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.
Though it suffers from some of its hardware design choices, Wyze shines as a surprisingly feature-rich wired security option capable of both indoor and outdoor use that won’t break the bank.
- 1080p HD with color night vision
- 130° field of view
- 2 in x 2 in x 2.3 in
- Two way audio
- Motion detection & sound detection
- Continuous recording via MicroSD (not included)
|🟢 Extremely affordable|
🟢 Smart sound detection can trigger recordings and detect when smoke/CO alarms are sounding
🟢 MicroSD slot for continuous recording
🟢 Loud built-in siren
🟢 High quality speaker and microphone is great for two-way talk
🟢 Magnet for easy mounting on metallic surfaces
🟢 Alexa compatible
🟢 IP65 weather resistance
🟢 Automation ‘Rules’ are simple and effective ways to tailor the camera to your needs.
|🔴 Stiff and limited range of motion hinders posing the camera|
🔴 The image isn’t as wide as can be achieved by a 130 degree lens
🔴 Prone to toppling over under the weight of the camera head in desktop setups
🔴 Google compatibility was missing from the in-app menu
Read more of our reviews to find the best security cameras for you:
REVIEW: AlfredCam, A New Benchmark for Affordable Security Cameras
REVIEW: Kasa Spot Pan Tilt (EC70) – Motorized 360 Panning Camera
REVIEW: Reolink E1 Pro 2K Panning Security Camera
REVIEW: Wyze Cam Pan V2 360° Panning Camera
REVIEW: Google Nest Cam (Battery)
Wyze Cam V3 is packaged in a tiny cardboard box. I was pleased to see how limited the waste is from the packaging, and all of it is recyclable.
Inside are two smaller cardboard boxes, one containing the camera and indoor power adapter, and the other containing a micro USB cable, mounting tape, magnetic wall plate, two screws and two wall brackets.
A quick start guide is included with instructions in English and French. Some of the English instructions failed to be translated into French and instead appeared on both sides of the guide. No instructions were provided on how to mount the camera.
Installation & Onboarding
The camera is a breeze to set up, making it simple and accessible for all casual users, whatever their needs are.
You’ll first need to download the Wyze app to a device and sign up for an account. An email address is required, and the app requests that your location be shared.
Aside from that, there is the option to hand over a phone number for two factor authentication if you want additional security, but this isn’t required.
Plug in the device and a status LED will appear on the front as a voice lets you know that the camera is ready to be paired. From the app, you add a device, which will also require that you manually add a Wi-Fi network.
‘Manual’, as in, having to type out the name of the network—which, if your hub has a name composed of random letters and numbers like mine does, is something of a hassle. Thankfully, if you have already connected a Wyze device previously, you can select the same Wi-Fi network from a drop down list.
A QR code will then appear on your device, which you hold up to the camera for it to scan. Then, Wyze is ready for use.
Mounting the camera onto metal surfaces is super easy thanks to a strong magnet built into the base. Unfortunately, there are no instructions as to how to mount to other surfaces included either in the box or on the app.
Mounting requires attaching a circular shaped magnet to the bottom of the base and a ring shaped sticker is then attached to the circular magnet. Two screws and two wall brackets are included, which can be used to mount the camera to the wall.
Hardware – Durability, Aesthetics, Size, Weight
You’ll notice a small status LED on the camera (which can actually be turned off from the app’s advanced settings if you would prefer), the lens, and a speaker and microphone, which are both particularly strong components of the camera.
Two way talk is remarkably loud and clear, with a notably high quality speaker despite such a tiny frame (and tiny price tag to match). You’ll be able to hold proper conversations through the camera thanks to these excellent features.
The cube shaped camera head sits on a collapsible base that resembles a desktop lamp. The head of the camera, which is larger and heavier than the base, limits how much you can feasibly tilt it forward or backwards, causing it to eventually topple over.
Naturally, placing the camera on metal surfaces prevents this thanks to the strength of the magnet in the base, but otherwise, desktop use on non-metal surfaces is very restricted because of the design.
