Video (forced) is 1920×[email protected], MPEG-TS, H.264 compressed at approx. 8.4MB per minute. Interestingly it captures it as a full-frame (one image) with typical event clips about 20 seconds unless the motion detector says otherwise.
Mono night vision switches in at below about 100 lumens and uses the usual 10x IR LEDS and with a claimed maximum distance of 5-metres. Practically this is closer to 2-3 metres.
JPEG still preview images taken with each clip are 1280×640 (.8MP) – about 50KB. Mono images are about 25KB. These show two images.
JPEG downloaded to the phone is 1920×1080 (2.1MP) and 750kb.
Lag – Audio quality
The audio lag is about 1.5 seconds from the action to the live stream. As the signal strength reduces to about -60dBm that starts to make two-way conversation difficult.
Mono Audio is 48kbps AAC compressed with a typical 377m2 delay to the video stream.
The 8Ω 1W speaker produces a maximum volume of about 72dB. That is not loud for conversation or an alarm – it is about the same as a vacuum cleaner. We found proper two-way conversation impossible – just like most Wi-Fi cameras.
Uses a push notification system to a paired smartphone. The app does not support guest logins for family members – it is single user.
Remember to log out of the app when you are at home (and log back in when you leave) to stop notifications or recording – this affects all cameras in the app. It does not have geofencing or manual camera deactivation.
Link to Google Assistant
You can link it to Google Assistant or Alexa. But the lag becomes between 20-30 seconds or freezes, and that is unacceptable. You can ask Google to cast what is on the camera to a screen.
PS – its not the home Wi-Fi. The NETGEAR NightHawk AX12 AX6000 is blazingly fast and we don’t have that issue with other cameras.
That damned Swann Security app
I understand that it is work in progress and I appreciate the position Swann found itself in. But this app is far from ready. Here is what I found.
- No cloud recording despite the offer of a rolling seven days free.
- Unreliable reading the micro-SD via ‘Storage’. It was there sometimes and then gone. Also, no ‘format micro-SD’, image sizes and remaining capacity information
- When connected to Google Assistant, the lag increases from two seconds to over 30 seconds.
- No IFTTT (coming)
- Unreliable pairing
- Unreliable connect times – if it does not connect then it usually requires a reinstall
- No Geo-fencing to arm or disarm – you can log out of the app, and that appears to stop notifications
- No manual arm and disarm nor the ability to turn individual cameras on or off
- Motion detection settings erratic – close, medium, far and max did not make any difference
- No user-definable detection zones (important to prevent false positives)
- Alarm once triggered would not stop without power-down – settings for are off, 30, 60, 90, 120 seconds
- Does not appear to have the ability to add extra users
- When paired to a voice assistant lag increased from 2-30 seconds or more
- Full-duplex voice was way too laggy even with a 98% signal strength, and volume was not as loud as others
- No daylight-saving time zone switch (it syncs with the phone instead)
- Some of the information icons i are not populated
- GPS Location indicates the camera is over one kilometre away and there is no manual edit function (type in an address). Google Maps used outside the app is extremely accurate. Ultimately, we found that by moving the map and tapping on the right location that it updated.
- Although the time was set correctly, the time stamp on the recordings on the microSD are different. For example, the photos embedded stamp is 16:29:34, and yet the Windows File Explorer shows 6.39 AM.
GadgetGuy’s take – Swann Wi-Fi Tracker Security Camera (SWIFI-TRACKCM32GB)
No, I am not impressed because the camera is fine. Swann generally has good gear, and I expect more.
The app is buggy and inconsistent. The 110-page on-phone Swann Security App manual is way too long for the average user to read on the phone (if you dig around, you can download a PDF on your PC).
The camera is designated SWIFI-TRACKCM32GB – but the support help is for SWIFI-TRACKCAM, not that there is a lot there.