After the rebrand from HomeMonitor, Y-cam has been very aggressive in the security camera market, having released a new app and a totally redesigned security camera – the Y-cam Evo Indoor HD Wi-Fi Security Camera, which I will take a look at today.
You may remember that I took a look at several HomeMonitor/Ycam products in the past: The HomeMonitor and the HomeMonitor HD, all of which were based around Ycam’s cloud storage subscription service, which includes 7 days storage free of charge for all camera owners. I rated the Ycam cameras highly, so I was pleased when I heard that Ycam have down-sized the camera, without compromising the quality and features.
Camera: Colour, 100° field of view
Image Resolution: HD (1280 x 720)
Night Vision: Up to 8m
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth 4.1
Power Input: 100-240V – 50/60Hz 0.5A
Power Output: 5V 2A
Camera Dimensions: 52 x 52 x 28mm
Camera Weight: 49g
Camera and Stand Dimensions: 52 x 70 x 57mm
Camera and Stand Weight: 96g
As you can see, the size has been reduced drastically, but still maintains Wi-Fi connectivity and HD (720P) resolution. Let’s check it out and see how it compares to the older model.
As you can imagine, the Y-cam Evo comes in a much smaller box, which highlights the free cloud storage. The packaging is relatively simple but lists the most crucial features.
The Y-cam Evo is tiny, much smaller than what I was expecting. the camera itself is still white, with a ring of IR LEDs around the camera sensor to aid night vision. There are two LEDs on the front which indicate when it has power and when it is recording.
So that’s pretty much what the new Evo security camera looks like. Let’s check out the app and the quality of the feed.
App & Performance
The Y-cam Evo uses the same app as the previous models and also includes the standard 7 days rolling cloud storage, that means that you will have the past week’s worth of footage, that will be continuously overwritten unless you download/save the clip.
To setup the camera is simple, you just follow the on-screen instructions. First, the camera needs to be powered one. (right)
You then need to select the camera you wish to connect. (left)
The app then connects to the Y-cam servers. (right)
When connected, the camera is added to your home screen. (left) From here you can view each camera and the past 7 days recording. Y-cam has also enabled you to set up the camera straight from the app – so no more having to log in to the web interface before you can set motion zones. You do still need to configure the schedules here, though.
The video feed is pretty good considering the drastic down-sizing, however, there is still a fair amount of distortion around the peripherals, to allow the camera to have a 100° field of view.
The night time video is impressive considering the reduction in IR LEDs to help illuminate the room. When I tested it, it didn’t quite have the same range as the HDS model, but still, it was enough to light up the whole of the room.
I have always been pretty impressed with Y-cam’s security camera range – to the point where I actively use two of their cameras at my home. That said, with the introduction of the Canary security camera, which is jammed packed full of features and high-quality video, it does leave the Y-cam Evo slightly lacking.
Whilst the small size is less obtrusive in your home or office, it only provides a basic video feed with motion sensing – Y-cam hinted at new features in a feedback survey not too long ago, which included Dropbox backup, If this then that compatibility and enhanced alerts, however, I have yet to see this. You do get a basic notification when the Evo is triggered, however, if follows the same basic rules as other alerts on your phone – I think it should be configurable so that it would produce a more noticeable tone or vibration.
With all this said, the ease of setup is fantastic. Y-cam has really upped their game and have listed to feedback from the previous models. The more compact size and USB power has also made the camera more appealing – no more massive white box in the room.
At £129.99 it can be seen as fairly expensive, considering other cameras on the market – but hardly any of them offer included cloud storage – and certainly not for 7 days free-of-charge. There are other paid storage subscription plans, which allow for up to 30 days, but I found the 7 days more than enough – especially when I just downloaded the clips of what I wanted to keep.
The quality of the video was good and the night mode was also above expectations. It enabled me to keep an eye on my dog, Gus, when he was left alone in the house. It actually revealed to me that he was able to reach up and get leftover food from the shelves in the corner!
To conclude, I think Y-cam have done a great job with the Evo Security Camera, sure it isn’t feature rich, but it does offer impressive night vision and that all important cloud storage which is free for the past 7 days – and you can access it wherever you are, provided you have the internet. At £129.99 it does place itself towards the bottom/middle of this market, but I believe the inclusive cloud storage would be enough to sway any potential buyers. Whilst I won’t be giving it top marks, it is still award-worthy:
Thanks Y-cam for sending over the Ycam Evo Indoor HD Wi-Fi Security Camera.
- Smaller design
- Inclusive cloud storage
- Decent video quality during day and night
- Relatively simple compared to competitors' products