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YI Cam 3 vs. YI Dome Cam: Which should you buy?

a YI Home Camera sitting on a table
a YI Home Camera sitting on a table (Image credit: YI)

YI Cam 3

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Although the YI Cam 3 has a fixed viewing angle, the inclusion of AI-powered alerts makes it possible for you to rest easy without worrying about accidental notifications. This camera records at 1080p/20fps, so you will get a better recording quality, and 6-months of YI Cloud removes the need to purchase subscriptions at the start.

YI Cam 3

AI-enhanced

AI-powered human detection alerts
Smart HDR improves camera quality
6-months of cloud service included
Records at 1080p/20fps
Stationary camera
Limited to 32GB microSD expansion

YI Dome Cam

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The YI Dome Cam is fantastic for those who want to be able to view as much of the room as possible. The camera quality is not quite as good as others, but it will do the job admirably, and is a great option for a baby monitor.

YI Dome Cam

360-degree security

360-degree full panoramic viewing angle
Baby Crying Detection included
Night vision is non-invasive
Wider lens for field of view
Must purchase subscription to unlock all features
Video recording limited to 15fps
Limited to 32GB microSD expansion

Over the last few years, Xiaomi-owned YI has been upping its game when it comes to security cameras, with the YI Cam 3 and Dome Cam coming in as to of the most intriguing options. The YI Cam 3 improves upon almost everything that its predecessor lacked while including a major addition in the form of AI-powered detection alerts. As for the Dome Cam is great for those looking for 360-degrees of coverage, but there are a few caveats that may have you taking a pause before picking one up.

However, we don't want you to get your hopes up if you are looking for a security camera with smart home integration, as you won't find Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa support with either of these. If you are looking for a security camera, here's how these two match up.

How do these stack up?

Yi Cam 3

Pictured: Yi Cam 3.

Deciding between these two cameras is not as simple as it may appear. Both the YI Cam 3 and Dome Cam have their strengths and weaknesses, and it all starts with the camera itself. While the YI Cam has a respectable 107-degree field of view, the Dome Cam easily wins with its 112-degree lens and the ability to capture 360-degree videos with its rotational base. Here are the specs.

YI Cam 3YI Dome Cam
Dimensions122mm x 70mm x 59mm110mm x 64mm x 93mm
Resolution1080p1080p
Field of View107-degrees112-degrees
Digital Zoom4X4X
Night Vision8 IR LEDs8 IR LEDs
Smart HDRYesNo
2-way AudioYesYes

As one would expect, the dimensions of these cameras are different simply because the YI Cam 3 is a stationary camera, while the Dome Cam needs to house the rotating base for 360-degree coverage. Where the Dome Cam takes a slight edge is in it's mounting methods, as YI makes it easy to mount on a table, wall, or even on the ceiling. With the Cam 3, you can mount in different areas, but you'll need to pony up for the accessories needed to make it happen such as the Wall Mount Stand Bracket or Outlet Wall Mount.

Both cameras sport a 4X digital zoom, along with two-way audio, and 8 IR LEDs for the included Night Vision capabilities. When it comes to Night Vision, there are some subtle differences, such as the non-invasive LEDs found on the Dome Cam which makes this perfect to use as a baby monitor. The YI Cam 3 sports "Enhanced Night Vision", so the camera itself will be able to provide more detail in the night compared to the Dome Cam, but may interrupt your baby's sleep.

The YI Cam 3 also sports Smart HDR so that the picture quality is much improved over the competition. However, both the Dome Cam and Cam 3 include Lens Distortion Correction which will restore and straighten edges of the content so that your videos and pictures don't looking warped and rounded.

Additional features mean a better experience

Yi Dome Cam

Pictured: Yi Dome Cam.

Keeping with the trend of similar functionality, YI does a great job packings its latest security cameras with a boat-load of useful features. Both of these cameras support Abnormal Sound Detection, Smart Human Detection, and 3D noise reduction for improved microphone usage. Additionally, you can load a microSD card (up to 32GB) into either one of these cameras so that you will have a local backup of your videos and images.

Another feature found in both of these cameras is Motion Tracking, although the YI Cam 3 gets a big edge due to the usage of AI-enhancements. With the help of AI, your automatic alerts and detections will be more precise, as YI has worked to get rid of false notifications when something as small as a fly crosses your camera view. There are customizable sensitivity levels that can be set with the accompanying smartphone app so that your camera performs as advertised.

We would be remiss if we didn't mention the YI Cloud when talking about these two fantastic cameras. Without signing up for any subscriptions, you will only be able to keep six-second clips of any motion events, and they will only be saved for seven times. But you can also keep your recordings locally on the included microSD card, if you are prepared to deal with limited storage since these cameras only can support a 32GB card.

With the YI Cam 3, the company is including 6-months of YI Cloud for free, while you will only get a 1-month free trial when purchasing the YI Dome Cam. The subscriptions start at $9.99 per month for 15-day recording, and go up to $14.99 per month for 30-day loop recording, which is something you will have to consider regardless of which camera you choose.

Which camera should you pick?

Deciding which camera is best almost feels like a coin-flip, until you take a closer look at the YI Cam 3. This camera sports 1080p recording at 20fps, compared to 15fps on the Dome Cam, while also including six months of YI Cloud storage for free. Both cameras include Night Vision, have the same digital zoom, and support 2-way audio, so it's really a tough choice.

The Dome Cam provides 360 degrees of coverage with the rotating base, and you can mount this camera wherever without needing to purchase additional mounting equipment. Associated with the 360-degree camera coverage, the Dome Cam also features "auto-cruise" and "panorama capture" allowing you to keep an eye on specific areas or the entire room.

However, The AI-enhancements found with the YI Cam 3 make it the best choice. These enhancements bring a better overall experience as you will be able to see what's going on and can take advantage of the Motion Tracking features. Unfortunately, if you were hoping for some type of "smart assistant" integrations, you will have to look elsewhere as neither the Cam 3 or Dome Cam include this.

Andrew Myrick
Andrew Myrick

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.