Last year we were fortunate enough to get our hands on a Wyze Cam for review and found that despite the minimal $20 price tag, the camera performed on par with much more expensive options. Since then, WyzeCam has updated the initial camera device to version 2 and they have released a version that can pan and tilt the camera, along with the built-in optical zoom, to provide even more flexibility and coverage. We recently had the opportunity to try out the new Wyze Cam Pan for this review.

Design

In terms of design, the Wyze Cam Pan gets the same utilitarian treatment as the regular Wyze Cam unit. It is a white block of plastic with a big black camera housing on one side. The Wyze Cam Pan does differ in that it is taller than the regular camera, likely to provide space to house the motors that make pan capabilities possible. Unlike the regular unit, the Wyze Cam Pan gets a circular disc for the base of the unit. This circular base is also where the USB power cable plugs in allowing the unit to spin around without moving the cord. The base is not magnetic but it does have what appears to be a standard 1/4 nut so it could be mounted on a standard camera mount.

As we noted for the original, the Wyze Cam Pan is not very cool looking, but its utilitarian design tends to blend into a setting. During my testing I had the unit set out on the kitchen counter and had visitors not notice it for several minutes. Not sure they ever would have, but the Wyze Cam Pan revealed its presence when it started moving around to track movement, although it is not clear whether it was the movement itself or the sound it makes when moving that alerted the visitors to its presence.

Performance

Like the regular Wyze Cam unit, the Wyze Cam Pan comes equipped with a full HD 1080p camera. The camera captures video at 15 fps and has an 8x digital zoom. For night vision, WyzeCam provided the unit with 8 infrared LEDs producing an excellent view with all the lights turned out in a typical indoor location. The camera appears to be good enough that the Wyze Cam Pan could even serve to monitor outdoor locations if it can be setup to shoot out a window. I was able to grab decent shots of vehicles in a parking lot even from a third floor window.

To help capture motion – and the camera can be setup to automatically detect motion as well as track targets – the Wyze Cam Pan can rotate at 110 degrees per second. The unit can rotate a full 360 degrees. However, once it reaches the limit of a full rotation it cannot keep spinning. During testing I did not that the motor mechanism is a bit on the loud side. It is not intrusive, but you can definitely hear it when the unit decides to spin around unless you have some other noise – like a TV or radio playing – that covers up the sound.

The Wyze Cam Pan can be configured to automatically scan an area. Up to four waypoints are possible with the unit pausing for 10 seconds on each one before moving to the next waypoint. The default waypoints are set for 90 degree intervals, but a custom scan pattern can be setup that includes specifying the vertical position of each waypoint.

The motion of the camera can be controlled from the Wyze app. The interface includes a remote control type virtual button to control side-to-side and up-down motion. Alternatively, you can tap and drag on the live stream preview. I found the latter option tended to work better as I had more, finer control over where the camera was aimed. Using the virtual remote button, you have no control over how far the unit moves for each tap.

Outside of the features noted above regarding the pan related functions, the Wyze Cam Pan is just like the Wyze Cam we reviewed in the past. There is a slot available for additional onboard storage using a microSD card or you can just rely on the cloud storage WyzeCam utilizes. You can store up to 14 days of video on their cloud servers before newer videos start to overwrite the older videos. The Wyze app also gives you the ability to set up things like notifications when it detects motion so you can quickly review a 15 second clip to see if it is something that needs more attention.

This past summer Wyze released support for the Wyze Cam and Wyze Cam Pan via Alexa to make it a little easier for users to access the content being served up by the cameras. I was not able to test that and unfortunately, WyzeCam has not yet rolled out support for Google Home/Google Assistant integration although they are working on it.

Summary

The Wyze Cam that we reviewed last year was definitely a winner in our book. You can find security cameras that pack in a higher level of hardware, but that seems to be a bit of overkill. For typical use, the Wyze Cam is more than adequate and it comes at a price that is a fraction of bigger name units. The Wyze Cam Pan squarely falls into the same category – a solid piece of hardware at an exceptional price of only $29.99. If you have a location where a fixed unit is not going to be adequate, the addition of the pan feature is definitely worth the extra $10. WyzeCam appears to have another winner with the Wyze Cam Pan.

Buy it now: Amazon


Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff’s past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.




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