Now I’ve been sent many cool gadgets in my time reviewing items; I’ve had headsets, a mini projector, a portable media streaming device and a solar power bank with built a built in torch just to name a few. Not quite sure what my favourite would have been before now, but the latest item sent to me from Bravo Tech has definitely taken 1st place on the podium for the time being. Yep, the DBPower Intelligent Network Camera is one of the more random items I have been sent but also one of the most interesting and fun items too (not sure it’s intended design is for the purpose of fun though).
Upon opening the box, the device came in I with what looked like an oversized webcam in a special kind of padded pouch to protect it during transit. Next to this was a small box with power cable, instructions and a ceiling/wall mount with screws for you to stick it up. So far the most impressive thing was the special packaging around the camera; I’ve never seen anything like it. The camera is white in colour with a white base that has speaker holes on the side, what I assume is a microphone on the front and a few ports on the back for the power cable, Ethernet cable and four slots to plug other devices in (such as infrared sensors). The mount was white too and quite small so it didn’t take up a lot of space whilst still fitting in with the design of the camera nicely; however the screws that came with it didn’t look the strongest.
To get this camera working all you have to do is plug it in and it will start moving by itself, I suppose it must be calibrating on start-up. Then download the app by following the instructions in the manual and this will take you through the setup process. You’ll have a user number and password on the side of your camera; this is used to register your camera to the app. Next you’ll decide whether to connect the camera manually via an Ethernet cable or by Wi-Fi; although I had issues connecting to the Wi-Fi as it would never pick it up on the app. Once getting it all out I thought I’d test it in my living room, placing it next to the TV so I could see people sitting down on the sofa.
I was impressed with the camera quality; because it was only 720p I didn’t think it would be the best in the world but because it was being viewed on a small screen on my phone it looked brilliant, you could make out every detail in the room. Now the app did more than let you just view the camera, it also picked up sound which is very useful when I wanted to watch the football but had to go out the room as I could take it with me. It also has a microphone feature on the app as well which you hold down on your phone and the camera will project your voice in the room, ideal for when you wake up hung over, just jump on the app see someone there and shout to them asking for a cup of tea. However if you live with your parents like mine they may not see the funny side in this and end up unplugging your camera.
Still, the fun doesn’t stop there as you can also move the camera by swiping on the screen of your smartphone. This allows you to move around the room and make sure no one is trying to hide from you. But wait…there’s more! Yep, there is yet another cool feature of the camera and it’s my personal favourite after the tea request service, NIGHT VISION. The camera is apparently able to see 7.5m (approx.) in the dark and when testing it out, the quality blew me away because it was still as detailed as it was during daylight. I’ve attached an image to show how impressive it really is.
There is one last impressive bit which I kind of mentioned above when talking about the ports on the rear side of the camera. There are four little slots for you to input other devices such as infrared sensors and with these added, you can set up the camera to call you when it senses movement. This makes for a great burglar alarm system because should you be away on holiday or at work and someone breaks in, it will record them anyway but it will call you so you can see and call the police whilst they are unaware they are being watched. If you didn’t want our stuff going missing too you could shout out to scare them off but the sound isn’t that loud so if they aren’t close by they may not hear you. Still a nice feature to incorporate other products with the camera to improve its functionality.
My only other downside for the device other than the difficulty I had getting Wi-Fi to connect is that the USB power cable is far too small. Luckily I had an extendable cable to help me place it in the optimal locations but no one wants lots of cables all over the place. There is definitely no way you could ceiling mount this camera without an extension or purchasing a new cable with more length though, so if you are planning to do that then be aware you may have to splash out an extra few quid. But in fairness for what you get for the money you pay it is really great value.
So overall is this worth getting? Damn right it is. If you’re wanting an advanced alarm system but don’t want to foot the massive bills that companies charge, this is a more cost efficient way to protect your home; it also comes in handy for lazy people who want room service like me. Get a couple of infrared sensors, maybe buy a cheap door alert as well and you’re good to go for less than £100, which is an absolute bargain when you have companies like Tunstall charging a fortune plus over £100 for installation as well. It’s easy to set up, it looks good, it’s fun to play with, there is just so much you can do with this camera. The quality of the product really does shine through when you see how clear the pictures and sound are on the device. Just think if someone did break in, you can capture them on camera day or night, you can record their movements and voices, and more importantly you can alert yourself to call the police without them knowing.Can you really put a price on the safety of your home? No, but can you find a more cost effective way to do it? Yes, thanks to DBPower.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.