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Xiaomi Mi Home Security Camera review: An exceptionally inexpensive full-featured choice


“Cheap” and “protection” typically phrases no one wants to see facet-by way of-side, specifically in which their home is worried. But Xiaomi’s Mi Home Security Camera makes that proposition lots less frightening. Equipped with a one hundred thirty-degree ultra-wide-angle lens, 1080P video seize, nighttime vision, shrewd movement detection, two-way communication, and more, the Mi is at the least as true as some cameras three instances the charge, and it’s some distance better than any $forty cam must be.

The Mi layout harks back—way again—to the simplicity of the authentic Dropcam. The digital camera unit is about into a plastic faceplate that attaches to a spherical hinged stand. You plop it on a desk or shelf, factor it at the area you need it to monitor, and tilt the camera forward or lower back on its hinge to get the fine viewing perspective.

[ Further reading: The best home security cameras ]

Setting the Mi up is just as simple. Plug the Micro-USB strength wire into the again of camera module and download and run the Mi Home app. The digicam’s voice prompts you manually through the steps of adding the Mi to your account, connecting it to your Wi-Fi network, and deciding on the room in which it’s positioned. The whole setup system took three to 4 minutes, and that blanketed downloading a firmware replacement.

Mi domestic security digicam 4


The Mi Home Security Camera harks back to the look of the unique Dropcam. As the Mi Home app is designed to control an expansion of Xiaomi’s clever-domestic merchandise, its home display screen operates as a device hub to which the Mi protection digicam is added. Tapping the Mi icon opens its stay movement, which displays horizontally across the middle of the display. The current video bit fee is proven within the higher left nook. A pause/play button, decision toggle, microphone on/off switch, and every other toggle for entering and exiting full display mode are displayed properly.

Along the lowest are genuinely labeled controls for taking a screenshot, recording video, activating the mic, and putting the camera to sleep, a characteristic that allows you to switch off the tracking to gain a few privateness without having to show the camera off. The Mi’s photo best is remarkably suitable. The photograph is sharp with balanced lighting, and the colors are correct if a bit muted. Night vision is furnished using eight 940nm infrared lighting fixtures that provide approximately 32 feet of illumination with excellent contrast. And the image had none of the fisheye distortions that are not unusual to ultra-extensive angle lenses.

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Michael Ansaldo/IDGYou can observe exclusive levels of motion detection sensitivity to distinct parts of the room being monitored. Motion detection is turned off out of the field, so don’t be troubled if you’re now not getting notifications proper away. You can turn it on within the settings, without difficulty accessed from the stay-move display. The app offers several approaches to make detection extra accurate and save you-you from getting bombarded with alerts, too.

You can set an alert c programming language of 1, 5, 10, or 30 minutes or flip off signals completely. If you don’t need all-day movement detection, you could timetable it to be energetic handiest at some stage in certain hours, together with at the same time as you’re at paintings.

The Mi also supports a unique motion-region feature. Called “partition sensitivity settings,” those assist you to masks in areas you need to screen for motion and mask out the ones you don’t. In itself, that’s now not so novel. But it does so with the aid of letting you observe one-of-a-kind sensitivity settings to every of 32 squares on a grid. These are denoted using purple for high sensitivity, yellow for medium, inexperienced for low, and grey for “off.” Each faucet on a square cycle to the following sensitivity degree. It gives a perfect amount of flexibleness, allowing you to vigilantly monitor breach factors like doorways and windows whilst dialing detection back for extra typically trafficked regions.

Another feature we’ve in no way visible on earlier than The Mi includes a Bluetooth chip that detects the Bluetooth indicators from customers’ smartphones, after which turns on sleep mode, so that person isn’t recorded on video. Camera-shy family individuals need simplest to prompt this option inside the app’s sleep settings, but it presently only works with iPhones. If they’re not an Apple enthusiast, they can nevertheless benefit from the feature if they have Xiaomi’s Mi Band 2 fitness tracker.

You can record video constantly, or most effective while motion is detected at once, to a microSD card (up to 64GB, but no longer blanketed). When you pick the previous, the app shows a timeline below the stay movement, which you may swipe through to view the time-stamped video. Alternately, you may join the Mi to a well-suited NAS container to create your personal non-public cloud storage.

Bottom line

The Mi Home might be a superb, bendy domestic protection digicam in the $150 to $200 price range; it’s an absolute steal at $40. And we only scratched the surface of its abilities. Given its integration with the Mi Home app, it can be utilized in aggregate with different Xiaomi home equipment to create automated clever home scenes–when you have or need to invest in that surroundings. Standalone or a part of a smart home, the Mi Home Security Camera is a winner.

Geneva A. Crawford
Twitter nerd. Coffee junkie. Prone to fits of apathy. Professional beer geek. Spent several years buying and selling magma in Miami, FL. Spent a year lecturing about psoriasis in Las Vegas, NV. Managed a small team writing about circus clowns in Las Vegas, NV. Garnered an industry award while writing about lint in the financial sector. Spoke at an international conference about getting my feet wet with dust in Libya. Spoke at an international conference about researching rocking horses in Bethesda, MD.