The Lynx Indoor camera is a new contender on the block with a good amount of umph behind its entry. Tend Insights, the company producing the Lynx Indoor camera, has been at the camera game for about a decade, slowly improving their craft and winning a few awards along the way. The Lynx Indoor camera is not their first security camera solution, but it is currently the only camera the company produces under its own brand name. My experience putting the camera to the test left me with good impressions, also evidenced by the camera’s well-received app reviews and positive (although not numerous) Amazon reviews.
- Facial recognition
- High-quality night vision
- Low Cost
- No smart home integration
- Poor two-way talk audio quality
- Automatic reconnection issues
Lynx Indoor Image and Video Quality
Tend advertises the Lynx Indoor as a 1080p camera with a 125° diagonal field of view. In my experience, the quality of the live video lived up to the claim.
In testing, I found that the live streams appeared crisp and clear. Even in relatively low-light conditions, the color images came through without much in the way of grainy or pixelated looks. It’s unfortunate that Tend does not have an option to allow users to display the stream on a computer, given the high resolution. Instead, you’re stuck watching the stream on your mobile device. The only issue I encountered was occasional jumpiness. Now and then, the live stream would lag, causing a momentary quality loss.
If you're streaming, and you see something interesting, Tend allows you to take snapshots of live streams or you can even record video on-demand. I found that my uploaded videos maintained their FHD appearance.
Perhaps the best and most unexpected video quality came from the camera's night vision. I generally expect night vision to be choppy, yet Lynx Indoor's night vision was far more clear than even regular recording and streaming.
In addition to live streaming and night vision, Tend Lynx Indoor offers a digital zoom. While the feature is useful, keep in mind that the more you zoom, the more you impact your image quality.
Lynx Camera to Enhance Home Security
The Lynx Camera is somewhat of a mixed bag for those looking to increase home security with a DIY camera. While the most beneficial security features—facial recognition, push notifications, and event recording—work well, there’s a distinct lack of other features that make the camera worth buying. That list includes geofencing, a siren, arm/disarm sound triggers, and smart home integrations.
Focusing on what the Lynx can do, it shines with its somewhat limited, yet still beneficial security features.
Facial recognition, for example, is highly accurate and works at a relatively good distance. To get this feature to work, you can either upload someone’s picture from your stored pictures or take a picture with your phone on the spot and load it up. The pictures are stored in Tend’s online database, where their facial recognition software lives. As your video streams pass live through Tend’s servers, the recognition software matches faces against your stored images, sending notifications to your phone if someone is recognized.
If someone enters the camera’s view that isn’t stored, or an individual who is stored passes by in a manner that doesn’t trip the facial recognition software, you’ll still get a push notification. However, instead of saying who the camera saw, it will say an unknown person passed through the camera's view. A small, human-shaped icon appears next to the notification and next to the stored videos available for your review.
Another way Lynx protects your home is using its motion sensor. Its motion sensor is sensitive, in a good way. You can adjust the sensitivity level using the app, with the option for a more basic sensitivity level that will only trigger if something major happens.
Third, the camera will alert you if an event occurs. The push notifications are fast on the draw. Usually, in my experience, the alerts were received a few seconds after motion was detected. Unfortunately, the stored videos don’t seem to last as long as the actual motion that’s occurring, although I was able to get the camera to keep recording for close to 2 minutes.
Fourth, the camera supports two-way audio.
Overall, the Lynx Indoor is useful as a home security camera but very limited in what it will provide. It is easily bested by other devices on the market if you’re going for a maximum level of home security.
Tied into the camera's ability to protect your home is the addition of free storage.
Lynx allows you to store your motion-triggered video clips in the cloud for up to seven days, for free. After that time, it will delete the videos in the order that they were saved. The videos are stored in the same high quality, and you can view the videos that are currently stored directly from the app. When looking at stored videos, you can also save those videos directly to your phone.
Lynx does not sell any additional cloud storage, so the 7-days free storage is the extent of what you’ll get. Lynx doesn’t say how many cameras you can add to the free 7-day storage, but they do state that it's there for life. We are assuming that each camera comes with 7-days of storage if registered to separate accounts.
Lynx Indoor Software Behavior
There aren’t many negatives regarding software. Software is an area that can easily make or break a smart device. In the case of the Lynx Indoor camera, it helps make it great. The 3.5 out of 5-star rating for the app on Google Play is a good indication for those sentiments but the app currently lacks enough reviews on iTunes to form a consensus.
The camera’s software is highly intuitive to operate and easy to navigate. It presents a clutter-free UI, which is perfect for those who need a simplified experience. Somehow, they've packed in a lot of options into a minimalistic app.
The most concerning part of the software is that it lacks the ability to automatically reconnect the camera after a power failure. In a few cases, it failed to connect after I unplugged the camera and only started working again after I deleted the camera from the app and went back through the pairing process, which again is not always fun and feels overly burdensome.
A Quick Summary
Simply put, the Lynx Indoor camera from Tend Insights is a solid entry into an increasingly crowded market. What makes this camera shine, beyond its facial recognition, well-designed app, and free cloud storage, is the fact that it’s impressively inexpensive. The camera’s design feels a bit cheap, which is probably why it’s offered at such a low price, but Tend combines this with a higher-than-average software complement that makes the camera more of a conduit to the services Tend is really offering.
Compatible Devices and Pricing Comparison
As stated earlier, there are no other devices that the Tend Lynx Indoor will work with. This may change in the future, but at present, you’ll have to use Tend’s app to get everything working.
Lynx Indoor on Amazon $59.99
Lynx Indoor from Tend for $59.99
Lynx Indoor 3-pack from Tend for $169.99