Being new parents, my wife and I are always on the lookout for new and innovative baby products. We recently received the D-Link DCS-825L Wi-Fi Baby Camera for review, and we are absolutely floored by the 720p HD video quality along with the number of features jam-packed into this little camera. The DCS-825L retails for $179.99.
The D-Link DCS-825L records in 720p HD, has sound and motion detection and can alert you instantly for either one. The camera has clear color vision during the day and clear night vision when it’s dark. You can view the camera feed from anywhere, including your iPhone or iPad, Android phone or tablet, or PC. The camera feed shows you the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit, and there is an LED display for temperature on the top of the camera that displays red for too hot, blue for too cold, or green for “just right.”
You can also play lullabies to your baby wirelessly, whether it’s one of the five pre-programmed lullabies or one of the music files you loaded onto a microSD card that you can insert into the camera. Speaking of audio, there is also the option of 2-way audio, meaning you can hear your baby as well as talk to them through your mobile device’s microphone. You can also pinch-to-zoom on your mobile device, so you can zoom in to see if your baby may have dropped his or her pacifier or has spit up.
The DCS-825L is also fairly customizable, physically. It comes with both pink AND blue accent rings, so you can change the look of the camera depending on your preference. It also comes with two different mounts: One is a tabletop-type mount that is used if you’re putting your camera on a flat surface, the other is a wall mount that easily attaches to a wall and allows the camera to be aimed any which way. The tabletop mount is simply a disc with an inset ring at the top that holds your round camera snug inside its semi-sticky holster. The camera can be rotated or tilted any way you want in this mount. The wall mount is an arm that is screwed into the camera and can be turned and tilted very easily. It comes with a cover plate that hides the screws used to attach it to the wall.
The DCS-825L camera itself is a very attractive device; it’s perfectly round, with four buttons on top and a cute little tail-type antenna. On top of the camera is a round LED light that works as a temperature sensor, as I previously mentioned. From left to right, the four buttons perform the following functions: music on/off, volume down, volume up, and power on/off. The front of the camera houses the lens with a manual rotating focus ring. The back of the camera houses the speakers as well as the microUSB power port and microSD card slot. The microSD card slot is used to both house music files to play to your baby or act as a nanny-cam and record video when motion or sound is detected. The underside of the camera houses the reset button, LED power indicator, and LED cloud connectivity indicator. Also on the bottom is the threaded mount to attach to the wall mount.
Throughout my testing, I was increasingly impressed by the video quality as well as audio quality that the D-Link DCS-825L puts out. The color video is crisp and clear while the nighttime video is as clear as you can get with very little light in the room. The audio is clear, although slightly delayed, as you’d expect. The temperature sensor is a very handy feature, as a lot of parents worry that their baby’s room is either too hot or too cold. The motion and sound detection is another nice feature, because the app will alert you when there is motion or crying, even if you’re not watching the video feed.
The setup and installation of the DCS-825L was extremely easy, since you just install the app, connect to the camera’s Wi-Fi network, then patch the camera into your home’s Wi-Fi network, connect the app to the camera, and away you go. I included some screenshots of the installation process in the slideshow, below.
D-Link’s Baby Camera Monitor app works very well when you’re viewing the video feed and installing the camera. However, I did run into some hang-ups while going through the settings screens. Something that I love about the app is that even if you switch to another app or even lock your phone, you can still hear the audio coming from your baby’s room though your phone or tablet. I was worried that you’d have to keep your phone on and focused on the baby monitor app in order to keep track of your baby, but that’s not the case here. I do think that this product could benefit from an optional dedicated monitor, though, so you have the option of using the monitor when you don’t want to use your phone or tablet.
Overall, I am exceedingly impressed with the DCS-825L and would recommend it to anyone who is in the market for a WiFi baby monitor. The audio and video is crisp and clear and there are a number of useful features that give this camera a lift above other devices in this genre. This baby monitor is missing some features that others have, including auto-focus or mechanized movement of the camera, but if you don’t plan on moving the camera much, you won’t miss those features.
You can purchase the D-Link DCS-825L Wi-Fi Baby Camera directly from D-Link for $179.99.
Source: The D-Link DCS-825L Wi-Fi Baby Camera was provided to me as a review sample by the manufacturer.
What I Like: Excellent video/audio quality; Premier Features; Customizable with pink or blue accents; Multiple mounting options.
What Needs Improvement: App could use some improvement; Focus is manual; Cannot turn camera via app, must move manually.