Flexible, unobtrusive, and with sleek apps, the Circle is a great indoor wireless CCTV camera with true wire-free functioning for up to 12-hours.
Does the Logitech Circle innovate or complicate with it’s take on indoor wireless security camera design?
Out of the box, you know Logitech are pitching for the Apple-Crowd here. Fancy packaging, little messages printed on the inserts and minimalist instructions all point towards the fancy-pants end of home CCTV.
The Logitech Circle is a pleasingly weighty little camera, not much bigger than a golf ball. The camera unit can be detached from a magnetic charging base. The base can also be fitted to a wall-mountable bracket. The Circle camera is able to slide along a horizontal axis too, giving you lots of different options for mounting.
Even before you power on the Circle camera, it is clear that there are lots of different applications for this battery-charged unit over traditional wired IP cameras. Buy a few brackets, and you can move the camera to monitor different areas of the house as needed. Lift it from the magnetic charging cable and you can place the camera any where within reach of your home Wifi.
I can really see applications like checking on the baby at night, to watching the front door in the day time, to keeping an eye on the house when on holiday. The lens is super-wide angled too, so you can catch great views even if you’re monitoring tightly packed interiors.
Logitech Circle setup suprisingly smooth
Aside from a minor hiccup using the Logitech Circle app to initialise the camera (the bluetooth range is very short, so put your phone right next to the camera), setup is easy.
Power up the camera, follow the instructions on the app and the camera will setup automatically. It’s nice to see firmware updates getting pushed by Logitech – my camera updated itself within minutes of powering up.
The app is heavily icon-driven, so it takes some trial-and-error to check all the settings. You can watch a livestream, or follow all the motion-activated clips in a timeline. Various security and resolution settings allow you to tweak the Logitech Circle behaviour to your tastes.
I did experience a few disconnects and app re-starts, but nothing too disruptive. Two-way audio on the Logitech Circle is especially good and clear, and the night-vision is capable too. The 1080p stream is not noticeably better than the 720p stream. Colours are a little washed out, but the image clarity is good enough for most home uses.
Logitech Circle – going the round the houses?
My reservations with the Logitech Circle are several-fold.
The app is fine, and you can manage the camera via a Beta browser-based service too. However, you can’t record to other sources and there’s no local backup. The Circle is entirely Cloud-driven, so if Logitech’s servers fold or your Wifi flakes out, you’re left with nothing.
The camera is also streaming content to Logitech’s servers all day, so consider this if you are on a metered internet service.
I can imagine useful applications for the battery-powered Circle. However, the battery is non-user replaceable, and the proprietary nature of the magnetic charging base means you are beholden to Logitech for repairs and accessories. I’ve yet to see a proper, portable Wifi CCTV camera with replaceable batteries, micro USB charge options AND options for recording to different target disks.
And I noted that despite nightvision and motion detection being activated, my Logitech Circle worryingly failed to trigger several times at night when people were moving around the house. Might just be my unit, but if you choose a Circle, test the night events and sensitivity trigger the camera in your home environment.
Logitech Circle – a decent all-rounder
I’d like to see other options for streaming to a local NAS or onboard memory backup. I’d like the price to be more competititive. And I’d like to see manufacturers steering away from these subscription services, and letting us choose whatever Cloud storage we want.
The Logitech Circle is such a neat package, and such a tidy design, that I’ll forgo these reservations. For 2016 and 2017, the Logitech Circle is a strong candidate for my favourite indoor wireless IP camera.