Wall mounted positions are also limited, because the camera head is larger than the base it sits on and the power adapter juts out from the back. This means that side to side motion is very minor.
Since it doesn’t sit on a ball joint, the camera head’s ability to rotate and tilt up and down in general is stiff, though this does mean that it stays in the positions you put it in. It can’t tilt side to side at all.
You’ll find the microSD card on the underside of the camera head next to the ‘status’ button, beneath the stand’s rotating disk joint. For all intents and purposes, this means that you have to dismount it, extend the joint, and rotate the base any and every time you want to access the memory card, regardless of whether you decide to position the camera on a wall or in a desktop position.
Still, the presence of a MicroSD card slot will be greatly appreciated by users since inserting one will allow for continuous recording.
The IP65 weather resistance rating the camera has received is also much appreciated, allowing the camera to work just as well outdoors as it does indoors. The power adapter on the back of the camera features a soft plastic covering for the inserted micro USB that should prevent rain and moisture from damaging it.
Generally speaking, if full-time outdoor use is required, the Wyze Cam Outdoor (Wyze’s newer and slightly more expensive offering for outdoor use) is a much better option, since it’s powered by a dedicated weather-resistant adapter.
In general, it makes significant improvements over the V3; stronger weatherproof casing, sharper night vision, and wider field of view all make it a much more logical choice for those looking for permanent outdoor surveillance.
|2 in x 2 in x 2.3 in||102g||✅ IP65||White matte plastic, with a magnetized bottom||❎||✅|
Software – App Usability, Third Party Compatibility
Compared with the hardware design, the software is far superior and, thanks to an unusually large array of features, allows the camera to successfully reach above and beyond its humble price tag.
The Wyze app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. It features a clean interface with a modern and attractive design. It’s easy to navigate, although the number of features the camera has requires some additional exploration through the various settings menus.
Sensitivity for motion and sound detection allows for a great degree of variation, using a sliding scale rather than preset options. Through trial and error, it’s pretty easy to find a sensitivity level that works for you without constantly triggering unnecessary recordings.
There’s also the option to allocate detection zones, which helps further reduce unnecessary triggers and is particularly useful if you intend to have the camera set up for long term use in a single spot.
The various settings menus allow for plenty of customization.
Though the delay was relatively minimal (a couple seconds), once the camera is triggered to record a 12 second clip, it will essentially deactivate the motion detection for five minutes before it can be triggered again.
While this does help mitigate false triggers and an endless stream of notifications caused by extensive movement, it’s easy to imagine that this would be inconvenient in the event of an actual house theft, where footage can serve as evidence.
The cooldown period is removed with a Cam Plus subscription. The similarly-priced AlfredCam doesn’t have a cooldown period between motion-detected triggers even for free tier users.
Generally speaking, there is significant delay when viewing the livestream on the Wyze Cam V3. On the highest quality setting, I noticed the delay was sometimes as much as four or five seconds.
It’s a latency issue that’s hard to ignore, and anyone who has been unfortunate enough to experience a home invasion knows that every second really does count when someone has broken in. Such a significant delay could make all the difference in the outcome of a theft (such as porch pirates) and whether the camera is actually able to record objects being stolen in real time.
On the other hand, night vision is strong, and can be allowed to automatically turn on from the live feed. This seems to be a noticeable improvement over previous models, where night vision was considered an afterthought.
I found that there is a drop in the clarity of images as the camera struggles to adjust the white balance when objects that are close to the lens first appear in the frame. This creates a washed-out effect for a couple of seconds—it’s unlikely to really have much impact on usage for most people, but is something to be aware of if the object to be viewed will be close to the camera. It doesn’t hinder overall usability for most observations at some distance.
You can easily share your devices with other Wyze users, which is useful for families and roommates sharing devices across communal spaces.
Though the box states that the camera is compatible with Google voice assistant, the in-app menu reveals no such option. Alexa compatibility, thankfully, works as expected, and the inclusion of Wyze’s own automation settings, which it calls ‘Rules’, more than makes up for the seemingly omitted Google integration.
