Customer Reviews

112
2.9 out of 5 stars
Samsung SmartCam IP Camera SNH-1011
Price:$96.93 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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323 of 340 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2013
First let me say I have a fair amount of experience using many different IP Cameras, but I am not a snobbish user. I tend to use simple, reliable IP cameras and then manage them through a good software product such as Blue Iris. I have a mishmash of IP cameras setup for my home surveillance system of varying quality. Today I saw these cameras on sale in a two-pack at a common shopper's club. When I saw the two-way audio feature listed on the box I had to try it out as this is something I was wanting.

I got home and quickly hooked one of them to my network and followed the installation process. I was immediately concerned when I was forced to go through the Samsung website to setup my camera. Every other IP camera I have seen allows you to setup the camera on your home network, but this camera absolutely requires an Internet connection and that you FIRST register your camera with Samsung AND give them total access to your camera.

This means that:
1. Samsung Has total access to your video streams AT ALL TIMES.
2. You cannot access your camera UNLESS you go through the Samsung website.... FOREVER.
3. Third party Camera management software cannot access this camera in any way, shape, or form. Every other IP camera on the planet allows direct access by a web browser or camera application software.
4. When setting up your camera you are divulging very sensitive data to Samsung, such as your WiFi router's password. There is no way around this.

Here are some other failures of this camera.
1. The packaging claims this camera has 2-way audio. in the IP camera world this means you can listen to audio from the camera as well as communicate back to the cameras speaker from your monitoring application. This is not the case with this camera. Using the Samsung website or phone app you can hear the audio from the camera, but the 2-way feature is an intercom that only works if you use the Android Smartphone app. Again, since all traffic in these cameras MUST go through the Samsung website the 4-5 second delay I experienced just for the one-way audio was maddening. The two-way delay must be excruciatingly slow.

I was unable to configure my camera for a static IP address. I tried to do it using both the Firefox plugin and the Internet Explorer plugin, both of them failed when I tried to apply the settings. I am a networking expert, so I know the settings were spot on.

The YouTube configuration as described in the manual was non-existent on the Samsung website. I believe this is because YouTube may have recently turned off the ability to auto-upload videos to them. This pretty much removes the only video save feature this camera had. There is no way to capture and/or save video from the camera to your PC.

On the video quality, this unit has a fair to poor quality picture. The night vision image is OK at best. With only 6 Infrared LED's, as opposed to some of my cameras which have 48 LED's, the illumination at night is very limited. The stated range of 15 feet is a stretch. My Sharx SCNC2700xx cameras produce a sharper, brighter image at 60 feet than this one does at 15 feet. The nighttime contrast is poor too. Unlike my other cameras at night, which have sharp, high contrast night time images, this camera's image appears somewhat washed out and gray rather than black and white.

I am terribly disappointed. To me this camera has no redeeming quality. For some people it may prove to be useful for one reason. It is fairly simple to setup and use as long as you are willing to put up with the very restrictive access to the camera. If you don't mind Samsung having access to your private life, and if you don't mind not being able to use any of the many great camera monitoring applications out there, then it is not the worse camera you can buy. Like I said, I use a couple applications that are capable of viewing almost any IP camera on the planet. I have 5 different manufacturer's cameras on my home surveillance system and I use many different applications to view all of them in one consolidated view, but this camera is unavailable to any of them. If you buy this camera and one day the Samsung website to view them goes away then you will be left with totally useless cameras.

I did not do much testing using WiFi with this camera, so I have no idea how reliable it is or what the useful range is. I will say from experience that using Wifi to control more than one or two cameras in your home network in not advisable. (see note below)

BEWARE FAKE REVIEWS
I went through every single 5-star review listed under this product. With only one exception, they were all written by users who have never reviewed any other products on Amazon. This is a strong indication that these reviews are completely bogus. This is becoming a huge problem on Amazon.com. I am sure if you removed these bogus reviews this product would rate in the range of two stars.

