"No other outdoor camera can keep up with the versatility of the Wyze Cam Outdoor."
Excellent battery life
App has some quirks
Inconsistent video quality
Wyze has certainly been busy since the Wyze Cam v2 was released in 2018, redefining the entry-level surveillance camera segment. It was an absolute home run, partly because of its incredibly low cost and rich features. After the company established itself, ambitious plans eventually led to other fertile smart home devices – most recently Wyze Lock and Wyze Scale.
In a further step to diversify the portfolio within the smart home, the Wyze Cam Outdoor wants to achieve the same success outside the home as a surveillance camera for the outside area. In fact, it has many of the same features as previous Wyze cameras, so you can expect tons of features at a low cost. They say that wisdom comes with age. I will find out here if this is the case.
Same identity, but more versatile
What made the original Wyze Cam unforgettable was its cube-shaped design, which the Wyze Cam Outdoor really follows – even though it is larger and has a lot more power. This is to be expected as it has to withstand the rigors of nature. Put it next to its indoor sibling, and it's obvious that the Wyze Cam Outdoor is stronger.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
Although it is made entirely of plastic, it is solidly built and robust. Thanks to the plastic base, which is attached to the camera via magnets, there is a little articulation. Fortunately, it's not easy to take apart, and although it sits enthroned along an edge or window, it comes with the necessary mounting screws to attach it to walls or ceilings. Due to its protection class IP65, it can be operated in a temperature range from minus 4 to 120 degrees Celsius – it is also waterproof.
It is solidly built and robust.
Overall, it retains the same design identity that Wyze is known for, and as an outdoor surveillance camera, it's a refreshing shot. Honestly, it's an unusual design among outdoor cameras, but it's worth noting that it's not just an outdoor camera. It is something that you can use in the house or even while traveling and on vacation. This versatility comes in handy when you change your mind about the location of your camera or when your needs change.
For this test, I had to use a beta version of the Wyze app for Android and iOS. This is important to note as I hope that some of the app experience issues will be fixed later with future software updates.
The setup process includes not only the camera, but also the base station, which can only be connected to a router via a wired Ethernet connection. Since my Xfinity router has two additional Ethernet ports, it would be helpful if the Wyze Cam Outdoor could connect directly to my Wi-Fi network. Instead, the base station is needed – mainly to reduce the congestion of my home's WiFi network.
In addition, it is better to manage connectivity if you want to add more cameras later. There is a microSD slot in the base station that enables local storage. This is an incentive that goes beyond the usual cloud storage option.
The app has a simple layout. However, it would often get stuck when connecting to the live stream view. So I just restart the app to fix the problem. As a surveillance camera, this is fairly easy because there is no distinction between what is detected and there are no custom detection zones that can be used to reduce notifications. There are options for creating timelapse clips as well as scheduled recordings.
The more fascinating part of the Wyze Cam Outdoor is the travel mode, with which you can effectively record videos offline. No internet connection is required, but a microSD card inserted in the camera is required to save clips. However, the limitation is that it did not automatically detect motion and did not automatically record clips. So don't expect to drop them anywhere in the forest and pray that Sasquatch will catch them walking by. I can record clips in three ways: manually via the app, schedule a recording, or schedule a time-lapse.
Wyze announces that it can record video when the PIR motion sensor is triggered, but Wyze is still working on this feature and promises that it will be available for the official app version. It is a fascinating function because it opens up a world of possibilities, e.g. For example, to keep an eye on your belongings on vacation, to keep them in your brand new car, to see who is roaming the neighborhood, or even for hunters who want to monitor their traps.
Areas of opportunity
The Wyze Cam Outdoor records videos with a resolution of 1080p and a frame rate of 20 frames per second, which drops to 10 fps for night videos. This is choppy and the low frame rate is clearly visible when watching clips. Choppy performance isn't the most disruptive part of Wyze Cam Outdoor's performance – it's the consistency of its quality.
With a 1 / 2.7-inch sensor and a lens with a 1: 2.5 aperture, the technical data of the camera are by no means up to date. It is strange that the quality can vary widely. Sometimes it looks sharp, but sometimes artifact elements and pixelation become glaring problems. The corners also tend to show this distinctive fish-eye look, which makes things appear more stretched than what they actually appear. Night vision looks surprisingly good and covers a range of up to 25 feet. In my case, it could see some deer crossing the path of the camera at night.
The other blatant part of the Wyze Cam Outdoor is that it is largely hampered by a narrow 110-degree field of view. This is much narrower than some of its established contemporaries – like the 160-degree field of view with the Arlo Pro 3. For an outdoor camera, I would prefer to have a wider field of view to cover as much space as possible outside. Finally, the internal speaker enables bidirectional communication, but it's too weak, crisp, and difficult to see.
Surprisingly good longevity
When packing two 2,600 mAh batteries, I was impressed with how well it lasts. During the first five days when it was used exclusively as a surveillance camera, the battery dropped to 95%. This is a comforting level considering that it is rated for more than three to six months of normal use, which Wyze classifies as 10 to 20 event videos a day.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
However, I have found that the battery drains faster in travel mode. It could be because it is sending its own Wi-Fi network for local access, but it just seemed to be using up the battery faster.
Very few outdoor surveillance cameras fly below $ 100. When the Wyze Cam Outdoor reaches $ 50 for the outdoor starter bundle, it's a serious statement to her competitors. Expanding the system is also easy, as additional cameras cost $ 40 each.
It may not be perfect and there are some bugs that need to be fixed, but its versatility makes it hard to miss – it goes beyond a mere outdoor camera. It is an indoor and outdoor security camera as well as something to take with you when you travel.
How long it will take?
The all-plastic construction is surprisingly good and robust, so I am confident that it will withstand the outdoors. A one-year limited warranty to cover defects is provided.
Is there a better alternative?
Yes and no. If you look for other cameras, you will find that nobody else can touch the price. In addition, there is rarely an outdoor camera that can work offline independently.
The leading providers continue to include Arlo Pro 3 and Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, both of which offer a wider field of view, exceptional video quality and advanced recognition functions. On the other hand, they are not cheap!
Should you buy it
Yes. There is room for improvement, but a low price and excellent versatility make the Wyze Cam Outdoor a solid choice.