The Wyze Cam V3, which costs under $20, is the greatest affordable home security camera we’ve evaluated

  • The Wyze Cam V3 home security camera starts at $19.99 and includes 14 days of free cloud storage. It also doesn’t require a subscription, making it one of the most affordable home security solutions available.
  • The camera captures 1080p full-color video in color or infrared night modes.
  • The Wyze Cam V3 is water resistant to IP65 and can be used outside. The Wyze Cam V3 has a variety of additional mounting choices, but it still needs to be plugged in.

The Wyze Cam V3, which costs under $20, is the greatest affordable home security camera we've evaluated

Wyze Cam V3

Pros: Two-way audio, motion and sound detection, color night vision, no subscription required, IP65 weather resistance, Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT integration
Cons: Person detection now requires a subscription; free service has restrictions; occasional bugs

While there are several useful items under $20, you wouldn’t expect a home security camera to be among them. The Wyze Cam V3 will have you rethinking your expectations, thanks to a feature set that includes color 1080p video, free cloud storage, and motion detection with preset zones.

Nothing else in this price category comes close to the Wyze Cam V2, which is already the best budget home security camera available. The Wyze Cam V3 features a faster video frame rate, a more adaptable mount, IP65 water protection, and color night vision. The best part is that it’s available for the same $20 price.

I put the Wyze Cam V3 to the test in my home to see how it compares to its predecessor. Despite a few issues and the fact that person identification now requires a membership, this little camera is a great value.

Editor’s note: We’ve now learned of severe security problems discovered in some Wyze smart cameras that have been present since early 2019, thus we’re rethinking our recommendations for Wyze products in future reviews. If you already own a Wyze camera, proceed with caution.

Specifications for the Wyze Cam V3

  • 1080p resolution, 2 x 2 x 2.3 inches
  • a field of view of 130 degrees
  • Color night vision or infrared night vision
  • Audio that can be heard both ways
  • MicroSD memory cards with capacities of up to 32GB are available (not included)
  • IP65 (Ingress Protection Level 65) (indoors or outdoors)
  • Cloud storage for 14 days
  • Zones that can be customized
  • Sound and motion detection

Design

The Wyze Cam V3 costs $19.99 if purchased directly from Wyze. If you buy from other sellers, you may have to pay a little more than you did with the previous version. The cube-shaped camera, power adapter, an outdoor-rated flat power cord that’s 6 feet long, a wall mount plate, screw kit, and mounting tape are all included in the box. The base can be bolted into a wall or ceiling, magnetically affixed, or simply taped on.

v3 1

The Wyze Cam V3 has the same adorable boxy design as the Wyze Cam V2. It’s a circular white plastic cube with a base that folds out of the bottom and rotates, allowing you to place it in any position. Because it’s water-resistant (IP65), a short power line is permanently attached to the back of the camera, with a covered connector into which the power cable can be inserted.

Although the camera and cord are weatherproof and might be used outside, the power adapter is only for indoor usage, so you’ll need to put your Wyze Cam V3 near an outlet.

The Wyze Cam V3 is 3.5 ounces and is 2 x 2 x 2.3 inches. The camera lens, sensors, microphone, and a tiny LED to signal the camera status are all housed in a black square on the face. A speaker grille can be found on the back. There’s a flap for the MicroSD card slot and a single Setup button on the bottom, if you extend the base out of the way.

The Wyze Cam V3’s IP65 rating allows it to be used both indoors and outdoors, and the numerous mounting options give you plenty of alternatives. I tried mine indoors, which is likely how most people will use it, as mounting this outdoors and reaching an interior outlet would require a longer power line.

It’s simple to set up.

The Wyze Cam V3 can be placed on a shelf, mounted on the ceiling or wall, or attached to the refrigerator; the only restriction is that it must be within reach of a power outlet. To add a new camera, download the Wyze app for Android or iOS and hit the + symbol. Scan the QR code on the camera’s base to instantly connect it to your network.

There is no need for a separate hub because the Wyze Cam V3 connects directly to your Wi-Fi router, although it only supports 2.4GHz networks. Wyze hasn’t yet added 5GHz support. It took me around five minutes to set up from beginning to end.

The app for mobile devices

The Wyze app is simple, with the Home page displaying your connected cameras or other Wyze devices by default. There’s an on/off button on the right, and you should see a frame from the most recent recorded video, which you can tap to enter the live view for that camera. Sound can be turned on or off, video can be manually recorded, a microphone icon can be used to speak, a photo can be taken, and there are a few extras like motion tagging, time-lapse video, and a siren may be activated.

The top-right settings cog allows you access to sophisticated detection settings, notifications, scheduling, and other options. When the camera detects motion or sound, you can have it start recording. You can also create your own detection zone by dragging a box over the desired area. This is useful for avoiding many false positives, such as traffic outside a window. The fact that you may only establish a single detection zone box limits its utility a little; for example, Ring cameras allow you to set three different bespoke motion zones.

If it detects a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm going off, the sound detection will activate, which is a useful safety feature.

v3 2

You can enable continuous recording by inserting a MicroSD card. In addition, you’ll get 14 days of free cloud storage.

