After their meteoric rise to home security stardom in 2017, Seattle-based startup Wyze Labs became a favorite of the millennial and gen-Z set,1 loved both for their minimalistic, cube-shaped build and for their super-low camera prices.
Today, the scrappy startup is still shattering industry norms, keeping the focus on customers and offering a quality low-cost option. This balance of affordability and features immediately attracted us to the cameras when we tested and reviewed Wyze Cams hands-on. And we have to say, this budget brand has become quite popular with renters for effective apartment security.
After subjecting these cameras to our full battery of tests, we think it’s time now to look deeper into Wyze the brand, and their equipment costs, plans, packages, and deals.
To start things off, let’s lay out some of our favorite Wyze features:
We’ve seen lots of change in the security industry over the years,2 some good, some not so good; but one of the biggest changes is the number of cheap cameras that have popped up. In fact, that’s what led us to review the best cheap security cameras available.
Of course, you have to be careful here, as not all brands share that same dedication to quality. An example: Swann cameras, while also considered “affordable” with prices ranging from about $70 to $200, didn’t wow us in terms of equipment quality. That said, Swann sells all sorts of cameras, some of which are pretty solid.
Clearly, there’s no one-size-fits-all security camera. But in our view, Wyze – with equipment priced from $19.99 for the standard Wyze Cam to $49.99 for a new Wyze Outdoor Starter Bundle – comes pretty close.
Pro Tip: Wyze keeps their inventory relatively small, with only a few cameras to choose from. If you’re partial to more selection, check out our review of Lorex cameras. We think Lorex could be a great alternative, although equipment can get pricey. Their HD indoor cam, for $49.99, has a tougher build than Wyze, too.
For $19.99, Wyze’s flagship camera is not going to knock your socks off in video resolution. But this pint-sized cam is going to perform in 1080p HD as long as you have a stable, working Wi-Fi connection (and who doesn’t these days?).
In our experience working with inexpensive cams, we’ve found that the products still perform the basic functions of home security pretty well. Wyze is no different, but what stands out about Wyze is that it manages to inject a lot of features we don’t see often in cameras at this price point.
With this camera, we got clear video, two-way audio, sound detection, motion zones, infrared night vision, and even a free cloud storage plan. And, all Wyze Cams come with micro SD card slots, freeing you from monthly fees or service agreements. Even industry-leading Ring cameras and packages don’t offer the option of local storage like Wyze does. But trust us, in our latest Ring camera review we were reminded that this ever-popular brand brings plenty to the table, including features galore.
In terms of pan-tilt cameras, this one isn’t revolutionary; it actually reminded us of a child’s toy as it zipped to and fro like a champ, entertaining the youngsters while covering every angle in one room – a feat only achieved thanks to full 360-degree rotation.
And speaking of rotation, when you buy a pan-and-tilt camera, you’ll get a lot more visual coverage over your space than a static-lens camera. The $80 Blink Indoor camera, for example, is a high-functioning device with all the power and performance we’re looking for. But without the pan-and-tilt lens, we’d still need a couple of Blink3 cameras to do what one Wyze Cam Pan can do.
With Wyze Cam Pan, we have that same minimalistic design as Wyze Cam, but housed in a rotating base. And it costs just $10 more. As far as upfront costs, Wyze is consistently easy on the pocketbook.
|Model||Camera Type||Key Features||Price|
|Wyze Cam||Indoor||Full HD, two-way talk, night vision, smart sound alerts||$19.99|
|Wyze Cam Pan||Indoor||1080p HD, pan & tilt, two-way audio, sound/motion detection||$29.99|
|Wyze Cam Outdoor||Outdoor||1080p HD, night vision, two-way talk, weatherproof||$49.99 (with starter kit)|
|Wyze Video Doorbell||Doorbell||1080p HD, two-way talk, night vision||$29.99|
We can’t do Wyze justice without mentioning all the new gadgets they’ve been rolling out lately.
These smart home devices in Wyze’s arsenal – a smart watch, a sprinkler controller, and a bathroom scale, to name a few – represent the brand’s tendency to push the boundaries of the industry4 for true home automation. And they all stay true to Wyze’s emphasis on keeping costs low.
|Wyze Plug Outdoor||Smart plug||$19.99|
|Wyze Watch||Smart/fitness watch||$19.99|
|Wyze Robot Vacuum||Room-mapping floor vacuum||$199.99|
|Wyze Thermostat||Smart thermostat||$49.99|
|Wyze Headphones||Noise-cancelling headphones||$49.99|
|Wyze Home Monitoring Kit||Motion and entryway sensors, hub, Wyze Sense keypad||$49.99|
Each Wyze camera comes with free, rolling 14-day cloud storage. This way, checking your cameras’ video history is a tap away, and you can monitor your home 24/7 with no monthly fees.
As we all know well, bills add up. And paying for cloud storage on a monthly basis can sometimes feel like you’re never fully free of the expense of securing your home. Sometimes, you just want to plunk down a few bucks for some nice-looking equipment and call it a day.
Thankfully, Wyze’s pricing model for cloud storage is pretty simple: If you want more than the included 14-day storage, it’ll cost you $1.25 per camera per month. This is lower than the industry average, as we typically see cloud storage plans range in cost between $3-$5 (or more) per camera monthly.
