You could spend thousands on dotting WiFi-connected cameras around your home, hoping to get as much coverage as possible. Or you could just invest in a camera with an exceptionally wide field of view to capture more in one shot. We test the D-Link Wide Eye Full HD 180° Panoramic Camera.
For those without knowledge of what kind of kit this is, this is a small camera that you can set up anywahere inside your house and then connect it wirelessly to you home WiFi network. Then, using a smartphone app, you can view the live feed of the camera and get alerts from it should it detect motion. Basically, no matter where in the world you are, you can keep an eye on your stuff.
What sets the D-Link Wide Eye Full HD 180° Panoramic Camera out from the rest of the (increasingly swelling) market, is the fact that the lens on the HD camera allows you to view a field of view of – as the name suggests – a full 180° degrees. So more to see, and greater peace of mind for you.
Unlike the last home security camera from D-Link that we reviewed, this is 'full' HD, weighing in at a resolution of 1080p. It also looks far less conspicuous, and the black, rounded body, propped up on the adjustable mount, means it won't stick out too much and be overly obvious. Other than that, the specs to get excited about are the night vision (with the IR lights nicely concealed under the black plastic head), the motion and sound sensors, and the user friendly mydlink app which we've used a few times before and enjoyed.
Another thing that caught our eye when setting it up was the WiFi indicator light right on the front of the unit. This indicates how strong the WiFi signal is in any given part of the building. This means you can see if it is worth installing the camera somewhere before you commit to it. To be fair, this thing is so small and light, and requires only a thin power lead, that moving it around to ensure a stronger connection is pretty easy.
Set up is carried out via the app, and if you already have other D-Link smart gadgets (as we do), its a simple case of plugging in the cam and letting it be discovered by the app. Once there, you can set things like motion trigger zones, sound level detector, and also how you would like to receive notifications. And, obviously, you can peer through the camera's feed to revel in that glorious HD image.
If you've never had a 1080p security camera (and a surprising number of supposed 'high-end' brands have yet to release one) you'll luuuuurve the quality of the stream. So long as your WiFi and internet speed is good, you'll have a lovely and crisp picture each and every time you connect. The 180° camera isn't what we were expecting at all, as we assumed the picture would possess a fish-eye look, as was the case with Piper. Instead D-Link seem to have employed some form of image correction to keep the outer edges of the picture smooth and in line with everything else.
This means all the real estate of your phone's screen, in landscape, will be well utilised as a result. You see more, and it greater detail than you might be used to from similarly priced systems. You can also access the feed through your account on the D-Link website, so you can expand the size even more on your laptop screen. The width of the image also means there is no need to employ a physical pan and tilt mechanism, making it easier to use and cheaper to buy.
We like what D-Link have done with the Wide Eye Full HD 180° Panoramic Camera, both in terms of looks and quality. Having it sit somewhere in your home makes for a nice conversation piece, while the combination of Full HD 1080p images through a corrected wide angle lens is fantastic.