Note:
This is not part of the review, but I thought I would add this information based on my experiences setting up and trying many different types of home surveillance systems.
A standard resolution IP camera running at 15 or 30 frames per second uses a lot of bandwidth--something WiFi does not have much of. Even when I was running only 4 cameras at 640x480 15 FPS on a 100 mbps switch I was rarely able to achieve full FPS on all cameras even though the cameras were all rated at 10/100mbps capable. It was not until I put all cameras into a gigabit (1000mbps) switch that I was able to get all frames to process through to my computer. There are very good technical reasons why this is so, but for those who don't understand how switvhes work just take my word for it, you need a gigabit Ethernet switch and a gigabit Ethernet card in your PC (which most have today) to build a reliable home surveillance network with IP cameras. Alternately, you can buy a Network Video Recorder with built in ports for each camera. For me, the best setup is a piece of software called Blue Iris ($50) and the Gigabit Ethernet switch along with a mishmash of IP cameras. THis is by far the most reliable and robust I have seen and the cost can be quite reasonable as all you need are the cameras, the $50 software and a PC. Blue Iris also has an iPhone and Android app that integrates all the cameras into one system. It works like a champ. I am running 7 cameras, 4 of them 640x480 at 15fps, one USB at 10fps, and two 1080p at 15fps, all of them wired into a Gigabit Ethernet switch. The streams are fed into my PC running Blue Iris version 3. Blue Iris is recording all the cameras 24 hours a day onto one USB 3 hard drive. The 3TB drive can hold weeks of video. Blue Iris is also creating alerts every time someone walks in front of a camera so I can have alert thumbnails which take me right to the relevant video portion I want to see. I continue to be stunned at the capabilities of the Blue Iris system. It is the best $50 I ever spent on software. While it may sound like I work for Blue Iris, I can assure you I do not. I just like it that much. For less than half the cost of a similar turnkey system from one of the big companies like Q-See and Lorex, etc. I can build a system that is better in almost every way, and you can too. Just stay away from this camera.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2013
Do not waste your money.

I'm sorry to say that I am surprisingly disappointed. Samsung somehow really failed with these cameras.

I have seen a number of negative comments with regards to setting this camera up, but I had no such problems. The cameras were very easy to set up and they show an image of whatever they are pointing at reasonably well.

They claim to automatically update to Youtube. Nope. Doesn't work, and all I got from a Samsung rep is that they know there is a problem and 'they are working on it'. So without the ability to record video, the only utility for the camera is to use it to observe.

Oh, the motion detection? Sure, you can turn on the motion detection and it sends a neat little alarm to your phone. The problem is that the motion sensitivity is either so sensitive that it goes off all the time for nothing, or it doesn't go on unless something big is right in front of the camera.

And the really dirty little secret ...... "Relay mode". Unless you are at home and connected to Wifi, you will go into 'relay mode'.

That means if you are at work and would like to check on the camera, it takes forever to connect (when it will) and the video image is terribly slow.

No, don't be taken in by the apparently good price, These things are worthless.
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2013
First of all, I agree this camera is very easy to setup, literally in about a minute or two, you can have the camera up and running. I bought it because it was a Samsung and I have had great success with their products. I also bought it because, it optionally uses a wired setup to the router and since I intended on placing the camera in the room with the router, I might as well have a wired access for faster more reliable use.

If you intend on using this as a baby room monitor or other room in the house that you occupy within the wireless router then, it is a great camera.

However, if you want to use this camera as remote monitoring, using Samsung's website then I say beware. If you want to view the camera with the website, then you are stuck in "relay mode".
This means that you are limited to 3 minutes of use and very slow, grainy response since your video is passing thru Samsung's servers. I called the toll free number that was included in the package. The explanation given was that I am using 2 devices prior to the camera. Namely a cable modem and a router!! Samsung support indicates that they do not support live remote monitoring unless you are connected directly to the modem, not the router!! What's the point of having a wireless camera then?

