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Wyze Cam Pan Review

A slightly upgraded version of the Wyze Cam v2 that likely is not worth the extra cost
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Price:   $40 List | $38 at Amazon
Pros:  Good video quality, inexpensive, user friendly, generous non-subscription services
Cons:  Real time viewing can be laggy, saves only 12-second video clips every 5 minutes, pan feature somewhat inefective
Manufacturer:   Wyze
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Dec 11, 2018
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61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 17
  • Monitoring Performance - 30% 4
  • Video Quality - 30% 7
  • App Ease of Use - 25% 8
  • Real Time Viewing - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Wyze Cam Pan offers a slightly wider static field of view than its sibling, the Wyze Cam v2, and can also pan to follow motion. However, that panning happens so slowly that we don't think it's a particularly valuable feature. If you're looking for a shoestring budget option, we would suggest spending less on the Wyze Cam v2 instead of buying this camera. Also, before committing to anyWyze camera you should note that it only saves a maximum of 12-seconds of motion-activated video to the cloud once every 5 minutes. If you want more video saved you'll have to save it locally to a microSD card. We still think Wyze cameras are great budget options, but this may be a dealbreaker for some people.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Providing most of the low-cost benefits of the Wyze Cam v2, the Wyze Cam Pan adds a slightly wider field of view and the ability to pan side-to-side in order to follow motion.


Performance Comparison


The Wyze Cam Pan is quite good as a budget camera, but can't quite match the performance of the higher end and higher priced models.

Monitoring Performance


The Wyze Cam Pan offers a decent bevy of monitoring services without a subscription, with a few quirks. It does not offer any subscription services. This earned it a slightly above average score in our monitoring performance metric.


Monitoring Services Without a Subscription


True to its budget pedigree, all of Wyze's monitoring services are free, and the company does not even offer and subscription services. These services include general motion alerts, a 14-day history of 12-second long motion-activated clips stored on the cloud, and the ability to create one "motion zone" to direct where exactly the camera should look for motion.

These services are generally enough to monitor a home effectively, but they are a bit limiting when compared to the much more costly subscription services of some other brands. For example, the Wyze Cam Pan will only record one 12-second long clip to the cloud every 5 minutes. To record more frequently you must insert an SD card into the camera and record footage locally (which will be lost if an intruder steals the camera). In comparison, a Logitech camera with a subscription will save all the motion it sees, and a Nest camera with a subscription will save a 24/7 video history.

The Pan saves 12-seconds of video everytime it sees motion a maximum of once every 5 minutes. If you find that limiting you can store more video locally on an SD card.
The Pan saves 12-seconds of video everytime it sees motion a maximum of once every 5 minutes. If you find that limiting you can store more video locally on an SD card.

Storing Extra Footage on a microSD Card


If that 12-seconds every 5-minutes video history isn't enough for you, you can insert a microSD card into the camera itself. With a card installed you can have the camera record 24/7, or record all of the motion it sees, on top of the short clips that are saved to the cloud. The main disadvantage of this method is that you'll lose all that footage if an intruder decides to steal your camera. For reference, a 32GB card will store about 48 hours of high-definition footage.

2-Way Audio


The Wyze Cam Pan has both a microphone and a speaker, so you can hear things happening in front of the camera, and you can speak through the camera to ward off intruders or reprimand your pets.

The Pan provides quite a good image  even through a window screen.
The Pan provides quite a good image, even through a window screen.

Video Quality


The video this camera recorded in our testing generally looks truly high-def. If you closely compare it side-by-side with footage from something like a Nest cam you can see that the Nest footage is a bit crisper, but in a functional sense we were able to recognize faces and generally see what was going on equally well with both cameras.


Overall, the Wyze Cam Pan's video quality is on par with that of its slightly less expensive sibling, the Wyze Cam v2. The major difference is that the Pan has a 120˚ degree field of view as opposed to the 110˚ field of the v2. This brings the field of view a bit closer to the average of 130˚, but the difference between the two cameras isn't readily noticeable. The Pan does have a motorized base that allows it to twist and follow motion laterally, but we found this process not reactive enough to be of much use. Unless someone slowly ambled in front of the camera, it generally panned too slowly to follow the action.

Nighttime images on the Pan generally look good, but glass tends to confuse its infrared sensor, creating odd image distortions. Motion also tends to look quite blurry in nighttime images.


The Pan's video generally looks good, but the panning feature is typically ineffective. As you can see in this clip, the camera jumps a bit to the left to try and follow the subject, before quickly giving up.

App Ease of Use


Overall, we feel that the Wyze app is going to be intuitive and user-friendly enough for even relative technophobes. We found getting the camera set up, adjusting settings, and even setting specific schedules to be hassle-free.


The only real complaints we had with the app arose when we stored footage locally on a microSD card. Managing that footage through the app proved to be a bit glitchy and clunky. If you want to store lots of video on an SD card, we would suggest plugging said card into an actual computer for reviewing and managing that footage.

The Wyze app lets you navigate the camera's functions and setting quite easily.
The Wyze app lets you navigate the camera's functions and setting quite easily.

Real Time Viewing


We would call the Wyze Cam Pan's real time viewing functional, but not great. We measured a latency of only 5-seconds, making its feed one of the more immediate ones amongst the cameras we tested. However, the feed did tend to pixelate and jump a bit more regularly than feeds from the Nest and Logitech models. Those jumps and pixelations were never frequent enough to make the feed unusable, but they do take a bit away from the experience of checking in on what your pets are doing.

The Pan's night footage is quite clear  but motion does tend to get a bit blurred.
The Pan's night footage is quite clear, but motion does tend to get a bit blurred.

Value


For only $40 and no subscription fees, the Wyze Cam Pan provides decent performance and a good amount of monitoring services, making it a great deal for those shopping on a budget. However, we don't see any significant advantage in getting the Pan over the $28 Wyze Cam v2 so if you're looking for a budget option we would suggest saving the extra $12.

Conclusion


The Wyze Cam Pan is a good budget camera, but isn't enough of an improvement over its less expensive sibling, the Wyze Cam v2, to make it our favorite low budget options.


Max Mutter and Steven Tata