Exclusive to Apple
If you’re a HomeKit-or-the-highway kind of smart home enthusiast, the Eve Outdoor Cam is a justifiable solution for your home security needs.
About the Eve Outdoor Cam
- Colors: Black
- Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n @2.4GHz
- Power source: Hardwired (100-240V)
- Resolution: 1080p HD
- Field of view: 157 degrees horizontal
- Audio: Two-way talk
- Smart assistant support: Siri
- Weather resistance: IP55
- Warranty: One-year warranty
The Eve Cam Outdoor has s dimmable smart floodlight that has a built-in full HD video camera. It uses infrared detection to alert you to motion and has infrared night vision to help you see more clearly at night. The camera is fairly adjustable, with a three-axis design that’s easy to move.
What we like
A fresh design
In addition to touting solid, durable-feeling build quality, the Eve Outdoor Cam sports a unique take on what a floodlight can look like. Gone are the bulky, multidirectional spreads that options like the Eufy Floodlight Cam 2 Pro or the Wyze Cam Floodlight are known for. In their place is something far more compact and rectangular, looking more akin to a modernized, stylish brick mobile phone than a floodlight.
For the price, it would have been nice to have something a little more bulletproof than the Eve Outdoor Cam’s IP55 weather resistance rating. Eve makes no mention of an operational temperature range on its website. Still, the camera should have plenty of protection to handle nearly everything nature might toss its way.
Unrivaled Apple HomeKit integration that’s secure and private
The Eve Outdoor Cam is a smart floodlight camera uniquely designed just for Apple HomeKit. It uses HomeKit Secure Video, an Apple feature that utilizes iCloud to stream and store video clips from compatible indoor/outdoor cameras and doorbells.
A major component of HomeKit Secure Video’s appeal is privacy, and the Eve Outdoor Camera is no exception. Eve says that any activity detected by the camera is stored securely and fully encrypted in your iCloud.
When you access the camera’s live stream remotely, you communicate directly with your available base (either an iPad, HomePod Mini, or Apple TV) over an end-to-end encrypted connection. In other words, the Eve Outdoor Cam’s live stream never so much as day dreams about being in the cloud.
When recorded activities are stored in your iCloud, only your personal devices (or other authorized devices) will have the key to view them. Essentially, the combination of HomeKit Security Video and the Eve Outdoor Cam is meant to usher in a sense of privacy when it comes to your recorded video content and available live streams.
If that’s a chief concern when considering floodlights, Eve’s new outdoor camera is hard to overlook.
Competitive features on paper
Outside of its HomeKit integration, the Eve Outdoor Cam does have a decent set of features that help it match up with competing floodlights. The Eve smart floodlight camera has a better field of view (157 degrees horizontal) than both the Wyze Cam Floodlight (130 degrees) and the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro (140 degrees). The device’s 1080p HD video resolution helps it stack up to the likes of each of those floodlights, as well.
Eve also boasts features like independent control of the device’s camera and floodlight, with the ability to switch the floodlight on and off and adjust its brightness.
With the camera, you can set sensitivity levels or adjust the volume of the camera’s speaker.
Plus, if you happen to own a second (or third…or fourth) HomeKit-compatible camera of any brand, the Eve app automatically expands its “At a Glance” view to include a “My Cameras” tile for easy viewing. From here, you can simultaneously view every live stream available on all your compatible cameras.
What we don’t like
An unpleasant install
Once installed, the Eve Outdoor Camera does look sharp as it watches over your driveway. The process to get there, however, is troublesome. The main issue is the camera’s size. As I, alongside several Amazon reviewers and Redditors, came to find out, the camera’s mounting hardware isn’t wide enough to fight over a standard outdoor junction box.
In a reply to a question on its blog about this very issue, Eve suggested that the camera is designed to be mounted directly on a wall. That’s all good and well, except that most folks (myself included) don’t have the necessary wiring available to mount the camera anywhere else besides the junction box of the floodlight it’s replacing.
