Tend Secure Lynx review: A facial-recognition security camera you can actually afford

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The Good Tend Secure's Lynx Indoor camera has 1080p HD live streaming, free 7-day event-based cloud storage and solid facial-recognition software. Oh, and it only costs $60.

The Bad The Lynx doesn't have any smart home partnerships, audio playback is garbled and its base doesn't hold the camera in place very well.

The Bottom Line If you can get past the wobbly base, Tend Secure's $60 Lynx cam has a lot to offer at a truly exceptional value.

7.3 Overall
  • Features 9
  • Usability 8
  • Design 5
  • Performance 7

Today's home security market follows a pretty predictable pattern. Most DIY security cameras come with high-definition live streaming video, cloud storage for that video, some kind of motion detection feature and typically cost about $200. Tend Secure's Lynx Indoor camera has all of those things, but it costs just $60 (£45/AU$80).

Yep, you read that right -- 1080p HD resolution, 7-day free event-based cloud storage and advanced, facial recognition-based motion alerts all for 60 bucks.

The Lynx doesn't currently integrate with any major smart home platforms, although it is slated to work with the Google Assistant by the end of July. Its removable base is oddly designed, too, and doesn't hold the camera in place well. It isn't a perfect camera, but its features and overall value make it easy to recommend.

See that? There's nothing really holding the camera in place.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Wonky design

While it's great to see a budget HD DIY camera on the market, Tend Secure should've thrown a little more money at the Lynx's design.

The base that's supposed to hold the camera upright on a table or other flat surface doesn't quite get the job done. As you can see in the image to the right, you simply slide the camera into the base without a latch closure or other locking mechanism to keep it from moving around.

You could tape it down or skip a tabletop installation altogether (wall-mounting hardware comes with your purchase), but it isn't ideal.

The camera looks fine otherwise, if not a little utilitarian. Its small size does help it blend into surroundings more easily.

Face off

Is this Dave? Why, yes. Yes it is.

Screenshot by CNET

We've reviewed three DIY cameras that ID specific faces: The ArcSoft Simplicam, the Netatmo Welcome -- and Tend Secure's Lynx. Every other camera touting advanced motion detection can only tell you when it sees a person, any person, without being able to recognize specific faces.

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