Yi Cloud Dome Review: A Decent Home Surveillance Camera
Camera in the house, and not in the office or store, no longer surprise anyone. They do really useful things and help the home dwellers to be safe, monitor and inform "what’s at home". If earlier ordinary webcams could only monitor the situation, now the camera can act as a security device – a motion detector, a means of communication with the smallest and most elderly, and even be a baby monitor.
We got our hands on a Yi Cloud Dome 1080p camera. This is a camera whose manufacturer (Yi Technology) is part of a large consortium created by Xiaomi (we have a separate article about it), and it can be your indispensable assistant in household chores. In short, the situation looks like this: the full name of the manufacturer is Xiaoyi, and this company makes webcams and action cameras. Until October 2016, the company was part of Xiaomi, but then there was a division of businesses, and the company lost the Xiaomi Yi branding, becoming simply Yi. Xiaomi still owns a large part of the manufacturer’s shares, so Yi is considered part of the giant Xiaomi family. In 2018, the company partnered with Google to produce the first VR-180 camera.
What is this?
Yi Cloud Dome Camera 1080p (that’s its full name in English) is a camera with a futuristic space look that resembles an astronaut’s space suit. It looks fashionable, compact enough and at the same time functional as much as it can be for the money. This camera, unlike many similar Xiaomi cameras, can be used separately from the Mi Home smart home system, and therefore is suitable not only for fans of the Chinese brand and those who like to increase the intelligence of their home, but also for those who want to use technology in the vzula ta zabula style ”, that is, without complications, clear and effective.
Why is it interesting?
First and foremost is the price. For fifty dollars, you get a light and compact device with 1080p recording quality, 360-degree all-round visibility, night shooting with infrared illumination. In addition to recording an image on a memory card, the Yi Cloud Dome camera can save video to a remote server: it is possible to use a free "cut down" version of the video download directly to China, or you can buy an extended subscription. The camera has a speaker with which you can turn the device into a loudspeaker with feedback. And finally, it can be used as a baby monitor (but here you can’t do without “but”, more on that below).
What’s in the box
The transparent box contains the camera, and in the hidden compartments at the bottom and top there is a charger (a completely frivolous travel version, as light as possible), a cable with a microUSB connector, a sticker with the Yi logo (probably so that everyone knows that in the room surveillance cameras are working), instructions, warranty and discount coupon for video cloud storage. The bundle is quite self-sufficient, and, if it were not for the flimsy charger, one could call it ideal. Yes, there is no memory card – well, what did you want for that kind of money.