Le IP cameras, therefore conceived for video surveillance, they are an almost indispensable addition to protect your home from unwanted visits. But, especially when it comes to outdoor cameras, the presence of power cables can be annoying. The company IMOU he solved it by throwing his own Cell 2, a wireless security cameraequipped with a built-in battery, all combined with a very good one 2K resolution. On paper this IMOU Cell 2 looks really fantastic but let’s find out in this review how it performs in the field.
IMOU Cell 2 review: completely wireless
IMOU Cell 2 is a wireless IP camera with a very sober aesthetic: it takes the form of a block, rather solid and heavy, available in white or black color. The body houses the resolution lens 2K, a rather powerful light that allows you to illuminate the scene, a status LED and grids for the speakers and the microphone. Grids are for being able to speak through the camera and record ambient soundsas well as for the reproduction of a kind of siren alarm that can be triggered when motion is detected. On the back we find, hidden by a rubber that allows this Cell 2 to be waterproof, a charging socket. Unfortunately it is one microUSB and not a USB-C, but charging happens pretty fast.
In the package, in addition to the device, there is a 360 degree wall mount, with dowels to be able to hang it on the wall firmly; a charging cable and the removable battery to insert into the camera. There is also one microSD da 32GB to be able to save the movies locally: we were pleasantly surprised by this, since usually the external memories are to be purchased separately.
The key features of this IMOU Cell 2, which make it a concrete alternative to the classic IP cameras constantly powered, are the 2K resolution for excellent quality videos; motion detection also through Artificial Intelligence; Dual band Wi-Fi, therefore also at 5GHz; night vision in both black and white and color and two-way audio. Obviously, being designed for outdoor environments, it is also resistant to bad weather thanks to the IP65 certification.
The 2K resolution is noticeable
The camera supports resolution QHDthen 2K, a 4MP. The consequence is that the videos saved by this IMOU Cell 2 are really valid, with gods details additional to classic 1080p footage from other cameras. All this is useful for capturing useful details for the purpose of surveillance, such as the face of an intruder approaching his home.
The video quality is also great at night and you can choose between two modes. In fact the device is equipped with the classic infrared sensorto generate black and white video at night, but also of an integrated LED spotlight that allows you to record video in color. From the application settings it is possible to set the infrared night vision, the color one or the intelligent one that turns on the LED spotlight only in case of motion detection. This saves the battery of the camera, since it is a wireless device and therefore not constantly powered. In any case, the spotlight is bright enough to obtain high quality images.
Also the audio is very good, not muffled and quite clear. This is useful for capturing ambient sounds or voices outside the home. Given that the audio is bidirectional, it is possible to use the camera positioned near the entrance door as a kind of video intercom, to communicate to the guest and hear their answers. Among the features of the camera we then find the possibility of activating one siren with different volume settings: the siren is quite loud and does its job well.
IMOU Cell 2 review: motion detection
So far, in our review, we have only listed the great advantages of this one IMOU Cell 2, but unfortunately it is not free from some more or less important defects depending on the use made of it. One of these concerns the motion detection.
Taking a step back, it is vital to note that this device is not equipped with continuous recording, then it will save individual videos as soon as motion is detected in front of the sensor. This feature is important for preserve battery life: Continuous recording would drain the camera too quickly.
Consequently the user can choose between two types of detection: any movement, or when a person is detected. Furthermore, if you have subscribed to IMOU’s paid service, you can also activate the tracking via artificial intelligencewhich allows you to receive notifications when a person, animal, vehicle or package is detected in the action zone.
In all cases it is possible to program the times in which the camera must detect movements, the detection sensitivity and the active area. The last option allows you to “mask” a portion of the frame so that it does not activate notifications: it can be useful if there is a tree in the area framed by the camera that can trigger notifications when its leaves move.
An important compromise?
The previously anticipated defect concerns the readiness of the surveillance camera when it has to record a video. Being battery powered, the Cell 2 remains in sleep mode until motion is detected. The consequence is that the saved videos always have a delay of a couple of seconds since the movement actually started, as the camera is still starting up at that instant.
In our case, for the review, we placed the IMOU Cell 2 in front of the front door, with a shot that covers a portion of the stairs. In all of the times Cell 2 has correctly detected the presence of a person, but the saved videos always have a delay of about 1-2 seconds by cutting the starting part of the scene, that is when the person is still on the stairs.
This is a feature present in practically all battery-powered cameras: it is impossible to get decent autonomy without putting the device into standby. If it is essential for you to obtain very precise videos, we recommend that you rely on wired cameras, such as the Bullet series of IMOU.
Speaking of autonomy
The company claims an autonomy of six months on a single charge, but states that the test was conducted in “laboratory conditions”. Battery life of course it depends on many factors: the frequency with which movements occur, the duration of the individual movements; the resolution set and obviously the external temperature to which the camera is subjected.
We have tested this IMOU Cell 2 by leaving the detection active for any type of movement, with QHD resolution, recording time up to 120s; unlimited detection range and maximum sensitivity. With an average of 30 detections per day, the battery dropped by about 40% in one monthmaking us think with this intense use cover two months or so without problems. Obviously, with more sensible and less energy-intensive detection parameters, or by activating the energy saving mode, you will be able to easily approach the time declared by the company. Furthermore, recharging occurs rather quickly, allowing you to be back at full capacity in less than an hour.
IMOU Cell 2 review: a well done app
The application is the control center through which all camera settings are changed and saved videos are viewed. The app is really well done and, right from the initial configuration, it didn’t give us any problems. You can, at a glance, access the live stream of the device, as well as activate the light, siren, microphone or record a video. In the settings then we find the charge level, the parameters that can be set regarding detection and notifications; local storage – via 32GB microSD – the operating mode; settings regarding night vision and many other criteria.
Also through the application it is possible to subscribe to the plan IMOU Protect. It is a subscription premium which adds some features to your camera. It is available in two versions, Basic e Plusand provides the following features.
Imou Protect Basicat the cost of € 2.25 per month per camera or € 7.33 per month for 5 cameras:
- 7 days of cloud storage: all recordings are saved, as well as on the microSD card, in the cloud for seven days;
- It allows to download the recordings from the SD card;
- Sharing the device with 10 users;
- Daily safety report;
Imou Protect Plusat the cost of 5.25 € per month per camera or € 16.67 per month for 5 cameras:
- 30 days of cloud storage;
- Allows you to download recordings from the SD card;
- Detection via artificial intelligence;
- Daily safety report;
- Sharing your device with 20 users;
IMOU Cell 2: buy it or not
This surveillance camera has one really good video qualitywith a resolution 2K full of details and optimal colors. Me too‘captured audio is excellent, therefore useful for ambient noises and for conversations, considering that it is also …