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Logitech Circle 2 review: Better than its original security cam

Logitech's Circle 2 wired indoor/outdoor security camera has what it takes to keep watch in and around your home.

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Megan Wollerton
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Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton covers renewable energy, climate change and other environmental topics for CNET. Before starting at CNET in 2013, she wrote for NBC Universal's DVICE (now SYFY). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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Logitech's $180 Circle 2 wired security camera is a significant improvement over its first-gen model, but it's also very different. Instead of a rechargeable battery, this new model requires an adapter for power. It's also rated for indoor and outdoor use; the original Circle cam was strictly indoors-only. At the current exchange rate, $180 converts to roughly £130 and AU$225.

The Good

Logitech's $180 Circle 2 wired security camera is easy to set up and works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant for a wide variety of smart home/voice control applications.

The Bad

While this camera can be used indoors or out, it relies on an adapter for power (rather than a rechargeable battery). Logitech does sell a wire-free Circle 2 camera separately for $200.

The Bottom Line

The Logitech Circle 2 is versatile, responsive and easy to use, but you should only buy this wired model if you don't mind keeping your cam close to a wall outlet.

Note: Logitech sells a wire-free version of the Circle 2 camera with a rechargeable battery for $200 (£145 and AU$250 converted), as well as a variety of accessories to give you different ways to connect and mount both the wired and wire-free Circle 2 cameras.

The wired Circle 2 is an indoor/outdoor camera with 1080p HD live streaming, a 180-degree viewing angle and free 24-hour event-based cloud storage. It also works with Amazon's Alexa, Apple's HomeKit and the Google Assistant. Subscribe to an optional monthly cloud service for access to longer-term video clip storage, person alerts and customizable motion detection zones.

Consider the Logitech Circle 2 if you're looking for an adapter-powered indoor/outdoor security camera that's responsive and reliable. 

Logitech's Circle 2 home security camera isn't stuck indoors

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Circling back

The Circle 2 camera comes with a power adapter, a base you can rotate to suit pretty much any desired angle, the camera and optional mounting hardware. Rather than connecting the Circle 2 to its base via a Micro-USB or other port, the camera actually attaches to (and detaches from) the base with a simple twist. Two discreet notches show where to line up the camera with its base. From there, simply turn the camera until you can no longer easily separate the two. I wish it clicked or gave some sort of obvious indication when it's installed correctly, but it's easy enough to figure out.  

The camera's base has a matte white finish; its face is finished in glossy black. It looks fine overall, but I particularly like how easy it is to rotate to achieve different viewing angles. A subtle ring around the lens alerts you to the camera's status:

  • Solid white: On and ready to use

  • Solid green: Someone is viewing the live video feed

  • Solid yellow: In privacy mode

  • Solid red: Off or not recording

  • Blinking blue: In pairing mode

Take a look at how the wired Circle 2 compares to the Canary Flex and the Netgear Arlo Pro 2:

Comparing indoor/outdoor security cameras


Logi Circle 2 (wired model)Canary FlexNetgear Arlo Pro 2
Price $180/£130$200/£159$480/£345 (two-camera kit, plus required hub)
Color finish WhiteBlack, whiteWhite
Type Indoor/outdoorIndoor/outdoorIndoor/outdoor
Power source Power adapterRechargeable battery, power adapterRechargeable battery, power adapter
Resolution 1080p HD1080p HD1080p HD
Expected battery life N/A (must use power adapter)Two monthsSix months
Field of view 180-degree viewing angle116-degree viewing angle130-degree viewing angle
Live streaming YesYesYes
Continuous recording NoNoNo
Cloud storage Free 24-hour event-based video history (Optional 14- or 31-day event-based video history for $4 or $10 per month)Free 24-hour event-based video history (Optional 30-day event-based video history for $10 per month)Free 7-day event-based video history (Optional 30- or 60-day event-based video history for $10 or $15 per month)
Local storage NoNoNo
Mobile app Yes, Android and iPhoneYes, Android and iPhoneYes, Android and iPhone
Web app YesYes, with cloud subscriptionYes
Night vision YesYesYes
Alerts Motion (person alerts with Circle Safe Premium subscription)Motion and person (package detection with cloud subscription)Motion and audio
Activity zones Yes, with Circle Safe Premium subscriptionNoNo
Two-way audio YesYes, with cloud subscription Yes
Operating temperature range -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 to 50 degrees Celsius)-4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 to 45 degrees Celsius)-4 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 to 45 degrees Celsius)
Third-party integrations Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, WinkAmazon Alexa, IFTTT

The Circle 2's features clearly overlap with the Flex and the Arlo Pro 2, with a few major exceptions. 

Both the Flex and the Arlo model come with rechargeable batteries, but the Circle 2 has a much wider 180-degree field of view. The Netgear camera also offers free 7-day clip storage, whereas Logitech and Canary only offer 24 hours free of charge. Canary's Flex camera comes with free person alerts, which is an optional subscription feature for the Circle 2 -- Netgear's Arlo Pro 2 doesn't currently offer this feature at all.

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The Circle 2 cam in day and night modes.

Screenshots by Megan Wollerton/CNET

Using the Circle 2

Logitech's Circle 2 was solid throughout testing. It sent me prompt motion and person alerts; the 1,080p HD live feed was clear in day and night vision modes and the saved video clips did a good job capturing all of the motion activity (rather than just a small part). I also really like the time-lapse videos you can generate for free to see a quick overview of everything that happens throughout the day (watch the video to see the time lapse in action).

To connect the camera to the app, download the Logitech Circle Security Camera app on your Android or iOS device and follow the instructions. This process took roughly 5 minutes from start to finish. Create an account or login with an existing username and password. Power up your camera with the included adapter, give your camera a name and enter in your local Wi-Fi info. From there, you should get immediate access to the camera's live feed and the Circle 2's other features. To receive alerts, make sure to opt-in to "Smart Alerts" in the dropdown menu in the top left corner of the app screen. 

I connected my Circle 2 camera to an Amazon Echo Show speaker via the Alexa app, as well as Apple HomeKit directly from the Circle app (select "Smart Home Integrations" from the settings menu and Apple HomeKit to enable HomeKit from the Circle app). Ask Alexa or Siri to show you your "living room/front yard/guest house" camera to view the live feed either on a screen-friendly Alexa device or straight from Apple's Home app for iOS. 

32 outdoor security cameras that take home security seriously

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Conclusion

The $180 wired Logitech Circle 2 home security cam offers a lot of features for its price, including a wide variety of smart home integrations. It also performed well during testing, delivering motion and person alerts in near real-time. Its day and night vision modes both displayed live video in crisp HD. 

I'm not sure why Logitech had to create two separate Circle 2 cameras, though. Why not make one battery-powered Circle 2 you can tether to the adapter 24/7 like the Canary Flex? Even so, I'm impressed with the wired Circle 2. It's a good option if you want the flexibility of an indoor/outdoor camera, but don't mind having to tether it to a power adapter. 

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7.5

Logitech Circle 2

Score Breakdown

Features 8Usability 7Design 7Performance 8
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