'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
The Vacos security camera looks unlike most of the other outdoor security cameras I have reviewed. Egg-shaped and compact, it looks like an indoor security camera. However, this camera can be situated anywhere.
it comes with a great fixing. The mounting bracket is a strong magnet which securely fixes to the camera body. However, you must make sure that you situate the camera at a suitable height so that it can not easily be grabbed from its mounting.
This camera does not need an external SD card – but comes with 16GB eMMC internal storage. You can also connect to the cloud storage option, which, after 90 days of free use, costs $2 per month for on-going cloud services.
The Vacos has a 6700mAh battery which will power the camera for several months without a recharge. There is also the option to buy an additional solar panel charger for the camera.
The camera has a resolution of 1920 x 1080px and a field of view of 120 degrees. Its night vision is provided by Sony IMX 307 which will deliver fairly good images in pitch darkness at a range of up to 10 metres away.
It also has AI detection for recognising humans when they come into the cameras field of view. However, I found that the camera triggered alerts overnight when there were no humans around, and it regularly triggered a video recording as the cat moved across its field of view.
I found it really difficult to connect to the camera using Wi-Fi. I tried to connect using three different Android phones. The camera would not read the QR code on the app, no matter which angle and whatever distance I held the QR code and phone.
Only after contacting Vacos, and receiving some hints from support, did I successfully connect to the app.
The camera will only connect to your mobile device over 2.4GHz – like most other smart devices. It needs to be close to the Wi-Fi router – which must have DHCP enabled on the router.
Furthermore the SSID network name must not be too complicated. Vacos recommends that the SSID name is less than 10 digits as a more complicated router makes the QR code harder to be recognised.This information is not in the user guide so you might get frustrated trying to connect to your device.
The company sent a helpful video showing how to connect to the camera – but this video showed the user even had challenges connecting quickly using the QR code.
In contrast the Reolink security cameras connect almost instantly and its app has several features for managing the camera – unlike the Vacos app.
Once connected to WiFi, in the Vacos app, there are few configuration options. You can not set any time when the PIR or recording is disabled, nor could I find any way to configure the siren. The camera will record sound, but in playback the sound is distorted.
When I disconnected the camera from its external bracket and left it in the office overnight, the camera periodically recorded short videos of my bookcase overnight. There was absolutely no movement for the camera to detect.
All in all, this is a well built camera with a decent amount of on-board storage, and an innovative look and feel.
The app, however needs a considerable amount of work before the Vacos camera can compete with the likes of Soliom, Netvue, and Reolink. But for under $110 the Vacos is a well built security camera to watch over your property.