For the purposes of this review, I did manage to shoehorn the camera into place. From there, wiring was a similar pain. I do like the included connection terminals far more than the classic, but dated, banana plugs that are usually included to splice wires together.
The steps included in the installation guide led to connecting the camera’s wires to your existing electrical infrastructure without much space to spare. It was doable and significantly less frustrating than the junction box dilemma. This was a noteworthy bother during an overall bothersome installation.
HomeKit or hit the road
The bottleneck of a HomeKit-exclusive floodlight is just that: no other operating systems need apply.
If you’re on an Android phone or part of a Google ecosystem, you’re out of luck with Eve. (But there are plenty of other floodlight options that support both Android and iOS devices like those from Ring, Wyze, and Eufy.)
It’s a deeper issue than just Android vs. iOS, though. To do anything (and I mean anything) more than access live video and get notifications for every motion that’s detected, you will first need a HomePod or Apple TV to serve as the base for HomeKit Secure Video.
On top of that, you’ll need a 50 GB Apple iCloud+ storage at minimum to begin accessing functions like recordings and specific motion detections for things like people, pets and vehicles.
Counting the initial investment for the floodlight, the combination of purchasing a base and a subscription plan will push you to the brink of a $400 setup, making this one of the more expensive options on the market if you’re intending to use the camera’s full functionality.
Performance is unspectacular
If you’re buying in on HomeKit, the Eve Outdoor Camera does offer several intuitive features, especially in the name of privacy.
Purely as a floodlight, though, it’s hard to make the case for this product over similarly-priced alternatives. Video quality on the Eve is perfectly fine, but it pales in comparison to the 360-degree field of view and 2K resolution of the Eufy Floodlight Cam 2 Pro.
The same goes for sound. Two-way audio on the Eve Outdoor Camera is serviceable, but the advanced noise cancellation built into Ring’s two-way talk feature makes for a much better experience overall.
While Eve conveniently omits a lumens rating for its floodlight, the likes of Wyze, Ring, and Eufy all seemed brighter by comparison.
Since the Eve Outdoor Cam works exclusively to HomeKit, it works with Home Kit Secure Video, as mentioned above. HomeKit Secure Video houses fully encrypted recordings in your iCloud, where only your personal and/or authorized devices can access them.
When live streaming, Eve supports an end-to-end encrypted connection that cuts out needing access to the cloud to view what’s happening at your home remotely. A status light illuminates on the front of the device when recording is in progress.
Eve also says that there’s no account nor accessory to register within its app, eliminating the opportunity for what it describes as “personal data harvesting.”
Should you buy the Eve Cam Outdoor?
Yes, but only if you’re a hardcore HomeKit user
If you’re a HomeKit-or-the-highway kind of smart home enthusiast, the Eve Outdoor Cam is a justifiable solution for your home security needs. It’s arguable that no other competitor integrates as seamlessly with HomeKit as Eve’s floodlight, and the ensuing privacy offered by the pairing is absolutely unmatched in today’s world.
However, if you find yourself in any other boat besides hardcore HomeKit-er, right down to the HomeKit Secure Video base and iCloud+ subscription, there are better options to consider.
For $50 more, Eufy’s Floodlight Cam 2 Pro offers some of the best features in the entire space. Ring’s Floodlight Cam Wired Pro doesn’t integrate with HomeKit, but it does cost the same as the Eve Outdoor Cam and performs better on multiple fronts. For something even cheaper, the Wyze Cam Floodlight can just about match the Eve Outdoor Cam’s spec sheet for a fraction of the cost.
If a HomeKit-exclusive floodlight is what you’re looking for, you’ve found it in the Eve Outdoor Cam. If you fall anywhere outside of that niche category, consider one of the many alternative solutions flooding the market today.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Nick Woodard is a tech journalist specializing in all things related to home theater and A/V. His background includes a solid foundation as a sports writer for multiple daily newspapers, and he enjoys hiking and mountain biking in his spare time.
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