Honeywell has long been in the business of creating security equipment, and they show no signs of slowing down. At CES 2017, they announced a pair of new smart security cameras: the Lyric C1 and Lyric C2. While Honeywell promised to make both cameras available this year, they've only half delivered with Lyric C1.
Honeywell Lyric C1 Basics
Lyric C1 is an indoor-only security camera, relying on AC outlets for power. The camera needs a Wi-Fi connection (2.4GHz only) to communicate with the cloud.
You can set up your Lyric C1 in one of two ways. As is increasingly common with indoor security cameras, you can attach it to its magnetic base and set it on a flat surface. The second method, wall mounting, is also common for indoor cameras. At the back of the camera is a hole for a screw/hook, similar to the ones seen on wall clocks. Yes, this means you'll have to drill into your wall. If you'd rather keep your wall hole-free, the back of the camera offers plenty of space for double-sided adhesive strips.
Honeywell Lyric C1 Image & Video Quality
On paper, Honeywell Lyric C1 is just as good as any mid-tier security camera. It has a maximum resolution of 720p at 30fps, which is not bad but also not as good as our top pick indoor cameras. It has a viewing angle of 130°, similar to that of Nest Cam. It also features up to 16 feet of night vision, two-way talk, and up to 5x digital zoom. All of this begs the question, does Lyric C1 fall into the mid-tier security camera category? Not really.
Honeywell Lyric C1 To Enhance Home Security
What sets Lyric C1 apart from most mid-tier cameras are its smart security features.
In focus here is the Lyric C1 motion detector with motion-based recording. Two features make Lyric C1's motion detection smarter. First, it lets you create up to two motion detection zones. This means that two different areas within the same frame can be monitored for motion events. For example, you can monitor around doors or windows or in hallways. Motion zones can help you cut down the number of false alarms that occur. Considering that Lyric C1 can't recognize faces or even distinguish moving people from moving objects, limiting false alarms is going to be a necessary endeavor. Second, Lyric C1 supports geofencing. It looks at your phone's location, and when you leave the house, the camera's sensors will arm automatically. The downside to this is that you can only have one account per camera. If you have a family or a roommate, you'll need to share your account info with them in order for geofencing to work properly.
The second security feature that makes Lyric C1 unique is sound detection. As with motion detection, Honeywell adds some brains to this feature to make it smarter. Like most sound-detecting cameras, Lyric C1 can warn you if it hears loud noises. The sound sensor's sensitivity is adjustable. Also, the camera can single out the sound made by smoke alarms and will send you a notification of the same.
Of course, we've tried this type of feature before and found that sound recognition doesn't always work as intended. To help mitigate this challenge, Honeywell recommends that users place the camera within 49 feet of the smoke alarm. The closer the camera is to the smoke alarm, the better. Unfortunately, Honeywell admits that smoke alarm detection isn't free from false alarms. Beeping sounds from other appliances such as microwave ovens can trigger the camera to notify you. If you'd rather not be panicked by false notifications, you can turn off smoke alarm detection. The only problem with doing so is that this feature is tied to the sound detection feature, so if you turn it off, you'll lose all sound detection.
Lyric C1 Software Behavior
Lyric C1 can be controlled and monitored remotely via the Lyric App for Android and iOS devices. Using the app, you can watch live streams, receive motion and sound alerts, view motion and sound-based recordings, and adjust all the camera's settings. Unfortunately, Lyric currently doesn't offer a web app for PC or Mac, so you'll have to stick to your smartphone.
The Lyric App is the same app used to control and monitor Honeywell's Lyric line of thermostats and sensors. The iOS version of the app has an overall rating of 3.5/5, while the Android version holds a 3.3/5 rating. Based on user reviews, the app works consistently in controlling Lyric thermostats. However, as the Lyric C1 camera is new and it's the first camera offered in the Lyric lineup, there aren't many reviews on its specific performance.
Lyric C1 Video Storage
Honeywell offers two video storage options for the Lyric C1, both of which are free.
Lyric C1 primarily utilizes cloud-based storage. Out of the box, every Lyric C1 unit comes with 24-hours of cloud storage. The cloud can hold up to 50 motion and sound event recordings at a time. No more, no less. Unfortunately, if you need more cloud storage space, Honeywell can't help. They do not offer a paid cloud subscription plan.
The second video storage option is an SD card. Each camera includes an 8GB encrypted SD card that works exclusively with the Lyric C1. Unlike most cameras that allow you to upload videos to your computer by removing the SD card, the encrypted SD card that comes with the camera can only be viewed via the Lyric App. From there, you can download clips onto your smartphone or tablet's onboard storage. The SD card is removable, so if you want, you can replace it with an unencrypted SD card of your own. The camera supports a card size of up to 64GB. Take note that the local SD card storage option is a backup storage option. All videos still go to the cloud, but if the camera loses connection and detects motion, the event clip will be temporarily saved to the SD card.
Working With Others & Pricing
Lyric C1 is a part of the Honeywell Lyric line of devices, which mostly consists of thermostats and sensors. That said, Lyric C1 integrates well with all Lyric devices. Unfortunately, the integrations end there. Although Lyric C1 was one of the cameras announced to work with HomeKit, the integration didn't push through. Is it just a delayed integration or are they permanently backing out of the commitment? Only time will tell. For now, Lyric C1 is compatible with nothing but other Lyric products.
Lyric C1 is now available for purchase on Amazon for $119.00. The package includes the camera, its magnetic base, a 6-foot power adapter, and the encrypted 8GB SD card.