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Motorola MBP36S Remote Wireless Video Baby Monitor review: Motorola's baby monitor can't deliver on its promises

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The Good The Motorola baby monitor works fast out of the box. It is easy to use, and one of the most affordable camera/monitor combinations out there.

The Bad The third-party app is basically broken, and some of the features weren't even testable as a result. Even on the monitor at short range, connection issues are intermittent.

The Bottom Line It's a fine basic device if you're just going to use it in the house, without the app. Even then, though, the connection issues would make me wary of relying on it.

5.2 Overall
  • Features 6
  • Usability 6
  • Design 5
  • Performance 3

When I first unpacked the Motorola Baby Monitor and powered it on, I was surprised to see the base station screen on which you watch your baby immediately sync with the camera's view. Talk about a quick setup. The next week of testing it out, however, slowly chipped away at that first impression, and left me with an overall negative opinion of the product.

For $180, the Motorola Baby Monitor should feel like a solid mid-range video monitor. Sadly, half of the features listed for the device barely function thanks to a terrible app and a consistently low-performing connection.

Motorola's greatest strength is its out-of-the-box usability. Like the comparable VTech Monitor, it's perfect if you want to use the monitor mostly in-home. Leave the camera pointing at your child, run to the next room to do a little work, and you've got a screen right there with two-way audio and night vision. You can even pan and tilt the camera using the base station, albeit with noticeable latency.

You start running into problems when you download the third-party app that allows for monitoring via your mobile phone. In theory, this should add all sorts of features, like push notifications, motion and audio sensing, and video recording for later viewing. And Motorola would be one of the only companies offering both a base station and app. The problem is, the app's connection is so intermittent, I could barely even try out those features, let alone use them with any sort of consistency.

Despite the features the company boasts on its box, the Motorola Baby Monitor boils down to a very basic product. Despite the problems with the app, I could've recommend the monitor if the connection between the camera and base station were perfect. But even that connection suffers often, which leaves the product with almost no viable audience.

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