Ecobee Camera Review: Webcam Meets Amazon Alexa, Incremental Sensor, Full-Featured Camera

Ecobee Camera Review
Ecobee Camera Review

Ecobee Camera Review: The Amazon-owned smart home brand, Ecobee, is launching a new smart camera to compete with Nest, Ring, and Samsung. It’s called the SmartCamera, and it’s an upgrade to their current Insight offering. There are a couple of other cool new additions in the Ecobee lineup, too, including a range extender that will boost the performance of their thermostats in large homes.

Let’s face it; security cameras are becoming more and more a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. You’ve got to have protection from possible bad guys and maybe even your boss or co-workers watching your every move! But there’s too much to choose from out there. I mean, how many do you need? And what will work best for our customer base? I have used so many security cameras that I thought the ecobee camera would be just like the rest. Boy, was I wrong?

Why do you even need a home security camera? Instead of an alarm going off, you can rely on your camera to capture footage of the intruder. That’s what I thought too. After all, the Ecobee camera is there for you, rather than for them.

The Bottom Line

Ecobee Camera Review
Ecobee Camera Review

The ecobee SmartCamera is a versatile Wi-Fi-enabled indoor camera with built-in Alexa functionality, digital pan and tilt, and interoperability with Ecobee’s Haven home monitoring platform.

Pros

  • Sharp image quality
  • Digital pan and tilt
  • Built-in Alexa functionality, HomeKit support
  • Works with Ecobee Haven

Cons

  • Does not support IFTTT or Google Assistant
  • Requires subscription for recorded video and notifications

If you like ecobee camera, please buy it from our link; we get a small amount, and the price you will pay is the same as the actual price.

Ecobee SmartCamera Specs

Connectivity Wi-Fi
Integrations Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit
Field of View 180 degrees
Resolution 1080p
Storage Cloud
Two-Way Audio Yes
Mechanical Pan/Tilt No
Night Vision Yes
Alarm Yes

 

The Ecobee Smart Camera (Price:$79) Amazon’sChoice is the latest addition to its family of smart home devices and is the company’s first home security camera. It is an indoor 1080p smart camera that gives motion detection and works as an Amazon Alexa device that can do every action an Echo smart speaker can. Image quality is sharp, and Alexa function works very well, but ultimately you can get more features for the same price with our Editors’ Choice, the SimCam 1S. Still, the smart camera is a solid alternative for Ecobee safe place users.

Design and Features

The Ecobee Smart Camera stands 5.4 inches tall (with its stand) and is 2.2 inches wide and 1.7 inches deep. The enclosed space is white, with a glossy black faceplate, and it uses a small silver stand that can be attached either to the bottom of the device for placement on a smooth surface or on the back panel for mounting hub on a wall. Mounting screws are also included in the box.

The best of the camera is home to Alexa action and mute buttons. The front contains the cam itself, a pair of far field microphones, a cam activity LED, four LEDs that flash blue when it is processing Alexa voice commands, and a speaker mode.

The ecobee SmartCamera captures 1080p video at 30fps and has a 180-degree field of view. It offers a digital pan and tilt using the mobile app and has an auto-pan and zoom feature that zeroes in on moving subjects. The camera makes use of three infrared LEDs for night vision video and is equipped with a dual-band Wi-Fi radio for connecting to your home network connection and a built-in alarm.

It is also make use of with a 2GHz CPU, 1GB of ram, and 4GB of flash memory for onboard videos processing, and it contains circuitry that allows the camera to serve as an Alexa device that will have fun music, run Alexa Routines, give you the news, and control Alexa enabled smart home devices. You can also see video from the camera on a compatible smart phone display. The camera also detects motion. Still, you have to subscribe to Ecobee’s Haven service to see recorded video and get motion alerts.

Haven is Ecobee’s new house monitoring service that allows Ecobee devices, including thermostats, room occupancy sensors, cameras, and door and window sensors, to integrate together to monitor activities in your house. Due to Haven, you can automatically arm and disarm your devices using your phone’s location services (Autopilot), see when people are coming and going, and view up to 14 days of motion-triggered video stored in the cloud to get event notifications on your mobile device. You’ll get alerts when the camera or any Ecobee sensors detects motion. Still, you can not have the camera start recording when another device, such as a door or window sensor, is activated.

Is ecobee Haven worthwhile?

Yes, The Ecobee Total Home Security Bundle work very well. I like that the device performs multiple functions, from temperature tracking to motion detection and live video streaming. The ecobee camera is well-designed, and its built-in Alexa speaker gives it more functionality than a standard security camera.

If you do not subscribe to Haven, you can still employ the camera as a standalone device, but you would not receive motion alerts and events are captured with a snapshot mode instead of a video clip mode. A Haven subscriptions will cost you $5 per months for the Essential Plan, which offers support for a single cam, or you can pay $10 per month for the Extended Plan with unlimited cam support.

Plus to Alexa and Haven compatibility, the Smart Camera supports Apple’s HomeKit and Siri voice commands.

Note: Still, it doesn’t support Google Assistant voice commands or IFTTT applets that would allow it to interact with third-party smart devices, at least not yet.

The smart camera works with the same mobile application (for Android and iOS) we can used to control other Ecobee devices such as the Ecobee Switch and the Ecobee Smart Thermostat device with Voice Control. The smart camera home screen contains tabs for all of your Ecobee thermostats, cam, and sensors. The cam tab displays the name of the camera, the last captured image, and a View Live picture button. Tap that to start a live stream with buttons for two-way audio talk and panning.

If you subscribe to Haven, you’ll also see a snapshot and video record buttons. At the top of the screen, you can switch from a Live view to a History view that displays thumbnails with timestamps for all recorded videos. Tap any thumbnail to view the video, download, or delete it. A gear icon in the upper right corner takes you to a settings screen to enable Autopilot, configure motion settings (activity, motion zones), and allow Window mode, which disables the infrared LEDs to eliminate glare when the camera is facing a window.

Back at the home screen, there are four buttons at the bottom. The Home button returns you to the home screen. The Activity button takes you to a screen where you can view events from all of your Haven devices, including camera motion events, arming and disarming events, and triggered sensor events. The Vacation button is used to configure thermostat settings for when you are away on vacation. The Account button brings you to a screen where you edit your home information and location and anonymously donate thermostat data for research purposes.

What is in the box?

Ecobee Camera Review
Ecobee Camera Review
  • SmartCamera with voice control
  • Dual Mount Stand
  • Power Supply
  • Wall Mount Screw and Drywall Plug
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Mounting Guide

How to set up ecobee camera: Installation and Performance

Ecobee Camera Review
Ecobee Camera Review

The smart camera is easy to install, but you’ll have to download the mobile app, create an account, and create a Home before you start. Tap the plus icon in the upper right corner of the home screen, select camera from the list of products, and follow the instructions to power up the camera. After 10 seconds or so, when the LEDs go from white to amber, tap Good to Go and select the camera when it appears in the device list. Select your Wi-Fi SSID and tap Next to have the app add the camera to your network and device list. Complete the installation by naming the camera, selecting a few settings (Window Mode, Autopilot, Notifications) and updating the firmware (if necessary).

Ecobee Camera Review
Ecobee Camera Review
Ecobee Camera Review

The Ecobee SmartCamera performed well in testing. I received instant notifications when the camera detected motion, and recorded video was immediately available on the History screen with a Haven subscription. Image quality was sharp and colorful, with no obvious signs of distortion, and the black-and-white night video showed good contrast. I had no trouble viewing video from the camera on an Amazon Echo Show, and it worked flawlessly in my HomeKit scenes. Two-way audio was clean, and the siren was loud enough to be heard throughout my house.

The camera also worked well as an Alexa device, although its speaker lacks bass response and is not well suited for playing music. It always responded to requests to control Alexa-enabled smart devices and never failed to give me the current local news and weather when asked. 

Author Experience

Ecobee Camera Review
Ecobee Camera Review

My husband and I were excited about the idea of this product too! We currently use the Amazon Cloud Cam, which we both love. Unfortunately, our main issue was that it was so cost-prohibitive. If a home has lots of windows and doors, a video system will fail after a while. The Cloud Cam has great picture quality, but there isn’t much one can do if you have lots of pets or kids. For example, we are in the process of adopting a puppy and wanted a more reliable system for monitoring activity around our door that allowed us to assess whether anything I am going to happen the next time he came to visit.

The Ecobee SmartCamera is one of the few security cameras we’ve seen that can easily replace an Echo Dot. The built-in Alexa functionality makes it a formidable competitor for any Echo smart speaker, even if you don’t end up using the camera functionality. In terms of value, the smart camera still works out to be $30 more expensive than the SimCam 1S due to its bundled smart thermostat, but that’s not an unreasonable premium to pay for an indoor security camera that provides home security features.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a versatile indoor security camera that does more than detect motion, the Ecobee SmartCamera is worth a look. It lets you use your phone to see what’s going on in your home and acts as an Alexa device that can give you the news and weather, play music, control Alexa-enabled smart devices, and more. The camera delivers sharp video, but you have to subscribe to Ecobee’s Haven service to view recorded video and receive motion notifications.

It is a worthy addition to any existing Ecobee ecosystem. Still, you get more bang for your buck with our Editors’ Choice, the SimCam 1S, including face recognition, mechanical panning, free local video storage, intelligent alerts, and support for Google Assistant voice commands and IFTTT applets.

Ecobee Camera Review
Ecobee Camera Review

If you like ecobee camera, please buy it from our link; we get a small amount, and the price you will pay is the same as the actual price.

Thanks for reading

Frequent Ask Questions

Does ecobee have a monthly fee?

Is there a monthly fee for Ecobee’s smart thermostat? No, the Ecobee smart thermostat does not require a monthly fee.

How does ecobee ECO+ work?

It works by automatically adjusting the temperature for energy savings when it detects you’ve left and quickly restoring your comfort settings when you come back.

Is ecobee making an outdoor camera?

You need to pay $5 per month to access a 30-day camera backup. It doesn’t call the police by itself (that might be OK for you). Ecobee doesn’t yet make outdoor cameras or smoke detectors.

Does the ecobee camera work without Wi-Fi?

The ecobee Smart Camera can be set up using an internal LAN network and HomeKit. To record video, receive the latest security and feature updates, and see live video from anywhere, it is recommended to connect your camera to a network with an internet connection.

How do I record my ecobee camera?

Open your ecobee app and select the camera you wish to record video from, then select Record. To stop recording at any time, tap Stop. Manual recordings have a maximum length of 2 minutes.

Is there a monthly fee for ecobee?

Is there a monthly fee for Ecobee’s smart thermostat? No, the Ecobee smart thermostat does not require a monthly fee.

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