eufy Cameras: No Fees, Just Security

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Although eufy is better known for their robotic vacuum cleaners than anything else, they also have an extensive lineup of security products. Under the parent company Anker Innovations, eufy says that they have over five million users around the world; pretty impressive. The question is, are their security products just as impressive as their home appliances? We’re breaking down the essentials of eufy’s security cameras, from feature highlights and pricing to their overall worth compared to other leading security brands.

eufy - All Components
eufy 2k Cam – All Components

Positives of eufy

Our hands were quite full with five eufy security cameras, but we accepted the challenge and made note of some general features that left a good impression.

  • Local storage: As society shifts to cloud services with an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide using cloud storage for personal use,1 we’re starting to wonder if local storage will stick around. To our pleasant surprise, eufy’s cameras each came with their own local storage, whether it was an eMMC or a micro-SD card. Typically, we don’t have any preference to local or cloud storage, as we’d rather that security cameras include both. Seeing eufy implement local storage gave us hope for a future that still needs it. That’s not to say eufy doesn’t have cloud storage — they absolutely do, but more on that later.
  • No monitoring fees: By now, the word “subscriptions” is part of our daily vocabulary. With eufy, though, it’s completely absent — for monthly monitoring at least. Rather, we self-monitored our eufy cameras without signing up for a monthly subscription. More savings means a happier bank account!
  • Artificial intelligence included: Here’s the thing with A.I.— sometimes it’s included with security cameras and sometimes it’s locked behind a subscription service, like with the Nest Cam Indoor (learn more in our Nest Cam Indoor review). But because eufy doesn’t offer a monthly monitoring subscription, the A.I. features were already included with all of their cameras save for the eufyCam E. The other eufy cameras’ person and pet detections reduced our notifications so that we were only notified of the delivery guy dropping off a package at our front door or our neighbor’s cat lounging on the patio, but no motion notifications from inanimate objects like cars. Yippee!
  • Easy wireless setup: The eufyCam 2, the eufyCam 2C, and the eufyCam E were battery-powered with a battery life ranging between six months to a year. We installed them outside and made sure that our hub, the eufy HomeBase, was properly set up inside our apartment as well. The cameras had drill or magnetic mounts, though we chose the latter because we’re apartment dwellers. If wireless cameras sound like your cup of tea, make sure to take a look at the best wireless cameras of 2020, which includes the eufyCam E.

Tip: Don’t mount the eufy cameras near windows or glass walls which can reflect light back to the cameras. We recommend mounting them under the shade and out of direct sunlight.

  • Crisp night vision: Normally, security cameras with night vision offer color or infrared. With the outdoor eufyCam 2, eufyCam 2C, and eufyCam E, we noticed that the low-light footage was super clear thanks to the infrared — plus color for the eufyCam 2C — sensors. For both indoor cameras, their night vision included eight infrared LED sensors. Instead of a fuzzy image, we could see clear lines and edges of the furniture and objects in our apartment, even when we woke up randomly at four AM.
eufy 2K Night Vision
eufy 2K Night Vision

Price Tags for eufy Cams

Like we mentioned, we looked at a handful of eufy security cameras which were the eufyCam 2, the eufyCam 2C, the eufyCam E, the Indoor Cam 2K, and the Indoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt. The naming conventions could be better, but each camera came with their own merits. The price range is between $39.99 to $159.99, although the eufyCam 2, the eufyCam 2C, and the eufyCam E require the HomeBase in order to operate, so these prices are actually for add-on cameras only. Kit-wise, the price range for those three cameras is between $239.99 to $299.98. It’s pretty steep, but we didn’t have to concern ourselves with an additional monthly subscription. The Indoor Cams are on the cheaper side, so we’d say the scale is balanced.

