Wyze Security Cameras Review

We spent dozens of hours researching and testing Wyze cameras to find out why they deliver on the cheap.
Best value
Wyze Cam v3
Wyze Cam v3
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Color night vision
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Indoor/outdoor
Best wireless camera
Best indoor camera
Wyze Cam Pan product image
Wyze Cam Pan
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Automatic motion tracking
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Indoor only
Best for front door
Wyze Video Doorbell
Wyze Video Doorbell
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Comes with a wireless chime
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Outdoor only

Wyze is the best value in security cameras thanks to its cameras that match the features of more expensive (or even average-priced) brands like Arlo, Ring, and Google Nest. Chief among these is the Wyze Cam v3, which offers excellent night vision and a design that works inside and outside your home.

Indeed, Wyze cameras aren't nearly as advanced—they lack 5GHz Wi-Fi support, don't work with large microSD cards, and don't support as many smart home platforms. But what Wyze lacks in advanced features, it makes up in reliability at a fantastic price.



Compare Wyze cameras

Best value Best wireless camera Best indoor camera Best for front door
Wyze Cam v3Wyze Cam v3
Wyze Cam Outdoor Starter BundleWyze Cam Outdoor
Wyze Cam Pan product imageWyze Cam Pan
Wyze Video DoorbellWyze Video Doorbell
List price*
Field of view130º110º120º (lens)
360º (pan)
120º
Video storageCloud,
microSD card
Cloud,
microSD card
Cloud,
microSD card
Cloud only
Weatherproofing
Icon Yes  LightIP65
Icon Yes  LightIP65
Icon No  LightIndoor only
Icon Yes  LightIP65
Power sourceUSB adapter †Battery
USB adapter ‡
USB adapterDoorbell wiring
Learn more

*Amazon.com price as of 04/13/2021 at 10:53 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.
† Requires a specialized power adapter (not yet available) for outdoor use.
‡ Wyze Cam Outdoor uses a rechargeable battery for power while its base station uses a USB adapter.

Wyze cameras pros and cons

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Fantastically affordable price
Pro Bullet Free cloud video storage
Pro Bullet Local recording using microSD card on most units
Pro Bullet Cheap paid cloud storage plan
Pro Bullet Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
Pro Bullet Indoor and outdoor models available
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Restrictive free cloud storage
Con Bullet No support for microSD cards over 32 GB
Con Bullet No microSD card included
Con Bullet Low frame rates, especially at night
Con Bullet No support for 5GHz Wi-Fi networks

Similarities

Core features

Regardless of which Wyze camera you choose, they all come with the same core features:

  • The Wyze app is your portal to set up, view, and control these cameras using a smartphone.
  • Two-way audio gives you the option to talk to people through the cameras and hear their replies.
  • Motion and sound detection allow the cameras to capture important events without continuously recording. The Wyze Video Doorbell is the only model that doesn't support sound detection, but we think that's a good choice that respects visitors' privacy at your door.
  • Infrared night vision allows the cameras to record videos in complete darkness, though the Wyze Cam v3 has better night vision than other Wyze cameras.
  • 1080p HD video quality captures enough detail to show what's happening in front of the cameras.
  • Time-lapse recordings can compress several hours of video footage into short clips for easy review.
  • Compact, minimalist designs mean the cameras blend into their surroundings without taking too much space.
  • Smoke and CO alerts allow the cameras to send you a push notification if they detect the sound of a smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm.

Some of these features—like the mobile app, two-way audio, 1080p video, motion detection, and night vision—are standard fare for most security cameras. But Wyze stands out for offering time-lapse videos and smoke alerts without a subscription when companies like Google Nest† and Arlo charge extra.

Cloud video storage

All Wyze security cameras include free cloud storage that stores video clips online for up to 14 days. While this free storage is handy for folks who want to skip a monthly fee, it comes with two heavy recording restrictions that can reduce its effectiveness.

Video clips can't be longer than 12 seconds, which might not be enough time to capture vital information about what's happening in your home. The short video clips aren't terrible on their own, but a mandatory five-minute cooldown between recordings amplifies the problem.

In short, you have to be incredibly lucky for Wyze's free cloud storage to make a difference during a security event. But there are three ways you can get around the issue:

  1. If you don't want to pay a dime, you can adjust the camera's sensitivity and create detection zones to limit recording triggers. While changing the motion or sound sensitivity can work in many cases, we prefer using detection zones that trigger only when there's activity at a specific door or window.
  2. An easier option is buying a microSD card for the camera since the camera can record all motion to the card without a paid cloud storage subscription.
  3. Paying for a Wyze Cam Plus storage plan removes the 12-second limit and recording cooldown.

