THE BOTTOM LINE
Amazon’s new cloud cam is an affordable indoor security camera that works with other Amazon products but does not integrate with third-party smart devices. Key version (bundled with a smart lock) lets you use Amazon’s internal delivery service.
Amazon Cloud Cam ($ 1.3) is the company’s first home security camera offering, a low-cost indoor Wi-Fi camera that offers sharp 1080p video and intelligent motion detection. It’s a breeze to install, and lets you keep tabs in your home from anywhere using a phone or tablet. It also works with Alexa, and has a version that can be used with Amazon Key internal distribution services.
Although the camera does not interact with third-party devices and lacks some of the features you find with Nest Cam IQ. Still, it’s a cheap option to test whether you live in the Amazon ecosystem.
Design and Features
The Cloud Cam ($ 6.99 on Amazon) has the same design as the Nest Cam IQ, but is somewhat smaller. The 7.7 inch deep white cylindrical camera enclosure measures 2.5 inches in diameter and is supported by a thin white mounting arm on a rounded base. It comes with a round white wall mounting plate, mounting screws, a 10 foot USB power cable, a USB power adapter and a quick start guide.
The camera records video at 1080p, has a 120-degree viewing area, and uses eight infrared LEDs to give 20-foot black and white night vision. It has 802.11n Wi-Fi circuitry, a motion sensor, a light sensor and a speaker / microphone pair for two-way audio communication. Even with a microphone, it doesn’t have the sound recognition and warning capabilities you get with other cameras such as the D-Link 180-degree Wi-Fi camera and the Honeywell Lyric C1.
A small LED indicator flashes a solid green on the camera’s face while the camera is connected, the first one is blue when plugged in, and the dark blue and green when it is ready to pair with your network. A micro USB power port is located on the back with a recessed reset button.
A single cloud cam goes for $ 119.99 dollars, but you can save money by buying multiple cameras at once; A two-pack is $ 199.99 and a three-pack is $ 289.99, with prices per camera at $ 100 and $ 97, respectively. The camera is also available as part of the Amazon Key In-Home Kit ($ 249.99), which includes both Cloud Cam (a special key version) and a compatible Smart Lock for use with Amazon Key internal distribution services.
Available to Amazon Prime members, the key gives access to authorized delivery staff inside your home so they can’t leave the packages behind your door. The original version of CloudCam lets you see who entered and when to record a delivery event (standard cloud cam doesn’t work with Amazon Key). You can order a 9299.98 bundle that includes an Echo Show ($ 85.22 on Amazon) and a non-key version cloud cam.
Cloud Camera comes with free storage that supports up to three cameras and allows you to watch motion-triggered videos recorded from the last 24 hours. However, if you want to download and share your videos, create motion detection zones, and enable the Person Detection feature, which lets you know when to identify a real person instead of a pet or passing car, you’ll need to upgrade. Subscription plans.
Basic plans cost $ 6.99 per month or $ 69 per year, and offer 7 days of video on 3 cameras. The extended plan is $ 99.99 per month or $ 99 per year, with 14 days of video for up to 5 cameras. The Pro Plan is $ 19.99 per month or $ 199 per year, plus 30 days worth of video for up to 10 cameras.
You can watch live and recorded video (driven by detected speed) on your phone using the mobile app (iOS or Android), or you can use Alexa voice commands to watch live video streams on Amazon Echo Show or Fire TV – enabled devices. However, CloudCam does not communicate with third-party smart devices such as smoke alarms and water sensors, or it does not support custom, user-defined interoperability with iPhone or other devices.
The mobile app opens with a live video feed underneath it, and a home screen with a list of speed and person identification recordings (with length and time of day). Provides a full-screen view of the live stream with a microphone button to initiate two-way audio rotating your phone to the side. There are no buttons for manual recording or for taking a snapshot, two common features in a home security camera.
This means the only way to record video is through motion detection. Tap on any motion recording to play or delete the clip, and if you have a subscription, you can download or share it via email, text message, or Facebook.
An icon in the upper left corner takes you to a menu where you can select different cameras (if you have more than one), add a camera, and select a subscription plan. The top right corner gear icon takes you to the camera settings where you toggle the camera power, set the speed and frequency of the person notifications, change the Wi-Fi network, and enable home / awo geofencing which is used to turn on your phone’s location services.
You can also create zones (if you have a subscription) that will help the camera’s motion sensor reduce unnecessary recording and alerts, but there’s no way to turn off motion detection completely without turning off the camera.
Installation and Performance
CloudCam is easy to install. Following the instructions in the Quick Start Guide, I plugged in the camera, waited about 60 seconds for the LED to turn blue and green, and downloaded the app. Once I signed into my Amazon account I clicked on the ad camera and waited about 20 seconds to find the camera. I selected a location label and the app waited another 10 seconds or so while searching for available networks.
Great color values and sharp details were shown on live and recorded daytime videos, and no evidence of barrel distortion was found in the test. The black and white Night Vision video had contrast and sharp details up to about 25 feet. The speed alerts were instantaneous and the camera did a good job of detecting motion driven by someone versus my dog, cat, and car for speeding. The two-way audio communications were loud and clear.
I attached an Amazon Fire TV Stick (Amazon $ 39.99) to my television and was able to watch the live video by asking Alexa to show it the front door. I was able to put the camera in home mode by saying “Alexa, go home.”
Like any good home security camera, Amazon CloudCam lets you monitor your home in real time using an Android or iOS mobile device and records video clips when detecting motion.
Video and audio quality is top notch and the motion sensor worked very well in our tests, but you’ll need to subscribe to the storage plan to unlock video key clips and unlock some key features like sharing with friends and family. You also need a subscription to use in-person detection and region features that help reduce unwanted speed alerts and recordings.
While the ability to work with Amazon Echo Show and Fire TV-enabled devices is great, it cannot trigger third-party devices such as door locks and sirens and does not support IFTTT applets. For that you need a full-featured indoor camera like the Nest Cam IQ, which offers face recognition, automatic zoom tracking, motion and sound recognition and recording, and works with many other smart home devices. Having said that, it is more important than the cloud cam
At the other end of the price spectrum is the $ 59.99 Editors’ Choice Tender Secure Links ($ 44.99 at Amazon), a small 1080p camera that offers face recognition, motion-triggered notifications and recordings, two-way audio and free cloud storage. But that won’t work with Amazon’s key service. If you are an Amazon Prime member who wants internal package delivery, it is worth exploring the ship with the original version Smart Lock.
Amazon Cloud Cam Specs
|Field of View
Where to Buy