A Wi-Fi camera brings immense peace of mind to the home security system. Not only does it keep a record of what goes on, but it also lets you assess situations from afar to know if your security system is acting properly.
The Logi Circle from Logitech is a small little orb that has some great features and fantastic ease-of-use to give you that peace of mind from anywhere. Plus, it has a free tier that makes this an easy choice for budget-conscious shoppers.
|Flexible positioning||Recording not continuous|
|Good free tier for cloud recordings||Few integrations|
|Battery option||Middling picture quality|
|Excellent night vision|
The first impression of any gadget is important, and with the Logi Circle makes sure your first impression is a good one. Once you plug in the camera and download the app, the Circle does some digital magic to connect to your Wi-Fi. No scanning QR codes or re-entering Wi-Fi passwords. It all just works.
Once you’re connected, the Circle is easily placed in the proper position. It’s small stature lets it fit in a large variety of places, and the 10-foot charging cord means finding a plug isn’t too much of an issue.
You simply screw the mounting plate to the wall (or use the included temporary 3M tape), the stick the charging cable and camera to the plate. Since the base of the camera is round, you can easily swivel the camera around to find the right placement.
One downside is that the camera view can’t be rotated. So if you put the Circle on the side of a cabinet or something, the captured footage will be oriented wrong. However, you can flip the image, so the camera works upside down, and the camera head tilts for capturing shots from above and below.
|Who it's for||Who It Might Not Be For|
|Parents or people who want to record in multiple spots around the house||Those who want a continuous recording|
|Bargain hunters who want more recording time||Smart home enthusiasts looking to add to their systems|
|First-time camera owners unsure of the benefits||People who need local backups|
However, where you mount your camera isn’t the only place it can be. Thanks to a built-in battery, you can take your Circle around the house. This is a great option if you want to keep an eye on kids when they’re in the playroom or keep an eye out for a big package delivery.
The battery lasts for about 12 hours, only recording when it senses motion. However, a lot of motion or low Wi-Fi signal can cut down that time. You’ll get an alert in your app when the battery is running low.
As with many smart home devices, the Wi-Fi cams are only as good as their apps. Luckily, the Logi Circle has a pretty good one. When you launch the app, you’re brought directly to a live view.
Highlights of the action are listed along with their times at the right, letting you easily jump to moments you want to view. These highlights are color-coded, with high activity in green and blue, and all other motion in grey. If you’ve upgraded to the paid plan, you’ll also be able to see moments that your camera captured a person.
The app is also full-featured. While there is a browser portal, most interactions are meant for the smartphone. With the app, you can set up geofences to turn the camera on when you leave and off when you get home, capture stills of live action and even build timelapses of the what happened all day.
Those timelapses are one of the biggest benefits of the Logi Circle. It’s a great way to catch up on what happened during the day and spot patterns around the house. I had my test unit set up to watch the kitchen, and it was pretty revealing how many times I swing by the fridge.
However, the app (and the simple web interface) is the only way to access the camera. It doesn’t integrate with other services, so smart home enthusiasts may want to look elsewhere. While cameras usually don’t add much to a smart home, it is nice to have access to more devices from a single app, which the Circle doesn’t support.
The Logi Circle has some great recording quality, especially at night. The 130-degree field of view lets you see a good bit of whatever room you’re recording in. You can record at 720p or 1080p quality depending on how big your room is and how much bandwidth your internet service can handle.
But nightvision may be the Circle’s strongest visual feature. With its array of six infrared LEDs, it can illuminate large spaces with enough IR light to catch fine details. While this IR light is invisible to humans, the camera can capture it for stellar black-and-white images.
However, the Circle’s mic and speaker array aren’t great. Sometimes, the mic seems to pick up interference when placed closed to routers, and the speakers (which let you project your voice from your smartphone to the camera) are quite tinny. But these features are often secondary to the main uses of a Wi-Fi camera.
Another downside is that the recordings aren’t continuous. While the Circle’s software is pretty sensitive (in a good way) to picking up motion and recording it, you can only view recordings that it deems important. This is great for building the timelapses, as it only shows the important parts of the day, but if it were to miss some movement, you’d never have a record of it.
The Logi Circle is reasonably priced for a camera of its capabilities. But its real value is the free tier. Included in the price of the camera is access to the past 24 hours of recordings stored in the cloud. That means you can review footage each night, save any bits that are important and be ready for the next day without paying anything.
However, paying for plans comes with a few benefits besides longer recording times. While the $3.99 per month plan just extends recording to 14 days, the $9.99 per month plan gives advanced person detection, motion zones to send alerts only for motion in suspicious areas and more advanced filters, along with a 31-day recording hopper.
|Storage level||1 day||14 days||31 days|
|Price||Free Of Charge||$3.99/month per camera||$ 9.99/month per camera OR $ 99.99/year per camera|
|Event and Alert filters||x|
Do We Recommend This Camera?
The Logi Circle is a great starter camera. Its flexibility, generous free tier and straightforward app make it easy to find uses for the camera. It may not offer quite as much control over what’s recorded, but I’ve yet to see a time where it doesn’t capture movement or action. However, it doesn’t have smart home integrations or wider adoption of security system protocols, so you’re left with a pretty standalone device. If you’re building a smart home with connected products, the Nest Cam or other systems may be better integrated solutions.