‘Rules’ allow for shortcuts (which include turning on the camera, the siren, and linked accessories like spotlights), schedules (e.g. turn notifications off at X time), device triggers, and location triggers.
After a bit of playing around, I found these simple automations to be handy for tailoring the device to specific needs, helping make better use of features like AI detection (it can detect pets, packages and humans if you pay for premium).
If you end up buying other accessories for the camera, or have existing Wyze products in your arsenal, Rules improve their overall seamlessness.
|Wi-Fi?||LTE Data (3G, 4G, 5G)?||Bluetooth?||Wired?|
|✅ 2.4GHz||❎ Camera must be connected to Wi-Fi, but the viewing device can be connected to mobile data||❎||✅ Micro USB cable|
The camera can capture up to 1080p HD, and when there’s little movement, produces very clear, sharp images. A 130 degree field of view would imply a slightly wider image than what you actually get.
Sure, it’ll be wide enough for most uses, but given the camera’s effectively limited range of motion, a wider fish-eye image would definitely have helped make up for the lack of posing possibilities.
Inside the app you’ll find three quality options. Even on the lowest setting, the quality is noticeably sharper, clearer, and more balanced than competitors, but beyond the lowest setting (360p) you will notice significantly delayed livestream footage—expect at least two seconds of delay, at worst four.
You can also zoom into the image, which works well and doesn’t degrade the quality too much.
Motion detection is accurate, and the AI used in person/object detection is impressive. It isn’t limited to just faces, but can recognize the presence of a person from isolated body parts that appear in the frame, like hands and arms.
Since peoples’ movements are, in reality, rather unpredictable, this is perhaps the most useful feature of the premium version of the app. I found it makes a big difference in the practical uses of the camera.
The provided cloud storage allows the camera to store 12 seconds of footage in a clip for up to 12 days. Continuous recording can be enabled if you insert a MicroSD card.
Numerous times, the camera inexplicably failed to upload video recordings of certain detected events to the cloud, instead just providing a screenshot with the green squares of AI detection signaling the presence of a person.
The app suggested internet connection might have been the reason, but this might also be caused by the unusually high quality video the camera records, even on the lowest quality setting.
The camera’s audio is fantastic, with clear and high quality audio and a respectable microphone to boot. It makes sense, then, that Wyze went a step further by providing smart audio features that make the most of this, including audio detection.
Like motion detection, this will trigger recording when the camera detects something and subsequently notify you. The built-in siren was loud and also high quality.
One of my favorite features was the option to record and notify when the mic detects a smoke alarm or CO alarm going off. We’re pretty hot on keeping your home safe across the board, and found this to be a smart and useful feature for those of us that are regularly out of the house.
Wyze acknowledges the fact that the safety of your home goes beyond the need just for security cameras, but for protection from other hazards.
Retailing at just $34.99 in the US, you’ll be hard pressed to find a camera this feature-rich at a better price point other than AlfredCam.
Similar to AlfredCam’s offer of a 1 month free trial of its premium app service, a two week trial of Wyze’s Cam Plus is automatically activated when you first sign up to the app without the need to attach a credit card to your account.
It’s a smart move on their part, because once you get used to the additional features it provides, you’ll find it impossible to revert to the regular version.
The AI detection was intelligent and markedly increased the practicality of the camera without succumbing to pointless gimmicks you won’t end up using. There’s a wealth of options: Cam Plus, Cam Plus Pro, Cam Plus Lite, Home Monitoring, and even an option called ‘Sprinkler Plus’ (yes, you guessed right: it activates the sprinklers in your garden).
It’s a lot to consider, but, in reality, the regular Cam Plus plan will suffice for the majority of people, clocking in at just $1.99 a month in US territories (or $19.99 a year).
It’s no exaggeration that Wyze has managed to ‘disrupt’ the market with Wyze Cam V3, a perfectly capable security camera with an array of useful features and strong software capabilities, though the hardware design lacks user friendliness.