If you're looking for a security camera with great night vision and AI-enhances features, the YI Cam is perfect for you. Keep in mind, there is an associated cost due to the ongoing subscription fees. The Wyze Cam, on the other hand, doesn't require a subscription and has Amazon Alexa and IFTTT integration, which gives it a leg up. It also has the ability to use its 8X digital zoom to see everything big or small.
There's more than meets the eye
The design is an area where these two cameras diverge quite a bit. The YI Cam is rounder and far larger, coming in at over 4.5 inches at the base. The Wyz Cam measures in at just 2 inches at the base and has a more "blocky" design.
|YI Cam 3||Wyze Cam|
|Dimensions||3.1" x 1.3" x 4.5"||2.2" x 2" x 2"|
|Field of view||107-degrees||110-degrees|
|Power||AC Only||AC Only|
|Smart Assistant||No||Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant|
Both the Wyze Cam and YI Cam 3 have quite a bit in common when comparing the video resolution, the 2-way audio support, local backup methods, and even the warranty. But once you dive deeper, you begin to see a difference and why we have a clear favorite here.
Starting with the YI Cam 3, the camera's sensor features a 107-degree field of view, which is only slightly narrower than the Wyze Cam's 110-degree FoV. Both offer Night Vision, along with motion and sound detection, but neither can safely be used outside of the home due to a lack of an IP rating.
Where the YI Cam 3 pulls ahead is with its AI-enhanced smarts. The camera has new "AI-powered" human detection alerts to go along with improved motion detection. What's this mean for you? The camera will detect motion, but the sensitivity of the camera can be tuned through the app so you're not getting false alarm alerts. YI makes it easy to fine-tune the camera's sensitivity through its accompanying smartphone app.
YI also has the advantage in sound detection. It can detect if a baby is crying or glass is shattered since it detects "abnormal sounds" ranging between 50 and 90 decibels. This is particularly useful if you have a small child in the house and need to know when to rush to the rescue.
That's not to say that the Wyze Cam doesn't have any tricks up its sleeve, as this camera also supports motion and sound detection. This camera sports "Motion Tagging" which makes it possible for you to easily detect and outline motion when either viewing the live stream or when playing back the video at a later time.
Perhaps the largest advantage the Wyze Cam has over YI's offering is the inclusion of Amazon Alexa support. Despite many cameras offering smart assistant integration, the YI Cam is lacking in one area. Thanks to this integration, the Wyze Cam combines perfectly with one of your display-enabled Echo devices to check out the live feed from your camera.
Where they fall short
There are no perfect products on the market and when you start cutting costs, you're going to lose features too. These cameras are no exception. The YI camera lacks when it comes to smart assistant integration, which is a big trade-off. On the other hand, the Wyze Cam only offers internal storage instead of a cloud service.
Both cameras offer microSD card support, but are limited to a maximum storage capacity of just 32 GB. If you're recording in standard definition, this should be sufficient, but as time moves on, changes are your microSD card will begin to fill up rather quickly. Offloading data from your current card to a backup solution can be a pain and should be a consideration in your purchasing decision.
Something else to consider is the lack of 5GHz network support. Both cameras only work on the 2.4GHz band which can be an issue as more and more devices favor this band. This can be an obstacle because congestion can lag your camera's connection making it harder to stream the feed from a remote location. If you have a lot of devices that connect on the 2.4GHz band, you may want to consider an option that has 5GHz support to avoid this issue.
Let's talk about subscriptions
Another similar functionality between both of these security cameras is the ability to store recordings in the cloud. With the Wyze Cam you are provided with 14-days of "rolling" cloud storage, which means that your recordings will be saved until the 15th day, and then the 1st day of the original timeline will be overwritten.
Both cameras offer the ability to store recordings in the cloud, with the Wyze Cam providing a 14-day rolling storage option. That means you can access your recordings for the course of two weeks, but anything before that will be deleted. The YI Cam 3 only offers a 7-day rolling storage option and after a six-month trial, you'll have to pay for this feature.
After your six-month YI Cloud trial runs out, you do have some options, but they aren't great. The service will only keep six-second video clips of motion events, and they'll only be saved for seven days. Of course, you can keep all of your footage stored locally on your microSD card, but as we mentioned above, that can be a hassle as time moves on.
Which camera should you get?
Despite the lack of smart assistant support, the clear winner is the Yi Cam 3. Sure, you'll likely want to keep the Yi Cloud subscription rolling after the six-month free trial is up, but if it means keeping your family safe, then it makes perfect sense.
While both cameras are 1080p the YI Cam 3 has improved night vision and a multitude of motion and sound detection features that make it an easy pick over the Wyze Cam. Plus, you can use either the YI Cam app (available for both phone or tablet) or access your cameras from a web browser on your desktop. The Wyze Cam limits you to just using its application which can be a drag if you don't have your phone laying around.
If you've already entered into Amazon's ecosystem and have display-enabled Echo devices around, the Wyze Cam makes more sense. The ability to view a live stream just by asking Alexa is very handy and something we can see a lot of people using. Plus, you don't need a subscription service to access your backups and that's very appealing, especially with a longer 14-day rolling storage option.
AI enhancements go a long way
The YI Cam 3 nails almost everything we want from a budget security camera option for your home. It has a myriad of detection alerts and greatly improved night vision. But, don't expect to use any smart assistants and be prepared to pay for a subscription fee after six months.
Get Alexa's help
Amazon Alexa to help you keep a watchful eye
The Wyze Cam won't "wow" anyone with any standout features, but it's a serviceable smart security camera that will perform admirably. Just don't expect this camera to go above and beyond outside of integration with IFTTT and Alexa.
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