- Top of the line features at a budget-friendly price point.
- Simple to work with.
- App is a solid interface for a home security camera
- Fussy app
- Wi-Fi option is very limiting
There are many reasons why you may want a security camera in your home. Whether you’re looking for a classic “nanny cam,” greater visibility around entrances to your home, or just want to be able to keep an eye on a particular room of your house, there are lots of different options. Here we review the Imilab C20 Home Security Camera, an excellent example of one such product.
The unboxing experience is relatively uneventful, but at first glance, it appears that Imilab has put some thought into the C20. Primarily, this is evident in the wall-mounting hardware that’s included with a simple mechanism to mount the camera to a wall and the user manual that includes seven languages and a QR code to install the app on your phone. The build quality is also good, with everything being a soft-touch plastic and having a solid feel in the hand.
Beyond the manual, wall-mounting hardware, and the camera itself, the box also includes matching white power equipment, including a quite long USB charging cable and a standard USB wall adapter.
Initial Setup and the Imilab Home App
These two are essentially one in the same. When you scan the QR code in the user manual, you’re brought to the app store on your device to install the Imilab Home app. From there, create an account in the app and you’re off to the races.
Initial setup of the device is fairly simple. Once you plug in the device, it will start rotating and talking to you to tell you what to do. You may have to adjust your Wi-Fi settings, as it will only connect if you have combined Wi-Fi bands off, as it needs a 2.4 GHz connection.
Connecting a device to the app is fairly simple, and the app itself is quite simple to use. There are simple up, down, left, and right controls that allow you to move your camera into the position you’d like. The only problem is that it’s on a bit of a delay, so it’s a little arduous to get it exactly where you want it. There are also little pop-ups on the screen that say “I am stuck” once it’s reached a position and can’t keep rotating in the direction you’re asking. It’s a nice piece of feedback for when you’re asking the camera to do something it’s not capable of, reducing frustration.
Exploring the C20 In Depth
There are a couple of nice features that I want to highlight about the camera. There’s the two-way audio that’s particularly cool. If you have a pet or a child at home, along with watching their actions, you can also listen in and hear what’s happening at home. Plus, if it’s a pet, you can scold or praise them from across the Internet, and you can talk with your kids (or anybody else who’s at home) to check in on them.
There’s also the fact that you can set it to detect “events” when the field of view changes, such as motion detection of pets and people. It’s a nice idea, but the problem is that it requires storage, which is either a cloud subscription plan or a MicroSD Card, both of which cost extra, or eating up the storage on your phone. However, a relatively small MicroSD card that can hold about five hours of video is around $12, and you can go up from there if you find that storage is used up quickly.
However, the events feature is really nice. If you leave rambunctious pets at home, being able to see what happened throughout the day is very convenient. It can help you identify what happened or see if said rambunctious pet got hurt or sick from their antics. Plus, if you have housekeepers or nannies that regularly come into your home when you’re not there, and you’re suspicious of what they’re doing, it’s great to be able to have the camera trained on an area of your home that’s particularly sensitive and track any events in that area.
Beyond that, it’s also a nice-looking camera that functions very well. It’s quite inexpensive, making it a pretty incredible value for the money you’re spending.
The Cons of the Imilab C20
There are downsides to any product. A downside of this camera is that there’s no built-in video or photo storage on the device, which causes issues for those of us who like to have other things on our phones than photos and videos. I wish it came bundled with a 32GB MicroSD card in the box that would work perfectly well to store events from the device. It’s convenient that it can send them to your phone, but if you’re not careful, it’ll eat up your storage.
Another downside is that setup can be a bit tricky if you’re not careful. The app will default to your location being China, and you have to explicitly choose your location (if it’s outside of China, of course), even though the app has access to your location.
Plus, the specificity of the Wi-Fi connection can be a challenge for people who don’t know what they’re doing with a home Wi-Fi network or people (like me, admittedly) who don’t often log into their Wi-Fi router and might forget their password. If the camera was able to work with most modern wireless routers to automatically choose the 2.4 GHz band out of a combined spectrum, most of my headaches getting this set up would be completely eliminated.
The Final Verdict
Setting aside the inherent network security issues that come with having a camera that connects to the Internet, the Imilab C20 is a great option for those looking for a sleek, functional home security camera that has all the features you expect at a price that makes sense.
You can get your own Imilab C20 Home Security Camera for just $20.49 by using the coupon code WW5MSCU5.
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