EufyCam E full review
The EufyCam E is a new security camera system from Eufy, a sub-brand of better-known Anker. This particular package comes with two cameras, the required hub and mounting kit, but a total of 16 cameras can be added on, offering full coverage of your home - and its surroundings, thanks to IP65 waterproofing.
This is a wireless system, and so its up to 365-day battery life impresses. We're also drawn to the free local storage option for recordings, the free mobile app for remote live-streaming and push notifications, and the integrated compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT. Keeping tabs on what's occurring back home couldn't be easier.
Daytime recordings are clear with 1080p resolution and a 140-degree wide-angle view, while built-in night vision helps you monitor events in the dark. With two-way audio you can hear as well as see, and converse with those captured on camera.
Where to buy EufyCam E
Unlike many other smart camera systems, this is the entire price you have to pay for this security system, and it's already significantly cheaper than competing systems such as the £569.99 (with two cameras) Arlo Pro 2, which has many of the same features.
Although a cloud storage option is available to purchase within the app, costing $2.99/month or $29.99/year for a single camera, and $9.99/month or $99.99/year for up to 10 cameras, you do not have to pay for this unless you especially want to. (Arlo offers the same feature for up to seven days and five cameras for free, so it's swings and roundabouts on price.)
If you don't subscribe, video is recorded to SD, with a 16GB microSD card provided in the box. You can swap this out for a higher-capacity card if you are adding multiple cameras, but with two cams attached we found it able to store all our recordings from the three weeks we spent testing the EufyCam E.
And you can record directly to network-attached storage via RTSP if you have a compatible NAS drive. This is the geeky option, though.
EufyCam E setup & use
Setup is simple enough for all users, and you're taken through the whole process step by step in the free Eufy Security mobile app. Only one device can be logged into this app at a time, so rather than sharing your app login with other members of the family you can invite them to create their own account with either admin or guest privileges in terms of access to your cameras.
First you must connect the hub to the router over ethernet, then once the LED on its front turns white you can individually pair each camera. It will automatically download and apply any firmware updates before you do so.
Cameras are paired by pressing and holding the sync button for two seconds, and the app will then guide you through assigning each to a room, giving it a name, and basic settings such as adjusting the length of each clip to conserve battery life, and the motion sensitivity. It will also help you ensure you have sufficient wireless signal strength in your desired camera location.
The EufyCam E is not designed to be plugged into mains power at all times, and as such lacks some features of the Arlo Pro 2 when used in this mode, such as continuous recording and three-second look back. It's worth fully charging each camera before you mount them in position, and this is achieved over USB - either via the port at the back of the hub or with a standard USB wall charger.
Although the cameras promise up to 365-day battery life, this is naturally affected by how frequently they pick up and record motion, how often you take advantage of the two-way audio, and whether or not the siren is activated (a 100dB alarm can be configured to sound if someone attempts to move the camera, or if motion is detected when you're away from home). Unfortunately we were not able to test the cameras for a year before writing this review, but battery life certainly seems incredibly strong.
For optimal battery life video clips max out at 20 seconds, but you can increase this up to two minutes. Remember that longer clips will also consume more storage, and that you won't receive a push notification or be able to watch the recording until it has completed.
By default recordings will be stored on microSD, which should already be in place in its slot on the hub. However, we needed to format this card using a laptop before the hub would recognise it. If you so choose you can alternatively select cloud storage (paid) or set up a NAS drive within the app's settings.
Recordings are then visible from the Events tab in the app, or you can watch a live stream from the camera by selecting it from Devices. Within the live view mode you can press and hold the mic icon to speak, trigger recording with the video camera icon, and press the scissors icon to save a screenshot to your phone. Within saved recordings you also have options to download, share or delete clips.
Until you tell it otherwise, EufyCam E will record all motion, and provide push notifications to your phone warning you of said motion. If the camera is in a high-traffic area this quickly becomes annoying, and actually not very useful because you will tend to ignore the notifications. Through the app you are able to turn off push notifications altogether (it will still record motion, just not tell you about it), reduce the motion sensitivity, adjust settings for when you're at home or away, and access a basic scheduling option.
The settings are reasonably basic, so when you're at home you can choose whether EufyCam E will record video, send a push notification, sound the camera alarm and sound the hub alarm when motion is detected. The same settings are available for when you are away from home. The scheduler simply lets you specify at what times of the day you are at home or away.
What the EufyCam E can't do is set up motion zones, for example blocking out the road and any vehicles travelling along it when recording outdoors, so you'll instead have to be careful with how you position it. The motion sensitivity also leaves a lot to trial and error - it's a slider that defaults at 86%, and you'll have to work out a happy medium between picking up everything and nothing.
A nice feature of this system is its support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT. On our Google Home Hub we are able to see a live stream from either of the connected cameras simply by saying "Okay Google, show me [camera name]". We say live, but there's actually about a 10-second delay. To get this working you simply provide your Eufy Security app login credentials in the Google Home app.
EufyCam E conclusion
An affordable security camera system with no hidden costs, EufyCam E provides easy-to-install, set-and-forget security for your home and surroundings. A wireless design mixed with long battery life adds convenience, while built-in night vision, a 1080p resolution and a 140-degree wide-angle lens promise recordings you can actually use.
It is cheaper than the competing Arlo Pro 2, and offers a wider lens and longer battery life. However, the Arlo alternative has some nice extras, such as continuous recording, motion zones and the ability to capture video three seconds before motion is picked up.
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EufyCam E: Specs
- Two-camera wireless security camera, hub and mounting kit
- 1080p resolution
- 140-degree wide-angle
- Night Vision
- Live Streaming and real-time notifications with free mobile app
- works with Alexa/Google Assistant/IFTTT
- two-way audio
- 100dB siren
- SD/NAS/cloud storage for recordings (16GB microSD card included)
- 256bit data security
- up to 365-day battery life
- 12-month warranty
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