Samsung smart security camera has basics covered

Last November, Singtel added a home-monitoring video service, dubbed SmartCam, to its suite of smart home solutions.

Like most of the existing smart home devices offered by Singtel, the SmartCam service comes with a Samsung SmartThings Camera, a 720p Wi-Fi security camera.

Also included are 14 days of cloud storage (or till 10GB storage is used) for all the motion-triggered videos uploaded by the camera. The service is exclusive to Singtel and available with a two-year contract ($8.90 monthly for 24 months).

No Samsung smartphone or Samsung smart home devices are required to use the SmartCam service. Simply install Samsung's SmartThings app (for iOS and Android) on a smartphone to set up and control the camera. A Samsung account is necessary to use the app.

Adding the camera using the app was straightforward enough. The camera must be powered via a micro-USB connector and be ready to sync (indicated by its LED blinking in amber). Scan the QR code at the back of the camera to start the process.

Once set up, the camera is visible on the Dashboard of the SmartThings app. Monitor the live video feed from the camera from anywhere with Internet access. When the camera detects any motion within its view, a notification from the SmartThings app will appear on your smartphone.

It will also start to record a video of between 10 and 120 seconds - the duration can be changed in the setting - and upload it to the cloud.

  • SPECS

  • PRICE: $8.90 a month over 2 years ($213.60)

    VIDEO RESOLUTION: Up to 1,280 x 720 pixels

    VIDEO FORMAT: H.264

    FIELD OF VIEW: 110 degrees

    NIGHT VISION: Yes

    MOTION DETECTION: Yes

    MOBILE APPS: iOS and Android

    WEIGHT: 155g

  • RATING

  • FEATURES: 3/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3.5/5

    WEIGHT: 155g

As security cameras go, the SmartThings Camera's features are basic. It shoots 720p videos, which should suffice for most home users, though its 110-degree field of view is not as wide as many of its competitors. It can see in the dark - the footage it took at night seemed clear enough to me. The camera's monitoring area can be adjusted in the app, but there is no microphone for audio capture.

It can be used by itself without being a part of a Samsung-powered smart home, but it is more useful as part of one. For instance, it could automatically record videos when a Samsung smart sensor detects smoke or water leakage. Or the camera could be used to trigger a smart siren when it detects motion.

• Verdict: Samsung's smart security camera is easy to set up and performs the basic functions well.

Vincent Chang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2019, with the headline 'Samsung smart security camera has basics covered'. Print Edition | Subscribe