If you’re looking for a camera that’s small enough to fit in your pocket and is also small in price, the Tend Secure Lynx Indoor camera might be for you. Retailing for $60, the Lynx comes with many of the same features more expensive cameras have, but at a much lower cost.
How It Works
The Lynx Indoor comes with a few parts including the camera, the base, mounting hardware, and power cord. You can put the camera on the base and set it on a flat surface or mount it to the wall.
You’ll need a high-speed, Wi-Fi internet connection and a compatible device to run this camera. The Tend app that comes with the Lynx Indoor camera is available for iOS and Android. One feature the Lynx Indoor is missing is the ability to integrate with smart home systems, which might be a deal breaker for some people.
Setting up the camera and app was easy. You will need to download the app and follow the instructions. There are minimal steps with this set-up, so I was at the home screen in less than 10 minutes.
I placed my camera on the countertop in my kitchen rather than mounting it. The camera slides easily into the base. But since there’s no locking system to hold it in place, it’s really easy to pull the camera on and off the base. My son thought it was great fun to take the camera on and off the base, so if you have kids, you might want to put it up high where they can’t reach it.
The Lynx Indoor comes with two-way audio, which has become a standard feature on many cameras. This is a plus for people with kids and pets since it allows you to communicate through the app. I was actually surprised by how clear the audio was.
The 1080p HD resolution captures clear images with minimal blurring. The field of viewing is 120 degrees, which is standard for most cameras. However, after testing the Arlo Q — which has a 130-degree viewing angle — I’m finding the extra 10 degrees makes a difference in my house. If you have a small apartment, the 120-degree field of view should be fine. But if you have a larger space you want to monitor, the Lynx may not be the right fit.
The Lynx Indoor takes clear night vision images and clips. I was able to see my husband locking the door at night, and my kids sneaking Valentine’s candy while I was at the gym. If an intruder came through our door at nighttime, I’m confident the image would be clear. Plus, it comes with facial recognition, which is not a common feature in most cameras.
Just like the setup process, learning the app features was also easy. The Tend app has limited features, so it shouldn’t take you long to figure everything out.
You go right to a live video feed of the room you’re monitoring. From this screen, you can set motion detection, which allows you to schedule notifications. On the bottom of the main page are three icons: home screen, events, and app settings. When you click on the middle icon, it takes you to a screen that shows you all of the recorded clips (“events”) for the day. From this screen, you have the ability to click on a particular recorded clip, watch/listen to it, and download the clip to your phone.
If you want to choose a certain day, you click on the calendar icon at the top of the “events” screen and it takes you to a screen with all of the dates the app has recorded clips. It also tells you how many clips are recorded on each day.
Alerts or notifications are sent to your smartphone or tablet through the app so you can see exactly what caused the alert and decide how to respond. You can then download any clips you want to save onto your phone. There’s about a two to three-second difference between lag time and real time on the video and audio feed.
One of the main features of the Lynx Indoor is facial recognition. Before you start using the camera, you can create profiles in the app by adding photos of people you want the camera to recognize. You can use a picture from your own library, take one with your phone via the app, or use one of the images Lynx has captured.
The face recognition feature on the app can differentiate between people you know and don’t know, allowing you to spot an intruder (or your daughter’s boyfriend) from the quick notifications the app sends.
It’s important to note that you need to be close to the camera for it to recognize the face. After it failed to recognize my son’s profile pictures, I had him walk about 5 feet in front of the camera and then it worked. The maximum range in our house seemed to be about 5 to 10 feet away from the camera.
The more the camera captures your face, the better it gets at identifying that person and sending you accurate notifications. It’s a nice feature, but it probably won’t persuade you to buy the camera on its own.
In addition to having an affordable sticker price, the Lynx Indoor/Tend app also saves users money by providing all of the basic services for free. Unlike many other cameras, the app doesn’t come with a paid subscription service. (Most cameras come with a basic app service that is free but requires users to pay an additional monthly charge to access premium features.)
The Lynx Indoor comes with free cloud storage for seven days. If you want more storage, Tend offers a 30-day cloud storage plan for $10/month.
The camera and app are relatively easy to use once you get it set up. It might take some time for the camera to recognize and send the correct facial recognition notifications based on the profiles you create. The features are basic and “what you see is what you get.” In other words, if you’re looking for a camera that has a lot of bells and whistles, this is not the product for you.
Who It Might Be Good For
- Users looking for a very affordable camera
- Users looking for a camera with facial recognition
- Users looking for a camera with 7 days of free cloud storage
Who It Might Not Be Good For
- Users looking for a camera that integrates with smart home systems
- Users with a poor Wi-Fi connection
- Users looking for premium features that come with other cameras and apps
- Users looking for an app that lets you define motion zones
The Lynx Indoor camera offers basic coverage for users who are looking for a simple indoor camera with facial recognition, and it works well for the price. Anyone looking for something more advanced likely won’t be interested in Lynx Indoor in the first place.