If you've yet to buy a WiFi security camera for your home, now is definitely the time. As well as being able to better keep an eye on your home and belongings while away, it seems like every tech company worth their salt has brought one out, so there is now a huge choice. Today we check out the latest efforts from a company that has had their connectivity devices featured on these pages many times before; D-Link. We review the Omna.
The Omna is a cylindrical metal HD camera which connects to your home network wirelessly, then allows you to view the live stream via a smartphone app. And that is where we hit our first stumbling block. The D-Link Omna is only compatible with iOS devices. Yep, you read that right. Its mid 2017 and this thing only works with iPhones. You know, that smartphone that waaaay less than half of all smartphone users own.
That's a real pain in the arse if you ask us, and although we still review things targeted specifically at iPhone users (and iPhones, for that matter), we're big Android champions here at The Test Pit. The reason why the Omna is iOS only is because D-Link are pushing the fact that it is Apple HomeKit compatible, so you can use it with other smarthome products that also work with Apple's control app. However, even so we can't see much of a benefit of being in the Apple club, as HomeKit is still very much in the early stages of development, and there isn't much else you get out there to add to the app. Still, if you're an Applite who is fully dedicated to everything they release, here's why the Omna might be your next purchase.
The other big selling point of this camera is the 180 degree field of view offered by the lens. The camera itself records video in 1080p Full HD, which although is now becoming standard at this price point, there are still many tech firms out there releasing cameras at only 720p, so kudos to D-Link. The stretched view in the app looks great, and thanks to de-warping software built in to the camera, it looks flat and well proportioned, despite representing what could be the whole of a room.
And that is truly the point of getting this over other Apple-friendly WiFi cameras: you can see far more in one shot. As well as seeing the live feed on the HomeKit (or iOS-only D-Link) app, you can insert a Micro SD Card into the base to keep a physical copy of the footage. Set motion control zones in the field of view and recording will start (as well as a notification will be sent to your phone) as soon as movement is detected.
There are IR sensors in the D-Link Omna, so night vision is possible to an effective range of about 10-15 feet, and there is also two way audio. The microphone seems sharp and sensitive, and certainly you can clearly hear anything happening in the same room, while the speaker is loud enough to be heard throughout the house (if you really shout on the other end). So it's great for scaring your house-mates when they least expect it, and watching as they jump out of their skin. Always good.
Apart from that, this is a pretty simple bit of kit which – despite the great video and wide angle – is a bit low on thrills. It looks quite utilitarian and it works quite utilitarian; quite like most Apple hardware does. Still, that isn't a negative, and if you love stuff that simply works without many bells and whistles, this could be for you. If you have an iPhone. And you give a crap about HomeKit.