Overview Yi Cloud Dome: a decent camera for home video surveillance


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Cameras in the house, and not in the office or shop, no longer surprise anyone. They do really useful things and

help home dwellers in safety,observing and informing "what is there at home". Previously, ordinary webcams could only monitor the situation, but now the camera can act as a security device - a motion detector, a means of communication with the smallest and most elderly, and even be a baby monitor.

We got into the hands of the camera Yi Cloud Dome 1080p. This is a camera, the manufacturer of which (Yi Technology) is part of a large consortium created by Xiaomi (we have a separate article about it), and it can be your indispensable household helper. In short, the situation is as follows: the manufacturer’s full name sounds like Xiaoyi, and this company produces webcams and action cameras. Until October 2016, the company was part of Xiaomi, but then there was a division of businesses, and the company lost Xiaomi Yi branding, becoming just Yi. Xiaomi still owns a large part of the manufacturer’s shares, so Yi is considered part of the giant Xiaomi family. In 2018, the company started with Google to produce the first VR-180 camera.

What is it?


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Yi Cloud Dome Camera 1080p (this is her fullThe title in English) is a camera with a futuristic-space appearance that resembles a spaceman’s spacesuit. It looks fashionable, compact enough and at the same time as functional as it can be for the money. This camera, unlike many similar Xiaomi cameras, can be used separately from the Mi Home smart home system, and therefore will suit not only fans of the Chinese brand and amateurs to enhance the intelligence of their home, but also those who want to use the technique in the style of “vzula that forgot ", That is, without complications, understandable and effective.

What makes her interesting?

First of all - this is the price. For fifty dollars you get a lightweight and compact device with 1080p recording quality, 360 degrees circular view, night shooting with infrared illumination. In addition to recording the image to the memory card, the camera Yi Cloud Dome can save video to a remote server: you can use the free “trimmed” version of downloading video straight to China, or you can buy an extended subscription. The camera has a speaker with which you can turn the device into a loudspeaker with feedback. Finally, it can be used as a baby monitor (but here you can’t do without a “but”, see below).

What is in the box

Transparent box contains a camera, and in hiddencompartments at the bottom and at the top are charging (some kind of frivolous travel version, as light as possible), wiring with a microUSB connector, a sticker with the Yi logo (probably everyone should know that surveillance cameras work indoors), instructions, warranty and coupon for Discount for cloud storage video. The package bundle is quite self-sufficient, and, if it were not for the flimsy charger, you could call it ideal. Yes, there is no memory card - but what did you want for such money?


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What does the YI Cloud Dome look like?

Snow-white spacesuit astronaut with opaqueblack visor helmet. Here are the first impressions of the camera, as soon as it comes across to someone's eyes. And indeed: the body could successfully play a role in some space thriller - the main thing is not to show the body of this astronaut below the shoulders. And there - quite an ordinary platform with fasteners, on this rectangular platform there is a microphone (front) and communication holes at the back (power connection, RJ45 connector for wired Internet, a slot for a memory card and a reset button). On the sides of the rectangular pedestal there are speaker holes for the sounds that the camera makes.


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Camera mount bayonet: fasten the base somewhere with screwdrivers, then simply wind the camera with a little effort and fix it. A small hint based on personal experience: this mount can be glued to the furniture or the ceiling with double-sided quality tape so as not to drill the holes: the camera is light enough and it is unlikely that it can tear off a good adhesive tape with its weight.


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Application installation and connection

The app is loading from Google Play or Apple.App Store without problems: you can find it manually, or you can use the QR code, which is in the manual. After starting the application, you need to log into your Yi-account or create it Then you should follow the prompts on the screen of your phone: enter the login and password from your home Internet, show the camera the QR code generated by the program, wait for confirmation of successful connection - and that’s it, the camera is ready for use! The whole process takes about a minute and is accompanied by voice comments of the camera in English.


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The camera has simple and clear settings as yousee on screenshots. You can turn off the camera operation indicator, activate motion detection (with notifications in the curtain of the smartphone), the backlight at night, turn on the baby monitor mode, view the calendar of events, take a photo, talk to the camera in walkie-talkie mode, or use a paid subscription service. By the way, when you buy, you are given a 33% discount on all plans: you can take a video for a week, 15 or 30 days - then all camera recordings will be available to you for a specified period. 7-day saving video in the Chinese cloud for one camera costs 6 euros for 3 months or 20 euros per year; storing videos for 30 days costs 18 euros per month or 180 per year. In general, the application is clear and easy to use, fast enough and responsive even when using the mobile Internet (when you need to look remotely into the camera).


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What can YI Cloud Dome

The camera can rotate its head for 360degrees and tilt and lift the lens by 102 degrees. When you move the motor is not heard at all, and they just can not wake up your child or a cat, or scare burglars. And against them, this camera is quite effective: it has built-in tracking of a moving object, that is, it can follow people passing by, automatically turning behind it. Of course, it doesn’t react instantaneously to fast motion, but still, if you pass by calmly, then in any case you will remain in the frame - it will follow the moving object, if it is alone. If there are more objects, the camera will not understand whom to follow, and will turn around for those who are closer to the sensors. The camera can move 360 ​​degrees, covering everything around. She even knows how to take panoramic photos, sending them to your phone later, or be controlled from your side - there are large camera rotation buttons in the right direction in the application, the drive pitch is small and sufficient to fine tune the camera position.

