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Cocoon Review: Home security camera with subsound smarts

The Good

  • Fair price
  • Subsound monitoring
  • Easy setup
  • Cloud backup

The Bad

  • Not Full HD
  • Occasionally encourages bouts of paranoia
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We review the Cocoon smart home security camera, which can listen out as well as watch for any suspicious activity when you’re away.

DIY home security has never been easier, with a massive range of cameras to choose from as we head into 2018. Just check out our round up of the best home security cameras you can buy right now, to see how much choice you really have.

Sticking a connected security camera somewhere in your smart home means you can constantly monitor your personal space, wherever you happen to roam. A camera that’s hooked up to your WiFi can alert you if anything dodgy is detected, for plenty of peace of mind.

Of course, most smart cameras simply watch over a single room. Their range is therefore limited, which is where the Cocoon camera has a distinct advantage. This connected security camera can listen out for intruders as well as spy over a room, so any activity that’s outside of its field of view may also be detected.

We’ve spent a month testing the Cocoon smart camera to see if it really is a worthy protector for your homestead. And check out our guide to setting up your perfect smart home for all you need to know.

Cocoon smart home security camera review: Design and setup

The Cocoon reminds us somewhat of the Google Home Mini, thanks to its diminutive stature and fabric finish. It’s small and subtle enough to blend in with pretty much any decor, although the glowing light on its front definitely calls attention. You can position it wherever you like, providing the lengthy power cable stretches that far; we recommend a corner seat at around head height, so the camera has a clear view of the whole room.

Setting up the Cocoon is quick and simple. Download the nifty app onto your iPhone or Android device and you can pair up with the camera in just a few seconds. The app does this by blasting a lovely burst of high-pitched noise at the Cocoon, which transmits all of the necessary information including WiFi details.

Note that anyone else living in your household should do the same. The Cocoon can then keep track of who is home and knows when the place should be empty.

Cocoon smart home security camera review: Features

With the app installed on your phone (and the mobile of any other household members), Cocoon is ready to secure your home. The camera knows when your house is empty, thanks to your device’s built-in GPS. Therefore, if any activity is detected, be it motion via the camera or sound via the built-in mic, you’ll get an alert pinged to your smartphone.

You can watch a live feed at any time, or catch up on past alerts thanks to the Cocoon’s ability to record footage. Seven days’ worth of video is stored up in the cloud and you can also save three clips permanently. Best of all there’s no ongoing fee, as there is with the Nest Cam IQ.

The camera captures 720p HD video, which means it’s not as sharp as some Full HD rivals such as the Hive. However, it’s still crisp enough to make out general features, so you can tell between a familiar face and a stranger. You also get crisp and clear night vision, while the 120-degree viewing angle means a full room can be covered with smart positioning.

That mic is sensitive enough to pick up audio quite clearly within the same room, although its effectiveness is limited once you move beyond that space. While it can pick up voices and loud noises in adjoining rooms, we found that it wasn’t activated by any activity on a different floor or a reasonable distance away. You’ll certainly want to get more than one Cocoon if you’re safeguarding anything larger than a two bed flat.

Besides, not having eyes on all parts of your home is bad news if you’re of the paranoid persuasion. Cocoon occasionally alerted us to noises that it detected in our home when we were away, but without widespread camera footage we had no way of seeing what caused those sounds. That suspicious bang could’ve just been the letterbox clattering as a leaflet was pushed through. But what if it was a burglar knocking over something as he sniffed his way through our underpants drawer?

Thankfully the Cocoon promises to learn typical noises, such as your cat flap going all day long. You’ll therefore receive less random alerts as time goes by.

If you’re sure that some criminal types have invaded your homestead, or you simply want to scare the bejesus out of your mother in law who just dropped by, you can sound the Cocoon’s siren remotely. This isn’t particularly ear piercing, but should prove enough to get the attention of burglars and scare them off. Or at the very least, get them to approach the camera so you can get a good look at their mug.

Cocoon smart home security camera review: Verdict

You can buy the Cocoon security camera right now from the likes of Amazon and B&Q for £159, with no monthly fees to worry about. That makes it one of the cheaper options right now.

While you miss out on Full HD visuals, the subsound tech is a unique feature that helps to extend the protective range of the camera. We like how it stores up to a week’s worth of video, while the alerts system is also solid.

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