Neos Smartcam – The cheapest way to protect your home
Neos Smartcam Review
I’ve been comparing the Blink XT-2 and the Neos Smart Cam for a few weeks now. It’s a pretty good system and for the price, it’s a great budget setup. You can get yourself 5 super small smart cameras for the cheap price of £100.
This guide was last updated on the 3rd of May 2020, please feel free to re-ask any questions at the bottom!
What is the Neos SmartCam?
The Neos Smart Cam is an affordable Smart Camera for indoor security. It boasts 1080P Full HD and 2-Way Audio (Similar to the Blink XT-2 Cameras and Night Vision.
For basic indoor security, grabbing a few of these is crucial, they’re such good budget Smart Home devices.
So, how do we rate this super cheap little camera?
Is the Neos SmartCam good?
Yes, the camera is fantastic for the price point. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I love a good bargain when it comes to Home Automation.
- Great image quality
- 14 days of Cloud Storage for free
- Super cheap
- Night Vision works great
- No motion detection
- Extremely low quality on zoom.
With Smart Security being one of the most important areas of Home Automation, this camera is an absolute steal and I would argue an essential to anyone who’s investing in the Smart Home ecosystem.
Having everything in your house technology based makes your home a target for theft, so using a multitude of camera which can be set up in a matter of minutes is fantastic.
The Neos Smart Camera offers fantastic clear footage, video storage (Free on the cloud for 14 days) and night vision.
For under £25, you get a core basic Smart-Cam. But this isn’t like the Amazon Fire Tablets where you see the poor quality for the poor price.
You’ll get, an indoor-only camera which has 1080p (HD) recording in a 110-degree lens which just works.
If you’ve read my other blog posts, you’ll know that there are some alternative camera’s which aren’t entirely outside of this budget but offer a 180-degree vision view.
I personally think the Blink XT2 is the go-to indoor & outdoor camera but that is to be expected at almost 10x the price. So, whilst there is a trade-off with quality and functionality.
The Neos Smart Camera still reigns top for the price point.
There is motion & noise detection on the Neos Smartcam which also notify you over your phone / tablet.
But it does lack face/person detection, this means that a small pet or a light change may trigger the motion detection.
Ontop of this, you cannot set a specific motion detection area, which you would expect a camera to have as default.
Geo-location is fantastic on this camera too, if your location on your mobile device is set to the same location the camera are at, you won’t be sent notifications. You can also arm and disarm this feature via the Neos Smartcam app.
The app itself is pretty good, the UI is easy enough to follow, the records are only 12 seconds long (Similar to the Blink XT-2 but you can bypass that), this is of course triggered by motion and audio.
If you have a microSD card, you can store your footage on that, however, it’s still not great as it only does the 12 second records.
As far as I can tell, there is no quality compression when recording the images locally.
The only time I noticed a considerable drop in quality was with night vision but that will always be the case.
Overall, as it’s so cheap for what it is, it is amazing. If this camera cost the same as a Blink XT-2 or Ring Camera, I’d definitely be sending this back!
Neos Smartcam Unboxing Video
How long will a 32GB MicroSD last in the Neos Smartcam?
Unfortunately, there’s no specific answer for this. It’s simply dependant on your location, motion detection and lighting. However, Neos do offer a paid subscription service for recording longer than 12 seconds of footage at once.
Given that the Neos Smartcam isn’t an outdoor camera, you may find this triggering quite a lot during out-of-work hours. Assuming it’s recording constantly, you would get around 320 minutes at 720p
How does the Neos Smartcam work with Alexa?
The Neos Smartcam requires a skill to be installed on your Alexa devices called the “Neos Skill“, this will require you to log into your Neos Smartcam account and allow permissions across the skill and devices.
Do note, you will need the latest firmware update as Neos Cameras weren’t shipped with it if you purchased in 2019. Follow these steps to update your Neos Smartcam Firmware:
- Enter the Neos App on your Smart Device
- Click on the live stream for the camera
- Click the settings cog in the top right
- Scroll down to Firmware
- If an update is available, it will let you know!
- Tap on the prompt to start the firmware update
Can I hack the Neos Smartcam?
The Neos Smart Cam runs on Xiaomi Xiaofang hardware, this is very similar to the Wyze Cam 2. Due to this hardware, your Neos Smartcam can be flashed and hacked to use custom firmware.
If you’re tech-savvy or know how to use the Github infrastructure, check out this github library.
The best thing about this custom firmware is that you can flash the camera to enable SSH and FTP access to the camera.
If you use software like Sinobi, Synology’s Surveillance Station and ZoneMinder, this will also allow you to integrate the hardware with this.
Definitely go check out Ryan’s Blog post on this here.
What is the difference between the Wyze and Neos Camera?
There’s no real difference between these two cameras, they are essentially the same hardware with different software on them
This doesn’t mean one is better than the other, however, they do both have different sets of features. Personally, I still find the Neos the better option if you’re looking to just view your camera with no real gain to record etc.
The Wyze firmware does feel more solid and put together but that does come at an additional price point.
The Neos Smartcam is a great piece of kit, no real difference to the Wyze which costs more. If you did wnt to spend the additional amount on a camera, you may as well save for the Blink XT-2 camera which boasts much more customisability at a much higher price point.
The Neos Smart Cam, however, is PERFECT for any new Smart Home owner who is just looking for the most basic protection for their site.