EufyCam 2 review: A feature-packed security camera that rivals the big boys

Wire-free, subscription-free - a great camera if you don't like being tied-down

EufyCam 2
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Eufy is fast becoming a competitor in the smart home security space, with a full suite of products rivaling that of Nest, Arlo, and Ring at lower prices and – crucially – without a reliance on a cloud subscription. The EufyCam 2 is the company’s flagship security camera and is a really good option if you’re looking for a home security camera system that won't tie you down.

Key features here are 1080p Full HD streaming, a 365-day battery life, IP67 weatherproofing (meaning it can take a dip in the kiddie pool), local storage of all your footage, no required subscription, and HomeKit, Alexa and Google compatibility. Quite the package.

Read this: Best home security cameras

Cost-wise, EufyCam 2 clocks in well under what you’d pay for the likes of an Arlo Ultra or Nest Cam IQ, $299 for a two-pack plus a base station, and $139 for additional cams – $30 cheaper than the least expensive offering from the competition.

We’ve been living with the EufyCam 2 for four months now. Read on for our full review.

eufyCam2 with base station

EufyCam 2: Design and installation

A bullet-style camera, the EufyCam 2 is a hefty, white oblong device. Nice looking, but large, it has a substantial feel and a quality build. The only port is a Micro USB charging port, sealed with a rubber cover, and there’s a small sync button for pairing with the HomeBase. The rear of the camera is magnetic so can attach directly to a metal surface. You can also mount it using an included magnetic mount or screw mount.

The EufyCam 2 needs a Eufy HomeBase 2 to operate, and the starter kit includes two cameras and one HomeBase. The HomeBase works off WiFi or connects to your router via an included ethernet cable. It has a port for charging the cameras and comes with a micro USB charging cable – charging takes about 6 hours.

Set up was super simple, we just plugged in the HomeBase, connected it our router, and pressed the sync button on the camera to pair it with the base, using the Eufy Security app.

We then took the camera to where we wanted to install it and viewed the feed on the app to get the right angle and check signal strength. Impressively, we were able to place it a good 100 yards from our house with no loss of signal. Like Arlo, Eufy uses its own low-power wireless communication protocol so we weren’t at the mercy of our WiFi signal.

eufyCam2 and base station with ethernet port

EufyCam2: Features

EufyCam2 has an strong list of features, including some advanced AI tricks you pay extra for with Nest and Arlo. Person and Human detection (person is when it sees an actual face, human when it sees a body) are the two main options. Eufy says its AI also filters out false positive motion events (trees in the wind).

The other killer feature is 16GB of local storage on the HomeBase, which should be about 30 days of video. This means no cloud storage fees (although it’s an option if you want an offsite backup: $2.99 monthly for 30 days of video history for one cam, or $9.99 for 10 cameras). Additionally, as the AI processing is done locally on the base the alerts are super snappy.

It's a bit of a pain having another white box to find a home for. But the HomeBase supports up to 16 cameras, including Eufy’s new battery-powered doorbell, for which it acts as a chime. It also does double duty as the base for Eufy’s home security system, which includes a motion sensor, door/window sensor, and keypad, so it can work hard for its spot.

Updated: Eufy Video Doorbell 2K review

Video quality is 1080p (the just-released EufyCam 2 Pro has 2K if you need higher quality). Night vision uses 4 infrared sensors and a fancy advanced Sony sensor that Eufy says produces clearer detail. Two-way audio and a built-in siren that can activate when the camera’s tampered with round out the hardware features.

On the software side the app gives you a decent amount of options to control your alerts, including a motion sensitivity slider and activity zones. You can also choose for your motion-activated clips to record from 20 seconds up to 120. There’s no option for continuous recording.

The app is set up as security system – so has Home and Away modes that can tell your cameras to turn on or off on demand. The modes can be triggered by geofencing and scheduling as well as tapping in the app.

eufyCam2 footage in the eufy home app

Eufy integrates with Alexa and Google, and you can call up live feeds on screen-enabled smart speakers – although there’s a considerable lag time here, it takes well over 15 seconds.

Full HomeKit integration is also a big feature, for those who want it. You get to use the Home app, so you can view recordings and live streaming and have the camera trigger automations, plus HomeKit Secure Video can control the camera and provide cloud storage with an iCloud plan from Apple.

eufyCam2 outdoor

EufyCam 2: Performance

EufyCam’s video quality is very good. Colors aren’t quite as rich as the Nest Cam IQ we have in our garden, and there’s a tendency to blow out the images for a few seconds when it first pulls up, but there’s good contrast and a consistently clear picture.

Occasional pixilation in areas of movement is a bit of a flaw, but overall, it’s as good quality as the Nest Cam serves up. The biggest downer is a very limited digital zoom – and there’s no zoom and track feature, which Arlo and Nest have (for a fee).

In the plus column, night vision is excellent, much better than the Nest, with clearer images and good definition – faces are still a little pixelated, but those 4 infrared LEDs make sure nothing can hide in the shadows. You also can't beat that IP67 rating - our Eufy cams survived a full on category 1 hurricane last month with nary a niggle.

Now to the big question… that battery. Will it last a whole year? We’ve had two EufyCams installed for 4 months and have had to charge one twice and the other is still at 48% battery. So, the short answer is, yes. The long answer is, it depends.

We have one camera set to optimal surveillance (longer clips - up to 60 seconds - and more frequent recording) and the other to optimal battery life (shorter clips and longer between detection period to avoid filming the same thing twice). Obviously, the optimal surveillance settings drain the battery quicker – and it was in a high traffic area. The other camera gets less action and looks likely to make it to a year before charging. Compared to every other battery-powered camera however, this battery is a bit of a stunner.

We did find the human / person detection feature to be somewhat spotty. In one instance someone walking across the camera’s field of view, not directly toward it, didn’t trigger a Human alert. However, that was once we had set it up with HomeKit and we had a few other issues when using the cameras across both systems.

Overall, we’d say unless you’re deep into Apple there’s no need to enable HKSV - you get more customization options and controls through Eufy’s app. The only real benefit is being able to use motion detection in the cameras to trigger other HomeKit devices - such as lights or sprinklers. So you could give the neighborhood fox a good scare if he wanders into your yard in the middle of the night.


EufyCam 2
A very good camera, EufyCam 2 is a top choice if you want a reliable, battery-powered smart security camera that won't break the bank, either when you buy it or when you end up having to pay for its features every month. There's cameras with better video quality out there (Eufy has one), but this wire-free, subscription-free option, with a battery that can last an entire year before you have to charge it, is the type of no-fuss device that makes a smart home really smart.
PROS
  • No subscription fee
  • Local storage
  • Good night vision
  • Built-in siren
  • Person detection
  • HomeKit, Alexa, and Google
  • IP67 weatherproofing
CONS
  • Some video issues
  • No 2FA, yet
  • No audio detection
  • No CVR
  • Limited digital zoom


TAGGED    security cameras

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