Eve, the HomeKit exclusive accessory manufacturer, announced the Eve Cam back at CES 2020. The camera that only works with HomeKit and HomeKit Secure video has arrived to join a growing category. Along with supporting Apples smart home platform, it features 1080p lens with 150º FOV, and Night Vision up to 5 meters. Continue reading our Eve Cam review to see how this new smart home camera performs.
I just want to point out I used iOS 14 with the Eve Cam and while this did not affect the performance of the camera or any of the features that are available now. But I wanted to test it with the future of HomeKit in mind, particularly because iOS 14 will bring some significant improvements for HKSV with Activity zones and facial recognition. With the former feature being important, as the Eve Cam does not feature native activity zones within the Eve App.
Eve Cam review video
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Eve Cam Review details
- Price: UK £129, US $149, EU, €149
- Supports HomeKit Secure Video
- 1080p/24fps H.264 Video
- 150° field of view
- Indoor use only
- Infrared motion sensor
- 122 x 65 x 60 mm (H x W x D)
- Night vision up to 5 meters
- Two-way communication with built-in microphone and speaker
- 360° x 180° flexible installation with magnetic base
- WLAN (2.4 GHz/5 GHz)
In the box
The Eve Cam comes boxed in the company’s usual premium packaging with the following included.
- Eve Cam
- USB power supply
- Interchangeable plug adapters (EU, UK, US, AU)
- 2.2 meter USB cable
- Metal plate for magnetic wall installation
- Screws and anchors for the metal plate
- Adhesive pad for metal plate
- Quick Start Guide
One minor niggle with the packaging, Eve could cut down on the amount of plastic packaging used. But this is a minor niggle to help save the environment.
Eve Cam Review – Design and features
They make Eve Cam of plastic in a matte black finish and is 122 x 65 x 60 mm in size. Around the front you will find the lens which captures footage at 1080p and has a 150° diagonal field-of-view. The camera also has night vision capability and make out objects up to 5 meters away. You will also find the infrared motion sensor and the camera features an LED status light.
Around the back of the camera you will find perforated holes for the speaker along with a reset button. The body of the camera has the Micro USB port that is used to power to the device. It would have been nice if this had been USB C, but this is not a deal breaker for me.
The camera body sits on a stem that holds the camera with a hinge that allows the camera to be moved forward and backwards along with the ability to rotate the camera. Finally, the base features a coating that stops it from easily move around, plus a built in magnet to attach to the wall mount.
Speaking of the wall mount, you can attach this to a wall with the included screws or adhesive pad. The camera then attaches magnetically to the mount and has a powerful connection.
Connectivity is via 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, which is an advantage for people that may have already crowded networks. It is worth mentioning that Eve designed this camera to for be used inside, so does not feature any waterproof ratings. It also does not have its own onboard storage and relies solely on HomeKit Secure Video to save recordings.
Eve Cam Review – Setup
I set up the Eve Cam up in my games room that I use for testing and reviews of HomeKit devices like smart cameras. For reference, this room is about 9 meters long and 5 meters wide.
As this camera only supports HomeKit, you just need to scan the pairing code by the Home app or the Eve App. At this point it is worth mentioning that I used iOS 14 for the review on my iPhone. The reason being is that the camera operates the same in the Eve App, however iOS 14 will bring some useful features relevant to this camera.
I added it through the Eve app, which involves scanning the HomeKit code. HomeKit will then find the camera, choose a name, assign it a room. Then setup preferences within HomeKit Secure video for its recordings and streaming options.
Eve Cam Review – App
In the Eve app, you get a snapshot of the camera and the ability to play it live. In the top left you can play and pause the live stream. Just below the live view box you can have an option to jump straight into the Home App along with the option to view any change of status for the camera.
Double tapping the camera image will pull up a live view, you can go full screen by rotating your iPhone. You also have options to push to tap to talk and a mute audio. You also have an option to jump to the Home App to view any recorded footage saved to iCloud as part of HomeKit Secure Video. Finally, you have controls over the camera audio for the microphone and speaker.
The Eve app also displays details on motion detected in the form of a graph when motion has been detected throughout the day. Along with when motion was last detected. You can also access a detailed log of when motion has been detected. It displays this detail in date and time order. It would have been nice if tapping these would take you to the recorded footage in HomeKit Secure Video. However, Apple do not allow third part developers to access HKSV directly, so Eve can’t be marked down for this. Finally, you can also see any scenes or automation that you have enabled for this camera.
The camera also features some controls to change the room it is assigned and notification settings. You can also change the sensitive of the motion detection with a choice of low, medium and High. I found that setting it to medium was just right.
Video and audio performance
As previously mentioned, I placed the camera in my games room for the review. The Eve Cam captures footage at 1080p at 24 FPS, and I found the video quality is good when reviewed in the Home app and the Eve App. It is worth mention that you cannot alter the resolution of the recordings like you can on other smart cameras.
