OMNA 180 Review
Wi-Fi security cameras are becoming common accessories in smart homes. The OMNA 180 cameras a smart home security camera that sports a 180-degree lens with night vision. But the biggest selling point is compatibility with HomeKit. So continue reading the OMNA 180 review to find out if this is the right camera for you.
Over the last 6 months, I have been testing the OMNA 180 for this review. I purchased the smart camera via Amazon and has been sitting in my home for the last 6 months. It been through a number firmware updates and iOS updates, so i have a fairly good grasp now to write the review.
OMNA 180 review in pictures
OMNA 180 review Key features
- RRP $119/£129
- 180-degree wide-angle lens
- Full HD 1920 x 1080 video resolution (Only records at 720p)
- Motion detection
- Night vision allows the OMNA 180 to see in complete darkness up to 16 feet
- Built-in microphone and speaker for two-way audio communication
- Built-in microSD card slot to record video clips and images
- Homekit compatible
OMNA 180 design
The OMNA is made from brushed aluminium and is just a little bigger than a tall coke can. You can only place the camera on a flat surface because of the design, it has no option to mount it on a wall.
Dlink have mounted the camera on the front of the unit. Looking at the base you find the microSD card slot along with a reset button. For power you have the USB power socket at the back.
A green LED on the front lights up when it’s powered on, which you can’t turn off. The camera also features to red LED lights that are on when its recording or detected motion, these you can turn off.
Speaking of power, the OMNA 180 has no included battery. So the OMNA can’t be used without a power supply like on the Circle 2. The power cord is 1 and a half meters length, which will give you some flexibility over placement.
OMNA 180 setup
As the OMNA 180 supports HomeKit, it is very easy to set up and get started. The other bonus is you don’t need to register for an account if you have an Apple Home Hub set up, such as an Apple TV. If you don’t then in order to view the feed outside of the home, you need to register.
For the purpose of the OMNA 180 review, I used the camera with Homekit and an Apple TV as the hub. My Home is already setup with HomeKit, but if you are starting from scratch you will have some added steps like creating rooms.
Setup is really easy, first plug the OMNA 180 into a suitable power source. Then “Add Accessory” in the Home app. Within seconds it recognised the camera and prompted me to scan the HomeKit code (which is attached to the camera – Very useful) and assign the OMNA to a room. Once the process was completed, the OMNA was added both to the OMNA app and the Apple Home app.
As with most other HomeKit cameras, the OMNA 180 shows up as two separate accessories the camera view and the motion sensor. This means you can use the motion sensor to trigger other HomeKit connected accessories such as lights.
The Omna app is bare bones and offers very few options compared to other similar camera apps. It opens to a home screen with buttons to view the camera, change Home/Room settings, add accessories, and choose between a live view and SD playback for video saved to an SD card.
There are also options to turn on motion detection and set a motion detection area, which allows you to single out areas where motion detection should be focused. I had mine set to the door area and the kitchen entrance.
OMNA 180 Camera performance
The 180-degree wide-angle lens makes it easy to find a spot for the camera that provides a good view of the room. I placed the camera in the corner of the kitchen which covered both the bi-folding doors and the opening to the kitchen.
To get a closer look, the OMNA also has a digital zoom that works ok. But the quality of the image reduces the more you zoom though.
1920 x 1080 (1080p) is pretty much the standard for video resolution these days, which the OMNA 180 does support. However, the recordings are only made in 720p.
Whilst this does not affect the camera performance, the unit does get warm during use. So I would suggest placing the OMNA 180 in an area with enough ventilation.
At night the IR LEDs lit up my kitchen and let me see what was going on. However when using Night vison detail is lost in this mode, which you do get with other cameras.
D-Link say that the camera IR LEDs lets you see up to 16 ft. in complete darkness, I would agree with based on the review testing that was completed.
As already mentioned, Motion detection can be used with HomeKit and it can also be used to send you alerts whenever motion is detected.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to use a timer with motion detection to turn it on automatically when you leave the house — it’s on or it’s off and it needs to be toggled on or off in the app.
