Wyze Cam Pan v3 Review

We tested Wyze Cam Pan v3 in a few settings and compared its specs to rival cams. The verdict? We love it.
Best budget outdoor pan-tilt camera
Wyze Cam Pan v3
Wyze Cam Pan v3
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    Excellent automatic motion tracking
  • pro
    Works outdoors
  • con
    No free cloud video storage
Plan
Monthly price
Annual price
Number of cameras
Notifications
Pro monitoring
Basic Plan$0.00/yr.Unlimited*Motion, sound
bulletNo
Cam Plus Single$19.99/yr.1Motion, sound, person, package, vehicle, pet
bulletNo
Cam Plus Unlimited$129.90/yr.UnlimitedMotion, sound, person, package, vehicle, pet
bulletNo
Cam Protect$39.99/yr.1
(up to 5 plans total)
Motion, sound, pet, person, package, vehicle, friendly faces, alarms
bulletYes

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Basic plan records only still images, while the others save full-length videos.

John Carlsen
Feb 20, 2024
bullet12 min read

SafeWise experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and review. We may earn money when you buy through our links.

The Wyze Cam Pan series is a perennial favorite among SafeWise testers—and one of the best home security cameras on the market. We fell in love with the low price, automatic motion tracking, and fast scanning feature. Recently, the Wyze Cam Pan v3 took up the baton, and we're happy to report that it lives up to its predecessors.

Unlike the small jump from v1 to v2, the Wyze Cam Pan v3 is a massive leap forward with a fresh visual design and weatherproofing for outdoor operation. Still, the Wyze Cam Pan v3 keeps popular features from the previous model: two-way audio, color night vision, and motion tracking—plus, it can scan an entire room in around 3 seconds.

For under $50, the video quality and how well it functions make Wyze one of the biggest bangs for your buck among budget cameras. Unlike other popular smart cameras, buying multiple Wyze Cams to cover different rooms and living spaces is much more affordable.

Sadly, the v3 is the first Wyze Cam Pan model without free cloud storage, though Wyze's paid plans offer lower starting prices than brands like Arlo, Ring, and Reolink. Find out what we think you'll love about the camera and what you may be less stoked about.

bullet
Wyze privacy breach

Wyze experienced another breach last Friday, February 16, 2024. As many as 13,000 users were affected. Once again, users received access to thumbnails, events, and even videos that weren't from their camera's feed.

Wyze responded quickly, apologized, and resolved the issue, but that isn't enough for some users who no longer trust their Wyze cameras to keep images of their homes private. If you have a Wyze camera, check out our recommendations of what to do in light of these breaches.

pro
Pros
pro Cheap camera and cloud plans
pro Fast, easy setup and friendly service
pro Automatic motion tracking
pro Clear video quality
pro Privacy Mode
con
Cons
con No free cloud video storage
con Outdoor power cable sold separately
con Video playback for local storage is a hassle
con Passable audio quality

Compare Wyze to other security cameras

Product
Best for
Price
Video resolution
Field of view
Video storage
Learn more
Read review
Best budget 1080p 120° lens
360º pan
180º tilt
Cloud, local
Best overall1440p (2K) 160° lens Cloud, local
Best indoor 1080p 130° lens Cloud, local
Best outdoor 1080p 140° lens Cloud
Best doorbell 1080p155° lens Cloud

Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Video: Wyze Cam Pan v3 Review

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What's in the box

Wyze Cam Pan v3 in the box

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

  • Wyze Cam Pan v3
  • Mounting kit
  • Power adapter
  • 6-foot micro-USB cable
  • Quick start guide

Wyze Cam Pan v3 Pricing

It's hard to fault the price of the Wyze Pan v3. The camera retails for just $40—and it's only $1.99 per month for Wyze Cam Plus. (The price will increase to $2.99 monthly on June 20.) This is the most affordable cloud-storage plan on any security camera.

In the past, Wyze required a separate Wyze Cam Plus subscription for each camera but now covers unlimited cameras for $12.99 monthly—matching what Arlo charges. This is more than twice as much as Nest Aware's unlimited option and slightly more than Ring's plan. Still, the low price of Wyze's cameras helps offset the higher fees.

Wyze recently introduced a new subscription plan, Wyze Cam Protect, that adds professional monitoring to a single compatible Wyze Cam for $3.99 a month. This is a nice compromise for folks who want something other than a full-fledged Wyze security system. Unlike Wyze Cam Plus, you need a plan for every camera, topping out at five cameras.

