EufyCam 3 Review

We tested the EufyCam 3 to see how well it competes with Arlo, Nest, and Ring.
Best 4K solar security camera
EufyCam 3 starter kit
EufyCam 3
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
  • pro
    4K video quality with expandable local storage
  • pro
    Built-in solar panels
  • con
    Base station uses cable to connect to router
Plan Icon Tooltip  Dark
Monthly price
Annual price
Number of devices
Video history
Basic Plan$29.99/yr.130 days
Plus Plan$99.99/yr.1030 days
John Carlsen
Senior Staff Writer, Security & Smart Home
November 21, 2022
SafeWise is an independent review site. We may earn money when you click links on our site. Learn more.

The EufyCam 3 is the latest flagship product from Eufy, one of our favorite security camera brands. It brings Eufy security cameras into the 4K era and uses a unique built-in solar panel to eliminate cables and regular charging sessions. An integral part of EufyCam 3's success is the new HomeBase 3 base station, which offers expandable storage and upgrades the brand's smart motion detection.

We put the EufyCam 3 and HomeBase 3 to the test, and they passed with flying colors . Read our in-depth review to see how it measures up to popular competitors like Nest and Arlo.

pro
Pros
pro No monthly subscription required
pro Built-in solar panels
pro Excellent video performance
pro Smart motion detection and facial recognition
pro Easy to use and install
con
Cons
con Expensive
con Solar panels can be hard to align with the sun
con Relatively low framerate
con Weak smart home features

How EufyCam 3 stacks up against the Arlo Ultra 2

Product
Best for
Price
Cloud video storage
Field of view
Local video storage
Learn more
Read review
Best 4K solar security cameraStarts at $2.99/mo.135º16 GB
in base station,
expands up to 16 TB
Best 4K security cameraStarts at $2.99/mo.180ºBase station supports
microSD card

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

What's in the box

EufyCam 3 in the box

Photo: John Carlsen, SafeWise

  • EufyCam 3 security camera (2)
  • HomeBase 3
  • Screw mount (2)
  • Screw pack (3)
  • Screw positioning stickers (2)
  • Power adapter
  • Charging cable
  • Network cable
  • Reset pin
  • Quick setup guide
  • Window decal

EufyCam 3 video performance

Video quality

EufyCam 3 is the brand's first 4K outdoor security camera, so we were eager to try it out. Wireless security cameras with 4K resolution are still a bit of a unicorn since the Arlo Ultra 2 is the only other model we know. (There are plenty of wired cameras with 4K, but they require an NVR.)

Compare Arlo Pro 4 video quality in different lighting environments

We've praised Eufy's video quality on its 2K models, and we're happy to report that excellence also carries over to 4K. Daytime video is clear and takes well to zooming in for a closer look at a visitor's face or a neighborhood cat—as long as they're not moving too much. Still, this is the best video quality we've ever seen from Eufy.

Nighttime video quality also looks great, especially when using infrared night vision. You can easily catch details and identify features up to 20 feet away from the camera on stationary subjects. We saw the best performance from the camera's infrared LEDs around 10 feet or less.

If monochrome videos aren't your thing, there's also a bright spotlight for color video at night, but its effective range is only a dozen feet or so. The 100-lumen spotlight works well enough but isn't very bright compared to the 3,000-lumen beast, the Eufy Floodlight Cam 2 Pro. Even though the spotlight isn't very bright, it washes out some details if someone comes within a few feet of the camera—the sweet spot for the light is between 5 and 15 feet.

Field of view

The EufyCam 3's field of view is a bog-standard 135º like on the Nest Cam and Ring Stick Up Cam. This is the minimum view we recommend for an outdoor security camera because it captures plenty of action in your yard.

However, you'll need more cameras for full video coverage than you would with ultrawide fields of view—160º and over—as found on the Arlo Pro 4 and Arlo Ultra 2. Honestly, you don't need full video coverage as long as you aim the camera at entrances and vulnerable areas on your property—think storage sheds, side yards, and play areas.

