Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro Review
Although Vivint's outdoor camera is expensive, our experts were more than impressed with its 4K HDR sensor, person detection and 85-decibel siren.
If you’re at all familiar with smart home security, then you’re probably already familiar with Vivint as a company. They’re one of the best home security systems of the year and now, they have an outdoor camera to boot, namely the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro. Now, keep in mind that you can only use this camera if you have the larger Vivint security system, so it’s definitely not for everybody. But if you already have the system or are considering buying it, then keep on reading.
This review will look at the Vivint outdoor camera in terms of video, audio, night vision, and other factors that are necessary for a smart, outdoor security camera. Is this camera worth it’s $399 price tag? Let’s find out together in this Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro review!
Scrolling through the page about the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro on the Vivint website, I’m filled with a sense of excitement. The website is promising me some things I like to hear, like:
- 4k sensor: While most cameras are content to be at the industry standard of 1080p HD, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro takes it a step further with 4k sensors and HDR for incredibly clear footage.
- Two-way audio: A Necessary Feature, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro allows you to speak with whoever you’re recording through its speaker and microphone.
- Smart Sentry: If anyone is loitering around your home, the camera’s LED lights will automatically light up and the camera will play a tune to prevent crimes before they happen.
This is all very enticing, but let’s open the box before we get too excited.
The camera itself is sleek, modern and minimal in black and white, which seems to be the trend nowadays. While the base and outside of the camera is a shiny white, the face of the camera is black, square with rounded edges and of course the round camera dead center. As far as power goes, the camera is plugged in, which prevents you from ever having to worry about batteries. However, if you don’t have a plug near where you want to mount the camera, this could make installation a bit more complicated (more on this later).
One of the most unique features about the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is its red LED light which surrounds the camera. Along with its 85-decibel siren, about as loud as a passing diesel truck or snow blower, these features are for that Smart Sentry alerts I was talking about. If the camera detects that someone is on your property for too long, the ring will light up red and the siren will play some warning tones. Plus, you’ll get a thumbnail image of the person sent directly to your phone, making it easy to monitor the outside of your home. Aside from that, I’m also noting the camera’s speaker and microphone for two-way audio plus its LED lights for infrared night vision.
Now, this is an outdoor camera, so it needs to be able to withstand wind, rain, shine or snow. To check durability, I use IP ratings, a two-digit number that represents how susceptible an electronic object is to solids (the first digit) and liquids (the second digit).
The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro has an IP rating of 65, meaning it’s dust-tight and can handle water jets 6.3 mm and below, which should be durable enough for most climates. As long as you don’t blast it with powerful water jets or immerse it in water, it’ll keep on keeping on.
In case you haven’t read any of my camera reviews before, I perform our Necessary Features Test on all my security cameras, indoor or outdoor. It makes sure that the camera’s technical specifications match up with my experience, and that my experience matches up with my very high standards. For $399, I’m going to need to be blown away by the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro to justify its price. Let’s see if it’s worthwhile.
1080p HD is the standard video quality for security cameras, but the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro goes even further with 4k, HDR sensors. HDR is really useful for outdoor cameras in particular as the lighting can be a bit tricky. Basically, it knows how to look at outdoor light in a way that doesn’t create glare or too much brightness, a problem with many outdoor security cameras. 4K means that it’s even clearer than 1080p HD, which is really impressive. You can also zoom in three times optically or ten times digitally for capturing those details. Plus, the camera’s field of view is 140 degrees, which is very wide. Overall, I’m blown away by the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro’s camera quality, so it definitely gets two thumbs up!
Remember those LED lights I mentioned? They’re used not only for scaring away potential criminals, but also seeing them even during the middle of the night with infrared night vision. Full marks!
As I said before, the camera has a speaker and microphone which allows for two-way audio. You can scare away intruders, say hi to your husband while he’s mowing the lawn, or greet a neighbor, all from the comfort of the Vivint Smart Home app (more on this later).
As far as storage goes, you have a few options. If you want local storage, you’ll have to buy the Vivint Smart Drive, which costs a whopping $249, already a lot considering the camera and installation alone cost $399. But if you decide to get it, you’ll have 30 days of continuous recording, which is pretty cool. Otherwise, you can buy 14 days of cloud storage for $5 a month. Your footage will all be in 30 second clips. Since the camera doesn’t have built-in local storage or generous cloud storage options, I’m going to have to give it half marks for this category.
Smart Platform Integration
On a more positive note, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, enabling voice commands if you simply don’t have your hands free. I like that it works with both of the most popular voice assistants, as Vivint customers are in both the Amazon and Google ecosystems. Full marks!
Related: Google Nest Mini Review
I’ve mentioned Smart Sentry a few times, the feature that alerts you if someone is loitering on your property. But this feature wouldn’t be possible without person detection, which allows the camera to differentiate between people and other moving objects like animals, trees, cars, and more. This is essential in making sure that your notifications matter, not that your neighbor backed out of their driveway.
On top of that, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro has activity zones so you can tell your camera exactly which areas to pay attention to you. That’ll make sure that you’re only being notified about activity on your property and not your neighbor Steve’s. Not that Steve isn’t great, but in this case, su casa es su casa. Full marks for artificial intelligence!