So there we have it: Bargain-basement equipment prices plus economical monthly costs, all in one camera. Wyze checks those boxes simultaneously, which is pretty rare, and quite welcomed.
FYI: Another great camera brand we’ve used recently is called Zmodo. With Zmodo’s line of cameras and systems, equipment won’t cost you much, though you’ll still pay at least $5 per month for a cloud storage plan. At $1.25 per month, Wyze offers an equally generous plan in terms of storage capacity. Just something to think about as you compare brands to find the right fit.
|Event Video Length||12 seconds||Unlimited|
|Cooldown Period||5 minutes||No cooldown|
|Price||Free||$1.25 per month per camera|
The story goes that the founders of Wyze met while they were employees at Amazon, hatched a brilliant startup idea, and before long we had two little Wyze cams that cost a fraction of what the leaders in the industry cost.
And the nod to minimalist design5 is no accident, either. It’s become somewhat trendy to declutter, and Wyze is a shoo-in for folks who don’t like bulky, cumbersome gadgets taking up space in their homes. It’s part of the reason Wyze is a hands-down favorite among people who live in small spaces.
Pro Tip: They may be cheap, but not everyone is a fan of Wyze’s whimsical, cubic shape. If you’re looking for something more robust, an outdoor bullet-style camera might be a better fit. If you go this route, check out Ezviz’s CN3 camera for equipment that’s intimidating enough to make the bad guys think twice. And to read about our experience with the brand, check out our full Ezviz review here.
1080p HD Resolution
Wyze Cams are designed to deliver 1080p HD resolution in their videos. This is not only the industry standard for security cameras, it’s also an ideal definition for Wi-Fi and wireless cameras. Our Wyze tests yielded vivid images and smooth video recordings, with some loss of definition at night.
Smart Home Integration
While it’s not integrated into Wyze’s technology, you can connect your Wyze cameras with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and most other smart home ecosystems. After finding the Wyze skill in our Alexa app, we connected the cams to our Echo Show. Now, we can say “Alexa, show me the front door” or “Alexa, turn on the lights” to view our live stream anytime we want.
As an active deterrent against break-ins, two-way voice is an invaluable tool. Wyze cameras have both a built-in speaker and microphone, allowing us to speak to whomever is at the other end – possibly breaking up a crime in progress. Also, the mic minimizes ambient sound to provide clear, high-quality audio.
Installation is simple with Wyze, as their cameras require nothing more than a power cord and a Wi-Fi connection to work. We even had the option of installing Wyze cameras using a 3M double-sided adhesive, meaning no tools are needed for installation.
Detecting activity in dimly lit areas is a necessity for security cameras, especially if you plan on using them outside. Many Wyze cameras have infrared night vision, which helps zero in on details under unfavorable lighting conditions.
In addition to selling individual cameras and accessories, Wyze also bundles some items for extra savings. But take caution here: What Wyze calls “bundles” isn’t exactly what we would consider bundles. Rather, a Wyze Cam v2 Bundle includes one camera, one mounting kit, and one micro SD card – for $38.
That setup is marked down 10%, so you’ll save at least a few bucks with a bundle like this.
Most bundle setups offered by other brands are significantly more expensive than Wyze’s bundles. A Night Owl Security System bundle, for example, contains four cameras and an eight-channel video recorder. And for all that, you’re looking at about $400 – not even in the same ballpark as a “bundle” offered by Wyze.
So when choosing home security products, look for packages like these to save some money. But beyond those minor markdowns on bundles, we don’t typically see deep discounts on Wyze cameras.
A brand with a dedication to improving quality without charging high prices is something we always like to see in this industry. These days, Wyze’s approach has inspired some healthy competition. Nowadays, you can buy a $20 security camera pretty easily.
But while that whole “get what you pay for” approach is alive and well across this industry, Wyze still stands out, as an affordable indoor camera brand with features typically only found in higher-end (read: $$$) cameras.
For more tips on building a secure home on a budget, check out our buying guide for home security cameras.
No. Wyze cameras don’t include a battery, so you’ll have to plug them into a wall outlet with the included power cord.
Yes. In terms of smart home ecosystems, Wyze integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. It does not currently integrate with Apple HomeKit.
No. All Wyze cameras, including the most recent v3 releases, work alone.
In addition to saving your video history, Wyze’s cloud storage plan lets you record snapshots and video clips to the cloud, or download footage to your phone or tablet. Subscriptions start at $2.49 per month for 7 days of video history. That’s a great price compared to the competition.
Yes. Wyze Cams include 14 days of cloud storage for free, so you can livestream footage, receive alerts and control your cameras remotely through the Wyze app without signing up for a Cam Plus subscription.
Alton, L. (2017, Oct. 2) Millennials Want Smart Home Tech More Than Anyone. Techzone.
Laterman, K. (2018, Dec. 16). The Latest Trends in Home Security. The New York Times.
Bishop, T. (2019, May 8). Amazon’s Blink unveils new security camera with ‘exclusive’ chip and 2-year battery life. Geekwire.
Atallah, J. et al. (2018, April 23). How a tiny camera startup is taking on Amazon and Google. Business Insider.
Weinswig, D. (2016, Sept. 7). Millennials go Minimal: The Decluttering Lifestyle Trend That’s Taking Over. Forbes.