The LeFun C2 Baby Monitor ($45) is a solid camera for a low price and could be a worthy choice for users looking for a few basic features. The camera’s standout feature is its 350-degree pan function that is controlled from within a paired app.
There was a bit of aggravation at the start when it came to setting up LeFun’s app. (The camera itself offered no problems.) There were a few unexpected steps, including having to press the reset button to configure it (have something long and thin ready), scanning a QR code on a sticker on the bottom of the camera, and using audio from the phone to connect to the camera.
It took two complete tries before the system was set up properly. Oh, and the reset button was on the bottom of the unit, not on the back, as indicated in the instructions in the app. (These are not uncommon issues when you choose to roll the dice with a cheap Chinese brand.)
The user guide also indicates that setting the camera near your router will assist with making the initial connection for setup. There is also an option to set up via Ethernet cable (which comes in the box).
Both the LeFun camera (Amazon link) and app are fairly simple, which can be kind of refreshing to those who feel bombarded by features. Limited features include two-way talk and intelligent motion alerts (this can be turned on under settings, and users can choose to have alerts while at home, away, or both). You can also set a guest password for the system, which allows other users to watch from afar. In addition to the app, users can set up monitoring through their PC.
Users can also take photos, record video, and set motion alerts to record either through the cloud or onto an inserted SD card (not included). Recordings can also be scheduled for specific times, or to start when the user leaves home. Without the box or SD card, you can still take a snapshot from the camera, then save the photo directly to your phone.
There’s a big caveat: the product description on Amazon includes the option of cloud storage, but it is not clear how to set this up for the camera. We’d be awfully wary of signing up for cloud storage from a no-name brand regardless, so if you want that sort of feature, it’s probably best to look at another camera.
The body of the camera is a good bit larger than most, but it’s surprisingly light. The size allows for a larger range of motion, and though the camera doesn’t look particularly sleek, the simple design works.
The 720PHD camera produces high quality video and still images, both during the day and through the infrared camera. One of the most noticeable parts of the design is the large ring of infrared lights. The lights are very bright, but functional, providing clear night vision. (The red lights are bright but shouldn’t be a bother to a sleeping baby.) One noticeably missing feature on the body of the camera is a power switch — the only way to turn it off is to pull out the power cable.
The pan/tilt functions are the shining features for this camera. The pan function covers 350 degrees and the tilt function covers 100 degrees, with quick, smooth, quiet movement when adjusting from the app. Because of this range of motion, I placed the monitor in my living room so I could watch my son play while I worked in an adjoining office. The camera allowed me to quickly pan all around the room and into the kitchen to keep an eye on him.
The app has a few quirks. The volume mutes itself when you exit out of the camera screen (even just to go to the settings or other menus), so you’ll need to remember to turn it on every time if needed. I had some problems once with the volume refusing to turn on, so I had to shut down and restart the app. I ran into some with connectivity issues and camera pixelation, as well, but they seemed to be rare.
One perk that this app offers is a digital time display on the feed to help ensure that the camera is live and the feed hasn’t frozen (surprisingly, this seems to be a rare feature on many app-connected monitor systems). The display also shows the signal strength, which is nice.
According to the product description, this system uses “financial level encryption technology” that provides a safe and secure network. But again, we’d always be at least a little skeptical of an unknown brand in this regard.
Who It Might Be A Good Fit For
- Users looking for a monitor that works well in both active play areas, as well as confined sleeping areas
- Users on a budget who don’t need a lot of extra functionality
Who It Might Not Be A Good Fit For
- Users looking for a lot of features
- Users looking for a well-established brand
- Users with a 5GHz router – this system only works on 2.4GHz
LeFun’s baby monitor and app aren’t top of the line — but for the price it does a pretty good job, and it’s easy to use. Obviously, we have reservations on entrusting your baby monitoring to a no-name brand. If that’s not an issue — or if price is the most important factor — this may be worth considering.