YI Outdoor Camera Review - 1080p outdoor camera

by 31. July 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.

YI Technology


YI outdoor camera / YI outdoor camera


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

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

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

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 What's in the box around the YI outdoor camera falls lush. Almost everything is included, what for "Out-of-the-box" use is needed. Included are the following parts:

  • 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

Only what the package does not contain is one MicroSD memory card, YI Technology recommends memory cards of the type SDHC or SDXC to 32GB, In the test, however, an 64GB SDXC memory card was easily detected.

Scope of delivery of the YI Outdoor Camera

Design and workmanship

The YI Outdoor Camera is a comparatively compact surveillance solution. The end solid plastic manufactured camera housing measures 132mm in the Length and 68mm im diameter. Ball mount comes on one Diameter of 70 mm. Das Weight the camera including cable and bracket is enclosed 252 g.

The housing of the outdoor camera is after the Degree of protection IP65 Protected from splash water. Accordingly, that's enough 3 meter long USB cable into the camera body and is firmly connected to the camera. Access to the MicroSD memory card slot and the Reset button obtained via a bottom flap. This is held by two screws. An additional seal prevents water ingress. The build quality of the YI outdoor camera is not objectionable.

Front of the camera


Features are next to the already mentioned MicroSD memory card slot and the reset button yet Two-way audio system with microphone and speaker. The front is the 1080p 1 / 2.7 inch CMOS camera module you can 3.9 mm focal length and 110 ° field of view, The camera sensor is of total 12 850nm IR sensors surround. These allow one Night vision to 15 meters, Above the camera module is a status LED.

Lateral camera body

Videos are with a maximum Resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080) and 20 pictures-per-second recorded or transmitted. A 3D noise reduction prevents strong image noise. The Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) Straightens the image curved by the wide-angle lens. On 4-times digital zoom allows the user to zoom in on the picture. The wireless transmission and app connection is done through a 2.4 GHz WiFi module.

Rear of the camera with tripod thread



For the establishment of the YI outdoor camera is the YI Home App needed. The app is for both Android, as well as for iOS Mobile devices available in their respective app stores. The necessary steps for commissioning are in the multilingual user manual explained in detail.

Once the camera is connected to the power for the first time, the Setup Wizard started. An English language assistant guides you through the furnishing steps. Among other things, the camera is required to be integrated into an existing WLAN. For this, your own Wi-Fi data must be entered in the app, from which this creates a QR code. If you hold this in front of the camera lens, the camera automatically establishes a connection to the WLAN.

The entire set-up process is easy and done in a matter of seconds. A small note on the edge: The YI outdoor camera can only be integrated into an existing WLAN. The camera is not able to build its own WLAN!


The ball head holder is with 4 screws attached. The included drilling template simplifies the assembly. The ball head allows easy and precise alignment of the camera. Alternatively, this allows universal ¼ inch screw thread To install the YI Outdoor Camera on an existing universal mount.

Externally attached YI outdoor camera

Functions and control of the YI outdoor camera

The YI outdoor camera is completely over the YI Home App (Android and iOS) or YI PC Client (Windows and OSX) configured and monitored. A via the browser to reach WebUI does not exist! Below I refer to the app, since this was mainly used for camera operation.

The YI PC client

This is what the YI PC Client looks like!

The structure of the app is hardly different from apps from other manufacturers. After starting the app you are in the Camera overview, This is where all the YI cameras associated with the YI account come with one preview listed.


Live picture mode of the app

If you click on the preview image of the respective camera, you get into the live image mode. With a vertically aligned smartphone is in the above half of the screen, the live image with settings for Image quality (HD - SD - Auto), a transmission quality status, and other date and time information.

Below the live image are Shortcuts to mute the camera's speaker, start a video recording, activate the microphone, take a picture, or switch to full screen mode. Again below, in the lower half of the picture, is the Alarm overview 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 side of the screen. The alarm sections are selectable in full screen mode via a convenient timeline. To protect against unauthorized (app) access, any connected YI camera can be PIN-protected.

Live stream with playback

remote access

The video stream will be among others encrypted by the server of the manufacturer transfer. Thus, a remote access is possible, which can not be deactivated via the app. The biggest criticism, however, is that the camera has a constant connection to the internet needed. Disconnecting the camera from the Internet, it is no longer possible to access the app stream. The purely local operation is not planned and not possible!

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

YI Cloud

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

The YI Cloud is in the three-tier subscription model offered. The smallest fare with 7-day loop recording There are from 2 € per month, depending on whether you decide for a monthly subscription or an annual subscription. There are also price differences with regard to the number of devices and the upload mode (alarm only or 24 / 7 recording). The second tariff includes one 15-day loop recording, The most expensive tariff with up to 17.99 € per month offers one 30-day loop recording, The prices are therefore geared to the cloud offerings 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 one test month free. The YI Cloud was not included in this review. Everyone should decide for themselves how important cloud access is. Without cloud subscription will be after alarm triggered 6-second preview clip stored free of charge in the cloud.

alarm function

The YI outdoor camera is capable of detecting movement and triggering an alarm. The motion detection not with the help of a PIR sensor, but on the software side. In the camera settings, the detection area, the sensitivity level (Low - Medium - High) and the alarm frequency (Low - Medium - High). On Alarm Schedule can be configured for individual days of the week and hourly periods.

detection area

In the test, the motion detection functioned as reliable as possible. The Recognition range is yes after sensitivity level and object size between 5 and 15 meters, At the highest level, motion detection is relatively sharp. Thus, an alarm is triggered not only in humans and larger animals, but also in the smallest insects.

If an alarm is triggered, you will be per Push notification notified about it. The recording is then available via the YI Home App. An additional one alarm signals the triggered alarm via the camera loudspeaker. To the delight of the neighbors this function can be deactivated in the attitudes.

Two-way audio

The two-way audio system of the YI Outdoor Camera enables one Voice transmission in both directions, Voicemails can be sent to the camera via the mobile device. Conversely, the sound is recorded via the microphone of the camera. The transmission quality is acceptable. Spoken speech becomes understandable, albeit slightly tinny. The sound recorded by the camera is transmitted intelligibly up to a range of 5 meters.


The settings menu is divided into general settings and more specific camera settings. In the general settings can be the camera name set the PIN protection activate and manage the memory. In the camera settings, it is possible that Picture to rotate 180 °, the lens distortion to correct, as well as the IR Night Visionand Microphone and the Status LED switch on or off.

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

Recording quality of the YI outdoor camera

Videos stores the surveillance camera with maximum 1080p resolution at 20 images-per-second, The 6 second alarm clips are transmitted with 640 x 360 pixels. The recording resolution, refresh rate or bitrate can not be adjusted by the user.

The recording quality is sufficient to recognize faces at close range. Only at a long distance is the presentation increasingly blurred. The level of detail is acceptable. The output format for video recording is MP4. An 16GB memory card can store 30 hours of video.

As the darkness increases, the surveillance camera automatically switches to Night vision mode. Visibility is at night about 10 meters, The software-based motion detection is not affected by the night vision.

Price Comparison

Price history

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Prices last updated on: 2. August 2020 12: 01

Final Words


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


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

First impression
video quality
power consumption

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.

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