Just over 2 years ago I purchased some plucky little security cameras from Neos on Amazon, they were priced at a very reasonable £20 and required no subscription to operate. Fast forward to today and the picture isn’t as good as I’d hoped it could have been.
Subscription based cameras seem a little crooked to me, you’re typically buying expensive hardware to be told you must pay monthly to access the most useful features; Neos originally advertised themselves as the subscription free option but this changed.
It would be unfair to criticize Neos too much on the change to a subscription service; they maintained their promise with the very basic functions including remote access to the live feed staying free but, if you wanted motion zones, longer clips and scheduling you would have to purchase Neos Boost (Boost | Neos SmartCam).
I used Boost for about 6 months before turning it off, I found that it wasn’t worth the money and should I want longer clips, I could just access the SD card when I got home. The sad truth though is that Boost is a bit of scam; Neos cameras are the same basic hardware as the Wyze brand cameras available in America with the only difference being the firmware each company chose to apply. Wyze have opted to keep their cameras at a low price but also provide all the features that Neos Boost offers, free of charge.
This leads me on to my next gripe with Neos – the price. The cameras are now priced at £29.99 which is a £10.00 increase on the original price, for that extra £10 you get absolutely nothing new. When you compare this to Wyze, it becomes very obvious Neos has fallen behind in the technology race; Wyze are now offering Version 3 of their camera which not only has AI detection (Pets, People, Objects) but is also waterproof allowing indoor and outdoor use. These are the updates I would be willing to pay for.
My final gripe is the software, it really is poor. When the cameras were £19.99 and they first came out they worked excellently – GPS zoning worked without fault and cameras rarely dropped their internet connection. With each update that has rolled out I have noted that on iOS at least, we’re often left with cameras that fail to disarm leaving us with dozens of notifications. This isn’t too much of a problem as you can disarm from the app with a quick click however, this error extended to arming too, there was a period of months (not days or weeks) where we would leave the house and the cameras never armed. On contacting the helpdesk (who were always polite) we were always told this bug would be fixed in the next app update due shortly. It got very tiresome hearing that.
There are some positive notes though, for example – the water sensor they released has been a very welcome addition to our home technology. When we moved in we found our sink leaked and that our baths overflow wasn’t connected to anything. These sensors have saved us from expensive bills. The door and motion sensors are less exciting, doing their job but they really could do with more functionality, maybe the ability to trigger certain cameras to record. I do feel the pricing for sensors is a little steep but it does depend on the value you assign to the safety they provide.
Right now I feel that Neos has become stale, failing to keep up with the security market. There is still no Google Home integration which was promised to many of the users on their community forums, a weatherproof outdoor camera is noticeably absent from the range and finally, the price is now too high for what is offered.
I’ll leave you with a recommendation – spend a little more and invest in Eufy by Anker. The Doorbell they provide is amazing and unlike all the other companies, is subscription free. They also provide excellent cameras including:
- Fixed Angle Indoor cameras
- 360 Degree Indoor cameras
- Outdoor, weatherproof cameras
- Security light cameras
I’ll be posting up a new video in the next month clarifying all of this.