Samsung clearly missed the mark on this product

update May 23, 2013
Apparently last night Samsung did an update on their website for monitoring this camera. In the process, the deleted all the registration information and I have to re-register with the serial number from my camera. Well, I'm not sitting next to my camera, that's the whole point. Customer service cannot give you your serial number over the phone and they don't know why camera registration's got deleted

Stay away from this camera-
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2013
Update: a few months after I purchased these, one of the camera's infrared stopped working making that camera almost useless.

I just bought two of these and set them up in my lake house which is 2 hours away. There is a bundle pack of 2 for $200 at some stores, such as BJ's wholesale. It's a steal at that price, if you ask me. I ran them all weekend and tested the motion detection, alerts and other optional features. I tried the samsung app (on my iphone) and used Samsung's PC app too, very EASY to use. I also tried the private youtube (it uploads 30 second clips, not 50 as some advertise), picasa (still photos) and twitter options...individually and together. All of the features worked well and the cameras work well over wifi or cat5. In fact, the wifi stayed up 100%, which is a constant source of pain with other wifi cameras. It should be noted I updated the latest firmware too (which was a 1 click action item, real easy). The resolution is not the best, these cameras are very much like webcams but they are not awful. The night vision works OK. If you aim the camera through a window to view outside, at night, it will not work if there is no light or street lights. The audio is not great but I don't intend on using these for two-way communication. All in all, they are rock solid and work well. One other thing to note, when it switches from normal view to night vision (and vice versa) you will receive a motion detection alert, don't let that scare you ;). In fact, I consider it a twice a day reminder that everything is still working!
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2013
I thought this product sounded great, and I managed to get it on sale, so I was disappointed to have to return it - but it is a really awful.

(I was particularly interested in the Youtube feature and would be interested if anyone can recommend another product with that feature.)

To start using this product you create an account on their site and install a browser plug-in. I'm using a very ordinary Windows 7 computer and I tried multiple browsers, but that plug-in always crashes before you can do anything. I guess that's one of the problems with depending on a proprietary plug-in.

But that's OK as I will probably mostly use the Android app. There is no app which lists this product (1011N) as supported, but it appears that they intend you to use this app which is for a similar Samsung product (1010N):
[...]

Unfortunately, there are serious problems with this app. For starters, the reviews suggest that the product and the app are really bad. As well, the app requires permission to read and modify my contacts. That is the most important permission on Android and there is no reason for this app to require it.

Next I decided to check out some of their other features that can be configured via the web site. To do any camera configuration you must start with the viewer, which is silly because it means that you can't use the product at all if you decide not to install their plug-in. In my case I had to go through the restart browser and crash the plug-in sequence just to get to the other options.

It turns out that the other options are as poorly implemented as the plug-in and the Android app.

Setting up e-mail notifications should be super simple, but they have managed to ruin that too. Instead of simply using their own e-mail server, they expect you to provide your own so you must enter the technical info for an SMTP server including your account password.

And they mangled the Youtube and Picassa features with inept implementations as well. Instead of using the normal and secure method of uploading videos to your account without your password, they force you to provide your password.

These days, only scam sites still force you to provide your password when their is no need to. Of course, I'm not saying that the creators of this product are scammers, I'm saying that they should stop acting like they are.

