Home Security is becoming is becoming the next big ask for Smart Home users. But with several options available for smart security cameras. It can all be a little confusion on which is the best smart camera for you. So continue reading this in-depth Netatmo smart outdoor camera review that will tell you everything you need to know about this smart home enabled security camera.
The Netatmo Presence might not be as aesthetically pleasing as the Circle 2. But unlike the Logitech camera, which needs a subscription to get some advanced features. The Netatmo Presence features onboard storage zero subscription fees and access to things like motion detection and alert zones at no extra cost. It also has a built in floodlight that can be controlled via the Netatmo security app or HomeKit.
Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera review key features
- Outdoor Wi-Fi security camera
- 4Mp sensor video resolution up to 1920×1080
- Field of view: 100 degrees
- Motion detection
- Alert Zones
- HomeKit compatible
- HZO standard waterproofing
- Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz
- Storage: 8GB microSD card included, optional Dropbox integration or FTP server
- Floodlight: 12W,
- IR night vision: detection up to 15m (50ft)
- Dimensions: 50x200x110 mm
Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera review in pictures
The Netatmo Presence does not look like a conventional security camera with its grey/black rectangular design made of aluminum. On the face of the camera you will find the LED flood light, which takes up most of the surface. At the bottom you will find the 4mp camera with a video resolution up to 1920×1080. Finally, Netatmo has put the Infrared sensors for the night vision and motion detection in the same area.
Towards the rear of the camera is the power cable to provide power as there is no internal battery. So you will need a power source from the main feed, which you may need a professional to install. The camera comes with a mounting bracket and all the relevant screws along with fittings. They also include an installation bag that which allows you to place the Presence inside when mounting to avoid scratching it on a wall. This is a nice touch and shows they have thought about the install process for the customer.
As this is an outdoor smart camera, Netatmo has treated the internals with HZO standard to make them waterproof. But you will need to apply silicon sealant about the mounting plate and wall. It is also worth noting that the Presence camera connects to your home network via 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz, so no ethernet.
Installation & setup
With the Netatmo Presence, the Setup is more involved than say a Circle 2 or OMNA 180. Which you just mount and then plug into the mains socket as with the Presence, it requires finding an existing power source or create a new one outside.
Installation of the wall bracket and the wiring is straightforward, it is just like wiring a socket or light fitting. However, the most fiddly part was mounting the camera to the wall bracket as the supplied alan key is a little small. So I suggest using one that connect to a screwdriver handle, this will give you more reach.
Once the camera is up on the wall, then you will need to seal the back plate with the surface of the wall to stop any water getting in. If you have wired everything up correctly, the LED floodlight will flash to let you know it is ready to pair with the app.
One tip I suggest for adjusting the angle of the camera position. Do this after you have connected the app and can see what the camera is seeing for a better installation.
Pairing the app with the camera
First you will need to download the Presence app, which Netatmo call security on the iOS or Android app stores.
Once you have downloaded the app, the setup process is fast and straightforward, The camera app will search for the camera. The app will then find the camera hand will ask you to confirm some Wi-Fi settings. Once this is all done, you are good to use the camera.
To complete the setup process and connect the Netatmo presence to HomeKit. You need to follow a few more steps within the Netatmo Security app. The setup process is as simple as other HomeKit enabled apps and you just follow the steps. However, please note, when you first set up the camera, the app will give you the HomeKit code. YOU NEED TO SAVE THIS for future use as you won’t find this on the box. If you lose this code, you will need to reset your camera to get it again.
App, features & video
When you first open the security app, you will see a timeline of all the events in a vertical timeline. The app gives each event a date and time stamp along with a symbol showing if it was a car, person, animal or motion.
The camera is monitoring at all times via its motion detection module, but not recording all the time. This means it will not give you 24/7 recordings, but you can view the live stream using the Security app at anytime although it would have been good to activate recording when in live view.
Clicking on the image will load the recording footage and you can scrub through the footage to look at a certain point or just watch it all. You can also go full screen by the pressing a symbol in the right bottom corner to expand the screen.
Playback is normally smooth and you can zoom into the recording to look at an event closer. However, I found it would get pixilated the more you zoomed in, but that is to be expected. Besides zooming, you can also download clips for offline playback or sending onto family or friends.
One of the biggest features of the Presence smart camera is that it does not have a subscription model unlike the Circle 2 or Nest Camera to access the advanced features or for more storage options. So because the camera does not have any cloud storage. It saves all recordings to 8GB memory card that’s included in the box. But you can also have them uploaded to Dropbox or a personal FTP server. I tested it with both Dropbox and a FTP server and both worked great.
As mentioned, the Presence camera has motion detection built in that will activate the recording function. I found this to work well when detecting motion with it being able to tell the difference between a human animal or a car.
