Fredi WiFi IP Camera provides many of the features you desire in a cost friendly shell, despite some connectivity issues.
When it comes to the safety/security of my family, I am all in. As a father of three (8 and 5-year-old boys and a 2-year-old girl), I have opted for a home monitoring alarm system for the past 7 years. Of the available options, I chose Vivint, a choice that I have come to savor. From perimeter/door control and home monitoring, the company has spread to an entire Smart Home ecosystem. One feature that I have missed, and one I have wanted with each of my children, was a child monitor. Traditionally, my wife and I have used the old-school audio only systems. Fredi provides a WiFi IP Monitor (audio/visual) option that may serve this role very well in my home.
The product arrives in a cartoony package, with a yellow dog-shaped camera on the top. Along the side, you will see a cartoon home with a bumble bee and a heart with wings and a large yellow word “happy.” The back shows a family of 4 dancing next to two dog-shaped cameras. Again, the outside of the packaging is very animated and family oriented. There are no tech specs on the outer carton, which is somewhat odd for a tech device. Opening the box, I found a camera shaped like a white dog with black nose/ears staring up at me.
Removing the camera from the packaging, you will notice a device measuring 3 1/2″ diameter and the antenna stands at just 5″ tall. Underneath the molded thin plastic packaging, you will find a mounting base plate (with universal camera mount), an AC adaptor with a relatively short 36.5″ cord, a contact card with contact numbers and a succinct 6-panel instruction guide. The base of the camera has a universal screw hole, which should accommodate any standard camera/tripod etc. The plastic base (with included screws and wall anchors x 2) will mount to a wall or ceiling or to any flat surface. If desired, you can use the device in the tabletop mode as well. I am a little disappointed in the length of the power cable. Unless you have installed a high outlet on your wall, this 3-foot cable is not going to reach to the lower wall outlets that easily.
The manual details the function of the camera with diagrams and with verbiage. The pictures are very clear and helpful. However, the wording is a bit choppy and broken. The first and most important of the diagrams details how to set up the connections. Plug in the camera and then attach a network cable to the router. You will have to supply your own cable as they provided no ethernet cable with the camera. You can attach the ethernet cable to the router and then control the device using the Yoosee app (IOS and android). I previously downloaded this app for another camera, which used the same app.
The setup is fairly easy and begins with registering an account email and password. You will then need to add a new device by following the instruction manual, again kind of choppy. You will find that pictures are definitely worth more than 1000 words. Select add a new device, and then add the pre-set (super-secure) password for the device “123.” Once this step is done, press the cog icon and enter into the settings subheading. You can select network settings, tap the WiFi of choice and then enter the password. Once completed, you can remove the camera from the wired port and you now have a wireless camera. From inside settings you can change the time, time zone and settings. I adjusted mine to UTC+5 and set the date/time. I then went to picture/sound and found I could adjust motion volume, video quality, reverse image and I turned on motion detection.
The instructions state you do not need to change your password. I do not recommend that you listen to the instructions, as that would be a big huge absolute NONO. CHANGE THE PASSWORD! Defense settings are listed but are not supported by this device. You can adjust alarm settings, alarm email, motion detection. I found that the alarm was hit or miss when alerting my phone. I honestly do not like the alarm as it is not reliable. The camera seems to work better when you log into the app and simply see what the camera sees. I also found that there were some connection issues at times as well and I would get a “connection fail” when trying to connect. I still do not know if this was due to the camera or due to the app. Unplugging the camera from power and plugging it back in worked a few times and others I had to wait. Overall the app is relatively basic and provides a few features. I wish that the connectivity was better as I had to reconnect to my router to regain connection.
Once connected, you will see an image of what the camera sees. You can then drag your finger over the screen and essentially move the little dog head towards your interested point of view. The settings will allow you to adjust the picture/sound to PAL/NTSC video format. It will record in 720P, but you will need a MicroSD card (up to 32GB supported). Even with ideal slider adjustment, you can expect a good crisp detail up to about 15 feet. Zooming in does get a little blurry and the maximal listed range is just at about 30 feet. There is 2-way communication options, allowing talking back and forth. I have used this feature while at work and my children at home. I wish that there was a button to ring my phone (similar to Vivint Ping). This would be a very helpful tool to alert me that my children need me. The two-way audio does work well but is a little quiet.
The device works but appears to be hit or miss. I had no issues for about 1 full week and then all of a sudden it lost connection and I continually received “Connection failed.” Unplugging the camera, setting the phone to airplane mode, closing the app and then reconnecting did work to reconnect. This system can work well if you are interested in basic video monitoring. The power cable is relatively short but an extension cord will solve that problem. There is no battery backup, there is no onboard memory. Each of these adds cost to the device and I understand why they are not present. However, I feel it is important to inform you about them. There are a variety of sliders that control sound/video quality. This does make some difference in image quality and sound. The night camera is quite good and the motion capture is reasonable as well. In all, I would give the product a 3/5 star rating.
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