Wyze Cam v3 Review: A Big Leap Forward

Rating: 9/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $19.99
The Wyze Cam v3 on a white desk
Cameron Summerson

Wyze made a name for itself with the very first Wyze Cam, a cheap little security cam that turned out to be a much bigger deal than anyone expected. The company has gone on to make a ton of affordable gadgets since then, from doorbells to headphones. Today, it’s announcing the third generation Cam, which is easily its most powerful camera to date.

Here's What We Like

  • Unprecedented value
  • Starlight sensor for color night vision
  • Truly meaningful upgrades over the Cam v2

And What We Don't

  • Missing home/away automation
  • No USB-A port for daisy chaining or webcam use

If you’re already a Wyze camera user, you may be asking yourself what’s new compared to the v2. Well, that’s an easy answer: lots! Okay, that’s not a very helpful answer. So here’s the long version!

  • Indoor/Outdoor: The Wyze Cam v3 is IP65 rated, so it works both indoors and outdoors. It still requires a power source, however, so it’s not a replacement for the battery-powered Cam Outdoor.
  • Color Night Vision: If you don’t like the black-and-white look of the v2’s night vision, the v3 offers a fix with full color night vision thanks to its new Starlight Sensor.
  • Better Black/White Night Vision: If full color night vision isn’t your thing, the new dual IR system on the v3 offers better black/white night vision.
  • More Mounting Options: With the v2, you had a single mounting option—magnetic. The v3 offers magnetic, tripod, and screw mounting options so you can mount it pretty much anywhere.
  • A Wider Field of View: The v2 has a 110 degree field of view. The v3 bumps that up to 130. It also has a wider F1.6 aperture (compared to F2.6 on the v2).
  • Smoother video: The Cam v2 is tapped at 15 FPS during the day and 10 at night. The v3 bumps things up by 5 frames for both, coming in at 20 FPS during the day and 15 at night.
  • Accessory Support: There are no available accessories for older Cams, but the new one will get a spotlight that can be triggered by person detection, as well as a power over ethernet adapter.
  • Simultaneous Two-Way Talk: You can use the v3 to talk to people without having to push the button, for a more natural phone-like conversation.
  • Mini Siren: Thanks to an upgraded speaker, the v3 has a siren that can be triggered by person detection to scare off any would-be wrongdoers.

Phew, that’s a lot. I read some concerns from users worried that the microSD card slot would be gone on the v3 as Wyze pushed for users to upgrade to Cam Plus, but that’s not the case. I’m happy to report that the SD card slot is very much alive and well on the v3 so local storage and continuous recording are still an option.

What is missing, however, is the USB-A port for daisy chaining cameras or using the camera as a webcam. The microUSB port is also now wired into the camera—both changes presumably made to help achieve the IP65 rating. Makes sense. The one upgrade I would like to have seen is support for 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks. The v3 still relies on 2.4 exclusively.

The back of the Wyze Cam v3 showing the wired microUSB connection and lack of USB-A port for daisy chaining
Cameron Summerson

Another thing that’s sticking around from the Wyze Cam v2? The price. The v3 is still just $20 despite all of these new features. Wyze Cams have always been a bargain, but this one is off the charts. It’s the best camera the company has ever released, price be damned.

Setup is Easy Peasy

If you’ve ever set up a Wyze Cam before, then you know what to expect because it’s literally no different with the v3. If you haven’t, here’s a quick primer on what to expect.

Wyze’s setup is about as easy as it gets. All the heavy lifting is done in the Wyze app and I feel like it’s intuitive enough that it really doesn’t need a full walkthrough in this review. You plug the camera up, scan a QR in the app, and tap a few buttons. It’s that easy.

That said, if you plan on mounting it anywhere, I recommend running through the setup first. It’s just easier to follow the instructions with the Cam on a counter beside you instead of mounted to a ceiling or outside. Once it’s set up, you can unplug it and move it to its permanent location.

The bottom Wyze Cam v3, showing the hardware mounting hole
Cameron Summerson

When it comes to mounting, I was happy to see more options than just the magnetic connection in the previous Wyze Cams. That’s still an option, of course, so if you already have bases mounted and want to upgrade to v3 Cams, then it’ll be a quick swap. But the more robust screw anchor is great if you want to put the v3 outside. The tripod mount is the most interesting of the three, but I imagine it could be a great option if you want the camera to record a timelapse video.

