Whether you’re worried about crime or just want to check on your fur baby, Wyze can help you keep tabs on the homefront for cheap. It’s the most affordable security brand we’ve tested with free DIY monitoring and cameras around $20. Considering the low cost, we were surprised to get features like two-way talk and long-range night vision (up to 30 feet!) on every model. The cams can even text you when they sense smoke alarms.
When we took Wyze cameras for a spin, and we were impressed by its simple setup and advanced features. One big catch was that these plug-in cameras lack batteries, so you’ll lose video security if your home’s electricity goes out. Of course, some pricier cams have the same drawback, but many other models can stay on guard even during blackouts. In this review, we share our initial thoughts and overall opinions from our first-hand experience out Wyze’s security cameras, motion sensors, and smart home accessories to help you make an educated decision for you and your household.
|Wyze Products||Product Type||Cost|
|Wyze Cam Pan||Camera||$29.99|
|Wyze Lock||Smart Lock||$89.99|
|Wyze Bulb||Smart Light||$7.99|
|Wyze Plug||Smart Plug||$14.99|
With dirt-cheap prices for modern tech, Wyze is really democratizing home security. Their security cameras sell for just $19.99 to $29.99, which is incredibly cheap compared to other well-known home security companies, including Ring and Nest. No doubt, we were skeptical about this low cost. Other Wyze accessories are bargain-priced as well.
The question is, how’s the quality? Our team found Wyze security cameras to be pretty darn impressive. Each model has HD resolution, custom motion zones, two-way voice, and other features usually reserved for expensive alternatives or locked behind a subscription service.
Of course, it’s not all wine and roses. Two possible deal-breakers:
FYI: You can (sort of) use Wyze Cams outdoors. Wyze doesn’t market their cameras as weatherproof, but you can protect them with a clear slip-on hood, protecting them from dust and water splashes. Parts of the camera will still be exposed to the natural elements, though, so it’s best to install Wyze Cams under eaves and other sheltered areas. Note, this DIY adaptation could void your warranty, as Wyze Cams are intended for indoor use.
Complaints aside, Wyze cams offer a solid security camera option at an affordable price. The more we explored their features and capabilities, the more we acknowledged that the excitement about Wyze cams isn’t just hype — they are the real deal for those looking to monitor their homes on a budget.
Wyze Labs was founded in Seattle, Washington, by former Amazon engineers in 2017.1 Their mission: To make equipment available at significantly lower prices than people’s preconceptions. They debuted the first Wyze Cam, now known as Wyze Cam V1.2 The initial cost was just $19.99, but it showed off advanced features and offered free storage. Now on Wyze Cam V2, the Wyze Labs lineup has expanded to include more cams, a motion sensor, and smart home accessories. Consumers now have the option to spend $40 with Wyze or $400 on another camera brand. While they don’t offer the professional monitoring we prefer, Wyze fills a budget-minded, DIY desire in the market.
Wyze surprised us with intelligent alerts. When the camera detects motion and starts to record, it highlights the trigger source with a green box. This feature can be a great timesaver, and we haven’t seen it anywhere else. You can also set the motion detector’s sensitivity from one to 100 and specify zones to exclude from detection to reduce false alerts. Our team curtailed false alerts by taking a few minutes to exclude a neighbor’s driveway from our camera’s attention.
Keeping home security affordable is the Wyze way. You’ll get free (but limited) cloud storage with every cam. The free deal doesn’t let you record nonstop or on-demand, only when the sensor detects motion, and there’s a cooldown period between clips, so you could potentially miss important movements. It’s worthwhile to spend a little more for better video security. Wyze gives you two options: A cloud storage plan ($1.49 per month per camera) or local storage via your own data card ($9.99 per card).
Each Wyze Cam has 1080p HD resolution, which meets the industry standard, and we found it more than adequate for catching potential criminals. In our case, fortunately, Wyze only had to record the mail carrier — but our team could pick him out of a lineup! You can record in HD nonstop for up to 48 hours if you keep an SD card in the Pan Cam. You can also keep storing continuous video after two days, but the clarity will drop to standard definition (SD).
Like most of the top home security cameras on the market, Wyze Cams not only work by day, but they also stay awake by night. At dusk, the cams switched from full-color recording to 18 shades of gray. Built-in LED lights help capture detail up to 30 feet away.
Two-way audio has become a standard we expect in home security cameras, and Wyze is no exception. The audio isn’t fancy, and the brand doesn’t boast about noise cancellation, for example, but in our tests, the communication was crisp. While this feature could let you holler at intruders through your phone, you’ll probably use it more as a home intercom or to catch up with family members when you’re away.
Our team likes chatting with Alexa, so we’re happy that Wyze likes Alexa, too. With voice control in mind, we gave our cameras natural-sounding names in the app: kitchen cam, hallway cam, etc. Then, we could use commands like, “Alexa, show the kitchen cam,” to see a live stream of the kitchen (you will need an Amazon Echo speaker to get this power.) We were feeling a tad guilty when we wanted the video stream to stop because the command was, “Alexa, go away!”
