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Wyze Cam v3 review: This $20 security camera now goes inside or outside
2020-11-12 00:29

     startup wyze is back with a third-gen version of its entry-level security camera -- the wyze cam v3. you can preorder the new wyze cam now, with shipping slated for mid-november. like the previous model we tested, this iteration costs just $20. while it (annoyingly) doesnt have free person alerts, it improves on its predecessor with a weatherproof housing, sharper night vision, a wider field of view, a functional siren and more. 

      add on its low price and high-value legacy features such as free 14-day video clip storage and a built-in microsd card slot for local storage, and the wyze cam v3 is easy to recommend and easy to name an editors choice award winner.

read more: the era of the $200 security cameras is over


its only 20 bucks
it has free 14-day video clip storage
its weatherproof for use outside

the new wyze cam

    not to be confused with the $50 battery-powered wyze cam outdoor, the new indoor-outdoor wyze cam relies on an included weather-resistant adapter for power. its the same size as the previous indoor-only wyze cam with the same white plastic finish, but wyze made some notable upgrades to its design and specs, too. 

    the speaker on the back of the camera has been updated to allow for an 80-decibel siren (more on that later), while the microsd card slot (optional for local storage; the microsd card is sold separately) and the setup button underneath the camera have been covered to protect them the elements. the attached stand looks similar to the previous one, allowing you to raise, lower and angle your camera as needed, but you can also remove it for a tripod- or screw-mounted installation.

    it also increase the cameras field of view 110 to 130 degrees, improves the cameras performance in low-light conditions (more on this in a bit too) and lets you simply press the "speak" button to use two-way talk the wyze app, rather than having to hold the button down to speak. 

     if you pay for the new cam plus subscription service, you get access to person alerts and longer stored video clips, starting at $2 per month -- read more about cam plus.

testing it out

     setting up the wyze cam in the app takes about 5 minutes. hit the plus sign on the top left corner of the home screen and "add device." (i already have wyze devices on my account, so the location of the "add device" button may be somewhere else for you.) 

    wyze then gives you a list of products to choose from; wyze cam v3 and follow the steps to add it to the app. if you plan to install a tripod mount or do any sort of more permanent installation, make sure to test the quality of your wi-fi network in that spot before you start drilling holes. 

    now you can start viewing your cameras live video feed and adjusting your settings in the app, including whether you want to receive alerts for motion and sound events, creating a motion detection zone, adjusting your night vision settings based on the lighting where its installed and more. this camera also works with alexa and google assistant, which let you use a voice command to throw the camera feed to a smart display. 

     in a side-by-side comparison between the last-gen wyze cam and this new model, you can clearly see an improved performance. not only does it have a larger field of view, but the new camera also has a brighter, crisper live feed, which helps it out in low-light conditions as well as in regular daylight.  

    i tended to receive push alerts on average between 5 and 10 seconds after a motion event started -- and wyze records and saves 12-second clips of the activity for free (you get longer clips if you subscribe to cam plus). despite the slight delay between motion starting and receiving an alert, the camera did a good job of capturing enough of the motion activity in the database of saved clips for me to see who it was and what was happening.

    i also created a motion detection zone around the door to only receive alerts that happened in that area. if i walked next to the door, i didnt receive an alert, but when i walked in front of the door to open it, i got a push notification that motion was detected. 

     wyze also updated the two-way audio button in the app so you no longer have to press and hold the button to talk. now, simply "speak" and you can talk continuously. the audio sounded clear when i spoke the app to the camera, but not quite as good coming the camera to the phone. still, it was easy to understand what was being said on both ends. 

     i also tested this camera with an amazon echo show 8, and, after pairing my wyze account to my alexa account, was able to say, "alexa, show me my new front door camera," to view the live feed on the smart display. 

lastly, at 80 decibels, the siren (a new feature for the wyze cam) isnt particularly loud -- you wont need to put your hands over your ears -- but it is loud enough to startle someone. 

the verdict

     the wyze cam is easy to recommend. its affordable, it works well, cloud storage is free for two weeks -- and you have the option to use a microsd card for local storage if you want. 

sure, there are more sophisticated cameras out there, but wyze continues to impress us with its high-value, low-cost smart home products, and this $20 wyze cam is no exception. 

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