Framerate

The EufyCam 3 uses a framerate of just 15 frames per second (fps), which is the same speed you'll find on Ring security cameras. While this is great for optimizing storage space and streaming speeds, motion won't look as smooth as the higher framerates on Arlo and Nest. Still, it's good enough for everyday video surveillance in your yard.

Viewing a live feed

Although we like how Eufy's video looks, there's some distortion and pixelation when watching a live view of the camera. Most of this is because we set the app to change streaming quality based on the network speed. Even with a speedy network connection, the outdoor camera wouldn't always stream in 4K. And manually saving a live video or image in the app always yielded a 1080p result.

Viewing recordings

Fortunately, the motion-triggered recordings look much better, though there's still a slight distortion when you zoom in on a moving object. We suspect this mostly comes down to heavy video compression to improve performance and reduce storage requirements.

Bell
4K security cameras won't outperform a smartphone recording at the same resolution

The primary goal of a security camera isn't cinematic video quality. Instead, it identifies potential threats, delivers video promptly, and maximizes storage capacity—all while achieving a reasonable battery life. These are necessary sacrifices when security is the top priority.

Video storage

Local storage

EufyCam 3 storage drive enclosure

Photo: John Carlsen, SafeWise

We like that the HomeBase 3 that comes with the EufyCam 3 includes 16 GB of local storage, but Eufy estimates that it lasts only a couple of months for a single camera. You can stretch the storage by choosing a lower resolution and shorter recording length in the app, but this goes only so far.

Thankfully, Eufy resolved our biggest complaint with its small built-in storage by introducing a major improvement in the HomeBase 3: expandability. You can increase the storage capacity by adding either a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD) to your system—up to 16 TB—though 1 TB is more than enough for two cameras.

EufyCam 3 storage drive installation

Photo: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Eufy supplied a 1 TB drive with our test unit, and it was effortless to install:

  • You need a small Phillips-head screwdriver to access the drive enclosure and mount the drive.
  • After installing the drive, open the Eufy Security app to format it.
  • The whole process takes less than five minutes.
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What to look for in a storage drive

When you buy a drive, make sure it meets Eufy's requirements: a 5V 2.5-inch storage drive with a SATA interface. Eufy doesn't support 12V storage drives, so double-check before buying. Because this is an extra purchase, we recommend using an HDD instead of an SSD to cut costs.

Cloud storage

Eufy's cloud storage is optional and doesn't add much to your cameras since you don't need a subscription to unlock extra features like with Arlo, Google Nest, and Wyze. Still, it's a nice perk for backing up your video to the cloud in case your local storage fails.

There's one limit to Eufy's cloud storage that might not work for you: it won't save 4K videos, only 1080p. This is an understandable limit considering 4K video takes up four times as much space as 1080p.

Pricing for Eufy cloud storage is straightforward. You pay for either one camera on the Basic Plan or up to 10 cameras on the Plus Plan. At $3 a month, Eufy Basic costs as much as the base Ring Protect and Arlo Secure plans—it's pretty competitive. But paying $10 a month for Eufy Plus won't net the benefits of similar options from Nest, Ring, and Arlo, which all cover unlimited cameras instead of Eufy's 10.

It's totally fine to skip Eufy's cloud storage and invest that money in a hard drive.

Thumbs Up
Eufy cameras work with NAS storage

You can save videos from your EufyCam 3 on any network-attached storage (NAS) device that supports the Real-Time-Streaming Protocol (RSTP). This works like cloud storage for your local network, though you can usually access the NAS remotely.

EufyCam 3 design

Smart motion detection

EufyCam 3 smart motion detection event timeline

Screenshot: John Carlsen, SafeWise

One of EufyCam 3's biggest improvements is smart motion detection. The company's previous cameras offered some smart motion detection for humans and motion zones, but the HomeBase 3 adds three new possibilities: facial recognition, vehicle detection, and pet detection.

