If you want a solid internal security camera that can double as a smart speaker and you don’t mind paying extra for a more or less mandatory subscription service, Amazon has a solid deal right now. The Ecobee SmartCamera is on sale for $ 80, or $ 20 out of the usual $ 100. However, the transaction only lasts until April 14.
I reviewed the Ecobee SmartCamera last summer, giving it three out of five stars. That rating was largely for its higher price and subscription requirement, although at least one of these factors – its high sticker price – is not an issue today. “Ecobee is building our absolute smart thermostat, and its new SmartCamera with voice control security camera is just as innovative,” I said.
The camera itself has 1080p video capture, a 180-degree field of view, automatic pan and two-way zoom and talk. As a smart speaker, the Ecobee SmartCamera has a built-in Alexa Amazon for simple web queries, traffic and weather updates, and for listening to music through subscription services like Spotify. Alexa’s presence also means that the SmartCamera can control smart devices at home.
As of December last year, the SmartCamera is compatible with the Apple HomeKit Secure Video protocol, which allows you to analyze videos recorded on local “home hub” devices, such as an Apple TV, an iPad or a HomePod or HomePod mini. You can also securely store videos recorded in iCloud.
While the Ecobee SmartCamera offers free live streaming, you’ll need to subscribe to Ecobee’s Haven’s cloud service for $ 5 a month (or $ 10 a month for multi-room homes) to record videos for later review. There is no option to keep videos on board.
As long as you don’t mind paying extra for Haven or just watching live, the Ecobee SmartCamera offers good value for $ 80.
[Today’s deal: Ecobee SmartCamera for $80 on Amazon.]