Review: Soliom Wireless Solar-Powered Outdoor Camera – harness the power of the sun
All in all, it’s a decent wireless outdoor camera. It’s certainly not the best out there, but it’s definitely not the worst either.
Since buying a new home, I have been dipping my toes into the world of wireless outdoor security cameras. A couple of months back, I reviewed this option from Kami, but battery life was pretty limited. So when I was presented with an option that charges itself through solar panels, I was really interested in trying it out.
Enter Soliom’s wireless outdoor solar security cam. It costs $119. It’s completely wireless. It harnesses the power of the sun to keep it charged. You can use it both indoors and outdoors. And it’s packed with a ton of features you wouldn’t normally find in this price range. So how does it perform? Is it easy to install? Is it worth the purchase? Well, let’s find out.
Before we dive in any deeper, here’s a quick breakdown of all the features you get with this camera:
- 4000mAh battery
- IP66 Weatherproof
- Motion detection
- Night vision
- Two-way talk
- 1080P HD video
- Free cloud storage, plus you can use a microSD card for local storage
Alright, now that we have that out of the way, let’s jump right into it. So installation is pretty much a breeze. Before starting, I had to charge the device for roughly 12-hours per the instructions. After that, it was just a matter of mounting the camera and pairing it to my home’s WiFi.
Mounting the camera requires four screws and simply screwing on the camera to its mount. I have the camera installed on my fence that points towards my front door, near my WiFi router. From there, all I had to do was pair the camera with the Soliom app and connect to WiFi. That’s it. All in all, pairing the camera took less than two minutes.
Getting acquainted with the app took me some time, so I decided just to let the camera do its job and see if it worked as advertised. After getting the camera set up, I initially gave it a quick test drive to see how well its motion detector worked. So I walked right in front of the camera to see if it would pick me up and notify me via my smartphone. It didn’t. But I chalked it up as a fluke and figured it was because I just powered up the device.
I figured the best way to test the camera was just to let it be and see what it did on its own. The first day I received zero notifications. But the funny thing was that the camera did indeed detect motion, I just never got an alert. This had me a little concerned. Do notifications on this device really work? It turns out they do. I just had to wait a day to start getting them, which was weird because every day after that, notifications came through in real-time. So yea, that just seemed to be a fluke.
When I finally received a notification, I was able to view the recording by tapping on the notification on my iPhone, which eventually brought me to a seven-second clip. By the way, this is all stored for free, but you only have a limited time before they’re recorded over with new clips. You can always work around this by utilizing a 64GB microSD card. This way, your recordings are stored locally, and you don’t have to rely on cloud recordings.
The camera’s quality is excellent, like, surprisingly good. I was a little blown away by that, honestly. This applies to when you view your camera feed live as well as the recordings. Night vision is a different story though. I wasn’t really impressed with the camera’s picture at night. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it could certainly be better.
The camera’s performance is great and all, but this brings me to the next point: the app. This could really use some more work. In my experience, when looking at the live feed, the app displays instances when it detected motion on a timeline below the live feed.
However, when you tap on them, the app has a hard time pinpointing the exact area you’re selecting. And sometimes, motion was never detected. And when it was, you have to sit through five minutes of footage. It’s really a cat and mouse game. And sometimes, unprompted, it fast-forwarded me to live footage. It’s honestly a little frustrating.
On top of that, one thing that concerns me is that every time I open the Soliom app, my phone’s microphone is enabled for whatever reason. And the only way to disable it is to mute the security camera within the app. You have to do this every time you open up the app. That’s pretty sketchy. I’m guessing this is used for two-way audio, but I would prefer it to be activated by me and not from opening the app.
What I particularly like are the camera’s solar panels. I previously had an outdoor camera that required the batteries to be charged every two months, and sometimes I would forget to charge them, rendering the camera useless. So having the ability to have the device charged without any effort is a no-brainer. Set it and forget it.
All in all, it’s a decent wireless outdoor camera. It’s certainly not the best out there, but it’s definitely not the worst either. If you can get over the app’s shortcomings and usability, then it’s absolutely something you should consider, but the lack of help and support makes it really hard for me to convince people to go out and spend their money on this.
Depending on what you need it for, it doesn’t hurt to consider it. Things like recording your backyard for unwanted critters, monitoring your mailbox, or things of that nature, sure, I would recommend it. But if you’re reliant on accurate notifications, dependability, or something that gives you peace of mind, you’re probably better off with something else.
Note: If you decide to pull the trigger on this, Soliom is offering KnowTechie readers an exclusive 15% coupon when purchased through the company’s website. Just enter promo code soliom15 at checkout to see the savings.
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