This camera is worth looking into because it offers small upgrades over the original Wyze Cam Outdoor without substantially raising the price.
Wyze has introduced several affordable cameras since it originally entered the home security market a few years ago, including its first outside model. When the Cam Outdoor was released, we enjoyed it despite a few small flaws including its 110-degree field of view and absence of free person identification at the time. Despite several quibbles, the Wyze Cam Outdoor is still a reliable, affordable camera today. Nevertheless, there is a newer version available: the Cam Outdoor v2.
The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 ($74) has a broader field of view than its predecessor and, among other upgrades, offers color night vision, a more sophisticated passive infrared lens, and the choice of free human detection notifications. Although there are some minor flaws—better image resolution, for instance, would have been nice—the v2 is still a significant improvement over the first Cam Outdoor.
I acquired a Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 and put it through a two-week test period of evaluation (here’s how we evaluate security cameras). I experimented with the settings numerous times, tested the two-way audio, watched livestreams, made recordings in the day, dark, and rain, and even tried out a Cam Plus subscription. Here are my reflections on the whole thing.
Still a budget-friendly setup
The affordable pricing of Wyze security cameras, whether indoor, outdoor, or both, is one of their more tempting features. Even while the Cam Outdoor v2 is, as one might expect, more expensive than the first model, at just $74, it remains one of the most affordable wireless outdoor camera systems I’ve seen (from a known and trusted manufacturer, that is).
The camera, a mounting bracket with hardware, a base station, power cables for the base station and charging the camera’s battery, an Ethernet cable, and a small owner’s manual are all included in the box.
A single base station may host up to four cameras in total, and additional cameras can be purchased starting at $63. Nevertheless, since they can’t function independently without a base station, you should start with the $74 package before adding any of the $63 single cameras to your network in a piecemeal fashion.
Couldn’t ask for an easier installation
It took me less than two minutes to attach the camera once I identified a suitable location. Place the camera on the magnetic base after drilling a couple of screws to allow the mounting bracket to glide over, and then make any necessary adjustments to the foldable arm.
The mount can be mounted either vertically or horizontally. As the camera options in the app allow you to rotate the view 180 degrees, you may mount the camera inverted as well. I chose not to risk trying to hold the camera upside down with the magnet because it might be powerful enough to prevent it from falling to the ground below.
Because the base station must be connected to your router during setup, it is a little less convenient; this is why an Ethernet cable is provided. If your Wi-Fi network is a mesh system, hooking into any of the nodes—not just the “main” one—should work. For me, it worked.
Once everything is set up, follow my lead and switch the connection options to Wi-Fi. The base station can then be moved to a more out-of-sight place, ideally one that is near your camera for improved signal quality. This will free up an Ethernet port on your router.
In terms of setup, the Wyze app will walk you through everything step-by-step. There isn’t much more to do than wiring everything in, turning on the camera, and then identifying your camera after the blue light on the base station stops flashing. You will be asked to link the camera to your Alexa or Google smart home hub at the end of the setup process, but you can wait to do that if you like. Apple Home Kit compatibility is not available right now.
Acceptable image resolution, impressive color night vision
Early in December, I finished installation and setup shortly after 5 p.m., so I immediately saw how the camera operated after dark. Even though there was still a tiny bit of daylight left, the feed was so vivid and beautiful that I almost forgot it was mostly dark outside.
To be clear, not the night vision setting, but the Color Night Vision function. Four built-in infrared lights allow you to illuminate objects up to 25 feet away with traditional night vision, but if you want to view color, turn off the night vision. A Starlight CMOS sensor is used by Color Night Vision to automatically optimize low-light conditions, bringing back colors and details that would otherwise be largely hidden in the dim light. It’s an improved new function for the v2 camera.
Although the color night vision is a great improvement, the image resolution sadly stays at 1080p. The Google Nest Cam with Battery, Blink’s Outdoor Security Camera, and the former Wyze Cam Outdoor, among others, all feature the same resolution. Nevertheless, some producers, like Arlo with its Pro 4 camera and TP-Tape Link’s C310, have upgraded to 2K resolution.
At least the Cam Outdoor v2 offers a broader field of view than the v1, with 130 degrees as opposed to 110. Even though it isn’t the finest product on the market—some give a broader 160-degree vision, for instance—it is an advancement.
With the camera installed around 25 feet from the back of my house, I had a clear view of the entire house, including the majority of my backyard and a large portion of the side yards. In conclusion, a single camera can cover a vast area, and you can rely on rapid warning when something is spotted.
Advanced motion detection, near-instant notifications and a loud siren
The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 has a passive infrared sensor, just like the first version, which reduces false alarms from things like falling leaves and swaying trees. Despite this, I frequently received push notifications, most of which were from nearby automobiles that were moving through or stopping at the stop sign. Although they arrived quickly—almost instantly—those notifications were more than I required.
I reduced the motion detection distance and made a personalized detection zone to reduce the frequency of notifications. With the exception of a car pulling into the driveway, the vehicle alerts mostly stopped, and I started getting more pertinent notifications and event recording. Not only did that reduce the number of notifications, but there were also fewer instances of event recording, which helped to preserve the battery.
Thankfully, none of the alerts I got suggested a real security or trespasser situation, so I didn’t have to turn on the built-in siren. I once did it anyhow to test the volume. It’s quite loud, certainly loud enough to frighten off someone who was up to no good. That was audible to me inside as well, and depending on how far away your neighbors are, it might even be loud enough to wake them.
Another thing to keep in mind about the siren is that it’s not automatic, so if you see something strange, you’ll have to be your own security guard and manually activate the siren using the app. If you find that to be too demanding, Wyze provides Wyze Cam Safeguard, a professional monitoring solution, starting at less than $3 per month. They won’t turn on the camera’s siren, but they can make sure that emergency services are called if it is deemed to be required.
Free person detection and cloud storage if you want it
I used the free Cam Plus trial time but didn’t use the Wyze Cam Protect service. The Cam Plus subscription offers back-to-back recording (otherwise, there is a 5-minute delay), person detection, and 14 days of cloud storage for recorded events of any length. A Cam Plus subscription will cost you slightly less than $2 per month once the trial period is up.
Consider the Cam Plus Lite plan if you don’t want to pay a monthly charge for cloud storage and person detection. It includes person detection, the ability to “name your pricing,” even if that price is zero, and 14 days of cloud storage for recorded events up to 12 seconds in length.
About the security of your security camera
Because of vulnerabilities discovered in Wyze cameras at the time and since Ring and Google shared user footage with the police, we previously advised treating your home security cameras as compromised. Since then, Wyze has taken steps to reduce vulnerabilities through software updates, but it was finally forced to stop providing support for the Wyze Cam v1 (not to be confused with the Wyze Cam Outdoor v1).
End-to-end encryption is used by the Cam Outdoor v2 to help keep your live feeds and recorded footage secret, but nothing in the world of internet-connected devices is foolproof. Make sure to download software updates as soon as they become available because they frequently come with patches for any vulnerabilities that have been found. Keep your home Wi-Fi network password-protected and secure at all times.
The verdict: A solid outdoor camera for the price
The Cam Outdoor v2 isn’t flawless, but despite its flaws, it is a worthy improvement over the v1’s already strong capabilities.
The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 costs $74 and offers just about everything you could want, including free cloud storage, person detection, live video feeds, two-way audio, and the new Color Night Vision option. Even while I thought the features, usability, and overall performance were well worth the price, there are a few little things like 2K resolution and an automatic siren that would be wonderful to have.