I live in a working class neighborhood – certainly not some pristine gated subdivision, but equally far from the proverbial “mean streets.” As such, my view of home security has always been… well, a little lax. Still, it’s something I’ve been thinking about of late.
My problem is that I don’t need, or particularly want, some extravagant security system. I’ve got window alarms and quality locks and, probably most importantly, neighbors that I know and trust, but sometimes I simply find myself wishing I could check in on my humble abode. If you’re anything like me, you’ll likely find the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro a good fit, but this little camera also offers the flexibility to be more than just a video security system.
A very specific pet peeve of mine involves being forced to connect “wireless” devices to a LAN port for configuration, so the fact that the SmartCam Pro offered an easy setup using my iPhone was an early indicator that Samsung had put some serious thought into the device and its functionality. With only the Samsung SmartCam app, the HD Pro’s “Wi-Fi” button and my home’s existing wireless network, I was able to have the camera up and running in minutes.
Once I had my time zone set and had chosen what notifications to receive – the SmartCam HD Pro can alert you when it detects motion and/or sound – I was taken to an amazingly clear live stream right on my phone. Using the “motion zone” option available in the live feed, I was able to designate up to three areas within the camera’s 128 degree wide-angle viewing range to monitor, and, sure enough, I received a night instant alert when my youngest child ran through the appropriate zone.
I quickly discovered that a manual option let me easily record events to a MicroSD card even when no movement or sound was detected, and its “capture” icon could be used to save a video frame directly to my smartphone’s photo album. Other quality options were also easily available, and adjusting things like video brightness on the fly was a breeze, but the HD Pro also boasts a number of features I hadn’t anticipated. A two-way talk function turns the device into an intercom system, and a music player option that includes a trio of delicate lullaby melodies also makes it a long-range, hi-def baby monitor.
Boasting capture in full 1080p, the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro offers some amazingly high quality, but what truly blew me away was the system’s night vision footage. In low and practically no light the video quality, though black and white, was neither grainy nor otherwise noisy. Calling up this footage, either captured events or live, is as easy as choosing the appropriate camera – the SmartCam application supports multiple devices – from within the app and entering a secure password.
Though not exactly as discreet as the hidden nanny cams of old, the SmartCam is a great way to monitor the goings-on in your home while away at work or on vacation, keeping an eye on your family from afar or even simply checking in on the new baby as she adjusts to her own room. With a great viewing radius and impressive image fidelity, it’s a great fit for practically any indoor monitoring option, and, thanks to the included mounting hardware, the only limit is the eight-foot reach of its AC cable.
At $189, it’s a solid investment in both a quality device and the peace of mind that comes form knowing your home is only a couple of swipes away. In fact, my only real complaint is that the touch response within the app’s live view can be a tad sluggish. But given that it’s streaming HD video through the internet ether, it’s an understandable constraint.
Review materials provided by: Samsung