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Panasonic’s slightly rounded black-and-white plastic boxes have some appeal design-wise and taken together with the app, this is a fairly user-friendly system. It’s easy to set up and expand later on if you wish. With such a big corporation behind it, you can be sure the system will be well supported and could see more sensors and security products being launched later on.
As a burglar alarm, this system worked well, setting off the flashing hub alarm every time. We also appreciated the way the user can press any button on the hub to silence it.
Another major bonus is the single, central microSD slot that allows you to record clips of any length, and of course makes this a subscription-free security solution.
The video quality is quite simply not good enough. The 0.3MP sensor captures crummy images with too much noise and distortion in VGA resolution. That’s too low by today’s standards and it means you can’t recognise faces.
The audio quality is also unacceptable. We don’t want high-resolution audio, but we do expect some clarity.
The use of a hub has some advantages, but it is yet another device to plug into the mains.
With new companies like Nest and Netatmo bringing face and object recognition to their cameras, Panasonic’s low-res system looks crude and under-specified.
As a holistic smart home solution, Panasonic’s system has lots of appeal for domestic households and businesses. The far-reaching DECT system has advantages over less secure Wi-Fi IP cameras, and the growing family of sensors Panasonic is offering gives you some confidence about buying into its smart home dream.
However, the cameras themselves are too limited in their picture and sound quality when compared to current rivals, and the app doesn’t offer the same slick features of the latest IP cameras from Nest, Netatmo and so forth. In this case, we’d recommend waiting for the inevitable ‘mark II’ models.
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.