The bottom of the v3 removed to expose the tripod mount.
The bottom comes off to expose the tripod mount. Cameron Summerson

Using the Camera is More of the Same, But Better

Using the camera from the app is a pretty intuitive affair—tap on the camera to load up the stream. You can view it live or check the SD card contents (using the “View Playback” button). Other options are presented directly below the video—you can toggle the sound, initiate a recording, use the two-way communication, or snap a still from the live feed.

There are also options for motion tagging, quick access to photo and video albums, the option to schedule a time-lapse recording, sound the siren, and turn the camera off. Again, all pretty straightforward stuff. There are also options aplenty in the Device Settings menu (accessed with the gear icon in the upper right corner on the feed screen), where you can customize detection and recording settings, toggle notifications, set CO2 and smoke alarm detection, configure schedules, share the camera feed, and more. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant for integration with your smart home.

But as granular as it gets, there are still some omissions here. The biggest one, at least in my eyes, is the lack of here/away settings. I don’t leave my house on any sort of regular schedule, so I’d love for Wyze to have an option that monitors my phone’s location and turns the camera on when I’m away and off when I’m home. This is easily one of my favorite features on Nest Cams and I’d love to see Wyze steal it.

An example of the v3's starlight sensor outside at night
The v3’s starlight sensor outside at night Cameron Summerson
An example of the v3's night vision at night
And night vision. Cameron Summerson

As for new features on the v3, we should talk about the night vision settings. As mentioned earlier, this camera has a starlight sensor, which allows it to pull in more ambient light even in nearly-black environments. This, in turn, allows the camera to capture and stream full color night vision. Enabling this is a little less than intuitive because you have to disable automatic Night Mode in order to get full color.

My results with it have been hit and miss, as I’ve found the starlight option to work well outdoors, but black/white night vision preferable inside. Also, it seems to miss some of the finer details in the scene. For example, it’s raining in both images above, but you can really only tell in the night vision shot. The starlight sensor doesn’t seem to capture that. Either way, I love that Wyze was able to add something as advanced as a starlight sensor without increasing the price. That’s a huge win.

An example of the Wyze Cam v3's starlight sensor indoors
My office at night using the v3’s starlight sensor Cameron Summerson
An example shot of the Wyze Cam v3's night mode indoors
…and the v3’s night vision setting Cameron Summerson

I’m also really excited about the spotlight attachment, which Wyze tells me should be available around the end of November. If you plan to use this camera outside, that seems like an incredibly useful tool.

A Quick Word About Cam Plus

Like other Wyze cameras, the Cam v3 is compatible with Wyze Cam Plus. For a small fee ($1.99 per camera per month or $15 per camera per year), you can add full-length recordings, person detection, and cloud storage for up to two weeks. Cam Plus presents a great value and I recommend it to everyone who buys Wyze Cams.

That said, I really wish Wyze offered a group plan. Maybe $6 a month for unlimited cameras—just like Nest Aware. Having to pay for each camera individually is fine up to a point, but it’s quite annoying when you have more than three cameras or so.

The way it’s currently set up, you choose how many cameras you want to pay for, then swap them in and out of your Cam Plus plan as you see fit. So, for example, let’s say you have five cameras. You can pay for three Cam Plus subscriptions and have any three of the five on the Cam Plus plan at any time. It’s nice if you want granular control, but I would much prefer to pay a blanket fee for as many cameras as I want.

Maybe one of these days.

Conclusion: Better in Basically Every Way

The Wyze Cam v3 on a white desk
Cameron Summerson

If you’re already a Wyze Cam user and want to add more cameras to your setup, then the v3 is an absolute no-brainer. Between the indoor/outdoor use, the starlight sensor, more fluid two-way communication, and all the other upgrades, it’s easily the best camera that Wyze has ever released.

And if you’re just looking to get started with a security camera setup and know you want to go wireless, there’s no reason not to go with the Wyze Cam v3. At $20 a pop, you can buy a set of five of these for a Benjamin and set up the most crucial areas of your house both inside and out.

Outside of the missing home/away features that Nest has, I’m having a really hard time thinking of a reason to even consider other cameras. Wyze’s offerings are still a fraction of the costs of other manufacturers, making the v3 the best bang for your buck on the market by a very large margin.

Rating: 9/10
Price: $19.99

Here’s What We Like

  • Unprecedented value
  • Starlight sensor for color night vision
  • Truly meaningful upgrades over the Cam v2

And What We Don't

  • Missing home/away automation
  • No USB-A port for daisy chaining or webcam use

Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-to Geek and LifeSavvy. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times. Read Full Bio »

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