The Swann Wi-Fi Tracker Security Camera is a 1920x1080p, 16:9, 180° horizontal FOV, indoor-only camera with a 32GB micro-SD card (up to 128GB). But its selling proposition is its ability to automatically track and record up to two objects in its field of view. All without using mechanical pan and tilt.
We are seeing more of this technology on smartphones now where things like auto-tracking, zoom, pan and tilt are simply cropped images from the overall larger camera sensor. The Swann Wi-Fi Tracker Security Camera is no different.
The Swann Wi-Fi Tracker Security Camera uses a 5MP (2560×1960 pixel, 4:3 ratio) sensor that after post-processing delivers a 2MP (1920×[email protected]) image. So, it can digitally track movement within the larger image and use digital zoom as well.
Spoiler alert – it is a pretty good camera, and its motion recording and tracking should be good for pets to people. But the new Swann Secure App needs lots of work, so we have decided not to formally rate it at this time.
Swann Wi-Fi Tracker Security Camera (SWIFI-TRACKCM32GB)
- Australian Website here
- Price: $149.95
- Warranty: 12-months ALC compliant and six extra months if registered online
- Country of manufacture: China
- Swann is a global security monitoring, consumer electronics and security-centric solutions for smart homes and businesses. It started in Australia and is now in 40 countries. It is now part of the US Infinova Group
Two things – it needs mains power for its 5V/2A charger, and it uses the new Swann Security (current version V1.9.11) App for Android or iOS.
The charger cable is 1.2m, but you can use longer micro-USB cable and any charger as long as it provides 5V/2A/10W. Do not use a USB-C-PD charger and an adapter cable – it is not capable of accepting higher amperage.
Next, the new Swann Security App. Swann’s original supplier stopped supporting it, and from 1 July you must use the new app and reinstall any Swann devices. But a caveat – the new app is having issues as verified by a 1.4-star rating from 1640 users. I am sure Swann will diligently update the app, but the install was not without issues, even for an experienced techy like me.
Connect time from app to camera averaged about eight seconds. If it took longer, it was usually a complete FAIL – too much of the time. A camera power on/off sometimes worked but if not, a factory reset and reinstall was necessary. Over a week of use this seemed to settle down a little but its frustrating not to reliably connect.
So, we went digging using the FCC ID: 2ASWVSWIFI-TRACKCAM to find more information.
It has a relatively low 30.62mW Wi-Fi antenna power output, and that explains the limited distance and a correspondingly weaker Wi-Fi signal. If you have a crowded 2.4Ghz band (music streaming, lots of IoT devices etc) then this camera needs to be as close as possible to the router – no more than 10 metres – for maximum reliability.
First, you need to check signal strength. Up to about 5-metres from the router is 98%. After that, it drops quickly and becomes unreliable at about 15-metres line-of-sight.
It has a 180° Horizontal Field-of-View. Now, 180° means 90° left and right of the lens (panorama) but not 90° up and down from the lens (because the sensor is a 4:3 format). And if you are after ‘detail’ try to keep it within 2-3 metres of the critical area.
So, it is important to mount it at the right height and position to record the area you want it to see (there is no zone selection). That is not exactly easy as we started on top of a bookshelf (no good) and gradually found it was best about 1.1 metres from the ground (desktop height is 800mm).
You can select low, high or max. I assume this is 720p, 1080p (with fall-back frames per second) and [email protected] forced.