- Motion Tracking
- Free Cloud Storage
- Works with Other Yi Cameras
- Limited Night Vision Range
- Lack of Home Automation Features
- App Is Not Very Reliable
Security cameras can be quite expensive, with some priced at around $200. But if there's one thing Chinese manufacturers have taught us, it's that you don't need to pay a lot for feature-rich cameras. A prime example is Yi Technologies, a camera manufacturer closely related to Xiaomi. Over the years, they've manufactured and sold inexpensive security cameras in the U.S. They also sell affordable mirrorless cameras, action cameras, and dash cams.
One of my colleagues, Christina, reviewed two of Yi's security cameras: the Yi Home US Edition and the Xiaomi Yi Smart Camera (Chinese Edition). Aside from the two, Yi also sells Yi Dome pan and tilt security cameras, and that is exactly what we are going to review today.
There are two versions of the pan and tilt cameras. The older version is white and captures a 720p image. It is currently selling for $69.99. The newer version comes in black and records in 1080p FHD. It retails for $99.99. Besides color and resolution, the two cameras are the same. Interested in one or the other? Before you continue, let's make one thing clear: Yi Dome ONLY WORKS WITH 2.4GHZ ROUTERS. If you don't have a dual-band or 2.4GHZ router and you don't want to spend money to buy one, Yi Dome is not for you. If you do, read on.
Yi Dome Image & Video Quality
What Are The Similarities?
Besides resolution and color, the two Dome cameras are the same, so let's skip straight to similarities. Both Domes are advertised as having a 360° viewing angle, but actually, they're only equipped with a 112° wide-angle glass lens. The 360° viewing angle is delivered by the pan-and-tilt feature. The cameras can move their heads 345° horizontally and 115° vertically. So even if a single frame doesn't show much of the room, you can "look around" using your smartphone. The Dome cameras also make it easier to monitor important areas with the help of Preset Positions, much like Alarm.com cameras. While viewing live, you can bookmark up to eight areas. The next time you want to check on one of those areas, simply tap its bookmark and the camera will pan and tilt on its own.
You can also use the cameras for audio communication. Their two-way voice feature has two modes. First is Intercom Mode. Using this mode, only one party can talk at a time. The other is Hands-Free mode where you can freely talk and listen to each other.
Finally, both cameras are equipped with eight 940nm IR LED bulbs that provide around 10 feet of night vision.
Yi Dome to Enhance Home Security
What Are The Similarities?
The primary security feature of both Dome cameras is motion detection. If they detect motion, they will notify you. However, there are two other features that make motion detection smarter. First is Auto-Cruise. When set to Auto-Cruise mode, the cameras will turn 345° horizontally while looking for motion. They can even stop at your Preset Positions. In short, Auto-Cruise monitors an entire room and not just a single frame like other cameras do.
The second feature is Motion Tracking. When the Dome cameras detect motion, they send a push notification and record a 10-second video clip. While recording, they make sure the intruder is captured within the frame. If the intruder tries to move out of the camera's sight, the tracking feature kicks in to follow motion. This is similar to robotic cameras like Amaryllo's iCam PRO Deluxe.
The Dome cameras also care about your privacy. Both cameras have an Auto-Masking feature for when you're home and you don't want to be watched. Their lens physically hides under a cover to prevent your cameras from accidentally spying on you.
What Are The Differences?
Dome 1080p has one added feature: Baby Crying Detection. Need I tell you more? It detects the sound of a baby's cry. If it hears him crying, it sends a push notification saying, "Baby Cry". It also captures a 6-second video clip of the event.
Yi Dome Software Behavior
Both Dome cameras use the Yi app available to iOS, Android, and Windows PC (XP or newer).
Supposedly, the app is used to connect your cameras, watch live videos, use two-way talk, review recorded alert clips, and set your preferences. The real question here is, does it work? Christina's opinion is that the app is a mess. She wasn't even able to set one of her cameras up. However, the app is rated 4 stars on both iTunes and Google Play, and reviewers are saying good things about it. As Christina tested the app almost a year ago, it's possible things have changed.
The two Dome cameras each have a built-in slot that supports Class 4 or higher microSD cards up to 32GB for local storage. Clips stored on the microSD card can be viewed using the Yi app.
Yi also offers cloud service. All five cloud plans offer unlimited video storage. However, they differ in what kind of videos can be stored, how long videos are kept, and how many cameras are supported. The cloud plans aren't limited to recording videos from Dome cameras either; you can also connect the Yi Home U.S. Edition.
|FREE||Standard (15 Days)||Standard (30 Days)||Premium (14 Days)||Premium (30 Days)|
|$19.99/month or $199/year|
|VIDEO HISTORY||7-Day Cloud History||15-Day Cloud History||30-Day Cloud History||14-Day Cloud History||30-Day Cloud History|
|CAMERAS COVERED||Unlimited||One plan covers 5 cameras||One plan covers 5 cameras||One plan covers 1 camera||One plan covers 1 camera|
|CLIP LENGTH||Unlimited 6-Second Activity Clips||Unlimited Storage (10-Second Motion Clips)||Unlimited Storage (10-Second Motion Clips)||Continuous Video Recording||Continuous Video Recording|
A Quick Summary
Yi Dome and Yi Dome 1080p are two almost-identical cameras. They can pan and tilt, remember Preset Positions, Auto-Cruise, detect and track motion, and record locally or in the cloud. However, there are four differences:
- Price: Yi Dome costs $69.99 while Yi Dome 1080p costs $99.99.
- Resolution: The $69.99 camera records in 720p, the $99.99 camera in 1080p.
- Color: Yi Dome is white and Yi Dome 1080p is black.
- Baby Crying Detection: Yi Dome 1080p has an algorithm that detects the sound of a baby crying.