Vivint is one of the only security companies I’ve seen that require professional installation, which is one of the reasons for the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro’s high price— it’s included in the $399. Now, of course I’m all for not doing things myself in general, but this is a high price to pay, and I don’t like that there’s no DIY option. Also, making the installation appointment was surprisingly difficult, with Vivint ignoring me for weeks. That seems odd, as they’ll be making a good amount of money off of this!
However, once the professional Vivint employee came to my house, I was very pleased. He did everything for me, from drilling to cabling to testing, all while answering my questions along the way. So even though it took a while to schedule, this was a very painless and informative installation process. Full marks for convenience.
Although this camera is very pricey at $399, it’s one of the best security cameras we’ve ever seen in terms of its 4K HDR video, amazing infrared night vision, storage options, smart platform integrations, and person detection. If you’re already in the Vivint ecosystem, this camera will be a great addition, well worth your money.
The Vivint Smart Home App
The Vivint Smart Home app is where you’ll:
- Arm and disarm camera
- Livestream footage
- View cloud storage
- Receive notifications
- Speak through two-way audio
- Set up smart platform integrations
and more. It’s really highly-rated, with a 4.6 on both the Apple and Google Play stores. That means it’ll be easy to control your Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, which is essential for a smart security camera.
Now, I want to see how the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro stacks up against some other outdoor cameras.
Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro vs. eufyCam E
If you don’t already have the eufy HomeBase, then the camera and it’s hub will cost you $237.99, which is still over $100 less than the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro. Durability-wise, the two cameras are neck in neck with matching IP ratings of 65. Other similarities include 1080p HD video, 140 degree fields of view, infrared night vision, two-way audio, and Alexa integrations.
The video is better on the Vivint camera, as the eufyCam E can’t zoom at all and lacks 4K HDR sensors. Vivint also wins in terms of smart platform integrations, as it also works with Google Assistant. Plus, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro has person detection and activity zones, while the eufyCam E lacks both. As far as apps go, Vivint’s has higher ratings from iPhone and Android users, although the eufy Security app is pretty highly-rated as well.
But one area in which the eufyCam E beats the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro aside from price is storage, as 30 days of cloud storage only costs $2.99 per camera per month compared to five dollars per camera for half that time. Finally, the eufyCam is wireless, which you may prefer, and has a louder siren by 15 decibels. Despite this, I’d still recommend the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro over the eufyCam E for its person detection, Google integration, and superior video quality.
Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro vs. Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor is actually $50 cheaper than the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, which is kind of negligible when you consider how much money you’re spending in the first place. Let’s talk about how the Nest Cam beats the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro. First of all, it’s more durable and can withstand high-powered water jets with an IP rating of 66 compared to 65. It has a feature called Supersight, which automatically zooms in on people it detects. The camera can zoom in optically 12 times as opposed to three, and in addition to Alexa and Google Assistant, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro also works with Philips Hue light bulbs.
But the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro isn’t completely down and out. It beats the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor in terms of storage, as the latter has no local storage and only expensive cloud storage options. Also, it’s field of view is wider by 10 degrees. Plus, it has a siren that the Nest Cam lacks.
The two are the same in terms of their 1080p HD with 4K HDR sensors, infrared night vision, two-way audio, integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant, plus person detection. But only the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor offers facial recognition through Nest Aware. Overall, I’m more impressed with the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor than the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, as it has superior artificial intelligence capabilities, video, and durability.
Learn more in my full review of the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor.
Overall, I’m really impressed with the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro! It’s hard to match in terms of quality, and it’s even worth it’s high price tag.
I’d buy the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro if you’d like…
- Vivint compatibility: If you’re already in the Vivint security system and want to control everything from one app, then this camera makes sense.
- Professional installation: If you’re not a DIY type of person then you’ll appreciate Vivint’s full service.
- Person detection: Not only can the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro detect people, but it can also tell when they’re loitering on your property, prompting the red light ring, warning tones, and a notification for you with the person’s image.
But avoid it if you were looking for…
- Affordable price: At $399 for the camera and professional installation, this is one of the more expensive outdoor cameras that I’ve come across.
- Free storage: While some companies provide both cloud and local storage for free, Vivint will charge you $249 for local storage and $5 a month for 14 days of 30-second video clips— not the most generous offer in the world.
- DIY installation: This ties in with the price in general, as professional installation makes the camera more expensive than it would’ve been without.
To explore other options, check out the best outdoor cameras of 2020 or let us know if you have any questions – I’d be happy to give a personalized recommendation.
- How much does a Vivint Outdoor Camera cost?
The Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro costs $399, including installation. However, the Vivint Ping camera is a more affordable indoor camera available for $199.99.
- What outdoor cameras are compatible with Vivint?
Only cameras from Vivint work with the Vivint security system.
- Can I add cameras to my Vivint system?
Yes, you can add indoor cameras, outdoor cameras and video doorbells to your Vivint system, so long as they’re manufactured by Vivint.