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Ezviz Mini review:The $70 Ezviz Mini security camera is big on value

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The Good At just $70, the Ezviz Mini offers an exceptional value and solid specs, including high-definition live streaming video.

The Bad Too many false motion alerts made the feature essentially unusable. The camera doesn't integrate with any third-party products or services.

The Bottom Line If you can live without its hit-or-miss motion alert feature, the Ezviz Mini is an otherwise ideal, no-fuss DIY security cam available at a great price.

7.3 Overall
  • Features 7
  • Usability 7
  • Design 8
  • Performance 7

Back in October, camera retailer Ezviz added a new model to its lineup -- the $70 Ezviz Mini -- a 720p live-streaming Wi-Fi camera with night vision, motion-detection capabilities, local and cloud storage, Web and mobile (Android and iOS) apps and alerts with an included scheduling feature.

Available for purchase now in the US through Amazon and Sam's Club, this pint-sized powerhouse offers a lot of the same features as other do-it-yourself cams for a fraction of the price.

It also works well, with one important exception -- phantom alerts: The camera is supposed to send an alert and record a video clip when it detects motion, but several of the notifications and their related recordings showed no activity whatsoever. And although the Mini doesn't work with devices from other manufacturers or offer an IFTTT channel, anyone looking for a basic video-streaming cam should consider the $70 Ezviz Mini. (Did I mention that the first year of cloud storage is free?)

Up close with the Ezviz Mini

Ezviz's $70 camera is tiny (hence the name "Mini") -- it clocks in at under 4 ounces and stands just 3.5 inches tall -- so it's about as good as it gets as far as an unobtrusive design. And it has a magnetic base (like Arlo , Nest Cam and others) and the stand pivots and angles for easy installation.

Using the Ezviz app (available for iOS and Android), setup took about 5 to 10 minutes. To register, enter your country, email address and verification code. (This should appear in the inbox of the address you provide. I found this somewhat confusing, though, because there's a verification code on a sticker on the back of the camera. Ignore it and use the one you receive in your email instead.) Then create a username and a password, scan the QR code on the back of the camera and input your Wi-Fi details as well as your time zone, and you're done. It's a few more steps than most Wi-Fi camera configurations, but it isn't too inconvenient.

From the Ezviz Mini live stream to viewing a saved clip. Screenshots by CNET

While setup was pretty straightforward, the app looks dated. It's still easy enough to navigate, but there's something generally unpolished about it that reminds me of the old-school-style Foscam Plug and Play Wireless IP Camera FI9826P . Even so, I was able to view the live stream on the iOS app as well as on the web interface, receive motion-related alerts and scroll through the activity log to see saved clips.

The Ezviz Mini comes with a 16GB microSD card for local storage and currently offers users one full year of free cloud storage. If you still want cloud storage after that period, you'll have to pay $5 per month/$50 per year for 7 days of storage or $10 per month/$100 per year for 30 days of storage.

The Ezviz Mini vs. every other DIY cam

Night vision mode.

Screenshot by CNET

Ezviz's Mini performed well overall. The 720p live streaming video is crisp in both regular and night vision mode and you can set it to either portrait or landscape view (and even monitor up to four cameras simultaneously in "quad" view if you happen to have more than one Mini installed). And, you can manually adjust between basic, standard and HD video quality, depending on your bandwidth limitations.

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