Review: EZVIZ C3X Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Camera- EZVIZ is once again putting an interesting camera on the market with the EZVIZ C3X. One capable of delivering color night vision without external light sources. In addition, the security camera uses a new compression technique, which means less bandwidth and space is required for video processing.
Night vision with color as USP
The EZVIZ C3X is a fairly unique consumer security camera. This model has two lenses of two megapixel, so that the device is able to record and present night images in color. This also applies to times when no external light sources are present. One lens takes care of the brightness of the environment, while the other lens captures the color information. Both images are then merged by a proprietary algorithm, so you see color images.
Other important specifications are the image resolution (Ultra HD, HD and standard) and support for video compression standard H.265. Compared to H.264, about half the amount of data and bandwidth required to process videos. There is a micro SD card slot (for cards up to 256 GB), support for its own cloud storage service and various smart motion sensors. They are intended for normal movements, for recognizing people and for recognizing vehicles.
The EZVIZ C3X has a built-in alarm siren and strobe light, just like the EZVIZ Husky Air launched in 2018 , and only has WiFi on the 2.4GHz channel. Since this channel is still used by the majority of wireless devices, this can cause problems in some households. After all, a busy network means a slower connection. Fortunately, there is also room for an ethernet cable, so you can eliminate that problem. But then you have to pull an internet cable that way.
In terms of security, you can count on support for 64 and 128-bit wep, wpa, wpa2, wpa-psk, wpa2-psk. If you are not very familiar with those terms, please have a look at this background piece. It is also good to know that an ip67 certificate is present. This means that you can easily hang the EZVIZ C3X outside without having to worry about damage from the weather. The built-in infrared sensor has a range of thirty meters. The camera has a normal size of 72 by 72 by 150 millimeters and weighs 425 grams.
Installing the EZVIZ C3X
Smarthome Magazine has now tested a lot of cameras from EZVIZ. And actually we always come to the same conclusion: a child can do the laundry. You download the free app, connect the camera and follow the steps that appear on your smartphone screen. At some point you have to scan the QR code on the camera and from then on your own is done. Then you can immediately dive into the settings to set the camera to your own liking. Fortunately, the number of options is not too bad.
The physical part of the installation will not be easy for everyone. The idea is that you hang it outside on the wall and preferably nice and high. This means that you have to provide power (and possibly also internet) from the inside, so cables will probably have to go through an inner arch. Unfortunately, the plug wire of the EZVIZ C3X is quite short, so your options are limited. You may have to take some extra measures, especially for the power cable.
Cloud storage and local storage
Something you can immediately look at are the storage options. The EZVIZ C3X offers the option to save all images locally, on a micro-SD card. You still have to buy that card with it. Another option is the cloud storage plan. Initially it is free to try (you can always view images 24 hours later), but then you are supposed to pay. Costs; 74.99 euros per year for seven days of looking back (or 7.49 euros per month) or 149.99 euros per year for thirty days (or 14.99 per month).
The amounts mentioned above apply to households where multiple EZVIZ cameras are active. If you only use one camera, the costs are a bit lower. Namely EUR 49.99 per year for seven days (or EUR 4.99 per month) or EUR 99.99 per year for thirty days (or EUR 9.99 per month). You can pay with a linked credit card, but you can also link your PayPal account if you want. The subscription does not start automatically after the trial period, that only happens if you choose to do so.
Putting the EZVIZ C3X Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Camera into operation
The question is: do you need that cloud subscription? You can of course come up with general arguments why that is the case, but in this case there is one clear argument against not doing it. The service does not work or hardly works. Nine times out of ten it is not possible to play a recording from the cloud within the free downloadable application. So then you have everything in the cloud, but then you still cannot do anything with it. A firmware update that was immediately available did not solve the problem either.
You are therefore quickly dependent on a micro-SD card. Now that may suddenly be a large, extra expense (especially if you go for the 256GB variant), but it is still cheaper than cloud storage on an annual basis, whichever plan you choose. Fortunately, with a micro-SD card in the camera, you can be confident that the images will always be available, so we recommend that for now. We read on the internet that it may have something to do with summer time and that the cloud service therefore does not work, but we cannot do anything with that.
