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Hands-on Gear Review
Logitech Circle Review
Price: $200 List | $189.98 at Amazon
Pros: Great video quality, good real time viewing, convenient day brief time lapse feature
Cons: Fisheye distortion slightly more noticeable than on other cameras
Bottom line: By far the most convenient camera for reviewing everything that has happened in the past 24 hours
Power Source: Wall Outlet/Rechargable Battery
The Logitech Circle's 1080p resolution put it amongst the top scorers in our video quality testing, and it performed well in every other metric. What really sets it apart is its 'day brief' feature, which compresses all of the activity the camera has seen over the past 24 hours into a concise, 30 second timelapse. This quick and efficient method for reviewing what happened in front of the camera over the last day earned it our Top Pick Award for 24 hour Monitoring. It can also run off its internal battery, and can easily be removed from its charging base and temporarily placed somewhere else.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The chart below shows how the Logitech Circle's overall performance (shown in blue) in our testing compared to the other models we tested.
Below we dive into the details of how the Circle performed in each one of our individual tests.
The Logitech Circle picked up a score of 7 out of 10 in our monitoring performance testing, mostly because of its day brief feature. This put it towards the top of a metric which had scores from 4 to 8.
Monitoring Services With/Without a Subscription
Without a subscription Logitech saves all clips in which the camera detected motion to the cloud, and makes a 24 hour history of those clips available for viewing and downloading. This is quite similar to what Canary offers. However, Lobitech makes it immeasurably easier to review everything that happened in the last 24 hours via its day brief time lapse, which condenses all of the activity from the last 24 hours into 30 seconds. These time lapses can be created at the push of a button, and are by far the most efficient way to review footage from a security camera that we've come across.
With a $4 per month subscription that availbale activity history is extended to 14 days. For $10 a month the activity history is pushed out to 31 days and you can use Logitech's motion zones. These are akin to Nest's activity zones, in that you can define specific areas where the camera should look for motion and, by extension, where it shouldn't. We did find that setting these motion zones did cut down on on nuisance activity alerts, but weren't quite as effective or customizable as those provided for the Nest Cam.
Recorded audio from the Logitech was fairly average. Conversations were generally understandable, but sometimes sounded tinny. It also offers 2-way audio, and its speaker was one of the clearest we tested, beaten out by only the NETGEAR Arlo Q.
The Logitech Circle was one of the five models that shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in our video quality testing. Like all of its 1080p brethren it provided clear and crisp video. Its night vision was also superb. It's nighttime footage produced some of the most recognizable screenshots of faces in our testing. Faces got a bit blurrier when they were farther away from the camera, but if you're looking for high quality night vision we would definitely the Logitech Circle or the Samsung SmartCam.
The Circle's lens provides a wide, 135˚ field of view. However, the edges of the image have a bit more of a distorted, fisheye look than some of the other cameras we tested. This is a minor point, but may be annoying for some users.
App Ease of Use
We found Logitech's app to be good but not great. Accordingly it earned an average score of 7 out of 10 in a metric that had scores falling from 5 to 9.
It is fairly easy to navigate through this app's menus to set things like scheduling and geofencing. However, the menus did feel just a bit clunkier than those of some of the other apps. The Circle is the only model we tested that allows you to set the maximum number of alerts you receive within a given time frame, e.g. you can set it so you can only receive one activity notification every 15 minutes. That way you don't get 20 notifications in a row when the cat decides to go nuts. However, the longest time period you can set is half an hour.
Real Time Viewing
The Logitech Circle scored a 7 out of 10 in our real time viewing testing, putting it just behind the top score of 8 and a good bit better than the low score of 5.
It had a field leading 3 seconds of latency in our testing. Its video feed was smooth and never hiccupped, but its quality was just a bit less clear than that of the top scoring Nest Cam. If you like Logitech's day brief but still want a good real time viewing camera, we don't think you're going to mind making this small sacrifice. However, if all you'll be doing is real time viewing, we would suggest going with the Nest Cam.
The Logitech Circle has a magnetic base that can stick to most metal surfaces. It can also be placed on any horizontal surface. The camera comes with a mounting plate that installs with two screws if you want to mount it on a non-magnetic wall or ceiling. The charging mount must be plugged into a standard outlet. The Circle has a battery and can be removed from the charging base to be temporarily placed somewhere else (battery life is strongly dependent upon the amount of activity the camera sees). The Circle easily be adjusted to face any which way.
The Logitech Circle lists for $200, which if fairly standard for a 1080p security camera. If you want to review lots of footage quickly, then the Circle's day brief feature makes this a great value. If you're only really concerned with real time viewing, then the Nest Cam would be a slightly better value.
The Logitech Circle is a high performing, well designed security camera that offers a convenient time lapse day brief feature. As it's an all around performer, we doubt anyone would be disappointed if they get the Circle.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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