Person detection was free when I tried the Wyze Cam V2, but it is now only available to Cam Plus users. Cam Plus costs $1.99 per month or $15 per year, which works out to $1.25 per month. Other features of the subscription include unlimited motion triggers and video duration; without it, movies are limited to 12 seconds with a 5-minute cooldown period between triggers.

In the future year, Wyze plans to offer package, face, animal, and vehicle detection to Cam Plus members.

You can use Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant to turn your camera on or off, and you can watch a live feed on a Fire TV or Chromecast, or on an Echo Show or Nest Hub device. You may also set up different triggers for your Wyze Cam V3 using IFTTT.

How well does it function?

The Wyze Cam V3 records video at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, same like its predecessor, but at a higher frame rate of 20 frames per second (fps). Wyze also employed a smaller aperture (f/1.6) and expanded the field of view to 130 degrees. Because of the wider aperture, more light can be let in, allowing for a color night mode. Extra infrared LEDs have been added to improve night vision, which now has a frame rate of 15 fps, up from 10 fps. Simply put, because to the increased field of view, the video is now smoother, better quality, and captures more of the scene.

Daylight video has rich colors and plenty of detail, but when there are particularly bright parts in the image, such as sunlight flowing in through a window, overexposure is still a concern. The night vision footage is the largest gain over the previous Wyze Cam; it’s much brighter and can pick up far more detail. The color night vision works fine if there is some light in the frame, such as a streetlamp, but if it’s completely dark, or close to it, you’ll want to utilize the infrared.

Detection triggers function well, and I didn’t get any false positives after creating a custom zone. My cats, on the other hand, frequently prompted alarms, so I miss person detection.

While a few seconds of delay is to be expected when connecting to a security camera, I found the Wyze Cam V3 to be slow. It was much slower than my Eufy cameras, which only take two or three seconds to load the app, but on pace with my Ring doorbell, which took about four seconds on average to load the live video after loading the app. There’s a tiny lag on the feed as well, but not enough to prevent you from having a real-time chat.

The audio quality is adequate for live talks, but it appears to be deteriorating in most recorded videos. The Wyze Cam V3 appears to pick up a lot of noise in the background.

Ecosystem

I activated continuous recording after putting a 32GB MicroSD card onto the Wyze Cam V3. This creates a timeline that you can scroll over, and it’s a cost-effective solution to go beyond the 12-second limit without having to pay for a subscription.

Cons to think about

The Wyze Cam V3‘s biggest problem was that it refused to recognize MicroSD cards. The first one I tried worked for a short while but then vanished. The next two I attempted were unreadable. Finally, I contacted Wyze support, who recommended that I format the card in my PC to FAT32 with a 32KB cluster size first. It worked perfectly after that, and it has been working for more than a week now.

Although connection lag is inevitable with security cameras, the Wyze Cam V3 is still among the slowest to connect of all the cameras I’ve tested. When the app was first loaded, it took a few seconds for the app to recognize the camera, and then another few seconds for the live stream to load. After a triggered event, processing videos and making them available can take some time.

Because the Wyze Cam V3 must be plugged into an interior socket, most users won’t be able to use it outside. You could get a longer wire, however it will most likely cost close to the price of the camera. I’ve also found that when I touch the camera, it gets rather warm.

Another point worth mentioning is that Wyze Labs had a security breach in 2019 when account data was exposed by accident. While there was no hint that hackers may gain access to video footage, home security is undoubtedly a major worry.

I’m happy to report that Two-Step Verification is an option under Security in the Account page, and you should definitely set it up for your Wyze camera. While you can utilize the SMS option to receive a code for any new login, the Google or Microsoft authenticator app is more secure because the codes cannot be intercepted. It produces codes at random and updates them every 60 seconds, and it’s simple to set up.

Should you purchase it?

Yes, it comes with a long list of features for the money. This is a very cost-effective method to get started with a smart home security system.

What model should you choose?

For $19.99, the Wyze Cam V3 accomplishes everything you’re likely to want, but the Wyze Cam Pan costs $10 more and allows you to pan the camera to cover a bigger area.

What other options do you have?

The Amazon Blink Mini is a clear contender at $24.99, but once you consider in the subscription for cloud storage or the Sync Module for local storage, as I explain in our Amazon Blink Mini review, the price quickly rises.

The EufyCam 2C, which costs $199.99 for two cameras and a local storage hub, is worth considering if you want to avoid paying for a subscription and want a camera that can work outside without needing to be plugged in. More information can be found in our EufyCam 2C review.

Last but not least

Compromises are to be expected with a device as inexpensive as the Wyze Cam V3, but I believe it is a considerably superior product than the price suggests. This is by far the greatest home security camera for bargain hunters, with decent video and audio, 14 days of free cloud storage, and local storage through a MicroSD card.

Even if you decide you need person detection, the Wyze Cam Plus subscription is far less expensive than most competitors’.

The Wyze Cam V3, which costs under $20, is the greatest affordable home security camera we've evaluated

Wyze Cam V3

Pros: Two-way audio, motion and sound detection, color night vision, no subscription required, IP65 weather resistance, Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT integration
Cons: Person detection now requires a subscription; free service has restrictions; occasional bugs


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