Want to keep an eye on your child or your home when you’re away? These cameras will stream a feed to your Android or iOS device and pack loads of great features, from night vision to remote control.
Motorola MBP853 Connect (£169.99)
Motorola’s latest webcam includes the camera itself (a dinky spherical effort) and a separate viewing unit, with a 3.5-inch colour screen for checking on your little one. The camera streams direct to the viewing unit but you can also hook the camera up to your WiFi quickly and easily and then stream the video feed direct to your phone or tablet (via the ‘Hubble’ app), which is great news if you’re out of the house or you want a distant relative to take a peek.
The MBP853’s camera is one of the smartest you’ll find, allowing you to pan, tilt and zoom remotely to take in a full room. The remote controls work well, with only a slight delay in response. You can also check out an infrared feed so you don’t need to keep a light on in the nursey, and there’s a built-in mic and speaker so you can hear and soothe your baby.
The easy setup process and smart range of features makes the Motorola MBP853 one of the best baby monitors around. Highly recommended.
D-Link EyeOn Baby Monitor HD 360 (£130)
D-Link’s latest baby monitor is a fully rotating remote-controlled camera, just like the Motorola MBP853. Unlike the Motorola monitor, there’s no separate viewing device – one reason it’s quite a bit cheaper – so you’ll need to download the ‘mydlink Baby Camera Monitor’ app, available for iOS and Android. This helps you to set up the camera with clear, simple instructions and then allows you to stream a live feed either over your home network or when you’re out and about.
The app is fantastic, giving you full tilt controls with only a little bit of lag. The monitor has a mic built in so you can hear your bundle of joy too, although again there’s a bit of lag – but the video feed was as close to live as any other we’ve seen. There’s respectable night vision, a temperature reading and the app even tracks how many times your baby fusses or moves around. And if your sprog is fussing a bit too much, you can soothe them with one of the built-in lullabies, also remotely activated.
Oh, and you can even change the colour of the monitor’s rings, with pink, blue and plain rings bundled in the box.
Y-Cam HomeMonitor HD (£149.99)
The HomeMonitor HD is just as easy to set up as Motorola’s effort: just plug into your router with the bundled ethernet cable and head to the website to set up an account. The online instructions are clear and simple and in just a few minutes the camera will be hooked up to your WiFi. Then just download Y-Cam’s Android/iOS app to your phone or tablet to view a live feed.
The HomeMonitor HD allows you to set up motion detection areas within the field of view, which then alerts your smart device and immediately starts recording if anything strays within the boundaries. You can stream any recording over the app, so you can see your little one wriggling about or check that the babysitter’s doing their duty. And it’s easy to get a good viewing angle with the HomeMonitor, thanks to the bundled wall mount.
Piper’s NV offering is more of a security camera than a baby monitor, but it still does a solid job for keeping tabs on your little bundle of joy.
Setup is a slightly convoluted process which failed on my first two attempts, but when I finally got there the Piper NV proved a solid all-round device. You can once again view a live feed of the nursery or any other room via the iOS/Android smartphone app, and like the Y-Cam offering there’s full motion (and sound) detection. There’s also a nifty night vision mode and the 180-degree lens makes it ideal for a big nursery with more than one nipper. You can even chat with your bundles of love via the 2-way speakers system.
The main draw of the Piper NV is the range of home automation accessories that are compatible with the camera. These ‘Z-Wave’ accessories include sensors and thermostats so you can keep serious tabs on the baby’s room while you’re away.