REVIEWED: Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera

Know where your pet sleeps? Log-in live and watch it yawn, but don’t expect top quality video

Price as reviewed: £99

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Do travellers and holidaymakers need a home security WiFi camera? Probably not, as a rule, but such is the the ease of live viewing – and even motion detection – on the Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera that the spread of similar products seems slightly inevitable.

Live viewing

With the Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera attached to a WiFi router (something that’s a cinch to do thanks to an initial WiFi Direct link to a smartphone), it broadcasts simple, low quality video to the Samsung SmartCam app.

Positioning

What you get out of the Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera is all about positioning.
Is your cat in? Point it at the cat-flap and the camera’s motion detection will compile a short video – uploaded to a private stream on your YouTube account, no less – of all activity at the cat-flap. If you know where your pet sleeps, you can even log-in live and watch it yawn.
The camera has a 15 degree hinge, and though it uses WiFi it does need to be plugged into the mains. It’s modilar, too; up to six can be named (Living room, Dog basket, etc.) could be viewed through the same app.

Twitter notifications

Ditto for the hallway; the fairly discreet Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera will record any and all movement – and it can let you know immediately. Notification alerts triggered by motion and audio can also be sent to your Twitter profile or straight to your smartphone as a message within the free app. What you do with this information is another matter.

Low quality

Unfortunately, the Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera deals in very poor quality video. It’s not a patch on a smartphone; even on high quality mode the feed manages a paltry (and square) 640×480 image of a mere 20 frames per second. It’s really jerky – and at least five seconds behind live. The default quality version is 320×240, though it records at twice the frame rate. If you’re wondering whether the Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera could be used as a fun ‘relationship aid’ for couples separated by long distances, forget it.

Battery woes

Re-orient your phone to landscape and the app stretches everything – it’s pretty basic stuff. The zoom function is very basic, too – there’s no enough data to zoom in on. In our test, watching live on the SmartCam app ran down our iPhone 5S battery alarmingly fast.

Night vision

All is not lost; a night vision mode appears to work reasonably well – we could definitely see shapes moving at night when watching away from the property – and the sound (yes there’s a microphone inside the Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera, too) is reasonably clear.

Two-way audio communication

Is your pet on the sofa again, while you’re sunning yourself in Barbados? So shout at it. Actually, this was one function we couldn’t get to work, though there’s no doubting the Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera’s easy set-up and versatility, endlessly customisable and tweak-able, it could the one of the first of many such products. However, with little in the way of quality, we’re wondering whether the Samsung Techwin SNH-1011 Smart Home Camera is designed not to bring peace of mind, but simply to play on paranoia.

Also see:

Ox Gadgets review

PC Mag review