Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan and Tilt review: Smart, swively, and super cheap

Short on looks, but long on features, and really easy on your wallet

Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan and Tilt
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Indoor security cameras need to be helpful, they need privacy features, and they need to look good. Two out of three ain’t bad for the Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan and Tilt.

This bulbous blob of white plastic is superb at keeping close watch over multiple, contiguous rooms while you're out, and can go dark when you’re home - unless your dog starts to counter surf, in which case it can yell at him for you.

Because it only costs $50 we’ll let the unattractive design slide, especially as the chunky shape necessitates one of the camera’s best features - the ability to swivel 360 degrees on its base. It also live streams and records up to 2K video, and has on-board AI smarts that can tell the difference between a person, a pet or general motion.

The Eufy Indoor Cam is wired, stores footage locally, and doesn't require subscription fees for any of its features (although cloud storage is an option).

Plus it’s compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and HomeKit, including HomeKit Secure Video.

So, is it the perfect indoor smart security camera, in spite of its looks? How does it compare to other budget security cameras such as the Wyze Cam, Blink Mini or the TP-Link Kasa Spot?

We’ve been living with the Eufy Indoor Cam for 2 months now, read on for our full review.

Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan and Tilt review: A lot in a little package

Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan & Tilt: Design and setup

The Eufy Indoor Cam Pan and Tilt has strong department-store-security-camera vibes, resembling a mini version of those large dome cameras that hang on the ceiling and follow you as you check out the dinnerware.

Eufy's large, black round camera face literally follows you as you pass it, which is really unnerving and prompted the rest of my household to insist it be turned off when anyone was home. It doesn’t have a loud motor sound when the camera moves, a bonus as this thing is noticeable enough.

Read This: EufyCam2 review - A feature-packed security camera that rivals the big boys

The unsightly aesthetic is probably why the pan and tilt style hasn’t really taken off in the smart home yet, and while we won't be mounting this thing on our ceiling (it can be done) you do still get a lot of the functionality of its 360 degree view just by popping it on a flat surface.

Setup was super simple, and because we weren’t installing it on a wall or ceiling (a mount for this is included), all we had to do was plug it in, scan it with the Eufy app, and follow the instructions to get it on our Wi-Fi network (2.4GHz only). To connect it HomeKit was similarly straightforward, and it also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to allow streaming security footage to a smart screen.


Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan and Tilt review: A lot in a little package

Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan & Tilt: Features

Feature-rich is an overused term in the smart home world, but this camera is seriously wealthy.

While the motorized pan and tilt (360 horizontal and 96 degree vertical) is the stand out reason to get this camera, the Eufy Indoor Cam also rocks 2k video quality, customizable activity zones, a 125-degree field of view, and an 8x digital zoom.

Affordable rival: Reolink Argus 3 security camera review

Local storage to a microSD card (up to128GB) is an option, as is continuous video recording (up to 12 days with the largest SD card), IR night vision, person and pet detection, and sound detection (including a specific crying baby setting) - all features that cost extra with most other companies but are free here.

There is a cloud subscription option - $2.99 a month for 30 days of video history for one cam, or $9.99 for 10 - but it's solely for storing video if you don’t want to use an SD card (which is not included).

If you set it up with HomeKit you can enable HomeKit Secure Video and store your videos using your iCloud storage. There’s also two-way audio, and the option of using geofencing or scheduling to tell the camera when to record or not.

Read this: Apple HomeKit Secure Video explained

Sound detection can listen for all sounds or just a baby crying - so can be used as a baby monitor - but there currently is no two-factor authentication (Eufy says it's coming), so we’d avoid putting this in a child’s room until it's more secure.

Our favorite feature is the Pet Command. Draw an activity zone and have the camera bark a command every time it sees an animal in that zone. Our dog is a terrible counter surfer and we set this up to yell at him every time he came scrounging for scraps. You can even record your own voice for the command, making it much more effective (see the video below for the feature in action).

Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan & Tilt: Performance

We’ve tested a lot of security cameras and the Eufy Cam 2k has some of the best daylight video we’ve seen. The 2k delivers vivid, detailed images - we could even zoom in and read the notes stuck to the side of our fridge. Night vision is similarly superb, although there’s no color option, objects are clearly defined with no blur or distortion and people and animals easy to identify.

Ding dong: Eufy Video Doorbell 2K review

The two-way audio is a little weak, as the camera has a pretty small speaker in its base. You can hear what's going on in the room fine, but can’t be heard very loudly. The speaker does pack a decent siren however, which is loud enough to get someone’s attention.

Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan and Tilt review: A lot in a little package

We tried out a few places for our test unit, starting as we normally do on a shelf in the far corner of our kitchen. We soon realized that it made more sense to put it in the middle of the living area, as we could then see into every corner of both the living room and the kitchen using the 360 rotation.

The rotation is more of an owl-like back and forth than an Exorcist, full-circumference job. When you get to the furthest reach you can't keep going, you have to go back the other way. But the pan and tilt controls in the Eufy app are really easy to use and super responsive. The only disappointment is the limited 96 degree vertical range, which means you can't see much of the floor if your camera is higher than coffee table height.

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For privacy, when you turn the camera off in Eufy’s app it curls back in on itself, hiding its “eye” away entirely - a feature we liked as it made our nervous housemates, less nervous. When it does this it also reveals the hiding place of the SD card.

Other privacy options include being able to disable video recording and push notifications when you’re home using geofencing. For more advanced privacy features, hook it up to HomeKit Secure Video, which includes the options to turn the camera off completely, or disable all recording and streaming but still send you notifications and use the camera's motion sensor to trigger HomeKit automations.

Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan and Tilt review: A lot in a little package

When it’s turned on, the Eufy Indoor Cam delivers speedy notifications, telling you if it spots a person, pet or other motion, and tracking the subject as it moves past it. This motion tracking is handy, if a little jerky and it doesn’t use the camera’s zoom function, so you don’t get a close up view.

HSV budget rival: Aqara Indoor Camera G2H review

Speaking of HomeKit, we spent a month with just the Eufy app and a month using Eufy with HomeKit and are a bit torn. While HomeKit gets you a lot of great features, including a handy scrollable timeline view of your video events, 10 days of recorded videos with your iCloud subscription, thumbnail alerts, and similar AI detection features, you lose some of Eufy’s best features.

Gone is the ability to pan and tilt (although you can still do it in the Eufy app) and the 2K video (it forces you down to 1080p), but the dealbreaker for us is HomeKit disables the activity zones and pet command feature. While the zones will return with iOS14, that dog monitoring option is just too useful to pass on.


Eufy Indoor Cam 2k Pan and Tilt
This is one of the smartest, most useful indoor cameras we've tested and for the price, it can't be beaten. It has most of the features we want, including excellent 2k video, superb night vision, 360-degree coverage, and person/pet detection (no facial recognition though). Local storage or HomeKit Secure Video means you don't have to pay any monthly fees and its Pet Command feature is fantastic. Unfortunately, it's not a very attractive design to pop in the middle of your living room and it only works on 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, but these are small grumbles for what is a very good, very inexpensive security camera.
PROS
  • Inexpensive
  • 360-degree coverage
  • Built-in siren
  • Local storage
  • HomeKit, Alexa and Google
CONS
  • No 2FA
  • Plasticky build
  • SD card not included
  • Loses features in HomeKit


TAGGED    security cameras

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