Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide
GE branched out from smart lighting last year with a new smart-home brand, Cync, and the announcement of a clutch of new hardware. One of the new products is the Cync Indoor Smart Camera, a no-frills home security camera that enables easy home monitoring whether you’re a novice or a seasoned smart-home user.
The camera is enclosed in an oval housing that’s attached to a pedestal-style base. It can stand freely on a table or shelf or be mounted to a wall with the included hardware. In either installation, you can manipulate the camera on its base in multiple directions to achieve the desired viewing angle. It’s most notable cosmetic feature is the face of the camera which doubles as a privacy shutter you can manually slide to cover the lens and built-in microphone when you want to stop capturing video without turning the camera off.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best home security cameras, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
The camera captures 1080p live video and records event clips when it detects motion or sound. Infrared LEDs provide black-and-white night vision that’s automatically activated in low light, and the mic and speaker enable two-way talk.
You can automatically save recorded video to the cloud with a CAM Cync subscription, which stores two weeks of video clips for a single camera. The plan costs $3 per month or $30 per year, and you get a free 30-day trial with the purchase of the camera. Alternatively, you can record video locally to a microSD card (not included), though the camera only supports cards with an unusually low max capacity of 32GB.
The Cync companion app guides you through the process of setting up the camera. This includes connecting the camera to your wireless network, finding other connected Cync devices, and setting up voice control through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Once the initial setup was complete, there was a firmware update to install. From start to finish, the process took about five minutes.
The camera delivers sharp daytime video with accurate colors and night vision provides even illuminations and strong contrast. Sound and motion alerts, including person detection, were accurate and delivered instantaneously. I was able to stream live video to an Amazon Echo Show without any issues.
The Cync app, which was designed for use with all Cync smart home devices, is easy to navigate and facilitates complete remote camera control. Selecting the camera from the app’s device list opens its live feed. Beneath this pane are controls for two-way talk, recording video manually, and capturing screenshots from the live video. Detection-triggered video clips are displayed in a horizontal scroll along the bottom which you can filter by event type (sound, motion, or people). There’s also a button for turning on privacy mode remotely, which simply deactivates the camera and microphone when you’re not close enough to use the camera’s privacy shutter.
The app’s settings menu, accessible from the live-feed screen, lets you edit the camera’s name and room assignment, change the resolution, and enable microSD card recording. You can also adjust detection sensitivity, create detection zones, and schedule time blocks when you want to disable detection.
Considering this is GE’s first home security camera, it’s a pretty polished device. First-iteration cameras are sometimes marred by slow responsiveness, timeouts, and other connectivity hiccups, but the Cync Indoor Smart Camera operated seamlessly throughout my testing period. The Cync app was equally as reliable and should be a breeze to use even if you’ve never owned a smart home security camera before. The most obvious area for improvement is third-party support. There are no IFTTT integrations, and it doesn’t support Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, leaving it cut off from scores of other smart-home devices. That may change with future updates, but if you can’t wait, other budget-priced cameras offer more third-party integration, including the Wyze Cam v3 and the Eufy Security Indoor Cam.
Best Prices Today: GE Lighting Cync Indoor Smart Camera