Foscam FI9853EP review

A tough security camera which is surprisingly affordable

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We liked

The build quality here is excellent, so there’s no fear of this camera blowing away in the wind, or getting waterlogged and rusty in the rain. Even whacking it with a stick would have little impact.

It records reliably when motion is detected and you can save the video footage either on microSD, for free, or in the cloud at a pretty competitive annual rate. So given the surprisingly low price point, this is an affordable way into the surveillance game.

We disliked

With the majority of security cameras now offering 1080p resolution, Foscam’s 720p limit feels a little restrictive while the 1-megapixel sensor is definitely too small. Features are thin on the ground here, with no object recognition, no adjustable motion zones and no audio at all. The app also has room for improvement.

Final verdict

For outdoor, around-the-clock sentry duty, a tough dome camera like this is a safe bet, especially when it’s supplied by one of the big hitters of the security industry.

You won’t find any of the fancy features you get with the new IP camera crowd – like object recognition and motion zone detection – and the app looks downright basic compared to Nest or Netatmo’s software. But this camera is built to last and it hits a remarkably competitive price point, too.

Jim Hill

Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.