Coolpo, makers of the AI Huddle PANA I previously reviewed—and the AI Huddle Mini—have released a new AI-powered camera known as the AI Huddle Mini Lite. The company was kind enough to send its latest camera out for review and here are my impressions of it.
What’s to like
The Coolpo AI Huddle Mini Lite packs some impressive specs. It features a 4K resolution, up to 120-degrees field of view, has AI face tracking that works with up to seven individuals, includes a physical privacy shutter, and works with Windows and Mac computers.
I was impressed with the face tracking in my previous review of the Coolpo AI Huddle PANA, and the AI Huddle Mini Lite provides a similar experience. As long as you stay within the 120-degree frame, the AI Huddle Mini Lite does a good job of zooming in and out to find your face and keep you present in the frame. The only time it loses track of you is when you are out of sight and get to the side or behind the camera.
That’s why it is important to have several options for mounting the Coolpo AI Huddle Mini to ensure it has a good view of you and the room you’re in. Thankfully, the AI Huddle Mini is very flexible in these regards. It offers multiple ways to mount the camera including, on a table, a tripod, or clipping onto your laptop monitor. It can even be rotated once positioned has been positioned. This provides you with a multitude of ways to mount the camera and keep yourself in frame allowing the AI framing to do its job.
One of the other key features is the Coolpo Tools software. It allows you to see a preview of the image, change the field of view, and control whether you are using group or individual mode. Additionally, there are settings to adjust the brightness, contrast, sharpness, and much more. The Coolpo Tools software goes a long way toward making the AI Huddle Mini Lite quick and simple to set up and use.
When using professional lighting, the picture from the AI Huddle Mini Lite is bright, sharp, and clear. The color temperature is a little on the cool side, but that can be adjusted using the software.
What’s not to like
For starters, the video quality in low-light situations. The AI Huddle Mini Lite has a lot of noise and artifacts unless there is an abundance of light. So, in spite of the AI Huddle Mini Lite doing an admirable job of tracking people in the frame, it could do better at noise reduction.
Another issue that arises is when your face reaches the edge of the 120-degree camera. Ultrawide cameras, such as this one, often get distorted around the edges. That’s no different here, and it applies a fun house mirror effect to your face if you get too close to the edge of the frame.
The video quality is also harmed by the camera needing to zoom in on subjects within the frame. That effectively lowers the resolution and doesn’t provide a true 4K picture of what’s in the frame. In comparison to a 1080p webcam from the Acer 516 GE Chromebook, there’s a clear difference in brightness and noise present in the image when in lower light. The Acer webcam is brighter with better noise reduction, however, the AI Huddle Mini Lite provides a superior picture with professional lighting and it is sharper overall in all scenarios.
Finally, the microphone works well, but I had some complaints each time the camera needed to zoom out and back in to track me. I was told there was a loud unpleasant noise each time this happened. However, if I was just sitting still in front of the camera then the audio was fine.
The Coolpo AI Huddle Mini Lite promises a lot and looks great on paper. However, if you’re only using it for stationary video chats, there are more affordable options with similar features.
Meetings is where the AI Huddle Mini Lite truly shines thanks to its group modes and face tracking. That’s one area other webcams can’t compete, making it a compelling choice if you need a camera to follow you around or for group video conferences.
If you’re interested in picking up the Coolpo AI Huddle Mini Lite, it will be available with a special discount during Prime Day. Coolpo has also provided a coupon code for our readers. With the code 4LMNPK3A, you’ll be able to save 20% when purchasing the AI Huddle Mini Lite.