You also can’t disable the motion sensor at set times when you’re in the house, so if you are home a lot in the day, you will find it will record a lot of footage as I found working from the island in the kitchen.
The biggest plus with the motion detection with the OMNA 180 is the ability to use it to trigger other accessories connected to HomeKit. Whilst this feature is not unique to this camera. It is also worth noting that you can use this as a motion sensor independently of the camera.
I will touch more on the HomeKit motion detection features in HomeKit section below.
The OMNA 180 features a microphone and speaker and other than talking to the dog, I didn’t find any use for this. But to be as fair as possible I could see this used to communicate with kids at home.
When reviewing outdoor smart cameras like Circle 2, I found the 2-way communication useful for outdoor purposes. However, the 2-way communication feature is pretty much pointless for indoor use.
The 2-way audio is simple to use and can be controlled either in the Apple Home App or the OMNA app.
Storage – No cloud
Since the OMNA 180 Cam HD doesn’t support storing video clips in the cloud, which is useful for those people worried about privacy concerns. Instead, the OMNA 180 offers a built-in microSD card slot. You can use microSD cards up to 128 GB to locally store video clips and replay them later via the OMNA app, you can’t do this via HomeKit
Whilst privacy concerned people will see the benefit of local storage vs the cloud storage. However the biggest concern I have with only having local storage if a thief was to break into your home, then they only need to take the camera.
The only thing to mention is that you do not get a SD card supplied and given the price point, this would not be much to ask to bundle it with the camera.
As already mentioned you can use the Omna Camera with either the dedicated D-Link Omna app or with the built-in Home app that’s available on iOS devices.
In this review, I found I used the Home App 99% of the time as you get the same features, apart from footage playback and liveview.
In HomeKit, the Omna camera and its motion sensing capabilities are treated as two different accessories.
To make the most use of motion detection you can use it with Automation in the Home app. So in my case, I used motion detection to turn on lights in the kitchen at night. I then took it one step further by creating automation rules to turn on the lights at different times of the day.
So for instance, if a motion was detected at this times;
- 00:00 – 06:00 – 35% light level, but only3 the kitchen under cabinet lights
- 06:00 – 09:00 – All lights on 100%
- 09:00 – 18:00 – No light activation
- 18:00 – 21:00 – All lights on 85%
- 21:00 – 22:30 – Lights on at 55% but only main and under cabinet lights.
- 22:30 – 23:59 – Lights on at 45% but only main lights.
Speak to your camera with Siri
As for Siri integration, you can ask about the camera to bring up the live view in the Home app. You can also ask whether the camera is detecting any motion, and that’s about it.
I didn’t find Siri overly useful with the OMNA 180, however this not due to D-Link this is all Apple will allow. It would be great if Apple would allow you to record footage by asking Siri.
The biggest HomeKit aspect worth mentioning is encryption. Apple has high encryption standards and requires all of its HomeKit-certified products to implement strong encryption.
So when you are looking to invest in a smart camera, you really need to think about privacy. As you really don’t want someone to hack into your feed and watching everything you do. But with smart cameras connected to HomeKit, you do not have this worry.
OMNA 180 HomeKit Secure video support
Base on a conversation with D-link PR people, the OMNA 180 will not be getting HomeKit Secure video. However if this is something you needm, then the Circle 2 offers HSV.
OMNA 180 review – summary
If you have an HomeKit setup or are interested in HomeKit products, the OMNA 180 is worth checking out. But if you don’t and just plan to use the OMNA app, then you can find better options with more control.
The camera works well with Homekit and this is because it was built it to work with Apple’s smart home platform. When buying the OMNA 180, you not only get a security camera, you also get motion detection which is great when used with other HomeKit accessories.
Whilst it uses Apple Homekit encryption to protect your data and only local storage. The latter could be seen as a drawback for some. If the thief takes the camera, then you have lost any evidence. I was also disappointed to hear that the OMNA 180 will not support HomeKit Secure Video.
Overall, the OMNA 180 is a good camera that works well with HomeKit. As with most products that I review, if it works well then I will continue to use in my home.
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