SimCam 1S security camera review: Superb AI features are the highlight of this affordable camera

    The SimCam 1S is a relative rarity—a house safety digicam chockablock with superior AI options, no cloud subscription requirement for them to work, and a modest price ticket. That it really works in addition to it does virtually look like gravy. The 1S isn’t solely an enormous enchancment over the unique Kickstarter-funded SimCam, its options and efficiency put it in a league with cameras from main—and more-expensive—manufacturers resembling Nest.

    Design and options

    The SimCam 1S seems to be pretty equivalent to the original SimCam I reviewed at its launch. A spherical physique homes a 1080p digicam with a 120-degree subject of view. An LED indicator is ready into the face of the digicam above the lens, and a light-weight sensor and microphone are beneath that. Ten infrared LED emitters ringing the lens present as much as 50 ft of night time imaginative and prescient. A speaker takes up a lot of the again of the digicam, and beneath that t is a panel concealing a MicroSD card slot and a reset button.

    The digicam physique can rotate 360 levels and tilt 22 levels on its base once you pan it or allow the automated monitoring characteristic. On the again of the digicam are the facility wire port and a slot to connect the wall mount. The digicam can be utilized outdoors, nevertheless it carries solely an IP54 ranking so that you may need to avoid an excessive amount of mud and direct water publicity (click this link for our in-depth explanation of IP codes).

    This assessment is a part of TechHive’s protection of the best home security cameras, the place you’ll discover opinions of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you must contemplate when procuring.


    The 1S’s consists of individual, animal, and car detection.

    Also like the unique SimCam, the SimCam 1S’s principal attraction is its system of AI-powered sensible alerts. The digicam can detect individuals as much as 60 ft, vehciles as much as 20 ft, and animals as much as 10 ft. It may acknowledge faces at as much as 18 ft. You additional hone detection by setting exercise zones and object monitoring areas.

    The SimCam 1S performs all AI processing on board, so the producer doesn’t burden customers with the extra ongoing prices of a cloud subscription. That means all event-detected video clips are retailer regionally as properly. The digicam comes with a 16GB microSD card put in, nevertheless it helps as much as 128GB playing cards.

    The digicam works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you need to use voice instructions to view your feed on sensible shows that help these digital assistants. Additionally, you may automate lots of the SimCam 1S’s options and combine it with different sensible units utilizing IFTTT applets.

    Setup and efficiency

    simccam feed Michael Ansaldo/IDG

    The SimCam 1S has glorious picture high quality and its companion app allows straightforward management of its AI options.

    SimCam’s companion app walks you thru the setup, nevertheless it was nonetheless one of many extra bothersome I’ve encountered. That’s largely as a result of it begins with having to entry the digicam’s reset button, which is secured behind a panel on the again of the digicam stand. You should unscrew and take away this panel after which press the recessed button for 5 seconds to start the connection course of. SimCam offers a small Allen Wrench and a reset pin for this job, however I nonetheless needed to make use of a butter knife to pry off the panel (customers with lengthy fingernails may fare higher with this step).

    It will get simpler after that. Once you’ve pressed the reset button, you’re requested to login to your Wi-Fi and scan a QR code within the app with the digicam’s voice immediate offering standing updates. The SimCam 1S related instantly and was up and operating in minutes.

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