A totally wireless camera with an ultra-wide viewing angle, the solar-powered Uniden App Cam Solo Pano kit is an all-seeing eye.
The rise of Wi-Fi-enabled security cameras made it much easier to install them anywhere around your home, but power still remains a challenge – especially outside. If you can’t place the camera within reach of a power point then you face the hassle of regularly taking the camera offline to recharge the removable battery, or else risk it running flat when you need it most.
This is where solar power can come to your rescue, with a solar panel charging the camera’s battery when the sun shines – so you can install it practically anywhere and know it will stay up and running, night and day.
The camera is bigger and heavier than most, not to mention more expensive, but that’s because it packs in two lenses and a built-in spotlight.
As a result of two lenses looking out to the sides, you get an impressively wide 170-degree field of view. Unlike your typical single fisheye lens which tries to give you a wide view of the world, the image from these two lenses is smoothly stitched together to ensure minimal distortion.
The camera’s bulk makes it quite conspicuous, along with its large Wi-Fi antennas, and this might make it difficult to find a good spot to install it. It’s not designed to sit on a shelf, but rather up very high so it can look down on things.
Thankfully it comes with a very flexible mount, which can attach to a screw hole on the top or bottom of the camera so you can mount it on the wall or the ceiling.
When it comes to power, the Uniden camera has a short USB-C cable on the back. If there’s a wall socket handy, you can connect a USB-C cable (supplied) and AC adapter to power it, but of course, the point of the Uniden App Cam Solo Pano kit is that you don’t need this.
You’ll also find a 10-inch solar panel in the box, with its own mounting arm so you can install it in just the right spot to catch the sun. The solar panel features a 3.6-metre USB-C cable for connecting to the camera.
To switch on the camera you need to unscrew a small panel on the camera to access its power switch but, before you do, it’s worth installing the Uniden smartphone app first. Otherwise, you’re stuck listening to the camera’s talkative installation assistant repeatedly asking you to “please run the app, add the camera and set it up”.
From here, the setup is pretty straightforward thanks to the use of QR codes. Once it’s up and running, you can see the camera’s battery level in the app, along with an icon indicating if it’s charging and whether it’s running on AC power or the solar panel.
The Uniden App Cam Solo Pano kit has a few impressive extra features that help it stand out from the crowd.
Firstly, those dual lenses offer a very wide yet still sharp and clear view of the world.
The trade-off is a relatively narrow vertical viewing angle, which means your best view will likely come from installing it up high looking down. Even then there’s a decent-sized blind spot directly below the camera.
As such, it’s probably best suited for outdoor installation such as a big backyard – where you want to keep an eye on things in the mid-ground and distance, rather than up close. A single-lens camera might suffice if you can install it in the corner of your yard, but dual-lens is great if you need a good view left and right.
Secondly, the inclusion of a spotlight is rare on a battery-powered camera, as they generally do everything they can to conserve power and extend the time between recharges.
Realistically, a 440-lumen spotlight isn’t going to match the light you get from a proper floodlight, but it certainly helps when trying to make out details at night.
The solar panel is great for installing the camera in hard-to-reach places.
Thanks to AI-powered smart alerts, the camera can distinguish between people, pets and vehicles when sending you alerts as smartphone notifications and/or emails. Some rival camera makers only unlock such features if you pay a monthly subscription.
As you would expect, the camera supports night vision so it can see in the dark, but its “thermo sense” feature is also used to reduce false positives. If it thinks it sees a person move, night or day, it also checks for a heat signature before sending you an alert.
The camera is not designed to record constantly, only when it is triggered by an event. It stores video clips to an SD card, but Uniden also includes free seven-day rolling cloud backup which you can access remotely – handy if the camera is temporarily offline.
When watching the live view you can take advantage of the built-in speaker and microphone to talk to people on the other end. The camera can also play customised recordable voice alerts or sound its built-in siren when it detects events.
The camera is also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, if you’re looking to integrate it into a smart home.
Thanks to the dual lenses, the Uniden App Cam Solo Pano kit offers a very sharp and clear picture even when you zoom in. It provides good colours and plenty of detail in the shadows, coping well with difficult lighting conditions.
Even better, you have a lot of granular control over the brightness, contrast and even the image stitching between the two lenses, to ensure it’s perfectly tuned for your chosen location.
The Undien app feels a little clunky in places, but in return, you’ve also got a lot of control over sensitivity, notifications, schedules and how the camera behaves in different situations.
When it comes to power, the solar panel outputs enough juice to top up the battery, even on an overcast day. You shouldn’t have trouble with the battery running flat unless it’s waking up constantly to record events, at which point you might want to fine-tune the settings to reduce false positives.
Who is the Uniden App Cam Solo Pano kit for?
There are quite a few cameras in Uniden’s App Cam Solo wire-free camera range, so it’s important to think through exactly why you need a camera and where you’ll place it.
The standout feature of the Uniden App Cam Solo Pano kit is the ultra-wide but still sharp viewing angle, thanks to the twin lenses which naturally drive up the price. If an ultra-wide view is important to you then this is a great option, although you should weigh it up against pan and tilt cameras which let you move the camera to look around.
Likewise, you’re paying extra for the solar panel. If you’ve got easy access to a power point, there’s a cheaper AC-powered Uniden pano model with an ultrawide view and an even sharper picture.
If you don’t need the ultrawide view, you could save some cash with a single-lens solar-powered Wi-Fi camera – perhaps taking advantage of wider vertical viewing angles if you need to see more of the ground in front of the camera.
Uniden App Cam Solo Pano kit
With an ultra-wide viewing angle and solar panel, the Uniden App Cam Solo Pano kit sees all.
Value for money
Ease of use
Ultra-wide viewing angle and clear picture
Truly wireless: Wi-Fi and solar powered
No monthly subscription for advanced features or cloud storage