricing is OK
You would not notice any difference without the SD card
compact and simple packaging
This indoor camera is made in China by a California company
More innovation is needed due to the above-mentioned cons
Pros: First things first: This is an Internet of Things (IoT) device, which is cloud-centric and requires other internet-connected devices (mobile phone) to setup and use through the web not local network. It is NOT simply an IP camera. This is an important distinction.
** If you can't get the Wi-Fi to connect, see the bottom of OTs **
Security and Privacy:
- Encryption. To remotely view saved footage or a live feed, it is encrypted with a default passphrase the user can change. (See cons.) Video saved to the microSD is not encrypted (or at least I could view the footage in VLC, the SD in my laptop.)
- "Access Configuration" setting on the website: "When enabled, only the verified and linked computers or mobile devices can login your account."
- Accounts can be deleted, deactivated or the data can be cleared easily.
- Device storage (saved footage and alarm history) can be wiped remotely from the website or the app.
- iOS or Android app is *necessary* for setup (See cons). On a PC, only Internet Explorer can be used (...which requires AciveX.) Chrome users: Find the "IE Tab" browser extension. It works.
- Recording codec: H.264 powered DVR (c)2003-2008 Hangzhou Hikvision Co., Ltd.1234
- QR codes: Connected to your WiFi, scan the QR code USING THE EZVIZ APP (not just any barcode/QR app) that is on the camera and/or sticker on the install manual. It asks to put your phone a few inches from the camera and it *should* load your wifi SSID and passphrase and connect (through, I'm guessing, NFC). MINE DID NOT on a Galaxy S4 or S5.. (See OTs #1).
- Motion Detection Schedule: Can set times and days to disable the motion detection alarm (but no scheduling for the "sleep" function, to disable the feed entirely. That is turned on/off manually in the app.)
- The ezvizlife.com site has a live feed and messaging service. Users receive motion detection alerts, can message and share videos and feeds to other users (which still requires the encryption key to view). I have no need for any of this, but they are still nice pros.
- Can view the past recorded content (not stored on the cloud, but on the SD card) from the web remotely, the app and web interface save snapshots and can record video to a device.
- Integration with other IoT devices, home automation and Amzn's Echo. (Not only is it an extra "ear" for Alexa, but is the EzViz an eye so Alexa may see?)
- Very wide view! 130 degrees seems something like a 18mm camera lens. (There is even a slight fisheye effect with the cam under my computer monitor, which curves in the image.)
- All the advertised features work well: 720p, low-light and night recording (is excellent), the magnetic base, onboard MicroSD (limited to 64GB,) et cetera.
- The build is solid and it feels sturdy. (Although, it is Made in China, as most things are these days.) The packaging isn't too excessive but also is high quality. There is no unboxing a thin, brown paper boxor cutting through a sealed plastic pouch.
- Wireless and powered via USB (5v, 0.7A). Not only can the cam be placed anywhere without running ethernet wire, but I imagine the USB interface could connect to a high-capacity 10000mAh (or larger) battery pack as reserve power.
- 1 year warranty (not great, but acceptable) and "lifetime technical support." (Which will help address OTs #2 below.)
- 1 MONTH of free cloud (not 1 year.) I never plan to use it, since I prefer my own "cloud" products on private, cheap, self-managed VPS servers. This device is incompatible, being completely primary and closed source/closed API.
- Cover the display in a well-lit area and black text turns white. Uncover and turns black again. Date/timestamp font color changes on-the-fly for each individual character. So the time/date will never be invisible. On mine, currently all characters white except for a 1 and 3, which are black and over a lighter part of the image.
Cons: 1. The device runs very hot, regardless of whether it is in sleep mode. Basic rule of physics: more heat = more entropy. An electronic device that runs hot will not usually last as long as one that is cooler. When plugged in, my cam is always very hot to the touch.
2. The encryption key allows for only a 6 to 12 character passphrase, letters and numbers only. I really wish it could be longer and allowed symbols. Also, I didn't see any GPL information or anything hinting at what algorithm/hash is being used. If I had to guess, it is either some form of SASL or proprietary, but I have no way of dumping the camera's ROM/firmware to analyze it (also, doing so is against the Terms of Service.) Ettercap might offer hints in the raw network traffic, but I'm not invested enough to do such painstaking analysis...Those paranoid about encryption here likely wouldn't be using a proprietary cloud-based service anyway (let alone wireless). If it uses Amzn Web Service (AWS) to process encryption, then surely I can use a more complicated, higher entropy encryption key?
3. THERE IS NO LINUX SUPPORT. The EZVizLife website requires WINDOWS Internet Explorer/ActiveX, which I removed from all my Windows x86* devices and added back for testing. There is also a Chrome extension called "IE Tab" that emulates Internet Explorer and loads the site properly, with everything functioning. It was free until very recently.
