Logitech Circle 2 Outdoor security camera review.

Verdict

Logitech has worked to reduce all of its rivals with a low-cost subscription plan and a unique feature in the form of day briefs. It still lost some advanced features, but it’s now my personal favorite home monitoring camera.

Pros

  • Built-in battery
  • Day Brief is brilliant
  • Location-based notifications are useful
  • Lovely design

Cons

  • Middling image quality
  • Patchy night vision and motion sensing

The Bottom Line

The Logitech Circle 2 is versatile, responsive and easy to use, but if you don’t mind having your cam near a wall outlet, you should simply buy this wired model.

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £160.00
  • 720p and 1080p video capture
  • 24 hours of free cloud storage
  • Built-in battery
  • Android and iOS apps
  • Night vision
  • Motion sensing
  • Location-based notifications
  • Subscription options available

Editor’s note: Our original review published in March scored the Logitech Circle 2/5 star. During this long-term review, Circle received a series of updates that greatly improved the product, which is now reflected in the review below.

What is the Logitech Circle?

From recording your life’s worth of memories from protecting your home, smart home monitoring manufacturers can make you feel guilty about buying their latest product. Looking from a distance should be monitored

Since my original review of Logitech Circle, the company has made huge strides and made such big changes that it is worth revisiting. This is still useful for parents and pet owners but it is now a lot more useful to everyone else. And this is a really, really good thing.

In technical terms, this is no different from every smart home monitoring kit that has been reviewed in recent months. It allows you to monitor your home from anywhere and includes motion sensing, night vision and some cloud storage space. Its base pricing puts it in the same ball park as the class-leading Y-Cam HomeMonitor HD and Nest Cam, and with its recently added subscription options, it is one of the most cost-effective cameras around.

Logitech Circle – Setup

Setting the circle is fairly easy. The camera is shaped into three separate pieces: a mounting plate for screws for walls or ceilings, a charging dock that attaches directly to the mounting plate, and the original spherical camera. The main camera is attached to a round plastic base that can be separated from the charging plate and moved around your home.

The lower part of the camera has electrical contact points that are directly connected to the charging. This means the camera can rotate independently of the stand, so you never run the risk of getting wired. The camera also has a 110 degree tilt so it is very easy to point in the right direction. The charging ring has a hard-wired USB wall plug and a 10-foot USB cable.

When in battery-saver mode the camera goes back to 12 hours, where it does not record or stream any video, unless it detects movement. In my experience, the camera lasted only a few hours in non-battery-saver mode, which limited its functionality. Still, if you have a room that you want to temporarily monitor without having to move the entire unit, this is very helpful. Used as a baby monitor, combined with the Day Brief function (see below), the circle can be very effective.

The circle can be controlled only through the smartphone app on iOS or Android. I set up mine using a Motorola Moto X style and the process was amazingly hassle-free. I simply downloaded the Logie Circle app. From there the app found the camera using Bluetooth and provided my Wi-Fi details and had a live stream of what my circles were seeing.

Logitech has added a browser-based interface that can be accessed at circle.logi.com. It works identically to the smartphone app, but is useful for verifying your home while you’re at your desk.

Logitech Circle – Features

Circles have a lot of basic hardware. Its sensor can record video at 1,280 × 720 and 1,920 × 1,080 full HD resolutions, and has a 135-degree wide-angle lens on paper. But I’m not sure about this 4-degree image, because the nest cam claims a 1-degree angle and obviously has a much wider field of view – I’ve placed the two adjacent to each other (see below) and found the difference to be absolutely true.

Logitech Circle night vision – take note of how wide the viewing angles are

Nest Cam night vision – a much wider field of view

There’s also a built-in microphone and speaker, so you can talk to your smartphone from the room with the camera until the end, it has an infra-red night vision mode that can be seen up to 15 feet in the dark.

Circles does not flip to any external services such as Apple HomeKit or Google’s Brillo, it does not work if you have other smart home devices installed and want to use the circle as part of your setup.

Living with the Logitech Circle

From my original review, Logitech updated the camera to record video in full HD resolution. It’s not clear why the company didn’t enable it in the first place, and to be honest I struggled to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p in my own tests. To save bandwidth, I put the circle at 720p.

Unlike Wi-Cam, there is no way to set specific zones for motion sensing; For example, I can’t ignore the camera my doorway, so it alerts me every time someone leaves. It is everything or nothing.

I also had a problem with Night Vision mode. My flat doesn’t have a blackout screen so the outside street lamps shine through the windows. To the naked eye, my sitting room is very dark, but the circle saw the hanging light as a proper light source, and instead of switching to Night Vision mode, it only increased the level of brightness and created a noisy image.

I had to joke the camera to activate Night Vision by pointing it at a wall, wait for the night vision to activate, and then put it in the desired direction. This won’t be a problem for those with the right blackout screens, but if you are a cheapskate like me, you need to know. I should note that in exactly the same circumstances NestCam always activates its Night Vision mode.

Logitech Circle Night Vision mode did not activate it even when it would provide a clearer picture

Location-based notifications are another major update. You can set the location of your home and when you are away, the notifications will ignite. It’s the same system as Canary, though not as advanced. Canary works great for multi-person families, only throws notifications while all family members are away, including firing circles, notifications are set on a device-by-device basis, and sometimes conflicts between them if one person is home and the other isn’t. It is

It’s a shame that NetTamo does not have face recognition technology like Welcome, which I also live with, because it was the last time my face learned it and knew when I or my partner was back home.

The app looks great and is quite easy to use with a simple timeline of activity that is recorded under the right hand. Scroll through this timeline, and every highlight you want to keep can be viewed and downloaded on your device. From there, a day brief with a mix of speed-ups and general-speed clips can be used to create the day’s activity highlights reel.

Most recently, Logitech has updated the app so that Day Brief can now create highlight videos from the last hour of the last month of captured footage. Briefs can be as short as six seconds or up to a full minute. The range of the video and the date and time it takes to create it, but if you haven’t checked your circle for a few days, are incredibly useful.

The new Advanced Day Brief is extremely useful

From the first version of this review, I tried one on my floor flat and, in a separate incident, one day I woke up to find my bike unattended. With the visible threat around me, I took out the Logitech Circle again and started using it to observe the front of my flat.

This is where the Day Briefs came into their own. I could easily see what had happened while I was in the workplace, and after two offenses, when I woke up in the morning, I checked. I also use day briefs whenever I’m on vacation.

Overview of the day is not perfect: None of the clips used in the daytime are timestamped so that you simply cannot go back and watch a clip in more detail, which is very frustrating if your camera is tracking too many places every day.

To get more than 24 hours of footage, you’ll need to subscribe to the newly launched Circle Safe. Compared to Circle Safe’s competitors, it costs just £ 80 per year (if you pay for one year) where you can afford a month of footage while the likes of Canary can spend $ 24 a month. It’s less than a mile from Nest. If you don’t pay, you get the previous 24 hours of footage for free, which is more generous than the 12 hours you get with Canary.

Should I buy the Logitech Circle?

After I first reviewed it in March, the Logitech Circle has improved without all recognition. Now with a few updates and additions of subscription plans, it’s transformed from a barebone device to an essential part of my own home security system.

If you want an easy way to keep tabs on your home and its residents, then Logitech Circle is a great buy. It may not have the most advanced security features of its rivals, but it still does the trick.

Trusted Score:                                                        ∗∗∗∗∗

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