Uniden App Cam PANO: dual lens for twice the security (review)

Uniden App Cam PANO review

With one of our eyes, we can see approximately 130 degrees horizontally; with two eyes, that increases to around 200 degrees. For perspective, 180 degrees is straight left and right and everything in between. When it comes to a camera lens, a special single lens can see up to 180 degrees, but the picture is very distorted. The Uniden App Cam PANO has solved this dilemma by providing a security camera that uses two cameras with images stitched together to give an accurate 170-degree field of view.

Uniden App Cam PANO details

Australian websitehttps://uniden.com.au/product/app-cam-pano/
Warranty1 year
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App Cam PANO explained

The Uniden App Cam PANO is a weatherproof 4K resolution dual lens spotlight security camera providing an accurate 170-degree image.

Traditionally, a fish eye style of lens would be used to get such a wide field of view, which caused the image to be drastically distorted. This is not ideal when the image is used for security camera footage for accurate surveillance. The Uniden PANO has two cameras built into its housing, each capturing footage at a slightly different angle off-centre. The image from each camera is then digitally merged to produce a single image with accurate proportions.

Uniden Solo backyard comparisonUniden App Cam PANO backyard comparison
Top: an image from the Uniden Solo. Bottom: an image from the Uniden App Cam PANO.

Why should you consider an App Cam PANO?

The PANO is a mains-powered camera with dual-band 2.4/5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity. Being mains-powered allows the camera to record continuously to a bought-separately SD card. Battery-powered cameras are limited to recording in segments to save battery power. The support for dual-band Wi-Fi allows easier connection to your Wi-Fi network. Also, it provides a faster medium to transfer the 4K images. A 4K image is 4 times the quality you will see on a Free to air HD broadcast but also requires 4 times the storage and network bandwidth to be transferred. Those with no or poor Wi-Fi coverage also have the option to connect an Ethernet cable to the camera.

The PANO has built-in 560 lumens spotlights which activate when motion is detected. This helps improve the colour reproduction at night to about 10 metres from the camera. The lights can be deactivated with the cameras still recording an accurate night vision image up to 30 metres away but with less colour.

Uniden App Cam PANO and Solo cameras next to each other.
The Uniden App Cam PANO and Solo cameras set up next to each other.

A challenge of video surveillance is the number of false triggers that can occur. A bush blowing in the wind, a dog or even, sometimes, a large insect can trigger an alert. Uniden uses a passive infrared sensor to identify movement combined with some artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce false alerts and allow you to differentiate between people and cars. This means if you had the camera facing a busy road, you can ignore cars moving past and only identify people. An additional feature within the setting is Pet detection (Beta), which will use that same AI to keep an eye on your cats or dogs. These features are customisable with additional sensitivity control.

If you install the maximum SD card size of 256GB, you can record up to 8 hours of footage. The camera can also be connected to Uniden’s Network Video Recorder (NVR) solution, which supports up to 3TB of recording or 93 hours.

Other handy features include the ability to have customised recordable voice alerts if the camera is triggered. An example, you could record a message ”you have been captured on video surveillance; please leave the premises”. If that’s not your style, then a plain old siren can be triggered. If you wish certain parts of the image not to trigger an alert, you can mask that section and blur out certain parts of the recorded image for privacy.

A reason not to buy The PANO is the lack of Cloud connectivity. You cannot save the camera vision directly to cloud storage from the PANO. Other App cam models come with 7 days of free cloud storage with the option to subscribe for longer storage periods.

What’s in the box?

In the box, you will find all the mounting hardware to install your camera on a horizontal or vertical surface and a pole. You will note the PANO comes with 2 antennae which help with the reception and moving the larger amount of data from the high-resolution camera.

Uniden App Cam PANO contents comparison
PANO size versus SOLO

If Wi-Fi reception is impossible, the power cable has a tail with an Ethernet socket. This allows the camera to be connected to an NVR or simply the Internet via an Ethernet cable.

The camera is much bigger than previous models weighing in at 700 grams and measuring 195x103x56 mm.

Using the App Cam PANO

A word of warning when installing the camera. Consider carefully how you will mount it and ensure the mounting plate is orientated to allow the provided brackets to bend in the direction you need. I got it wrong and had to remove the bracket and redrill the holes to rotate it 180 degrees.

The initial setup of the camera to connect it to the Uniden Solo App is done before mounting. The process is straightforward, with your phone scanning a QR code on the camera. Once operational and mounted, you can use the app to customise the various settings. It is from here that the features discussed above are controlled.

The live camera vision can also be shared with others. The process is as simple as downloading the app and scanning a QR code from the initial administrator’s phone or a photo of the QR code.

A quirky feature allows time-lapse images to be captured, creating a minute-long montage of a set period. You might use this to create a montage of a day through the construction of a new building.

Previous to the PANO, I had an HD camera in a similar position. The PANO can see my complete back garden, whereas I only had a partial view before. This not only ensures that any intruder is captured on video but also there are no blind spots for someone to approach and disable the camera without being seen.

Uniden App Cam PANO old image clotheslineUniden App Cam PANO new image clothesline
On left: a zoomed-in image from Uniden Solo at 1K resolution. On right: a zoomed-in image from PANO at 4K resolution.

The stitched-together image is impressive. Coupled with the 4K resolution, you can zoom into detail across a wide panorama.

Our Take

The Uniden app cam PANO takes the range of cameras from Uniden in a unique direction by offering a twin lens(camera) solution enabling almost a side-to-side view in 4K resolution. In a security situation, this ensures you get the detail and complete view from the perspective of a wall looking out. Its powerful night vision and added security lights ensure that darkness is not an inhibitor to its functionality. With the ability to ignore cars from a busy road to avoid unnecessary alerts on your smartphone, we rate this security camera highly.

This review originally appeared on our sister site Small Business Answers.