Wyze Labs Inc. is quietly positioning itself as king of the budget-friendly, high-quality security camera market. The well-received Wyze Cam v2 is a solid, 1080p HD camera for a wallet-friendly $25 or less. Its successor—the Wyze Cam v3—was released on October 27, 2020. But is the v3 a better alternative?
Based on software alone, the Wyze Cam v3 is certainly worth the upgrade. Even the hardware is a significant step up, and without a single caveat, including the price. The Wyze Cam v3 will cost you no more than the v2, retaining Wyze’s reputation for quality without breaking the bank.
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the Wyze Cam v3 and former v2 so you can decide if an upgrade is the right move for you.
Wyze Cam v2 vs. Wyze Cam v3
|Wyze Cam v2||Wyze Cam v3|
|Resolution||1080p HD at 15fps||1080p HD at 20fps|
|Smart Home Integration||Alexa only||Alexa and Google Assistant|
|IFTTT||Not supported||Supported with applets and integration with smart home devices|
|Night Vision||4 LEDs for 30’ of black and white night vision||Starlight sensor for color night vision|
|Indoor/Outdoor||Indoor only||Both/IP65 weatherproof rating|
|Field of View||110 degrees||130 degrees|
|Bandwidth||2.4GHz only||2.4GHz only|
Despite their differences, the v2 camera and the v3 aren’t substantially different in design. The v3 retains the square look of the v2, despite the rounded corners, and measures 2.2 x 2.0 x 2.0 inches. This is only slightly larger than the v2’s 2.2 x 1.9 x 1.9 inches.
The greatest difference is the one you can’t see. The v3 is hardened with an IP65 weatherproof rating, allowing for outside placement without compromising the camera.
The v3 retains the sharp 1080p HD resolution of the v2 but with a higher frame rate at 20fps. It also upgraded the night vision from LEDs in black and white to a “starlight sensor” that displays night vision in color.
If This, Then That
Everything in life is cause and effect—Sir Isaac Newton said so. Why should the Wyze Cam v3 be any different?
One of the major gripes about the v2 camera was its lack of integration with smart home devices and hubs. In response, Wyze upgraded the v2 so that it was compatible with Alexa. The v3 works with both Alexa and Google Assistant, with an additional feature that allows it to work with IFTTT (If This, Then That).
By downloading the IFTTT app, the Wyze Cam v3 can take advantage of applets—behavioral indicators that link the v3 to other smart devices and allow it to operate based on causes. If you don’t prefer manually turning on your v3 when you leave home, there’s an applet that will do that for you. You can choose applets that will turn on smart lights when the v3 detects motion.
It’s a distinctive advantage of the v3 over the v2, even with the v2’s Alexa upgrade. The only drawback is the v3’s lack of support for Apple HomeKit.
The Wyze Cam v3 is feature-rich, with a 130-degree field of view, smart home integration, upgraded night vision, and faster frames per second but, like the v2, requires a subscription for some of its advanced features.
The subscription rate of $1.25 a month adds person, vehicle, animal, and package detection, while also eliminating the five-minute cool-down required between 12-second recordings.
Purchasing the Wyze Cam v3
If you shop online, you’ll find no shortage of Wyze Cam v2 devices for purchase. That’s not the case with the v3. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, silicone manufacturing is down.
As of now, you have to be a Cam Plus subscriber to purchase a Wyze Cam v3. This stipulation is only expected to last 2-3 months, however.
However, if you don’t want to wait, the Cam Plus membership is currently $1.25, and signing up will give you access to the v3. You’re basically spending an additional five quarters for a superior product.
Successful products inevitably spawn successors. Usually, that means regular updates in software, visual aesthetics, and a higher price point. Smartphones are often guilty of this, with the appeal always being, “just a little more.”
Wyze Labs essentially did a complete makeover of what was already a quality product. From a business standpoint, that’s an inherently risky decision. The v3 cam, however, is a success in every way, especially considering the fact that it’s priced to match the v2.
The Wyze Cam v3 is an upgrade on almost every level; in addition to matching its predecessor’s price, Wyze Labs took something that worked at a low, competitive price and made it better without a premium.