Review: Hive View camera
Smart home connected cameras are ten a penny these days.
But they aren’t all good, integration isn’t always seamless and features vary a lot.
The View (not to be confused with last year’s Camera) is the latest addition to the Hive smart home ecosystem, developed by Centrica Home.
It is a smart indoor internet connected camera that enables you to keep a beady eye on what is happening in your home or other premises while you aren’t there.
From a design perspective it is a little unusual but attractive nonetheless and will blend in nicely to most surroundings.
Designed by renowned designer Yvette Behal, the cube shaped camera unit attaches magnetically to the sturdy metal base.
This means it can easily be swiveled, or even detached and moved around the house depending on where or what you might want to keep an eye on.
The on board battery holds around an hour’s worth of charge - long enough to be able to keep a remote eye on a napping baby for example.
It comes in two colour schemes - black and brushed copper or white and champagne gold.
Out of the box it is easy to set up.
You simply download the Hive app, plug in the camera, and connect the two via Bluetooth.
You do not need the Hive Hub controller that’s necessary for remotely controlling other Hive products in order to use the View.
The camera shoots in HD, either 720p or 1080p, and has effective night vision capability which can either be set either to Auto or Off.
The field of view is around 130 degrees which is wide enough to capture most movements in front of it in an average sized room.
The camera also has a microphone which allows you to capture audio.
An inbuilt motion and sound detection system, with adjustable sensitivity levels, will pick up movement or noise near the camera when they are activated.
The motion detection system can be set only to alert you if the movement is a person, rather than an animal, meaning you can leave it on when your pooch or moggy is at home and you won’t get hundreds of notifications during the day.
You can choose whether you wish to be alerted or not via push notification and/or email and/or SMS.
Those notifications can be scheduled so that they stop during certain times of the day or night.
When motion is detected, as well as sending a notification the camera starts recording automatically.
You can then open the app and watch a live stream of what is happening.
You can also look back at the events that triggered previous recordings over the past twenty four hours for free.
That can be extended to 30-day playback for a €4.99 a month subscription.
According to Hive, the View has a privacy mode so that it only records when needed via the Hive app or through the set schedules.
You can choose whether you want certain coloured lights to appear or not on the front of the camera when particular actions are being performed or its status changes.
Overall, the device performs well. Set up is simple, the app interface is intuitive and the quality of the motion detection and capture top notch.
The monthly fee for extended recording history might put some users off.
At €199 for a single unit, or €339 for two, it is among the more expensive options out there.
But the quality and its easy integration into the Hive ecosystem more or less justifies the price tag.
Comments welcome via Twitter to @willgoodbody