eufyCam 2eufyCam 2CeufyCam EIndoor Cam 2KIndoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt
Learn MoreView CameraView CameraView CameraView CameraView Camera
Price for Add-On Camera$129.99$99.99$159.99$39.99$49.99
Price for HomeBase and One Camera PackageNo package available$139.99$229.99No package availableNo package available
Price for HomeBase and Two Cameras Package$299.98$239.99$298.99No package availableNo package available
Price for HomeBase and Three Cameras Package$469.99$315.99$399.99No package availableNo package available
Price for HomeBase and Four Cameras Package$579.99$419.99No package availableNo package availableNo package available
Indoor/OutdoorBothBothBothIndoorIndoor
IP Rating676765N/AN/A
Wired or WirlessWirelessWirelessWirelessWiredWired
Video Quality1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD2K2K
Field of View140°135° diagonal140°125°125°
Artificial IntelligenceHuman focus image enhancement, person detectionSmart Image Enhancement, person detectionNonePerson and pet detectionPerson and pet detection, excessive noise level alerts (i.e. for crying babies)
Battery Life365 days180 days365 daysN/AN/A
Night VisionInfraredInfrared and colorInfraredInfraredInfrared
Two-way Audio?YesYesYesYesYes
Smart Home IntegrationsSiri, Alexa, Google AssistantAlexaAlexa and Google AssistantSiri, Alexa, Google AssistantSiri, Alexa, Google Assistant
Extra FeaturesActivity zonesActivity zonesBuilt-in 100 decibel sirenActivity zonesActivity zones, action tracking

Monitoring & Storage Rundown

Every security camera is bound to come with additional costs for monitoring and storage. However, eufy is a little different in that they completely avoid the monthly monitoring subscriptions and instead offer monthly cloud storage service. The only downside to not paying for monitoring fees is having no professional monitoring option.

Storage

We briefly talked about local storage, although it did get a little complicated since storage space differed with each eufy camera. Complexities aside, eufy continued to save us money by including micro-SD cards with their cameras so we didn’t have to purchase our own. The eufyCam 2 and eufyCam 2C offered up to three months of local storage through a 16 GB eMMC while the eufyCam E gave us one year’s worth of recordings through a 16 GB micro-SD card. To say that eufy is generous with their local storage is an understatement.

eufy App - Cloud Storage
eufy App – Cloud Storage

Now cloud storage, on the other hand, is an extra investment. The cloud storage service is split into two plans: Basic and Premier. The Basic plan slaps on one price per camera while upgrading to the Premier includes one price that accounts for up to 10 cameras. Each plan only comes with 30 days of cloud storage, which is the industry standard. While we were content with local storage, we decided to sign up for the Premier plan and cover all our cameras. All this information wasn’t outlined on their website, mind you, but rather, we had to sign in to our account and manage our cloud storage plan through there.

Here’s a breakdown of local and cloud storage options for all of the eufy security cameras:

eufyCam 2eufyCam 2CeufyCam EIndoor Cam 2KIndoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt
Local StorageUp to 3 months through 16 GB eMMCUp to 3 months through 16 GB eMMCIncludes 16 GB micro-SD card (one year’s worth of recordings)Up to 128 GB micro-SD cardUp to 128 GB micro-SD card
30 days of Basic Cloud Storage Monthly Price for One Camera$2.99$2.99$2.99$2.99$2.99
30 days of Basic Cloud Storage Annual Price for One Camera$29.99$29.99$29.99$29.99$29.99
30 days of Premier Cloud Storage Monthly Price for up to 10 Cameras$9.99$9.99$9.99$9.99$9.99
30 days of Premier Cloud Storage Annual Price for Up to 10 Cameras$99.99$99.99$99.99$99.99$99.99

Money Saving Alert: When you sign up annually for eufy’s cloud storage service, you save around $6 on the Basic plan and $20 on the Premier plan.

eufy’s Smart Home Integrations

We were happy to find out that eufy cameras had smart home integrations. For a company that also supplies smart home appliances, we’d be shocked if the integrations were missing. In fact, a 2019 report revealed that one-third of the U.S. uses a voice assistant at least monthly on any device,2 making them incredibly popular. We’re definitely a part of that population, and we continued our contributions to the growing numbers by testing out our eufy cameras with Alexa and Google Assistant.

eufy 2K Camera on Desk
eufy 2K Camera on Desk

When we synced our eufy cameras with Alexa, we also made sure to sync it with our Echo Show 8, which you can read more about in our Echo Show 8 review. That way, whenever we told Alexa to show live footage, we viewed it on the Amazon device instead of our phones. The commands we issued were, “Alexa, show front patio” and “Alexa, hide the living room camera.”

