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Lorex 2K Pan-Tilt Indoor Security Camera review: Eyes on the Wyze

This panning, tilting smart cam boasts fantastic value, but performance issues stop it from toppling its fiercest competitors.

8.6

Lorex 2k Pan-Tilt Indoor Security Camera

Like

  • Great value
  • Free local storage
  • Great usability

Don't Like

  • Following feature doesn't work well
  • No periodic scanning

In the new era of super-cheap security cameras that work indoors and out, specialized indoor cams that cost more than $30 are an increasingly hard sell. But one feature that can set an indoor camera apart from bland competitors is the ability to move -- to pan or tilt to capture the best possible image of what's going on in your house.

I'm a fan of panning and tilting cameras because they're so flexible: you can use them as pet cams, nanny cams, covering multiple interior rooms by positioning them at a corner or covering an indoor and outdoor area by placing them on a windowsill. In short, they're fantastic gadgets.

And I was excited to try out Lorex's $70 2K Pan-Tilt Indoor Security Camera because it brought a couple of extra goodies to that equation, including a privacy mode where the camera tucks into its casing, physically blocking the feed. But a few performance problems plague this panning-tilting camera, stopping it from besting the rest of the category.

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Hobie Crase/CNET

The good

Lorex's pan-tilt camera is quick to set up and easy to use. The app is straightforward and packs an impressive amount of information and control into an accessible user interface.

Much like other similar cameras, you can opt to manually control the panning and tilting, guiding the Lorex's eye around the room as you view the live feed. From the app, you can also adjust resolution, use two-way talk and tweak a variety of other features, like night vision and HDR.

When I tested the Lorex, everything worked as advertised: the feed is clear with little lag, the 2-way talk is quick and sounds decent, and manually looking around the room with the camera's panning and tilting functions is intuitive and genuinely useful.

But most of this isn't particularly revolutionary. In fact, you can get the same features from most of Lorex's competitors -- sometimes for a lower price.

Lorex does beat competitors in a few key categories, though. The biggest one is its included local storage. While the Wyze Cam Pan v2 includes a slot for a microSD card, the Lorex includes a 64GB card in it upon purchase, which means you get a ton of storage right there on the camera. Sure, you can get one of these cards for under 10 bucks, but I like the convenience and the value added to the camera.

The other feature I really like from Lorex is the privacy mode. Where some cameras slide a cover over the camera lens to accomplish this, the Lorex simply tilts its lens into the body of the device, obscuring its view. Many more affordable cameras don't include a privacy mode at all, and I appreciated the ingenuity displayed in Lorex's.

The bad

While the Lorex starts off strong, it's not perfect.

My favorite feature with cameras like this is automatic panning and tilting to follow people (or animals) entering or exiting the frame. This was the first problem I ran into with the Lorex. You can activate this feature, which is currently in beta, but a person walking through the frame at a moderate distance (say, 8 feet from the cam) and at a normal walking pace is apparently too fast for the camera to follow.

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The Lorex Pan-Tilt can cover a much larger space than most indoor cameras thanks to its movement functions.

Hobie Crase/CNET

I tested the feature dozens of times, and every time I walked into the frame, the camera would turn toward where I'd entered -- the opposite direction I was walking -- and ignore my leaving the frame moments later. Turning up the camera's sensitivity helped the problem a little bit, but it still didn't follow my motion the majority of the time, unless I was walking much more slowly than was natural.

This feature may be helpful at responding to motion right at the edge of a frame, but it certainly won't follow the path of a subject around a room.

What's more, you can't set the camera to automatically pan back and forth (or patrol) across a room -- which defeats some of the value of having a panning camera in the first place.

These two shortcomings seriously limit the Lorex's ability to compete with similar devices. The Wyze Cam Pan v2, for example, can both follow a subject smoothly and efficiently around a room and also scan a room periodically.

The last issue with the Lorex Pan-Tilt is how motion zones work. Because the camera can move, drawn-on motion zones don't exactly work as they do with static cameras. While I haven't seen any cameras do a great job of creating motion zones across a whole panorama, it feels like a wasted feature, given how the zones you want your camera to attend likely change depending where the camera is pointed.

Considering everything

The Lorex is a solid value: you get a smart cam with a crisp feed and mobility that beats out most competitors, plus an included microSD card for local storage. That puts it easily within striking range of one of the best affordable pan-tilt security cameras on the market: the Wyze Cam Pan v2.

What stops it from toppling our favorite panning and tilting camera is the performance. Because the camera can't follow motion consistently across a room -- and it can't even scan a room periodically -- much of the potential of the panning/tilting functions are wasted.

If you're more interested in using the camera to manually check on things at home -- and to record them locally for later review -- then the Lorex Pan-Tilt will be a solid pick. If you're looking for a smart cam to automatically monitor motion around the house, though, you may want to look elsewhere.