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Hands-on: Logitech unveils new Circle View smart camera with HomeKit Secure Video

Hands-on: Logitech unveils new Circle View smart camera with HomeKit Secure Video

Logitech has officially unveiled its new Circle View smart camera that works exclusively with Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video platform. Circle View is similar to the wired Circle 2, but with an emphasis on privacy and a new black design.

Circle View features what Logitech calls a “TrueView” camera that offers 1080P video quality with a 180-degree field of view. The infrared camera system can also provide “full field visibility and superior brightness in the dark up to 15 meters away”.

Logitech Circle View shares many similarities to the wired Circle 2, which added support for HomeKit Secure Video last year. Circle View features a wired design that is weatherproof for indoor and outdoor use. The included 10 meter power cord is tied to the camera and (unfortunately) white.

Included with Circle View is wall mounting hardware, including a mounting plate, cable clips, screws, and anchors. Unfortunately, what seems to be missing at the moment are the various mounting accessories available for the Circle 2, such as the incredibly useful Window Mount.

Logitech has put privacy at the forefront of its new Circle View smart camera. HomeKit Secure Video support provides a certain level of privacy, but Logitech has taken things a step further. In fact, there is a camera button itself to instantly turn off audio and video.

Other technical specifications of the new Circle View include:

  • Wireless protocol support: 2.4GHz 802.11 b / g / n Wi-Fi
  • Sensor / Video: 16: 9 format sensor with video recording up to 1080p HD and glass lens with 180 degree DFOV
  • Night vision lighting: 2 IR LEDs that provide illumination in an unobstructed area up to 15 ft
  • Microphone / speaker: MEMS digital microphone, mono speaker
  • Evaluation of the weather resistance of the camera body: IP64

The Logitech Circle View will begin shipping this month and will be available on the Logitech website as well as the Apple online store. It will retail for $ 159.99.

9to5Mac’s Take

Hands-on: Logitech unveils new Circle View smart camera with HomeKit Secure Video

Interestingly, Logitech has made the new Circle View work exclusively with Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video platform. It emphasizes the privacy-centric design of the room. While the original wired Circle 2 added HomeKit Secure Video, it could also work with the Logitech application, as well as basic HomeKit support.

My colleague Zac Hall went through HomeKit Secure Video in detail last year, highlighting both the advantages of the platform and some interesting aspects of it. Much of what Zac wrote then still sounds true today, including the requirements to use HomeKit Secure Video in the first place:

  • iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 13.2 or iPadOS 13.2 or later
  • iPad, Apple TV or HomePod used as a home hub
  • 200 GB ($ 2.99 / month) for one room or 2TB ($ 9.99 / month) iCloud storage plan for up to 5 rooms

Because Circle View is limited to HomeKit Secure Video, everything is easy to manage in the Home app, and all settings are adjustable, such as camera status light, night vision light, recording preferences, and more. For someone deep in the HomeKit ecosystem, having everything in the Home app is very convenient.

Some other quick impressions:

  • HomeKit code located at the bottom for easy access
  • Viewing circles only shows movement and brightness in the Home app, not other details like temperature
  • The power cord is USB-A
  • HomeKit Secure Video does not matter to iCloud storage

The power button on and off the camera itself is the differentiator with Circle View. The biggest disadvantage is that it is not automated. Instead, you’ll have to manually press the button on the camera itself to turn it off or on or to rely on geofencing – and geofencing isn’t necessarily the solution everyone wants.

Finally, my favorite way to view live images of HomeKit cameras is through the third-party HomeCam app. This makes it possible to view multiple rooms in real time and quickly access the associated commands. The Home app requires you to touch each individual room to view those streams.

What do you think about the new Logitech Circle View? I’ll have a full review soon, so make sure you share all the questions in the comments!

Read more about HomeKit Secure Video:

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