Netatmo Smart Outdoor Security Camera, review

A weatherproof security camera with some really smart features

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We liked

The crisp corners and severe styling of this camera-cum-floodlight will divide opinions, but none will disagree with its reassuring build quality. The adjustable LEDs and intelligent object recognition are also features that push the Presence ahead of your average CCTV solution. 

With its intuitive interface and variety of alert settings, we enjoyed using the Security app, while the watchOS extension is a real bonus for Apple Watch wearers. 

It is easily as appealing as the intelligent Nest Outdoor Cam, but with one major advantage: the Netatmo is subscription-free with video stored locally, or on your own server, not an expensive cloud service.

We disliked

With a raft of cheap IP cameras arriving on the market, our first grumble here would have to be the price. Dimmable LEDs aren’t cheap components and while the other IP cams tend to be plastic, this all-metal box costs more to produce. 

And unlike the inconspicuous dome cameras, this big unit is somewhat in-your-face and refuses to blend into the aesthetics of a period home. 

The absence of an Ethernet port could prove problematic. Substantial external walls can block the Wi-Fi signal from your router indoors, limiting your installation options and reliability. 

Other minor complaints are the absence of geo-fencing, which could stop the device going off when you get home, or a timer function to avoid alerts when you definitely don’t want to be disturbed.

Final verdict

The Presence security camera is a very confident follow-up to Netatmo’s indoor Welcome cam and they work well as a team, but this is the one you should be looking at to protect your property. The object recognition software is no gimmick. It works well and is configurable enough to be useful in many situations. We liked the way it could send an alert only when a car entered our part of the drive, while turning on the floodlight for anyone who approaches. 

The design looks great on a modern office block and silly on a quaint cottage, but regardless, this is an effective and flexible deterrent that feels like it’ll last longer than most security solutions.

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.