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Review: Turcom Cyberview Mini provides security, but with limitations

Review: Turcom Cyberview Mini ...
The Turcom Cyberview Mini is designed for easy setup and use
The Turcom Cyberview Mini is designed for easy setup and use
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini in wall mount configuration
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini in wall mount configuration
The Turcom Cyberview Mini has an adjustable ball-and-socket stand
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini has an adjustable ball-and-socket stand
The Turcom Cyberview Mini has a sturdy plastic construction
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini has a sturdy plastic construction
The Turcom Cyberview Mini has eight IR LEDS
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini has eight IR LEDS
The Turcom Cyberview Mini has a high-definition camera
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini has a high-definition camera
The Turcom Cyberview Mini's rear features
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini's rear features
The Turcom Cyberview Mini's dimensions
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini's dimensions
The Turcom Cyberview Mini works with the iSecurity app
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini works with the iSecurity app
The Turcom Cyberview Mini is designed for easy setup and use
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini is designed for easy setup and use
The Turcom Cyberview Mini has Wi-Fi connectivity
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini has Wi-Fi connectivity
The Turcom Cyberview Mini uses a dedicated charger
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini uses a dedicated charger
The Turcom Cyberview Mini has an IR range of 8 meters
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini has an IR range of 8 meters
The Turcom Cyberview Mini rear view
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini rear view
The Turcom Cyberview Mini's mounting plate
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini's mounting plate
A side view of the Turcom Cyberview Mini
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A side view of the Turcom Cyberview Mini
The Turcom Cyberview Mini app
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The Turcom Cyberview Mini app

As the range of wireless home security systems broadens, the choices offered range from elaborate information centers that monitor the local environment to simple cameras designed for economy and ease of use. One example of the latter is the Turcom Cyberview Mini, which is a plug-and-play camera with an emphasis on fast setup and expandability. We plugged one in to see what it could do.

The first thing we noticed about the Cyberview Mini is that it has an all-in-one design, with no accessories out of the box aside from some molly bolts for optional wall mounting and a power cable with a refreshingly long flex. The camera has a sturdy construction with clean lines, and a built-in mounting plate in the base of the steel ball-and-socket stand for wall or ceiling mounts.

According to Turcom, the Cyberview Mini is a Wi-Fi "plug-and-play" IP camera with a high-definition 1280 x 720 pixel camera. Its 90° horizontal view and 45° vertical view is aesthetically pleasing, but it covers much too small an area to be effective even when the camera is sited at a high elevation. Eight infrared LEDs provide night vision with a choice of on, off, and automatic modes with a range of eight meters (26 ft), though the quality and evenness of the lighting leave much to be desired.

The Turcom Cyberview Mini uses a dedicated charger
The Turcom Cyberview Mini uses a dedicated charger

The setup of the Cybervision Mini is in principle very simple, though we found it quite finicky in practice. It's basically a matter of setting or mounting the camera where desired, downloading the iSecurity app from the Apple App Store of Google Play Store to a mobile device, powering up the camera, switching the camera to Wi-Fi setup mode, connecting the camera to the device, then using the app wizard to complete the process.

Turcom says that this shouldn't take more than a few minutes, but we found that it still resulted in a number of false starts, a confusing account-creation process, and difficulty in knowing when we did succeeded. In addition, we discovered that unplugging and moving the camera after setup caused it to sulk for several minutes before coming online again.

The video frame rate of 25fps is respectable and the resolution in live feeds is good, but playbacks of cloud-stored videos are slow to start and often suffer from skipping and freezing. However, the built-in speaker does provide good audio coverage with acceptable quality from such a small device, and there is a speaker for talking to people in the room, though starting the latter feature proved unreliable.

The Turcom Cyberview Mini app
The Turcom Cyberview Mini app

The iSecutiry app may not have been all it could be for setup, but in day-to-day operations we found it simple and intuitive if not always the most responsive. It may lack the features of other security systems, but it's very timely with push prompts and does what it should in pulling up images, videos, and live feeds. It also allows for multiple cameras to be added and individually configured. However, motion capture is very simple without any sort of learning algorithm and relying on a simple sensitivity setting.

In all, despite its limitations, the Turcom Cyberview Mini is a simple, robust security camera that may require some patience to set up and use, but it focuses on its main purpose: keeping a lens on the premises and doing so consistently, with a motion capture technology that can catch the smallest of movements.

It's available now, for US$90.Product page: Turcom Cyberview Mini

3 comments
nedge2k
hmmm..or...Xiaomi Small Ants for ~$30! (probably same device underneath)
Wolf0579
There's the kill-word... "account". If it isn't stand-alone capable, I'm not interested. Being tied to an 'account" suggests "billing" is in one's future.
JasonSmith
We need something like this for our shop, any serious recommendations for what this tries to do?