Samsung is not our go-to brand for security cameras. We previously reviewed the Samsung SmartCam HD Plus, SmartCam HD Outdoor, and some of their baby monitors. The cameras are average at best; they have good video resolutions, night vision, local and cloud storage, and security features, but they often lack home automation integrations, and their smartphone app is poorly rated. Plus, they're almost as expensive as our top picks while offering fewer features. So when Samsung announced the launch of the Wisenet-SmartCam A1 security camera system, I was curious. Will it change the game for the company? Will it finally be the Samsung camera to wow us?
Instead of offering one camera, Wisenet is a system centered around an indoor and outdoor camera. The indoor camera alone sells for $199 on Amazon or you can get the whole package for $399, which includes two outdoor cameras and the indoor camera.
- Works inside and outside
- Outdoor camera is battery-powered
- Panning indoor camera with motion tracking
- Lacks home automation integration
- Indoor camera only pans when connected to the panning station
Image and Video Quality
There are two cameras plus one hub in the Wisenet-SmartCam A1 system.
The Station Hub is capable of pairing with one Wisenet indoor camera and seven Wisenet outdoor cameras. As a central hub, it controls the arming and disarming of the cameras connected to it. You can even schedule it to arm certain cameras at certain times. Aside from being a hub, the Station Hub serves as local storage for the cameras connected to it. The storage isn't built-in, but you can add your own microSD card (up to 128GB). The Station Hub does need to be plugged into an outlet, and must remain connected to Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
The second component of the Wisenet A1 system is the indoor camera, named the Station Camera. The Station Camera is a puck-shaped camera that can sit on top of the Station Hub. Together they form an ultimate indoor camera that pans up to 350° and kind of looks like Angee. The indoor camera can even track and follow motion on its own.
Although Wisenet recommends mounting the camera on the Station Hub, you can remove it to enjoy a more flexible installation experience. The bottom of the camera has a screw hole that allows you to connect it to tripods or any camera mount with a similar screw size. However, when you take it off of its station, the camera loses its ability to pan. What's left is a battery-powered camera (3 hours of battery life when streaming continuously) with a 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second, a 24-foot night vision range, and a 130-degree wide angle lens, still not too shabby.
The final component is the outdoor camera. Each Wisenet system can support up to seven outdoor cameras. Its specs are similar to Canary Flex and its design resembles Arlo Pro. The camera records in 720p at 15 fps with a viewing angle of 110°, which isn't as strong as its FHD indoor companion or even most other outdoor cameras. Its strength is that it's primed to work outdoors and comes equipped with night vision that can see up to 24 feet in the dark. It has an IP rating of 65, making it waterproof and dustproof. It's also battery-powered, just place it anywhere your WiFi reaches. The camera comes with four replaceable CR123 batteries.
Wisenet-SmartCamA1 to Enhance Home Security
The Station camera and its outdoor companion may be part of the same system, but they have different security features.
The indoor camera has both motion and audio detection. If motion or a loud sound is detected, it will send a notification to your smartphone. In addition, it supports motion detection zones. You can tell the camera which areas of the frame should be monitored by drawing virtual rectangles around those areas. If the camera detects motion within those areas, it will notify you. If the motion occurs outside the detection zones, it will be ignored. Finally, the camera can pan when it is physically connected to the station. This feature enables the camera to track motion and follow it, similar to iCamera KEEP Pro and iCam Pro Deluxe.
The outdoor camera has fewer security features. It only detects motion, and it doesn't support motion detection zones. It does have a built-in microphone for recording audio and two-way talk, but it doesn't detect loud sounds. Essentially, the outdoor camera will only send you notifications if motion is detected and when its battery is low. One possible issue concerning battery-powered cameras that detect motion is that they are sometimes slow to wake up. In Wisenet's description, they specifically state that the camera swaps to standby mode to conserve power. It only wakes up when it detects motion. The question is, will it be able to wake up fast enough?
Like other modern security cameras, Wisenet A1 works hand-in-hand with its iOS and Android companion apps. The app isn't feature rich, but it does allow you to monitor your cameras in real time, customize your alert settings, arm/disarm your cameras on the fly, and manually trigger recordings.
According to reviews, the app is usable, but mediocre at best. Users have reported issues, such as not being able to download clips from the SD card to their phones. Some also claim that the app is unreliable, sometimes failing to show you event clips if there are too many events. The Android app is rated 3.3 / 5 while the iOS app is rated 2 stars out of 5.
Unfortunately, Wisenet A1 does not have a cloud storage option. Its only storage option is local, which is through the Station Hub's optional microSD card slot. On the bright side, Wisenet allows you to choose whether to record event clips only or to record continuously.
Wisenet-SmartCam A1 sounds like a good option, though there's nothing earth-shattering about the technology. The indoor camera records in FHD, there are smart features such as motion tracking and detection zones, and the system can monitor indoor and outdoor spaces. However, there are other indoor/outdoor duos already on the market such as Canary and Canary Flex, the Nest Cam and Nest Cam Outdoor, the Blink Indoor Camera and Blink XT, and Arlo Wire-Free and Arlo Pro. Most of these options have already proven themselves useful, Wisenet-SmartCam A1 has not.