Facial recognition

EufyCam 3 facial recognition

Screenshot: John Carlsen, SafeWise

We've seen facial recognition in other home security cameras, most notably Nest and Wyze, but Eufy's the first brand to include the feature without a subscription. You can manually add faces or tag family members in your videos so the system will recognize them.

During our tests, EufyCam 3 did an excellent job identifying faces, and we really like that you can filter the event history to find recordings of specific people. We're excited to see how this feature performs in the long term.

Pet and vehicle detection

As for pet and vehicle detection, the Eufy app says they are still in beta testing—but they're pretty reliable. The pet detection did an excellent job spotting our cat whenever he chose to pass the camera, and vehicle detection correctly tagged cars in our tests.

Eufy wants the title of best smart detection from our reigning champion, Nest. But we think Nest still has the edge with its impressive sound detection for smoke alarms and broken glass—even if those features require a cloud storage subscription. (Nest Aware is the best cloud storage plan in the industry.) Even so, Eufy's smart detection is easily the best alternative to Nest.

Motion detection range and sensitivity

EufyCam 3 motion detection settings

Screenshot: John Carlsen, SafeWise

The EufyCam 3's motion sensor has an effective range of around 30 feet, which is typical for most security cameras. You shouldn't expect distant people or cars to trigger a recording, but it's sensitive enough to spot movement in your yard.

Eufy includes a surprising number of motion detection settings in the app. You can toggle specific smart detection categories on and off and choose from seven sensitivity levels. The default setting uses human detection and does a good job of capturing footage without much notification spam. Still, you should expect to tweak some settings to find a suitable sensitivity.

Bell
Anti-theft detection

The EufyCam 3's anti-theft detection uses the sirens in the camera and the HomeBase to sound an alarm when someone moves the camera. You'll need to activate the feature in the app since it's not on by default. (It's a good call, too, as that would make the setup process extremely annoying.)

Built-in solar panels

EufyCam 3 solar panel

Photo: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Eufy is the only major brand that sells wireless security cameras with built-in solar panels, which Eufy affectionately calls "forever power." The feature debuted with the Eufy SoloCam S40, and we're glad it's part of the EufyCam 3. We like that the installation guide offers advice on getting the best lighting for charging, but we'll admit that our late-autumn testing made it difficult to get enough direct sunlight in our location.

Still, the panels seem to work well once we found the right spot and kept our batteries full during testing. Typical use of a camera without solar charging didn't drain the battery life by more than 3% over a few days, so the camera had plenty of time to make up the difference. We'll continue testing this feature to see how well it holds up.

If the integrated solar panel isn't working out, you can charge the EufyCam 3 with any USB C cable or by plugging the included cable into the back of the HomeBase. Or you can double down on solar charging with an optional external solar panel that's much easier to align with the sun without affecting where you point the camera.

Installation

Eufy HomeBase 3 on wireless router

Photo: John Carlsen, SafeWise

It took us around 15 minutes to set up the HomeBase 3 base station and two EufyCam 3 cameras, including firmware updates. You can expect to spend another 10 minutes mounting the cameras. Once the cameras are in place, you'll want to devote some time to trying out different features and getting the motion detection settings to your liking.

Although the Eufy HomeBase 3 supports a Wi-Fi connection, this feature wasn't available during our tests. (Eufy says it's coming in December 2022.) This meant we had to keep the base station tethered to our wireless router with an Ethernet cable, which was a little inconvenient since we couldn't place it where it could achieve the best connection to the cameras.

Wireless range

The camera's wireless connection range can reach up to 656 feet. However, placing cameras far from the base station affected performance and hampered the ability to record in our tests.

While we didn't aim for maximum range—a rental complex with many buildings isn't ideal for testing max range—we noticed more performance issues as the number of obstructions increased. Still, we managed a somewhat stable connection at around 250 feet, making the cameras suitable for most properties.

