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Vimtag P1 Smart Cloud IP Camera review: a simple security solution for the home

Michael Ansaldo | July 7, 2016
This camera's ease-of-use makes it ideal for first-time security camera users.

Out of the box, the camera can only take snapshots, which it saves to your device. To record video you’ll need either the aforementioned microSD card or the S1 Cloud Box. The former you just slide into a slot on the side of the camera. To use the Cloud Box, you connect it to your router, then navigate to Storage in the settings screen of the Vimtag app to add it. The camera connects to it wirelessly.

screenshot 2016 06 07 15 30 24 Vimtag

You can have motion detection trigger photos or video and set day and night sensitivity separately.

Even if you’ve never used a home-security camera before, you can easily find your way around the Vimtag mobile app. The camera’s live feed appears on the main screen, and below that are four easily identifiable icons. The first two allow you to manually trigger a video recording or take a snapshot, respectively.

A microphone icon lets you activate two-way audio. This is a great feature if you want to listen in on or speak to the kids or pets you’re monitoring at home. In a worst-case scenario, you can use it to startle an intruder. The final icon gives you access to image settings and the camera mode—you can toggle between day and night vision or set it to auto. This layout is mirrored in the web app.

Most of the camera’s settings—including motion detection—are accessed through a gear icon at the top of the feed screen. Depending on which responses you choose, the P1 will begin recording video, take a picture, or both when it senses movement, and it will send a notification to your mobile device. Tapping the notification will take you directly to the camera’s live view. From there you can access the recorded video by tapping a button at the top of the screen.

The app offers plenty of customization to keep false alarms in check. Alerts and recording are scheduled independently of each other, and you can define up to four different time blocks for each. You can also mask portions of image to eliminate motion detection in those parts of the camera’s view. This makes it handy for homing in on ingress points like entryways and patio doors and filtering out other room elements that might inadvertently trigger an alert.

The P1’s image quality is crisp with accurate colors and no fisheye distortion at the edges. The audio quality is also clear enough to hear what’s actually going on in the room. The 70-degree viewing angle is a little narrow—most of the cameras in our guide have viewing angles north of 100 degrees—but it’s adequate if you’re monitoring a single room in your home.

 

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