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In a world flooded with IoT devices (and more specifically) IP cameras, these days companies like iSmart Alarm are doing more than just the bare minimum to help set their home security products apart from the rest of the pack. The iCamera Keep Pro features several innovations that make it unique in this space, but will those small improvements be enough to make it the best home security system or shine amongst the growing crowd?
Read on in my iCamera Keep Pro review to find out what sets this IoT IP camera apart from the rest of the pack!
Summary: The iCamera Keep Pro sets itself apart with a unique motion-tracking alarm system that functioned well in our tests, but its lack of cloud video options left us wanting more out of the system.
Price: $169 on Amazon
What We Liked
What We Didn’t
The iCamera Keep Pro features a sleek, modern design wrapped in a space gray paint job that so many device manufacturers are keen to feature these days. The camera itself is housed in a minimalist rectangular box that could be easily stuck to any wall in your home using the included mounting kit. Would you like to check out another security kit with 6 door/window sensors, 1 motion detector, yard signs and decals? Click the Frontpoint home security system review.
The iCamera Keep Pro features a 1080p, HD resolution camera with 140° field of view lens and night vision capability, a micro-USB plug in port, and an onboard two-way microphone speaker combo. It also comes with innovative motion-tracking technology, a first we’ve seen in the home security camera space, which guarantees you’ll never miss a moment of the action when the alarm is triggered by intruders. .
The motion tracking is a part of the pan-and-tilt housing which can rotate 350° left-to-right, and 40° up-and-down. The camera is also capable of recording any sound it hears during a break in, and both features (both the sound and video alarm triggers) can be adjusted between three different sensitivity levels if you want to keep pets or kids from constantly setting things off. To get a richer experience of home security features, read the Livewatch home security system review.
The entirety of the iSmart alarm system (including the company’s full array of products which range from cameras to motion sensors and glass-break sensors) are controlled from the iSmart Alarm app, available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phones. The app itself is fairly basic when hooked up only to the iCamera Keep Pro, but still feature-rich enough to get the job done.
The camera was super simple to set up and worked flawlessly on our first try. The system worked through a QR-code scan method which we’ve seen on other cameras before, but unlike those the iCamera Keep Pro read the QR code instantly and had everything up and running for itself in a matter of minutes. During testing I was actually a bit taken aback by how flawless the whole experience was, given my frustrations with competing cameras during this process in the past.
On the whole most of the features of the iCamera Keep Pro are standard in the industry by this point, but there are a few key areas where this camera really starts to set itself apart. The first is the most obvious feature, that being its ability to pan and tilt across any room you set it up in and actually track the motion of the action as it moves along. The second is a lesser-advertised feature, but could potentially be the most important of them all: lossless video zooming capabilities.
See, most home security cameras do offer some kind of zooming option, but just like your smartphone, they use what’s known as “digital zoom” rather than a true physical zoom lens attached to the camera itself. This means that if your camera only captures a quick glance of an intruder’s face from a distance and the details are difficult to make out, zooming in on the image taken by you security camera will only make it blurrier and even more difficult to show to the police as proof. Not so with the iCamera Keep Pro. With true zoom you can shove in on an image up to 4X and it will only get clearer and clearer as you move in. This is a huge leg up for the iCamera Keep Pro over the competition, and if for nothing else should be the main reason you should consider upgrading.
One area we wish iCamera would work but unfortunately doesn’t is in outdoor capabilities. Even the slightest amount of rain would fizzle the iCamera Keep Pro out, so when you install it be sure it’s covered on all sides. Not only that, but if you want the iCamera Keep Pro to sound a physical alarm in your home if it detects any movement, you’ll need to buy a separate $70 home hub to get it to make a peep. Finally, we’d have liked it if the camera included some kind of option for continuous cloud video recording (like the Arlo Q), but unfortunately, the only way you’ll be able to activate that feature is by shoving an SD card in the back. The feature works well once you’ve got the card in there, but the caveat, of course, is if your burglar ever sees the camera and decides to steal the unit or just pop the card out of the back, all of the recordings stored on it will go right with them.
Overall the iCamera Keep Pro performed well above expectations, both in its sensitivity of recording and the agileness of its motion-tracking capabilities. Despite trying to throw it off with some quick dodges and bad dance moves, the camera was able to keep its eye in the sky moving right along with the action without any issues. The 30ft night vision was also exceptionally clear in our nighttime testing scenarios, made all the more impressive again by the 4X zoom which could clearly make out my face even in the darkest lighting possible.
As a security camera the iCamera Keep Pro has a lot going for it. Besides the obvious benefit of adding motion tracking and 4X physical zoom to your home security system, the iCamera Keep Pro makes it simple for just about anyone to get the device up and running in a matter of minutes. We encountered zero technical problems while operating the camera or viewing recorded clips from our phone, and although we would definitely have liked to see an option for continuous video recording or some water-proof housing to open up the outdoor capabilities, aside from those two small complaints the iCamera Keep Pro is a must-have addition for any budding home security enthusiast.