The Samsung BrightVIEW stands out in the baby monitor market because of a crisp touchscreen display on the monitor unit. A single camera generally retails for $180, and up to four cameras can pair with the monitor.
The BrightVIEW requires almost zero physical setup (unless you’re mounting to the wall). The battery came already installed, and a user only needs to pull the protective plastic tab out to get it to connect.
That, however, is the only part of the setup that I found to be intuitive. The power button requires a long hold to turn on and off (the screen takes approximately five seconds of holding to turn the display screen on, and another four seconds before it transitions from the Samsung logo to the active camera view), which isn’t obvious or indicated in the manual. The camera and monitor come already paired, which saves one more step during setup.
The camera end of the duo is great and easy to use. It has the same basic functionality of most other monitor cameras, with a 1280×720 resolution. It also has a small night light on the top that is easy to switch on and off with a gentle press.
The touchscreen, on the other hand, can take a bit of getting used to, especially if you’ve used monitors that have external controls/buttons on them. The responsiveness leaves much to be desired, because the touchscreen needs to be pressed hard enough to connect the screen with the unit — this feels nothing like the touchscreen on your phone or tablet. It can be difficult to find the balance between hard pressing the screen to initiate an action and pressing so hard or long that you overshoot the function (like panning too far or zooming in too much).
This monitor has some attractive features, but the frustration from trying to use the touchscreen somewhat overwhelms all of the other positives.
The interface on the monitor is user friendly and the graphics on the settings menu are really cute. The display includes signal strength, a digital clock, sound level indicator, battery level, and easy access to the two-way talk feature (without having to scroll through the menu).
Features on this monitor that aren’t standard or seen as often on other monitors include the night light that clicks on and off easily as needed, and a speaker that gives users the option of playing lullabies to help baby to sleep (the lullaby rotates through four songs, though there is no volume control for it). There’s also a feature for a feed timer. While this feature won’t be necessary forever, it’s a pretty nice tool to have. However, there’s no easy way to set the timer — it’s a lot of pressing on the not-so-responsive touchscreen when you could just set an alarm on your phone.
One extra drawback: I noticed the camera unit can get warm to the touch after being on for a while, which can be fairly disconcerting. I haven’t had this problem with other cameras, and though it likely won’t get hot enough to cause injury or a fire, I worry about the lifespan of the product if it always gets hot.
On the plus side, the camera can be moved around quite easily if not mounted, and the monitor is portable, too. A fairly strong signal and belt clip make it very easy to move around and keep active while baby is sleeping. The option for an alert upon moving or noise in the settings also means you don’t have to be on top of your monitor every second. Both camera and monitor use the same power adapter.
The camera’s voice activated (VOX) mode has some really great selling points. It allows users to adjust the audio sensitivity on the camera, turning the monitor on from sleep mode with either the slightest rustle or a loud cry, depending on preference. There is also the option to operate in audio-only mode or continuous video and audio mode. As someone who likes to keep eyes and ears on my baby at all times, I like the continuous mode. What I don’t like is that VOX mode switches back to the default low sound level detection when you turn it off, rather than remaining on the setting that you left it on.
The Samsung BrightVIEW runs on a secure, dedicated 2.4GHz frequency that the company claims is secure and free from interference.
Who It Might Be A Good Fit For
- Users who keep busy and move about a lot during baby’s downtime
- Users seeking a more established name brand
Who It Might Not Be A Good Fit For
- Users who may become frustrated with the tricky touchscreen monitor
- Users who want to monitor their child while away from home
The Samsung BrightVIEW is a mixed bag. Though you can use it quickly straight out of the box, there is a learning curve — and some definite frustration — with the sensitivity of the monitor’s touchscreen. Because it has a nice camera, another version of this monitor with an analog control system or an improved touchscreen would be preferable to this model.