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Getting a stable wireless connection

The Eufy app shows a little wireless indicator in each camera's settings screen that updates when you watch a live camera view. Check this icon during setup to ensure a strong signal to the base station.

Eufy smart home features and compatibility

Eufy security cameras have pretty basic smart home compatibility. This means you can view live video on a smart display using Amazon Alexa or Google Home, but not much else. It's not surprising because most security cameras with "smart home compatibility" are like this.

Luckily, Eufy sells a small selection of security sensors so you can integrate the EufyCam 3 into a Eufy Edge security system. This enables home automation features like triggering a recording when the front door opens. It's no substitute for the vast Amazon and Google platforms, but it's a great way to help your cameras spot threats.

Bell
Apple HomeKit compatibility

Although the EufyCam 3 doesn't currently support Apple HomeKit, Eufy says future support is in the pipeline.

EufyCam 3 pricing

Our biggest complaint with the EufyCam 3 is the cost. Like any 4K wireless security camera, you can expect to pay a hefty premium—$550—for a starter kit that includes two cameras and a HomeBase 3. Buying a compatible storage drive to maximize your system ultimately costs more than the pricier Arlo Ultra 2 kit. You can decrease the price per camera by choosing a larger starter kit, which means higher up-front costs.

We recommend mixing and matching other Eufy security cameras in your system based on your needs. This means using Eufy's cheaper indoor cameras around the house while reserving pricier models for outdoor settings. There's no need to have 4K resolution on every camera, but it's a great choice for the primary camera in front of and behind your home.

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EufyCam 3C

If you're willing to sacrifice a few features, the EufyCam 3C costs around $80 less. It sports the same 4K video quality, smart detection, and local storage options as the EufyCam 3, so performance should be similar overall. The main differences in the 3C don’t have built-in solar panels or anti-theft mode.

Final word

The EufyCam 3 is an incredible solar-powered security camera on multiple fronts: video quality, smart detection, and video storage. It nearly matches the video quality of the Arlo Ultra 2 and gives the Nest Cam's smart detection a worthy opponent. As for video storage, it's one of our all-time favorites—especially considering the new HomeBase 3 will eventually support most Eufy security cameras.

While plenty of minor quirks might keep EufyCam 3 from topping Nest and Arlo, our main complaint is that this camera's starter kit is among the priciest. Still, that's par for the course with 4K wireless cameras. See how Eufy compares to other top brands in our full review of the best wireless security cameras.

FAQ

Is Eufy or Arlo better?

It depends on your priorities. Eufy is best for folks wanting local video storage without a cloud subscription, and its cameras are more affordable overall. Arlo is better if you want robust cloud storage and superior video performance.

How many cameras can I use with my HomeBase 3?

You can connect up to 16 compatible cameras to the Eufy HomeBase 3, but Eufy suggests adding a second HomeBase after 10 cameras for the best performance. The HomeBase 3 also supports up to 34 compatible Eufy Security devices like sensors and smart locks.

Not every Eufy Security device works with the HomeBase 3 yet, but Eufy provides a handy timeline for future compatibility on its support website.

How we reviewed EufyCam 3

EufyCam 3 on trip outside for testing

Photo: John Carlsen, SafeWise

Eufy sent us a review unit of the EufyCam 3, which we set up in a home office for most tests. While we conducted outdoor testing during the day and at night, we didn't keep the cameras outdoors to respect the privacy of others in our apartment complex.

For our tests, we focused on video quality, smart detection, solar charging, installation, and the overall user experience. Mounting one camera on a tripod helped us evaluate video performance and freed up the second camera for passive battery testing and solar charging.

Beyond our hands-on testing, we spent time on Eufy's customer support site to learn more about the EufyCam 3's features, quirks, and how it differs from other Eufy cameras. We also looked at online reviews to see if our experiences were similar to those of other experts and customers. You can learn more about our review process in our complete methodology.

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Disclaimers

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 nine years 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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