Netatmo Presence review

A weatherproof security camera with some really smart features

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Our Verdict

This advanced IP camera is ideal for monitoring your property thanks to its sophisticated image recognition software, and the app makes it mercifully simple to set up.

For

  • Fully weatherproof all-metal build quality
  • Accurate and targetable motion sensor
  • Clever image recognition software
  • Powerful and dimmable LED floodlight

Against

  • No Ethernet port
  • Rather large, incongruous design
  • Expensive

Netatmo’s first security camera, called Welcome, was designed to monitor the interior of your home or office, and introduced facial recognition software so that it could alert you to strangers, or ‘welcome’ anyone else.

It’s joined here by the more expensive Presence – which retails at £250 (around $305, AU$405) – an exterior proposition which comes with a dimmable LED floodlight and object detection that can differentiate between people, animals and cars, alerting you to the ‘presence’ of any, or all of those things. 

And while Welcome was a slim, shiny, smartphone-friendly design for keeping in touch with your family, this angular, architectural surveillance cam is aimed squarely at protecting your property, be that a home or business.

It’s an IP camera that works wirelessly over Wi-Fi, either on its own, or teamed up with more Netatmo cameras that can all be controlled by the free Netatmo iOS/Android app called Security. There’s even a watchOS app for Apple Watch fans.

Design and installation

The relatively high price feels somewhat justified when you weigh this well-built and aesthetically pleasing device in your hands. Its all-metal construction is waterproof to IPX7 standard, includes a cluster of dimmable LEDs and comes with a mounting plate that allows it to simply replace an existing outdoor light.  

There’s no internal battery, so you’ll need to hijack the power cable that’s already in place. There’s no Ethernet port either, which means using your smartphone and the companion app to help the camera join your home network. Luckily, our router was located within range, but you may find that moving your router is more practical than installing a new power line for the camera.

Spec Sheet

Here are the full specs of the Netatmo Presence:

Type: IP camera 

Location: Outdoor 

Mounting: Wall-mount included 

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 

Resolution: 1080p

Sensor: 4-megapixels

Night Vision: IR LED 

Motion sensor: Yes (configurable) 

Audio: One-way 

Battery: No

Local video storage: microSD

App support: Android, iOS, watchOS

Subscription: Free

Size/Weight: 200 x 110 x 50mm (H x W x D); 1.5kg

Features

The headline feature here is the sophisticated object recognition software that uses Netatmo’s companion app to send you a text or email when a car, an animal or a person crosses its path. It works with surprising success over distances of up to 20 metres in daylight and a little less than that when using its infrared sensors at night.

You can fine-tune the system by focusing on specific zones, which is done by pinching and zooming on the parts of the screen you are interested in, like a garden gate, or your driveway. 

As a floodlight, Presence is equally flexible and impressive. Few security lights are dimmable, but this one has a sliding scale of brightness and you can choose to have it triggered by either motion or low light. 

The grille at the back guards a microphone, adding one-way audio and making fairly clear sound recordings to go with the Full HD video. 

Another significant feature that could outweigh the initial cost of purchase is the fact that you don’t need to pay a subscription here. With video recorded directly onto a microSD card, you don’t need a costly cloud server, as is the case with Nest, Samsung and others. You could also set up your own FTP server, if you find yourself recording more frequently.

Performance

The iOS/Android app, which as we mentioned is called Security, gives you intuitive control over this and any other Netatmo cameras you have, making it easy to scroll between each camera view. If you have just one camera, you’ll see a timeline of the activity recorded that day. When you turn your phone from portrait to landscape, the image becomes full-screen.

There’s also rather slick watchOS support, so that you can see images from the camera directly on your Apple Watch. It’s now available as a complication, meaning you can add the feature to your watch face.

The resolution goes up to 1080p at 24 frames per second, and we were able to zoom in and capture crisp video clips, although we noticed that zooming introduces quite a lot of video noise. 

Aside from the reassuring build quality, convenient floodlight feature and useful object recognition, the big advantage here is the camera’s flexibility. We were able to decide whether we received an alert when a car came up the drive, or if a person entered by the gate, and also choose whether to record that clip or not.