Setting up home surveillance used to be too expensive for most families to even consider, and even if you were to disregard pricing options, you’d likely need an electrician to set up. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case, as there are now many WiFi connected cameras that provide a relatively inexpensive solution for monitoring your home or business from afar. The Oco WiFi camera is one of the newest connected devices to hit the market, and it’s not only extremely easy to set up and use, but it also comes in at just $140. But is it all sunshine and rainbows with the Oco?
The Oco WiFi camera has many of the features of some of the most popular WiFi surveillance cameras like the DropCam Pro, such as motion detection and noise detection. When any motion or noise is detected, the Oco will send push notifications to your smartphone or tablet, as well as an email. The sensitivity of these sensors can be adjusted, but I found that even on the lowest setting, my Oco would occasionally falsely alert me of motion when there wasn’t any motion. Eventually, the false claims resulted in me having to turn the motion sensor notifications off and rely solely on sound notifications, which worked wonderfully. I was correctly notified of the slightest sounds in the room.
The Oco sports a 1280 x 720 resolution for quality 720p video resolution, so you’re generally able to see with clarity. You’re also able to adjust the quality settings for when you’re smartphone isn’t using WiFi so that you can still view your camera’s live feed on 4G and 3G connections without killing your data plan. Colors look natural, and the video is generally good quality. The Oco also has a built-in speaker and microphone so that you can communicate with someone in the room that your camera is watching, as well as 11 infrared LEDs for night vision, giving users the ability to see in low light and no light at all. When the night vision is on (which can also be disabled), the video is still clear and easy to see.
Installation of the Oco is very simple, and is basically set up by mounting it (or setting it on a flat surface), plugging it in, downloading the app on your smartphone or tablet, and snapping a QR code with the camera. Of course, you also need to sign up for an iVideon account before using, which is a minor annoyance if you’re sick of having an account for everything under the sun. However, it’s quick and painless to sign-up.
The design of the Oco camera is good, as the camera itself is shaped like a puck and is housed in a square housing for mounting on ceilings or standing on desks. Its dimensions are 2.7 inches x 1.25 inches. The Oco can stand on its own, and won’t move unless you or someone else physically moves it. You’re able to swivel the camera a full 360 degrees and tilt it more than 90 degrees. It also comes standard with a long USB cord (which plugs into the back of the Oco)
The iVideon companion app for the Oco WiFi camera works well, but it just feels like it lacks features. For one, it’s not immediately obvious that you’re able to zoom in and out with your Oco through the app, although you can by simply using a pinch zoom motion like you would for most images on Android phones. Simplistic apps are good, but apps that are too basic are a flaw.
Unfortunately, cloud storage has to be paid for, although there is a 7 Day free trial. Cloud storage for your Oco will cost you another $3.99/month, which you can pay in one month increments or pay $39 for an entire year of cloud storage. Luckily, this purchase can be made right through the iVideon app itself with a debit or credit card. Still, it would be nice if we could set it up to use any of the free online cloud storage solutions.
For the $140 price tag, the Oco has some of the standard features that the pricier cameras like the Nest DropCam or the iON camera have. Although the Oco is only a 720p camera, I personally don’t see 1080p for surveillance as an essential feature (which is pretty much what separates the Oco from the other WiFi surveillance cameras). It’s quite easy to set up, and even those hesitant to new technology should be able to follow the simple setup instructions. It’s companion app is a bit simplistic, but the biggest flaw of the Oco is that you can’t set it to use a free cloud storage solution for recorded videos, and are instead forced to pay monthly to use iVideon’s cloud service. However, that flaw also exists with other WiFi cameras in its class, like the DropCam Pro. So if you’re looking for full HD and are okay with paying more, go with the DropCam Pro, but if you’re looking just to keep an eye on your home while you’re away or want to ensure that your kids get off of the bus and into the house safely after school, go with the Oco.
Our Review: 3.5 out of 5.0
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