Security Cameras Added to Philips Hue Line, But HomeKit Support is Missing

Cupertino, May 11, 2024

The Philips Hue line has long focused on lighting products, but this year Hue parent company Signify expanded the lineup to include a set of Philips Hue Secure cameras and sensors designed for home security. I was able to test the $200 Hue Secure Wired Camera to see how it compares to some of the other smart camera options on the market. Hue's cameras can be used indoors or outdoors, and the Hue Secure has 1080p video recording with night vision and motion alerts, which is what I'd expect from any security camera at this point. The camera itself has a base that attaches to the wall with a screw, but if you want to place it on a table or other flat surface, you'll have to pay an extra $30 for the "Desktop" version. You can also buy the desktop stand after you buy the camera, but it costs $50, which I think is unreasonable for a plastic stand that should have come with the camera at no extra cost in the first place. I didn't want to use or test the camera mounted, so I purchased the stand. You could probably rig something up, but the placement of the cord on the bottom of the camera prevents it from laying flat without the stand, and it's angled too high to use that way. To allow for interchangeable wall mounting and desktop use, magnets are used for the base attachment. The magnets are super strong, so even though the camera is meant to be mounted on the wall, I'm not worried about it coming loose. You can remove it from the holder and attach the holder to the top or bottom to optimize visibility no matter where you mount it. The field of view is wide enough that you can see an entire room if the camera is indoors, or a large part of your garden if it is outdoors. The Hue Secure has a white plastic casing and a standard camera lens inside, and there's no mention of a security camera. I was surprised at how long it is (just over 9.5cm), which means that when you mount it on the wall it sticks out quite a bit. The battery version of this camera is even longer at 15 cm, meaning it protrudes even further when mounted. I like the sleek design and magnetic mounting system, especially because the magnets allow it to be positioned in a number of ways that might not be possible with just a swivel mount. This is the standard base the camera comes with. The other base is one I bought for $50 so I could place it on a desk. Video quality was fine for a 1080p indoor/outdoor camera, and comparable to the HomeKit-enabled cameras I tested. So speaking of HomeKit, these don't have it. Anyone who has many Philips Hue lamps knows that they all work with HomeKit, but this is not the case with the cameras. No HomeKit support is likely to be a dealbreaker for those in Apple's ecosystem who want everything controllable through a central app. Hue cameras do not require a Hue Bridge to function, but the Bridge is required to integrate the cameras with other Hue products such as lights, contact sensors and motion sensors. It also enables remote control functionality for when you're...

Read more: Review: The Philips Hue line now has security cameras, but there's no HomeKit support

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