realme Smart Cam 360 review: Making security smarter (and cuter)

realme Smart Cam 360 review: Making security smarter (and cuter)

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realme has recently become the number one smartphone vendor in the Philippines but that doesn’t mean they’re just limited to smartphones. The brand has since evolved to providing products to further make everyday lives easier and a bit more exciting (and dubbed it AIoT). But then, realme is already done with fitness trackers and TWS and is now moving on to tech for your home.

Included in the array of new products that realme has announced, what we have here is the Smart Cam 360. Despite sounding like an action camera, it’s a security camera that’s easily accessible by you while you’re away. It also comes with useful features that improve picture quality, efficiency of transmitted data, and stability of connection.

Design

The realme Smart Cam 360 comes in this robot-looking physique. Its black and white color combination almost reminds us of EVE from the movie WALL-E, although not as futuristic-looking. The entire black part rotates and acts like the eyeball of the camera when you look around the room. Roll it upwards, and the microSD slot for storage is then accessible with support up to 128GB.

As its name suggests, it provides a 360-degree panoramic vision using the included pedestal at the base that the camera rotates on.

At the back, the device has a speaker grille since it supports two-way voice calls (more on that later).

There are two ways of mounting the Smart Cam 360: One is simply placing it on top of a flat surface, while you can also choose to mount it upside down on the ceiling. If you choose to go with the latter, there are included screws for inverted mounting.

The package even comes with a set of stickers to personalize your own security camera.

Setup

It gets power via a micro-USB cable connected to a wall charger — both included in the box. Whether you choose to place it on a surface or mounted inverted, setup is pretty easy. It involves a three-step process that involves downloading the realme Link App, turning the camera on, and pairing the app to the camera.

Using a realme narzo 20, pairing between the two devices was fast with no hiccups. The app was able to detect the presence of the camera instantly and after following a couple of instructions, the camera was ready to go.

Image Quality

The Smart Cam 360 shoots at Full HD resolution or 1080p with a wide dynamic range to help in improving picture quality — especially to improve the dark and light areas of the image. Of course, images produced are not smartphone-level in terms of clarity, but they still remain decent.

Even at night and in pitch black rooms, the camera uses its infrared night vision that reveals images our naked eyes wouldn’t able to see. It even comes with 3D noise canceling to provide clearer images and an edge distortion correction so it doesn’t look like the images were captured with a fish-eye lens.

Of course, when you want to playback videos you would be streaming it from the device since it’s where the clips are stored. And depending on the stability of connectivity, online playback is notorious for lags and images breaking apart while playing. That was not the case with the Smart Cam 360. Playback was actually smooth and without issue with only minimal lags. The company says this is thanks to a new video encoding technology using an H.265 video format.

Performance

The app layout is simple and straightforward so functions are easily understandable. From the home screen, you can choose to control where the camera is looking, check the Alarms or Replay if you want to check for movements or disturbances in the room (yes, it can tell), activate a two-way call, and access saved images. Apart from the Settings tab, you can also access the Multi-channel page if you have more than one camera set up.

The ‘smart’ part of this AIoT device is the fact that it can log multiple disturbances even when you’re not actively monitoring the camera through the app. It can detect motion, humans, or sound — specifically, or altogether — and list down the date and timestamp when these were recorded. This way, it will be hard to miss any events happening back home while you’re away.

“You don’t watch me, hooman. I watch you.”

Additionally, the app even sends you notifications at the moment it records something. That alone is really helpful if you want to keep your home secure.

As mentioned, the Smart Cam 360 supports two-way voice calls. It’s not likely that this feature is for another human being since you can easily reach someone through a phone. We think this is specifically for your pets, if you have some left at home, so you can still somehow talk to them whenever you miss them. Either that or you can scare any trespassing fellow by talking through the speakers. Nevertheless, audio was clear when we tested using it, and it can definitely be used to check up on your pet at any time of the day.

For those worried about filling up the memory card’s capacity while they’re out for a long time, for example, you’d be happy to know that realme made sure that compression of files is efficient. With a 128GB memory card in, the company says you’ll be able to record Full HD video non-stop for 14 days.

In terms of the app’s compatibility, we tried pairing the camera using a non-realme phone and the performance is pretty much the same.

Creature Feature

In our review, The Modern Creatures aims to find special features in devices that make them worth having. Something that gives a device an edge from its peers. For the realme Smart Cam 360, it would have to be the real-time notification of disturbances happening back where the camera is set up plus the fact that it has a two-way voice call feature.

The real-time notification could mean saving your dog from eating something he’s not supposed to eat or calling the authorities when someone breaks inside your house. Its two-way voice calling is also something that could be useful for fur parents who just miss their babies or vice-versa.

Final thoughts

Having other smart devices apart from having a smartphone is something that we should be willing to adapt. After all, these are all mainly relying to our phones which are always with us anyway, and it improves lives even in small ways. Plus, with realme offering the Smart Cam 360 for just PhP 2,790, you don’t have to break the bank to get yourself a smart (and cute) security camera.

Additionally, the realme Smart Cam 360 could be yours for PhP 1,990 via Lazada and Shopee’s 11.11 sale. And, if you use the Lazada Wallet to pay for a minimum purchase of PhP 5,000, you may claim an additional discount of PhP 400.