Ask five people to define home security and you’ll likely get five different answers. Each of us has a different idea as to what peace of mind and security means. Moreover, each of us has our own respective budgets to work with, too.

Brands like Nest, Honeywell, and Ring offer excellent products but they can get pretty costly. And while they do tend to integrate nicely with smart homes, not everyone needs that.

Fortunately, we no longer need to spend hundreds of dollars up front, or subscribe to monthly plans, to keep an eye on things. Thanks to brands like ANNKE we can dip our toes into the water instead of diving headfirst.

The ANNKE HD Smart Wireless PT Camera is an example of a smart camera that doesn’t cost all that much (about $30) yet provides the fundamentals of home security.

What is the HD Smart Wireless PT Camera?

A camera capable of recording pictures and video in HD (1280 x 720) resolution, the unit offers up a 60.5-degree wide-angle picture with two-way audio. Users can speak to the camera and have their voice heard or drop in on it to listen or monitor the environment.

The best way to describe the size of the camera is to imagine a baseball sitting on top of a Google Home Mini. Lightweight to be sure, it can sit flat on any surface or mount to a wall via the included attachment pieces.

What’s in the box?

  • 2MP HD WIFI Security Camera
  • USB Power Adapter
  • Ethernet Cable
  • Mounting Bracket
  • Mounting Screws and Plugs

What’s setup like?

Given that ANNKE is a Chinese brand there are a few spots where things appear to be translated a little bit rough. We saw this in the mobile app and user manual but nothing to the point of confusion.

The whole process of taking it out of the box and setting it up takes about 5-7 minutes. You can’t connect it to a 5GHz Wi-Fi network but you can directly connect to an Ethernet port. We installed ours onto an Eero network by typing in the credentials and then letting the phone broadcast an audio tone to the camera. From there it’s a matter of moments as it talks to the network and servers.

What does the ANNKE HD Smart Wireless PT Camera do?

In short, it’s an unobtrusive camera that you can check from your phone any time you like. Users can swipe the phone’s screen in four directions to pan (350-degrees) and tilt (100-degrees) the camera. In doing so we found the camera responsive, reacting almost real-time.

It’s possible to take snapshots or record video to your phone if you want or need. Additionally, there’s a microSD card slot in the camera itself which can be used for recording video locally.

The infrared night vision feature can light things up to the tune of 32 feet so you can see what’s going on a 3AM just as easily as 3PM.

Who is the ANNKE HD Smart Wireless PT Camera for?

We can imagine a number of scenarios where it makes sense to have one of these installed. A few that immediately come to mind include using it as a baby monitor or to check on your elderly parents or grandparents. It would also be a good, inexpensive way to see how your pets are doing while on the go.

Should I buy the ANNKE HD Smart Wireless PT Camera?

For the $30 price it’s hard to say no to the camera. We found ours to work well each time we used it. Setup was easy enough and the quality of picture was more than sufficient for our needs.

Motion detection is a nice feature that can be enabled if you’re looking to use it as a security camera. In a related note, the infrared/night vision is an extra bit of peace of mind, too. Sure, you can get a more robust experience, or one that ties to your digital assistant, but you’ll spend considerably more.

Where can I buy the ANNKE HD Smart Wireless PT Camera?

You can learn more about ANNKE and its products at its official website. As of the time of review, this camera was not listed but a related model appears which offers a 1080p experience.

The camera is also available at places like Amazon; the 1080p version is also at Amazon and costs just $10 more at $40.

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