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Customer Review

415 of 428 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but on par with Dropcam without requiring a recurring fee, May 15, 2014
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This review is from: Samsung SmartCam HD Pro 1080p Full-HD Wi-Fi Camera (Electronics)
My wireless IP camera days began about 2 years ago with Foscam 8918 followed by an upgrade to their 720p HD 8921 model. Although overall satisfied with the Foscam cameras, they both would frequently lose connection needing to be restarted before reestablishing a video stream. In January I purchased the Dropcam Pro HD which was quickly returned after finding no workaround from the need to add another monthly bill to provide any real utility. The Dropcam Pro HD may be ideal for a few, but most will find the Samsung to be a much better value. I'll try to provide a comparison hopefully helping prerspective buyers make the right decision.

DESIGN: From a utility perspective both cameras offer virtually the same design with a similar mounting option and having a wide angle lens providing a great field of view without the need of pan/tilt feature as found of the Foscams. The Dropcam offers a minimalistic and sleek design. Using a combination of high grade plastic and aluminum makes for a well built camera that blends in with nicer environments well. The Samsung is a little bulkier and in typical Samsung fashion, rely solely on plastic for its construction. Despite the plastic the body is solid with good heft suggestion a good, albeit less attractive build in comparison to the Dropcam. The best comparison would be of a galaxy phone compared to an iPhone or HTC One. WINNER-Dropcam

SETUP: Setting up wireless IP cameras such as those offered by Foscam can be quite the challenge due to the need to create security loopholes in your wireless router necessary for viewing the cameras when away from home. Both the Dropcam and Samsung cameras make the setup so easy that you could have either up and running within seconds regardless of how technologically illiterate you may consider yourself. Both cameras even allow you to have the camera up and running without using a computer. However, at the time I hooked up the Dropcam, only the iOS app was able to be used for initial setup. The Smartcam allows you to setup the camera using either an iOS or Android device. WINNER-Samsung

IMAGE QUALITY: The Dropcam and Samsung both provide great day and night images relative to Wi-Fi/IP cameras. If hard pressed to choose which offers the best clarity I would have to say Dropcam edges out the Samsung. On paper the Dropcam has a slightly larger field of view. In reality I found no difference in the area shown through the video streams, but the Samsung somehow manages to do so with notably less of a 'fisheye' effect. Overall, I give the Dropcam a slight edge to the Samsung but definitely not enough to alone impact a purchase decision. WINNER-Dropcam

PERFORMANCE: Keep in mind that camera load time and stream delay will be greatly impacted by your internet speed and wireless router. For the purpose of my comparison both cameras were connected to the same internet connection on the 5Ghz band of the same router. The duration it takes to retrieve the video stream from the moment of launching each cameras respective applications is roughly the same. The video and audio stream of the Dropcam experienced about a 5 second delay. The delay of Samsungs streaming was notable shorter at about 3 seconds. Two seconds may not seem like much, but those are valuable seconds if using as a baby monitor and responding to a child in need. The Samsung camera has only lost connection once during the few months I've had it. WiFi cameras remaining connected has a lot to do with the stability of your internet service, but the Smartcam has been much better at keeping its video stream than my Foscam cameras. I did not own the Dropcam long enough to compare. If you notice your internet frequently dropping off or have to reset your router then you will experience problems with any Wi-Fi camera. WINNER-Samsung

FEATURES: Both cameras have a built in speaker and mic with the Samsung offering a selection of 3 lullabies. The lullaby feature certainly is not much of a selling point for me as I assume it wont be for most others, but the speaker of the Samsung is louder and the microphone records louder when utilizing as an intercom. The Samsung audio stream plays loud enough for me to utilize the camera as a baby monitor without the need to hook my phone up to an external speaker, whereas, I needed the external speaker for the Dropcam to feel confident enough I could hear everything when in an environment with background noise such the TV. Recording capability is another essential feature of these cameras. If you don't need recording ability I would recommend sticking to traditional baby monitors to avoid the streaming delay altogether. This is the Dropcam's Achilles heel as it requires you to pay a $10 monthly charge as their minimum cloud recording package. There is NO way to record video without use of their cloud storage. The recorded image are accessable for a 10 day revolving window without any means to delete video that you prefer not to have other people possibly viewing. Samsung records video triggered manually or through motion detection to an on board SD card. Some people may fear if the camera is stolen, the evidence is stolen along with it, but images taken once motion detection is activated are automatically sent to your email. WINNER-Samsung

