Wyze has been a household name in the home security camera market, particularly because its products are much cheaper than the competition while retaining most of the features you may want. While it lacks the capabilities of the more expensive Arlo cameras, it provides good value for money.
However, the company’s earlier security camera line lacked standard protection from the elements. Wyze fixed this with the release of the first-generation Wyze Cam Outdoor, though it still left a few things to be desired. For example, the Cam Outdoor has a narrow field of view at 110 degrees, and its nighttime video was also lower in quality than the other cameras in its price range.
Enter the Wyze Cam Outdoor v2. This battery-powered camera has basic weatherproofing and can be mounted anywhere you like since it runs on battery power. It also brings a few improvements, such as color night vision and a wider field of view. But behind this easy-to-setup model are a few trade-offs, such as its reliance on a hub and more.
In this review, I’ll take a look at its video quality, storage, and smart features to see how it stacks up against the best outdoor security cameras.
Wyze Cam Outdoor v2: Price and availability
The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 is available for $74. It’s a bundle that includes a camera, a hub (base station), a micro-USB charging cable, a power adapter, a mount, and a LAN cable. If you already have the first-gen version, you can just purchase an add-on camera for $64.
Wyze also sells a 4-camera kit comprised of a base station and four camera units amounting to $260. You can pair each camera with a solar panel by paying an additional $106.
Wyze Cam Outdoor v2: What’s good
I installed the Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 on the ceiling overlooking the back of our house to put it through its paces. I liked how easy it was to set up the camera, which was also true for the previous version. This means you can start recording video after connecting the hub to your network and mounting the camera to the wall or ceiling.
The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 is still a small white cube camera, similar to the first generation, which makes it less likely to draw attention. You won’t have any trouble setting it up if you bought the previous model since you can just link it to the first-gen base station. Likewise, it is easy to install if you’re a first-time owner of Wyze’s outdoor security camera.
Because the camera is mounted on a magnetic base, you can easily swivel it to get the best view of your backyard or porch. The camera’s wider field of view ensures greater coverage of your backyard, and it’s simple to cover multiple sides of your house. The mounting base also has a good grip on the bottom, and the camera is held in place by a strong magnet.
Image 1 of 3
For a security camera less than 100 dollars, the Cam Outdoor v2 records daytime video with a decent resolution that makes it easy to make out a person’s facial features. Its IR motion sensor also helps to reduce false motion alerts, though I had to train the camera’s smarts to stop mistaking light movements for motion.
I also like the Travel Mode option, which records motion to a microSD card without the need for a hub or a Wi-Fi network.
The Cam Outdoor v2, like most security cameras, has two-way audio, so you can tell the delivery person to simply leave your package at your door. The speaker also functions as a siren to deter intruders. In my opinion, the siren lacks the piercing sound that would deter unwanted visitors, but it’s better than using your voice to scare them away.
|Category||Wyze Cam Outdoor v2|
|Dimensions||5.84 x 5.84 x 7.11cm|
|Storage||microSD card up to 32GB (each for the camera and base station)|
|Battery||2 x 2,600mAh|
|Camera resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Viewing area||130 degrees with 8x digital zoom|
|night vision||Up to 25 feet|
|Smart features||Detection features for persons, pets, packages, and vehicles|
The camera captures nighttime video at a much lower resolution (1080p at 10fps). But it’s nothing that ruins the image quality, and as long as there is little movement, the images are clear enough to see. The updated starlight CMOS sensor also supports color night vision and outperforms the previous model in low-light conditions.
I’m impressed by how the camera provides a clear view of our backyard in full color, even past 12 am, with nothing but a solar-powered lamp mounted on the ceiling. The night vision mode works just fine as well, even in complete darkness.
Image 1 of 6
Compared to the first-gen model, the latest version is faster to detect a person, pet, or vehicle. Even with the motion detection set to 50% sensitivity, the camera detected my presence within 15 meters before it began recording. And I can customize the motion detection zone.
The Wyze app has an easy-to-use interface that makes customizing your experience much easier and faster. Monitoring can be easily scheduled, triggers set, rules added, and detection options configured.
