Another opportunity to check out some hardware came up, and it was aimed at a slightly less technically inclined demographic. Wyze offered their new doorbell, Outdoor Cam V2 (out of interest with a kit – more on this later), and a couple of other cameras we’ve previously reviewed. So I enlisted the help of a mate, Michael, who is in his 60s and, while not technophobic, doesn’t have all the latest tech gear around his home.

I spoke to Michael about the opportunity to check these out, and he seemed pretty keen:

As a hospitality worker, I have some fairly random hours, sometimes working overnight. Security around the house was something that I’d been thinking about for a while, so when I came
across the WYZE range of products, it really was a no-brainer.

I showed him the kit that would be sent out, and Michael went off and did some research.

After completing his research, Michael, who has quite the sense of humour, came back to me noting:

The writeups on the products fit my needs and it all came with instructions that to me, seemed straightforward and on a swear-meter gauge — For normal people, this is called frustration — I guessed would probably rate a 4 out of 10.

The kit that was sent included:

All tolled, a doorbell with chime plus three cameras. If you’re playing along at home, that’s some pretty good coverage around a home for less than $450.00 at the time of writing this article.

When I dropped the doorbell and cameras off to him, Michael and I had a chat about positioning cameras and the options of how to mount them in beneficial positions. One particular triumph of his was mounting the Pan Cam V3 above one of the cars, capturing anyone walking up the driveway and tracking them to the house or any movement around their cars.

Although he’s of an older generation and doesn’t have substantial technical knowledge, Michael completed the installation — both software and physical — of the doorbell and cameras without a single call or even message for advice. While many manufacturers are very good with their software and user ease, I feel this is a strong indictment of the Wyze software.

A closer look at the Wyze Video Doorbell

To be brutally honest, the Wyze Video Doorbell isn’t going to set the world on fire when it comes to specs, particularly as the video quality is only 1080p. But what it lacks in specs, the combination of features and cost, makes it excellent bang for your buck.

As a starting point, the Wyze Video Doorbell ticks the essential boxes. It comes in a single colour option, white with a black accent, and is made of polycarbonate material, with the lends being a combination of glass and plastic. So, while it looks reasonably slick to start with if it’s exposed to the baking Aussie sunshine for a few years — despite the IP65 rating — I worry that the lens may begin to get a foggy look to it.

Physically, it’s a tall and slim option, measuring 141 x 46.5 x 28mm, which is pretty streamlined and will fit on some doorframes. If you want to, you can install it without needing to drill, as the package includes an adhesive mounting plate; although if you’re mounting on bricks, use the proper mounts.

Impressively, you’ll get a viewable range of 150 degrees x 150 degrees, which ultimately means — provided you mount the device appropriately, it’s doubtful someone will get to your door without being seen.

To connect to the Wyze Video Doorbell, you only need a device that can run Android 7.0 to the current version of Android or an iPhone running iOS 12+. In a reasonably significant step over some other IoT devices, the Wyze Video doorbell will connect to either 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi options.

I like that it has a long-life battery, promising between 3 and 6 months of battery life. That’s probably a good thing, though, because the battery is non-removable so you have to take your doorbell down in order to charge it. Doing so is really easy as it’s a simple clip on and off to mount the device; it’s handy for removal but another minor concern for the device’s longevity as plastic becomes brittle over time.

Daily Use: Easy to access, use and understand

I’ve personally had some testing time with three different Wyze cameras to date and found that their strength is simplicity. As soon as you open the app, your video previews are right there and opening the stream is as simple as tapping on it. You can lower the video stream quality if your upstream bandwidth is insufficient to cope with the load, or you can simply watch a smooth and decent-quality video stream from your property.

What really stood out to me about the installation process (since I wasn’t there for it) was just how little Michael had to say about it. There were multiple reiterations of the point that “it was really easy” and “it just worked the way the instructions said it would”.

That ease of use is consistent through the app regardless of the devices you’re accessing. Navigation is really intuitive, and the device settings are easily understood, with the layout and positioning of settings just making sense.

A previous comment I made about the app giving you the option to build over time vs needing to go all in to start with still stands. You can hook up the subscription to one camera in your setup, multiple cameras or all of them.

A couple of weeks on from the initial installation, and — it’s not immediately obvious in the app — Michael wasn’t aware that you can have notifications come to your phone of movement etc. from the cameras. Once set up, they’re pretty damn quick!

With new cameras, you do get access to the Cam Plus subscription, which gives some extra features like extended recording, event fast forward and detection of people, pets and packages.

Conclusion: Wyze isn’t a brand for techno-junkies, but it does offer great value for those wanting it

So it’s important to acknowledge the price of the hardware here; the full kit that includes three cameras capable of being outdoors and a doorbell will — at the time of writing — set you back under $400.00, and while there are plenty of options out there for DIY security; that sort of value is pretty impressive.

Like pretty much everything out there, Wyze is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa which increases their functionality if you’ve got a smart screen in your home. This also creates flexibility to add other alerting or automation to your home. As an example, I’ve got an IFTTT setup during the day if a motion alert is triggered in my front yard as I’m often on Teams meetings.

When I had the opportunity to test Wyze cameras previously, it was a really user-friendly experience, and Michael has confirmed this was the case for him, too.

WYZE has put together an excellent user-friendly home security package that you can easily add to, and not only that, I only had to drop $1 in the swear jar.

Then you add into the fray the great value that Wyze hardware and the brand as a whole offer, and it’s pretty compelling for someone looking at setting up; without breaking the bank. That leaves the only real compromise by looking for this value proposition being the relatively low specs.

The reality of the situation here is that Wyze hardware isn’t aimed at someone who wants to have a top-of-the-line setup. It’s aimed at the low to mid-range users who want some visibility and the capacity to build a system over time. If you’re in that market segment, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that Wyze is an excellent option.

Disclosure Statement

The hardware has not been requsted for return at completion of the review.