The $20 Wyze Cam V2 indoor security camera is nothing short of remarkable for the money

The $20 Wyze Cam V2 indoor security camera is nothing short of remarkable for the money
Simon Hill/Business Insider

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  • The Wyze Cam V2 home security camera is very affordable, easy to use, and doesn't require a subscription, so it's an excellent entry-level option for indoor security.
  • Camera footage quality is good, at 1080p in full color, with a black and white night mode.
  • The Wyze Cam V2 also boasts clear two-way audio, but it does need to be plugged into an outlet.
  • Starting from just $19.99 list price (currently around $25.99 at other retailers) for a single Wyze Cam V2 camera, with 14 days of free cloud storage and a MicroSD card option for local storage, this is a real bargain.
Table of Contents An indoor home security camera can you give you peace of mind when you're away from home, alerting you to any unwelcome intruders and enabling you to keep an eye on your kids or pets from afar. There are lots of affordable options now that take just minutes to set up.
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The Wyze Cam V2, which starts from just $19.99, may be the best bargain home security camera around. It sports a cute, compact design, offers full color 1080p video, two-way audio, custom activity zones, night vision, and the list goes on. There's also smart home integration with support for Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.

You need a free wall outlet to plug it in, but it connects directly to your Wi-Fi router. There's a refreshing lack of hidden costs, as the Wyze Cam V2 has a MicroSD card slot for local storage, and it comes with 14 days of cloud storage for free.

I tested a single Wyze Cam V2 camera in my home to find out how it performs. While there are a few limits to its abilities, this diminutive indoor home security camera could be the one of the biggest bargains around.
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Specifications

The $20 Wyze Cam V2 indoor security camera is nothing short of remarkable for the money
Simon Hill/Business Insider

  • 1080p resolution
  • 110-degree field of view
  • Night vision with infrared
  • Two-way audio
  • MicroSD storage up to 32GB (not included)
  • 14-day cloud storage
  • WPA2
  • AES 128-bit encryption
  • Custom zones
  • Motion and sound detection

Design

Buy direct from Wyze and the Wyze Cam V2 will cost you $19.99; you may pay a little more at other retailers. The box includes the camera, power adapter, a 6-foot power cable, a wall plate, and mounting tape. It's a lightweight cube with a grey base and a matte white plastic body. The clever 3-axis design allows you to unfold the camera from the base and swivel to face whatever direction you want. It also gives the Wyze Cam V2 a cute boxy look. The base is magnetic, so it can stick to the fridge, and the mounting tape and wall plate enable you to stick it anywhere without the need to drill, or you can just pop it on a table or shelf. The only limitation is that you need to be near a free wall outlet to plug it in.
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It's a small, unobtrusive device that measures 2.2 by 1.97 by 1.97 inches and weighs 3.5 ounces. A black circle on the face contains the camera lens, sensors, and microphone. On the back there's a Micro USB port for the flat power cable to plug into, with a speaker above, and a tiny LED to the right that shows the camera status. Flip it up and you'll find a MicroSD card slot under the camera's chin where you can slide in up to 32GB of local storage.

The Wyze Cam V2 is an indoor camera, so there's no IP rating or weather resistance. The look hasn't changed much from the original, except that the finish is matte white, which helps it blend in a little better.

Setup is easy

The $20 Wyze Cam V2 indoor security camera is nothing short of remarkable for the money
Simon Hill/Business Insider
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Work out where you want to place the Wyze Cam V2 and plug it in to get started. You'll need to install the Wyze app for Android or iOS. Simply tap the plus icon at the top left to add a camera. There's a QR code on the base of the camera that you can scan to have it quickly connect it to your network. Adjust to the angle you want, and you're done. The set up for this camera takes just five minutes.

The Wyze Cam V2 connects directly to your Wi-Fi router and only supports 2.4GHz networks, not 5GHz.

The mobile app

The Wyze app is easy to use. The default Home tab shows your cameras with a frame of the last recorded video. There's a quick on or off button at the top right, or you can tap on the frame to jump into the live view. This allows you to turn sound on or off, record video, hold down the voice icon to speak, take a photo, and a few extras like the option to create a time lapse video.
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You can also tap the settings cog at the top right in the live feed view to jump into the camera's settings. This gives you access to everything, so you can schedule your camera, decide whether motion, sound, or both should trigger a recording, pick what should trigger a notification, and set the detection sensitivity.

The Wyze Cam V2 can notify you about any motion or sound, or you can restrict alerts to person detection, which is one of the biggest upgrades over the original camera. Wyze also added the option to set custom detection zones, which allows you to drag the corners of the frame in to exclude areas and cut down on false positives. There's also alarm detection, so a smoke alarm or CO2 monitor can trigger a recording.

