HOMIEE 720P Digital Wireless Baby Monitor REVIEW No Internet No Problem
This past December, my wife and I celebrated 12 years of marriage. During these amazing years, we have moved three times, changed jobs a few times, and made numerous memories, mostly revolving around our nine, seven and three-year-old children. To add to these memories, we decided to increase the size of our crew by one. Now, we excitedly await the birth of our daughter in the next few weeks. With almost 4 years between our youngest and new bundle of joy, it is rather amazing to see how baby technology has changed and advanced. The technological changes were even more apparent when we compared modern devices to those utilized with our soon-to-be ten-year-old. As we welcome our new infant into our home, we must restock the nursery with all sorts of baby items. With a new crib, a plethora of diapers, wipes, bibs, onesies, and awesome-smelling baby shampoo, and the HOMIEE 720P Digital Wireless Baby Monitor, we think we are ready.
The baby monitor arrived in a 9 3/4 inches wide by 5 5/8 inches tall by 7 1/2 inches thick retail box. The first thing that I noted about the cover was the image of a mother holding her 4–5-month-old baby. The picture vividly captured the essence of motherhood and the joy that she experienced for her child. Just to the right of the image, the company provided six icons that detailed the out of range alarm, sound alert, temperature alarm, two-way audio, night vision and low battery alarm. Lastly, the cover provided the “HOMIEE” product name, “720P Digital Wireless Baby Monitor,” and a few additional details: 2.4GHz digital wireless, Pan & Tilt Camera with built-in rechargeable Li-battery 5” monitor and a 3 1/2 inches wide by 2 inches tall image of the camera/screen. The monitor device resembled the back of a DSLR camera and the camera resembled a small humanoid robot, with central adiposity.
The top panel of the box displayed nearly the same information as the cover. Along the center of the panel, I found a 4 1/2 inches wide by 2 3/4 inches tall representation of the screen/camera. The screen provided a vivid image of a sleeping newborn, instead of the six icons. Toward my bottom left, I enjoyed the two 1 1/2 inches tall by 1 3/4 inches wide images representing the remote control lullabies and two-way audio. The picturesque images were eye-catching and did a great job at attracting attention to the packaging. The rear panel provided the same information as the two preceding panels but displayed a small child with a bear towel upon the five-inch LCD. The right side panel provided a list of product features and the packaging list. Eight bullet points provided information about the 1280x720P resolution HD video resolution, 350 degree horizontal/105 degree vertical movement to cover the baby room, the large 5 inch LCD panel, digital zoom, monitor room temperature and enjoy alerts, sound activation, five included lullabies, built-in 4-hour functional LiPo battery, built-in privacy features and a range up to 300m. The left side panel provided four 1 5/8 inches tall by 1 3/4 inches wide pictures of a variety of children. Above this, we were given similar information about the rechargeable status, remote control lullabies, and the ability to enjoy two-way audio. HOMIEE did a great job representing their product and I excitedly tore into the box.
Within the box, I found a 4 5/16 inches wide by 5 7/8 inches tall penta-lingual instruction manual (English, German, French, Italian and Spanish). Removing the thin white foam plastic topper, I found two cutouts housing the 5 1/2 inches tall by 5 inches long by 4 inches wide humanoid camera and the 3 7/8 inches tall by 6 1/2 inches wide by 1 inches thick monitor module. I removed the monitor module from the box and noted the 4 1/4 inches long by 2 3/8 inches tall LCD screen (5 inches diameter). To the right of the screen, there was a 3/8 inches diameter silver power button, 1/4 inch diameter menu and sleep buttons, a 1 inch diameter up/down/left/right button with inset 3/8 inches okay button and two lower 1/4 inch diameter short cut and talk buttons. Beneath the buttons, you will find six small LED representing the sound level. Just above the screen, I found a crooked HOMIEE title. Even though this defect did not deter from the overall review, I love when companies focus on the small details. The LCD screen and silver buttons starkly contrasted the sterile, clean appearance of the white monitor device. Rotating the device onto the screen, I was able to see the 3/4 inches diameter speaker, the retractable 3 1/8 inches long antenna and the silver kickstand. Nestled along the lower edge of the side panel nearest to the screen, I found the micro-USB charging port. Other than the micro-USB slot, there were no other input or output ports on the device, save a small pin reset button on the backside.
Beneath the monitor, I found two type B wall outlets, one labeled “Only for Camera,” and the other labeled “Only for Receiver.” The camera wall charger had a single USB-A port on the back and a type B wall prong oriented perpendicular to the 2 1/8 inches long by 1 5/8 inches thick brick. The shape will allow you to maintain access to either the upper or lower port on a wall outlet. I loved that the company chose to orient the charger in this manner, as it shows that they understand the needs of the consumer. The receiver charger measured 1 1/2 inches wide by 1 3/4 inches long by 7/8 inches thick and had a USB-A port along the back and a type B wall prong in line with the axis of the charger. I do not know why they chose to make the receiver charger different than the camera charger, as they essentially do the same job. Both are labeled with input 100–240V/0.3A, 50/60 Hz but the camera charger provided 5V/1A output and the receiver provided 5V/2A output. HOMIEE included two USB-A to USB-Micro cables, an 80 inches long cable labeled camera only and a 76 inches long cable labeled receiver only. Each cable has a 1 3/8 inches long by 3/4 inches wide ferrite bead/choke near the end of the USB-micro prong, which is designed to reduce electromagnetic interference of the cables.