4. I plugged the USB into my laptop to see what happens and nothing. I'd guess it is a hardware design limitation, rather than software update, stopping the cam from being configured, streaming or being used directly and locally. Still, it would have been a nice feature to allow the cam to plug into a USB router that supports USB networked cameras (I suppose it still can, connected wirelessly and powered by the router's USB).
5. Call me a cynic, but technically, the Terms of Service agreement is VERY restrictive. It is troubling, this trend where customers buy products and are prohibited from using them however they want. Legally, I can smash this camera in the street or take it apart and meddle with/fry the circuit. But I "cannot" (legally) reverse engineer it. I "cannot" (or, "am not to") locate the GPIO headers and extract the firmware and, if unencrypted, modify it to meet my needs. The notion that intellectual property rights now allow manufacturers to dominate how end-users use purchased products is appalling. EZVizLife (like some other networking manufacturers, this is systemic) jails users within its online platform, so they are unable to access the device directly/locally at all. Therefore, users are heavily constrained by the online (intellectual/software) Terms of Service. Challenge accepted. The battle is only beginning.
Overall Review: For those wanting a simple, inexpensive and uninvolved surveillance setup this cloud-based cam "just works." However, for more serious home or business monitoring that requires higher data retention and more involved administration, there are more appropriate (expensive) options.
As the "mini" version of the camera lineup, I rate this a definite 5 out of 5 eggs. Despite its quirks, there are no systemic flaws I found. It requires internet and a mobile app, but the apps and interfaces perform beautifully and functionally. I personally don't plan to get into home automation and am skeptical of the privacy of IoT devices such as Amzn Echo, but it is very cool that this home camera integrates with home automation. (Let's just hope the NSA doesn't have an admin login and master key to the proprietary encryption, for those home users.)
1. Never fear, the EZViz camera itself scans QR codes! Your phone generates a code, you put your phone screen in front of the camera and it loads the network info, lighting blue when successful. I thought the use of QR codes here was very innovative and interesting. I didn't list this as a con because of the IoT purpose/design, which omits configuring the device locally or manually.
2. One concern I have is the single point of failure. There seems to be no alternative or manual way of administering the device other than through the internet or app (which still requires being logged into EZViz online.) This isn't a con since the cam is sold as cloud-based, simple and very nearly automated. Naturally, as an IoT device it requires the Internet conectivity and I can't knock an egg for not having offline controls.
Still, it is worth mentioning that if the device goes down, how can I troubleshoot it properly? The Ezviz website says "Searching for devices on the LAN" (even remotely or connected through a distant VPN) when I click to add a new device, but that is assuming it is connected to WiFi already and the site is accessed online.
What about MAC filters and other technical WiFi configurations? A user has to disable her MAC filter, let it connect and then whitelist the address since it isn't listed anywhere? The cam can't be configured via USB, no ad-hoc wireless with local web-ui or any other way. It *requires* the Internet, an EZVizLife account and, as far as I can tell, a mobile phone to at least connect to WiFi. With meeting all these requirements, activating and using the EZViz should be (and is) effortless and automated.
But, if something goes wrong then finding and fixing the problem is significantly harder when the user has no local interface with the cam directly. I haven't tested how the camera behaves when it is connected to WiFi but is unable to get online. I suspect I will not be able to administer it through LAN and the mobile app. With no local control, how can I disable or enable the cam when Internet is down? Perhaps users can talk Alexa into fixing the problem. :)
UPDATE: I found this. Joining your Wi-Fi network manually, using a MicroSD card (Troubleshooting)
1. Put a microSD card into a computer, phone or device with a text editor.
2. Create a text file named "ezviz" (lowercase, without quotes) in the root directory (not in any folder.)
3. Inside that text file include:
SSID is your Wi-Fi network name, Wi-Fi password (leave blank if none) and “type” Wi-Fi encryption (leave blank and it will automatically select, or try to specify WPA/WPA2.)
4: With the EZViz cam POWERED OFF, insert the SD card.
5: Power on the device and the lights should start flashing blue only, indicating it is connected to Wi-Fi (no red light flashing).
6: In the EZViz mobile app, scan the QR code again or add the device on ezvizlife.com
7. Follow the instructions to complete the setup
Pros: Magnetic mounting system is clever and very useful. Just snap it onto most metal surfaces.
Stylish and very small! Looks good and fits just about anywhere.
Wide viewing angle combined with widescreen output let's you see almost an entire room when against one of the walls.
Setup took about 5 minutes. Download app, create account, scan QR code on camera, enter wifi password, hold phone close to camera, done.