Ultimately, this is not a big deal - you can just create another, 'throw-away' Google account to use with this product - but it is remarkable that with the plug-in, the Android app, and the online services they can not meet the most basic level of competence, usability, or security.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2013
Complete waste of time. Setup is a series of repeating the same step and hoping it will work this time. Seriously, I repeated the same steps changing nothing in between and it finally worked without explanation. Finally, I attempted to use the iPhone app and I got to the step where it asks for the 'Camera Password' with no discernible way to enter it. It just asks with an 'OK' button and doesn't allow you to enter anything. This might be because they haven't updated the app for iOS7? I don't know. But I am taking this crap back. I also don't like how it forces you to utilize Samsung servers. The fact that they can watch your cam at any time just creeps me out.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
After having the Samsung SmartCam for over 6 months I can summarize the problems. First and foremost is that the Samsung web portal for this product is very buggy and almost never works. Getting the motion detection to work and send email alerts is touchy at best and works poorly (always triggering or never triggering). The smartphone app is kludgy and amateur. It is extremely difficult to use the smartphone app. The device itself runs very hot and eats a huge amount of power. Finally, the video quality is OK and it has good night vision, but not enough to outweigh the crappy Samsung website and poor smartphone app.
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44 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2013
Let me tell you this. Previously, my home was burglarized, and burglars destroyed my security DVR by smashing it with sledge hammer. How outrageous.. Since then, I was looking for security devices that secure from those violent acts. That is the reason why I choose an IP camera. I researched through Internet and saw all the comments about how horrible IP camera is. So, I didn’t have a high hope on IP cameras but decided to give a try. I ordered each IP camera that available on Amazon, and end up with this SNH-1011. Here is my review for Samsung SNH-1011.

Great picture quality and transmitting speed:
I saw couple of complaints about choppy and lagging video, but I guess Samsung step up with this problem. There are three type of option for bandwidth speeds; High, Medium, Low. I tested all these setting with my Verizon Fios and guess what? With highest setting, there is no delay at all! Medium 0.3 sec delay and low 0.8 sec delay. Not a big deal.
(I just confirmed with Samsung’s representative that Samsung will expand their data server within US)

Set up is easy and simple:
The manual that Samsung provides is quite straight forward. You just have to follow their instruction. The downside is there are so many features that need more time set up such as YouTube, Picasa, E-mail notification, and etc. It took me around 35 minute to set whole thing up including other features. Once I set it up, it was working flawlessly.

Web Browsers:
I tested it with several web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. As a result, each browser has different installation time and transmitting speed. My preference is Chrome > Internet explorer > Firefox > Safari. Also, Safari does not support bandwidth option somehow. I tried to adjust it, but browser wouldn’t let me. It was no big deal to me since I probably use SNH-1011 with either Chrome or Internet explorer.

Android and iPhone App:
SNH-1011 has free app called “SmartCam Mobile”. Available on both Android and iPhone App store, but if you such through iPad, it will not show up. You need to switch your setting to see iPhone App compatibility apps. I do not know why Samsung does not list this app to iPad store, but they need to create an app for iPad since iPhone SmartCam Mobile app is does not work efficiently with iPad (stretched image just bothers me).

Slick looking with heavy base:
I love the exterior design of SNH-1011. Looks slick and has bright white color. LED Status light is also big plus (Red, Blue, and Purple). On the bottom of unit, there is a heavy weight component to prevent SNH-1011 to fall down. The weight is just about the right and can be removed.

I believe that Samsung is trying hard to make this SNH-1011 right. Only downside is it does not support cloud storage. To me, 30 sec record through YouTube is not enough. Also, I agreed that there should be way to protect our user ID and password. I’m not quite comfortable with this. If you are not going to use features like Picasa and Youtube, it does not really matter. But asking e-mail address and password seems lack of security feature. I contacted Samsung to ask about this, and they mentioned that they will fix this problem, and also, they will provide cloud service around March. Overall, I’m quite satisfied with my purchase and hoping Samsung will follow up these known issues and make it better.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2013
Brought this camera from costco. 2 camera pack for ~194.00. The camera looks really nice. The software that comes with the camera sucks!!! It rarely works and rarely the developer provide any update to fix the bugs or problem with the camera. Looks like I'll returning this very soon!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Bought this at a box store yesterday. Tried to set it up through the samsung web site and pop up told me I had to download a plug-in, which I did. Tried to sign in after downloading the plug-in and the pop up returned telling me to download the plug-in. I found no way to continue the set up because I was always blocked by this pop up. Looked for help on the support page, nothing. Found a phone number on the instruction sheet, called the number, and was on hold for over a half an hour as they counted down how many callers were ahead of me. When it got to 4 callers ahead of me I was disconnected. This is going right back to the store. Useless waste of time
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