Wyze Cam Pan v3 performance

Video quality and settings

Wyze Cam Pan v3 video quality during the day
Wyze Cam Pan v3 video quality using infrared night vision

Examples of typical daytime and infrared night vision performance during our tests.
Images: John Carlsen, SafeWise

The Wyze Cam Pan v3's 1080p video resolution is fairly average for a home security camera—there's enough detail to distinguish between people, pets, vehicles, and objects without zooming. But the digital zoom, as with most 1080p cameras, isn't all that useful—don't expect the picture to improve when you zoom in. This contrasts with optical zooms, like on the Reolink E1 Zoom, which isn't simply increasing pixel sizes.

We tested the video quality indoors and outdoors with various lighting conditions:

  • Indoors:
    • The daytime video looks clear in most rooms, though we noticed a dropoff in detail past 20 feet. Bright light sources can easily wash out the image, but there's no way to adjust the picture settings to make these areas less bright. Despite these nitpicks, the video quality is sufficient for most people.
    • At night, the infrared LEDs are powerful enough to show detail throughout a room, though the color night vision setting doesn't hold up without an ambient light source. While we understand that some folks always prefer color video, the monotone infrared video is an easy choice for maximum effectiveness.
  • Outdoors:
    • While the bright spots we found in the indoor video remain during the early morning, the picture evens out once the sun's up—as long as the camera can't see the sun. Ambient daylight produced the best quality of all our tests.
    • Once again, infrared night vision provides sharper images than color night vision. Still, the color night vision can work in well-lit areas, provided the lights aren't shining directly on the lens.

Timelapse

Wyze offers a fairly robust option for time-lapse recording, but requires a microSD card to work. The main problem with this method is that you have to manually download the finished recording in the Wyze app to view it. Some recordings are substantial, so expect to spend a few minutes on the transfer. There's a way around this: Remove the card and connect it to a computer. Unfortunately, that may take more time if your Wyze camera is in an inaccessible area.

Timelapse on Wyze isn't particularly great for recording houseplants growing—the lens won't focus on anything closer than a few feet, and bright grow lights will wash out the plants in your image. Still, you'll see better results outdoors when recording sunrises, construction, and weather.

Motion detection

Motion tracking

Wyze Cam Pan has one of the best implementations of automatic motion tracking, especially when some pricier pan-tilt security cameras lack the feature altogether. The motion tracking's ability to keep a subject in-frame is an asset when you want the camera to follow the movement as long as possible. If the camera picks up a kid moving in a room, it locks on and tracks the action so you can see what's going on.

In our tests with this feature, it managed to keep up with regular movements but sometimes struggled when we ran past the camera from a close distance. You can adjust sensitivity and motor speeds to help with this, but it's less of an issue for distant subjects.

Activating this feature can be tricky in the latest version of the app because it's not immediately apparent that the row of icons under the live feed can move. Swipe the row to the left and tap Track Motion to activate it. You would tap the More button for this option in a previous app version. This is also where you'll go to turn on Pan Scan and Timelapse.

Wyze Cam Pan v3 during testing

Wyze Cam Pan v3 during our motion tracking tests.
Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

bullet
Pan Scan

To use Pan Scan, you'll create up to four waypoints that tell your camera where to look with a single tap. After setting your waypoints, you can quickly switch positions on the live view. You can also hit the Pan Scan icon to automatically patrol the area between your waypoints, making capturing activity that's usually offscreen easier. When combined with motion tracking, Pan Scan can follow the movement it spots and resume patrolling afterward.

Motion zones

Wyze Cam Pan v3 motion zones

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

You can set up Activity Zones using a simple grid to designated zones or areas where motion detection is active—then the camera follows motion in the tagged location. Suzi used the box to keep track of her daughter's tossing and turning in bed. Setting a motion zone also determines the camera's starting position. This is ideal for places where you want the camera to point down or to the side by default—otherwise, the camera points straight ahead or at the most recent waypoint.

Smart motion detection

Smart motion detection is one of the most helpful features of modern security cameras. It's great for having your camera record and follow people while cutting back on unnecessary clips of other kinds of motion, like cats, leaves, and vehicles.

All of Wyze's smart detection features require a paid subscription, even when using a microSD card. This feature paywall is similar to what you'll find with Arlo and Ring, two other brands where cloud plans are compulsory if you want usable cameras. If you're looking for smart detection without a cloud plan, we recommend looking at Nest, Eufy, and Reolink.

Audio quality

Wyze's audio quality in recordings and live feeds is satisfactory but has a few downsides. While it was easy to understand someone speaking at an average volume up to 15 feet away, a constant distortion can distract from quieter voices and sounds. This distortion is less of an issue in quiet environments, but extra ambient noise—like fans and traffic—sometimes poses a challenge.

Two-way audio

Using the two-way audio on this Wyze camera likewise yields mixed results. The camera's built-in speaker works well indoors despite its relatively low volume. While people can hear the speaker outdoors, you'll achieve the best result by speaking clearly (and a little louder) into your microphone.

