Review: Kami Wireless Outdoor Cam – for the price, you can’t beat it
If you don’t feel like messing with wires, this is a great option.
I’m not going to lie, one of the main reasons why I’ve never installed an outdoor cam is because I’ve always figured it was a complicated process. Things like running a wire to the camera. Drilling holes into my house. Finding a place where the camera can access my WiFi network. You know, that whole shebang. Really, it just sounds like a massive project. There’s a reason why I’m a tech blogger and not someone who installs security systems for a living.
So when I stumbled across this $89 Kami Wireless Outdoor Cam, a company spokesperson for YI told me I didn’t have to worry about any of that. The camera is completely wireless, meaning I didn’t have to plug it into a power source, and I can essentially put it anywhere, just as long as it can reach my home’s WiFi network. I was immediately sold on the idea and agreed to give it a test run. So, how did it do? Well, let’s dive right into it.
As I mentioned above, this puppy is entirely wireless. Four 2600 mAh batteries power the camera, and the unit doesn’t require a hub or base station. I would call it a plug and play device, but since there’s nothing to plug into, I’m just going to go ahead and call it a plant and play because that’s really all you have to do with it.
When it came to installation, I was literally up and running within five minutes. The thing that consumed most of my time was charging the four included 2600 mAh batteries, but once those were all ready to go, I drilled a few holes in my fence, which is about 10-feet away from my front door and mounted the cam. Again, pretty effortless stuff here
Getting the camera ready for use was a breeze too. After registering an account with the Kami Home app and syncing the camera with the app, I was ready to go. The camera streams 1080p video at 20 frames per second with a 140-degree field of view. The unit is mostly waterproof with an IP-65 rating, so that should protect it from most of the elements. We had a couple of days of heavy rain and the camera seemed to hold up fine without any issues. The camera even comes equipped with a microphone and speaker as well, you know, in the case a burglar shows up and you need to tell them to kick rocks.
When it comes to recording, the camera records in 6-second intervals which can be streamed from your phone. You can get longer recording times, but you’ll have to subscribe to YI’s cloud storage service, which runs for $15 for three months. This gets you seven days of recording history. You can always circumvent this by inserting a microSD card into the camera.
Over the few weeks I’ve had the camera up, it does its job, and it does it well. A lot better than I initially expected. At first, my camera placement was a little further than what’s suggested, so a lot of motion events never triggered. For example, I had packages dropped off without any instance of the camera going off. So after a little trial and error, I mounted the camera closer to my front door, and that seemed to resolve any issues I had.
The camera utilizes passive infrared motion detection and while this is great and all, I had a few false positives any time it rained throughout the night. But it’s hit or miss because other nights it rained, I would get no alerts. This isn’t a deal-breaker, as I imagine most cameras do the same thing, and it isn’t really that big of an issue unless you get a ton of them. The app could use a little work too as I found it to be glitchy at times, but nothing that makes you want to throw your phone at the wall.
Overall, Kami’s wifeless outdoor camera is a winner in my book. It isn’t overly expensive, it’s super simple to install, offers excellent battery life, and the overall performance is perfect for its application. Signing up for Yi’s cloud storage service is highly recommended because if not, you’re stuck with three-second clips sent to your phone vs. 30 days of recording history with the cloud backup. But again, that’s up to you.
Bottom line: For the price, you can’t beat it. And if you’re someone who isn’t so technically inclined to install a wired option or don’t have the space to put one, this Kami wire-free outdoor camera should certainly be on your radar.
- Review: Tap Strap 2 – typing to a different beat
- Review: Philips Hue Play Bars and Sync Box – immerse yourself in color
- Review: Wyze Lock – an affordable smart lock with minimal features
- Review: The VNYL Cam – a solid instant camera, if not for the whole lockdown thing going on right now
Just a heads up, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale. It’s one of the ways we keep the lights on here. Click here for more.