RV Security CamerAS
Outfitting: Security Cameras Comparison: WYZE vs Circle 2
Update: In early 2021, Logitech retired the Circle2, replacing it with the “Circle View”. It’s pricepoint is slightly less than its predecessor, at $159, but that’s still nowhere near the Wyze price point at $35.
We want to know what goes on around our RV. Our plan is to install four cameras – one on each side of the RV – for security and our piece of mind. We will be able to view all the cameras live, using the provided app and can save clips onto a drive or to a cloud-based storage. The cameras should be weatherproof or come with an enclosure in case we decide to mount these on the roof. We do not want to pay monthly service fees, nor do we want to configure a Linux system to set up a do-it-yourself hack.
After a bit of searching we tried out two camera systems: The Logitech Circle 2 Wired and Wireless Camera and the Wyze Indoor and Outdoor Cameras. Later we added a second Wyze model into the mix when they rolled out the Wyze Camera V3 in late 2020.
Both outdoor cameras a small, have long lasting batteries, are viewable 24/7, connect to your network and save clips to a cloud server. They each also have limitations or artificial barriers put in place to entice you to buy their monthly premium package.
Wyze – Installation was simple for the Wyze Camera. After we powered it up, we pushed one button and that was it. We saw the cameras on the app right away.
Circle 2– We were only able set up the Circle 2 on half of our attempts. On the first install of the wired it connected at once. We never had an issue with it over the next year. About a year after the first install, I took down the wired unit when I decided to place the Wyze camera next to it for a side-by-side test. I was never able to get the wired unit to reconnect to or see my wireless network ever again. Over the next week, I tried the reset feature at least fifty times, with no success.
Our first wireless Circle 2 also never connected to the network. We received a replacement after a return, and the second unit connected after a reset or two.
Circle 2 – The Circle 2 line up is make with very sturdy material. It feels and looks like a quality piece of equipment. The finish and design are current and sleek.
WYZE – Wyze cameras, on the other hand, look and feel like a toy. In your hand it is noticeably light weight. You get the feeling that it might break. The design is modern, but don’t let the promotional photos fool you. Once you hold it in your hand, it is clear that this is not on par with the construction of the Circle 2.
Circle 2 – The camera and lens shine on the Circle 2 system. Its super-wide, 180-degree lens gives you a field of view all the way to the side. I found it impressive to see someone approach behind the camera. The image quality is movie-like with 1080p video and an almost real-time refresh rate that makes all movement very fluid. Of course, at an initial list price of $190, you would expect a great looking image.
WYZE V2 – For the $20 price, you know right away that the Wyze V2 system sacrifices image for price. While both systems advertise 1080p, you notice Wyze’s 15 frames per second, immediately. The movement is clipped and jerky. Lighting sensors are overblown, and colors wash out in direct sunlight. Its video compression gives a clunky, pixelated image when viewing the live feed. In comparison to the Circle 2, this lens is only 110-degrees wide.
WYZE V3 – What an upgrade!! The Wyze V3 provides a much crisper image with amazing color and detail even in the night sky. Colors are rich and the sensor is much more fluid than its predecessor. Where the Circle 2 still has the advantage over Wyze is with the lens width and with frames per second. This camera still has a bit of staccato motion, and the lens width doesn’t come close to the Logitech.
Overall, the WYZE V2 video quality is serviceable for what we are using it for. We are able to see people and motion live and get a decent recording of the action. However, we are blown away with the improvements provided in the Wyze Cam V3.
Both systems let you view the live stream full-time on their app. Circle also has a website so you can view from your laptop. Wyze does not. I like the ability to use the laptop, as the image is larger than an app.
Both automatically record and save video clips when they detect motion.
Circle 2 records for one minute and will record successive one-minute clips if it the motion continues. With the free service, Circle 2 saves the clips online for one day. If you pay for their monthly service, the clips remain available for two weeks.
