D-Link Omna review: D-Link's HomeKit camera is nothing to write home about

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The Good D-Link's $200 Omna security camera captures 180 degrees of zoned motion activity and promptly sends related push alerts. View locally saved videos in the app and download unlimited clips with a microSD card reader. Ask Siri the status of your security camera to pull up the live feed.

The Bad The Omna doesn't offer sound alerts or work with Android devices. Its HomeKit integrations are limited to a relatively small number of compatible devices, especially when you compare it to Amazon Alexa.

The Bottom Line Don't buy D-Link's Omna camera unless you're completely dedicated to HomeKit and are willing to wait for a broader range of products to work with the smart home platform.

6.5 Overall
  • Features 6
  • Usability 7
  • Design 6
  • Performance 7

Editors' note (September 28, 2017): D-Link's Omna now works with Android devices.

The $200 (£160 and AU$260 converted) 1080p HD D-Link Omna is a fine security camera, delivering prompt motion alerts and storing activity locally on a microSD card. It's also the first camera to work with Apple's smart home platform, HomeKit.

Yes, this integration is a milestone for the iOS 10 software, but HomeKit still has far fewer integrations than competitors like Amazon Alexa. You can still set up automations within Apple's Home app that link the motion sensor inside the Omna to select HomeKit devices, but there just isn't much feature depth here (yet). Because of that limitation, the ability to view your Omna camera's live feed from Apple's Home app isn't hugely appealing today.

The Omna is very much a niche product, one that only makes sense for early HomeKit adopters who don't mind waiting for broader, better integrations.

Getting to know Omna

The Omna has a light silver-gray finish and a tall cylindrical design, with access to a microSD card slot on the bottom (it supports up to a 128GB microSD card, which isn't included). It's a fine looking camera, but D-Link's hardware choices don't necessarily make it easier to use.

Conversely, the Nest Cam Indoor has an extremely thoughtful layout. Its durable but flexible magnetic base twists and rotates with ease, and you can separate the camera from its base for a more permanent wall-mount installation. In other words, the Nest Cam's design enhances its usability.

The Omna's design is much less modular than the Nest Cam's. It doesn't have a flexible base, and you don't have the option of mounting this camera to a wall. You have to put your Omna on a flat surface, or nothing at all.

Curious how the Omna's specs compare to other DIY cams? Take a peek at the chart below:

Comparing security cameras

D-Link Omna Nest Cam Indoor Netgear Arlo Pro
Price $200/£160/AU$260 $200/£150 $250/£300
Color finish Gray Black White
Power source Power adapter Power adapter Rechargeable battery, power adapter
Resolution 1080p HD 1080p HD 720p HD
Live streaming Yes Yes Yes
Continuous recording No Yes, with Nest Aware No
Field of view 180 degrees 130 degrees 130 degrees
Cloud storage No Free 3-hour event-based snapshots (Optional 10-day or 30-day continuous recording and storage with Nest Aware subscription for $10 or $30 per month) Free 7-day event-based video clip storage (Optional 30- or 60-day event-based video clip storage with Arlo subscription for $10 or $15 per month)
Local storage Yes, via microSD card slot No No
Mobile app Yes, iPhone only Yes, Android and iPhone Yes, Android and iPhone
Web app No Yes Yes
Night vision Yes Yes Yes
Alerts Motion only Motion and sound (Person Alerts added with Nest Aware) Motion and sound
Activity zones Yes Yes, with Nest Aware No
Third-party integrations Apple HomeKit Works with Nest, IFTTT IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings

Aside from its 1080p high-definition video streaming resolution and HomeKit compatibility, the Omna camera's main selling point is its 180-degree field of view. This wide-angle lens sees more than the Nest Cam Indoor, the Netgear Arlo Pro and many other DIY cams on the market. The video gets somewhat distorted at the far corners of the feed, but that's a common issue with 180-degree lenses. That problem was even more exaggerated with the Piper Classic and NV security systems we tested.

The Omna also offers local storage, which is a significant deviation from many of the mainstream models' optional cloud subscription services. Here's an overview of local versus cloud storage, but the gist is that local storage doesn't pass through a remote server. Instead, your video footage stays in your house. One major complaint about local storage relates to theft -- it's a lot easier to steal a microSD card than it is to access a remote server's video cache. On the other hand, you don't have to worry about the reliability or security limitations of a distant server.

Finally, D-Link's Omna doesn't currently have an Android app. Since it's a HomeKit device, that isn't incredibly surprising. But plenty of HomeKit-enabled products are versatile enough to work with both Android and iOS -- you'd just ignore the HomeKit component if you're an Android customer. August's second-generation Smart Lock immediately comes to mind as an example.

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