The camera has the possibility of two-way communication, whichcan help in dealing with older people, children and pets. Just press the button in the application (almost as tangenta in the radio), speak into the phone from anywhere, and at home you will be heard and answered - the camera not only works in video mode, transmitting the image, but also broadcasts the sounds made by your home.

Night shooting is implemented as follows: in case of insufficient illumination “by eye” (this happens inside the camera, this is not visible), a special filter is lowered and the infrared illumination is turned on. The image quality in this case, of course, is worse (it becomes monochrome, turning the camera into a night vision device), but it is understandable - not everyone can see in the dark just as in bright light. The problem with this function is different: here, during the testing period, the camera was in a dim room with thick curtains that do not let the sunlight through. And the camera did not understand what she had to do - all the time she switched on and off the night mode, which was accompanied by a rather loud and nasty click of this filter. In the mean values ​​of twilight, the camera does not understand what would be better - to show a color semi-dark image in digital artifacts or black and white, but bright. Unfortunately, the menu has nowhere to turn off the night mode - otherwise the transition to infrared vision and this sound could be simply turned off.


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She is able to work in online broadcast.and record video to a memory card (simultaneously archiving files in the YI cloud service, where storage is limited only by the subscription rate). In general, an attempt to tie a subscription to cloud storage looks like an obsessive business idea. On the other hand, it is not necessary to buy it at all, and even 1-2% of camera buyers, to turn into service subscribers with regular payment, is also bread. And for sure there will be those who would like this version of a paid service with a monthly fee - everything works really great. And maybe for a small (relatively home) office, such a video surveillance solution will look like a sensible idea.

But the most interesting thing happened when wetried to test the monitor baby crying, but there is, an ordinary baby monitor. As conceived by the designers, when this mode is activated, the camera should perceive the surrounding sounds and highlight the children's crying from them, signaling this through the application to the parents. But, no matter how our six-month-old child shouted, the camera did not respond to these decibels. It is possible that the fact is that the child was crying and shouting in Ukrainian when the camera was set up exclusively for the Chinese cry of Chinese children - who knows, maybe voice recognition has already reached a level when the device can distinguish between race and nationality?

Who are the competitors?

There are enough competitors among famous others.brands, manufacturers of webcams and tracking systems, and within the Mi Home ecosystem. But in the latter case, you need a controlling gateway and work through it (i.e., Chinese servers of the entire Mi Home) to control the camera, and in the case of our camera, you can receive an image directly from it (also through Chinese servers, but without additional steps to connect to Mi Home).

In the dry residue

In general, the camera turned out good and good. Compact size, interesting appearance, good functionality and high-quality image (even in complete darkness, albeit monochrome) can be a decisive factor for the purchase. Do not forget about the democratic price and affiliation to the world-famous, popular and already reputable brand. Particularly pleased (those people who know how the entire Mi Home system actually works) that the camera can work alone, and it does not need to be connected to various additional devices or gateways. The application is also clear and convenient, easy to configure and use. Small drawbacks - a disabled detector of baby crying or a loud sound of turning on the filter - do not darken the joy of buying and using this camera.

5 reasons to buy a camera Yi Cloud Dome

  • high-quality image (including night shooting);
  • the possibility of conversation in bilateral mode;
  • you do not need a smart home hub type Mi Home - the camera can be used offline;
  • cloud video storage for those who are looking for reliable (and paid) service;
  • 360-degree view, it is possible to flip the image to fix the camera to the ceiling.

3 reasons not to buy a camera Yi Cloud Dome

  • loud click of the filter of night shooting, constant switching in twilight
  • strangely working (more precisely, not working) function of the baby monitor
  • you do not trust Chinese goods and services (including servers somewhere far away in East Asia)

Main technical characteristics Yi Cloud Dome security cameras

Dimensions
120 × 95x95 mm

Matrix
1 / 2.7 ″ 2MP CMOS, infrared illumination (10 LEDs)

Video
1920 × 1080, 15 frames per second, 4x digital zoom

Viewing angles
108 °, 360 ° rotation

Connections
Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, Ethernet, microSD

Video
H.264 (MP4), 2688x1520 30 fps, 1920x1080 60 fps, 1280x720 30 fps

Sound
microphone and speaker for two-way communication

Nutrition
5V / 1A, microUSB

Functionality
shooting a panoramic photo, tracking movements, crying baby, push notifications in the application of movement

360-degree camera YI Cloud Dome

Good camera for home video surveillance

The advantages of this camera are stableA working smartphone application revealing its capabilities: 360 degree rotation, video recording in complete darkness, motion detection, full duplex communication. Upon detecting movement, she sends a push notification to the smartphone. Optionally, a subscription to the company's cloud video storage service is attached to it.

Buy in branded store on AliExpress

good thing!