If you decide to insert a MicroSD card, you can choose to have continuous recording switched on. You also get 14-days' worth of rolling cloud storage for video events, though they are limited to 12 second chunks. If you want recordings to last for as long as the motion is detected, then you need to upgrade at a cost of $1.49 per camera per month.
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Jumping back to the Home tab in the app, you can tap the plus icon at the top to add a rule. This versatile system allows you to set up schedules for your camera, to have other Wyze devices trigger it, and to create shortcuts for things like turning on all cameras at once from your phone's home screen.

The Wyze Cam V2 works with Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant, so you can use voice commands to jump to a live feed on an Echo Show or Nest Hub device, for example. It's important to note these voice assistants are only supported in the US. There is also IFTTT support, which allows you to set up all kinds of triggers, including a location-based trigger to turn on your camera automatically when you leave home.

How well does it work?

The $20 Wyze Cam V2 indoor security camera is nothing short of remarkable for the money
Simon Hill/Business Insider
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With a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution at 15 frames-per-second in full color, the video quality that the Wyze Cam V2 offers is good. By default, it records in Full HD, but you can drop down to SD or 360p if bandwidth is limited.

With rich color and good detail, I found the video quality to be solid in daylight, though bright areas appear overexposed because there's no HDR. The quality of the night vision video isn't quite as good, with a bit of grain creeping and, of course, no color. The frame rate also drops to 10 fps when night vision kicks in. The 110-degree field of view is quite narrow, so you'll need to think about placement carefully to get the best from your camera.

The default sensitivity on the Wyze Cam V2 has worked well for me. It also tags videos when there's a person in them, which I have found to be fairly accurate. A green box appears around the motion in each video. I set notifications to be triggered by person detection only and have had a few false positives, one triggered by my cat investigating the camera, one by passing headlights of a car outside at night, and a few spooky night time videos that didn't appear to have anyone or anything in them. It's worth noting that the person detection is still a beta program right now.
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All security cameras have a delay of a couple of seconds when you connect and the Wyze Cam V2 is no exception. There's a slight lag on the live feed, but it's still possible to have a real-time conversation without too much trouble. Voices come through clearly when people are talking directly to the camera, however, the audio quality in most recorded videos isn't great. I sometimes noticed random noises when I played back video and it seems to lack good noise cancellation.

I inserted a 32GB MicroSD card into the Wyze Cam V2 and set it to continuous recording. This allowed me to swipe back through a timeline over days to review all video through the app. It offers an affordable way to expand on that 12 second limit for video events.

Cons to consider

While a bit of connection lag is par for the course, I found that the alerts for recorded video events sometimes took longer than I'd like to come through. It took anywhere from a few seconds to several seconds for the alert that there was a new recorded video event to hit my phone. The Wyze Cam V2 is slower to alert than many of the other security cameras that I've tested recently, including the Amazon Blink Mini.
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The fact that you must plug the Wyze Cam V2 into the wall is going to be an inconvenience for some. I did also notice that the camera can get quite warm to the touch in operation, though you're unlikely to be picking it up very often.

I did experience a couple of glitches using the Wyze Cam V2. At one point, my internet went out for a few minutes and when it came back the Wyze Cam V2 failed to reconnect to the network until I unplugged it from the wall and plugged it back in again. I did test this again by turning my router off and I couldn't recreate the issue, the camera reconnected just fine, but this is still a potential concern.

Another time, when I was reviewing the continuous recording via the MicroSD card, the timeline went blank and the card disappeared for a second or two. I restarted the app and it came back. This issue hasn't reoccurred.
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The bottom line

The $20 Wyze Cam V2 indoor security camera is nothing short of remarkable for the money
Simon Hill/Business Insider

The Wyze Cam V2 is nothing short of remarkable for the money. It may be the ideal entry-level, indoor home security camera, as it's simple to set up and use and produces good quality video most of the time. With many features that would cost you extra with other systems, 14-days of free cloud storage, and that local storage option, there is no better indoor home security camera for people on a tight budget.
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Should you buy it?

Yes, it's well worth the price.

Which model should you get?

The Wyze Cam V2 is the best bargain at $19.99. If you want a slightly wider field of view and the ability to pan, then consider paying $10 extra for the Wyze Cam Pan.

What are your alternatives?

The Amazon Blink Mini at $34.99 is an obvious contender. It mostly matches the Wyze Cam V2 on features, it's a little faster to alert you to video events, and the sound quality is better, though it lacks sound detection as a trigger and there's no person detection to tag videos or filter notifications. It also requires a Sync Module 2 at $34.99 for local storage or you're looking at paying $3 per month or $30 per year for cloud storage.
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If you want the best quality video and smart features, the Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor is worth a look, but it's far more expensive at $300 for a camera with a subscription on top.

Pros: Good quality 1080p video, two-way audio, motion and sound detection, person detection, easy to use, Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT support

Cons: Alerts are slow to come through, audio quality isn't great, a few glitches
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