Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro Review
Although Vivint's outdoor camera is expensive, we were more than impressed with its 4K HDR sensor, person detection and 85-decibel siren.
Vivint is a well-known name in the home security game. After all, they have over 1.7 million customers in the United States. It also makes the best home security system (or one of them, at least) with an entire range of products all controlled by the Vivint Smart Hub Panel. One of these products is an outdoor camera, namely the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro. Of course, in order to use this camera, you must have the larger Vivint security system, so it’s definitely not for everybody. In this review, we look specifically at the Vivint outdoor camera in terms of video, audio, night vision; basically, all the important factors that make for a smart outdoor security camera. Bottom line, though: is this camera worth its $399 price tag?
Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro Features Breakdown
|Camera||Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro|
|Field of vision||140°|
|Battery or Wired||Wired|
|Learn More||View Camera|
Right away, we were impressed with several of Vivint’s features:
- 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 automatically light up and the camera plays a tune to prevent crimes before they happen.
Let’s get into a close inspection though.
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 are a shiny white, the face of the camera is black, square with rounded edges with the round camera dead center. As far as power goes, the camera is plugged in, which meant we never had to worry about batteries. However, if we hadn’t happened to have a plug near where we were mounting the camera, this could have made installation a bit more complicated (more on this later). It also uses Wi-Fi to connect to the Smart Hub Panel and the other devices on the system.
One of the most unique features about the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro is its red LED light which surrounds the camera. Its 85-decibel siren makes an impact as well. 85 decibels is about as loud as a passing diesel truck or snow blower. With Smart Sentry, if the camera detects that someone is on your property for too long, the ring lights up red and the siren plays some warning tones. Luckily we were in complete control of this feature. We could set it to turn on only when our security system was armed or to turn it off completely. Even better, we could set the warning tone to play for anywhere from one to 90 seconds after the camera spotted someone in the detection zone (or as long as they stayed in the zone). In the meantime, we got a clear thumbnail image of the person sent directly to our phone, making it easy to monitor the outside of our home. We should also note the camera comes with a speaker and microphone for two-way audio, and its LED lights are great for infrared night vision.
Of course, this is an outdoor camera, so it needs to be able to withstand wind, rain, sunshine or snow. To ensure durability, we check IP ratings, a two-digit number that represents how susceptible an electronic object is to solids (the first digit) and liquids (the second digit).
|1||A large body surface like the back of a hand, but no intentional contact with a body part||Dripping water falling vertically|
|2||Fingers or similar objects||Dripping water falling from 15 degree tilt|
|3||Tools, thick wires, etc.||Spraying water|
|4||Most wires, screws, etc.||Splashing water|
|5||Dust protected||Water jets 6.3mm & below|
|6||Dust tight||Powerful water jets 12.5mm & below|
|7||N/A||Immersion up to 1m|
|8||N/A||Immersion over 1m|
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 we didn’t blast it with powerful water jets or immerse it in water, we knew it would keep going.
In case you haven’t read any of our camera reviews before, we always perform our necessary features test on all our security cameras, indoor or outdoor. This test ensures that the camera’s technical specifications match up with our actual experience, and that our experience matches up with our very high standards. For $399, we figured we needed to be blown away by the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro to justify its price. Were we?
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 already really impressive. You can also zoom in three times optically or ten times digitally for capturing the finer details. Plus, the camera’s field of view is 140 degrees, which is very wide. Overall, we were blown away by the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro’s camera quality. So far, it has two thumbs up!
Remember those LED lights we 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 we said before, the camera has a speaker and microphone which allows for two-way audio. We could scare away intruders, say hi to our neighbor when he was walking past or haggle with a Girl Scout over cookies, all from the comfort of the Vivint Smart Home app (more on this later).
As far as storage goes, we had a few options. Local storage involved buying the Vivint Smart Drive, which cost a whopping $249. That was a fair amount considering the camera and installation alone had already cost $399. But it did mean we had 30 days of continuous recording, which was pretty cool. Otherwise, we could have bought 14 days of cloud storage for $5 a month. Footage there is only in 30-second clips. Since the camera doesn’t have built-in local storage or generous cloud storage options, we’re going to have to give only 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
We’ve mentioned Smart Sentry once or twice already. It’s the feature that alerts us if someone is loitering on our 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 was essential in making sure that our notifications were about real people at our door and not just about the fact that our neighbor backed out of their driveway.
On top of that, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro has activity zones so we could tell our camera exactly which areas to pay attention to. That meant we were only notified about activity on our property and not our 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 we’ve seen that requires 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, we’re all for avoiding extra work, but that’s a high price to pay, and we especially don’t like that there’s no DIY option at all. Also, making the installation appointment was surprisingly difficult, with Vivint ignoring us for weeks. That seems odd, particularly as they ultimately made a good amount of money off of us!
However, once the professional Vivint employee came to our house, we were very pleased. He did everything for us, from drilling to cabling to testing, all while answering our 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. And it’s worth noting that the price does include installation. We were already in the Vivint ecosystem, so this camera made a great addition, well worth our money. Again, it wouldn’t have been of much use otherwise.
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. We found it super easy to control our Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro, which is an essential component of any good 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
Without the eufy HomeBase, the camera and its hub together cost $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. Eufy offers 30 days of cloud storage for only $2.99 per camera per month. Vivint charges five dollars per camera for half that time. Finally, the eufyCam is wireless, which we actually preferred, and has a louder siren by 15 decibels. Despite this, we’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 given their overall prices. The Nest Cam beats the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro in a couple of important ways. 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, we were really impressed with the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro! It’s hard to match in terms of quality, and it’s even worth its 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, included in the $399 price tag.
- 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 we’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 2021 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.
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.