Wyze cloud storage plans

Basic PlanCam Plus
Price per camera
Length of video clip or motion alert12 secondsUnlimited
Recording/alert cooldown5 minutesNone
Sound, smoke alarm, and CO alerts
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Premium features*NoneEvent fast forwarding,
person detection

Info current as of 04/13/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Wyze plans to add the following premium features in the future: face recognition, package detection, pet detection, vehicle detection, and event insights.

Smart home compatibility

Wyze supports three major smart home platforms: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT (If This Then That). While the support isn't particularly deep compared to brands like Arlo, it's a welcome bonus for budget products like Wyze. In general, security cameras don't offer as much benefit to a smart home as they would to a security system. Still, it's nice to see Wyze making an effort.

With Alexa and Google, you can view live video streams from your Wyze cameras on a compatible smart display, like an Amazon Echo Show or a Google Nest Hub, by using a simple voice command. But we couldn't find any other ways to use Wyze cameras with these digital assistants, so you can't start recordings or even turn off cameras.

IFTTT has more options for controlling your cameras and linking them to smart home devices beyond Amazon and Google smart hubs. But IFTTT recently introduced a paid subscription model that limits what users can do for free.

Notepad
Wyze's other smart home devices

Wyze's other smart home devices—like the Wyze Plug, Wyze Bulb, and Wyze Thermostat—offer a lot more control and functionality with the smart home platforms listed above.

Differences

Local video storage

Aside from the Wyze Video Doorbell, all of Wyze's security cameras can record video locally on a microSD card—and support a maximum of only 32 GB of storage. This is because the cameras use a FAT32 file structure that doesn't work as reliably on larger cards.

A 32 GB card isn't huge compared to the 128 GB cards you can buy for less than $20, but Wyze says it's enough to hold up to two days of continuous HD video or eight days of SD video. If you want to maximize your card storage, you can use the "Record events only" setting to record one-minute clips whenever there's motion.

Although the Wyze Video Doorbell's lack of local recording is more pronounced, the Wyze Cam Outdoor also approaches local storage differently.

In this case, the Cam Outdoor and its base station each have microSD slots. Any microSD card in the base station is a duplicate of the card in the Outdoor Cam, making it easier to access recordings without grabbing a ladder. Unlike other Wyze cameras that support microSD, the Cam Outdoor doesn't have the option to record continuous video, which helps prolong its battery life.

Checklist
Wyze microSD card

While microSD cards are relatively easy to find at most retailers, we think the Wyze 32 GB microSD card is affordable enough if you need only a single card. You might score a better deal buying cards in bulk from another brand, but we suggest going with a trusted manufacturer like Sandisk, Samsung, or PNY.

Video frame rates

There are different frame rates among Wyze's security cameras, with the newer models generally recording a higher number of frames per second (fps) for a smoother video that captures more detail. The individual cameras have different frame rates depending on the time of day, with lower frame rates at night allowing for longer exposure times to account for low-light conditions.

Wyze Cam v3, Wyze Video Doorbell Wyze Cam OutdoorWyze Cam Pan, Wyze Cam v2
Daytime frame rate20 fps20 fps15 fps
Nighttime frame rate15 fps10 fps10 fps

Weatherproofing

Wyze's three newest cameras have weatherproofing, so you can use them in outdoor conditions—Wyze Cam v3, Wyze Cam Outdoor, and Wyze Video Doorbell. This adds a lot more flexibility than the Wyze Cam Pan and Wyze Cam v2, which aren't big fans of rain, snow, and temperature fluctuations.

Even though the Wyze Cam v3 works outdoors, you need to use an outdoor power adapter. Unfortunately, this adapter isn't available yet, which keeps the camera indoors for now. We'll update once we find out a firm release date.

Installation

Most of Wyze's cameras have a simple, metal mounting plate that you attach to the wall using a screw or adhesive tape. The metal plate provides a firm surface for magnets in each camera's base to hold on to.

But the Wyze Video Doorbell doesn't use a magnetic mount. Instead, it comes with a mounting plate that you screw to the wall. This is a reasonable choice that helps prevent someone from walking away with your doorbell on a whim.

Light Bulb
Mounting kits

Most of Wyze's security cameras come with mounting hardware to help you install them in the best spot, but you can replace or supplement it with mounting kits, depending on your needs. The Wyze Cam Pan doesn't come with any mounting options in the box, but the company sells a specialized mounting kit.

Power sources

There are three power sources for Wyze cameras that allow them to work in different environments:

  • Indoor cameras like the Wyze Cam v3 and Wyze Cam Pan use simple USB adapters.
  • The Wyze Cam Outdoor relies on a battery so you can place it far from power outlets. It also uses a base station indoors (USB adapter) to connect to Wi-Fi and extend its battery life.
  • The Wyze Video Doorbell connects directly to existing doorbell wiring, giving it continuous power so you can see visitors on your porch.