Next up was Google Assistant. Since we have Android TV and Chromecast, we had Google Assistant project live footage from our eufy cameras on our TV. Some commands we issued were, “Ok Google, show the hallway camera” and “Ok Google, stop.” This was particularly helpful when our hands were tied with cooking in the kitchen or cleaning up the living room; we just watched the footage on a large screen without lifting a finger.

Tip: Name your cameras! Even if it’s as simple as “living room” or something more creative like “BB-8,” if you’re a Star Wars nerd like us, you’ll save your voice assistants from asking you to clarify which of the cameras in your home you’re referring to.

How Does eufy Compare?

With so many security cameras on the market, there’s no helping the comparisons. Worthy competitors to note are the Arlo Pro 3 and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor. If you’re interested in these cameras’ performance, we detailed our thoughts in our Arlo Pro 3 review and Nest Cam IQ Outdoor review. For starters, let’s take a look at the equipment costs. The Arlo Pro 3 is similar to eufy cameras in that it requires a hub and is either sold as part of a kit or as an add-on camera. The Arlo Pro 3 two-camera kit costs $399, but separately, Arlo’s Smart Hub costs $99.99 while the Arlo Pro 3 add-on camera costs $169.99, which is cheaper than the eufyCam 2 and E’s two-camera kit prices. The most expensive kit from eufy costs $299.98 and the most expensive add-on camera cost is $159.99. Meanwhile, the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor stands alone at $399, so it’s the same price as the Arlo Pro 3 two-camera kit.

Next, let’s look at the A.I. features. All eufy cameras except for the eufyCam E include person detection while both Indoor Cams also include pet detection. The Arlo Pro 3 does have A.I. features, but they’re part of their monthly subscription service, Arlo Smart. These features include detections for people, animals, packages, and vehicles. Then we have the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, which includes person detection but requires the Nest Aware subscription (which we’ll go over pricing in a minute) for the facial recognition feature. If we’re just looking at what these cameras offer without a subscription, then we’d say that eufy cameras one up both the Arlo Pro 3 and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.

eufy Indoor Cam 2K Close Up
eufy Indoor Cam 2K Close Up

Naturally, this brings us to the monthly subscriptions either for monitoring, cloud storage, or both. Obviously, eufy does not have a monthly professional monitoring subscription, so that’s already a huge bonus. They do have a cloud storage service, which we already mentioned above. The Arlo Pro 3 and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, however, have their own subscription services for monitoring and storage. Arlo Smart’s plans range between $2.99 to $4.99 for one camera or $9.99 to $14.99 for up to five cameras but don’t include professional monitoring. Self-monitoring is free and their plans include 30 days of video history.

Nest Aware differs with their two plans, with the Basic costing $6 per month and the Plus costing $12 per month. Nest Aware Plus includes 60 days of event video history with an extra 10 days of 24/7 video history while the basic plan only has 30 days of event video history. Neither plan includes professional monitoring, which is a separate cost detailed in our Nest pricing page. If you sign up for three years, it’s $19 per month, or if you’re paying monthly, it’s $29 per month. That said, both plans cover all Nest cameras, so there aren’t any distinctions in pricing for the number of cameras you have. From what we can tell, Nest deals a better hand than eufy and Arlo Smart in terms of pricing and the number of days for cloud storage.

In short, eufy cameras fare better with equipment costs but fall short when it comes to cloud storage pricing. Still, we think eufy cameras pack a punch with their included A.I. features that are otherwise locked behind a monthly subscription like the Arlo Pro 3.

Long Story Short

While we don’t come across eufy products as often as Ring or Nest, eufy caught us by surprise in a lot of ways. For one, they don’t have a monthly subscription for monitoring. This is a double-edged sword in that we didn’t have to pay extra fees but 24/7 professional monitoring wasn’t available. The eufyCam 2, eufyCam 2C, and eufyCam E were on the pricier side, especially when we had to purchase the kit so the cameras could work with the hub. We enjoyed person and pet detection, as that quieted our phones from false alerts. All in all, eufy cameras more than make up for their expensive pricing through their advanced features and saved us money by omitting a monthly monitoring subscription.

Citations
  1. Statista. (2016). Forecast number of personal cloud storage consumers/users worldwide from 2014 to 2020.
    statista.com/statistics/499558/worldwide-personal-cloud-storage-users/

  2. eMarketer. (2019). US Voice Assistant Users 2019.
    emarketer.com/content/us-voice-assistant-users-2019