- Editor Rating
- Rated 3 stars
- Oco Wi-Fi Camera
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
- Cosmetic AppealEditor: 70%
- Design & Build QualityEditor: 60%
- FeaturesEditor: 50%
- FunctionEditor: 50%
- Value For The PriceEditor: 70%
The Oco is an afforable Wi-Fi camera with competitive features and functionality.
The Internet of Things is truly changing the world around us especially in regards to inter-connectivity in your home. While Nest's Dropcam models are currently the top contender in the Wi-Fi video camera market, but many competitors are entering the market including the a more affordable option called called Oco.
Priced at $149 each, Oco remains competitively priced against the Nest who offers similar capabilities at a $199 price-point. Unlike the Nest, the Oco is offered in discounted bundle packs ($279 for two or $399 for three) as well as a full year of cloud recording for the previous 24 hour period (Nest offers a free 30 days then paid subscriptions).
Some key differences between the Oco and the more expensive Nest model include a lower resolution (720P versus 1080P), small field of view (120-degrees versus 130-degrees) and less in-app functionality.
Design & Build Quality
From the start, my Oco impression was positive as it harnesses elegant and high-quality packaging making for a notable unboxing experience. Inside the box is the Oco itself, a wall mounting kit, quick start guide, and a long, high-quality micro-USB cable with a USB to AC wall adapter.
I'm a fan of the Oco's sleek design as it harnesses a base that is both rigid and highly adjustable. Due to the nature of the base, the Oco can be positioned in a multitude of different ways like in a table-top setting, or it can be easily mounted to a wall or ceiling. There is no form of weatherproofing so this camera is designed for interior use only. If you want a camera to mount on the exterior of your home/business, then look elsewhere.
Installation & Setup
My use of the Oco was to capture as much as I could of my living room/dining room/main hallway so I decided to mount the camera upside down in the corner of the living room ceiling using the supplied mounting bracket. When properly screwed in with the supplied wall anchors, the Oco is secured firmly in place without any hesitation in regards to accidental damage.
Setting the device up for the first time was simple after following the quick-start guide and step-by-step guide via the mobile app. The iVideon app is available for download via Google Play and the iOS App Store, free-of-charge.
The mobile app acts as the “hub” for the Oco and is how you sync the camera to your iVideon account initially as well as make any future changes. This means you can setup the Oco straight out of the box without the need for a computer. This is convenient for many who rely on their smartphone (rather than a conventional computer) for most of their tech needs.
The iVideon account creation and syncing are quick and painless especially since it will scan the QR code in front of the Oco's camera for easy pairing. When it came down to connecting the Oco to my home network, I did run into an issue initially where it wouldn't accept a connection from my 5GHz network and would only complete the syncing process while utilizing my 2.4GHz signal. While it ultimately worked with the lower band, it is worth noting for anyone who may experience a similar issue.
Once enabled, I configured my free year of 24 hour cloud-based playback that didn't require a credit card. However, I ended up resetting my camera after relocating it to a different location, and this caused me to lose this free year of access. It now prompts me to pay for any cloud recording plan. I'm sure this is some glitch, but rather disappointing nonetheless.
When it was working correctly, the iOS version wouldn't allow me to enable cloud recording without email notifications turned on. This meant I'd get an email sent every single time something moved in front of the camera thus racking up hundreds of email notifications in just over a month. Sure, you can mark these notifications to be sent to your SPAM folder though I think the ability to enable cloud recording without any requirement of email notifications should be rather simple to implement.
Performance & Function
I've found the Oco to be most useful for checking up on my dog while I'm away from my home. The 720P resolution isn't that crisp yet it's good enough for its price-point. I doubt the resulting image is going to be sharp enough for identification purposes (like if a stranger broke into your house), but it is easy enough to recognize familiar faces and pets.
The wide angle lens offers excellent versatility in a big room without too much distortion being present in the frame. The sensor performs better with ample lighting and its night vision mode is also reasonably good. The problem occurs when you have a mixture of dark and light areas in the frame as the camera will try to compensate for both thus leaving lost detail due to blown highlights and crushed shadows.
Since the camera has both a microphone and speaker, you can communicate with your dog/family/friends via the camera though it is a relatively odd experience. Neither the microphone or speaker is of a high quality, and there is a 2-3 second lag between the feed and real-time.
Using the Oco, you can view the feed from any modern Android or iOS device as well as on a Mac or PC from any current web browser so you have plenty of options for accessing your feed while on the go.
At its lower price-point, the Oco Wi-Fi Camera is a sleek and relatively solid product. While it doesn't give the Nest a true run for its money, I could see it being a suitable option for someone on a budget or someone who is looking to purchase multiple Ocos (thanks to their bulk discount) as long as you are patient enough to deal with its various bugs and inconsistencies.
I would spend the extra $50 on the Nest as I think it is worth it to double the resolution for a better quality image, but for some this may not be an issue. While the Nest is by no question a superior product, the Oco is likely the closest runner-up and simply lacks the advanced technology and funding to keep the experience as refined as its more expensive competitor.
Who Should Buy An Oco Wi-Fi Camera?
- Someone looking to purchase a wireless in-home camera without breaking the bank
- Someone who understands this is a much smaller company than its Nest competitor meaning the product is not as refined and stable as the Nest
- Someone who wants to buy multiple wireless cameras at one time and wants to take advantage of the significant savings when buying a two or three camera bundle
- Someone who is content with only a 720P camera versus the Nest's superior 1080P camera
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