Wyze security camera reviews

Wyze Cam v3: Best value

Best value

Amazon.com and other prices as of 04/13/2021 at 10:53 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Wyze Cam v3 is the highlight of Wyze's entire security camera lineup. It improves on the Wyze Cam v2 in every way while still costing less than $30.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Powerful color night vision
Pro Bullet Indoor and outdoor capabilities
Pro Bullet Built-in siren
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Special power source for outdoor operation

In particular, the camera excels at nighttime recording thanks to a starlight sensor and two types of infrared LEDs—resulting in full-color video and a brighter picture after the sun goes down. Despite these improvements, you'll get better videos during the day, like with most security cameras.

Unlike the Wyze Cam v2, this camera is resilient enough to use indoors and outdoors, making it a wired alternative to the battery-only Wyze Cam Outdoor. There's a catch, though—you need an outdoor power adapter for the camera to work safely outdoors, but Wyze isn't selling it yet. This smart security camera will be hard to top with a proper outdoor power supply.

It also has a built-in siren, which you won't find on other Wyze cameras. Although it's not something you'll use every day, it's a strong way to deter would-be trespassers.

On the whole, the Wyze Cam v3 is probably the best value among affordable security cameras. Its thoughtful features and powerful night vision are hard to pass up at such a compelling price. Other budget security cameras like the Ring Indoor Cam and Blink Mini can't keep up.

Wyze Cam Outdoor Starter Bundle: Best wireless camera

Best wireless camera

Amazon.com and other prices as of 04/13/2021 at 10:53 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Wyze Cam Outdoor is the company's first truly wireless camera, thanks to built-in rechargeable batteries that last 3–6 months on a charge. This is Wyze's most expensive security camera, but the $60 starter kit is still nearly half the price of entry-level outdoor cameras from brands like Ring and Arlo.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 3–6 month battery life
Pro Bullet Powerful infrared night vision
Pro Bullet Base station that supports up to 4 cameras
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No continuous local recording option
Con Bullet No color night vision
Con Bullet 32 GB max microSD card size on base station

Right away, you'll notice that this security camera requires a base station. It handles the power-hungry internet connection (using Wi-Fi or Ethernet) so the camera can use its battery more effectively. Unlike Arlo's overly expensive base stations, this is one that we like.

Each base station supports up to four cameras with Wyze Cam Outdoor Add-On Cameras costing around $47 a piece. We also like the local storage redundancy you get from having an SD card in the camera and one in the base station that gives you easy access to recordings.

The Wyze Cam Outdoor's local video storage lacks a continuous recording option so it can save on battery life, which is probably for the best. But you can set the outdoor camera to record on schedule if motion-triggered recordings aren't enough.

While the Wyze Cam Outdoor has more powerful infrared night vision than the Wyze Cam v3, it doesn't offer full-color video, which might be a downside for some folks. Still, it's ideal for watching over your yard at any time of day.

Light Bulb
About Wyze's pricing

A Wyze device is typically $5–$10 more expensive at retailers like Amazon and Home Depot than on Wyze's website. But because Wyze.com orders don't include free shipping, it can cost about the same no matter where you buy your cameras.

Wyze Cam Pan: Best indoor camera

Best indoor camera

Amazon.com and other prices as of 04/13/2021 at 10:53 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Wyze Cam Pan might be older and more expensive than the Wyze Cam v3, but we think it's the better option if you want a versatile indoor security camera. Its pan and tilt motors give it practically unlimited coverage of any room since you can reposition the lens for a better view using the Wyze app.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Physically adjusts the view with pan and tilt
Pro Bullet Automatically patrols the room to look for activity
Pro Bullet Follows moving subjects to keep them on video
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Can have sound problems with built-in speakers

One of the best parts of the Wyze Cam Pan's pan and tilt is a feature Wyze calls Pan Scan. Pan Scan essentially allows you to set up to four waypoints for the camera to patrol automatically. It even follows moving subjects to keep them in the frame so you don't lose track of what's happening in the family room.

When we tested the unit for our Wyze Cam Pan Review, we found that the camera's speaker had occasional sound quality issues with two-way audio. These problems weren't enough to deter us from recommending it.

Although this is the largest Wyze camera by size, it's still quite compact—not much larger than a stick of butter. The Wyze Cam Pan remains one of our favorite budget security cameras, even if the Wyze Cam v3 recently stole our hearts.

Wyze Video Doorbell: Best for front door

Best for front door

Amazon.com and other prices as of 04/13/2021 at 10:53 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The Wyze Video Doorbell is one of few video doorbells under $50, so it's in uncharted territory. We agree with many online reviews that say it doesn't hold up to $100 competitors in the same way that other Wyze cameras do, but it's still a good option for the price.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet 4:3 aspect ratio on videos
Pro Bullet 19 different tones on included chime accessory
Pro Bullet Hardwire for continuous power
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No compatibility with existing doorbell chimes
Con Bullet No local storage via microSD

We're glad to see that the Wyze Video Doorbell opts for a 4:3 aspect ratio, which works better for the front porch than the widescreen 16:9 standard found on Ring's doorbells. Still, the camera's field of view is narrower than what you find on a typical doorbell camera, affecting how much you can see.

