Salient Eye (Android) review:

Salient Eye is the simplest of home security solutions

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CNET Editors' Rating

2 user reviews

The Good Salient Eye is impressively easy to setup and use. Also, it's free.

The Bad Salient Eye is for Android users only and about as bare bones as it gets -- you won't find many advanced security camera features here.

The Bottom Line As far as free theft-deterrent and motion-notification systems go, Salient Eye has the lock on simplicity.

Free

8.0 Overall
  • Setup 9.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Interface 8.0
  • Performance 9.0

I initially thought that Salient Eye was the Android version of the iOS-only Manything and Presence apps. And it is -- in some ways. It takes any camera-equipped phone or tablet with Android 2.2 or higher and converts it into an instant security device.

Unlike Manything or Presence, though, Salient Eye has no webcam functionality. That means that you won't be able to check in on a pet or otherwise tune into a live stream.

Instead, the Android device records video and you can opt in to texts (presumably on a different device) and emails complete with links to photo evidence of what's happening at home. It also has a companion app, Salient Eye Remote, that lets you arm and disarm the camera from a second Android device.

Salient Eye is also equipped with an incredibly annoying siren that you can only turn off after you've entered your secret four-digit disarm code. As with the texts and emails, it's optional, but a nice feature if you're looking for some basic theft deterrence. Salient Eye's no-hassle approach to home security is extremely appealing and it's free, so you might as well give it a go if you have an old Android phone lying around.

We're all used to the new app registration routine; provide your email, create a unique username and a password. It typically isn't complicated and it's a predictable step, but it's still a process.

I was pleasantly surprised after opening Salient Eye for the first time to find that there's none of that, no Facebook-linking, email-requesting or other up-front personal information-gathering. Instead, you're immediately presented with a big green button in the middle of the screen for "arming" the app and four smaller green buttons below for opting in and out of email alerts, text alerts, enabling/disabling the siren, and remote access. That pretty much sums up the app.

You need to have your device positioned to record before pressing the arm button. Moving the entire device or crossing the camera's field of view will cause Salient Eye's app-arming countdown to reset (you can adjust it to anywhere from 10 seconds to 5 minutes). Once it's armed, it's armed -- any movement within range of the camera will send Salient Eye into a frenzy.

First, it will take a ton of photos of the action, then, as it's sending you a text, email or both, it will initiate the siren. Of course, you can adjust the siren's volume based on the parameters of your phone or tablet, but this thing is loud. If it doesn't scare a burglar away, at least it will annoy and disorient them.

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