There is not much wrong with the app itself. It is clear and comprehensive and you are never really looking for the right settings for long. You can view and adjust the settings per camera by tapping the cogwheel of the camera directly from the home screen. If you are looking for general settings related to your account, you can find them by tapping the button with the figure at the bottom. This also contains the settings for automatic upgrades and push notifications, so that’s worth a quick visit.
The home screen contains an overview of all your EZVIZ cameras in the house. You also see an image of the image that the camera sees. By tapping on the image, you open the camera and access the controls and other settings, such as image quality. You can stop the camera, mute the sound or view the cameras in an overview. You can also do this by holding your device horizontally or by displaying the screen full screen. You will then see either one feed or a total of four feeds, from other cameras in and around the house.
Below the screen are a number of other options. For example, you can trigger the built-in siren, activate two-way audio (so you can talk to the other person), take a snapshot (image) or start a manual video recording. Below those buttons is another row, namely the video recordings that have been made. These recordings can be in the cloud or on a micro-SD card and you can view them in the app in both cases. Are you already familiar with the manufacturer? Then the functions may already be familiar to you.
The gear icon at the top right will take you to the settings for the camera. Here you can arrange things like (de) activate audio, manage your notifications, create a notification schedule, set the areas for motion detection and adjust the warning mode. You can also set what the camera should do in dark areas (the brightness can be adjusted automatically in dark environments) and you can subscribe to the CloudPlay service. Most of it is already set by default.
While there is support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant , that integration doesn’t work properly. You can place the EZVIZ C3X Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Camera with the Google Assistant, but requesting the images via Google Nest Hub will not yield any results. Also, the camera cannot be linked to other services and devices, because there is no support for IFTTT or a similar service . As a result, the camera feels really limited in its ability; it would be great if the system, for example, switches on the lights during a motion detection.
Image quality and motion detection
The image quality of the camera is above average. During the day, the system captures images that are razor-sharp, colorful (thanks to WDR support) and detailed. While we can’t quite say that about the night vision, we are impressed by its quality. You can identify people and objects very well and colors come out very well, with or without an external light source. If you have a street lamp in the street, you are assured of clear image quality in the evening and at night.
The motion detection does its job – in general, so not always – quite well. Very often the system works just fine when you have activated personal and vehicle identifications. Sometimes someone slips through. You can also enable general detection: then the camera will only look at the changes in the image. You will then receive many more notifications, since shadow also counts as movement. Fortunately, you can get around that a bit by setting a notification schedule within the settings.
You can also adjust the sensitivity of the motion sensor by marking a specific area. Only movements that take place within this area will generate notifications. So you have good control over when you do and do not receive something. And that’s just great, because you want to avoid being forced to turn off the notifications completely. Why else do you hang a camera like that? If we look at the possibilities and options with regard to motion detection, the camera scores well.
EZVIZ C3X Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Camera – Conclusion
At the bottom of the line, we are positive about the EZVIZ C3X Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Camera. The fact that we can now buy an accessible (and relatively) affordable security camera with night vision in color, is enough reason for many people to buy it. Basically, the EZVIZ C3X Outdoor Smart Wi-Fi Camera is similar to the Husky Air, but is in many ways a souped-up version of it. The image quality is better, the aforementioned night vision is better and there is now support for the Google Assistant – although the latter does not work properly yet, is our experience.
But the C3X also has a number of drawbacks. For example, the plug is very short, no micro-sd card is included and there is only support for networks at 2.4 GHz. Add to that the fact that the support for IFTTT has disappeared and you’re left with a pretty meager device when it comes to smarthome integrations. That does not alter the fact that it works very well as a stand-alone product, that the app is clear and that the settings do not cause a headache. And as a stand-alone camera, the EZVIZ C3X is well worth the money.
- Night vision with color
- Image quality
- Options and overview
- Nice application
- Motion detection distinguishes
- Short plug
- Google Assistant integration not working
- No 5GHz support
- No micro SD card included
- Problems with cloud service