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Hands-on with Eufy’s HomeKit Secure Video camera that costs less than an Apple dongle

Slowly but surely, smart cameras with HomeKit Secure Video are becoming more common, and the price is falling. One of the newest options comes from Eufy, and costs even less than some Apple dongles. Here’s how the new 2K Indoor Camera from Eufy works with HomeKit.

specifications

At the top of the HomeKit Secure Video market are options like the Logitech Circle View. I went further with Circle View earlier this year, explaining how it works exclusively with HomeKit Secure Video, without integrating with the Logitech app or other voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Eufy is also known for its high quality smart cameras such as EufyCam 2 and EufyCam 2C. These rooms are wireless and battery-powered, but require Eufy’s Home Base. The new Indoor Cam 2K does not require the base and can be used completely, although it is connected via an included micro USB cable.

Hands-on with Eufy’s HomeKit Secure Video camera that costs less than an Apple dongle

What sets Eufy’s new 2K Indoor camera apart from the competition is its price point of $ 39.99. For this price, you get a 2K resolution with support for features such as real-time vision and night vision, as well as artificial information on your surveillance device. It can be recorded directly on a microSD card or through the Eufy cloud service. Of course, when you use it with HomeKit Secure Video, all recordings are managed via iCloud.

That being said, there are areas where the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K shows its price, namely when it comes to physical design. Eufy interior room is made entirely of plastic, including the base. This makes it feel slightly insecure at times, but you can manually adjust the angle of the camera when needed for the best possible stability. As the name suggests, Indoor Cam 2K is also designed exclusively for indoor use, which means that the design is not waterproof and has no claims of durability.

Eufy also sells a slightly more expensive version of the Indoor Cam 2K, with tilt and tilt capabilities. It amounts to $ 49.99, but the key to remember is that there are no controls in the Home app for pan and tilt capabilities.

HomeKit integration

Hands-on with Eufy’s HomeKit Secure Video camera that costs less than an Apple dongle

Interestingly, the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K was originally announced with HomeKit Secure Video support, but ended up being released without the feature at first. This has recently changed, as Eufy is upgrading to Indoor Cam 2K which brings HomeKit Secure Video integration.

As an update, here are the requirements to use HomeKit Secure Video:

  • 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

One part: Apple currently limits even the 2 TB level of iCloud storage users to a maximum of five HomeKit Secure Video camcorders. This seems like a pretty arbitrary limit, and with more and more cameras adding HomeKit Secure video compatibility and becoming more affordable, Apple needs to look at removing this cover.

Hands-on with Eufy’s HomeKit Secure Video camera that costs less than an Apple dongle

To add Eufy Indoor Cam 2K to HomeKit, you will first need to set it up in the Eufy app. After you do this, you will see the option to add it to the Home application and enable the HomeKit Secure Video features. In the Home app, you can set different recording preferences depending on whether you’re at home or away. There are four different settings to choose from.

  • Off: No one can transmit and nothing is recorded. This camera cannot detect activity and will not trigger vending machines or send notifications.
  • Detect activity: This camera can detect activity to trigger automation and send notifications, but no one can transmit or record anything.
  • Stream: Guests in this house can view the live stream of this room, but nothing is recorded. This camera can also detect activity to trigger automation or send notifications.
  • Streaming and Allow: Guests in this house can view the live stream of this room. The activity detected by this camera will be recorded and can also be used to trigger automations or send notifications.

One of the disadvantages is that there does not seem to be a way to use Indoor Cam 2K only with HomeKit Secure Video. This is not necessarily a problem in practice, but for maximum security, it would be beneficial to completely remove the Eufy application from the equation.

Hands-on with Eufy’s HomeKit Secure Video camera that costs less than an Apple dongle

The video quality of the camera is pretty good, and motion alerts are reliable from both the Eufy app and the Home app, so you can choose which one works best for your setup. With iOS 14, there’s new support for setting activity zones in the Home app, which you can also take advantage of with Indoor Cam 2K.

Finally, the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K is a great choice for those who need a secure, easy-to-configure and reliable HomeKit camcorder. Given its $ 40 price point, it lacks some of the bells and whistles of superior security cameras, but for the vast majority of people, it should be more than enough.

I’m glad to see that HomeKit Secure camcorders are not only becoming more common, but becoming significantly more affordable. The more cameras that use HomeKit Secure Video, the more pressure it means for Apple to ensure that the platform is reliable and as rich in features as third-party applications. As I wrote earlier, the goal for the Apple Home app should be that there is no trust at all in third-party apps from smart home accessories manufacturers.

Read more about HomeKit Secure Video:

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