However, it is not perfect, so, for instance, I have some bushes on the front of my property and if they blow in the wind, it would set the motion sensor off. Which irritated me, but this is when the alert-zones come in handy to help control what it detects.
Within the Netatmo Security app, you can set up alert zones can set up up to four zones. I found this handy for areas of the drive I want to avoid due to bushes moving. You can see in this image I have created the zones around the bushes and this removed the false motion alerts.
The modifications to the alert zones are all done in the Presence security app, unlike the Circle 2 that requires you to do this from a computer. You do this by using your finger in the app like you’re cropping a photo and once set it works really well. However, you cannot name them like in the Circle 2. This then would allow you to receive a notification of which zone had been activated, which would be handy in the Presence camera.
Netatmo has included a 12W LED flood light in the presence camera and it does a very good job of light up my driveway. You can also activate the flood light manually within the app and HomeKit.
You can also decide when you want the floodlight to activate when it gets dark, you have the option to set it to always, which means it will turn on and stay on when it’s dark. The option is to only trigger when a certain motion has been detected like People, Cars, animals or motion.
As I have said, the floor light works really well to light up the area, the camera is covering and will provide a deterrent to anyone that should not be snooping around your house. However, I found that when viewing the recording at night and it had turned the floodlight on. You would get a “paranormal activity” type image and would overexpose the face. So you would need to decide what works for you at night, but I kept it on as it provide more benefit, even though the image was not as good.
Video & Sound quality
The video quality is impressive and clear using the 4Mp sensor, video resolution up to 1920×1080. However, you cannot alter the resolution of the recordings like you can on other smart cameras. The Presence will do this for you based on Wifi strength.
The video quality at night is good with the infrared sensor and does a very good job of providing clear recordings. But as already mentioned, when the floodlight had been turned on, it can overexpose the subject in the recording.
Netatmo has included a microphone to record sound in the Presence camera. The sound quality isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. You can overhear conversations close to the camera. But a missing feature for me is the ability to talk back through the camera like on the Circle 2.
Within the Netatmo Security app, you get some advanced options. Here you can change things like monitoring, alert zones, and recording options.
- Monitoring – Gives you the option to turn the monitoring of the Presence camera off and on along with turning off the audio recording.
- Alert zones – This is where you can set alert zones for the camera to focus on, handy if you have some bushes you can the camera to ignore.
- Floodlight – Options to set it to auto, off and on along with the option to change the motion events that would trigger it
- Alerts and recordings – This is a powerful setting that allows you control what motion it will ignore, record or record and notify: here are the options
- People, Ignore, record and record and notify
- Cars, Ignore, record and record and notify
- Animals, Ignore, record and record and notify
- Other motion, Ignore, record and record and notify
The presence camera is one of a bunch of smart security cameras that support HomeKit. While the options are not as extensive as the Netatmo app, it provides you with other options.
Once you have set up the Netatmo Presence camera in HomeKit, you can view the live video feed and also control the floodlight. You can also set the Home app to send you notifications when the Presence camera detects motion. However, I didn’t activate these and stuck with the native app.
One of the biggest advantages of connecting the Presence camera to HomeKit is the ability to use the motion sensor to trigger other HomeKit accessories. So in my case, I have a trigger setup to activate an additional floodlight and my entrance door. This is useful not only for return home at night, as it illuminates the entire drive. But when it detects motion it will activate lights around the found, which could help deter intruders.
At the time of writing this Netatmo Presence review, HomeKit Secure Video is still pending. But it is a feature that may arrive later in 2020 and when it does, I will update the review to reflect this.
Netatmo Smart Outdoor Camera review summary
If you need or want a smart home security camera, then the Netatmo Smart outdoor camera is a good option, albeit one of the most expensive ones. However, it does not need a subscription plan to access advanced features or storage. Which means the Netatmo Presence initial purchase cost will balance out compared to cheaper alternatives with a subscription model over a year.
Yes, Installation can be tricky, but only need to do this once after the initial installation. The motion detection works really well and the fact you have control over what it records and what you get notified about is an added benefit.
The fact it has HomeKit support and you can include the flood light in automations and scenes is great. Along with the ability to use the built in motion sensor to trigger other HomeKit devices.
I have found since installing the Netatmo Smart Outdoor camera outside my home I have been more aware of what is happening outside. I have noticed that I get visited by lots of cats and been able to plot when the postman arrives each day within a 1-hour window.
So the key question, is it worth buying the Netatmo Smart Outdoor camera? For me the answer is yes. Granted it is more expensive than its competitor’s, although you can get some good deals at certain times. It does not have a subscription model and it worked solidly 6 months. But when HomeKit Secure video arrives later in the year, it will be a great option to consider.
Well, that’s a wrap on the Netatmo Presence review. Don’t forget to subscribe to be first to find out when more information emerges. If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.