Wyze Cam Pan v3's design has unique benefits

Wyze Cam Pan v3 takes obvious cues from the boxy Wyze Cams throughout Wyze's lineup by stacking one cube above another. Compared to most pan-tilt security cameras, this breaks the norm by trading smooth curves for right angles. Likewise, it resembles the camera you'll find in a business conference room more than a typical security camera.

On closer inspection, the unconventional design has two practical benefits.

  1. The sharp edges and the black panel around the lens make it unmistakable that the camera's looking your way. When motion tracking is active, it's unnerving how it follows you around a space. As you can imagine, this is a great visual deterrent.
  2. The top cube tilts to face the base when Privacy Mode is running, another visual cue that makes it easy to see the camera's current status without jumping into the Wyze app.
Wyze Cam Pan v3 with Privacy Mode active

This is what you'll see when Privacy Mode is active.
Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Wyze Cam Pan v3 video storage

Local storage

You have two options for video storage with Wyze: local and cloud. To use local storage, you need to buy a microSD card separately. While practically any microSD card up to 256GB should work, you can simplify things with a Wyze-branded card. The company sells multiple sizes of microSD cards for $36 and under, so you can pick the best size for your budget.

You can record continuous video or motion events with local storage. We prefer motion events since they make it easier to review the footage later, but it's harder to capture full events than with continuous recording. This is because sometimes a subject is too far from the camera to trigger the motion sensor.

Cloud plans

Aside from storing video clips online, the other benefit of paying for a cloud storage plan is that you'll unlock smart motion detection features. While you can watch local and cloud storage clips remotely using the Wyze app, the cloud isn't as vulnerable to someone taking your microSD card. 

Unlike previous models, the Wyze Cam Pan v3 doesn't support the pay-what-you-want Wyze Cam Plus Lite plan, which is one way to access free cloud storage—though Wyze hopes you'll pay more than that. While this is disappointing, we understand that it's not cheap to offer cloud storage in the first place, let alone for free.

Using both methods

No rule says you can't use local and cloud storage together. For example, continuous recording isn't available with cloud storage, but you always have the option with local storage. This way, Wyze Cam Plus works more like a backup to your local storage while unlocking features like smart motion detection—it's the best way to maximize your Wyze Cam Pan.

Video playback

Wyze Cam Pan v3 local storage timeline

The local storage timeline shows event icons and recordings—scrolling down reveals older clips.
Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Our main complaint about Wyze is that video playback for local storage can be tedious. Instead of hosting all video clips in a single Event feed, you must select the SD Card option from the camera menu, which brings you to a timeline of recordings and motion events. The tedium kicks in when you start scrolling manually instead of seeing a list of recordings.

The five-minute cooldown on cloud event notifications carries over to the local storage in a blatant attempt to upsell the cloud plan. Even if your camera records an important event, you won't know about it while the cooldown is in effect—unless you frequently check the timeline for additional recordings.

We understand the idea behind separate interfaces for cloud and local storage, but the cheap tactics of trying to sell more cloud storage leave local storage at a disadvantage. Despite this, local storage is a valuable resource for low-budget security—it works well once you learn the ropes. Still, it's nowhere near as useful as local storage options from Reolink, Eufy, and Lorex.

We have no issues with the cloud storage playback and Event tab, but centering basic features and intuitive controls around a paid option isn't great for customers.

Wyze setup and installation

Setup

Wyze uses a QR code process to set up security cameras, which is popular among most security camera brands of security cameras.

Here's a quick rundown:

  1. Power on your camera and download the Wyze app.
  2. Scan the QR code on the bottom of your camera with the app.
  3. Enter your Wi-Fi credentials and show the resulting QR code to your camera.
  4. Once connected, follow the instructions to name your camera and enable basic settings.

The setup took about two minutes to complete, about as fast as it gets. After setup, you should explore the app and camera settings to find the best options for you.

Installation

Wyze Cam Pan v3 mounting bolt

You need a screwdriver to secure the camera and mounting bolt to the wall bracket.
Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Installing the Wyze Cam Pan v3 is as simple as setting the camera on a shelf, which is great for indoor settings, though the camera is more secure if you use the included mounting bracket. To mount the camera, find a suitable spot high up on a wall, drill holes for the screw anchors, and use screws to secure the mounting bracket. Then, attach the Wyze Pan v3 to the bracket using the included mounting bolt. The whole process takes around 10 to 20 minutes.

The only real mounting limitation is the power cord. If you use the included cable, you must keep it indoors within 6 feet of a power outlet. For outdoor mounting, you'll want the 12.5-foot Outdoor Power Adapter for about $20.

In our experience, the wall mount works best when the camera is upside down. This gives you a greater range of motion while allowing the camera to point straight down. When mounted right-side-up, the base can obscure objects below, leaving a blindspot. This blindspot may be good for Privacy Mode and won't affect cameras resting on flat surfaces like shelves, but it's unhelpful for wall mounting.

