Sunday, June 08, 2014

Watchbot 3.0 CCTV Camera Review

How many times do you need 6 pairs of eyes; to watch the kids, the baby, the dog and your back garden, the car or your business for security purposes.
I am really excited about bringing this feature packed Watchbot 3.0 review for you all today; as we all want to protect the things we love and with our busy lifestyles its impossible to watch everything all the time.
So when Watchbot offered me the opportunity to review one of their latest cameras I was over the moon.

With Watchbot's simple wireless plug and play technology you can have affordable peace of mind.


 Its small and packed to the brim with fantastic features.

Now most of you have heard of cameras that you can watch on your computer via wifi; but with Watchbot 3.0 you can now keep an eye on the things you love from 
anywhere...yes I did say anywhere in the world  using your smartphone or tablet!
Doncha just love technology!
Read on its really a fascinating piece of technology.
Im actually raving about this clever little camera its something that can be used in so many ways and the more you read about Watchbot the more clever things you discover it can do, so Ill...take a breath...and get on with it ;-)



Packaging
My Watchbot 3.0 arrived quickly in a solid thick cardboard box, the outside explains all the exciting features of this clever camera; ideal as a gift for someone.

 The Watchbot is extremely well packaged inside foam.

Inside everything is separately packaged to find it quickly and easily.

  • Watchbot camera,
  • DC power supply,
  • Wall mounting kit,
  • Alarm connection adapter,
  • Network cable,
  • Set-up CD,
  • User guide.

 You have to admit what a beautifully sleek modern design it has.
I adore the gorgeous sky blue colour of our watchbot, it also comes in black too. It has 10 infa-red LEDs and the video sensor at the top; above the main camera lens in the middle. You can see how the camera will swivel up and down and side to side within its solid holder.

 At the back is where it all happens. You can see the wifi antennae which can swivel to any angle.

 Here you have the speaker at the top (small holes), DC 5 volt power input right above the Micro SD card slot.


This side we have an audio out to add an external speaker and the large square connector is for the ethernet cable.

The bottom of the Watchbot has several ways to secure your watchbot.
  • 4 rubber feet for when standing on a shelf etc,
  •  2 screw holes to slide it straight onto 2 screws on a wall.
  • A central screw hole for the wall mounting bracket supplied. Or a tripod (see below).
The central screw hole is to screw in the wall attachment supplied so you can have it neatly on any wall at an angle to suit you. It also enables you to face it at any direction.

Its well designed and will fit neatly to the wall.

 We have mounted it in my window frame so not only can I keep an eye on my elderly dog sleeping in my library but turn it all the way round to watch outside at night using infra red. Doesnt it look amazing too....its perfect!


Description
The Watchbot 3.0 is a 90mm x 110mm (plus antennae is 120mm) modern design security camera, .

 It really is a pretty camera compared to others on the market and is a pleasure to look at. Here it is with our cheapy Tenvis which we bought to compare the quality of this gorgeous Watchbot.

It combines a high quality digital video camera with network connectivity. This CCTV camera gives you the freedom to remotely view whats important from the next room or thousands of miles away.
Monitor your home while at work, check on the baby without having to go in their room and wake them up; protect elderly relatives, your pets, the car or your business at night while your at home. The ideas are endless what you can use it for. What I do know is that you will be using this for so many different things you may want more than one.

Set up your Watchbot wirelessly and view on your smartphone, tablet or PC. Enjoy two-way audio communication with your Watchbot...yes I did say you can actually....speak or listen to your baby or pet via the Watchbot its just genius.
Control your camera via the Watchbot app with pan and tilt, up and down, left and right to view the surroundings better. At the same time you can snap a photo or record the whole thing on its onboard SD card or connected PC.
With night vision and visibility of up to 5 meters in the dark you wont miss a thing.
Setup a motion triggered sensor and it will email you when its alarm is set off with screen shots to your smartphone using the dedicated app. So you can use the footage as evidence if needed. It can even record without being connected to the internet.


Use
As a techie family we have been using security cameras for a few years now as we live in the middle of nowhere and have them for safety and for me to watch the local wildlife. 

But none of ours are as technically advanced as the Watchbot or as pretty. here are just a few spare ones we have, not including the ones we have fitted outside already.

So your probably thinking it must be a nightmare to set up; those of you that are not technically savvy stop panicking...its easy...don't worry!

Starting up
You only need to do 3 things, plug in the Watchbots power supply and connect the camera to a spare port on your router ADSL (square plug). Next pop in the mini CD from the box and follow its installation instructions on the software.




TIP: Before you can use your Watchbot to its full potential you have to set it up wired in using ethernet first of all; once setup you can then go onto set up wifi.

We did initially have a few teething problems my other half put it up on his PC first and found a few teething problems; but that may have been his computer being strict with anti-virus software this can be a pain when trying to configure new software. Once he set it up on my PC it uploaded with no problems.


The software provided is fairly self explanatory once loaded in, the top lefthand circle allows you to control the left, rights and up and downs, below here you also have the audio settings, infa-red on/off, alarm and record settings to set up to suit you.


When the Watchbot was hard wired in it was super easy to set up but when we tried to configure it to wireless settings thats where we ran into a few problems; but again it could have been our anti-virus software. We also ran into a few administrator problems.
Once configured as long as you can plug in your Watchbot to power it remember to change your password and admin name. You can then move it around the home or your business safely untethered. You can even use a power bank to keep it powered if you have the adapter...but that's another review!
Have it on a long extension cable while enjoying a family barbeque videoing your family's fun.
We even tried it outside to video the garden using an extension lead to power the Watchbot itself. So this really gives you extra alternatives of different ways to use your camera.




