Hive View Outdoor: A Stylish Outdoor CameraBy - 11/09/2018
When it comes to shopping for an outdoor security camera, there are plenty of options. But Hive, a smart home subsidiary of British Gas, is hoping that Hive View Outdoor’s good looks are enough to make it stand out.
A History of Design
Hive View Outdoor is a follow-up to the Hive View indoor camera, which the company announced at CES 2018. The indoor camera is credited by some as one of the best-looking indoor cameras, and why not? Its sleek, minimalist design makes it worthy of being called a work of art, more specifically, Yves Béhar’s work of art.
Yves Béhar is a designer who has helped several tech companies create a design for their products, including Jawbone’s UP fitness tracker, August Smart Lock, and Hive’s smart thermostat. Béhar is also the man responsible for Hive View Outdoor’s design.
Hive View Outdoor’s design is simpler than Hive View’s, but it still looks sleeker than most outdoor cameras. It features a cuboid-shaped camera head and a magnetic, cylinder-shaped wall mount with a slightly angled edge, which lets you position the camera downward, upward, or sidewards. For added flexibility, the camera head can freely pivot on the magnetic wall mount so you can fine-tune the camera’s point of view. And in case you need to run Hive View Outdoor’s power cable through a hole in the wall, the camera already includes grommets to protect the wire from bruising and to keep the installation neat.
More Than Just Good Looks
Beyond just looking good, the Hive View Outdoor is also functional, but whether it’s functional enough remains to be seen.
Weatherproofing & Operating Temperature
Let’s start with the hardware. The camera and other electronic components are encased in an IP66 weatherproof casing. It lets the camera withstand various weather conditions such as heavy rains, hot summer days, and even cold winters. However, take note that it’s not rated for use in frigid temperatures lower than -4°F. Also, the IP66 case doesn’t protect against submersion.
Inside the casing, you will find all of the electronic components that make Hive View Outdoor what it is: a security camera. It’s equipped with a 1080p camera that has a 130° wide-angle lens. Based on these specifications, Hive View Outdoor’s image quality should be somewhat similar to that of Nest Cam Outdoor.
Hive View Outdoor also offers night vision, with a promised range of up to 16 feet. While actual results are TBD, Hive View indoor’s night vision ability was well-received.
Finally, Hive View Outdoor comes equipped with a microphone and speaker.
Software & Setup
Hive View Outdoor ties up with the same software that powers Hive View’s security features: the Hive iOS and Android app. It’s also the same app that lets you control and manage Hive smart home devices. If you’re currently using other Hive products, that’s good news for you. Not only does it make managing your smart home more convenient, but it also makes the setup process easier.
When setting up Hive View Outdoor, you’ll need a smartphone with Bluetooth support, a working Wi-Fi router, and the Hive app installed on your phone. Simply connect Hive View Outdoor to your smartphone via Bluetooth, enter your Wi-Fi SSID and password via the app, and wait for the camera to connect. Once done, you’ll gain access to Hive View Outdoor’s security features via the app.
When it comes to security features, Hive View Outdoor has several of them. For one, it lets you watch over your house wherever you are via the Hive smartphone app. You can access Hive View Outdoor’s live video stream by tapping on the camera’s thumbnail on the app’s dashboard.
The Hive app also offers notifications based on Hive View Outdoor’s motion and sound detection. Both detection features are customizable. You can customize the motion detection feature to detect all sorts of motion events or just the events that include people, a feature also known as person detection. You can also configure the smartphone notifications to include a thumbnail image of the event so you can see whether it’s caused by a possible intruder or just your kids getting home from school. As for the sound detection feature, you can configure its sensitivity.
The next security feature is two-way voice. You can use it to talk to people close to the camera in real-time. For example, if your camera detects motion, you can use two-way talk to scare away the potential intruder or tell your delivery guy where to leave your package.
24-Hour Playback & Extended Cloud Recording
Hive offers two cloud recording options.
The standard plan, which is free, let’s you keep recordings of motion and sound events for 24 hours. Within 24 hours, you can playback recorded videos or even download them. The downside is that after 24 hours, your video will be permanently deleted. If you want your videos to be playable for a longer period, the extended cloud recording plan, which is set to launch by the end of this year, extends the length of stay from 24 hours to 30 days. However, it requires a monthly subscription fee. The pricing of Hive’s extended cloud plan is yet to be confirmed, but we anticipate that it will be priced the same as Hive Video Playback (extended cloud recording for Hive View): $5.99 per month per camera.
Smart Home Compatibility
And last but not least, smart home compatibility. Unfortunately, Hive View Outdoor shares the same limitation as Hive View when it comes to integrating with smart home products. Both of them can only talk to smart home products made by Hive. The good news is, if you’re a Hive smart home user, you can create interactions between Hive View, Hive View Outdoor, and Hive smart home products to make your home more secure. For example, to make it appear like you’re home, you can set your smart lights to turn on when your camera detects motion.
Product design, now more than ever, is one of the main aspects people consider when deciding what to buy. The same goes for security cameras. However, the security aspect of the device must outweigh the design. Unfortunately, although it looks unique, Hive View Outdoor doesn’t offer enough beyond features that are far too common in the security camera industry. If Hive truly wants to stand out, Hive View Outdoor needs to offer more than just motion and sound detection, person detection, two-way talk, and event recording. Also, it’s $199.99 price tag is a bit steep for a camera that only offers 24 hours of cloud storage. There are similarly priced cameras that offer several days of event recording for free, such as Arlo.
On that note, if you want to purchase Hive View Outdoor, now is your chance to snag it at a lower price. Hive is currently pre-selling Hive View Outdoor for $159.99, 20% less than its $199.99 retail price. It’s set to ship on December 10th, so you have until then to place your pre-order.
Photo Credit: Hive