Carbon monoxide and fires can be more dangerous than theft. So, we really appreciated Wyze’s smart sound recognition. It’s a free feature in the Wyze app.3 Just tap an icon to activate and put your regular smoke and CO alarms on steroids. Smart sound recognition doesn’t make the sirens louder, but it lets Wyze Cams be on alert in case the sound of a home alarm rings through your property.4 This event will trigger a smartphone alert, so you’ll know about trouble ASAP, no matter where you are.
Time-lapse video is a neat feature, and it’s absent from cameras that cost a lot more. The feature has serious applications, of course, but we couldn’t help having fun. After specifying intervals beforehand, Wyze will snap a picture at each interval, then combine the pics into a video animation. You can see the creative potential of Wyze Cam’s time-lapse function on their blog, which shows a time-lapse of an artist’s sketch.5
Wyze Cam V2 is the successor of the original Wyze Cam. The camera’s minimalistic design showcases a white casing, a light gray base, and a black lens outline. We installed it by simply setting it on top of a shelf. Wyze includes removable adhesive tape for affixing the cam to a hard surface. They also sell a magnetic mounting kit ($3.99) for the best stability. At only $19.99, this model has just about all the features we’ve come to expect from home security cams: 1080p HD resolution, custom motion alerts, live video streaming, infrared night vision, two-way talk, and more. Wyze Cam V2 even offers capabilities that pricier security cameras lack, such as smart sound detection for smoke and CO2 alarms, as well as a time-lapse video feature.
The main drawback is that there’s no backup battery. Also, we noticed a fisheye effect with the 110-degree wide-angle lens. Despite these disadvantages, the Wyze Cam V2 is a solid option considering the price.
Wyze Cam Pan is the most advanced Wyze camera and the one we liked the best. It shares most of the features of the Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Black, including night vision, adjustable motion detection, and two-way audio. The key difference is the 360-degree coverage. While other Wyze Cams feature 110-degree viewing angles and are static, the Pan Cam has a 120-degree lens that spins for 360-degree coverage. So depending on your home layout, the Wyze Pan Cam can be a worthwhile upgrade from the Wyze Cam V2 for only $10 more. Like the other cameras, the Wyze Pan Cam can save to cloud storage or a local SD card.
By default, the Pan Cam will rotate to survey 360 degrees in under three seconds. You can also set up to four custom stopping points, which are called way stations. We used a magnetic mount (sold separately) to install a Pan Cam on the kitchen ceiling, and then we used clips to keep the cord from drooping. We set our custom waypoints at our home’s front door, the garage entry door, and the adjacent family room.
For review, our only complaint with the Wyze Cams is that they don’t run on battery power. The corded look isn’t very trendy or practical, and a backup battery would help add more security.
Setting up a Wyze Cam is easy for just about anyone. First, whichever camera you choose, it will plug into a wall socket. Each camera comes with a 6-foot USB cord and adapter. We found this cord to be a little short for our home office, though, so we sprung for mounting kits with cord extensions.
Once you plug your camera in, it flashes a yellow light. This indication lets us know that it’s ready to connect with the mobile app.6 Next, we entered our home Wi-Fi password in the Wyze app, pressed the SETUP button on the camera, and followed automated voice prompts to complete the setup.
A fairly new company, Wyze Labs hasn’t rolled out that many products. Along with the featured indoor cameras, they sell a motion detector called Wyze Sense and a small range of home automation products.
Wyze Sense is a motion sensor. The price really jumps out, as we’re accustomed to paying a lot more for other brands. Then we realized that you need a $20 bridge, so the savings weren’t as dramatic. As pet owners, we weren’t huge fans of Wyze Sense. We quickly realized that unless we wanted constant alerts as the pets go about their days (and nights), we needed to limit the sensors to specific areas. Hopefully, the next generation of Wyze products will address this issue for pet owners.
Pardon the pun, but Wyze Bulbs are a bright idea. When your hands are full, or you just don’t feel like moving, you can use your voice to dim the light or switch bulbs on and off. When you’re away from home, Wyze Vacation Mode can manipulate your lights for smart security. Our team bought a four-pack of 800-lumen (60W) bulbs for $29.99, which is surprisingly low-priced, and they last for about 20,000 hours! These handy bulbs are standard size (A19) and connect to the Wyze app without a bridge or hub.
Now we feel like the Jetsons! Smart plugs, in general, are among our favorite smart home accessories. Not every security brand can support them, but Wyze offers reliable smart plugs for cheap. With slim features, each Wyze Plug can slip into a regular outlet without blocking nearby plugs, and whatever lamp or small appliance you connect, it’s now a remote-controlled part of your home. It’s convenient to control lighting with the Wyze app or let lights operate automatically in Vacation Mode. To make it more fun, we asked Alexa to turn on the radio and start the coffee pot.
This option is particularly useful because a microSD card lets you store audio and video locally. That means you aren’t limited by Wyze’s cloud storage, which is meant for motion-triggered clips, not long-term recording.