Using the Watchbot Pro App
Watchbot have thought of everything just use the QR code on the quick start guide and it takes you straight to its setting up page with all the correct Watchbot ID.
For me once I had downloaded the app to both my phone and tablet I was away, as it had previously been setup on the main PC first. I was viewing on the screen straight away. It was so easy to use and self explanatory.

The Watchbot Pro Lite App is so easy to use and navigate through the camera settings Change direction or just look around from wherever you are, turn infra-red on or off listen to its surroundings and talk through its built in speaker. I still find this incredible technology.
Be aware you cannot save or share any videos or photos with this Lite version. You need to purchase the £4.99 Watchbot Pro version only if your planning on sharing your footage via PC etc.

 This is a photo of my library in live time.
Its so easy to use the app; you can see the the icons at the bottom camera to take a snapshot, to video simply press on/off to record. Sound in the middle enables you to communicate with whoever is near the Watchbot, Infra-red on/off and turn full circle to look round.
Plus you simply press the up and down, left and right green arrows to control the camera.


Here it is being viewed on both my smartphone and my Nexus 10 at the sametime. It doesn't look as nice quality on my Nexus as its a bigger screen it comes over more pixelated; but its easier to navigate the camera than the smaller screen of the phone, so its really personal choice as to what you prefer using.

To be honest the video quality isn't great but the fact you can do so many other things with it makes it such great technology. The infa-red sensors gives really clear footage at night it looks almost daylight. This is excellent quality, its our best camera for night time infra-red viewing within the home.
The fact you have a live video feed and able to control it from anywhere in the world is just amazing. The motion sensor is just fantastic in that once set up as soon as it senses anything will email a series of photos to your phone which you can then use as evidence should you need it.
The communication side of things is a real bonus, to be able to talk to whoever is near the watchbot.

For us its been invaluable as we have an elderly dog who we have been a bit concerned about leaving as he has so many health problems. Now if we both have to go out we can keep regular checks on him via my smart phone and get home immediately if anything was wrong.

Tip: If you have WPA encryption you may experience a few problems. Watchbot works better with WEP. So if your having problems try swapping over. We didn't have any of these problems thank goodness.

Niggling problems
Wev'e had a few niggling problems as this review has been a long time coming which is why I have had to complete a written review rather than a video review. I have to apologize as I wanted to give you some actual video footage but the videos the Watchbot App recorded onto my S4 were saved on the Lite Version and my phone couldn't actually play them all for some reason only about half of them.
I have since found you cannot however save or share your videos with the Watchbot Lite version, you need to purchase the £4.99 version. I discovered this the hard way as it doesn't tell you this anywhere. It should explain this on the app itself before downloading and on the box before purchasing.
I have since downloaded the £4.99 app and I have found I still cannot use any of the video footage I have taken while using the Lite version for this review and believe me I took alot over a full 4 weeks. So I have to take it all again...sigh! So Ill be posting my video footage at a later date added to this review.

Sound
You can listen in to the area or speak to your baby, dog or whoever is in the room from your phone or tablet via the Watchbot this is just genius. However we did find for us it has given us awful screechy speaker feedback, it was almost impossible to hear what is being said. I think we need to use an external speaker and once this has been sorted it will be fine.


Opinion
Im not sure where to start as the technology is so advanced and this camera has everything you could ever need in a security or baby cam.
I can vouch and I hope you can believe me when I say it all works beautifully; despite our own teething problems. To be able to access your home via this Watchbot 3.0 from anywhere in the world at anytime is just incredible. The video footage isn't the best however; but our cottage is fairly dark.
Ive seen other reviewers with brighter homes and their footage is much lighter and clearer; but you still can see everything perfectly and hear everything going on within the vicinity of the Watchbot. I can even hear my parrot chatting away and my dog snoring his head off which is fantastic.
The night time Infra-red is just brilliant it looks almost daylight in absolutely pitch black.
I can record from anywhere straight on my S4; then keep and view my video footage on the phone for future use and viewing.
I can control the camera to look around the room from over a 100 miles away or just from the next room. Ideal if you have a baby and want to check on them but don't want to wake them by going in the room. Plus the fact you can snap screen shots whenever you want to is a huge bonus.
A vital piece of technology is the fact it has a motion sensor and this clever Watchbot will email you when it senses something wherever you are in the world. It emails you the images it has taken so you can take appropriate action. Get home fast, call the police or use the footage as evidence...just genius.
View and control from any internet connected device!
All in all its a breeze to set up especially on your mobile devices; I personally prefer accessing the Watchbot from the App than my PC but its fantastic to have the option. Plus the fact of being able to move the camera around the home once you have hardwired it in. But it still needs its power source; you cant just pick it up and place it anywhere; you need a nearby plug to keep the camera powered.
View whats important to you anytime and anywhere!
Update; I will be updating this review with added video footage at a later date. But for now take my word that this is one hell of a video camera.

Pro's
  • High Speed video processor,
  • Plug and play setting up,
  • Control your camera from any of your devices with the App, 
  • 24 hour security, 
  • Schedule regular recordings ie; when your away or gone home etc,
  • Infra red night vision with a range of 3-5m,
  • Multi-users management,
  • Motion sensor and alarm- images emailed to you directly,
  • Video from your device,
  • Take snapshots from your device,
  • Record directly to SD card from your Watchbot, 
  • Upto 9 cameras can be attached at 1 time. 

Con's
  • With the audio we had deafening sound feedback...will update later on,
  • Cannot use recorded footage at the moment, only able to view on device which is fine with us...will update later.
  • You have to purchase the full paid app to save and share your video footage. I feel this should be free!



You can buy your Watchbot 3.0 directly from Watchbot or
from Amazon UK
£112.94


All my thanks goes to Watchbot for kindly sending me this amazing camera for this review.
All my views and opinions are my own.












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