The Merkury Smart WiFi Camera is a pleasant surprise as far as cheap security cameras go. It won't turn heads with features but is a decent security camera that fits into a respectable smart home ecosystem. Merkury Smart WiFi Camera doesn't have cloud video storage, which is probably a deal-breaker for most folks. Still, it's not bad for a home security camera that costs less than $40.
Merkury Smart WiFi Camera Review
How we reviewed
We have years of experience reviewing security cameras, so we approached the Merkury Smart WiFi Camera with several goals. Specifically, we researched the camera's technology, installation, and customer support options. We also looked at customer reviews to balance our perspective with real-world performance.
Learn more about our review process in our methodology.
Tech and equipment
Average video quality
As far as technology goes, the Merkury Smart WiFi Camera isn't too complicated compared with other cameras under $40. It boasts 1080p video resolution, which provides enough detail for most folks without chewing through storage space and internet bandwidth too quickly.
The resolution works well with Merkury's 115º field of view, which shows a clear view of a room, especially if you install the camera in a corner. The infrared night vision on this wireless security camera works well and nearly matches daytime videos' clarity—similar to competitors like Wyze and Eufy.
Weak recording storage
The biggest weakness of the Merkury Smart WiFi Camera is that it doesn't offer cloud storage. Instead, you have the option to take screenshots and download short clips from live video feeds. For all other video storage needs, you must have a microSD card.
The good news is that this IP camera supports cards up to 128GB, which can last for months before it starts to overwrite old recordings. Merkury says the camera generally uses about 1GB per day, so even a smaller card is sufficient for long-term storage when the camera records with motion detection.
The bad news is that it doesn't come with a microSD card in the box. So you'll need to spend an extra $10–$25 on a card for your camera, diluting its affordability. Most competitors don't include microSD cards either, so this is more of a general gripe than a real drawback.
Plentiful smart home options
We didn't have much experience with Merkury Innovations before this review, but it was surprising how much smart home equipment the brand sells.
In general, we found favorable customer reviews for these products—they're cheap enough to try out in your smart home but easy to return if you don't like the results.
While we like the Cortana compatibility since there aren't many smart home devices that support it, it's not as useful as Alexa and Google Assistant.
Easy Wi-Fi setup
Like most security cameras, this unit connects to your home Wi-Fi network, so you can control it from your smartphone using the Geeni app (Geeni is a sibling brand to Merkury Innovations).
The app has a straightforward layout that's easy to use for live viewing your camera feed, watching recordings, or talking with people using the Merkury Smart WiFi Camera's two-way audio.
How do I set up my Merkury Smart WiFi Camera?
- Connect the camera, USB cable, and power adapter before plugging it in.
- Use the Geeni app (iOS and Google Play) to connect the camera to your Wi-Fi network.
- Adjust the settings, link to a voice assistant, and insert a memory card as needed.
You can place the camera on any flat surface or attach it to a wall with the included adhesive pad. We like that the camera's bendable stand allows you to point the lens at a particular vista like an entrance or pricey home theater setup.
Unfortunately, this camera doesn't support 5GHz Wi-Fi networks, so you may need to adjust your phone's settings to 2.4GHz during the setup process if you're struggling to connect to the camera.
We also found some user reviews that note occasional Wi-Fi problems like dropped connections and laggy video. But these issues don't seem to affect most folks.
On the surface, Merkury Innovations doesn't offer a ton in terms of customer service. The manual lists a phone number, and the main website has an email form for getting assistance, but you have to dig deeper for additional support options.
For example, the manual directs users to the support site for Geeni cameras, which adds live chat support to the list. But this is more helpful for the Geeni app than this specific smart security camera. You can also access basic support through the Geeni app.
As we read critical user reviews on retail sites like Walmart and Geeni's social media pages, we often saw the company following up to offer more assistance. So we’re hopeful that the company pays attention to customer feedback and works to fix problems.
Overall, Merkury Innovations' customer service isn't as seamless as interacting with Wyze, Arlo, and Ring—but it's still very responsive and helpful.
How Merkury compares with other cameras under $40
|Merkury Smart WiFi Camera||Wyze Cam||Blink Mini||Yi Home Camera 3||Eufy Security Indoor Cam 2K|
|Cloud storage||None||Starts at $0.00/mo.||Starts at $3.00/mo.||Starts at $0.00/mo.||Starts at $2.99/mo.|
|Field of view||115º||110º||110º||107º||125º|
|Smart home compatibility||Amazon Alexa,|
|Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa||Amazon Alexa,|
|View on Walmart||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
|Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
†Amazon.com list price as of 11/19/2020 at 2:30 p.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.
We were skeptical when we started researching the Merkury Smart WiFi Camera for this review, but we were pleasantly surprised by this nifty little camera.
While its specs are mostly average and won't outshine Wyze, Merkury's biggest strength is its posse of affordable smart home devices. Check out our guide to cheap security cameras for our top picks to watch over your home on a budget.
Merkury Smart WiFi Camera FAQ
Merkury Smart WiFi Camera records to a microSD card (sold separately)—it supports cards up to 128GB.
Based on our research, we think that Merkury Innovations puts a lot of effort into its products and customer service, making it fairly reliable. Though it’s not at the same level as top brands like Arlo and Wyze, it holds its own.
*Google, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.
†Amazon.com list price as of 11/19/2020 at 2:30 p.m. (MT). 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.
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