As part of the IoT revolution, there are more and more connected devices available to users. What sets them apart from one another is generally either price, functionality or ease of use. Swann is one of the bigger names in the DIY home security space and recently the company launched the Xtreem battery-powered range of cameras. For the last few weeks, we’ve had one out on testing to see how many of those important boxes are ticked.
What is it?
The Xtreem Wireless Security Camera is, as the name suggests, a 1080p camera that requires zero wires to set up. Of course, being wire-free, this is a battery powered unit and for many potential buyers that immediately raises a question: How long does the battery last?
In our testing, in a relatively low foot traffic area, the camera uses approximately 3% of the battery every four days. So with consideration to variability, this is around 4 months of battery life which is pretty acceptable, but a far cry from the 6 months Swann suggest on their website. The battery life would be further aided by the fact that the camera isn’t a spotlight camera which does chew the battery quickly.
The packaging is minimalistic which is really nice to see, although there was still quite a bit of plastic wrapping the device and cables. In the box, you’ll find everything you need to set up the camera
- Charging cable (no wall plug)
- Mounting bracket, double sided tape mount, plugs and screws
- The camera itself
The camera is relatively small compared to some other “bullet” style cameras making it a touch more versatile in where you can mount it. Within the small body of the camera, Swann has included the expected range of features that users can fairly expect in the current DIY security generation.
The features include motion alerts based on true detect, two-way audio, weatherproof design, local recording and Alexa/Assistant compatibility. So it ticks all of the boxes that most users are going to want, when you add in the cloud based recording it’s a pretty solid offering.
Setup and positioning takes only minutes
The review unit we had was set up into an existing Swann camera system and it took only minutes. That meant there was no need to set up an account or do the initial verification process. As is the case with almost any wire-free (Wi-Fi connected) camera, you’ll simply have to:
- Add a device in the app
- Add your Wi-Fi to connect the camera
- Start streaming video to your device</li
Be aware: Some phones will provide alerts about the camera not having an internet connection then bounce back to your Wi-Fi. This will affect the setup of the camera, so make sure your smart connect settings are disabled while you set up the camera.
When it comes to placing your camera, you’ll want to find a position that maximises visibility for the device, but also minimises (ideally zero) easy access to the camera. The mounting is magnetic and very easy to install, so that makes it just as easy to remove for anyone that happens to want to remove it. There’s a couple of options with a magnetic mount available, screw mounted to a wall or double sided tape to secure the mounting. If you want to go a step further, you can get a more secure threaded mount, that can change significantly add to the versatility of positioning your camera.
That aside, you’ve probably purchased a security camera to cover a need. Maximise the visibility outside your property and to complement existing cameras you may have. This will give you the best experience with the app and your video feeds when you get it right.
The Swann Security app has progressed well over the past 12 months. The setup, navigation and use of your devices are all just easy now. The True Detect feature on the Swann cameras is brilliant, it almost eliminates false triggers which (for DIY security cameras particularly) is an excellent result.
That low rate of false triggers makes the app even better because the odds are that when you get a notification it’s something you’ll want to check. Only if you have time though because the camera records accurately with customisable recording time from the time of motion detection. The audio quality is also excellent, it’s crisp and clear – making it easy to hear and understand what’s going on near your device.
Even on a low NBN Speed (12/1) at the test site we utilised, the video feed was crystal clear. Whether that is on your mobile device directly, or using one of the smart assistant options to cast the stream to another screen. It’s not an absolute necessity, but it’s not far off it if you’ve got smart screens – to simply call out and ask to see a feed from your cameras is very useful for security and peace of mind.
Is the Xtreem Wireless Security Camera worth investing in?
There are cases for and cases against buying the Xtreem Wireless Security Camera. The short story is that it’s easy to set up, easy to use and provides good quality video feeds. If you’ve already invested in Swann cameras and would like to add to that system, then hell yes, buy one it’s a great addition. Even if you don’t have any Swann security equipment, the Xtreem Wireless Security Camera is a great stand alone option but there are a couple of things that may deter some buyers.
The installation is one area where users may want to either, get a different mounting option or a different camera. The ease of installation makes it very easy to remove and that could be a problem in some installation settings. The other factor that may have users looking for another option is the fact it’s not got a built-in floodlight as a growing number of cameras do.
In short, there’s a couple of minor points to deter buyers and a heap of reasons to buy. If you’re keen to buy, you can pick up a single unit for $249.00, two for $459.95 or three for $649.95. If you want to make sure the battery never runs out — or your camera is in a hard to reach install location — you can add a solar panel easily and never have to take your camera offline for charging.