The editorial team at AlfredCamera has decided to give hands-on reviews of some of the best budget cameras on the market. After testing each camera for a period of two to three weeks, we’ll share the things that we love and the things we don’t. We strive to be as honest as possible during the process because we feel that this not only informs our readers about security products, but also helps us to make AlfredCamera a better product.
A strong contender for casual indoor surveillance, the Wyze Cam Pan v2’s nifty motion detection and tracking features make the most of its 360-degree motorized rotation.
- 1080p HD with color night vision (infrared)
- 120° field of view
- 360° horizontal panning, 93° vertical tilting
- Two-way audio
- Motion detection & sound detection
- Continuous recording via microSD (not included)
- Works with Amazon Alexa
|🟢 One of the cheapest panning cameras on the market|
🟢 Motion tracking, tagging, and pan scan features make great use of the panning
🟢 MicroSD card slot for continuous recording
🟢 Sound detection makes it perfectly suited for baby monitoring, and can detect when smoke/CO alarms sound
🟢 Alexa compatible
🟢 Automation ‘Rules’ help tailor the device to the user’s needs
🟢 Built-in siren
|🔴 Mounting tools and instructions are not provided, despite the presence of a base screw hole|
🔴 Latency issues on the livestream
🔴 No Google Voice Assistant support in the in-app menu
🔴 Design and lack of weatherproofing significantly limit what can be done with the device
The Wyze Cam Pan comes in a small cardboard box with thoughtfully designed branding. Inside are two smaller cardboard boxes, one containing the camera itself, and the other containing the charging adaptor and USB cable.
There’s no mounting tools, like screws, included.
A quick start guide written in English and French points users towards the app, with no details on how to mount the camera, even though the camera does have a screw point on the bottom of it that suggests it can be mounted upside down.
Installation & Onboarding
With the Wyze app already installed and an existing account logged in, setup lasted barely a minute in total.
For new users, an email address is required, and the app requests that the user’s location be shared. There’s also the option to hand over a phone number for two factor authentication for additional security, but it isn’t required.
Plug in the device, and a status LED will appear on the front. A voice says when the camera is ready to be paired. From the app, tap ‘add a device’, which requires a Wi-Fi network to be chosen to link.
Since I already had another Wyze device paired to my account, I was able to select the network and have the password entered automatically. For newbies, look forward to having to type out the name of the hub manually!
A QR code will then appear on the app, which is held up to the camera for it to scan. A voice confirms that Wyze is ready for use.
As for mounting, there’s really little to be said—opening the package reveals no mounting tools, stickers, or screws. It’s clear this isn’t designed for wall mounting.
Yet the underside of the camera reveals a screw hole, so it is presumably possible to mount it from a ceiling. Even so, the rigid, upright design of the camera makes it best suited for desktop use.
Hardware – Durability, Aesthetics, Size, Weight
Compared to other cameras under $70 that I have tested, the Wyze Cam Pan v2 is a hefty little guy, just shy of 250 grams. That’s more than double the weight of the Wyze Cam v3.
In a way, the weight conveys quality. The matte white plastic casing looks and feels great, and overall the design is both more attractive and more practical than the Wyze Cam v3, even though they both resemble one another with their liberal references to cubic shapes.
The uniformity of the designs creates a uniformity in the home should users opt to have an arsenal of multiple Wyze devices survey their space.
The lens is on a black ball joint on the top part of the camera, while the status LED and microphone are at the bottom. The back reveals a large speaker with ‘W’ emblem detailing.
Underneath are the setup button and microSD card slot. The USB cable plugs into the circular plate the camera sits on rather than the main body of the camera. The plate doesn’t move, thus avoiding any tangling of the wire as it spins around.
Aside from its weight, it’s also unusually tall for a budget home security device, measuring almost 13 cm in height. A bit like the Wyze Cam v3’s rather ill-thought design, the design itself effectively limits how you can position the camera, though here I think it works to the camera’s advantage.
Owing to the weight, other mounting methods like stickers and magnets would be extremely ill-advised.
The device’s selling point, its ability to pan 360-degrees, is mostly successful, with the motor being quiet and smooth. Sometimes, like when the camera is powered on and does a sort of ceremonial spin, it attempts to push against the limits of its horizontal motor for a second or two, which causes a loud grinding noise.
The central ball that the lens sits on tilts vertically 93-degrees. It also works well.
More importantly, the app has a bunch of fantastic features to help users make the most of the panning, and the controls were almost instantaneous despite the camera’s other latency issues. More on that below.
|127.5 mm x 60 mm x 60 mm||249 g||❎||Matte white plastic||✅||✅ microSD card|
Software – App Usability, Features, and Third Party Compatibility
The Wyze app is a pleasure to use, and the software design here excels as it does with all other Wyze products.
The app can be downloaded from the Google Play and App Store. It’s easily navigable, with a super clean interface. There’s plenty of settings that can be customized to suit the users needs, which will naturally require some exploration through the various settings menus.
A Cam Plus subscription unlocks person detection, full-length motion recording, and web view.
Despite the general latency issues (more on that later), the panning controls were very responsive, almost instant.
There’s three main features related to motion that can be enabled: Motion Tracking, which tracks movement in accordance with sensitivity settings; Motion Tagging, which uses AI to recognize body parts, people, animals, and objects moving; and Pan Scan, which pans the camera 360-degrees periodically to scan the room.
