Gone are the days, when Xiaomi was a brand known only for its budget-centric smartphones. The trajectory of Xiaomi where it matured from being a small new-age gadget brand to a well-established one, is a case study in and of itself. Now, Xiaomi has products in different categories such as Smart TVs, smart speakers, fitness, fashion, and more. One of these categories is also Home Security.
We’ve seen a few Home Security cameras from Xiaomi in the past and now, the company is further strengthening it with the latest Xiaomi Mi 360-degree Home Security Camera 2K Pro. As the name suggests, the latest smart security camera brings some major improvements compared to its predecessor, the Mi Home Security Camera 360-degree. But, is it worth it? Read on to find out more.
Mi 360° Home Security Camera 2K Pro Design
The latest smart camera from Xiaomi offers a sturdy design. The camera body is a high-quality polycarbonate cylindrical shell with a pill-shaped cutout that allows the lens to move horizontally and vertically. You will also find a microSD card slot just below the lens. On the back of the body, there is a speaker grille. Just beneath it, you will find a Micro-USB port and a Reset button.
The base has four rubberised grips spaced evenly around its circumference, which helps make it stay stable on a flat surface. The camera has a dimension of 122 x 78 x 78 mm and weighs around 349 grams. Provided you don’t drop it, the Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro comes with a solid built quality that is destined to last for a while.
Xiaomi Mi 360° Home Security Camera 2K Pro Installation and Setup
Setting up the Mi Home Security Camera is pretty simple and easy. The camera can be mounted on walls or can be placed on a table as well. Thankfully, Xiaomi gives you the base plate, screws, and plastic screw caps for mounting it to a wall. Once you place the security camera in your desired location, the only thing you need to do is connect the USB cable to the camera and plug in the 10W charger that comes with the retail box. The USB cable is long enough (approx. 2 metres), which is a good thing.
Once you power on the smart camera, you will see a LED indicator telling you that the camera is on and ready to pair. Now, all you need to do is download the Xiaomi Home application, which is available on Android and iOS platforms. However, it is important to note that to use the app, you need to log in with a Mi account. Of course, you can create one right from the app as well. Once you log in, here’s what you need to do:
- Click on the Add Device option and then place the phone close to the camera.
- You need to select a video camera from the option. You will see Mi 360-degree Home Security Camera 2K Pro in the list, select it and click on Next.
- Select the desired WiFi network and enter the password. The good thing here is that the camera supports dual-band WiFi, meaning that you can connect it to both – the 2.4Hz and 5Hz bands.
- Now, in the WiFi Settings, select the camera hotspot, which will be named chuangmi. Follow the on-screen instructions and your device will be successfully added to the Xiaomi Home application.
- I found the whole process fairly simple. It took less than five minutes to complete the setup, which is a good thing, especially for those who don’t have any prior knowledge of setting up a smart camera.
Xiaomi Mi Home App Features
It is worth noting that the Xiaomi Mi Home application gives you a plethora of options to control the Mi 360 Home Security Camera 2K Pro. The app is quite easy to use and you can control almost every feature of the smart camera. Once you click on the camera, you will be presented with the screen along with different options including the Call Back feature, click the image, record video, and D-pad. The D-pad can be used to control the camera’s pan and tilt functions. With the Call Back feature, you can enable two-way talk, while with the video icon, you can easily record the video and store it on your smartphone. The same goes with the images as well. On the screen, you also have options to shut it down, turn on/off audio, select resolution and more.
You can tap on the three-dot menu to access its settings. In the Camera Settings, you can enable data usage warnings, schedule physical lens blocking, which will hide the camera lens for your privacy. You can also select Image settings to turn on the timestamp and lens distortion error along with turning on the wide dynamic range mode and the option to rotate the image if you have mounted it inversely. Moving on, you can also turn on Night-vision settings and choose between full colour with low-light mode or simple night vision mode. Apart from this, you can also choose Human tracking mode and do camera calibration.
