Logitech Circle 2 Wireless Review
Pros: Great video quality, good real time viewing, convenient day brief time lapse feature, very wide field of view
Cons: More fisheye distortion than other cameras
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Whether you're trying to figure out what animals keep knocking over your garbage bins, or just want to make sure nothing suspicious happened at your house during the day, it can be nice to be able to quickly view everything your security camera has seen throughout the day. The Logitech Circle 2 Wireless is unparalleled in that ability, making it our Top Pick for 24 Hour Monitoring.
The Logitech Circle 2 Wireless performed above average in all of our tests, putting it fairly high on our scoresheet. For further details on its many strengths and few minor weaknesses, read the sections below.
The Circle 2 offers decent non-subscription services and fairly generous subscription services, earning it an above average score of 7 out of 10 in this metric.
Monitoring Services With/Without a Subscription
The flagstone of Logitech's monitoring services is the unique day brief feature. With this feature you simply open the Logitech app and push a button, and the camera gathers up all of the activity it has seen in the last 24 hours into a quick, 30 second time lapse. So in half a minute you can review everything that happened in front of the camera in the last day. If you see anything interesting in that sped up timelapse, you can dive into your video history and watch that clip at normal speed. You can also download any of those clips to be saved, even if you're not a subscriber.
Without a subscription you get a 24 hour history of motion activated clips stored on the cloud. That's not a ton of history, but functionally it feels like more than it is because the day brief feature makes it so easy to review all that footage on a daily basis. The basic $4/month subscription pushes video history out to 14 days. For the premium $10/month subscription gets you a 31 day history (again just of motion, not a 24/7 history), person alerts, and the ability to draw motion zones where the camera can ignore motion.
The Circle 2's microphone worked fairly well in our testing. Conversations occurring within 10 feet of the camera were generally discernable, but the sound was quite tinny. The camera does offer 2-way audio, and we found the speaker to be quite good. People standing near the camera always understood what was being said.
The Circle 2's video quality occupied the upper echelon in our testing, earning a high score of 8 out of 10.
The Circle 2's 1080p sensor was able to produce clear images in our testing, and the 180˚ field of view is impressive and wider than any camera we tested. However, that wide view does come with some noticeable fisheye distortion, which could be annoying to some users. Also, the resolution does reduce quick quickly when you start to zoom in, making racognizing a face that isn't right in front of the camera somewhat difficult. Nighttime images were also quite good, with the infrared imaging rendering comparably bright and detailed images. All in all, there really isn't much to complain about when it comes to the Circle 2's video quality.
Above is an example of the Circle's day brief feature, which compresses 24 hours of activity into a 30 second timelapse.
App Ease of Use
Logitech's app is good, but not perfect. This put it towards, but not at, the top of our scoresheet.
We found it easy to do basics thing in Logitech's apps, like set up schedules, activate geofencing, and to access live viewing. However, more advanced settings can be a bit difficult to find. For instance, Logitech offers a convenient setting where you can limit the maximum number of alerts you get to one per hour, or even less. However, actually finding this setting and adjusting felt a bit less intuitive than it could have been. This was a minor annoyance, however, and we quickly got used to the app's layout.
Real Time Viewing
The Circle 2 generally provides a good real time viewing experience, with just a couple of annoying caveats. This earned it an above average score.
In general, the Circle 2 treated us to a high quality and uninterrupted live stream of what the camera was seeing. Occasionally there was some pixelation here and there, but not enough for it to really be of any consequence. The biggest annoyance is the fact that the Circle 2 seems to put its real time viewing function into sleep mode if you haven't used it in a while. If you haven't activated the function in a couple of hours you'll likely have a delay of about 45 seconds before the camera wakes up and you actually get to see the real time feed.
The Circle 2 camera itself has a battery and can be placed on any flat surface within range of your wifi. However, you'll need to use the camera on its charging base most of the time in order to keep the battery topped up. The charging base allows for more fine tuned adjustment of the camera angle, and can be mounted to most surfaces with the included screws and wall anchors. The included 2 foot charging cable feels a little short, but you can easily buy a longer micro USB cable if you need. The only annoyance we encountered with the charging base is that, if you place it on a flat surface and face the camera forward, the whole thing gets front heavy and can tip over very easily.
The Circle 2 lits for $200. This price point feels fairly standard for high quality security cameras nowadays and considering the Circle 2's versatility, this feels like a fair price. If you're specifically looking for a single, do-it-all camera that you can easily move around when needed, it is a very good value. If you're looking to build a multiple camera system, you might find a better value with the Nest ecosystem.
The Logitech Circle 2 Wireless is a great camera that can easily be moved around and provides a very easy way to review all of the footage it captures. If you want to be privy to everything that happens in front of your camera, this is a perfect choice.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata