As discussed, see below my review sent a few weeks ago.
Easy camera pairing with the Vacos mobile app (iOs and Android), I did not have the issues mentioned in the Indiegogo website.
- The mobile application runs better in iOS than Android, at least this has been my feeling.
- The mobile app is very poor and it does not give too many options to the user. Mainly I miss the following settings:
- Backup device - please provide the option
- Time/Date format - please provide the option
- PIR on/off - please provide the option
- Electricity (battery graph), battery life (mAh) - please provide the option
- Emmc storage - Here you can just setup the operating time of PIR, is that correct? Probably it’s a better idea to rename ‘Emmc storage’ to ‘Set Notification Schedule’ or ‘Recording settings’. Also it makes more sense to have direct access to the eMMC storage from the camera settings, because in the case somebody has multiple cameras that will allow him/her a better management.
- Cloud Storage (offer Cloud provider choice) - My account was 'activated; but it never worked, today it appears as ‘Not activated’. However, in ‘Subscribe’ it says ‘Expires on 2020-09-08’
- Device management is very poor and laggy, the date selection is not good, it is hard to select the time frame to check. You could enable the option to download/share the specific time frame/video/screenshot from the app, that will facilitate the video management to the users. Right now in order to download a specific video it requires to record that video again, this is not handy and it is not profesional. Once it is loaded, streaming an old video is very slow, making the app/camera not a functional product if you cannot rely on checking the videos on time. How many FPS is recording?
- Cloud Storage - It never worked for me, all videos are black. I have included a few videos showing this issue.
- Messages - I am not able to display the notification, looks like it tries to load from Cloud server, so either I get the following error message ‘No video data’ (Check Issue folder in material shared). Though from time to time when it tries to load the video, there is a mini video on the bottom right hand size with the video, if I am able to click, then the video is loaded. Also you can give the user the choice to remove these messages/notifications individually or per day/weeks.
- Local Files - I can select all and delete them, but I can not select all and save to my device, why is that? - please provide the option
- Spotlight on/off - please provide the option
- Color Night vision imagine on/off - please provide the option
I am aware that VACOS Cam is a subsidiary of Annke, which is a reason for which I do not understand why you do not open the RTSP or ONVIF ports to the users. This a huge negative point that it will impact on the end-user while deciding if buying or not a VACOS Cam. This camera can not be integrated with existing security environments.
Integration with 3rd party products, such as Annke or Hikvision protocol, actually Annke protocol is based on Hikvision.
Integration with Alexa/Google Home? So far I have not seen any way for linking this camera with one of these smart devices, is this feature already available?
Battery life? I fully charged the first day for 5-6 hours, not sure how long is the charging time, and the camera came with the 40%. First day I did not run too many tests on the camera, but I was surprised when on the first day the battery dropped to 90%. Second day doing tests, the battery dropped to 80%. It’s normal that recording videos consumes more battery than just having the device monitoring what is going on. For making an assumption on the quality of the camera, more time is required. Less than a week since I got the camera and the battery left is 50%, it is hard to believe for me that this camera battery can long for months, right now I doubt that it will long 1 month. Obviously, running tests on the camera will decrease his life, but in normal condition the owner should be in the position to check the camera on a regular basis, recording video, taking pictures or just stream on live (short time).
Quality of the image? I expected more from this camera, the SD is very blurry and the FHD looks more like HD because from 10m distance the image is not longer sharp. In general I found very low picture quality, when I say picture I meant talking about screenshots or video while streaming.
Night vision is OK, but it does not work all the time in color mode. Final picture in B&W is good in short distance, Color Night Vision is…
Notifications - A Security camera needs to have a notification function, but this VACOS Cam has too many FALSE notifications, the camera sends too many messages alarming you but nothing is visually detected on the imagine/video.I would say that just between the 20-30% of the notifications is accurate. Notifications are sent when there is a small change in the picture, so it is not all the time detecting human bodies or faces.
VCR mode has many glitches, this is not functional
It is not possible or at least I cannot run the same user on 2 multiple devices (iOS, Android) simultaneously, please fix that.
Everytime the PIR sensor detects movement, the speaker makes a sound, this is very disturbing.
Reset the camera just pressing the back button looks very insecure, what if somebody reaches the camera? Does it mean he/she can reset it and start using it by himself/herself? Can a camera be locked remotely by Vacos/user?
WebAccess - please consider the option to provide this access
Network latency - it is quite stable, though there are situations where the camera takes a few minutes until the connection is established. I have tested the camera from different locations and range between 1-10 meters from the routers. Sometimes the camera or the playback does not connect and you need to close and restart the app.
Speaker is standard, I would say that only for short distance, from 1-5 meters (videos attached)
In normal conditions, there is a huge delay between camera streaming in LIVE and LIVE. The mic maybe is too sensitive and it captures the wind easily.
Codec details (Video) - 640x360 when the data is shared via bluetooth from the phone to the laptop, 1920x1080 when the data is copied via USB from the phone to the laptop.
Sometimes when I am streaming in LIVE the app does not allow to zoom in and move around the picture, in others the camera zoom in and it stays as zoom in, there is one video showing this issue (IMG_7791 - video zoom in by itself.mp4)
These are my observations based on the mobile app for iOS 1.1.1 and running the firmware 3.6.9.
Later on with the firmware update to 3.7.0 the camera stability has improved:
- Some of the videos were corrupted directly when they were recorded using the Vacos App. I have included one line in the spreadsheet with obvious errors while recording.
- Playback from the Cloud is not working from me yet, the app shows the recording time in red, but nothing plays when i move over this area. I was hoping to find the same time frames recorded in the Device but it is not the case.
- Playback from the device works better in 3.7.0
- While recording I can see a huge delay between live and camera, this does not happen in other camera brands that I own.
- I am still not able to link Vacos with an Alexa device (UK), I have included a video following your steps [CDPI0954.mp4].
- Battery life: I know that the frequency of waking up affects the battery, also recording or the spotlight. However, since you have changed the battery logo, it’s hard to see how much battery is left, I would prefer to see the percentage (%).
Battery is performing a bit better with the latest firmware, It lasted two weeks this time.
- In the camera settings,
having the application in English, for the battery you use the word “Electricity”, this is not technically correct, please change to “Battery”, and when the camera is being charged, change to “Battery charging”, else the user does not know when the battery is fully charged.
You have changed ‘Emmc storage’ to ‘Recording settings’ as suggested, however when you enter in the settings, it still says ‘Emmc management’ on the top. Beside you could include the option ON/OFF for the Notification Schedule, like that the user does not need to create every time.