You probably know the score with the Wyze Pan Cam v2 by now. Wyze is a Chicago-based technology company that has made a name for itself by selling a broad range of smart home and fitness devices, at rock-bottom prices.
In this instance, we have the new second-generation Cam Pan. This is an indoor smart home security camera with a motor-driven mechanism for rotating horizontally 360 degrees and tilting vertically by 93 degrees.
The $40/£50 camera has a 1080p Full HD imaging sensor that records at 15 frames per second and has 8x digital zooming capability. There’s also infrared night vision and, new for this model, a starlight sensor that enables full-color, Full HD night vision. Additional new features include a siren and improved motion-tracking.
Resolution: Full HD 1080p
Field-of-view: 360 degrees
Two-way audio: Yes
Night vision: Infrared and full colour
Configurable motion sensing: Yes
As with the original Cam Pan, the main feature here is the camera’s ability to rotate and tilt, giving users a 360-degree view of its environment. The camera can move itself when motion tracking is enabled, or you can move it manually by tapping directional buttons in the Wyze smartphone app (iOS and Android). The camera can complete a 360-degree spin in three seconds and its motor is fairly quiet although not silent.
What sets the Cam Pan v2 apart from its predecessor is a starlight sensor. Just as it does in Wyze Cam v3, this ultra-sensitive imaging sensor captures enough light to produce clear, full-color footage, at 1080p Full HD resolution in near-total darkness.
There’s infrared night vision too, but as with other cameras this produces a greyscale image. The starlight sensor produces an image that is almost as detailed, but in full color.
Build and handling
The second-generation Cam Pan is physically the same as the original. This means a boxy but fairly small white plastic camera sat on an integrated stand attached to a motor to enable 360 degrees of movement. The lens is set within a black sphere that tilts up and down by 93 degrees.
Wyze’s low-price strategy means its products tend to feel on the cheap side, but while that is also true with the Cam Pan v2, it doesn’t really matter. How often do you take hold of a security camera to access its sense of worth? Exactly. Once sat where you want it – up on a shelf perhaps, or with a view of the inside of your front door – the camera never really needs touching again.
The Wyze Cam Pan v2 is very quick and easy to set up. If you already have a Wyze account and the smartphone app, it takes just a couple of minutes to add the new camera to your profile. If not, creating an account is easy and free, although Wyze offers its Cam Plus service, which costs $1.99 a month and ups the recording length of each motion-detected event from 12 seconds to unlimited.
Cam Plus also gives the camera artificial intelligence for detecting people, packages, vehicles and pets, so that notifications sent to the phone app are better contextualised. Wyze says a facial recognition system will be added to Cam Plus later in 2021.
As for the camera on its own, footage is sharp, detailed and bright. The camera moves quickly when instructed via the app (or when following an option with motion-tracking enabled), and the f/1.6 aperture ensures a good amount of light hits the sensor. The 120-degree field-of-view isn’t massive, but this is overcome by the camera’s ability to pan through 360 degrees.
As with the latest Wyze Cam, the Cam Pan v2’s starlight sensor is deeply impressive, turning night into day and enabling color, Full HD recordings in environments with near-zero light.
As very well-placed camera with a good set of features and excellent ability to record full-color, full HD video in very low light, the Wyze Cam Pan v2 is hard to fault. The camera is physically almost identical to its predecessor, save for the starlight sensor that enables the option to record in full-color at night.
Grayscale, infrared night vision is still available for those who want it, but we reckon lots of buyers will make use of the starlight sensor.