WONGKUO Solar Wireless Security Camera

This is really two separate products in one box, which is great as each can be used separately from the other. For a very reasonable £56.77 you get a truly wire-free indooor/outdoor wifi security camera powered by a rechargeable battery and a decent sized solar panel with a hard wired cable to a micro-USB plug used to charge camera battery or (so far as I know) any other device attached to it. Although marketed primarily for external use, the camera itself is small and neat enough to be used indoors without the solar panel.

Let’s look at them each in turn.

The camera is similar in size and shape to the Arlo range with an eye-catching status LED on the front which I have not yet found a way to disable, along with the lens itself, motion sensor PIR, and four Night Vision LEDs.On the rear can be found the mounting bracket screw hole and a large reset button – large enough to be easily accessed even when the camera is mounted in position – and the micro-USB charging port used by the solar panel. The base of the camera unscrews to reveal the battery pack inside which can be removed for charging or exchange, again without needing to remove the camera from the mount.

The camera delivers a very decent quality 1080p video at around 25 fps with good and clear sound. It supports two-way audio and unlike some Arlo cameras, it comes with a built speaker that is audible from more than a foot or so away. It offers motion detection, Night Vision and all the other standard features you expect to see and packs a wide-angle 170° glass lens. The only thing it lacks is local storage as it does not have the SD card slot usually found in such cameras. Instead, and this is a big plus, it offers lifetime cloud storage for up to three days with the option to purchase plans giving longer term access. The cloud recordings can be easily and quickly downloaded to your phone.

The camera comes with a built-in 6000mAh battery pack which contains two widely used 18650 batteries and opens the possibility that they could be exchanged should they wear down over time, assuming there is a way to open the battery pack. There is a micro-USB charging port on the battery pack itself and another on the outside for use by the solar panel. It takes several hours to charge the battery pack which should last for several weeks or normal use but it remains to be seen how close it will come to matching the months of use found with Arlo and the other high-end rivals.

Access to the camera is through the excellent Aiwit app which is easy to use and although registration is required a disposable address can be used for this. There is an excellent walkthrough within the app to get your camera connected which is easy to use, well written and comes with audio prompts. There is no need to connect to a camera hotspot to configure, just enter your wifi details into the app and let the camera scan the QR the app generates. You can control and disable the motion detection with the app as well as view live video, take snapshots, and view and download cloud recordings. You can also invite others to share the content of the camera on their phones directly through the app. This is probably one of the best and most user-friendly apps of this type I have yet tried.

Also in the box is the robust and well made 155 x 180 x 16 mm solar panel which is designed to top up the existing battery charge. In normal use, this should work fine but on dark days where the camera battery depletes too much then the beauty of this system is that the battery can be taken indoors to be recharged from any USB port. The battery pack can be removed from the camera via the bottom access panel without needing to take the camera itself down from its mount. Another handy feature of the solar panel is that it outputs through a standard micro-USB port and so should be able to power or top-up any suitable device connected to it.

So there you have it. These are two products that can be used together or separately from each other and work perfectly together as a team.

If you need a well-specified and easy to use stand alone security camera system for use indoors or out, then this could be just what you need.

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