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iBaby Monitor M6S review: The iBaby Monitor M6S aims small, misses small

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The Good The iBaby Monitor M6S has a great app and lots of bonus features. Plus, its streaming and pan/tilt responsiveness are excellent.

The Bad The camera has no accompanying monitor, and the motion and audio sensors are too sensitive.

The Bottom Line There's a lot to like about iBaby, but it feels a little pricey for something with no standalone monitor and poor alerts. It's still one of the best higher-end products of its type, though.

7.5 Overall
  • Features 8
  • Usability 8
  • Design 6
  • Performance 8

When it comes to smart home tech, you can usually go one of two directions: the big-name company route, or the startup route. For baby monitors, either way you go, you'll get the same basic product: a smart camera with two-way audio, night vision, and a couple distinguishing features thrown in. The real differences lie in performance.

iBaby is probably the most notable startup in the video baby monitor market. Its premiere product, the $230 iBaby Monitor M6S, is just a camera -- foregoing the standalone monitor for a well-designed app. At a consistent 1080p, the M6S's video and connection quality is some of the best on the market. Plus, the device includes small but thoughtful additions to its feature list, like recorded stories and lullabies.

The iBaby Monitor M6S stands out in a few technical areas. It streams reliably even when you're away from home, and also remains responsive to pan/tilt control. You can look around the room with an easy touchscreen interface (as opposed to competitor Samsung's clunky touchscreen) on the mobile app, and the two-way audio is high quality.

Of course, iBaby isn't perfect. While receiving push notifications based on sound and motion detection is a cool idea, it stops being cool when, even at the lowest sensitivity settings, every shadow or switch of the A/C has you checking your phone. I ended up disabling push notifications while I was at work, simply because I was receiving one almost every 5 minutes.

The second problem with iBaby is its reliance on an app. Sure, the app works a lot better than much of the competition, but without a standalone base station monitor, parents using iBaby to monitor a child who's just a few rooms away will either constantly be checking their phone, or draining their batteries by leaving it on.

In other words, it might seem low-tech to have a standalone monitor, but it's really handy -- especially if you use your phone for work, and can't simply relegate it to background baby monitoring.

The iBaby Monitor M6S is one of the best cameras on the market, but its lack of a standalone monitor leaves a hole that a mobile app can't fill. Between that and the more expensive price, iBaby ends up being just good, when it could've been great.

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