The primary benefit for security is that you can store two-day (48 nonstop hours) of HD footage. Need more time? Take a week’s vacation, and the card can store a full week of activities in standard definition. A microSD card is a must if you want to take advantage of the time-lapse feature. Keep in mind that you cannot save time-lapse footage to the cloud.
The Wyze Lock is very affordable as far as smart locks go. Usually, we pay around $149 for brands like Schlage and Yale. So once again, Wyze is priced to compete in this very competitive market. On the downside, competitors have more comprehensive selections in terms of smart lock finishes and technologies. This sole smart lock option from Wyze comes in a silver tone. You can control the deadbolt over Zigbee and Bluetooth.7
This instrument was the most time-consuming Wyze accessory to install, but still, we got the job done within 15 minutes. The unit connects to Wi-Fi over a Gateway ($19.99), which you should plug into an outlet near your door.
While you can purchase Wyze products separately, another option is the Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack. This package gives you a four-piece set with a Wyze Cam V2, Wyze Sense motion detector, Wyze Plug, and Wyze Bulb. We didn’t go this route, but it’s an excellent deal for just $99.
The Wyze Cam Pan Mounting Kit allows you to attach the unit to a wall. The kit comes with a bracket with a hinge, a 15-foot cable, cable clips, screws, and a wall anchor. We found the installation guide to be particularly helpful. Setup took about 15 minutes and would definitely be quicker the second time around.
At just $9.99, the Wyze Surge Protector is a smart buy. Like other Wyze products, it performs well as an alternative to other brands, and for less money. Most notably, it has three USB ports as well as three standard outlets. We liked how it’s designed to fit snugly behind furniture and other hiding spaces, which keep cords out of the way. It also features pads to protect your wood flooring.
Wyze launched a subscription plan late last year called Complete Motion Capture Service. For just $1.49 per month (per camera), Wyze removes the 12-second cap, allowing you to capture all motion or sounds that trigger the camera. This plan is a great deal, as even the closest competitor, Ring, charges $3 per month (per camera). The Wyze plan automatically renews unless you cancel more than 24 hours before the end of a month-long term.
Alternatively, you can self-monitor each of your cameras with motion alerts, live stream, and footage saved to the cloud (for free). A big limitation that sticks out to us is that the free plan only saves 12-second clips that are triggered by motion or alarms. After that, the camera will enter a “cool-off” mode for five minutes before it records again. This setup could miss important events, which is why we think Wyze’s Complete Motion Capture Service is an essential monitoring option.
Pro Tip: Let the Wyze app monitor your smoke alarms and CO detector. Just enable the option under “Alert Settings” to get a smartphone notice if a siren sounds.
Wyze customer service has some strong points, but it also has room to grow. They first try to answer questions online via live support. You can find their customer service number with a Google search or on your packing list, but it isn’t prominent on their website. When you need assistance with Wyze products, the most readily-accessible options are an automatic troubleshooter, a community forum, and a how-to section with manuals.
We tried using their online chat for some questions that we had, but we were just communicating with a bot. The bot beautifully explained how to mount a camera with a magnetic plate; however, it couldn’t answer a simple question about Wyze’s customer service number.
The website encourages you to file a ticket and get help by email for direct human contact. Meanwhile, we tried the customer service number for phone support. This call was on a Monday morning, a time when many companies have prolonged wait periods, but we received friendly support on the line within 20 seconds. Live support is available weekdays from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST, and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Even though we did not have to use it, we were pleasantly surprised by Wyze’s warranty coverage. Their coverage is free and protects purchases for a year, so it meets industry standards even with the low prices associated with Wyze cameras. Wyze will pay for return shipping if you get a faulty product. You also get a 30-day return period, even if there isn’t trouble with the equipment.8 The only catch is that you need to provide all the original packaging and pay for return shipping, which you coordinate with the company beforehand.
You can expect Wyze Cams to work well beyond the one-year warranty period. Customer complaints about non-functioning cams are rare, and that’s with tens of thousands of verified customers offering reviews. As a reminder, you must submit a claim for them to review it and comply with the warranty terms.
We can’t sing enough praise for how affordable it is to invest in Wyze Cams. Their slogan, “Making great technology accessible,” really means something. We had our fair share of fun when we tested out the products, and we were impressed with the performance of each camera. For only $20, you can protect your home without hurting your bank account.
Wyze Cams are suitable for first-timers to experienced home security cameras users to even those on a tight budget. Our only real complaint is that it’s wired, and there isn’t a backup battery option, and that can be a deal-breaker for a lot of people. Also, it’s hard to say if Wyze’s subscription service will increase in price over time, but so far, it’s the cheapest rate compared to other leading competitors. Where there’s a will, there’s a Wyze.
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Wyze. (2019, December). Time Lapse.
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Zigbee Alliance. (2020). What is Zigbee?
Wyze. (2020, March 31). Return Policy and Limited Warranty Terms.