It also works with third-party security camera mounts as long as they use a standard camera mounting bolt, as found on most tripods. This is especially useful for mounting on the ceiling, as the included mounting bracket isn't suitable for ceilings.

Smart home features and compatibility

Wyze Cam Pan v3 as seen on Alexa and Google Home apps

You can view a live feed of your Wyze camera in the Alexa app (left) and Google Home app (right) after linking your Wyze account.
Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Like most security cameras, the Wyze Cam Pan v3 offers relatively simple smart home integrations—it works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. These integrations don't provide much utility in linking your cameras to other smart home gear, but you can watch live views on compatible devices.

For Alexa, that means viewing camera feeds in the Alexa app and on Echo Show smart displays. We spotted an option for people alerts, but that requires a Cam Plus subscription. For Google, you'll use the Google Home app and Nest Hub to watch the live view. You can also run a routine based on when your camera turns on or off—an action you can do only in the Wyze app.

Whether you connect Wyze to a smart home platform, you'll still use the Wyze app to change camera settings, watch recordings, and receive notifications, which isn't great for reducing app clutter on your phone. Wyze Cam Pan v3 also lists IFTTT compatibility, but we didn't use this during our testing period.

Wyze customer service

Wyze is generally easy to contact for customer service, though the brand's exploding popularity over the past few years means you may wait slightly longer for a response. Wyze customer service is available via email, chat, or phone:

  • Weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT.
  • Weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PT.

In most cases, you'll find a quick answer on the Wyze Forum and Wyze Help Center, which boast a vast selection of articles for each product.

Final word

The Wyze Cam Pan v3 offers expensive features at a budget-friendly price. Its video performance, affordable cloud plans, motion tracking, and Pan Scan features help Wyze compete with pricier brands like Reolink, Arlo, and Nest. However, the audio quality and feature limitations on local storage keep it from claiming our top ranking among home security cameras.

Wyze's prices democratize home security to a level we've never seen before. See how the Wyze Cam Pan compares to other Wyze security cameras in our full review, or check out the Wyze security system for a slick DIY security option.

Wyze Cam Pan FAQ

What is the difference between the Wyze Cam Pan v3 and the Wyze Cam v3?

While the underlying features and technology in the Wyze Cam Pan v3 and Wyze Cam v3 are essentially the same, the pan-tilt motors of the Wyze Cam Pan mean you can remotely reposition the lens using the Wyze app. As a result of the extra parts, the Wyze Cam Pan v3 is roughly twice the size of the Wyze Cam v3.

Is there a limit to how many cameras I can set up in the Wyze app?

No. You can add as many Wyze cameras as you want. However, there are a few quirks when using Wyze cameras with a Wyze security system, which supports up to five designated security cameras that trigger alerts and offer simultaneous live viewing. Outside the security system, you can view only one live feed at a time.

All communication over the Wyze app, including videos uploaded to the cloud, transmits using Transport Layer Security. Wyze also uses symmetric and asymmetric end-to-end encryption to ensure that hackers can't decrypt the data if they get into the cloud.

The Wyze Cam Pan v3 supports outdoor operation, Privacy Mode, and a wider pan-tilt range than the v2. Beyond that, both models offer the same core features like Pan Scan, motion tracking, and video performance.

Yep. The Wyze Cam Pan v3 boasts IP65 weatherproofing, which protects against rain, snow, and blowing dust. It even works in hot and cold weather. Still, you'll see the best outdoor performance if you install it under an overhang, which helps keep the camera lens clean, reduces glare, and offers more protection against extreme temperatures.

How we reviewed the Wyze Cam Pan

Wyze Cam Pan v3 and v1

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

We have a long history of testing the Wyze Cam Pan. One of our security experts, Suzi, took the original Wyze Cam Pan home for a month to see if it could deliver—or if all the good reviews were just hype. And another tester, Alina, tried out the Wyze Cam Pan v2 in her home.

Most recently, our YouTube lead, Katie, and our security camera expert, John, tested the Wyze Cam Pan v3. To date, that covers every generation of the Wyze Cam Pan.

Our security experts used it as a de facto nanny cam, a pet camera, a security camera, and a general tool to check in on things when she was away from home.

To create our Wyze Cam Pan review, not only did we research the specs and technical details—we tested app usability, video quality, and pan-tilt-specific features like motion tracking and Pan Scan. We also compared Wyze's features, price, and customer reviews to other similar security cameras from Arlo and Nest Cam.

Wyze Cam Pan v3 during nighttime testing

Image: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Check out our full methodology to learn more about how we rank and review products.

Related articles on SafeWise


Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided "as is" and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google, Google Nest, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over a decade of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

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