If you like Hue, choose a Philips wired camera

By virtue of the established Despite its high cost, it is known for its high-quality smart lighting, Philips Hue is a well-known brandIt may seem incongruous to enter a saturated security market, but there’s a reason to buy a Philips Hue Secure camera. The trust, reliability, and seamless syncing with Hue lights will appeal to some, but the decidedly average specs, need for a subscription, and lack of HomeKit support make it a hard sell for others.

I’ve been using the new Philips Hue Secure wired camera for a month now, and I’m impressed with its performance and tight integration with existing Hue apps.But requiring a Hue Bridge and subscription to unlock the best features is off-putting, and there are plenty of more affordable options out there best indoor and outdoor security camera guide.

Rugged design

Photo: Philips

The Philips Hue Secure camera, available in black or white, comes with a magnetic mount and a 3-meter (approximately 10-foot) power cord that plugs into the bottom of the camera and is permanently connected to a power adapter on the other end. Like an oversized Google Nest Cam. It feels durable and has an IP65 rating, which means you can use it outdoors, although the large power adapter won’t fit some outdoor sockets. There is also a larger battery powered one, Wireless Hue Camera This is better for outdoor activities, but it costs an extra $50, and we haven’t tested it yet.

I have a Philips Hue Secure camera installed in my office and chose the version with a desktop stand, which cost an additional $30. The strong magnetic mount easily adjusts to your preferred angle and slots securely into the weighted desktop stand. There’s cable management on the bottom too, but I’m still not convinced the stand is worth the extra expense.

A simple QR code scan had my camera up and running in minutes. This is a 1080p camera with a 141.2-degree field of view, allowing you to monitor a wide area, albeit with some fisheye distortion. Sharp, I found the camera handled mixed lighting and motion well. Black and white night vision is also excellent. In terms of connectivity, the camera supports Zigbee as well as 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi. I found the live stream to load relatively quickly, with almost no lag.

Action notifications are reliable and delivered quickly to both my Pixel phone and iPhone 14 Pro. Clear footage in each video lets you understand what the alert is about so you can decide whether you need to view it. You can live stream and set up black zones, and all videos are end-to-end encrypted so only you can access them.if you have Hue Bridge ($60) and hue lights, which you can set the camera to trigger. For example, you might have an intruder triggering a flashing red light.

I had the cameras in my office trigger the Hue lights in the room and was able to set them to different levels depending on the time of day. It’s neat, works slightly better than a motion sensor, and turns off the lights more quickly when you’re away. Options displayed by the “Take Action” button include quickly calling emergency contacts or 911, turning on bright lights to see better, and and sliders for triggering sirens and flashing Hue lights. You can also tap the Call button for two-way audio, which offers decent sound quality with virtually no lag, allowing you to hold conversations with ease.

Flexible integration

To get the most out of this camera, you’ll need the Hue Bridge and lights, as well as a subscription. You can pay $4 a month or $40 a year for a basic plan that covers one camera, or you can pay $10 a month or $100 a year for up to 10 cameras. Both plans unlock video clip recording to the cloud (no local storage option), event zones, and AI detection that can identify people, animals, packages, and vehicles. The Basic plan gives you 30 days of cloud storage, and the Plus plan extends it to 60 days.

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