Firmware upgrade is simple with app. In fact the app is very intuitive and fluid. It's not well received on the App Store but I have no complaints. Five star app. Camera opens to live video extremely fast and has pinch-zoom, motion alerts, and all the settings to configure it.
My favorite feature is a play button on the app's "Today" menu where is time lapses all the events throughout the day.
IFTTT is a supported third party service that allows the camera to go into sleep mode when you arrive at the location. Ensures visual privacy for in exchange for location privacy loss. This requires GPS to stay on all the time.
Also, scheduling alerts on and off by day of the week, hour, and minute is nice if you have a business.
Cable is nice and long. Power adapter is fairly small.
Free year of cloud backup is a nice added value. Even tho it only keeps the footage for a week, it's good fallback in case the camera gets stolen or you don't want to pay for an SD card. The cloud service renewal price seems fair, as well.
I have gripes about the web browser access (below), but it works as well as you could expect.
Cons: Sealed box had black dirt and short black (human?) hairs in it stuck to the white camera. One bigger hair even has a split end. Gross. Seriously don't want to touch it before I wipe off.
To view anything from a web browser, you must use Internet Explorer... or nothing. It also requires an ActiveX plug-in to be installed.
2.4 GHz is generally accepted as not suitable for HD video streaming and this doesn't support 5GHz. It "works", but it really irks me that it's using such an old congested spectrum.
My WiFi signal is on one bar and the thing is 35 feet away straight shot down a hall from the router. Cloud playback or live stream will cut out and go full offline sometimes. Gets 5-15 fps.
Footage of alerts are not immediately available if you're only using their cloud storage. It takes a minute to upload I suppose. Even the thumbnails are glitchy at best.
Unit gets very warm, even when the IR lights are off.
Thumbnails on app could be from any previous event and rarely from the recorded video. This could be fixed later..?
Audio gets very "tinny" for me while viewing live. Like compression is at maximum to the point you can't hear what's said.
Overall Review: I remember many years ago paying $300 for a similar Logitech system but it used Power Over Ethernet (bad), and didn't have any type of cloud backup. Just a microSD card and giant power brick. This is a huge upgrade at a greatly discounted price.
I ordered a 128GB microSD card. This company claims a 16GB card could hold a month of footage, only if motion recorded. I guess I'll never know because the only SD card info you get is if it's functioning and it's size. Support told me that using an SD card records on BOTH the Cloud and the SD Card.
The free year of cloud backup is a real value, but buy a memory card for best experience!
Pros: Solid build, the camera is quite hefty in weight, I'm hoping it's because it's made from quality materials
The base has a magnet!
24/7 Live Streaming, with options video options depending on your connection speed; non-HD vs HD video streaming
720p HD video, but the video is really crisp, not laggy at all with fast connections
can extend storage space with built in micro-SD storage (128GB max)
built-in night vision
built in motion detection too!
can dedicate the cam to turn "ON" all day or during certain times only
has "ON" light, but can also turn that light off (for security reasons)
Has additional secure encryption for videos
Wide angle viewing, I can see my whole living room
Comes with great cloud storage option, but not really needed if you put in microSD card
Cons: Two big but (I think) major issues I ran into:
1st - I had a very hard time connecting to the camera. I followed all the instructions but was not able to connect to it and had to call into tech support for help. I just could not get it to log onto my 2.4Ghz channel using the WPS method and I was not able to use the secondary method which was to point the camera at the barcode produced using the app to connect on to my router.
2nd - the app...it freezes a lot and it's buggy. It would crash all of a sudden using my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the app. It's random so I don't really understand what's causing the app to crash and close. I've experienced this a lot.
Overall Review: This camera's footprint is fairly small, which is a good thing. There are NO ethernet ports on it to connect via a wired connection, it's all WiFi or nothing. The video is smooth and has great clarity when viewing it live via the Android App (EZViz).
Their tech support was great though. I called and someone answered right away, which kind of surprised me since I never heard of the EZVIZ brand before.
I liked that they added a magnet at the base, which I place on my refrigerator and I don't have to screw holes into my walls to get it set up.
Night vision works great. motion detection works great. Viewing angle is great. Being able to turn device on/off via app is great. Having the ability to restrict or turn camera "on" during certain times (via the app) is great. The only issue I really had was how frustrating it was to first connect to my router (network) and the Android app freezes a lot. When I called into tech support, the support person advised me to open ports and configure my router to get it connected. I can see that this could get a little complicated for an average person who does not know how to do this on their router.
For the price and video quality, I would recommend it still. The microSD slot is a great addition to storing more videos and the app (when it doesn't crash) is pretty easy to use and laid out nicely.