Tip: You may also want to read about the new and improved iCamera KEEP PRO.
I've had my hands on the iCamera KEEP for the past two months. I decided to live with it for a while before writing about it and I feel like at this point in time I have a good grasp on both pros and cons so if you want an independent review not influenced by marketing fluff or editors then you've come to the right place.
- IFTTT Channel
- Connects to iSmartAlarm System
- Free Video Storage
- Clunky Hardware
- Poor Night Vision Quality
- Cloud Storage Requires iSmartAlarm System
The iCamera KEEP Image and Video Quality
The KEEP records in 720p but not every camera that records in 720p is alike as there is often more to the story when you look under the hood. When it comes to recording, the iCamera KEEP produces a grainy type footage as compared to other cameras of the same caliber. During the day you probably wouldn't notice a difference unless comparing two cameras side by side but at night the difference is noticeable. It's difficult to find the more detailed specs of the camera which makes me wonder if they are hidden for a reason? As far as megapixels and FPS, I have no clue. Part of the night vision issue comes from the limited number of IR LEDs included in the camera. It only has 2 where Piper and Canary offer 12 and Dropcam offers 8. Still, the iCamera KEEP can see almost 26 feet at night though the ability to actually identify a perpetrator at that distance would be a shot in the dark...
I'm also not sure what the camera's diagonal field of view is, I do know that the mechanical pan and tilt will allow you to monitor an entire room. This feature will allow you to look right and left a full 350 degrees and up and down 40 degrees. All of this is controlled through the free mobile app using a finger swipe motion. The feature works perfectly and the camera responds immediately without hesitation while on the same Wi-Fi connection and also from remote locations though I only tested on 3G and 4G. On a related side note, I have been told that controller compatibility for this camera includes 3G, 4G, 4G LTE, CDMA, and Wi-Fi.
The iCamera KEEP to Enhance Home Security
The iCamera KEEP is an indoor camera and there is no option at this time to add an outdoor camera for outdoor monitoring. However, that doesn't mean that the KEEP can't keep you secure. The KEEP can monitor for both motion and sound. If it detects an event it will notify you so that you can check in on things using the free live streaming feature.
What really makes the iCamera KEEP a home security dream is that it can work alone or with the iSmartAlarm Home Security system. If you decide down the road that you want more protection, it's simple with the iCamera KEEP. You can add the iSmartAlarm Home Security package which will extend your home security coverage to include motion sensors, contacts, sensors, key fobs, and even a base unit with an integrated siren. But it gets better! If you add the home security system, you also get access to the iSmartAlarm IFTTT channel so that you can integrate even more security devices or even home automation devices.
iSmartAlarm Software Behavior
The KEEP uses the iSmartAlarm app. They have an app for iOS and Android but I only tested the iOS app. The iOS app is a little finicky. It's slow at times and it also sits and spins at times when in live streaming mode. From a navigation perspective the app is easy to use. If you want to customize your camera, click settings from the live streaming screen. From the settings menu you can turn on sound alerts and adjust sensitivity from low to medium or high. You can also turn on motion alerts which have the same sensitivity options as sound alerts. Next you can choose low, medium, or high-resolution. You can also turn on/off night vision and add more users from the settings menu. From the live streaming screen there is access to another menu called overview. The overview menu has the event history screen and also the option to add more iCameras.
Storage in the Cloud and Internal Storage
The iCamera Keep has a button at the center of the live streaming screen in the app that is essentially a camera button. Pressing the button will save a shot to your phone's gallery.
If you do add an iSmartAlarm Home Security System, the KEEP has even more options for storage. For example, it can be set to automatically record if an event is detected. It records 10 second clips and stores them to the cloud for free. The system will save up to 30 of these clips and you can view them from the app where you can also download them locally.
A Quick Summary
The iCamera KEEP is an interesting camera that is made sweeter when you connect it to an iSmartAlarm system. It offers pan and tilt but no zoom and free cloud storage and IFTTT but only if you have the whole setup including the security system. If you don't plan to purchase the iSmartAlarm system there are better stand alone camera options that are less physically awkward and also offer a more stable app platform.
Compatible Devices and Pricing
The iCamera KEEP works with the iSmartAlarm Home Security system. While iSmartAlarm has an IFTTT channel, it does not work with the KEEP standalone. Right now the only triggers available for the iSmart system are the contact sensor, motion sensor, and the CubeOne which are triggers related to the home security system and not the camera.
If you want to purchase the iCamera KEEP you have several options. They've recently launched at over 650 Best Buy stores or you can purchase one online through Amazon for $149.99 or on ismartalarm.com.