Opening up the instruction manual, I was pleased with the way that it was designed. Pages one and two did a great job at detailing the packaging contents and detailed images of the devices. I have personally tested a variety of devices that seemed to require a college degree to set them up. It is no wonder then that many people avoid some forms of technology. If you suffer from any degree of technophobia, you need not worry about the HOMIEE camera. To set up the device, simply plug the labeled cable into the labeled charger and then into the appropriate device. Press the power button on the top of the monitor and enjoy the completed setup process. The instruction manual noted that the pairing process was completed prior to leaving the factory, which eliminated the typical complex setup process. Luckily, if this process did not work, you can press the SET button on the bottom of the camera to manually pair the devices. The instruction manual was largely unnecessary thanks to the intuitive button layout and bright LCD screen. If you need to peruse the manual, you will find your answers clearly laid out.
If you press “menu,” you can access six icons: cameras, sound detection, temperature alarm, lullabies, sleep mode, and settings. If you tap the sound detection icon, you can set the camera sound detection to low, default, high, or off. I chose to leave the device in default mode and will adjust this once my child is born. Returning to the menu screen, if you select the temperature alarm icon, you can change between Celsius and Fahrenheit and turn on/off the temperature alarm. The camera arrived with temperature preset warnings of 59–86 degrees Fahrenheit (15–30 degrees Celsius). Like the sound alert, the temperature alert will play on the monitor for about sixty seconds and can be aborted with a press of any button. If you select the Lullabies icon, you can choose between five preset lullabies (rock a bye baby (#1), Brahms Lullaby (#2), Unknown Song (#3), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (#4), Hush Little Baby (#5) and All. Each will play on a perpetual loop, until you decide to change to another. If you choose the “all” icon, the songs will rotate. Similar to selections 1–5, the songs will continue until you turn them off. I let the first song and the all option play for 15 minutes and then manually turned them off by returning to the lullaby section and pressing the pause button. If the sound on the monitor is too high, you can adjust the volume by pressing the shortcut button while the camera is in monitor mode. I was a little disappointed that I could not adjust the volume from the camera.
The HOMIEE baby camera may not have all of the bells and whistles of some of the devices on the market, but it makes up for it through ease of setup/utility. Since this device is not connected to the internet, it may be an ideal option for a rural home, a motorhome, or someone fearful of their setup being hacked. The device connects through its own network and does not require WIFI/Bluetooth or a smartphone/tablet. You do not have to download an app, you do not have to pair the camera/monitor, you do not have to navigate through complicated menus to use the device. As noted above, the button combinations were well thought out and easy to navigate. Personally, the only issue I had was to remember that the LCD was not a touchscreen. My wife loved the shape of the camera, the speed of the pan/tilt and felt that the 1280x720P monitor was incredibly crisp. She loved that she could zoom in for a closer view by pressing the ‘Ok” button as well. Her first question to me was about the monitor and about portability. She thought that the device had to be plugged in and to remain plugged in, thus decreasing the utility of the device. I told her that it had a 2000 mAh battery that promised 3.5 hours of use but could be extended beyond this by using the sleep feature on the monitor. I also told her that she could leave the device plugged into the USB as well and still use it, while charging. When I told her she could take the monitor anywhere in our home and to our mailbox she brightened up further.
It is important to note that this device is not designed for you to check in on your baby/children/pets, while away. Since my wife is a stay at home mother, we will not need remote access to this system. The power of the device is in her ability to obtain some freedom, while the new baby rests. The device had a 300-meter range (1000 foot) and worked in every room of my 2 stories, plus walkout basement/garage, home and within about 100 feet of my home. I have a brick exterior, steel beam/pillar supports and I use a Linksys Velop Mesh WiFI in my home. Prior to using the mesh WiFi, I experienced a few dead spots within my home. Interestingly, these locations did not cause a problem for the HOMIEE camera/monitor. I did not have any issues with the interconnectivity between the camera and monitor. To test it, my wife left the camera in our bedroom (main floor) and carried it to the kitchen (main floor), laundry room (basement), to our 3-year-old daughter’s room (Second Floor) and to the garage. We set the sleep timer to 5 minutes and we were able to leave the camera off of the charger for nearly half a day. If we used it continuously, the monitor only lasted about 3 hours, which was not terrible for the size of the device. We tested the sound alarm system by having our 7-year-old make various levels of noise. The device was remarkably accurate.
When I navigated to the HOMIEE website, I learned that we could pair up to 4 cameras to one monitor. This would be perfect for a multi-room home, multi-child home, and even for your business/office. The low light mode was an added benefit, which picked up on very low ambient light. My wife and I loved everything about this camera as it did not overcomplicate the tech for her. If Homiee approached us and asked what we would like to see in a HOMIEE 2.0, we did have a few suggestions. First, we would make the screen a touchscreen, like a tablet, and eliminate the buttons. Secondarily, we would increase the strength of the battery to allow at least 6 hours of utility. Third, we would allow the user to control the volume of the lullabies, as some kids/families may find the sounds to be too loud. Fourth, an option to record would drastically expand the device utility. I could imagine the device being employed inside of daycare or other businesses. They may want the option to add an SD card to snap a picture/video. Lastly, we would allow the user to add 1–2 songs/sounds of their own. Perhaps the end user would like to add environmental sounds, an ocean/beach, rain/thunderstorm, or to record their own heartbeat or a favorite tune. Overall, the product exceeded my expectation and actually surprised my wife. After twelve years of marriage, this has become nearly impossible to do. Parents/Families, add this device to your Amazon wishlist! I would definitely recommend that you take a look at this device if you are in the market for a baby camera/monitor.
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