Wyze Labs was founded in the Seattle area, so it’s not surprising that their founders met while working at Amazon. The people behind the brand took a few lessons from Amazon as well, including a belief in almost ruthless efficiency. Wyze sells its products on its website to avoid what it calls “channel fat.”
Wyze has only been around since 2017, when it began as a 25-person startup. A few months after launching, CEO Yun Zhang told GeekWire the company seeks to “democratize the smart home market.” So far, it looks like Wyze is well on its way to doing just that.
Wyze cameras don’t just detect motion; they also use motion tagging technology to place a green box around the activity source. Any time it detects either sound or motion, it will automatically record a 12-second event video.
The rolling 14-day cloud storage means you means you don’t have to pay for extra storage or a monthly subscription. HTTPS secure transfer protocol and end-to-end encryption work together to keep your videos safe from prying eyes. If you want local storage instead, Wyze will happily sell you a 32GB MicroSD card.
The cameras come with a picture so clear that you don’t have to guess what you’re looking at.
When the sun sets, your camera is just getting started. For that you can thank the unique night vision technology that’s capable of detecting 18 steps of gray. The night vision works from up to 30 feet away.
Really, what’s the point of listening to audio if you also can’t respond to it? If you’re at work and check in on your camera to find your dog barking at nothing, you can tell him to cut that out. If you’ve got a cat, you can try to give them directions, but let’s be honest: cats never listen to anyone anyway.
Got Alexa by Amazon? Then you’ve got the power to call up video using only your voice. You can use your phone, tablet, TV, laptop or really anything with a screen. All you need to do is ask Alexa to show you a camera feed. You don’t just get a few seconds of video either; you can use Alexa to watch up to 10 minutes worth of video at once.
A house fire or carbon monoxide leak are two of a homeowner’s worst nightmares. Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are easy to hear when you’re at home, but what if you’re at work or on vacation? Enter smart sound recognition. It’s trained to recognize the sounds of both fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If one or both of those go off, then you’ll get an alert through your phone’s Wyze app no matter what. That extra peace of mind is priceless, but luckily, you don’t have to pay anything extra for it.
Have you ever seen a time lapse video and thought, “That looks neat, but it’s too complicated to set up?” Nothing’s complicated about the Wyze time lapse video feature. To set it up, you need to add a MicroSD card to your camera, since it won’t work with cloud storage. If you leave the house at 8 a.m. and return at 5 p.m., you can set the time lapse to record from 8 to 5. Other than that, all you need to do is tell the camera how often it should snap a photo.
You’ll need an electrical outlet to plug in your Wyze cameras; they won’t run on batteries. Each camera comes packaged with a power adapter and USB cord. The Wyze Cam’s base power cord extends 6 feet, but you can get an 11-foot power cord if you spring for the company’s mounting kit.
To set up the camera, you’ll need to download the Wyze app first. You’ll also need your network name and password. Connect the camera to an outlet and wait for the status light to turn yellow. Then hold down the button marked “set-up” until a voice prompt comes up. After that, just follow the instructions on the app.
You can choose between phone support or live chat. The support team is based in the U.S., and you can contact representatives anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Pacific Time. Wyze does not offer 24-hour support, but you are able to email them anytime and wait for a response. If that’s not quick enough, you may want to check out their list of commonly asked questions or post a question on the community forums.
The value is the biggest reason to buy Wyze. The company knew it was entering a crowded market, so Wyze’s team decided that $20 and $30 cameras were the best way to get customers’ attention. You can easily pay $100 or $200 for comparable cameras from other companies.
Most of the camera’s features are available without any additional purchases. Wyze isn’t trying to attract customers with an artificially low price. The biggest exception is continuous recording. To take advantage of that, you’ll need to buy the optional MicroSD card.
Other companies have extensive product line-ups, but Wyze prefers to keep things low-key. As of this writing, they only offer two cameras, plus a handful of optional accessories.
The first Wyze camera is what started it all, so v2 added a few additional features. The camera has a unique magnetic base that means you can mount it just about anywhere. It also comes with a metal plate and adhesive tape. The live streaming app lets you use 8x digital zoom to inspect something more closely, even if that “something” is just “whatever your dog is carrying around in his mouth.” The 3-axis design also allows you the freedom to tilt or swivel your camera.
If you’re searching for a low-cost camera that pans, then the Wyze Cam Pan is for you. For just $10 more than the basic Wyze Cam, you’ll receive a camera capable of rotating 110-degrees per second. It also offers a 93-degree vertical range in addition to the 360-degree horizontal range. You can already see a lot with Wyze, but the panning camera allows you to take in even more.
If you want a smart home camera that won’t cost you $100 or more, then look no further than Wyze. You can get home security for less than the price of a concert ticket to see your favorite band.
If there’s one major downside to Wyze, it’s the fact that their cameras are only suitable for indoor use. If you want outdoor cameras, you’ll have to get them from a different company. The company’s back-to-basics approach also means they don’t offer professional monitoring. It’s possible their product offerings could grow as the company expands, but right now, you’ll still get a decent amount of features at a ridiculously low cost.