Next up is the Home surveillance setting, where you can select the sensitivity setting of the motion detection and enable push notifications of motion detection. You can also select the period of home surveillance as well from these settings. Furthermore, from the settings, you can also set automation according to your need, add a password and more.
Xiaomi Mi 360° Home Security Camera 2K Pro Performance
The Xiaomi Mi 360° Home Security Camera 2K Pro comes with a 3-megapixel camera with an f/1.4 aperture. The primary job of this security camera is to provide a live feed of your room or area, which it does surprisingly well. In a well lit-environment, be it indoors or outdoors, you get a great video feed with a decent amount of colours and the best part is it all looks clear. Sharpness is on point and if you want to improve the quality, there is a Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) setting that enhances the frame and makes it look less washed out. However, it does make the images and video a little dimmer than usual.
Mi security camera offers a 360-degree horizontal field of view and 118-degree vertical FoV. the camera can record in 2K resolution (2304 x 1296 pixel resolution), 360p and Auto. The best part about the security camera is the infrared night vision that comes with 940-nm infrared light that allows it to record videos in pitch dark conditions as well. I captured some footage in such scenarios and the results were quite decent as both the images and videos came out to be decently sharp and detailed. However, all the images and videos captured in this mode are monochrome, but there is a slightly grainy texture, which looks good.
The camera also comes with a ‘Full-colour with low-light’ mode that retains the colours in videos and images in low-light conditions. However, the footage is very grainy and practically makes it impossible to spot the details. That’s why I suggest that you should keep the Night-vision settings to Automatic as it does a good job in switching to the infrared-assisted monochrome mode when the light is quite low.
During the testing period, the barrel distortion effect was minimal. Moving on, the smart camera comes with some aggressive motion detection. The camera will detect even a minute movement like a paper moving due to a fan, and it will instantly alert you via a notification. So, if you are heading out of home, make sure that you turn off your fan, AC and close the doors so that wind cannot enter or be prepared to get spammed with a flurry of motion detection notifications from the Xiaomi Home application. That being said, whenever the camera detects a motion or a person, it records a 10-second clip. You can access the full log of motions detected and person detection alerts on the Xiaomi Home application.
Although, I found out that human detection is not really up to the mark. The camera keeps moving continuously and it generally doesn’t get the right frame to show me when I am moving. The worst thing here is even if you are sitting in one place and the human detection is on, the camera will move continuously, which becomes a headache after some time. So, it is better to toggle this off in the settings.
Coming to the device storage, you have an option to back up recorded footage to a microSD card. Sadly, the company does not provide an option to automatically backup the recording to a cloud storage service. However, you still get up to 7 days of rolling cloud storage of motion-triggered video clips. You can use up to 32GB of microSD card or a separate backup solution to store all the recordings. The company claims that the camera uses H.265 video encoding technology that requires 50 per cent of the storage space as compared to a traditional H.264 video with the same pixel resolution. This means that you can save 50 per cent video storage space and bandwidth with the latest smart camera.
Moving on, one of the best features about the Mi 360-degree Home Security Camera 2K Pro has to be the talkback feature. The camera comes with dual-microphone noise reduction technology, which makes it easier for two-way communication. The speaker on the smart camera is not loud enough, but it still manages to do a decent job. However, if your TV is turned on, it will easily mask the sound of your speaker.
Should You Buy Mi 360° Home Security Camera 2K Pro?
The Mi 360° Home Security Camera 2K Pro is probably one of the best options you can get right now. The smart security camera comes loaded with a host of interesting features and falls in line with the company’s philosophy of selling products that are bang for your buck.
The camera offers a sturdy built quality and setting it up is fairly simple. The overall quality of the recorded video is good and the night vision mode has been improved as compared to its predecessor. That being said, the camera still struggles with some aspects like human detection. Also, you get some aggressive motion detection, which can get annoying at one point in time.
However, these things can be easily taken care of by going to Settings. For Rs 4,499, the Mi 360° Home Security Camera 2K Pro is probably one of the best gadgets you get in this price segment.