Motion tracking is super responsive, and whatever is subject to the most movement in frame is what is focussed on, because ‘motion tagging’ is automatically turned on. This can be turned off, but without it, I found that tracking barely functioned. If I exited the frame, for example, it wouldn’t follow me.
Motion tagging is super accurate, recognizing moving subjects from faces and isolated body parts.
That’s not to say motion tagging is without fault. Sometimes its ability to focus on things like hands was to its disadvantage, because if the hands were moving more than the face, sometimes the camera would move to follow the hands and the face would be completely out of frame.
Obviously, this would be highly inconvenient if evidence needed to be collected.
Motion tagging will occasionally lose track of faces if a certain body part comes close to the lens.
Pan scan was an interesting feature. With it enabled, the camera pans 360 periodically, and if it finds some kind of moving object, it will then stay on it. I can imagine this being really quite useful for uses as diverse as pet monitoring and desk surveillance in a home study.
If the camera gets confused and loses track of a subject, the pan scan can be relied upon to eventually find it again.
All in all, all three motion tools—Tagging, Tracking, and Pan Scan—need to be enabled to get the most out of the camera.
Working in tandem, they really make great use of the motorized panning. Turning all these features on and off was quite easy compared to similar devices like the Kasa Pan Tilt—you can turn enable or disable them all directly from the livestream main menu, without having to go through settings.
The detection zone tool is decent, allowing for a fair degree of control by ‘painting’ in blocks to indicate where in the frame will be ignored and where won’t.
Still, I found Reolink’s detection zone tools much easier to use, and they allowed for the creation of more specific zones.
Motion aside, exploring the app reveals smoke and CO alarm sound functions, which are a great touch for those regularly out of the home.
The way events are displayed in calendar format is visually clear and intuitive, and you can easily share your devices with other Wyze users, which is useful for families and roommates sharing devices across communal spaces.
Like the other Wyze devices, it doesn’t seem like this camera is actually Google Voice Assistant compatible despite the box claiming otherwise. Alexa compatibility, thankfully, works as expected, and Wyze’s own automation settings, which it calls ‘Rules’ are fantastic.
‘Rules’ allow for shortcuts like turning on the camera, the siren, and linked accessories. There’s also schedules (e.g. ‘turn notifications off at X time)’, device triggers, and location triggers.
It’s about as deep as it sounds, so will definitely require some experimentation over time to figure out what works best. But it is clear that these automations are genuinely handy for tailoring the device to specific needs, especially if paying for premium features like person detection.
|Wi-Fi?||LTE Data (3G, 4G, 5G)?||Bluetooth?||Wired?|
|✅||❎||❎||✅ Micro USB|
The camera can capture up to 1080p HD. Generally, I found it produced very clear, sharp images when static, but panning of any sort will reduce the quality.
Much like the Wyze Cam v3, there are significant latency issues on the live stream, with delays of a couple seconds occasionally afflicting the stream. Of the three quality settings (360p, 720p, and 1080p), anything above the lowest caused noticeably delayed footage at times.
Reolink’s E1 Pro is capable of much higher quality image settings, yet even 2K resolution didn’t cause the degree of latency issues experienced on the Wyze app.
There’s no telling if what’s at fault is my broadband or broader latency issues caused by the firmware, but it’s worth being aware that a strong internet connection is probably a requirement for this camera, as was the case with Wyze Cam v3.
What was clear to me is that the livestream latency issues were pronounced compared to Reolink, Kasa, and AlfredCamera products.
The addition of color night vision is the main distinction between the Wyze Cam Pan v1 and v2, and, to the delight of babies everywhere, it works quite well, so parents can safely turn off all the lights and have rooms shrouded in total darkness.
As observable with most other budget security cameras, a white balance issue is present here once again—fast moving objects close to the camera will be rendered in an indistinct blur of white for a brief moment.
In reality, since this camera is more likely to be used for casual surveillance, this won’t have any impact at all on usability.
The camera’s audio capabilities were more than adequate, with the speaker and microphone being perfectly capable of facilitating conversations via two-way talk.
Since it really angles itself as a baby, child, and pet monitoring device, this is a pretty important feature.
Sound detection can be enabled alongside or instead of motion detection, which because of the contexts this device is likely to be used in will be greatly appreciated by most users.
Sound detection is really a necessity for new parents—newborns tend to move very little, so motion detection alone isn’t always going to be at all adequate for monitoring purposes.
There’s a built-in siren for those who choose to use the device as a more conventional security tool which is appropriately loud and displeasing to the ear. It plays for a maximum of 30 seconds after being activated.
The 1080p quality doesn’t really compare to the 2K achieved by Reolink’s E1 Pro, so it’s not all that surprising that the price is kept lower. But elsewhere, the camera’s clever uses of its panning feature make it generally superior, despite the lower price tag.
The design of the camera will no doubt be the deciding factor when trying to pick a panning camera to buy. The spherical shape of the Kasa Spot Pan Tilt and Reolink E1 Pro is far more suited to actual surveillance, whereas the rectangular Wyze Cam Pan v2 is going to stay sat atop a desk or other surface for 90% of its users.
Simply put, using this to monitor a small hallway or entrance way just wouldn’t be all that practical, because mounting possibilities are so finite. In fact, a smaller, lighter, static camera would be much more appropriate for that kind of use.
Its design, alongside its array of useful features, make it a perfect baby monitoring device, and just as adequate for other more causal purposes, like pet surveillance.