To begin, it’s important to note that this is a cloud-based IP camera. Unlike my post on Foscam’s IP Cameras, this camera uses the cloud to deliver the feed. More on this later.
Right from the start, Annke differentiates themselves from much of the competition with a native app. The Annke camera has its own app that is quite useful. To begin, you can either go to the app store or scan the QR code that is right on the box. The setup process is one of my favorite aspects of the Annke Camera. Very impressive!
The app itself is quite nice. The app can be used for changing settings, moving the camera, toggling audio off and on, speaking through the speaker on the camera, and even firmware upgrades. I was impressed. Moreover, the app led me through a process to change my password, and then I was connected to my camera in less than 5 minutes. Very nice!
Again, this is a cloud-based IP camera which comes with advantages and disadvantages.
- Easy access to the camera anytime you have internet access
- Easier setup
- Security concerns since it is streaming outside of network onto 3rd party server
- Internet bandwidth usage (although the manufacturer informed me bandwidth is only used when app is running).
- Possibility of reliability issues if cloud server has temporary outage (I had a few instances of this when testing).
Annke Sparkle I Camera
Out of the box, the camera looks sharp. The plastic housing seems to be of higher quality than a Foscam, and I loved the addition of a micro SD slot to allow for recordings directly to a storage media. Very nice!
Picture quality is sharp, infared imagery is on par (maybe slightly overexposed, but this can be adjusted), and the cameras movement is smoother than the Foscam’s I’ve used.
My only small complaint is that the lights in the front were a little too bright to put in a nursery. My son immediately started pointing to the camera as it blinked many different colors. My wife promptly wrapped the camera with duct tape to mask the light.
There is a slight hum of the built-in speakers. It’s very subtle, but I did notice it. The microphone picked up the audio in the room quite nicely, and I was able to hear when my son was waking up easily.
If you are in the market for a cloud-based IP camera, I would recommend giving the Annke Sparkle a look. For the price (especially when compared to the over-priced Dropcam), it is a fantastic value. I was impressed with the camera’s quality, the apps usability, fantastic setup process, and the unique features included such as the micro SD slot.
If interested, you can purchase the Annke Sparkle I on Amazon.
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