Wyze uses a hardwired connection, which is more work than plugging in a USB adapter but simple enough for most DIYers to install. Unfortunately, it doesn't actually control your existing doorbell like standard video doorbells.

Instead, it comes with a chime that plugs into a regular electrical outlet. While the chime might be vulnerable to accidental unplugging, we're big fans of its selection of 19 sounds so you can customize it to your liking.

Unlike Wyze's other cameras, the Video Doorbell doesn't support local video storage on a microSD card. However, the free cloud storage will likely fit your needs in most cases. If you want longer videos, there's a good argument for signing up for Wyze's paid storage.

Overall, the Wyze Video Doorbell could benefit from a wider field of view, but the camera's video quality is probably good enough for most folks. Still, don't expect it to outperform pricier doorbell cameras like Arlo, Google Nest, and Ring.

Thumbs Up
2K video resolution eventually

Wyze is planning to release an update in the future (no specific date yet) that upgrades the Wyze Video Doorbell's video resolution from 1080p to 1536p (2K). We're hopeful that this will help improve the camera's video quality, but we'll have to wait and see.

Wyze security camera accessories

Wyze Home Monitoring Service

The Wyze Home Monitoring Service is Wyze's first DIY security system with professional monitoring. As you might expect, it can work in tandem with Wyze security cameras and even includes Cam Plus cloud storage for a single camera as part of the $5 monthly price.

Wyze smart home devices

Unlike the monitoring service, Wyze's smart home devices might not provide as many immediate benefits when you pair them with a Wyze security camera. But you can control them with the same app as your cameras and create rules for them to work together—like having a light bulb turn on when a camera detects motion.

Wyze's smart home devices:

Amazon.com and other prices as of 04/13/2021 at 10:53 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Final word

Wyze security cameras are an unlikely pairing of price and substance. While they don't have the most advanced technology, they manage to keep up with pricier competitors. We're especially fond of the Wyze Cam v3 and its color night vision that works in any environment inside or outside. But the company's other cameras definitely hold their own.

Overall, we recommend Wyze security cameras to anyone who wants an affordable security option or for folks with larger budgets who want to amass a fleet of cameras.

Head over to our review of the best cheap security cameras to see how Wyze fits into the sub-$50 category.

Our approach

We wanted to provide a comprehensive look at Wyze's security cameras, so we focused on its four most recent models. We didn't review the Wyze Cam v2 because it's similar to the new v3, which costs the same, though we briefly discuss it in the Wyze Cam v3 review below.

After choosing which cameras to review, we highlighted shared features and differences between the products before delving into brief reviews of the individual cameras. This approach let us compare Wyze as a whole to other security camera brands while emphasizing model-specific strengths.

Our research for this review looks at specifications, online reviews, and personal experiences with Wyze's cameras and other products—some on the SafeWise team own and use Wyze gear in their homes. Consider reading our review methodology if you want to learn more about how we test and rate products.

FAQ

According to Wyze, it achieves low costs by partnering with efficient manufacturers, selling many products directly to consumers on its website, and not aiming for a high profit margin.1

There are no monthly fees to use Wyze cameras or the Wyze app. But you can subscribe to a Cam Plus plan to expand the features and remove the recording restrictions of Wyze's free cloud storage.

Most Wyze security cameras require Wi-Fi to set up but can record without Wi-Fi after that as long as you insert a microSD card. The only Wyze camera model without a microSD slot is the Wyze Video Doorbell.

We couldn't find a limit to the number of cameras you can connect to your Wyze account. But you can only designate up to five security cameras as part of the Wyze Home Monitoring service. A "designated security camera" shows up as a live stream in the Wyze app. The service limits you to five simultaneous live video streams to save on internet bandwidth.

Indirectly—you can use an adapter to connect the camera's microSD card to your computer to watch videos. But you must use the Wyze mobile app to watch live video streams and video clips in the cloud.

All internet-connected devices are vulnerable to hacking, including Wyze—and the company even had at least two major security breaches in December 2019.

Wyze investigated the breaches—which happened due to an employee error—and improved security:

  • Added multi-factor authentication
  • Reviewed internal security policies
  • Implemented better employee training and standards
  • Created a way to report vulnerabilities on its website

In general, you can prevent hacking by changing the default password out for a stronger one and by using the Wyze app's built-in two-factor authentication feature.

Related articles

Sources

  1. Wyze Labs Inc., "Our Story - Wyze," October 2017. Accessed April 13, 2021.

Disclaimers

*Amazon.com list price as of 04/13/2021 at 10:53 a.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.

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 eight 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.