The video quality at night is good with the infrared sensor and does an excellent job of providing clear recordings. The room I tested in is 9 meters long and even walking to the furthest point I could still make out objects.
I came across one minor issue, when watching back a recording created at night. The clip appeared to be at 2x speed, similar to an old black and white movie. I rebooted the camera and checking other clips recorded since this didn’t appear to come back.
Eve has included a microphone and speaker for two-way audio, which is exposed in the Home and Eve App. It works well and you can hear conversations when using this feature.
HomeKit Secure Video
The Eve Cam works only with HomeKit, but to take proper advantage of this camera, you really need to use it with HomeKit Secure Video to record captured footage. To use this feature, you will need a HomeKit hub such as an Apple TV, HomePod or iPad. Plus, you will need one of Apples iCloud plans of 200GB for one camera and 2TB for up to 5 cameras.
For the basics of HomeKit, I can view the camera live stream from the Home app and also use the push to talk button to talk to anyone near the camera. The camera’s motion sensor is exposed to HomeKit, which gives you the option to use this to trigger other HomeKit devices via automations.
To get the most out of the Circle View, you need to use it with HomeKit Secure Video support. This will give you up to 10 days of saved footage and older clips will automatically delete on a rolling basis.
When you first setup or at any time you need to set what you would like the camera to do with the following options available.
- “Off”–You cannot view the stream, nor will it record.
- “Detect Activity” — Triggering automations or to send notifications. But you cannot view the stream, nor will it record and save to iCloud.
- “Stream”—You can view the stream, but it will not record. You can use this camera triggering automations or to send notifications.
- “Stream and allow recording”—You can view the stream and it will record based on your settings. You can also use this camera triggering automations or to send notifications.
In my testing for the review, I set the camera to stream and allow recording in both modes. This is because I wanted to see how well it worked, however if I was to use this for general use I would set it to off when people are at Home.
You can also turn the camera status light on and off and toggle the night vision, depending on your preference.
HSV control and playback
Tapping the live camera feed in the Home app will show you the timeline of activity recorded at the bottom. Apple has split these into events that help you identify them. Apple has split these into four categories which are people, animals, cars or a generic motion.
Selecting a clip will playback that clip and I found this responsive and played within seconds. You can also jump to live view to the left of the timeline or play the entire recorded clips using the button to the right of the timeline. If you want to share the clip with family and friends, you can also open up the share sheet with various options presented.
For a full rundown on the capabilities of HomeKit Secure Video, then check out this article.
Benefits coming to Eve Cam with iOS 14 activity zones
Although iOS 14 has not yet arrived, I have been testing it for a few weeks and used it with the Eve Cam. This was mainly down to the fact that the Eve Cam will enjoy one of the additional features, Activity zones. This is because the Eve Cam does not have this feature as within the Eve App.
This feature would be useful if you are using the camera is in your home and you only want to be alerted to motion in a particular area.
With iOS 14, you can define a zone, or multiple activity zones within the Home App. I have been using this feature for a few weeks, not only the Eve Cam, but also other cameras in my Home. I have found this has reduced the number of alerts I received. So this feature will be an enormous benefit when it arrives later in 2020 as part of the improvements to HomeKit Secure Video in iOS 14.
Eve Cam Review Conclusion
Eve is renowned for quality HomeKit exclusive products, and the Eve Cam is a solid first-generation device for the company. The camera looks the part, although I prefer the Logitech Circle view design and build quality.
I like the fact that you can use the Eve Cam within the company’s own app and it integrates very well with the Home App. This is despite the restrictions that Apple places on third party apps, but Eve has used everything available to them within the Eve App.
The quality of video is good and is enough to monitor your home with a decent night vision capability. In fact, I prefer the camera video quality for the daytime over the Circle View. Also, being a fan of HomeKit Secure Video, this is a big bonus for this smart camera. The ability to monitor and control the camera within HomeKit is great.
But it’s not all great for this camera, as you can’t create motion zones within the Eve app. Which could cause lots of false alerts if the camera is placed in a busy area. In addition, if you do not have a HomeKit hub and subscribe to the appropriate iCloud plan. Then you just have a camera that allows live stream, as it does not have local storage.
Then we come to the price that is being asked for this camera. If you compare it to the eufy indoor camera, then it seems expensive at £90 more. However, I think the Eve Cam has a better build quality along with the rock solid Eve App. You also have to take into account Eve support, which has always great for me, even before I reviewed HomeKit devices.
So the bottom line on this camera, it is a superb choice if you plan to use it with HomeKit Secure Video. Plus, when iOS 14 arrives later in the year, that will bring activity zones within the Home App. This will further give you more reason to buy this camera.
Eve Cam Price and availability
So that’s a wrap on the Eve Cam review and hopefully you have found it useful? If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below and don’t forget to subscribe for more HomeKit News.. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.