Nooie 360 Cam 2 Review
Nooie 360 Cam 2 Review
I was introduced to Nooie over breakfast at the wonderful Mon Ami Gab during CES 2023. The first product to arrive for review was the Nooie 360 Cam 2, an in-home security camera focused on babies, pets, and in my case, looking out over my front porch from the coziness of my dining room. Nooie is not my first review camera, but it is the most modern, as many of the others stretch back over several years. Unfortunately, the Internet of Personal Things continues to struggle with setup, configuration, and connectivity. Once settled in, though, the Nooie 360 Cam 2 reflects the hardware improvements like 2K video on a sub $100 camera.
What we like
- Attractive design
- 2K video with wide-angle lens
- Motion tracking
- Reasonable price
The attractive 124.4 x 78 x 68 mm, 259g product offers a 132° view through its 2K HD camera. The images are clear and crisp in daylight, and the night vision is also solid, peering out over 30 feet into the dark. The camera rotates 355° horizontally and 94° vertically. At $69.99, it falls into the middle of the price range for security cameras with similar features.
I like the Nooie 360 Cam 2’s diminutive size, curves, and matt black finish that fits nearly any décor. The camera also ships in mocha (and “snow” in the UK). Unlike cameras mounted on spindles, the Nooie 360 blends into its environment. There is an optional mount for ceilings and walls that makes the Nooie a more intrusive object.
The camera includes several features such as two-way audio, helpful when monitoring children in another room—not so good for pets as dogs and cats tend to ignore human voices coming over speakers—and, come to think of it, so do most children. The microphones and speakers leverage noise-cancelling to make communication clearer.
The camera will track motion and supports pan and tilt manual excursions. For a fee, Nooie will store the camera feed on the cloud. More cost-effectively, but with a lower duration, the camera also supports recording to a MicroSD card of up to 128GB.
For those who want to monitor their home, be it noises in a distant room from pets or children (or both), or whatever sounds might arise when away, be they from storms, neighbors or burglars, the Nooie app will post notifications of motion and sound. Of course, owners must pay attention to the notifications to prove useful.
The associated Nooie app manages live feeds, camera manipulation, camera conversations, the owner’s Nooie account, and support.
The Nooie, powered by a DC 5V 1A power supply, connects to Wi-Fi and requires an app to work. The company also provides an Alexa skill for those who own an Echo Show. In the next section, I cover the struggles related to setup and the quirks of the Alexa skill.
The packaging leans toward simple cardboard, all of which is recyclable. Unfortunately, the plastic wrap inside the box is not recyclable, so points off for incomplete environmental awareness.
What could be improved
- Finnicky setup
- Awkward SD card placement
- No 5gHz Wi-Fi support
- App misbehaves on iPad
- Disconnect between notifications and recordings
The setup on the Nooie was not seamless. It requires reading a QR code on the app to pair the camera. There were a lot of troubleshooting notes, none of which worked. I finally turned the camera sideways, and it recognized the code. I don’t know why it worked; it just worked.
Although QR codes seem like a simple way to recognize a device, my experience with them has not been positive. I often bend and twist to get enough light to illuminate the QR code that may be relatively small on the bottom of a device that doesn’t know how to sit on its top. In Nooie’s case, the connection issues stem from a disconnect between the instructions and what worked.
Other operational issues I resolved included changing the camera’s name from Kitchen to Camera1 because my Alexa Show could not distinguish between “kitchen” things, even though this is the only camera with that name. Once I changed the name to Camera1, the Show could display the camera feed on-demand.
I am not a fan of the SD card placement, which requires manually tilting the camera back into the housing (I had visions of eyes rolling back in a head, but that’s just me) and inserting the microSD card in a slot under the lens. The SD card falls into, but eventually, it will catch and require a push to fit into the spring mechanism. Once in, the SD sits recessed, so it requires a fingernail to press against the spring to free it.
Like many Internet of Things (IoT) products, the Nooie 360 2 camera doesn’t know what to do with 5G Wi-Fi. It works on my Xfinity blended network, unlike some other devices, which is a good thing…but at this point, manufacturers need to develop hardware that cleanly supports modern networks.
iOS apps that misbehave on iPads are a major pet peeve of mine. Unfortunately, the Nooie app falls into that category. While it will load on an iPad, it does not work well for viewing feeds or managing the camera. The Nooie software team needs to get that fixed.
Finally, my Nooie 360 Cam 2 records events on the loaded SD card. The interface for playback seems intuitive, but its timeline is more confusing. Ideally, I would like to see a list of discrete timestamped events tied to those that I was notified of, such as movement within the range of the camera. Unfortunately, the clips I see show nothing unusual. I have walked in front of the camera in hopes of seeing myself recorded and have yet to experience that. My movement is recognized, but going back to playback, I do not see myself on the captured feed. So, while the real-time aspects of the Nooie 360 Cam 2 work well, the capture and playback could use some improvement.
As a note, the app is very clear on the playback screen and subscribing to their service will provide additional features. I will not subscribe to any service from a device that doesn’t deliver on its base features. Get me goof capture and playback and then tell me what else the subscription adds, but basic value should be proven before upgrades are offered.
Nooie 360 Cam 2: The bottom line
The Nooie 360 Cam 2 is a solid camera that performs well once paired with the app and connected to the network, which can take some patience. Optional data storage, either locally or through Nooie, keeps a record of the camera’s observations.
Nooie provided the 360 Cam 2 for review. Images courtesy of Nooie unless otherwise noted.
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