Apple's smart home platform got off to a slow start, and the Logitech Circle 2 is still one of a tiny handful of HomeKit-compatible cameras.
NEW MODEL: Logitech Circle View review
That looks set to change through 2019 as there appears to be a HomeKit surge taking place, but Logitech's camera isn't only for the Apple crowd. Alexa and Google Assistant both play along, and Logitech has packed in plenty of smarts to make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone, regardless of their platform of choice.
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The Circle 2 is a marked improvement over the first-gen camera, which was only designed for indoor use. The Circle 2 can now be taken outside too, but that means you need to be sure you're buying the right model. We've only tested the wired version, but we'll explain all the differences.
Logitech Circle 2: Design
Let's start by talking about the difference between the two models. The Circle 2 comes in a wired version and a wireless version, which is battery-powered and costs $20 more. The wired one is HomeKit-ready out of the box; the wireless version does not work with Apple's platform.
There is a workaround to this, as discovered by users, which involves tricking the wireless model into thinking it's wired using the window mount and some tape ‚Äď however we wouldn't advise this unless you already have a wireless Circle 2 and desperately want HomeKit support. If you're still thinking of buying, go for the wired model if HomeKit is important to you.
The wired Circle 2 looks like a miniature satellite dish, while the wireless model is more spherical and looks (in our opinion) a little better. Both cameras come with basic wall mounts, but Logitech sells plug and windows mounts separately ‚Äď which are both brilliant.
The plug mount lets you put the camera onto a power socket without needing to mess with cabling, while the window mount means you can place it outside without fixing it to a wall. That's right, you can put that drill away.
And rest assured that if you do opt for the wireless model for putting it outside, it's ready to take on the elements with a weatherproof design and a sturdy build.
Logitech Circle 2: Features and video quality
With 180-degree cover, the Circle 2 is as wide as you're going to get. So, if you‚Äôve an impossibly large space to monitor, this could be just the ticket. Cameras that have a lens with 110 degrees or more tend to be enough, so 180 degrees is really at the top end of what you need. In testing we found it made everything look a little like a skate video. The resolution on this thing is great too, with crystal-clear 1080p video.
The app experience is wonderful on the Circle 2, mostly down to a lot of the hard work being done for you. Alerts are automatically categorised into high- and low-level disturbances and displayed in a timeline of different colours so it's easy to glance and see which is which.
It means you don't have to spend a load of time messing with sliders to adjust the sensitivity so as to not get an alert every time the neighbours' cat shows up. The timeline is, dare we say, even fun to use, and there's a Day Brief that gives you a timelapse of all the activities.
There's no siren like the one you get on the Ring Stick Up Cam, though, for example, so you can't scare off intruders.
While there is a paid subscription on offer, the free tier gives you a day's worth of video history and unlimited downloads. If you throw in $3.99 a month you get up to 14 days of history, per camera, per month ‚Äď or cough up $9.99 a month for added features including activity zones and person detection.
Back to HomeKit ‚Äď the Circle 2's iOS integration is perhaps what impressed us most in testing, and if you do go the HomeKit route you're getting the ability to stream that feed directly to your iOS device. If you're an Alexa user and have an Echo Show or Spot, you can stream your camera video to those devices.
If your Alexa speaker is screen-less, you can still use the assistant to activate the camera, however given that the Circle 2 does a great job of geo-fencing and knows when to turn itself on and off, chances are you'll use this rarely. Meanwhile, Google Assistant support lets you stream the feed either to a TV with Chromecast or a Google Smart Display.
- HomeKit enabled
- Super wide angle 180 degrees
- Fully weatherproof
- Mounts are a bit fiddly
- No scheduling on the app
- Accessories inflate the price