Xiaomi Small Square Smart IP Camera Review

27.03.2017

Security camera systems are mainly associated with chunky cameras, monitors with multiple locations on one screen and a security person that watches the monitor. That is actually the way everything is monitored in the office building. But if you want to get a security camera for your home to check on your pets or children there are a dozen of much more compact devices that require less space than your coffee mug. One of them caught our attention. This review is dedicated to Xiaomi Small Square Camera.

Packaging

The camera comes packed in a stylish box with some kind of useful piece of info about the product on each side. The front bears the camera name and its portrait, the back has a QR-code for the app. There is a 1080P logo on the left side and a short coverage of what we are about to experience with the camera on the right. In the box, we see the camera, 1.7 m long white USB cable, Chinese manual, a metal clip to setup the device and a set of funky stickers for decoration.

Design

The camera is a sleek-looking cube that measures 50×50×56 cm. It is available only in white and is made out of a quantitative plastic material. The front of the camera contains a lens, IR-night vision sensor and a microphone for two-way communication. At the rear of the device, you will find USB and micro USB ports for connection with a PC or a smartphone and a status indicator. The underside of the camera sports a microSD card holder up to 64 GB, a rotating stand base, and a setup hole.

Mounting the camera was painless. It is supported by an adjustable grey-colored stand that allows you to set the viewing angle. It stands solidly on the table due to rubber pads at its base and you can install it on a metal surface without having to drill any holes as it also owns magnets. We managed to fix it vertically to the ceiling and because it weighed only 100 g we were not afraid it would fall off.

Technical characteristics

Xiaomi Small Square Camera is able to capture Full-HD 1080Р video with a wide 110-degree field of view. Image quality was good in daylight. Night-time performance was sharp too. In fact, we could pick out many details on the footage at night almost 9 meters away due to infrared lighting. The 8x zoom showed no distortion when we wanted to take a closer and more personal look at things.

This camera is much more than just a surveillance camera. It also uses a CO2 sensor to alert you of any leakage. We could not check how accurate that works (lucky for us) so we fully trust Xiaomi on that. If the sensor detects some leakage it should send you a push notification. The camera communicates with a help of Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.

The camera has a really sensitive mic and adequately loudspeakers. It supports two-way communication so you can watch, listen and talk to people or pets from afar. Video files can be stored on a microSD card, which you need to buy separately, or in Mi Cloud.

Performance

Handling the camera is easy. First, download the Mi Home app and create an account. After you receive and E-mail verification launch the app. Use metal clip to setup the device, go to My devices in the app and pick our camera from the list. Now you can view live video and change camera settings.

With such hardware, the camera delivers great daytime and night-time HD video. One oddity that kept us puzzled was that the camera would not let us take a zoomed-in shot and we ended up with a full-format photo every time.

Small Square Camera does not have an inbuilt battery so it is dependent entirely on your smartphone, PC or another source of energy. If you connect the camera to a 10 000 mAh power bank you will have 12 hours of continuous recording.

Bottom line

Xiaomi Small Square IP Camera is a great way to watch over your family or pets, keep an eye on your precious jewelry collection or your kitchen oven with a chicken roasting in it. We were impressed with its resolution, night vision capabilities, and microSD support. This camera is right for those who do not want to deal with professional camera systems and look for a compact and easy-to-use device instead.

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