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YI outdoor camera outdoor camera

YI Outdoor Camera Review - 1080p outdoor camera

Test report prepared by Timo on July 31, 2018

The YI Outdoor Camera is another surveillance solution from the manufacturer specializing in camera technology "YI Technology". The high-resolution 1080p camera was specially designed for outdoor surveillance and is accordingly splash-proof on all sides according to IP65. In the following test report we take a closer look at the YI outdoor camera.

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8.1
Our rating
42 € amazon
Price Comparison
Specifications
Overview
Manufacturer

YI Technology

Model

YI outdoor camera / YI outdoor camera

Specifications

 Recording 
Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
Field of view: 110 °
Focal length: 3.9 mm
Night Vision: 12 IR LEDs (850 nm)

 App 
App: YI Home
* Listen live
* Alarm function
* Playback function
* Audio transmission
* Videoaufnahnme
* Image Recording

 connectivity 
SD memory card slot: Yes
USB: No.
WiFi: 2.4G
Speaker: Yes
Microphone: Yes

 other 
YI Cloud: Yes
Protection class: IP65
Cable length: 3 m
Size: 132 x 68 mm
Weight: 252g

What's in the box

1x YI outdoor camera
1x ball head mount
1x drilling template
8x cable clip
10x screws
10x dowels
1x screwdriver
1x user manual

First impression of the YI outdoor camera

Here you can buy the YI outdoor camera.

What's in the box

The scope of delivery for the YI outdoor camera is generous. Almost everything is included that is needed for "out-of-the-box" use. The following parts are included: 

  • YI outdoor camera
  • Ball head holder with ¼ inch screw thread
  • Magnetic screwdriver for opening the camera
  • USB power adapter (5V 1A)
  • 10 screws and 10 dowels
  • 8 cable clips
  • drilling template
  • Manual

The only thing that is not included in the scope of delivery is a microSD memory card. YI Technology recommends SDHC or SDXC memory cards up to 32GB. In the test, however, a 64GB SDXC memory card was also recognized without any problems.

Scope of delivery of the YI Outdoor Camera

Design and workmanship

The YI Outdoor Camera is a comparatively compact surveillance solution. The camera housing made of solid plastic measures 132 mm in length and 68 mm in diameter. The ball head bracket has a diameter of 70 mm. The weight of the camera including cable and bracket is 252g.

The housing of the outdoor camera is protected against splashing water on all sides in accordance with protection class IP65. Accordingly, the 3 meter long USB cable extends into the camera housing and is firmly connected to the camera. The microSD memory card slot and the reset button can be accessed via a flap on the underside. This is held in place by two screws. An additional seal prevents water from entering. The processing quality of the YI outdoor camera is nothing to complain about. 

Front of the camera

Equipment

In addition to the already mentioned microSD memory card slot and the reset button, features include a two-way audio system with microphone and loudspeaker. The front side is the 1080p 1 / 2.7 inch CMOS camera module with 3.9 mm focal length and 110 ° field of view. The camera sensor is surrounded by a total of 12 850nm IR sensors. These enable night vision up to 15 meters. There is a status LED above the camera module.

Lateral camera body

Videos are recorded or transmitted with a maximum resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080) and 20 frames per second. A 3D noise reduction prevents excessive image noise. The Lens Distotion Correction (LDC) straightens the image that has been curved by the wide-angle lens. A 4x digital zoom enables the user to zoom into the image. The wireless transmission and app connection takes place via a 2.4 GHz WiFi module.

Rear of the camera with tripod thread

commissioning

Facility

The YI Home app is required to set up the YI outdoor camera. The app is available for both Android and iOS mobile devices in the respective app stores. The steps required for commissioning are explained in detail in the multilingual operating instructions.

As soon as the camera is connected to the power for the first time, the setup wizard will start. An English language assistant will guide you through the setup steps. Among other things, the camera is required to be integrated into an existing WLAN. For this, your own WiFi data must be entered in the app, from which it creates a QR code. If you hold it in front of the camera lens, the camera automatically establishes a connection to the WLAN.

 The entire set-up process is simple and takes just a few seconds. A small note on the side: The YI outdoor camera can only be integrated into an existing WLAN. The camera is not able to set up its own WLAN! 

Assembly

The ball head bracket is attached with 4 screws. The supplied drilling template simplifies assembly. The camera can be aligned easily and precisely with the ball head. Alternatively, the universal ¼ inch screw thread enables the YI Outdoor Camera to be attached to an existing universal bracket.

Externally attached YI outdoor camera

Functions and control of the YI outdoor camera

The YI outdoor camera is fully configured and monitored via the YI Home App (Android and iOS) or the YI PC Client (Windows and OSX). There is no WebUI that can be accessed via the browser! In the following I refer to the app, as it was mainly used to operate the camera.

The YI PC client

This is what the YI PC Client looks like!

The structure of the app hardly differs from apps from other manufacturers. After starting the app you are in the camera overview. All YI cameras linked to the YI account are listed here with a preview image.

streaming

Live picture mode of the app

If you click on the preview image of the respective camera, you get to the live image mode. With the smartphone aligned vertically, the above half of the screen shows the live image with setting options for the image quality (HD - SD - Auto), a status for the transmission quality and further information on the date and time.

Under the live image there are shortcuts to mute the camera's loudspeaker, start a video recording, activate the microphone, take a picture or switch to full screen mode. Again underneath, in the lower half of the picture, the alarm overview is placed. This gives you quick access to the most recently triggered alarms. In full screen mode, the shortcuts are placed as an overlay on the right edge of the screen. The alarm sections can be selected in full screen mode using a practical timeline. To protect against unauthorized (app) access, every connected YI camera can be provided with a PIN.

