I must admit, I’d never heard of CTRONICS so when I’d unboxed the camera, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Added home security is never a bad thing & I’d kept my eye out on Amazon for home security systems by brands such as Hikvision, Nest or Arlo – all brands I’ve worked with in the past. To give myself a heads up on what to expect, I’d searched up the brand on social media and found that reviews were generally quite positive.
The box contains an instruction manual, a prize voucher (great idea, but the support team never got back to me with my “prize”*enter thumbs down emoji* here), the Camera, a Solar Panel/14400MaH rechargeable battery & a mounting kit. Instantly I’d got into the configuration of the camera, which is done through the CTronics app available via the Apple Store & GooglePlay for Android. The app itself is very easy to use and the camera is relatively easy to set up after connecting to your home WiFi.
I went with the option to insert a 64GB MicroSD card to save my recordings. The slot is tucked neatly behind the camera so is out of view and is protected from the elements. Data is automatically deleted from the SD card so saves you the task of clearing any space. You can download footage and images from the card onto your device at your leisure.
Mounting the device was easy enough – make sure you are high up enough to ensure you have the correct field of view for the area you are trying to monitor. A metal backing plate is first drilled to the surface you’d want to mount to & the camera is affixed to the backing plate and screwed on using the provided kit. The panel is secured to the top of the camera to allow for solar panel use. I must say – the solar panel and not having to run additional cables certainly adds a feather into the CTronics cap.
We’ve had the camera mounted through rain, snow, wind and sun and the quality of the image and ruggedness of the device have not changed since installation. Impressively, the videos are very clear. The cameras Smart Motion Tracking capability pings a message to the owners’ phone (app installation required) and records a clip of the motion it has detected. The owner can decide on the length of this detected video via the presets selectable via the CTRONICS app. Night vision works a treat but I haven’t got on with the 2-way voice audio – it just isn’t clear enough for me & you end up sounding like a Dalek & scaring off Amazon delivery drivers. Not cool.
The 3 Pros:
- Solar Panel/Battery allow for an easy installation without the need to run cables into your home.
- Very clear picture quality, both in the day and at night.
- Ruggedness of the device means peace of mind within all types of weather.
The 3 Cons:
- Although the app is easy to use, it does have a slight cheap and amateur feel compared to the bigger names.
- 2-way voice audio quality could be better.
- Customer support and lack of response left me frustrated. Hope that this doesn’t happen for customers experiencing tech difficulties.
One extra special thing that stood out for me was: the price. It’s a lot of kit for sub £150 – and Amazon even offer special deals which bring the cost closer to the £100 mark. Very good value for money.
Score out of 10: 7/10. Worth buying in my opinion. Very easy to set up and mount & the features such as 360 degree view give you granular control on the field of view you choose to monitor. I can vouch for the weatherproof feature, the camera hasn’t skipped a beat. Maybe a couple of extra professional touches like the look and feel of the app would raise the rating, but this product is definitely worth the asking price.
You can buy the CTronics Outdoor Solar Powered Security Camera by following the link below:
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