OVERALL:
The cost of the Samsung Smartcam Pro HD after one year at $220 ($190 for camera, $30 for SD card), vs the minimal total cost of the Dropcam $300 ($200 for camers, $100 for annual cloud plan). At two years of ownership the Smartcam comes in at $180 cheaper. Each camera offers great hardware and have their strengths and weakness when directly compared but once taken in the total cost of ownership the Smartcam is a far better choice unless for whatever reason you have a need for 24/7 recording rather than relying on motion activate recording.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 31, 2014 9:26:31 PM PDT
Armdog says:
Great review, thanks. It tipped me over the edge towards buying the Samsung over the Dropcam.

Posted on Feb 14, 2015 1:39:25 PM PST
Matthew S. says:
Great review. I was wondering about how much recorded time do you get with the samsung device? For Dropcam you get 7 days of cloud storage for $100/year which is pretty impressive. Even if the Dropcam is lost or stolen or broken you can access the videos online which makes it pretty useful for security, right? Assuming you can make this camera hidden, how long do you get of video/audio recording before the SD fills up? And does it automatically erase old files, or do you just periodically empty it?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2015 8:42:08 PM PST
Jeff says:
I have a 64GB card in mine, but can't say how long it will continuously record for as I have no need to set for continuous record. Motion and/or audio detection triggers recording eliminating the need for continuous record. I have it set up linking to Picasa account and notifications sent to my email if the camera is triggered. In addition to recording to the SD card when triggered, photos are captured and sent to the Picasa account so if the camera (along with SD card) are stolen you still have access to photos of the event. The camera does allow an option to rewrite over the card as it fills up. With motion/audio detection triggering recording, I really don't find a need for continuous recording negating any benefit of spending $100 a year for such a feature. If you have such a need then the Dropcam is good choice for you, otherwise it just makes no sense to pay that recurring fee and limit yourself from other recording options that provide better control to include allowing you to save and store only what you want. Whereas the Samsung offers an overwrite option (albeit far from 7 days of storage before overwriting), the Dropcam does not allow anything other than overwriting.

Posted on Jul 11, 2015 4:04:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2015 4:06:34 PM PDT
blue rose says:
One night at 10:30 PM someone shoot at my living room glass creating a dimple. Considering >$2000 parts and labor to replace it, I invested for lightning the area with Two 100wat luminescent lights, and two 40W PIR, LED security lights. My drive way is 80 feet long, and if anything moves at this area everything turns from night to Daylight.
Next I wanted to record anything that is going on, when we are sleeping or out of home. Normally we newer leave for more than 3 - 4 hours. Before going to a 4 cameras CCTV system, which is costly and complicated with cables and recorder (I don't like wireless because of interferences and signal quality), I decided to try cheap and simple cameras. The problem is that they can detect in a range less than 40 feet. After creating a collection with useless cameras, that I hope to sell in Craigslist for half of the price, suddenly I solved the problem with a "Mini Full HD 1080P Car DVR G-Sensor.
Video Recorder Vehicle Dash Camera." For $29 + $2 shipping from ebay.
I stick this mini camera from inside of the window glass, identical as on the windshield.
The size is 2.3inch x 1.4inch (LxD), The Input Voltage: very forgiving DC12-18V,
Frame Rate: 30F/S
*Compress Codec: H.264
*File Format: AVI
*Static Current: ¡Ü 15uA
*TF Card: Support memory storage up to 32G
*Features:
*Shooting angle: 120 high-definition wide-angle lenses.
Video fomat: AVI (Resolution:1280x720P)
*Memory card: SD micro card (2G-32G),,High-speed micro SD card is recommend,,
I have a switch at the DC power cord, and turn it on when I go to sleep, or leave.
Camera has the feature to format the card; rewrite when card is full, and more.

Posted on Nov 10, 2015 3:50:20 PM PST
R. Majors says:
Great review. One of the major drawbacks for me on the SmartCam is that We can't turn the camera off when we are home without unplugging it. We don't want the camera to be in while we are home. The nice thing about the DropCam is that it can be set to automatically turn off when you get home and turn on when you leave.
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