The WYZE camera records its clips directly to an onboard micro-SD card (a feature that the Circle 2 does not have). When we first investigated the two cameras, Wyze’s policy stated that on their non-subscription accounts, the camera hibernates for 5 minutes after each 12-second motion detected recording. As of this writing, it appears that they have changed their policy to a 5-second pause. If this is incorrect, then I’ll change it later once I find out.
Network Connection and APP Interface
Both the Wyze and the Circle 2 support wireless 2.4Ghz connections. The Circle 2 connects through to 5Ghz as well. Both cameras also have a ‘wakeup’ sequence that requires a few seconds to activate and transmit from the camera to the router once it detected movement or by me turning on the app. More about this in a moment.
Circle 2 – I connected the wired (power) camera via the 5ghz WIFI. This was easy since the camera was about 25′ from the router. I never tried connecting this camera to the 2.4ghz, since it worked well on the 5ghz system.
After about a year of owning the wired camera, we looked to buy a few more as we started to buy items for the RV. In spring of 2020 Logitech stopped production of the wired camera so we bought a wireless Circle 2 instead.
The first Circle 2 never connected to our network. We returned it, and Logitech sent out a replacement. That wireless camera connected with no issues. We decided to mount it on the garage at the back of the house. After a couple of failed attempts at connecting it to the main router, we had success by setting a Wi-Fi extender/antenna halfway between the router and camera.
The main problem with the wireless Circle 2, was length of time it took to wake up from sleep mode. We rarely saw anyone recorded walking in the garage alley until they were well past the camera. It worked, but not well.
I took down the camera from the back of the house and moved it to the router to see if it would connect faster, but nothing improved. We were disappointed with the wireless Circle 2 and felt the delay in activating would make buying more of these pointless.
With the wired camera out of production and the wireless causing issues, we gave WYZE a try next.
On the app side, we LOVE the Circle 2 webpage and App interface. It’s slick and clean and provides a high-speed day in review and an easy to use interface to look at and save specific clips. The app only saves the clip for a day, but a quick review allowed you to download anything you wanted to save.
WYZE – The Wyze system connected to the 2.4ghz system only and cannot connect to 5ghz. We mounted the Wyze camera in the same front porch spot as the Circle. It connected cleanly and has never had any problems.
The Circle2 app interface spoiled us. It was a bit of time before I got comfortable with Wyze’s app. First off, they do not give you a webpage to view. It’s only on an app. Secondly there are two or three different tabs to view cameras: Home for the live view, “Events” to view saved clips and a third area to look at a full-day timeline.
Both the Wyze cameras and the Circle 2 cameras had great pluses and big minuses. We loved the Circle 2’s APP, sturdy construction and movie quality camera and lens. I also liked that we could run the system without paying a monthly fee. The downside to Circle 2 was unreliable network connections, the end of the wired camera production and the latency/lag in waking the wireless cameras.
For the Wyze camera, we loved the low, low price point of $20 per camera. We also liked the ease in which it connected and stayed connected. Lastly, we love the SD card slot that allows us to preserve clips on the camera. We did not care for the quality of construction, as it felt cheap, and we were less than impressed with 15 frames per second playback and record. When we added the Wyze 3 into the mix, the improvement in video quality and especially night video sent us over the top. There was no competition.
Another plus is Wyze seems to have rolled back the 5-minute pause between recordings. If this is the case, then we will not need to buy their subscription service. If we do buy it, it’s only $15 a year per camera, so that is still very reasonable.
In the end, we chose the WYZE V3 cameras. We now have four with one pointing out of a window on each side of the RV. We can now watch and record in real time all that is happening 360 degrees around the rig
Logitech Circle 2
Purchase the Circle 2 Wireless camera at Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mueGWM
Buy the new wired Circle View: https://amzn.to/3e4pb09
Security Cameras, Security Cameras, Security Cameras, Security Cameras, Security Cameras, Security Cameras,