The Cam Outdoor v2 is also excellent at distinguishing between people and other objects. The app’s Events tab displays the motions recorded as well as video tags if it thinks it saw a vehicle or person, which is quite accurate all of the time.
Wyze Cam Outdoor v2: What’s not good
The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 has person detection, but you’ll need to subscribe to Cam Plus to access it. Those who created a Wyze account before November 26, 2019, were fortunate to get the feature for free, but if you signed up after that date, you’re out of luck. Wyze previously provided free person detection before discontinuing it in January 2020. The company promised to restore it at a later date, but it has yet to do so.
If you want to access person detection as well as pet, package, and vehicle detection, you’ll need to pay $2 per month. The subscription also gives access to other handy features, such as back-to-back recordings and video up to five minutes in length. Fortunately, other features, such as motion zones and time lapses, are still available for free.
However, a Cam Plus subscription is not required to obtain video recordings. Wyze provides this with the Cam Plus Lite, which costs as little as $0 but only provides up to 12 seconds of event video length with a five-minute delay between events. There is also no smart detection feature.
Another pet peeve of most security camera owners, myself included, is the need to link the camera to a base station, and this requirement returns with the second-gen Cam Outdoor.
While you can check your camera on smart displays that support Alexa and Google Assistant, the experience is quite disappointing. I could barely stream my backyard video on my Nest Hub (2nd Gen) using voice commands. Tapping the camera in the camera button in the home control tab did nothing to help either.
There’s something to be said about the new Wyze Cam Outdoor’s battery life as well. While the company advertises that the camera will last up to six months per charge, this is not the case when it’s mounted in a place with high traffic. I had to recharge the camera every two days as I placed it in an area where a lot of people pass by every day. This meant detaching the camera from its mounting base and charging it via a micro-USB port, which plugs into the base station. It would have been nice to see a USB-C port as well, but given the price, I knew I had to keep my expectations in check.
The camera’s built-in speaker also does a poor job of recording audio, as it can’t seem to get clear audio beyond five meters, and it’s only able to pick up noise that’s hard to understand.
Wyze Cam Outdoor v2: Competition
The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 isn’t the only option if you’re looking for a budget security camera to monitor your backyard. There are a lot of good options, but not as many as you’d expect in the sub-$100 price range.
The Blink Outdoor remains one of the best options in the budget outdoor security camera market, despite being significantly more expensive than the Cam Outdoor v2. For $100, you can get a wireless battery-powered HD security camera that runs on two AA lithium batteries and lasts up to two years. However, some useful features require a subscription.
You may also find the Defender Guard Pro a better option. It starts at $100 which comes with a 128GB SD card. Like the Cam Outdoor v2, it features color night vision, smart human detection, and two-way communication. It also has a camera mode that deters intruders by firing off a 160 Lumen LED spotlight and sounding a loud 110dB alarm when it detects suspicious movements.
Wyze Cam Outdoor v2: Should you buy it?
You should buy it if…
- You want more outdoor camera coverage without breaking the bank
- You’re looking for a security camera with excellent low-light performance
- You want a security camera that you can take with you anywhere
You should not buy it if…
- You don’t want to pay for subscriptions to access person detection features
- You hate using a hub to connect the camera to your network
If you’re looking for an inexpensive home security camera that can withstand the elements, the Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 should definitely be on your list. This model not only combines a rechargeable battery with an excellent night vision feature, but it also includes Travel Mode, allowing you to use it even when there is no internet connection.
Wyze gives you a basic event recording option with unlimited snapshots of events, though there’s a five-minute delay between events. You have the option to record events and save them to the built-in microSD card, but this results in rapid battery drain. It’s a shame that you’ll need to pay for a monthly subscription to access person or pet alerts. Notwithstanding, the Cam Outdoor v2 is a fantastic option that improves on its predecessor.
More for less
Wyze’s latest outdoor security camera is loaded with features that will assist you in monitoring your backyard, such as motion detection and cloud storage. The Wyze Cam Outdoor v2 is one of the best home security cameras for its value.