Live stream with playback

remote access

Among other things, the video stream is encrypted and transmitted by the manufacturer's server. This enables remote access that cannot be deactivated via the app. Probably the biggest point of criticism, however, is that the camera needs a constant connection to the Internet. If you disconnect the camera from the Internet, it is no longer possible to access the app stream. Purely local operation is therefore not intended and also not possible!

 An RTSP stream cannot (currently) be tapped! ONVIF is not supported. Resourceful hackers have shown, using previously released YI cameras, that the firmware can be modified to include RTSP support. It is currently not foreseeable when a modified firmware will be released for the YI outdoor camera.

YI Cloud

The YI Cloud is paid online storage. Recordings are automatically uploaded to the cloud and can be accessed via the YI account. If the camera is lost, the recordings are not lost with the camera, but remain in the YI Cloud.

The YI Cloud is offered in a three-tier subscription model. The lowest tariff with 7-day loop recording is available from € 2 per month, depending on whether you opt for a monthly or annual subscription. There are also price differences with regard to the number of devices and the upload mode (only alarm or 24/7 recording). The second tariff includes a 15-day loop recording. The most expensive plan with up to 17.99 € per month offers a 30-day loop recording. The prices are therefore based on the cloud offers of other camera manufacturers, such as Netgear or Ring.

The payment methods for the cloud subscription are PayPal and credit card, as well as the in-app purchase for iOS mobile devices. New customers receive a free trial month. The YI Cloud was not included in this test report. Everyone should decide for themselves how important cloud access is. Without a cloud subscription, a 6-second preview clip is saved in the cloud free of charge after the alarm is triggered.

alarm function

The YI outdoor camera is able to detect movements and trigger an alarm. The motion detection does not take place with the help of a PIR sensor, but on the software side. The detection area, the sensitivity level (low - medium - high) and the alarm frequency (low - medium - high) can be set in the camera settings. An alarm schedule can be configured for individual days of the week and hourly time periods.

detection area

In the test, the motion detection worked largely reliably. Depending on the sensitivity level and object size, the detection range is between 5 and 15 meters. At the highest level, motion detection is comparatively sharp. This triggers an alarm not only for people and larger animals, but also for the smallest insects.

If an alarm is triggered, you will be notified via push notification. The recording can then be called up via the YI Home app. An additional alarm tone signals the triggered alarm via the camera's loudspeaker. To the delight of the neighbors, this function can be deactivated in the settings.

Two-way audio

The two-way audio system of the YI Outdoor Camera enables voice transmission in both directions. Voice messages can be sent to the camera from the mobile device. Conversely, the sound is recorded via the camera's microphone. The transmission quality is acceptable. What is spoken is understandable, even if it is transmitted slightly tinny. The sound recorded by the camera is transmitted clearly up to a range of 5 meters.

Settings

The settings menu is divided into general settings and more specific camera settings. In the general settings you can define the camera name, activate the PIN protection and manage the memory. In the camera settings it is possible to rotate the image by 180 °, to correct the lens distortion, and to switch the IR night vision, the microphone and the status LED on or off.

 The YI outdoor camera receives firmware updates via the YI Home app. These are transferred and installed fully automatically.

Recording quality of the YI outdoor camera

The surveillance camera saves videos with a maximum resolution of 1080p at 20 images per second. The 6-second alarm clips are transmitted with 640 x 360 pixels. The recording resolution, frame rate or bit rate cannot be adjusted by the user.

The recording quality is sufficient to recognize faces at a short distance. Only at a great distance does the image become increasingly blurred. The level of detail is acceptable. The output format for video recording is MP4. A 16GB memory card can store 30 hours of video material. 

When it gets darker, the surveillance camera automatically switches to night vision mode. The visibility is around 10 meters at night. The software-based motion detection is not affected by night vision.

Price Comparison

iconGerman warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
41,99€
rating
Positive

Compact, weatherproof design
Good workmanship
Extensive scope of delivery
Easy commissioning
Functionally extensive app and client
Motion alarm with detection area, notification function and schedule
Good day and night recording quality
WLAN signal strength
Playback Timeline
Two-way audio
Low energy consumption

Negative

No web interface
No RTSP stream
Requires internet connection
Remote access cannot be switched off

Summary

The YI outdoor camera is an inexpensive surveillance solution for outdoor use. The design is inconspicuous, the scope of delivery lush and the build quality of usual good YI quality.

From unpacking to the first shot pass only a few minutes. The entire furnishing process is designed according to the layman. The necessary for the control and configuration YI Home App is clearly structured, completely translated into German and functionally comprehensive. One point of criticism is the lack of possibility to disable the remote access.

The recording quality convinces day and night. A certain loss of detail and a little blur are indeed detectable, hold, compared to other cameras in this price range, but quite within limits. The software-based motion detection works as it should and recognizes movements even at greater distances.

What you should be aware of before buying is that the camera requires a constant connection to the Internet. The video stream is only available via the server of the manufacturer! A local operation is (so far) not possible.

8.1
Our rating
Overview
Manufacturer

YI Technology

Model

YI outdoor camera / YI outdoor camera

Specifications

 Recording 
Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
Field of view: 110 °
Focal length: 3.9 mm
Night Vision: 12 IR LEDs (850 nm)

 App 
App: YI Home
* Listen live
* Alarm function
* Playback function
* Audio transmission
* Videoaufnahnme
* Image Recording

 connectivity 
SD memory card slot: Yes
USB: No.
WiFi: 2.4G
Speaker: Yes
Microphone: Yes

 other 
YI Cloud: Yes
Protection class: IP65
Cable length: 3 m
Size: 132 x 68 mm
Weight: 252g

What's in the box

1x YI outdoor camera
1x ball head mount
1x drilling template
8x cable clip
10x screws
10x dowels
1x screwdriver
1x user manual

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