You've heard of Logitech, right? Logitech - maker of keyboards, mice, and webcams. Did you know that Logitech also makes home security cameras? It's true. Did you know that Logitech has decided that Logitech isn't cool enough and has shortened their name to Logi for certain products? That's true too. And Logi has a new security camera that's easy to use, relatively affordable, and offers battery backup. In full disclosure, I've not tested the Logi Circle, but I will share with you what I've learned through research to help you make a decision and learn more about the camera.
- Battery Backup
- Free Cloud Storage
- Time-lapse Technology
- Does Not Work With Any Other Devices
- Lacks Sound Detection
Image and Video Quality with Logi Circle
Logi Circle originally recorded in 720p, lacked web access, and lacked automatic arming, but they've addressed everything we initially complained about in the original version of this review. Currently, the device records in full HD 1080p. It can record during the day and automatically swap to night vision in dark situations that will allow you to see up to 15 feet. Also, the camera is backed by a generous angle lens that can record a 135-foot wide viewing angle.
The viewing angle is large enough that you should be able to capture a decent sized room. But what if you want a closer look? Circle includes the ability to digitally zoom within the app up to 8x. You can do this while viewing footage live or while viewing recorded footage. Unlike Nest Cam, there is no option to sharpen the view once zoomed in so the amount of value this feature adds is questionable.
Logi Circle to Enhance Home Security
Adding a camera to your home will naturally enhance your home's security. However, Logitech has been clear on the fact that their camera is not a security camera.
“There’s a new movement in home monitoring,” said Vincent Borel, director of new ventures at Logitech. “The nature of today’s connected world is changing the way people interact with cameras in the home. Video surveillance is no longer just about security; it’s about staying connected with our homes and loved ones. Planned or unplanned, magic moments happen in our homes every day and we designed the Logi Circle as your destination for capturing and discovering them no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Now you can watch your kids playing or catch your dog chasing its tail even if you’re running errands, traveling for business or at the office.”
With all due respect, Mr. Borel is wrong. Numerous studies have shown that what people want most out of a camera is home security, not lifestyle enhancement. While you can use the camera for home security, it lacks some features that other home security cameras offer. It doesn't have the option to call for help within the app, it doesn't offer smart zones out of the box, it doesn't offer an outdoor camera companion, and it doesn't offer true motion detection. Instead of a traditional heat sensitive motion detector, it uses software to decide what is important and what's not. Over time, the software should learn, and alerts should become more intelligent. This software will learn your habits and will send fewer alerts to your phone that are more inline with what you want to see. You can tell the camera to send you more or less alerts, and it bases its decision on the activity level and frequency. To make monitoring your home even easier, the camera will automatically arm itself when you leave your home and disarm when you return.
In addition to learning software, the camera includes what is known as Day Briefs™. This feature will take an entire day's footage and condense it into a 30-second snapshot. From a home security perspective, this is handy as you don't have to sift through a day's worth of footage to find an event. Simply hit play, and you can watch the entire day in 30 seconds. If something fishy happened, you'd see it.
Another feature that Circle offers that is valuable for home security is a battery. The camera is so powerful that the battery won't last long. Under normal use, it will last around 3 hours. Using the energy saving mode, it might last as long as 12 hours. Logitech markets this feature as portability. The camera has a magnetic base so you can unplug the camera, stick it to your fridge, and record a dinner party. However, from a home security perspective, this adds value as it protects against power outages - albeit short ones and the camera is still dependent upon Wi-Fi so if you're Wi-Fi goes out, you're screwed.
From a privacy perspective, Circle has you semi-covered using activity lights. If the light turns white - someone is watching. Of course, ideally they would stop someone from watching through the use of encryption, and Logitech does use an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
Circle Software Behavior
Circle requires an iOS or Android device with Bluetooth. If you prefer, you can also control the camera using web browser access from a desktop or other web-enabled device. From the web portal, you can stream footage from your camera, replay events, and download videos.
The app has been described as simple by those that have used it. It does show live streaming, and you can scroll back and forth through recorded events. You can also use the app to enact the two-way talk feature.
Finally, the app can be set to receive push notifications of events.
Video Storage in the Cloud
Logitech Circle does not offer internal storage in the true sense of the term, but they do allow you to download videos to your phone's gallery as needed. The camera also includes free cloud storage and will record and hold one day (24 hours) worth of footage before purging and moving on.
Recently, Logitech launched Circle Safe Premium, a paid subscription service compatible with Logi Circle. With a paid plan, you can access and store your video footage for an entire month for $9.99 per account per month or $99.99 per year. While they don't specify what per account means, we did some digging and found that the charge is actually per camera. Besides storage, Circle Safe unlocks the camera's ability to detect people, similar to Nest Cam's Person Detection feature. It also gives users the ability to create motion detection zones, potentially further narrowing down the percentage of false alarms.
If you find $10/month too pricey for storage, Logitech has a cheaper subscription service for you. For $3.99/month per camera, you can get 14 days of video history. The catch? Person Detection and motion zones are not included.
|Circle Free||Circle Safe Basic||Circle Safe Premium
|AES 256 Bit Dual Layer Encryption Storage||1 Day||14-Days||31-Days
|Price||Free||$ 3.99/Month per camera||$ 9.99/month per camera
$ 99.99/year per camera
|Smart Events & Alerts||YES||YES||YES
|Timelapse Day Brief||YES||YES||Custom|
|Advanced Event and Alert Filters||NO||NO||YES
A Quick Summary
Circle is an easy to use camera that claims to be focused on taking pictures of your family, but has several valuable home security features. It doesn't work with other devices, not even Logitech Harmony. On the bright side, it offers a battery that can power the camera for 3 hours; it has a nifty magnetic base, and the software offers lots of free goodies like cloud storage, time-lapse, and learning technology to make notifications more intelligent.
Compatible Devices and Pricing Comparison
Circle plays alone at this time. It would be nice to see it play with Logitech Harmony in the future, fingers crossed. The device currently sells for $129.99 and you can purchase your own here.
Cloud Subscription Plans
Smart Motion Detection